Donald Kenning

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since Jul 25, 2014
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Physicist turned Environmentalist. I decided to create in 2008 because it seemed like people were long in "feeling good" but short in facts about environmental issues.
Tri-Cities, Washington
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Recent posts by Donald Kenning

I have a small problem with this map. I commented on this on the other comment string.

I really, really, really like the idea of a map. Just not this one.

There are many reasons why. Most of that deals with control of information.

Without logging onto permies, I was able to put a pin in my location on the map. I could be anyone, not just a member of this forum (with an account and everything).

Anyone (perhaps a troll) can move my location. I can go right now and move people location, after all, my location had been moved since yesterday. All it takes in one person to severely wreck this map (troll or not).  

Too much information. Many people would be OK with sharing what state they live in, but not their physical address. If I only shared that, would I put a pin in Olympia (our state capital in Washington State). A location filter would need to be installed on this map for those who do not want to give too much information. I think it is interesting that Paul Weaton's pin is on International Gaming Technology in Missula, Mt.

Too much information. People can put in multiple locations. This may not be a big problem but maybe they could do a change of address when they move.

Names are not clickable. One of the points of this is to be able to contact like minded people in our local area or where we travel. This is a great forum to send a purple moosage without giving out real e-mail addresses. On the map, I could see a name, then I would have to go to permies to search for the name (this is a real hassle if the name is not connected to a permies account).

Needs to be more controlled. I am forced to conclude that the map is a weak substitute for a map of members of I still believe this should be some code implemented by the site itself for a "map" view-able on the permies site. Sorry. I really, really, really like the idea.
2 years ago
My two cents:

I think this would be great!!! Often I feel like I have no one to share my successes and failures with in my local community. You know the ones that are traveling this unusual path (Paul W. might call is eco-4 and higher people). Yea, they are just waiting for my failures but they take my successes with a big grain of salt.

Paul Wheaton wrote:

Set it up and we can promote it!  

Yea, that is OK, I think but maybe we can make this a bit simpler at first.

Now, what I am suggesting is re-writing some code on the site, hence the apprehension ( I am assuming) from Paul. However, I think that is about the only way it could be done.

I think that in your "personal preferences" there could be a check box or something that allows a permies member to be "seen on a map".
Then in that list you check the box that is the amount of information you are willing to publish (Name and location). The "amount of information" I mean is a level of information on your location. So, you could have a check box on "country", "State", "County", "City", "Zipcode". I would not get more detailed than zip code for privacy reasons. Then the member simply checks one of those boxes.

For the "promote it" part, could have a special page for the "map". This can start out as a searchable data area where a  person can look at "lists". These lists can be clickable member names. So, when searching a level of detail, a list could pop up. Then if a member wants to contact the other member they could send a purple moosage.

As time goes on, this list of lists (or database) could be set to the backdrop of an actual map (like google maps or something).

Unfortunately, I think the programming should be coming from itself. "Unfortunately" because you all are pretty busy over there. I would be happy to help if I can.
Hi guys.

Sorry about the people being mean. Some people are mean and like to judge other people (there I go judging people).

Growing up, I remember hunting for Shantrel mushrooms. I guess they are highly sought after, I don't know, I just picked them for the family (I do not like mushrooms). I would also say that the peninsula may have many other kinds. I am thinking in some of the Birch trees could have Chaga. In the woods there may be Turkey Tail or Chicken of the Woods. And I never looked but I would bet in some of the second growth fir stands of timber there might be some White Truffle.

Locally, there is a lot of information. I just googled it and found a few links for you to follow:

As for people who commercially deal with the stuff I would look at Paul Stamet's mushroom site called Fungi Perfecti Who is an expert on fungus in the Olympia, Washington area. I hope this helps.
2 years ago
Here is an update on my research into SciShow channel on Youtube.

Discussion Forum. This channel has one. It is interesting to see all the suggestions people write for shows for them to do. These suggestions come one every 3 to 5 days.

Their world views: Well I watched a few of their videos.

These deal with garbage in the ocean, global climate change, GMO, curing cancer and other stuff. I post these links because this is what I am using to form an opinion as to how the channel will work with issues that permies would have.

What questions to pose? On my next post to this stream, I will have a strategy for posting to the facebook, twitter and youtube channel for SciShow. I hope other people reading this will join me in posting some of the questions that will help with the "world domination" some people (Paul W.) are trying to achieve. It is just, what to ask ... I am working on it.
2 years ago
Hi everyone.

For those who do not know what SciShow Youtube Channel is, I have linked it here. Their by line is "We hate not knowing things". It looks cool and they have about 3.5 million subscribers. Almost every video they produce will get 1 million views. In the videos, they do a lot of research to find explanations of the topic they are talking about. This is a great venue for learning about stuff scientifically for the masses.

Them doing a video about any aspect of permaculture would be huge for the cause. Is it the right time? Is there enough for them to research? What topics could they choose? Agriculture? Energy? Heating? Home building? Community?

Personally, I think the time is right to recognize that many of the practices of permaculture can be scientifically justified. It is past time to show the "world" needs to be "dominated" by biology rather than chemistry. It solves so many problems and dispels so many fallacies. The studies exist that prove the approach is sound and should be on a forum for the masses to see.

I think what I will do is subscribe to the SciShow channel. And with Paul Wheaton's blessing (or without) I could pose some specific questions to the channel that can scientifically be proved. You know, small steps toward people realizing that permaculture is at the end of that journey of knowledge. Does that sound fair?

edit: my thought here is that if a question is popular enough, they would investigate. And I mean a simple question. I will post in a second with the questions.
2 years ago
Dylan Gillies

Hi and welcome.

I grew up in Hoodsport on the Hood Canal. This is an area I love a great deal. At the bottom of this post you will see a link to another comment stream from a Carol Ochs from San Diego. She is looking to move to the east side of the Hood Canal. On that comment stream I put in a bunch of stuff about the Hood Canal and area.

While the area is not very densely populated, it is a place with a lot of tourist late spring to early fall. So there is an ebb and flow of people in the region. The people who are there all year are good people. Since it is Western Washington, mostly liberal, Democrat, but there is more of an independent vibe. I assume by posting on this forum, you are looking for people who are more "permies" type of people to interact with? They are all over the place in Western Washington (more so than here in Eastern Washington). I have seen people posting from Bothel, Seattle, Bellingham, Orchas Island (some pretty famous people there).

Doing permaculture in this area is mostly a no brainer because of the amount of rain. That has made the soils "successionaly" more fungal dominated as evidence by all the trees. So I would choose to do permaculture things that capitalize on that.

I personally love the rain. In Hoodsport about 90 inches a year. I love having the sea (Hood Canal) in my front yard and the mountains (Olympics) in my back yard. I think you and your father will love it here (sorry, there). So let me be the first to welcome you to the neighborhood.
2 years ago

One last thing about the septic system. The system I talked about at $30 to $35k was for a house on Finch creek in Hoodsport. There the water table is a foot or two below ground. If you are on a small hill, the water table will be lower. I think it is like a "sand vault" kinda thing. If you are on the canal or living on one of the creeks or rivers that feed the south part of the canal, they may insist on this type. The expense is shipping in the sand and the back hoe and stuff. And, of course, Belfair has that sewer system now, if you go there.

But Potlach to the Dosewallups river water shed (Brinnon) puts you on the east side of the canal (sea in the front door, Olympics out the back). But most of the towns that have anything are Brinnon in the North and Shelton (12 miles beyond Potlach) in the South. And of course, Belfair and Union on the "hook".
Carol Ochs:

Hi, again. So ...

Hood Canal is actually a fjord. because of that, water from the Puget Sound spills over a "shelf" to come into the Hood Canal. This "shelf" is about at Bangor or Seabeck. This shelf is like 100 feet down but the canal is like 150 feet deep. So, the canal has a natural mixing problem. If no one lived, fished or cut trees down around it, there would usually not be a low oxygen problem but it is delicate. Since there are people doing things around it, nutrient gets into the canal but it does not have a good mixing connection with the rest of the Puget Sound.

Therefore, most of the problem I mentioned starts at the "shelf" and gets worse the farther south you go. By the time you get to the mouth of the Skokomish river (Skokomish Indian Reservation) water shed or the Union River (Belfair) watershed you have most of the problem. So, I would say this is mostly a Mason County problem (not a Kitsap county thing). However, there are a bunch of parties trying to fix it, The National Forest Service, National Parks Service, Skokomish Tribe, City of Belfair, City of Hoodsport and so on. To put it into perspective if I were a guessing man, I would say that this is 85% a problem for Mason county and 15% for Kitsap. I would guess it is about 60% a problem of Skokomish and Union river water sheds. Another 10% Finch Creek(Hoodsport) and the creeks at Lilliwap, Potlatch up to Eldon. Another 10% from the drainages between Skok and Union Rivers. On the east side of the canal, there is not much of a contribution to the dissolved oxygen problem and at Seabeck, I am guessing practically nothing.

Who is talking about this? Well The Kistap Sun helps provide information. However, our local paper of choice was the Shelton paper The Mason County Journal.

Who are the real people talking about this. Paul Hunter (Hunter Farms, Skokomish valley) has a farm and is effected by the stuff going on, I went through grade school to high school with him. Dr. Mike Pavel, a Skokomish Indian (he does not necessarily speak for the tribe), who may know the issues of the Indians better than I. Ron Gold, he was our scout leader and I worked with him in the Forest Service (Sivilculture). He brings most of the government/environmental perspective. Donna Simmons (Hoodsport), an environmentalist activist on the canal for the last 40 years.

I love the area. Some people think I am crazy for liking 90 inches of rain a year, but I loved to walk in it. I love the trees, I love the water, I love the mountains, I just love it. On the west side of the canal I lived in the ultimate sweet spot. The Sea at my front door and the Olympic Mountains out my back. A 10-15 minute drive and I would be at either.

If you like seclusion this area is great. Beach property is very expensive but just going back a little bit, it is relatively cheap, which you already know. East side is so much less developed than the west, if you are looking for seclusion, you might just find it on the east side of the canal. A lot of property are long rectangles to the canal and people will build the house right on the canal. I do not know what to tell you about that, but I think you will love the area.

Growing stuff. I think most people are convinced that you need to clear ground and force the ground to do annuals. I would say in areas higher than 70 in of rain, the soils will be more fungally dominated (a soil evolution thing). It might be better for trees and other items. Food if you can get it like mushrooms (truffle, Shantrell, chaga) and many other things from the natural forest. Actually, you may want to keep more trees on your property than you remove. Also, you have the sea in front of you with oysters, shrimp, crab and stuff. It is reasonably safe to eat, I think. You could also grow stuff that is not food but valuable, even artful.

Anyway. I hope that is a good introduction to my "homeland". I think you will love it there.

Edit: I am sorry, I was going to address the "art studio" element that you talked about. There is no good way to say this but ... Western Washington is more artsy and liberal than the East Side. East is conservative pragmatist wheat farmers. When we lived in Hoodsport, my Dad had many clients that saw him for some alternative medicine stuff (reflexology, Shiatsu, Acupressure and stuff). He move to Eastern Washington (Tri-cities) and could not get very many clients. In other words, I think you will probably find more people to buy your art work on the West side than the East side. I know, you are doing the internet thing, but if you do any shows locally, you will probably get more sales there (West Side)
Carol Ochs:

Welcome!!! I grew up in Hoodsport, about 25 miles (as the crow flies) southwest of Seabeck. Paul Gauchi lives about the same distance to the northwest in Squeim. Interesting differences, Hoodsport about 90 in of rain a year, Seabeck about 52 and Squeim 20 for a span of about 50 miles. We can thank the Olympic mountains for that.

I love the Hoodsport/Hood Canal area and have been all over the place on the west shore. Growing up we shrimped, crabed, fished and even swam in the Hood Canal. Now it is different, especially in the south part of the Hood Canal (Seabeck is basically in the north).

In 2008 there was a massive fish kill (well everything kill) in the Canal. This was not a red tide (natural) this was man made. What happened? Dissolved Oxygen. Not enough of it for the sea life. It got so bad in 2008, that animals that are usually 100 ft deep where in 3 feet of water just to breath. And at the deeper parts, dead zones. This is mostly caused by too much nutrient entering the canal and stuff eating it (look up Hypoxia), and is a big problem for many rivers entering the ocean.

So ... this caused a lot of finger pointing (who did this?). Many people say it was the people living on the canal not having adequate septic systems. Many pointed to some of the fishing practices of the (Skokomish) Indian Tribes on the canal. Others also pointed to the logging activities. And a bunch talked about the chemicals used in farming. No group willing to take responsibility, but all copable in some way. Then people called for studies and education and said that may help.

In Belfair, they installed a city sewer system which helped. On the Skokomish river, they unblocked some dams and levies and now all the people who farm in the skok valley are flooded and do not grow crops anymore. The septic systems are more expensive now on the south end of the canal but I am not sure about Seabeck.

If you go there, I would look to see where the water table is. If it is only a few feet down (say living on Stavis Creek) check carefully about what kind of septic system would be appropriate. I saw someone put one into my old neighborhood for about $30,000.

However, I love this area of Washington (it is my home), even though I live on the East side of Washington, this will always be my home.

Follow the following links for more information.

Cancer is scary, especially for children. It is great you have each other to provide support to each other.

I am going to say something that most people do not want to say (on this forum). To be as safe as possible, you should stay with your current regiment with the doctors that know you. The intentional communities will still be there after the last treatment. Work the jobs you work and in your spare time learn about intentional communities.

This forum is full of smart, loving, caring people that do want to help. Many will bend over backwards to get you the help you need.

Therefore, I volunteer to be one that does (having gone through some of the same things you have gone through).

This forum is full of advice on how to do things and eat things to prevent cancer from entering your body, I have learned much here. It is also about conservation of energy and leaving a very small and simple footprint. There may even be some success in removing certain cancers that develop in the body. However, when it is your life on the line, sometimes that advice goes out the window in favor of current medicine (which I very much identify with).

Moving is a big step and moving to an intentional community is even bigger of a step and doing it while on chemo is even bigger. I would study for now, study homesteading here. Study gardens with One yard revolution or with Paul Gauchi in Back to Eden (the movie). Study Fungus. Study Invisable Structures. Study regenertive farming with Joel Salatin.. Study Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands by Brad Lancaster. Just keep learning and studying.

For people with families that are homesteading or farming I have two favorite families of 6. Check out Mylittlehomestead , they have all kinds of videos and adventures on their homestead. I would also look at Justin Rhodes family channel on Youtube. Justin's family is younger than the family of mylittlehomestead. All rich in information about homesteading and raising children.

Now for Intentional communities. If I remember correctly, you said you are in the Houston, TX area. I did a little looking around and it seems there are a few intentional communities in Texas. The closest thing I found is the Huston Access to Urban Sustainability Project. I found that on the Fellowship for Intentional Community Website.

I do not do any of the homesteading stuff but I will try to help anyway I can. Post or PM if you have any other questions.

edit: I forgot about immune compromised stuff. So ... the way I understand it, raw milk should not be on the menu until later. I guess you are to cook everything (even lunch meat). You could double wash your veggies and eat them raw, but most would just cook those too. Doctors like to say things interfere with the medications you will be taking. Some of the interference is just precaution talking but some is real interference. Say for example, you had pills containing Chaga, Turkey Tail and Reshe mushrooms (good for immune system). Doctors would not allow those pills but would probably allow a soup that contains those mushrooms. It is difficult to know what to eat. I would say, at the very least, eat certified organic (and cook it), and at best, permaculture food (and still cook it for the next year). I would also say, do not pee on the compost pile or use a composting toilet. The medications could be transferred into those things.
2 years ago