i salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. for when you are at that centre within you and i am at that place within me, we shall be one. - chief crazy horse, oglala sioux, 1877

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Natural Beekeeping

when i knew we would be moving to our tiny piece of paradise, i knew i wanted a huge garden, fruit and nut trees, goats, and bees. that was 2008 and all the beekeepers on my island had thrown in the towel due to the so-called colony collapse disorder. this is basically an unexplained phenomenon where whole hives just die and there was something about mites too. so anyway, i put it on my back burner. but i am getting ready to plan for my piece of land so i am starting to explore the subject again so i can learn what my bees will need...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Joel Salatin on Forgiveness and Being a Gentle Farmer

this is fantastic... there's so much to learn from humble people who are so deeply commited to the right thing!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fermenting Vegetables with Sandor Katz

this is sandor katz; he wrote the book "Wild Fermentation." this is a very important food issue.

as western culture has "advanced", we have left behind many healthy traditions, like leaving behind brown rice or whole wheat brown bread. throughout history an idea developed: the more processed something is or the further away it is from it's natural state, the more valuable it is. thus white rice is preferred over brown and white bread over whole wheat, even though the closer a food item is to it's natural state, the HEALTHIER it is!!!!

another aspect of this issue is: we have tried, in western culture, to get as far away from bacteria as possible. all bacteria. i think it had to do with our discoveries of various micro-organisms that do cause us difficulties, so we distanced from all little bugs that we were unsure of. the problem is this... some of them are good for us. some micro-organisms help us maintain a healthy balance in our bodies. fermented foods are a traditional tool for preserving foods through the winter and for regularly exposing ourselves to helpful bacteria.

i've heard there are studies that link western culture's problem with immune-system health issues with a lack of healthy bacteria. that makes sense to me as i watch the television ads (and my mother) clean everything possible with bleach and all sorts of other crap and westerners continue to get sick with lupus, chronic fatigue, multiple schlerosis, etc.

check out "Wild Fermentation" by Sandor Katz or "The Book of Ferment and Human Nutrition" by bill mollison for far more information.

a permaculturist who might "fit" you...

it's really important to find a permaculturist who "fits" you. when i read bill mollison's "Permaculture: A Designers' Manual" during my PDC, i was convinced i could NEVER do permaculture because i have no science background and it all seemed very academic and technical. i have a teaching degree and i've worked in social services.

now, be sure i did learn loads from my teacher, jesse lemieux. however when i read "Gaia's Garden", i was so happy to have direct and practical advice that was more specific to where i live. i understand why bill's manual is like it is; it is used all over the world, but toby hemenway's "Gaia's Garden" was written a few hundred miles from my home (i'm on the west coast of canada and toby was in oregon). so i'm going to keep reading many permaculture books by many authors and watching many videos by joes and janes just like me trying to DO permaculture. i've seen a few videos of Eric Toensmeier and i like him. he seems very straightforward and plain-spoken = practical. here's one of him with his tubers...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

the blue economy... i need to learn more about this...

this is part 1 of 8 introduction of some of the innovations presented by the blue economy...

The Blue Economy – 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs

The Blue Economy began as a project to find one hundred of the best nature-inspired technologies that could effect the economies of the world, while sustainably providing basic human needs - potable water, food, jobs and healthful shelter. Starting with 2,231 peer review articles Dr. Pauli found 340 innovations that could be bundled into systems that function the way ecosystems do. These were then additionally reviewed by a team of corporate strategists, expert financiers, and public policy makers. Further meetings with entrepreneurs, financial analysts, business reporters and corporate strategy academics reduced the list to one hundred. These are listed in an appendix of The Blue Economy.

Many of the innovations inspired by nature are so interesting by themselves it is easy to forget that the key to the book is their integration with real world economies as ways to provide sustainable benefits to the commons. The Blue Economy is presented in fourteen chapters, each of which investigates an aspect of the world's economies and offers a series of innovations capable of making aspects of those economies sustainable. Following are "in-a-nutshell" descriptions of the chapters with very brief examples.

Their Philosophy

The Earth’s limited resources pose “carrying capacities” for populations of species – the number of individuals an environment can sustain. Yet through efficient use of resources and energy, and evolving clever mechanisms to adapt to and overcome environmental conditions and challenges, ecosystems have maximised the sustainable sizes of diverse populations. Nature constantly increases its efficiency and has proven to be the most economic actor of our planet.

The first industrial revolution lead to modern day pollution; the second industrial revolution allowed humans to grasp the extent of threat this destruction poses to our own lives: we have recklessly passed our carrying capacity. The general public feels helpless in finding a way out. Human production and consumption patterns are no longer sustainable.

Numerous examples around the world prove that we can imitate nature's designs, perfected over millions of years, in our own production – using the waste of one product as the input for another. These innovations will revolutionize the industries they are applied in, making consumption of those products a positive action. Thus, it will become possible to live in a sustainable way, responding to all basic needs for water, food, energy, health and shelter. Thinking in systems and cycles, we become metabolists – witness the dawn of the 3rd industrial revolution!

The Principles of The Blue Economy

1.Solutions are first and foremost based on physics. Deciding factors are Pressure and Temperature as found on site.

2.Substitute something with Nothing – question any ressource regarding its necessity for production.

3.Natural systems cascade nutrients, matter and energy – waste does not exist. Any by-product is the source for a new product.

4.Nature evolved from few species to a rich biodiversity. Wealth means diversity. Industrial standardization is the contrary.

5.Nature provides room for entrepreneurs who do more with less. Nature is contrary to monopolization.

6.Gravity is main source of energy, solar energy is the second renewable fuel.

7.Water is the primary solvent (no complex, chemical, toxic catalysts).

8.In nature the constant is change. Innovations take place in every moment.

9.Nature only works with what is locally available. Sustainable business evolves with respect not only for local ressources, but also for culture and tradition.

10.Nature responds to basic needs and then evolves from sufficiency to abundance. The present economic model relies on scarcity as a basis for production and consumption.

11.Natural systems are non-linear.

12.In Nature everything is biodegradable – it is just a matter of time.

13.In natural systems everything is connected and evolving towards symbiosis.

14.In Nature water, air, and soil are the commons, free and abundant.

15.In Nature one process generates multiple benefits.

16.Natural systems share risks. Any risk is a motivator for innovations.

17.Nature is efficient. So sustainable business maximizes use of available material and energy, which reduces the unit price for the consumer.

18.Nature searches for the optimum for all involucrated elements.

19.In Nature negatives are converted into positives. Problems are opportunities.

20.Nature searches for economies of scope. One natural innovation carries various benefits for all.

21.Respond to basic needs with what you have, introducing innovations inspired by nature, generating multiple benefits, including jobs and social capital, offering more with less: This is the Blue Economy.