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B. Linger

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since Mar 27, 2014
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Recent posts by B. Linger

2 more for the list: Yellowhorn is a perennial oil crop and food crop. There's not too much literature about using it for food and oil in English, but it's mostly used in China. Maple Leaf Reforestation bought 3 million trees and a research station in China in 2011, maybe that's a good place to start for gathering information.
In warmer temperate and subtropics Camellia oleifera offers 80 gallons of oil/acre in plantation style production. http://www.hort.uga.edu/personnel/faculty/profile/CamelliaupdateRuter08.pdf and about oil production http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/40/4/1082.4
3 years ago
Here's the mystery:
A tree about 3 meters (~9.8ft) tall that has been pruned into a hedge at the house I am renting in Williamsburg VA (zone 7b). It has glossy serrated alternating leaves, large flowers on the ends of the stems, and green 1.5" diameter nut-like fruit (or maybe true nut) with 4-10 seedy/nut meaty sections. The brown covering of the seed is hard yet thin. Squirrels have been eating it. Any ideas what this is?

EDIT I just stared at the leaf picture again and thought the leaves looked a lot like a camellia. And appears to be Camellia oleifera...
3 years ago

Johnmark Hatfield wrote:i only have experience in large group consensus (~50) with 80% vote without consensus. or small group consensus (~.

I think what Johnmark said is true in my experience which has been in groups between 20 to 70.

We have discussion, then consensus vote (support, neutral, dislike, and BLOCK) and if there are any blocks we go back to discussion, and then put it to an 80% supermajority vote. It has worked for divisive issues and has also been useful for discussing budgets of several hundred dollars. It is imperative to build a culture of honest and caring communication.

3 years ago
Hello Jack! I am 21 and I have been doing the college route with geology and anthropology. College is worth it if it is training you for a specific skill sets or technical skills. I would only go into debt if your desired job has had consistent hiring through economic upswings and downturns. (if you need to take a 10k loan and repay 11k it doesn't matter if it's highly likely you will be making 40k+ per year after graduating and are only supporting yourself). The classic example for this is... accounting.

If you are not sure what you want to do I encourage you to take a gap year (and work) and try to establish important skills before pursuing education.

1. Learn to set your own goals and meet them (even if you don't tell them to anyone).

2. Learn to observe and take detailed notes quickly. Also remember to know the limitations and assumptions of your observations.

3. Learn to listen, learn, and convincingly speak to people with hugely different experiences from yours. It's how to change minds and create opportunities.

I would also chose a climate where you expect to live later. In many case you can start plants from seed very inexpensively if you have somewhere to leave them. You have time, so you can accumulate lots of value, energy, nutrient, and carbon in plants if you start now. Depending on the scale and location it may also make sense to build an inexpensive automated drip irrigation system. You're welcome to message me with questions. - Ben

3 years ago
If the kickstarter for the physical book doesn't work out I encourage you to e-publish it.
5 years ago

leila hamaya wrote:

what i've been thinking is that there needs to be a HUGE umbrella group which links up as many as possible farms/communities/bioregions as possible into a very large network of communities in 100s and thousands of different locations. if you were to join this organization then one could belong to a variety of different projects- given potential access to land and work trade sort of situations, or for farmers/especially permaculturists or other horticulturist...they get labor and assistance, house sitters, and access to a number of different locations where they could also stay.

the idea being using what everyone involved already has, even if its a small extra bedroom, a couch to sleep on, or some unused land to share crop...to a farm with internships, land sharing or whatever else people are willing to open up to gifting/leasing/owning/sharing land. then this organization would have to coordinate between them to place people in different locations, continue to network in as many different places as possible.

with this though i dont think it would fly to make too many rules, or ideas about how the segments operate. each of the places would have to be able to make their own decisions about all the particulars, or none if they didnt want to have any restrictions.
no one could say even that you had to use only permaculture practices or anything...



I have been reflecting on how to create a state-less society or even what I would consider a just contractarian society (doubtful, but which might include the state) is the ability for all physically fit members to easily go between alternative social models. I personally favor voluntary state-less horticulture based on establishing a culture focused on reciprocity and individuality (after meeting what the community generally considers to be needs). Anyway we differ in our ideals, but I think we share an interest in the creation of stateless, non-hierarchical, and empowering communities/bands. Having communities/bands with certain overlapping cultural values (but divergent expressions) within a distance that can be traveled by an individual without excessively accumulated wealth (also culturally defined, sigh) might allow for the flow of individuals who disagree with their groups' dominant cultures, but value many aspects of them. Having alternatives (and actively creating alternatives from near the beginning) might create a more stable relation of peoples as long groups generally agree on what is considered to be a maximum population change/(area*time).

This is a rough idea, so proceed to poke holes into it and whisper questions into them.
On a less related note, if a community were aspiring for an (even more) ambitious project that wanted to actively challenge statism while having some physical security it might be do-able on certain islands of the Great Lakes.
5 years ago

Jamie Jackson wrote:About 5 years ago I donated a small amount to kiva.org, the small loan organization and keep re-loaning the same money. You pick someone trying to upgrade/ start their business. SO many farmers wanted money for seed and pesticide and/or herbicides. I contacted Kiva and asked them why can't they form coops or teaching groups and teach people permaculture or at least organic farming. They said I'm welcome to do that. We've given up everything we have to build a self-sufficient homestead and teach along the way, but I"m teaching locals. We might be in the "have" group, but just barely When we get our house finished and more experience under our belts, we'll teach more and more.


Jamie congrats on being able to make the commitment to fully realize permaculture. With that said the following is more directed at people who do not base their livelihoods on permaculture based agriculture or instruction, but still aspire to follow permaculture ethics: The ethical concept of reinvesting surplus (of "Haves") in people should be focused on the people who we can help the most. Personally my interpretation of this is to both look outward at the people who depend on learning permaculture concepts for survival in the short-term and to look into own communities for the people who lack food security and access to the means to get nutritious food. These people might not be starving, but they will on average have lower lifespans and face more health problems (lower quality of life). This especially applicable to the urban poor in "affluent countries", but also in rural and suburban areas and "developing countries".
By looking to help people in nearby communities and localities we are able to better educate and provide assistance in ways that work for our areas 1) in a biological sense (the actual plants, ecosystems, and relevant techniques in the local climate) 2) in a culturally relevant sense (how to explain it, maintain it, and propagate it in meaningful ways) and 3) in a communal sense (by providing introduction to a community and providing support). My personal goal for doing this is providing instruction focused on the recipient's needs through permaculture techniques (regardless of whether they aspire to follow or know permaculture ethics per se) and by providing flexible access to the material means of implementation: tools, cuttings, seeds, and human resources.
I think this is especially relevant in areas that often self-segregate. (along lines such as: wealth, class, religion, age, politics, profession, ethnicity, race, language, and various combinations) We (people in largely self-segregated communities) create parallel networks of routine interaction when we have much in common and live in the same areas. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia and experienced a feeling of dread upon realizing I drove by the houses of thousands of residents regularly and I knew nothing about them besides where their hypothetical children might go to school. This sense of dread was not a reflexive threatened fear, but a deep discomfort due to the realization that I lived in an area where many had reduced hundreds of potential personal interactions to outright avoidance, impersonal economic transactions, gross generalizations, and politics. Doing that gives many the self-assurance to believe that things are all good here (with the exception of sensationalized crime) and ignore systemic problems except in certain contexts (often the welfare state or charity, depending on political flavor). I would add that creating and supporting hugely (perhaps radically) accessible spaces and events where these parallel networks of people can interact is highly important. Certainly some people need to travel to create change, but (in my opinion) too many think it is the only way to create meaningful change.
- Rant Complete- - Ben
5 years ago
Hello I am a college student in Williamsburg (originally from Richmond) and I am looking to get hands on experience this summer in sustainable (or preferably resilient) agriculture. I am available after exams (May 7) until June 29. I have experience with garden plots and a little urban farming. Myself and several other students have designed and are installing a perennial garden with a focus on native plants (but thankfully not exclusively native plants) this semester as well on campus (hopefully we can use it as a demo, spring board, and propagation source for more edible landscaping on campus.) If the period I am available for is too short term then I am sorry for bothering you. I decided I should mention myself because I am so close by. Alternatively if you want a pair of hands for a few labor intensive day projects I would certainly like to help. Also know that Teresa seems to have a greater need for this opportunity than I. Only consider me if arrangements with her fall through or if there is a gap when she is not available and I am. - Ben

Edited 3.27.2014 To clarify intent and priority.
5 years ago