On the principle that "the problem is the solution," I have begun to notice stories about the sargassum weed along Caribbean and Florida shorelines reaching "problematic" levels due to environmental changes. I have seen whole stretches of beach buried under inches of sargassum. This makes the beach unacceptable to beachgoers. Wouldn't it be amazing if the communities where this is happening figured out a suitable way to transfer all that sargassum from the beach to land that needs remineralization?
Cory Collins wrote:It's astonishing to me the amount of suffering a person will endure without even considering changing their diet or lifestyle.
Marie Abell wrote:So have natural remedy "quacks", which is hard to believe when the only legal treatment for cancer (in the U.S., at least) has as low as a 2 percent success rate.
Paul Fookes wrote:As a thinking ex-health professional, the think I have found highly disappointing is when people overstate their findings/ results/ success, no matter whether they are using traditional western medicine model, traditional eastern model or first nations medicine. My personal belief is that the truth lies in there but it may be a mix of various modalities.
Okay, I compiled a few choice quotes spanning a range of viewpoints. I find it interesting that Marie put "quacks" in quotation marks. Before I would pass judgment -- for or against -- I would want to see whether their success rate differs from that of conventional medicine -- for better or for worse. I can't really assess that from testimonials and isolated anecdotes.
Cory is spot on, though. When my family members talked me into getting a colonoscopy because several of them had had polyps removed, I agreed, mostly to appease them. I had been a vegetarian for a dozen years by then, and everything I had read about colorectal cancer linked it to the consumption of "rare" (that is, undercooked) red meat. When, as I knew I would, I came out clean, it seemed that everyone but me was surprised; and the part that annoys me is that despite seeing it with their own eyes, the doctors still want to treat me as a "high risk" because of the family connection.
Anne Cline wrote:I have lost all faith in the medical industry and I do believe it's all about the money nothing to do with curing you they have no intentions of doing that.
Anne Cline wrote:At this point I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Conventional treatments have failed me.
I'm sorry, but as much as I feel for Anne, I have to push back. I just underwent a major surgery for a pituitary adenoma (non-cancerous tumor). From the beginning, my care team clearly did intend to cure me. It helped that, as a non-cancer, the tumor was curable.
If conventional treatments have failed you, it does not follow that the medical industry has no intention of curing you. It may be that the condition really is incurable. I have no reason to dismiss that possibility out of hand. Of the diseases that modern medicine considers incurable -- some cancers, autoimmune disorders, genetic disorders, to name a few of the more obvious ones -- can we conceive of the possibility that at least some of them may really be incurable?
I know that is a difficult prospect as a patient. We would much rather believe that if we can just find the right treatment, all will be well again. But at some point I find myself asking: where is the line between "disillusioned with modern medicine" and "unable to accept the truth"?
When I was diagnosed with my pituitary tumor, I of course looked for information about it -- especially about the cause, to see if there was any way I could have prevented it. I found nothing about the cause, from conventional or alternative medicine. And as far as a cure, this seems to be one that the alternative medicine community can't or won't touch; for all the books written about "natural cures" for cancer or arthritis, I haven't seen anything about natural cures for non-cancerous tumors. Is it because these are curable? I don't know, but I would rather have avoided such a drastic surgery.
James Freyr wrote:It's so nice to not hear noise like airplanes and car stereos.
Even better -- not to hear those cars that have been deliberately made louder. I could say quite a few unkind things about my impression of the people who do that.
The Bugs- There were tons of fireflies each night during the summer, reminding me of my childhood memories of lots of them in the backyard when I was a kid.
Just the diversity of them. In the Dominican Republic, there are the regular firelies, and also fire beetles, which are big click beetles that also light up.
Devin Lavign wrote:I struggle in cities with the idea that I should treat pee as waste.
Even worse is the hostile attitude toward having to pee in the first place. At least in the United States, the cultural hatred of people who have lost their homes has become so extreme that the entire civic infrasturcture has been retooled around that one agenda. As in, make sure that there are no bushes bushy enough to pee behind, have all the storefronts put up signs stating that restrooms are for customers only, and for good measure, make urinating in public a sex offense. And if people with overactive bladder or other medical conditions suffer, oh, well, they're just collateral damage.
I was so conditioned to this, it took some getting used to to see Dominicans in rural places just casually step aside to pee.
I'll add one of my own. When I ask a campesino about a tree or plant, not only do they tell me its name, they usually also tell me why it is important. Maybe that kind of tree is good for wood, or its leaves are nutritious for dairy cows. Maybe that plant is medicinal. At least in the Dominican Republic, country people seem to have a closer connection with nature than was the case in the American suburbs where I grew up; depending on it in many complex ways, and so, of necessity, having an understanding of it.
I noticed the recurring themes in this thread: lots of stars, lots of wild critters. After my suburban upbringing, those were what most struck me about rural places. And that was why I sense such a disconnect in what is termed "country" music. A lot of those songs seem to be about people making bad decisions. "Blame it on your lying, cheating, cold deadbeating,
two-timing, double dealing, mean mistreating, loving heart." Or, "Momma's in the graveyard, papa's in the pen." Or even the one about counting rounds with Jose Cuervo. If that was what country living was all about, no one could be blamed for wanting to stay as far away from it as possible. But then, there are songs like "Wildflowers," by Maddie Poppe. That one is also about a country upbringing, and a much more positive view. If that's what country life is about, count me in.
Kat Ousley wrote:Thank you so much for all of your replies! I really appreciate all of the input.
It's just really hard to come to terms with since up until my Americorps job I have only worked jobs solely for the money and felt really unsatisfied and disillusioned with life, even while volunteering and pursuing passion projects on the side.
You're young yet. I felt the same way when I was young, and I made some (arguably) poor decisions as a result -- as in taking seasonal jobs that were in line with my interests over steady jobs that were not. Do I regret it? Yes and no. Yes, because it meant that I never did get "established" in life, nor did those gigs lead to what I really wanted to do. And no, because the adventures I had as a result would not have happened if I had been a career man.
I would ask you this: when you were working those jobs just for the money (and pursuing passion project on the side), was it part of a plan? Or was it just an expediency for survival? I believe that the choices I made could have worked for me better if I had had a plan at the time, rather than just a dream.
Lately I have discovered the YouTube channel, "Mother the Mountain Farm." The premise is a good one: permaculture life in the Australian rainforest. But of course, like all media production, these videos are edited for content and narrative, and I can't escape the impression that they have a rather dream-like quality. Lots of images of cuddling with cute animals or playing at the swimming hole, not many images of actual income-generating activity. It looks like such an idyllic life, but, knowing how narrative video works, we of course ask ourselves, what are they NOT showing us?
Of course, if a YouTube channel is popular, then making videos can, itself, be an income-generating activity. These two young women always remember to thank their patrons, and some of their videos contain paid product promotions. Sure enough, in one of their videos, they answer that very question:
You can almost miss it in the elaboration, but yes, they admit that they make a living off their YouTube channel.
Well, it's wonderful that they've found a means of living the dream, and that their feelings about life are expressed in such happy videos. But as a promotion of the permaculture life, it leaves some questions open, don't you think? If living a life like theirs requires a YouTube channel popular enough to earn them a living, then it isn't really scalable to permaculture as a movement. We can't all have YouTube channels; even if we did all have YouTube channels, the inherent competition of the market means that we couldn't all support ourselves off YouTube. Plus, it tends to suggest that permaculture can only be done by subsidizing it with non-permaculture ventures.
On second thought -- a lot of us subsidize our permaculture ventures with non-permaculture activities. Affiliate links from this site being just one example.
I lke the concept behind these videos, which is why I have watched several of them. I think that as far as promoting the permaculture life and values, showing happy things like this is a good way of attracting people's interest. Gotta love that duck! I also think, though, that there needs to be more of an indication of how to make a living at it besides YouTube. What if there were videos about the kinds of products we produce -- the fruits and nuts from our food forests, maybe nutmilks if we have the equipment for that, eggs from those ducks or milk from those goats? How can we balance portrayal of the dream with portrayal of the practicalities of making it happen?
I suppose more ideas for passive income would go in the "More coin please" category? Affiliate links may be fine for someone who has a website that gets visitation, but I don't see as we can all do that.
Dale Hodgins wrote:Punishment or the threat of punishment when he's in that state, would not be appropriate.
I tend to think of punishment as never being appropriate; but I recognize that is my own past trauma.
Dale Hodgins wrote:My oldest brother is autistic. When he was 11 they decided the demons needed to be cast out of him.
Oh, I've been there, only it wasn't my family, but some roommates. It took me some years to figure out that the exorcism was bogus, just me reacting to manipulation. Autistic people are more susceptible to abuse, I am told, be cause we don't know how to recognize it when we see it.
But that's not what I want to add to this discussion. This thread has reminded me of my late mother. As often happens, we had no idea of her mental health issues when we were kids; it was something we only came to understand as adults. She would go through these strange phases, often, though not always, food-related. For instance, in her Shrimp Phase, her lunch every single day was a baking sheet of shrimp. Until she got a bad batch -- and for the rest of her life, she never again ate a shrimp.
But her bigger issue was hypochondria, and possibly Munchausen disorder as well. By the end of her life, she had more than 100 different prescriptions for all kinds of different things. I really do think that her unnecessary prescriptions caused her to die before her time -- my dad is around the same age as she would have been, and he only just retired, whereas she basically lived as an invalid for close to twenty years before expiring.
What would have been the compassionate thing to do here? Once I was an adult, I always was skeptical of all her meds; but in my autistic lack of social graces, I did not know how to be tactful about it, and that created some friction between us. When my oldest sister oversaw her move to the nursing home, she worked with the geriatrician to taper mom down to maybe two or three prescriptions; the geriatrician was surprised that mom had talked so many doctors into prescribing so many things. I sure would have liked to be able to do this earlier; I think she would have had a better quality of life as well as a longer life. Going along with her, I would not consider ideal. But when someone has a mental health issue, you can't apply normal reasoning.
Through it all, I continued to love her with a fierce intensity. I came back from the Dominican Republic to the States to fulfil her dying wish to see me one last time, and once she was gone, I felt lost for nearly two years -- lost, as in, "what am I going to do now?" A person with mental health issues can still be very important to someone.
Okay. I haven't been around here much, because I needed time to think about whether I can even contribute meaningfully under the publishing standards. (Not that I would expect to be missed if I left; I know that's not how forums like this work). Here is some perspective.
In the thread called "CENSORSHIP - Paul Wheaton Requested," there were two opinions expressed as to how an internet forum ought to be run; one by Henry Coulder, the other by Paul Wheaton. Now, from my perspective, I would not hold these two opinions as having equal weight -- and not because Paul owns the website. Suppose I was thinking of starting my own online forums, and was interested in best practices as to how to do that. I come here, and see that Henry had no experience running forums, and Paul had many years of such experience. That bit of information would cause me to weight Paul's opinion on the matter more heavily. More so when I additionally find out that Paul originally tried it Henry's way and found that it didn't work.
Anyway, the trouble I got into over the topic of this thread was induced by my impressions of that jungle known as social media. My impression of the social media ethos is: "If someone somewhere believes it, it's true -- unless it's established science." To cite actual research scientists on social media is to invite accusations of being sheeple or worse. I feared that this site had bought into that same ethos.
So what you're doing is unconventional, but you can show me practically that it works? Great. That actually fits my definition of science -- it's an experiment. In Spanish, the verb, "to experience" is experimentar. All of us permies who try things out to see what works and what doesn't are on the most basic level actually doing science. Which is why I do not understand anti-science sentiment -- the disdain for people who make a career of doing essentially the same thing, just on a larger scale and with more funding and better equipment.
Scientific consensus is simply the sum total of all experimental results, which is why it sometimes changes when different experiments are done.
Henry had no experience running online forums, Paul had many years of such experience, and that affected my weighting of their differing opinions on the running of online forums. How is this different from, say, a scientist who has studied viruses for many years, and a blogger who has not? Why wouldn't my weighting of their differing opinions on viruses follow the same pattern?
There is some species of native guppy in the Rio Magante, although I have yet to identify it exactly. The dominant male of each group has orange fins, but otherwise, they are not colorful. I have been thinking that I would like to try them in an aquarium, and since they are native, they should be well adapted to conditions.
Data can be problematic around here, I know, because it creates a temptation to use that forbidden f-word. Still, data (and that forbidden word) are what I understand. And as research mounts, it turns out that there is increasing data to support our Permie principles. Mongabay ran a story on cacao farming in Indonesia, comparing hand-pollination with the more usual toxic-gick methods, and as it turns out, hand pollination, even with the increased labor cost, outperformed toxic gick in generating income.
To summarize: usually, only 5-10% of cacao flowers are pollinated. By pollinating by hand, cacao farmers find that yields increase anywhere from 51% to 161%, which is enough to make the labor-intensive technique worthwhile. The Indonesian chocolate-growing region is already a fertile soil area, so it no real surprise that chemical fertilizers make little difference there. It makes me wonder why chemical fertilizers became prominent in the first place; but I suppose a likely explanation is that such products are presented to farmers as being necessary, and they might not look beyond "received wisdom."
Hopefully, this will spread to other cacao-growing regions of the world.
I could post a link, but those of you who can answer the question do not need one. The website is trying to sell product, so of course it is going to post the rave reviews. I am looking for perspectives from people who have no vested interest in selling this product. Those of you who have used the Almond Cow, is it worth it?
Thank you so much for your support! Please make sure to note that these cards can be used to play many games, NOT just one. This is the most common point that people miss.
The cards are intended as an open-ended invitation to game creators and regenerative gardening enthusiasts. While I have developed several games for the cards, and will be working on more this fall, I really hope that a community or people will evolve to create more games for these cards.
So the idea is for them to be on a par with the traditional playing cards, with the four suits, Aces, Kings, etc. Those would not be nearly as well known if there was only one game that could be played with them. One kind of cards for poker, a completely different set for rummy, yet a third for bridge; I doubt there would be as much interest in card games if it was like that. I do find that idea to be in keeping with our values -- multipurpose as opposed to a separate thing for each single purpose.
I like this idea a lot better than the (Your-City's-Name)-opoly phenomenon. A game about predatory capitalism, with advertising incorporated into the game board. How many who buy those games are aware of the inherent propaganda?
echo minarosa wrote:
But there are clearly times when feeding is detrimental. Look no further than public feeding spots for ducks and geese. People usually bring junk food...bread to feed them. You almost never see grains, fish parts, etc (depending on what your recipient is). One place in my area is between 5 restaurants and people bring out their doggy bags for the ducks and geese. All they get is inappropriate food all the time. The birds are there in such huge numbers and in such a small area that diseases quickly spread and they get large population buildups which then crash. The diseases like avian botulism are horrible ways to die. People mean well but don't understand the implications of their actions.
This made me think of what might well be called unintentional bird feeding. In coastal cities, gulls learn to scavenge out of public trash cans; an area like a food court, where the trash cans get heavy use and are not always emptied before they overflow, people may be feeding the gulls without even being aware of it, by throwing unfinished food in the trash cans. Hamburger buns are made of white bread, just like the bread being fed to the ducks in your scenario, and then there are the heavily salted French fries, greasy pizza remnants, and suchlike.
I don't have any stories as wild as these. But I cat I used to have in my youth... he came up to me one day, and I noticed a tiny bit of grass, no more than a centimeter, stuck in his nose. I took hold of it, very gently, to see if I could pull it out, but he did the job for me, yanking his head away -- and leaving me holding a six-inch long blade of grass. How he managed that, I can't begin to imagine.
Erick Miller wrote:
Also I agree with the whole random “fact”/“citation needed” problems that people now seem to hinge their comments on (generally speaking) it’s annoying and imo it’s because of people’s methods of speaking or thinking and as mentioned a need to “convert” other thinking’s to match ... how boring 🤣
Your point is well taken. But on the other hand, I don't see going to the opposite extreme as any better.
Recently, several social media companies began partnering with PolitiFact to label whether statements made in a post or tweet can be verified as true. And I often check Snopes before passing something along. Are PolitiFact and Snopes doing a bad thing? Are their activities the same as shutting down discussion?
It seems to me that we can foster and facilitate discussion without going to the extreme of denying that some things really are true, and some things really are not.
S Bengi wrote:
You want a nitrogen fixer/legume, this should be 90% at establishment and then culled/dieback to 25% at maturity
In the tropics, the possibilities are endless. Pigeon pea was mentioned earlier in the thread. Now, I don't know which legumes you have in India, but I can give you an idea of the diversity by telling you about the Caribbean ones I know.
The most ubiquitous tree in the Dominican countryside is known as the "fence post tree' (Gliricidia sepium). Literally every barbed wire fence uses this for the posts, because all you have to do is cut vertical limbs off an existing fence post tree, set them as fence posts, and most of them will take root and become trees themselves. As a secondary use, farmers will also cut its leafy boughs for cattle feed.
In the open pastures, the most wide-spreading shade tree is the monkey pod (Albizia saman). Besides providing shade (valuable in the tropics), it is also the best quality local wood for furniture (except for mahogany, which is expensive and mainly for export). I have seen cow pats full of monkey pod seedlings (I have attached a picture), which tells me that its pods are another cattle feed.
Then there is West Indian locust (Hymenea courbaril). A local person told me it was "algarroba," which means carob, and I did indeed find that the powder inside its pods could be used like carob. (The real carob (Ceratonia siliqua) is also a legume.)
We have the tamarind (Tamarindus indica), whose scientific name tells me that you have it in India, too -- so you surely know about its tart pulp, which, I now see in Wikipedia's table, is especially rich in Thiamine (that is, vitamin B1).
And that's just the trees! My point being that if you choose carefully, the legumes you put in for nitrogen fixation can serve additional purposes over and above that.
Looking through my pictures, I came across one of a very strange formation that appeared on my red bananas: there is the normal hand of bananas, then a stretch of empty stem. All this is as expected. But then came the unexpected: a tight mass of stunted bananas, forming a ball. I asked my local friend about it, and he said that it means that something must have physically damaged the stem at that point, so that not enough sap flowed to the end. He further advised me that normally, the way people there manage bananas, they would cut off the flower as soon as they see the empty stretch of stem; that way, the plant will put its energy into enlarging the bananas that are there, instead of growing more flowers.
I really hate food waste, so I kept the strange mass. Sure enough, in time, they all ripened, and tasted the same as regular red bananas, albeit one bite each.
When Hurricane Irma came through a few years ago, it wind threw the red banana plants. But, not one to give up easily, I found that by cutting off all but the top most leaf, I could get them to a light enough weight for me to lift them manually back upright. They recovered nicely -- and as an added bonus, when Hurricane Maria came along a week later, their lack of large leaves permitted them to avoid being wind thrown again.
I prefer the red bananas because they are sweeter than the yellow, and so I have preferentially propagated them more, but I do also have the yellow ones, and also plantains, each kind in its own grove. It's a good thing I'm so bananas for bananas, because on my 1/8 acre, they take up a substantial amount of space.
J Davis wrote:Are you sure thats edible? How do you know for sure?
In that conversation, here is what I would do: Ask them in turn, if you went to a supermarket, and none of the produce had any labels, how much of it could you identify? When they think about it that way, probably the light bulb in their head would turn on as they realize, yes, they actually could identify a lot of it. Then you can turn the conversation toward showing them how each wild edible has as distinct an appearance as each kind of produce.
I have 1/8 acre to work with, so I was frustrated that the PEP gardening badge was so heavy on hugelkultur. I have many years experience in gardening, but never in a location that would make hugelkultur a viable option. So I was pleased to see that the PEA gardening badge adapts the same idea to a manageable scale.
Had to chuckle a bit, though: some of those houseplants, I could grow outside!
A possible reason why Fukuoka's rice fields were more successful than his neighbors'. They were probably using the traditional method, causing the excess water to spread multiple plant diseases around.
And that is important to note. Traditions develop because they are the best solution people found at the time. But if conditions change in some way, then the traditional way might not automatically be a better way.
Permaculture honors tradition in many ways, such as recognizing the value of landraces of plants and animals, and of intact ecosystems, but it is not wedded to tradition-for-tradition's-sake.
Your suggestion is exactly where I started. I think it is exactly where all forum managers start.
And the rest of us would not know that if you had not told us. I really do think that a thoughtful reply, such as this one that you have written to Henry Coulder, is more constructive than the two apple cores and two thumbs down that his post also got. Because this tells him -- and the rest of us -- something useful about what was wrong with it. Now, if his post had just been deleted, no need, because the rest of us would not see it; but given that it remains here, I for one find it helpful to see an explanation of how it was problematic. Sometimes, when I see a post with an apple core, I am perplexed trying to figure out the reason. Especially since I was not privy to any Purple Moosage communications with whomever wrote it.
We do have a process for that. We call it "probation post". Staff use it once in a long while for people that seem like they might try to work with us rather than against us. About half the time we use it, the author fills the post with bile about the staff is stupid. So then we just delete it. In those cases, we think our lives would have been lovlier if we just deleted it from the beginning. So the bar for what to probate should be raised a bit.
Another thing I never would have known. I have had a few posts probated, but although it crossed my mind sometimes to do something like this, I quickly quashed the thought because I understand how the power dynamic works: you don't insult the people who have the power to determine whether or not your post stands. That just seems logical to me. Although, my logic has gotten me in trouble here, too...
What an awful thing it would be to drive off someone who may have a piece of the puzzle we are trying to put together.
Wow, that is damn good stuff.
It is coming close to happening right now.
[quote = Adam Klaus] In the recent case with the thread on farm internships, I think that Walter offered a great amount of excellent quality information in his post. I would suggest that torching the entire post did a disservice to his expertise and the learning of members on this forum. I totally understand Walter's frustration when asked to edit his post, and so he just left it with a one sentence synopsis that included none of his actual experience with the subject. That is a shame.
It is, but I can't say as I blame him. Sometimes it can feel safer to go that route -- sort of the idea that "the less said, the better" when one has had an adverse response. I have thought about doing that myself, and one of these days it might happen, if it gets me on a bad day.
PEP stuff is optimized for my property in montana. I suspect that there will be people in the US, Canada and several other countries that will be able to do PEP stuff without a problem.
For hawaii, I think somebody might explore the idea of making a PES program (permaculture experience according to Su Ba).
Would there be corresponding badges?
There are so many possibilities for regional variations. For people in deforested areas, it would not be a question of converting forest to woodland, but of converting open land to woodland. In my part of the Dominican Republic, there are riparian woodland corridors along streams, and shade-grown cacao, but other than that, it is all deforested, mostly open pasture. The original rainforest cover has been gone a long time.
2) Flags. Those of you with apples will have the ability to flag threads where you would like to see more discussion. You have as many flags as you have apples. And you can move your flags to whichever threads you want.
Thank you for the explanation. Without it, I would have thought that flags meant what they do on some other platforms -- that someone was offended by something and calling for a moderator.
John Wolfram wrote:
Some of the older GMO products have been in use for over two decades now, so the "not enough testing" argument against these products is starting to lose some credibility in my opinion. I'm still rather skeptical about the new GMO products.
I actually wanted to develop this idea further. Since there are people whose reason sincerely is that there has not been enough testing, I would like to ask them in particular: how much testing would be enough? Where is that threshold that would bring you around to saying. "Okay, now I'm convinced"?
Healthy skepticism is a good thing. But there is a difference between healthy skepticism and close-mindedness. You can find a lot of skeptics who have been convinced of something because it met their criteria; but first, they had to know what their criteria were.
I expect that those criteria, that threshold, will be different for different people here. I am curious about what some of those criteria and thresholds are.