Mickey Kleinhenz

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since Apr 14, 2013
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Recent posts by Mickey Kleinhenz

Hi everyone, I would love some help finding connections in Mexico or Latin America for a workstay. I'm needing to get away from the city and want to improve my Spanish(I am already at a conversational level). I work in the schools here, so I am thinking ahead to summer and I'm also looking for a tribe/longer term community(Houston life is draining me), so the stay length is flexible. I know it takes energy to take on a new person, and I'm really just thinking about conversations and connections at this point.
I have a lot to offer in regard to nurturing and fine tuning natural systems. I have a BS in Horticulture and a Masters in Landscape Architecture, I've been through a couple PDC's and have a mature food forest that I've established and learned from. I've managed a 2 acre organic farm and am familiar with intensive production models. I am experienced with poultry(I really enjoy designing chicken systems). I also have worked bees for 6 years and currently manage 23 colonies(I enjoy beekeeping philosophy and teaching/learning about bees).
Anyway, that about it. I'm leaning toward Mexico because it is more familiar. Also, I definitely lean toward/prefer the anarchist community. Or at least people who understand peaceful parenting, voluntary relationships, and natural order.

Also, also, If anyone is looking to travel/wwoof this summer and wants to meet up/coordinate let me know. Thanks for reading

How did the bees do in their first year?
I'm in Houston. I have found that full sun is better for helping the bees to manage small hive beetles.
6 years ago
I watched the film. It only furthered my disbelief in the agro-ecology movement. Especially when the example of "agroecology" was gridding out barren earth only to chip in holes, mix in manure, and force a yield. All monoculture. With a backdrop of monoculture sorghum.
And then the first half? Changing villagers lives by selling them electricity(solar) instead of selling them kerosene. It may be burning less fossil fuels, but it is hardly a paradigm shifter.

Don't you remember when "organic agriculture" was gonna save the world? It was gonna change the system and rebuild the soils, stop climate change, and make everything "sustainable".
Watching that video just reinforced the recognition that it is the same pattern repeating itself. Trying to fix a broken paradigm by working from within a broken paradigm.
Like with weeds. Instead of looking toward what to "do" the sustainable answer lay in what to "not do". "Don't cultivate so much", "Don't expose bare soil", ect
Before trying to add things like "soil regeneration" and "water conservation" we should look at what we can leave behind. Mainly the authoritarian, industrial, exploitative, hierarchical, yield driven, linear system of rigid control, aka agriculture.
Leaving behind agriculture means changing the structure of society as we know it. It's a big deal and it's scary to consider, but it is the sustainable solution.
7 years ago
great article
This is a favorite,
"To call horticulture or permaculture a subspecies of agriculture is one symptom of this, a semantically Freudian slip that evinces and reinforces a much deeper cultural conviction, and a much deeper cultural narrative. By transforming the living world into nothing more than a unit of production, agriculture trains us to see all cultivation not in terms of ecological relationship, but as an economic equation of energy in and energy out. It makes our scale one of how much we modify the ecology, rather than the kind of modifications we make. Intrinsic to this view is our mythology of humans vs. nature"
7 years ago
Tyler, It's in the third definition that you wrote.

"Linking ecology, culture, economics, and society to sustain agricultural production, healthy environments, and viable food and farming communities."

Like all things this is not black and white. I hope I didn't come across that way. I just think it is a valuable conversation.

7 years ago
This might be thread stealing, but the title of your post struck a chord and makes me want to bring up a conversation topic for the permie community.

I had an "a-ha" moment a week or so ago and realized that(to me) the problem is not "with" commercial agriculture, but rather, the problem "IS" commercial agriculture.

I came to this conclusion after protracted observation and interaction with the "sustainability" movement, and I guess the "patterns to details" principle was fresh on my mind as well.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that I think "fixing" commercial agriculture is a type 1 error of sorts.
It is concluding that "commercial agriculture can be sustainable". when it fundamentally can't.
I'm really talking about commercial/industrial "anything", but let's focus on agriculture for the sake of the conversation.

The core reason for commercial agriculture's "sustainability failure" is it's connection to the dollar. I'm sure many here are aware that it is just "funny money".
But are we taking actions and drawing conclusions that recognize that reality?

If we are thinking holistically then the recognition that the dollar is fiat and is therefore the embodiment and tool for the control of people is kinda important.

It is the unsustainable engine behind the system of our society.
Any notion of creating "sustainability" on an unsustainable foundation is no different that trying to fix the mast on a sinking ship.

And I don't want to get into monetary policy. That information is out there if people are willing to look and think critically.

What I want to get to is the recognition that there is a clear pattern behind why the sustainability movement is not creating sustainability.
Why "organic agriculture" failed to solve environmental problems, and why "agro-ecology" will fail to solve them as well.
It's because all of these "solutions" are failing to recognize the destructive pattern that is an industrial(ie. commercial) system.

Don't get me wrong agro-ecology is noble and closes loops(part of me loves it), but it is just tools from the closed loop principles of connectivity(ie. ecology) designed to feed into the industrial system of agriculture. Hence "agro-ecology".  As I see it we are needing to move away from the "agro" and toward the "ecology" rather than just bringing in more of the "ecology" to "pretty up" the "agro"(ie. agriculture).  
Even if the tomato comes from the freakin "Garden of Eden" if it gets sold to a packing plant or to a supermarket distributor then it is feeding the beast.
Production on an industrial scale IS the problem. Production on an industrial scale IS agriculture.

This is the failure of systems like Mark Shepard's and Joel Salatins. They didn't quite go far enough. Trying to "save the world" by feeding as many people as possible is just "getting an addict its next fix". Even if you are growing perennials and the calories come cheaper and cheaper year after year. Even if your "factory" farmed chicken lived on grass instead of cement.  You are still pumping into a dying(ie. destructive) system of waste, scarcity, and externalized costs. Even if you grow trees to re-forest half the continent you are still endorsing the dollar system, the clear-cutting of forests, and all things industrial.

I'm not suggesting anarcho-primitivism. I am just suggesting that the trend toward "sustainability" is logically to "scale down" rather than to "scale up"
Resiliency(and sustainability) lie in more farmers, and smaller farms.

And since this isn't a "black and white" issue I will qualify, that for me you are crossing into the (unsustainable)"industrial"/"agricultural" zone once you start trying to produce a single product for more than 50-150 people.
Basically, let's keep "Permaculture" and "agriculture" separate. Permaculture is a tool to REPLACE agriculture, not a tool to "fix" it. I believe that was the intention behind the work of Holmgren and Mollison(especially if you get into chapter 14)

Love to hear your thoughts
7 years ago
I think it's crazy that there are so few members living in the subtropical community.
The Cold Hardy Avocados are all pretty similar in hardiness from my experience. Frost tender for the first 2 years and then good for a light freeze unprotected(27^).
I have experience with "Fantastic", "Wilma", and "Opal". These trees produce well here in 9a Houston. What makes the most sense is getting scion wood online through California Rare Fruit Growers or similar and grafting. Avocados are easy to graft. Especially onto those big Haas pits.
Best of luck.

I am trying a few ungrafted seedlings as well. Maybe I'll get lucky.

7 years ago
Lastly, I find a lot of value in the questions,

"Should I be 'in charge' of the movement of organisms in nature?"

"Should anyone be 'in charge' of nature"?
8 years ago