John Lewis Morgan

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since Aug 30, 2014
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Recent posts by John Lewis Morgan

Cardinal Island Farms is a highly diversified regenerative farm located in the beautiful New River Gorge area in rural WV, USA. We hosted 6 live-in volunteers in 2015 and we are looking for live-in help for April-October 2016. We offer spacious room and board, shared meals, farm goods and tons of education and experience in exchange for 25+ hours per week of honest labor on our working farm.
The farm is young and the food to table movement is just about to start getting big in the area. There is more demand than we can keep up with and we have only been on the site for two years.
This is a great opportunity for any motivated person interested in:
-Hands-on experience with animals
-Learning more homesteading skills
-Thinking of starting their own farm
-Getting closer to nature and “getting out of the grind” for a season
-Accessing some of the best outdoor adventure in the eastern US
We are working to build our business around pastured pigs, agroforestry and silvopasture, annual and perennial veggies, fruits and nuts, pastured poultry & eggs (quail, turkey, chickens), forest farming, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, dairy (cow and/or goat), lumber and firewood, soap making, syrup making.
Projects we are tackling in 2016 include
-Finishing the barn with our own milled lumber
-Spring water system development (to add to our current rain catchment system, creek, ponds, swales)
-Hugelculture construction (5 large hugelswales already constructed)
- More tree plantings / food forest establishment
-Expand the perennial gardens (asparagus, blueberry, raspberry, mulberry etc.)
-Improving the efficiency of our pastures and rotational grazing
-Access more restaurants and farmers markets with our products
-Expanding our wood production with our sawmill and firewood business
There is no real limit to how much a person can learn and grow on this farm. I doubt there is a two-week PDC that can come close to actually living and working on a design-oriented farm.
Applicants are expected to be interested in regenerative agriculture and/or permaculture, motivated, able to work and learn on their own or in a group, comfortable with rural living (plus wifi), easy to get along with, physically and mentally well, committed to living in a more sustainable, present way. We enjoy a quiet peaceful environment in our home and we try to be as respectful to helpers' individual needs as we can. We are omnivores. Some dietary flexibility is possible (such as gluten free).
email for more info
4 years ago

Zach Muller wrote:

The discussions on permies have yeilded inspiration and insight. They have contributed to the evolving of many permaculture systems, rmh systems, animal systems and ideas. The value of these discussions can be seen in the threads, but there is an unseen component of massive inspiration and information dissemination that can go unnoticed on first glance. Each contributor whether they are a moderator, poster, or programmer behind the scenes is the only one able to say if there time contribution is worthwhile.

Part of permaculture is working smarter. If there were no discussions or info being made available then everyone would have to start at square one. Maybe your first impulse is to plant as much food forest as possible, but if you research the information available perhaps you will find a better, smarter way to get to your end goal? There are a boatload of folks out there who popped 20-200 trees in the ground only to have them all die, if they dont take the time to share that, they might never find out what happened, and in turn others will go about making the exact same mistakes. In short, part of my practicing permaculture is never arriving at a point where I have it all figured out, and always improving on the systems I do have. I personally choose to do 8 hours of research and 1 hour of work to get the results i am after rather than spending 1 hour researching and 16 hours working only to get inferior results. Being open to discussions is part of being open in general, if permies aint worth it to you than i hope you find somewhere to share your trials and successes with your acres of food forestry.

I agree with this. at no point did i intend to bash permies, if anything i have praised it and have turned many, many other people on to it. For some reason, I keep getting talked to like I don't understand how it works, or that I am unfamiliar with the site. Or that I am unaware of the vast amount of useful info here etc. I don't have a lot of cred as a member because I have been following this site as a non-member for a long time. There is a reason for that. I was reluctant to join and share because something felt a little off... now that I've felt it out a bit I feel more comfortable as a passive voyeur than as a contributor. Nothing wrong with that I hope.

"being open to discussion is part of being open in general"

um yes. that's what I've been saying. Permies, for all of it's great qualities is NOT open to discussion per se, as it is a heavily moderated site. That is Paul's right. It works for Ya'll? GREAT! I know how reality works.

My food forest and other projects embrace a 90% failure rate (though I do a lot of research, too)... Failure is good. that is how innovation occurs. I'm putting my experiences in a book that I am working on. I don't think I can share it on this site, though. I appreciate your thoughts, Zach

"the cheapest thing on the planet is a good intention" -jm

I appreciate your response.

Ann Torrence wrote:
The question is whether we can be a good match right now for your needs. Dave pointed out an interesting sample of the kinds of discussions that we engage in. Certainly something like that attracted you in the first place. There exists a permies culture that has deeply adopted the "be nice" philosophy. I like that part of the culture, it's part of why I come back. There's a phrase from another part of my world, "take what you like and leave the rest." It's nice to think I can post a poorly-conceived scheme and not get blasted for it, which promotes a different kind of free exchange than I see on other forums. I hope you find enough of what you like here to be a long-time contributor, because I admire your articulation and energy in the posts you have made. Tell us (perhaps start a project thread?) about the epic shit you are doing and let us all get better acquainted before carrying on.

Welp, Thanks Dave, Zach and Ann. You all took some time out of your day to give a thoughtful response and I appreciate that.

That's exactly it, Ann. That's the exact question I am trying to answer here. Is permies a good match for me? Do I want to share my epic shit with this crowd? Do i want to call what I do "permauculture". I appreciate Paul's work and all the info he has shared with me and I've learned a lot from the site... This little bump in the road hasn't hurt my ego at all, but it has made me, as a "gentle soul", reluctant to share my ideas and epic shit when I really have no way of knowing if those ideas are going to meet the publishing standards. Forgive me for being so ignorant and obtuse in understanding what "being nice" actually means. thanks for your time. I know how valuable a persons time is... That is why I may be AFRAID to share any more, because I am a high school kid living with my parents and i am just trying to plant acres and acres of food forest. I think of all the time folks spend moderating forums and I wonder, would that time be better spent practicing pemaculture? NOT make a "should" statement or anything... not stepping on a gentle soul.... just counting teh hours you folks must spend on this screen for the sake of permies. I hope that sacrifice is worthwhile and creates the most yield for the fewest inputs.

I love you.

Yeah I agree with Paul on ethics in that video... I like the idea of taking the "cult" out of permaculture... and building profitable permaculture models... and being accepting of differing permaculture approaches... all of which are compatible with being anti-censorship. One of the things I really like about Paul is that he's not afraid to take on the "asshole" label. "Assholes" get things done. I don't know exactly what his ideas of "being nice" are, though i have an idea from the podcasts...... but It seems inconsistent to me to prune our ideas and NOT prune apple trees; or to encourage polyculture in our gardens, but NOT in our discussions... to be ORGANIC in our approach to plants and livestock but inorganic in our approach to discussions and debate; to be friendly to weeds in our garden, but to be intolerant to weeds in our populace... to be passionate against gylphosate for "unpleasant" plants, but to be in favor of deleting "unpleasant" words. WHen you exclude weeds form your garden you exclude that chance of an unforseeable magic happening with the way that weed interacts with others, and the same is true in discussions... I don't think censorship is consistent with permaculture ethics... just my opinion.
My response to your preemptive strike was removed and put somewhere else out of context. I would consider that censorship. It's kinda worse than censorship because I did not wish to start a new topic with my out-of-context words as the opener, so that was a bit rude. I would've loved to have spent more of my afternoon discussing carpet mulch with people whose opinions are different than my own, in an organic way, without "deteriorating". But the deterioration has already occurred by an inorganic disruption, and that time has been wasted.

Not only have I been censored for the first time... but my comment was moved and a new topic stating me as the author... out of context...

I guess i'm gonna roll with it...

So I was having a very interesting discussion with some folks on here about using paper and carpet and other waste in the garden as means to remediate the waste as well as making a direct use of the waste stream. Some of the people felt that sending certain toxic things to the landfill is better, and we discussed our differences of opinions and the topic touched on ethics. then a message came through warning that ALL political and ethical discussion are CONFINED to the cider press.

It occurred to me that ethics and permaculture are inextricable, and doesn't that confine a large percentage of the information on permies to the cider press??? This is where I find censorship to be sad and gross. The logic is quite fuzzy... as there was no harm being done or anyone being excluded yet someone felt the need to "step in" and disrupt a nice discussion. I read some things about the permies policies and I have to say I am disappointed by the pro censorship vibe. I can understand blocking corporate trolls and shills and problematic people... but I find censoring a discussion on a neat topic because it might make a hypersensitive person uncomfortable, counterproductive and degenerative.

Any thoughts from anyone else on this?? I realize this is a private website and Paul can make his own rules... certainly respectful of that. I just kind-of stumbled on this and found it to be a major turn-off. Debate is very, very important and no one is being forced to participate.... Why censor?? why?? No harm, no foul?? Freedom of speech, anyone? Don't we need to talk about things even if it makes some people a little woozy??? Dumbfounded.