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Horticulture of the United States of Pocahontas (husp)  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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This is fiction.

I made it up.

Mr. Rogers said it was okay to do this.

My fiction starts with fact.  In 1608 a boat comes to the shores of what is now known as the United States of America.  Then comes my fiction.  Rather than things working out the way we now know, things go a bit ... different.  Pocahontas turns out to be a bit of a warrior genius and next thing you know, the Europeans decide to not stick any more flags in this soil. 

Continuing my fiction, the centuries pass and the borders for "The United States of Pocahontas" just so happen to be the exact same borders that we now know as the USA. 

There is trade between the USP and other countries.  And the USP has values that are a bit different than other countries.  Especially when it comes to agriculture.  Before Pocahontas, agriculture was practiced.  And permaculture is a lot like that.  And when folks outside the USP said "hey, this plowing thing is awesome, you should try it" the folks in the USP said "that seems like a practice that is disrespectful to mother earth - we choose to not do that."  Similar sorts of things happened with petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides. 

The culture within the USP evolved a lot, but these values about respect for the earth remained.

In my imagination,  the amount of food produced per acre is far more than what other countries can accomplish.  Plus, the lifespan and overall health exceeds all other nations.  The #1 industry in the USP is a sort of health tourism - when people come here, their ills tend to just fade away.

I am curious to know what their practices are.  Since this is all in my imagination, I am the only one that can possibly paint this picture.  Oh sure, other people can take this idea and paint their own pictures, or send ideas my way about what I might wanna put in my picture.  But overall, I am trying to express something that is in my head. 

For the last six or seven months I've been thinking a lot about the USP and agriculture/horticulture that happens there.  And how we might accelerate our learning about permaculture to end up some where way beyond permaculture. 

I've decided to make up a new word.  "Husp."  This is actually an acronym for "Horticulture of the United States of Pocahontas."  I choose that this word is all lower case (as opposed to an all caps sort of thing).  I feel I need this word to talk about other stuff.  I am okay with other people using this word, but in order for me to talk about other things, I need to make sure other people do not attempt to redefine this word.  So:  my word.  Mine.  If you want something different, go make up your own words! 



 
paul wheaton
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Now that I have this word "husp" here is the first thing I wish to build with this word.  Something a bit less in the world of imagination, and a bit more in reality.

I am curious about what may have been.  Considering today's reality, I wonder a fair bit about how we might go about re-creating HUSP 2011.  Since I don't know what that is, then I know I need far more knowledge than I have now.  And I need to accelerate the collaborative innovation of millions of people over the last 403 years.

The foundations seem, to me, to smell a bit like permaculture, bio-dynamic, respectful harvest and an overall more symbiotic relationship with nature.  As opposed to the current model which kinda seems like "make nature my personal bitch". 

I wonder ....  what if there was a plot of 2000 acres that was broken into a couple dozen chunks.  Some chunks might be 200 acres and some chunks might be 2 acres.  And folks keen on permaculture were put on some chunks and folks keen on biodynamic were put on other chunks and folks keen on native plants were on others.  Each person is looked at as sort of an artist, and is asked to construct their masterpiece in soil and seed on their chunk of land.  And every few months, these people gather, visit and see the art created by the other artists.  Thus allowing a sort of "cross pollination" of knowledge. 

Perhaps, in time, we will get closer to husp 2011.

I have a lot more details surrounding husp and how we might rediscover it, but I just really needed to express at least a little bit right now.
 
                                      
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Hi Paul,

what a great dream....

I wonder if you could elaborate a bit further;

- why do you feel you need a new word, what exactly are you trying to express, or encompass with this word?

- In what way are the practices that such a nation would use on their lands not encompassed by the word 'permaculture'?

i get the feeling that you are trying to coin a word that expresses 'practices/attitudes/principles that are beyond permaculture', but for now i only get THAT you have something in your head that might go further or encompass more. But what it is, is not clear.

Is the only thing you know now that it will not be covered by the word permaculture? or do you have things formulated in your brains allready that wont fit into that description, and need a new word?


 
Jonathan Byron
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You are welcome to all rights related to the husp term - you invented it, it's yours. And I can't even imagine me doing anything with it, but great if you have a vision and run with it. I have had a few ideas along these general lines of a utopian short story or novel, but the details are quite different.

Have you read either Ecotopia, Erewhon, or Island? Three very different books, three very different positive utopias.


H Ludi Tyler wrote:
Maybe husp has no ethics and principles?  Or maybe they are different from those of permaculture?


Surely, every society has ethics and principles. In some societies, the ethics are stunted and the principles lead to sub-optimal outcomes. In some societies, the ethics and principles may not be formalized, the people may not be cognizant of them, they are taken for granted and not talked about, they are as invisible as air.
 
                                      
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yeah i think everybody acts upon ethics and premises, even when not articulated or aware of it.

They dont necisarily need to define a certain system or practise though.

-------
One thing that i liked paul mentioning, which think not many people like to or dare think about is the violence aspect. Pocahontas became a superior strategist, and better at warfare (

if this fictional idea, or any utopian society would come  into existence somewhere in the world, they might have highly developed ways of defending themselves, or even evolved perfect offensive systems.

Without being able to win fysically im afraid any utopian society, fictional or not, would soon be robbed of its lanbase by less utopian/ethically motivated societies. As has happened throughout history.

but oh dear, thats completely off topic here. sorry...
 
Dave Bennett
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I think get it.  I think "husp" is a great idea.  Although so far the vision is a product of your imagination Paul, it is easy for me to understand the concept of an artist's creativity with a medium nurtured by an incredible palette of biodiversity. 
 
Kirk Hutchison
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I would think such a system would be rather like permaculture. In the beginning, there would have been some ritual and stuff and things that were bad or didn't really work mixed in w/ the good stuff. But if this nation were to come into contact with European science (or thought it up on their own), they would probably start fiddling around a lot more to find what actually works, which would end up as permaculture.
 
Ken Peavey
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The residents of that 2000 acre parcel would make an effective voting block.
The closer to home, the greater the impact.
They would absorb the town.
They would have a dramatic effect on the county.
The state would have to listen.

Legislation and ordinances would be passed promoting the ideals of the group.
I can see a ban on GMO crops, and the use of growth hormones.
Backyard chickens-thats a given.
Get control of the water board, there go pesticides/herbicides/and fertilizers which can leach into the water.
Local roads which allow solar powered golf carts, horses and prohibit transport of hazardous cargo.  Look for a bicycle lane given priority.
Town Beautifaction plans revamped to include fruit trees, wildflowers, aromatic herbs.
That community kitchen would be able to make a giant leap forward.
Mandatory recycling?  You wouldn't even need to advertise, but dont expect much revenue to be generated by fines for non-compliance.

I can see a boon to local commerce.  I'd love to operate the General Mercantile in that place, or the plant nursery.  Downtown would have cottage industries opening up, some seasonal, others year round, producing and offering locally produced wares.  Would make a fine tourist trap, but the stuff aint made in China.  A restaurant serving locally grown food, cooked in brick ovens.  Someone making quilts, or wool items.  Someone else with solar cookers, solar ovens, solar hot water heaters, solar showers, solar space heating units.  I can see the local bus being equine powered-yet the roads will be cleaned of apples as soon as they are dropped, gotta have it for the compost. 

As a center for the arts, I can envision music events in the town center.  Local artisans having a craft show once a month.  Undoubtedly the town would need a stage.

Down here most towns have a mosquito abatement program.  A truck drives around spraying pesticides as it travels.  Shut your windows if you don't like it.  I can see this being replaced with bathouses.  Add in more programs, the municipal budget can be slashed.  Lower taxes and a clean community will draw in people.  The garbage collection costs will be the lowest in the nation.  The town dump would become a resource center.  Would there be a school system?  Home schooling and a private school can replace the government machine.  The police department would be much smaller with a population upholding high ethical standards. 

Imagine living in a town where people WANT to meet their neighbors. 

Then there is the local library.  Sure you can sign out a book.  If it was set up right, you can sign out a pressure canner.  Have it back next week.  We'll need a few of those. 

Tuesday afternoon, Scythe Party.  This week the city park gets mowed.  Sign up for the hay-first come first served. 

The town swimming pool would probably have frogs and several kinds of fish.  Catch and release on Fridays.






 
Ken Peavey
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The town's central park is a food forest developed spontaneously by the residents.  We'll offer the surplus to the food pantry in the next town over.

It is second nature to go to the store with reusable bags.  and reusable containers.  and reusable canning jars.

 
Ken Peavey
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umm...What designers manual?
 
Kirk Hutchison
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The Permaculture Designer's Manual, i'm guessing. Or more correctly, "Permaculture: A Designer's Manual" by Bill Mollison.
 
Ken Peavey
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DAMMIT!  that thing is a hundred bucks
 
paul wheaton
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I made this lame graph in a feeble attempt to show what is in my head.

A few of my points:

1)  permaculture has just a few adopters, plus a lot of people that are sticking the "permaculture" label on stuff that might not be the best example of permaculture.  Conventional ag systems have had a lot of optimization.  Even "conventional organic" (as Helen said) has seen a fair bit of optimization.  Since permaculture has barely been touched, there is a lot of room still for optimization.

2)  Considering that permaculture resembled ag in USP 403 years ago, what would millions of collaborating practitioners do to optimize things over 403 years?  What practices turned out to be lame?  What was kept?  What were the new things that we have not thought of yet.

As for the 2000 acre project:  I think the primary focus would be to have government get out of the way.  Maybe even set it up and then get out of the way.  After all, to rediscover husp is going to require a lot of innovation and creativity.  But government regulates known practices.  So it would seem appropriate to say "for these 2000 acres, we waive big gobs of regulations". 

ethics and principles:  I put "that seems like a practice that is disrespectful to mother earth" in the first post.  So clearly, this path is driven by some sort of value set.

Ecotopia:  I read it decades ago.

Backyard chickens?  Would they have a yard?  Would they prefer turkeys or quail for some reason?

As I said, I've been thinking about husp for many months now.  And I've been thinking of how we might be able to rediscover husp.  And as much as folks are keen on finding out what is in husp, I am also keen on knowing.  And the way to get there is going to be to take the knowledge set we have now and use that as a foundation.  And as I attempt to try to figure this out (for my own personal curiosity), hanging out with people who say "you cannot talk about that because science hasn't proved it yet" impedes my progress.  These forums are my hangout.  These forums are where I want to build a collection of knowledgeable innovators who can see all current knowledge as "a knowledge set" and not "the knowledge set".  By helping each other, we improve our collective velocity toward husp.  By bashing each other, we impede that velocity.


husp.gif
[Thumbnail for husp.gif]
 
Ken Peavey
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I live out in the woods.  I can add any livestock I like to the place and its no problem at all.
My sister lives in a developed area south of Boston.  She added 4 chickens.  The permit was $100, she had to notify all surrounding properties within so many feet, I'm guessing 500'.  She had to put together plans for the chicken structure and containment area with measured drawings (husband is an engineer, that helped), make 15 copies (there are only 9 selectmen), and receive town approval before she could place the birds.

This sort of gubmint regulation we can do without.

I've kept chickens for years.  I treat them well and I understand their behaviour.  I use the term 'backyard chickens' to mean those few birds kept around for eggs, and maybe an occasional dinner.  While a bunch of hens can get into stuff and make a mess, the benefits offered by a flock add to the resilience of a community. 

The practice of keeping birds has changed over the years, evolving for reasons that must have made sense into the practice of keeping the birds contained.  I let mine run freely and contain the garden area.  I dont have to feed them, there is no big pile of doo, and they help out around here adding fertilizer and performing some light tilling.  This seems to me to be more in line with practical use whereas warehousing demands effort and feed. 

Turkey, quail, ducks, geese, maybe even peacocks...same as chickens. 

--
An example of gubmint regulation gone wrong: a lady planted VEGETABLES in her front yard.  THE HORROR!

 
Len Ovens
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paul wheaton wrote:
As for the 2000 acre project:  I think the primary focus would be to have government get out of the way.  Maybe even set it up and then get out of the way.  After all, to rediscover husp is going to require a lot of innovation and creativity.  But government regulates known practices.  So it would seem appropriate to say "for these 2000 acres, we waive big gobs of regulations". 


the government regulates ag. So call it something else that is not regulated.... Experimental, preserve, museum, historical, society are good words. From a completely different field, pretty much all home built airplanes are "experimental" (and have a big sign on them that says so) even though the owner just built it as something to have fun in. The cost of testing a new plane design to get it certified is so high (give us 5 planes to destroy) that private planes have stopped being made.

The major problem is selling the produce. At first all the produce might be used internally, but if the idea works at all there should be a surplus for sale pretty quick. Now of course one could set up a full community where there are people who do other things than make food to use up the excess. However, I don't think that works well with the idea of "world domination". I think that part of the vision of this project (correct me if I'm wrong) is to spread this outside its own walls (fences, hedgerows... whatever). In fact the surplus should be so much as to make conventional ag jealous. The same ag that controls regs...

So what it is called is important. In Canada, the "first nations" could pull it off as being their "traditional" method of farming. Just the same as they can fish using methods illegal for most people.

I don't suppose that all these acres are one plot together, but a large number small holding owned by people who share a vision.
 
Ken Peavey
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Things that are non-husp
municipal waste and water treatment systems
strip malls and paved parking lots on farmland
smoke belching cars, in every driveway and massive road networks
landfills
clearcutting
fast food
26 ounce Porterhouse steaks
lip gloss and nail polish
The Swiffer
cattle feed lots
anything connected with Regis Philbin
McMansions'
single use containers
GMO

 
Ken Peavey
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Offering some examples of how we've gotten away from a natural lifestyle and healthy environment, often in the name of progress. 

 
Len Ovens
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Ken Peavey wrote:
Things that are non-husp
...
single use containers

A sandwich? An apple? A nut? an egg? Nature is full of single use containers....

While I am sure that is not what you mean.... those are some of the things that came to my mind   If we manufacture a single use container we need to look at the cost. This is true even with a multi-use container. A single use container may actually cost the earth less... in some cases.
 
Ken Peavey
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My understanding of the thought experiment proposed is 'where would we be if the US developed along the lines of the indigenous cultural practices rather than what we have now, would it be possible to use the knowledge available to create these conditions, and what would it look like.

 
Ken Peavey
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Single use containers come in many forms.  I was referring to those which are industrially produced and serve only one function.  An example would be an aerosol spray can-it cant be refilled, wont decompose, does not have much practical use once emptied.  About all you can do is recycle it, but the pressurized nature of the container demands 'proper disposal' which means wrap it in newspaper, place in a waste receptacle, have it hauled off to a landfill.  This is not respectful of the earth.


 
Ian Rice
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A couple of things occurred to me immediately when I read this thread: first, Ecotopia flashed into my head (as it did to others too) and though dated and flawed, Callenbach's book features some organization ideas that still have the ring of truth to them. Second, I thought of the horse and how the native nations took to the animal...which made me smile at the regional biodiversity that would surely exist in Husp". This reminded me that I saw a potato variety from a Northwest native tribe appear in (I think) this years Nichols Garden catalog, one that the folks from Nichols claimed arrived in North America "without" first making the trip to Europe. That made me think at once of the native tribes of Peru and South and Central America in general and made me wonder (and smile some more) at the imagined and possible interactions between all of those native practices. If you will pardon the pun, what a fertile thread this is! 
 
nancy sutton
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I think the idea of 'painting a picture' of what USP would/will look like is critical for any kind of success, either choir, or, especially, non-choir.  Public relations axiom:  to change people, change the picture.  Make it resonate with our deepest desires (not those synthetic 'wants' deliberately ingrained by our commercial 'culture'.)

And the picture of USP would look, and sound!, like people, beautifully, laughing, listening, playing, intently creating, eating, giving/taking, hugging, working together, etc.... doing those things that we most deeply value ... cooperating, sharing, pacifying, (science has demonstrated that this stuff activates our 'pleasure centers', etc. - stuff that is often the opposite of what is portrayed by our corporate culture).  A picture that powerfully attracts - 'sells'

......
 
nancy sutton
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Re: imagining HUSP seems like an effort to accelerate the optimization process for earth-enhancing food production.  I've often wondered if permaculture could really produce enough food for current population... and how?

Assuming USP trading would mean incoming technology, we have B Fuller, J Vesco, etc.  I think that, instead of mono-agriculture, we would/will have 'managed' horticulture:  managed buffalo herds (ala Salatin, Voisin, Savory, etc), managed quamish (sp?) marshes, managed grasslands ustilizing fire, etc.  Basically, permaculture plus traditional production enhancement.  And what else? 

Re:  the elusive 'community' building, I think the goal is the glue that turns a working-together group into a community, a tribe, if you will.  All anticipating, sharing and enjoying the automatically 'communal' result.  Might this require a, oh no!, 'vision statement'?

Painting this USP and HUSP ----picture!---- might be the most imporant thing you've done yet, Paul!!
 
Ian Rice
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Last night friends came by to retrieve theirs son's pet rabbit that I have been looking after while they were visiting family/tribe in California and we were acting just like I imagine these modern natives would. Grilling my homegrown food over fire out of doors, canoeing on my little lake in a strip build boat made right here, throwing atlatl darts (a left over from a project my daughter's and I did for a school project years ago...Sean...my friend...really took to it) and planning a sweat lodge that we are going to build. We were acting like modern natives! The little boy (he is four) was still going strong at one in the morning and we all commented about how this little city kid was blossoming before our eyes. Bodhi (the boy) was thrilled to discover that he could pee anywhere he wanted to and was giddy from this new found freedom! I think that your "Husp" does exist, sort of a sub-culture, diverse and growing.
 
paul wheaton
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Ken Peavey wrote:
Things that are non-husp


I want to emphasize that while I seek feedback on my ideas, the tiniest "I think ..." does a great deal to make it feel like we are collaborating, and, thus, inviting a lot of ideas, rather than setting in stone what is or is not in my head.


municipal waste and water treatment systems


A very good point.  Anybody have any info on how poop and pee was managed here 403 ago?  Well, pee probably was just put anywhere, but what about poop?

strip malls and paved parking lots on farmland


I wonder if the overall population would be different.  I suspect that cites would have fewer people than they do now, and rural areas would have more people per square mile than they do now.

smoke belching cars, in every driveway and massive road networks


I remember that the reason the amish didn't use electricity had to do with the pollution at the other end of the wire. 

I would like to think that public transportation would be favored heavily.  But ... there is a lot in this space that I am curious about. 

clearcutting


I would like to think that a mix of meadows and woodland would be encouraged.    And sometimes the woodland gets too dominant and is cleared. 

26 ounce Porterhouse steaks


I would think there would be no objection to somebody eating this on the day of harvest - especially in lieu of preserving it.

lip gloss and nail polish


I confess that would be more of a utopia to me (mostly from my more political philosophies surrounding madison avenue and fashion magazines) but with roots in face paint 403 years ago ....

McMansions'


I rather think that the lodge houses of the pacific northwest could turn out to be the most optimal living model.


 
Karen Crane
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You must remember that in USP there was NO central government, NO taxes, further no real money, NO debt! Further there was no poverty. Everyone took care of everyone.
Trade/ barter was the method of exchange. Greed did not seem to enter into the society.
At give away time. those who had amassed a lot gave away to those who had less.
I can imagine that happening now! (HAHA)
There were small groups of people living simply. Plenty of room for everyone.
The earth was clean, you could drink the water and breathe the air. Lots of freedom.
Seems like a good plan to me!
 Hmmmm, why cant we have something more like that now?
Well...we have a big central government, Lots of taxes, even more poverty,
no one takes care of anyone, and very few give away anything. The population has exploded to the point where there are huge congested polluted cities and no one can drink the water and hardly can breathe, as well as the earth has become poluted.
Money and big corporations rule. Freedom seems to be just a word that is in history books.

Which plan do I like better?  HMM no doubt  I vote for USP!!
 
Kirk Hutchison
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Well there probably would be some kind of central government, but much different than what we have now. After all, somebody has to conduct diplomacy with the rest of the world, protect the country from invasion, etc. So the central government would really be more like the "foreign office". Local govts could handle infrastructure, policework, etc. Also a national postal service would probably be used.
 
paul wheaton
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There was a point in time where there was no central government for anything that we now call a country. 

And, as time passed, that's how things worked out.

I suspect that while the USP 403 years ago had hundreds/thousands of tribes each with their own form of government (or not), that by the time 1900 rolled around, they probably did have some form of central government.

I would think that clean air and water would be of enormous importance.  Possibly a thousand times more important than in the USA.



 
Kirk Hutchison
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paul wheaton wrote:

I would think that clean air and water would be of enormous importance.  Possibly a thousand times more important than in the USA.


Mmmm, good point. Probably would be a major social taboo to pollute.
 
                            
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paul wheaton wrote:
This is fiction.

I made it up.

Mr. Rogers said it was okay to do this.

My fiction starts with fact.  In 1608 a boat comes to the shores of what is now known as the United States of America.  Then comes my fiction.  Rather than things working out the way we now know, things go a bit ... different.  Pocahontas turns out to be a bit of a warrior genius and next thing you know, the Europeans decide to not stick any more flags in this soil. 

Continuing my fiction, the centuries pass and the borders for "The United States of Pocahontas" just so happen to be the exact same borders that we now know as the USA. 

There is trade between the USP and other countries.  And the USP has values that are a bit different than other countries.  Especially when it comes to agriculture.  Before Pocahontas, agriculture was practiced.  And permaculture is a lot like that.  And when folks outside the USP said "hey, this plowing thing is awesome, you should try it" the folks in the USP said "that seems like a practice that is disrespectful to mother earth - we choose to not do that."  Similar sorts of things happened with petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides. 

The culture within the USP evolved a lot, but these values about respect for the earth remained.

In my imagination,  the amount of food produced per acre is far more than what other countries can accomplish.  Plus, the lifespan and overall health exceeds all other nations.  The #1 industry in the USP is a sort of health tourism - when people come here, their ills tend to just fade away.

I am curious to know what their practices are.  Since this is all in my imagination, I am the only one that can possibly paint this picture.  Oh sure, other people can take this idea and paint their own pictures, or send ideas my way about what I might wanna put in my picture.  But overall, I am trying to express something that is in my head. 

For the last six or seven months I've been thinking a lot about the USP and agriculture/horticulture that happens there.  And how we might accelerate our learning about permaculture to end up some where way beyond permaculture. 

I've decided to make up a new word.  "Husp."  This is actually an acronym for "Horticulture of the United States of Pocahontas."  I choose that this word is all lower case (as opposed to an all caps sort of thing).  I feel I need this word to talk about other stuff.  I am okay with other people using this word, but in order for me to talk about other things, I need to make sure other people do not attempt to redefine this word.  So:  my word.  Mine.  If you want something different, go make up your own words! 






alright, well i had just written out a long response about this but then i foolishly hit the back key and now its all gone, </3, and i am far to lazy to type that all out again, but in a shortened version, i think the same way often but in the context of several hundred years in the future, rather than today, because i think that perma culture and food forest ideas are being spread and the inevitable result is world wide thinking on this issue, i think after several hundred years of everyone realizing and understanding that we must all produce certain things we need (and not more) while living harmoniously with the earth, the result would be an entire world covered in the most produced food forests, providing everything we need, not only food but clothing, fuels, building materials, etc. this world of food forests would not need to be very "maintained" other than by happenstance when people go out to get food or anything, because being entire eco systems designed by humanity they would support them selves and only become more productive. i do not think that at that point in society people would be worried by our modern ideals of buying land from some authority figure who owns it ("owns" it because they have an army.... *the government*) and then cultivating that specific spot of land, and then moving the produce of that land around to feed all the other people too busy to produce food themselves. i think at that point in thinking hopefully ideas will have progressed to the point that people can understand this system in unnecessary and simply slows things down, once people understand that they will simply plant everywhere, making the world in to a food forest, constantly producing, keeping the earth healthy, and producing for essentially ever
 
Rex Nichols
Posts: 22
Location: Indiana, USA
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A different perspective, no ill will intended -

I'm honestly enjoying the thought experiment that is husp.  Although, I'm not sure permaculture progress ended with the Europeans conquering the Americas.  When I started reading about permaculture and bio-dynamic gardening, about two years ago, I was amazed how closely the material matched how my grandfather gardens.  And, he has never heard of the the terms.

On his current property, where he retired, my grandfather has apples, cherries, butternuts, grapes, a compost pile, a worm garden, and a large vegitable garden with several perennials.  He also grows many flowers, and probably a few things I forgot.  I look at his property now and am in awe, but my family says it doesn't even compare to the property where they grew up.  I don't know what happened between my grandfather's generation and mine.  

I grew up with my grandfather telling me how Native Americans used different plants and that they didn't waste any bit of the animals they harvested, how they used fish remains to fertilize their corn, etc.  If my grandfather new so much about Native American practices, I bet his grandfather knew more.  I suspect the beginning of the end of permaculture evolution had more to do with industrialization and the movement from rural to urban life, than it had to do with the end of Native American dominance.

I believe some families like my grandfather's learned from the Native Americans and passed the knowledge down from generation to generation improving on the knowledge as they, themselves worked the land.  Other families made nature their bitch.  Something happened between my grandfather's generation and mine.  The knowledge was not passed down.  Most in my generation (I'm 37, live in USA), were never taught to respect nature.  My grandfather gets sick thinking of industrialized farming and it's reliance on toxic chemicals.  I wish, now, that I would have spent more time learning from him when we were both younger.

I don't think it makes a huge difference in your husp concept where you begin the time line.  The important thing seems to be imagining an alternate history where permaculture evolved, and was optimized, so industrial agriculture never got a start. I imagine a greater emphasis on edible forests along migration routes south every fall and north every spring.  I think property rights would be more squishy, more like mobile encampments than land ownership.

But I wonder what progress had been made up to my grandfather's generation.  What knowledge has been lost in such a short period of time, and how did it happen?
 
Steve Gagnon
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I  am just a guy. I think Paul's model, and his new word is a usable tool to look at where we are. husp is so lack luster that maybe it is perfect.
  My Q is like his, what if? Paul has an issue he calls political ( in this day and age with deep respect for Paul, how can you build a new construct and just be whatever).
  I am nobody first off, yet I see all the waste every day.  The soil is the thing that concerns us all and yet in the aggregate we have no concern. This is deep folks and has many angles. What do you send to the land fill? What do you burn? What does the utility company do with all the stuff they cut? A single farm in any area could bloom with what we throw away. So Sad. I guess my point is just this. If you see life then there is vast room for more. We don't need chemicals folks.
 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
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Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
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The people of USP have developed a nearly religious attitude toward soil. Something like mother earth, only less woo and more research. It is a social taboo to abuse the soil, about as unthinkable and horrifying as child abuse to "normal" people.

What do the people of USP do with their bad actors? Re-education? Banishment?

There are multiple trade routes, but no superhighways - fast transport is by rail, boat, and dirigible. How are the railroads powered? What level of "industrial" manufacturing occurs, and how is it powered? (homes are powered by solar shingles, where are they made, and where do the inputs come from?)

Hmmmm...
 
Ken Peavey
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In the cities, cargo moves underground, people move above ground.
 
Steve Gagnon
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Nobody read this but Paul OK!      Yeah, hope that was funny!      Seriously though stop reading now unless you are Paul.
Hey Bud it is just a side line note, but this whole track the number of post made is well, I don't have a good word for it. I understand it yet, it is so kindergarten!
  Bob who wipes his bottom with banana peals has 5,000 posts. I on the other hand usually read and keep my mouth shut, I have say 50. I guess you can judge from the number of posts something meaningful about me or what I have to say. There is a brand new field of science here, I think. Is this related to what the Scientist in Japan announced recently Poop/Meat? No I am not kidding some dofus  has come up with a way to take human (stuff) and turn it into so called meat. My question is ,what do you make with numbers? Hmm?
Your stuff is always good humored and the people here are top shelf. I frankly find you all fine. I just get ribbed with the number thing,                      Hey that's my crayon!
 
Kirk Hutchison
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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jacque g wrote:
What do the people of USP do with their bad actors? Re-education? Banishment?


   Attempt to enlighten them, and if that fails, banishment. "If you don't like it, leave."
 
Lee Einer
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jacque g wrote:
The people of USP have developed a nearly religious attitude toward soil. Something like mother earth, only less woo and more research. It is a social taboo to abuse the soil, about as unthinkable and horrifying as child abuse to "normal" people.

What do the people of USP do with their bad actors? Re-education? Banishment?

There are multiple trade routes, but no superhighways - fast transport is by rail, boat, and dirigible. How are the railroads powered? What level of "industrial" manufacturing occurs, and how is it powered? (homes are powered by solar shingles, where are they made, and where do the inputs come from?)

Hmmmm...


If we imagine the USP as an extension of indigenous culture, then we should probably consider the fact that the indigenous saw themselves as belonging to the land, not the land as belonging to them- notions of private land ownership were alien to them.

So, scratch private land ownership.

They had no electoral politics, no representatives. No jails or prison. No police.

It was in many respects a better way, so much so that the European settlers had to make it a capital offense to defect from their society and live with the Indians.

And the indigenous in this country had been living in this way for a long, long time. It was arguably a stable and sustainable society, or collection of societies. We have not historically respected their technology, as we have not until relatively recently recognized their active role in maintaining the forests and the prairies, but they did have a technology, one based on harmony with living processes rather than on metallurgy and combustion of fossil fuels.

So here's a really audacious question - what if the USP, 400+ years later, maybe picked up some elements of previously unknown technology but otherwise remained relatively unchanged because there was not a burning need for change? What if they took a look at European technology and civilization and, much as the Japanese did for a century or so, made a conscious decision to reject it?

We can assume that if the indigenous routed the Europeans they would, 400 years later, be more like us except with more horticultury permacultury food production, but isn't that assumption at least a little bit reflective of the ethnocentric European view that other cultures are just failed attempts to become like us?

Maybe USP would be a place where many groups were still nomadic. Maybe there would be no cities larger than a thousand or so people. Maybe there would be no electricity, no gas stations, no cars, no power tools - and no need for them.

Maybe what was going on here was sustainable enough that what it would look like 400 years later was not a great deal different than what it looked like in 1491.


 
Len Ovens
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Paleo Gardener wrote:
   Attempt to enlighten them, and if that fails, banishment. "If you don't like it, leave."


And if the experiment does so well there is no where to leave to?

Or there is a group who decides that the "hunter/gatherer" deal works better for them... on "your"  (the word you used for illustration purposes only and is not directed at anyone in particular) land... or the land you take care of. It's pretty hard to move the farm come harvest time... not a good time to gather a "war band" to protect it either. I read that is what happened in the California area... before the "white man" came..... the whole area became "hunter/gatherer". How do I banish someone where there is no border and no police force/army?

It is hard to imagine being nomadic, we (well me anyway) are so used to some stability. I have moved away from friends or family twice and lost all my friends through divorce and shift work once each as well (friends are fickle). But pulling roots twice year or more? Wow! But if you have nothing to loose and all you know (people too) are moving too. Maybe it would be a better way to thrive. Have two places, a summer "farming" place/town/village and a winter place where it is easier to stay warm and hunt.

The reality I see is that there would have to be a lot lower population, or there would have developed less population.... oh, thats what happened.... but then some outsider came and took over, because they could.... and populated the place, welcoming immigrants when they couldn't produce enough offspring of their own... because they wanted growth in their economy.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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While I like Paul's husp idea, and it's always tempting to search for utopia (a longing for the Garden of Eden, I suppose), the fact is that human beings are human beings.  I think that we (the descendents of white Europeans) have a tendency to idealize other cultures, especially that of the aboriginal tribes from this continent.  They weren't perfect, they were people just like us. 

It's true that they had worked out a viable and stable agriculture, for the most part -- at least, what we know about it at the time of initial contact with Europeans seems to have been pretty viable and stable.  Their culture had wars, though, and slaves, and stealing young women from other tribes, and people addicted to gambling.  They had diseases (the Europeans brought some diseases to the Americans, the aboriginal peoples gave some diseases to the Europeans); lice were endemic (my aunt lives next to an Indian village in Alaska and is raising one of their children; the Indian families say, "Oh, everyone has head lice."  My aunt has been fighting that for years.). 

A lot of the tribes lived where they did when the Europeans came because they'd been shoved out of an earlier location by stronger neighbors.  There is a great deal of evidence of earlier peoples that had died off, for who knows what reason (illness, war, drought....).  Life in the Americas wasn't paradise.  I think I would have enjoyed the aboriginal lifestyle -- full-time camping!  But it wasn't paradise!

Now, if you want to know what it would be like if an aboriginal people had managed to come into the 21st Century with their culture and their agriculture mostly intact, you only have to look at New Guinea!  I've talked to several people who are or were missionaries over there....We in this country tend to forget about the histories of other lands (if we ever knew them), but there are still aboriginal peoples living pretty much as they always have in Papua New Guinea and in Papua Indonesia, back in the mountains.  If you seriously want to know what it's like, go visit, or at least talk to the missionaries who have spent many years of their lives among these peoples. 

Finally, I don't think that it would be possible for an entire continent to live without modern technology (husp) if the rest of the world had developed it.  It would be a matter of self-defense.  If the people here in North America only had spears and bows for defense, and they met up with an army equipped with tanks and rockets, never mind bombers, they'd be mince-meat in a matter of minutes!!  Human nature is what it is.  No matter how much we want to, there is nothing we can do to make everyone desire to live in peace with their neighbors.  There will always be those few who desire to have power over others, who desire to have MORE (stuff, gold, women, houses, you name it) than the other guy.  We can call them psychopaths, and they probably are, but we can't do away with them (although I think better child-rearing practices might see fewer of them!).  If you are not able to protect you and yours against these people, they will take over.  They WILL take over.  So of necessity, if one people group has developed some kind of advanced weapons, everyone else needs to have them to be able to protect themselves against the psychopaths (this is why we have the 2nd Amendment in our Constitution, by the way, not so people can go hunting). 

Paul, I love your idea, and it would make a great fiction novel, but in real life, it wouldn't work -- unless Dies the Fire came true first.

Kathleen
 
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