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Kellic kelwen
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Location: Northwestern Ohio, US
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Just a short rant: Whenever I try to explain the benefits of permaculture gardening and applying it to the rest of your life people think I'm being a luddite. They claim its another fringe attempt by the "green movement" to go back to the olden days of how people lived in the 1800s.

This also happens when discussing organic gardening or anything else related to a sustainable lifestyle. No, I don't want to return to the 1800s. Though I really don't think it was as bad as the mainstream tries to make it out, but I realize that there were serious disadvantages. There was no good old days. We need to use the organic and sustainable methods available to us in the 21st century to create a good "old" future. To create a lifestyle that allows people to work much less, use energy efficiently, create close communities that eliminate need for driving, and get rid of chemicals period.

Thats the future I am talking about. The "good old days" are only a basis for what the world may be like after oil is gone or how we can live in a more resourceful world. No one actually wants to go back there.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I'm also called a luddite and whatnot for promoting permaculture.  Actually been accused of some very insulting things elsewhere for suggesting permaculture might be a valuable direction to head in.

I really, really dislike it when people say "we have to go back to the olden days" or, worse "you're trying to make us go back to the olden days."  NO!  People worked too hard in the olden days, we work too hard now.  I'd like to see a present and future society in which we have to work no harder than hunter-gatherers or horticulturists for our living - an average of about 4 hours a day.
 
Michael Radelut
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Here's someone who strangely enough hasn't been mentioned round here before,
and whose Crash Course may be helpful in softening up the non-believers to the virtues of permaculture :

http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse

 
John Polk
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Most people will only believe what they want to believe.  If we make suggestions that run contrary to what they want, we are labeled as crazy, or radical.

 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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That's why we come here - it gets old being the Lone Ranger all of the time.  Here you can actually get a bit of validation and encouragement for what you are doing.

I feel very at home here.  I also have a raw food/vegetarian issue so I visit the raw food/vegetarian forums to help me feel a little less isolated.

People think that because I don't eat any commercially raised animal products that I am some kind of nut case (I am but for different reasons); and they are often quite mean about it.  I find that the raw food folks are less judgemental even though I am not a raw food or vegetarian purist.

I still believe that people are mean to us because they feel guilty about the choices they are making and belittling what we are doing helps them feel less guilty.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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It's true that people don't understand how some permaculture methods are so much more efficient and actually cost less than supposedly "modern" methods. It takes time, good examples, education and repeat exposure for folks to accept new "old" ways.

Along those lines, lots of FaceBook folks were posting this today to say how mainstream permaculture is getting due to NY Times exposure:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/28/garden/permaculture-emerges-from-the-underground.html?_r=3&pagewanted=1

I haven't taken the time to read it, but I do think more press, more information, is a good thing.

And hügel - Martenson's Crash Course was very enlightening to me - good link.
 
T. Joy
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It is just as ridiculous to throw out the wisdom of our ancestors as it is to forgo all modern inventions and conveniences. Why would anyone want to do either of those things? All that glitters is not gold, people who see no value in tradition would do well to remember that.
Plus, how ignorant is to to be so nasty to someone for doing things in a different way? What is with those people? Reminds me of the folk who get so riled to discover that someone else is a vegetarian or follows a different religion. Unless they are trying to cram it down your throats why should you even CARE?! Weirdness.
 
Tyler Ludens
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T. Joy wrote:
It is just as ridiculous to throw out the wisdom of our ancestors as it is to forgo all modern inventions and conveniences. Why would anyone want to do either of those things?


Personally I think we can benefit from both old and new ideas and methods -looking for the most appropriate for our own situation. 
 
Michael Radelut
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
Along those lines, lots of FaceBook folks were posting this today to say how mainstream permaculture is getting due to NY Times exposure:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/28/garden/permaculture-emerges-from-the-underground.html?_r=3&pagewanted=1

I haven't taken the time to read it, but I do think more press, more information, is a good thing.

And hügel - Martenson's Crash Course was very enlightening to me - good link.



Thanks - want another one ?

I made a separate topic out of the NYT article before I read your entry; I hope that's okay.

http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/9449_0/permaculture/new-york-times-goes-permies

 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Jocelyn, GREAT link.  It is exciting to me that people are really starting to listen to the point where it becomes news in the New York Times.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
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hügel wrote:
Thanks - want another one ?

I made a separate topic out of the NYT article before I read your entry; I hope that's okay.

http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/9449_0/permaculture/new-york-times-goes-permies




Sure looks okay to me! I thought about making a separate link myself.  I love the quote you pulled from the article, too.

I agree with most of the folks in this thread that we can learn from the old and the new and hopefully help bring others along as we go.

Paul's dishwashing video was on Lifehacker which meant ~3,000 new people looked at permaculture stuff and now how many thousands from the NY Times??
 
Michael Radelut
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Great; then just one more link before I go to sleep :

Chris Martenson got interviewed a few days ago; he talks a bit about himself and his remarks in a more off-hand way on recent developments:

http://www.extraenvironmentalist.com/episode-19-crash-course/

And: He has a permaculture garden !
 
kevin wheels
Posts: 30
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Kellic wrote:
Just a short rant: Whenever I try to explain the benefits of permaculture gardening and applying it to the rest of your life people think I'm being a luddite. They claim its another fringe attempt by the "green movement" to go back to the olden days of how people lived in the 1800s.

This also happens when discussing organic gardening or anything else related to a sustainable lifestyle. No, I don't want to return to the 1800s. Though I really don't think it was as bad as the mainstream tries to make it out, but I realize that there were serious disadvantages. There was no good old days. We need to use the organic and sustainable methods available to us in the 21st century to create a good "old" future. To create a lifestyle that allows people to work much less, use energy efficiently, create close communities that eliminate need for driving, and get rid of chemicals period.

Thats the future I am talking about. The "good old days" are only a basis for what the world may be like after oil is gone or how we can live in a more resourceful world. No one actually wants to go back there.


I am largely in the same boat amongst my peers and family... That is to say, I am 'accused' of being a luddite. Though, I must be honest and admit that I am on the fence as to which period I would rather live in. I am sure that many of you would agree when I say that modern convenience and technology is a double-edged sword.

You touched on the mainstream media's depiction of traditional life, and I will support your statement with the quote by Churchill, "History is written by the victor." Realistically, no one has really any clue what life was like back then. We didn't live it, at least not in this life anyway. I am not so sure that I am willing to fully trust that which is written in text books. And even so, one can look back on key fundamental aspects of traditional living and point out the very roots of problems that they faced. Disposal of excrement being the largest one. If people knew how to compost their own excrement in a safe manner instead of excreting into a toxic pit, and thus into their groundwater, my guess is that they would have averted many illnesses. Food cultivation is another big one, and largely interrelated with the aforementioned 'waste' management. I don't really have to elaborate here, I am sure most of you get the jist of what I'm saying. Knowing what we know now, we can begin to re-approach facets of those lifestyles.

I am personally of the belief that humanity needs to start over a clean slate. There is so much that we have to relearn about our world and our true relationship with it. I feel strongly that there is a need for an absolute and total restructuring of our value system, because "money makes the world go 'round" is clearly not working out for us. When the Great Library was burned and the subsequent edit of the bible by Constantine occurred, we lost all of the knowledge that empowered individuals on this planet to live in communion with the Earth. To top it all off, western civilization has wiped out nearly all indigenous cultures on this planet, one way or another. I'm just thankful that permaculture is a budding community that is growing by the day. Furthermore, the internet is a fantastic thing for obvious reasons.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Well, I'm a woman so it's not hard to figure out I wouldn't want to go back in time.  My mother and grandmothers had a hard 'row to hoe'.  They, and others like them, paved the way for me. 

I am also glad that they passed a lot of thier wisdom about the old ways to me.  So I feel I have the best of both worlds.
 
T. Joy
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I don't think anybody is really saying that it would be preferable to go back in time, only that we have thrown out so much great stuff, practices and wisdom, from the past in favour of our modern technology. That we have taken the knowledge of generations and replaced it with something that is brand new, untried and untested and it's showing itself to be inferior in many ways. The two could and should be working in tandem with each other. That's all I'm saying personally, I'd like to see a bit of holding on to old practices that are proven to be beneficial and effective. I'd rather not see every farmer everywhere jumping onto the GMO and chemical band wagon and I'd much, MUCH rather see kids outside on their bikes instead of plugged into screens. Some "new" stuff really sucks.
 
kevin wheels
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Jeanine Gurley wrote:
Well, I'm a woman so it's not hard to figure out I wouldn't want to go back in time.  My mother and grandmothers had a hard 'row to hoe'.  They, and others like them, paved the way for me. 

I am also glad that they passed a lot of thier wisdom about the old ways to me.  So I feel I have the best of both worlds.


You make an excellent point. Civil rights alone are enough of a reason to not want to turn back the clock.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Yes, let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. Here's a random example of how I think we can learn from the old and the new - about eczema and health care.

In the early (half of?) 1900's it was fairly common knowledge (or so I heard from my N.D.) that eliminating cow's milk from the diet would reduce or eliminate eczema.

Then, in my mind very much related to the "germ theory" and subsequent prescription medicine shift in medicine, the medical treatment for eczema became all kinds of steroid creams and other ways of subjugating the body's inflammatory reaction to things it wasn't tolerating. My mom, a sister and a brother all have suffered from eczema, and steroids have been their treatment of choice from the '60's through to today.

When my son began to show signs of some eczema, I eliminated milk products and it immediately disappeared. My sister has controlled the worst of her eczema by eliminating cow's milk (after getting a food panel done by an N.D.), but my mom still refuses to change her diet and continues with the cortizone cream and reduced ability to do certain things lest it create painful irritation and cracks in the skin on her hands.

A little less than 10 years ago, a friend of mine took her son to a medical dermatologist for eczema and was told eliminating cow's milk products could eliminate the eczema. This was a refreshing surprise to me, because I'd only experienced naturopathic doctors advising this. (Like my mother, my friend actually chose not to eliminate the cow's milk for her son, interestingly enough.) The doctor's knowledge and advice gives me hope that some doctors really have learned that prescriptions are not always the best answer.

(Side note: there can be many more co-factors to eczema, such as yeast overgrowth, or what Chinese medicine might call too much "damp heat" or other digestive or immune issues, but that's too much for using this example here.)

It is my hope, my wish, my dream that we can use simple things like adjusting our food to improve our well-being and then be grateful that we have modern medicine - yes, even steroid creams to relieve suffering - for when the simple things don't work.
 
Brice Moss
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:

It is my hope, my wish, my dream that we can use simple things like adjusting our food to improve our well-being and then be grateful that we have modern medicine - yes, even steroid creams to relieve suffering - for when the simple things don't work.



right on, I think a lot of folks seeking relief from the excesses of modern medicine forget that not to long ago "doctors" would blame most ailments on 'bad humors of the blood' and stick leeches on. I'm sure there were quite a few leach success stories too

most doctors seem to honestly want to help, biggest problem I see with it here in America is a time factor, doctors don't have a couple hours with each patient to chat have a cup of coffee discuss everything, so they have to make snap decisions and if they are wrong the only thing they can fall back on to avoid a lawsuit is that they were following standard procedures. the only way I can see out of it right now is to subsidize med school until there are too many doctors and hope the treatment model changes to something that offers time and a personal relationship with your family doctor.

one way we certainly need to step back a bit is in our relationship with our medical providers
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Jocelyn, interesting tip about eliminating the cows milk.  I have, at least temporarily, eliminated almost all of my skin problems.  However, they are hereditary and as I get older things seem to be postponed rather than eliminated.

I currently only drink raw cows milk and buy imported cheese from certain countries.  I may try the total elimination for a bit to see what happens.

Does this include organic yogurt?

I believe that dairy products from goats are supposed to be O.K. - is that your conclusion?
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Jeanine, I don't have an easy answer for either of your questions. It's a big "it depends."

My sister has something known as "leaky gut syndrome" so she has become sensitive to goat's milk in addition to cow's milk.

In the Chinese medicine world, any kind of milk is a "damp" producing food and should be reduced to help prevent or heal damp-related maladies.

I've heard of folks doing better on raw milk than homogenized, and some can tolerate yogurt or butter though these are all SO individual that it's hard to say. Personally, my naturopath is pretty good at making an educated guess for her patients on what to try or not, so I've been happy to follow her suggestions. And there is always a food elimination-trial you can do to test what works or doesn't work for you.

@Brice and @M. Edwards, yes, time constraints, insurance and the pharm industry are all discouraging factors in modern medicine, though in a lot of areas we now have more choices and information than ever before. (Trying to bring it back to the olden days versus modern times...)

The naturopaths I've seen never spend less than 20 minutes with a patient, and a first office call is at least 40 minutes, if not an hour or more. Contrast that with being lucky to get 10 minutes with most M.D.'s and the quality of care and advice immediately becomes much better.

 
maikeru sumi-e
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What's old is new. But hopefully we've learned a little since then.
 
John Polk
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To me, a classic example of old technology/wisdom that worked well was the profession of "chicken incubator" that existed in 19th Century Egypt.  A farmer would take 4 eggs to the incubator (a human, not a machine), and be given 3 chicks in exchange.  The "incubator" had a large building that was carefully controlled for heat/humidity.  If the incubator could not achieve 75% hatch rate, he would quickly be out of business.  His only profit was the 4th egg hatching.

If any modern, manufactured incubator could guarantee 75% hatch rates, they would most likely drive the other manufacturers off of the market!
 
Steven Baxter
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I can relate. Most friends and family think I'm weird or not doing what I should be doing because I study about and am interested in permaculture. Or they do not understand why I am wanting to go this path. I refuse to convince them of the great things I see in permaculture. Why? Some people have their own agendas, beliefs, and perspectives that cannot be changed no matter how logical or great a point you show them. I just do my thing, if you wana come along for the ride, great, if not, great.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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John Polk wrote:
To me, a classic example of old technology/wisdom that worked well was the profession of "chicken incubator" that existed in 19th Century Egypt.  A farmer would take 4 eggs to the incubator (a human, not a machine), and be given 3 chicks in exchange.  The "incubator" had a large building that was carefully controlled for heat/humidity.  If the incubator could not achieve 75% hatch rate, he would quickly be out of business.  His only profit was the 4th egg hatching.

If any modern, manufactured incubator could guarantee 75% hatch rates, they would most likely drive the other manufacturers off of the market!



Love that example! Very cool. I have no idea what factory hatcheries rates are, but I did meet a young man whose job it was to break the necks of baby chicks when they had too many or the chicks didn't sell. Kinda twisted...
 
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