Alex Michaud

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since Oct 22, 2014
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Recent posts by Alex Michaud

I'm posting here hoping to find someone who I can relate to about the things that are most important to me, someone whose orientation towards relating with the universe is compatible with mine, someone who I could potentially work with towards the achievement of shared goals. Maybe I am also looking for a more primal connection just to have some mutually desirable company while stuck in this world full of war against true growth.

Things that are most important to me are..
- habitat/environments which can provide successfully what a wide diversity of inhabitants need to survive and be healthy, without requiring indefinite reliance on extraction and import of resources from elsewhere.
- the water cycle and the dance of water through environments which clean and enhance the vitality of water
- opportunities for people, especially youth, to have firsthand experiences of functional habitat and community and opportunities for them to explore any questions and ideas those experiences bring up for them (without the need to pay for those opportunities)
- direct, voluntary, mutually beneficial relationships
- truth, accuracy, growth, learning, and preference of harmony over dissonance when reasonable

Some of my goals are..
- to create habitat which can provide successfully what a wide diversity of inhabitants need to survive and be healthy, without requiring indefinite reliance on extraction and import of resources from elsewhere, as well as to encourage clean and thorough cycling and presence of water through that environment
- to host free workshops related to designing and creating human habitats that enhance biodiversity, biomass, symbiosis, and integrity of energy cycling systems
- to build a megalithic structure using geopolymers which is covered in depictions that are as literal as possible of symbiosis and fundamental principles of all things (such as relational difference as the nature of form expression)
- to design this structure for astronomical observation, hosting gatherings and workshops related to learning and innovation, and storing seeds and literature in a passively maintained micro-climate
- to share deep and cumulative love and partnership with someone and raise children together in the context of a healthy environment and community
- to experiment with resonance geometry based technologies utilizing only local or fully recycled resources

I know this often is seen as highly idealistic and I am not describing this as what I expect to happen in my life, this is just the direction I am trying to orient myself in, in order to travel that way as far as I am able.
That said, I think it is important to be open about things which are not ideal, and as anyone who interacts with me would find out quickly, I have so far not had much success fitting myself and the direction I want to move in with the world as it currently exists. I do not personally believe that adapting to everything is always good, so I am trying to remain aimed at what I believe is right, rather than what is expected of me from the corrupt context I was born into. Whether or not that will amount to anything significant, I cannot say. This existence for me is both extremely depressing and extremely fascinating and beautiful. As of right now I am back in my parent's house in a city trying to figure out what to do next (beyond just continuing to learn and practice my skills), so I think in this context it would make sense for me to either find connection with someone who lives near me (in the area around Cleveland, Ohio) or someone who wants to plan for and work together towards a future in a more rural context where there is space to actually begin creating locally productive ecological habitat.

Here's what I look like

also here is a picture of my chickens

Thanks for reading
I have heard of some tool sharing examples before, though most of what I heard about seemed fairly small scale. Tool libraries seem like a really good idea, especially if they could operate out of abandoned buildings.

There are definitely a lot of learning resources available for free on the internet. I guess I was thinking more along the lines of in person opportunities specifically related to creating culture and habitat in harmony with ecosystems and the water cycle, though of course some things like this do exist also... just not enough for sure, and in my experience they tend to not be very accessible to the majority of the population, in terms of simply not knowing about them.
The type of accessibility I am thinking would be needed would even be accessible to those who are homeless and can't really access the internet often or reliably.

That said, land access is definitely still the biggest barrier to entry.
1 year ago
Does anyone know of ongoing discussions on this topic, or good talks, writings, etc. which provide real applicable avenues for people to travel towards community and habitat that is partnered with ecological succession, without the requirement of adapting their behavior to the current monetary system?

To me this seems like one of the biggest barriers to the growth of harmonious culture, though it isn't exclusively about money, that is a primary expression of the way that people must be able to align with the current paradigm in order to move towards any future.  
As it is right now, there are many people who either would not have the chance, or would not see it as worthwhile to do what is required, to move in that direction, because of financial and economic considerations. This seems unnecessary as many of the limitations to transition are arbitrary and not actually providing utility (such as absentee land "ownership" and accumulation of land access by investing firms, corporations, etc. and restriction of unused resources because of the potential for money to be extracted during the process of granting permission)

Some topics related to this that I think would be important to discuss :

- Land access based on respect of presence, privacy, and relational suitability.
- Networks of networks of direct relationships. Methods of arrangement and design of social networks.
- Voluntary shared networks of machinery and tools (those which are only needed sometimes and would make more sense to rent than buy in a conventional context).
- Widely accessible free learning opportunities driven by passionate volunteers.
- Possible exceptions that could be made and what kinds - such as funding to support volunteers who would run free learning programs, rather than relying on personal income streams, or to lessen the reliance on personal income streams.
- What narratives of relationships could replace transactional narratives?
- Is there a legal conception that would be appropriate for land hosting transitional projects that is distinct from ownership (i.e. a trust? is that actually distinct?), and if not, what could that look like?
- Could such a legal conception also apply to tools and other resources? If not, what might be an alternative?

Does anyone have other suggestions relevant to this topic?

Feel free to discuss as much as you want in this post too, hopefully this is an appropriate forum to post this in.
1 year ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:Depending on where you are looking at, like on the Ozark Plateau, anyplace that isn't rocky, is clay soil.
So if you have to bring some clay in, it will be from pretty close. But some of the rocky/clay soil here doesn't absorb water at all, and wouldn't need much to make it hold water.

I think the question I'd have are if you are looking at buying rocky land, is a pond the best option for it at all? That would depend on why you want it, and what you want it to do. Figuring out why you want a pond will help decide how to do it. Rocky soil is often easier to go up with a retaining wall than down into it.

If this is theoretical, you might consider waiting until you have land to decide how to do it, as there are a lot of factors that change from area to area. The Ozarks are a diverse landscape.

That makes sense, and it is kind of theoretical, for now, although I definitely want to create aquatic habitat for fish, amphibians, and possibly native freshwater mussels, so I think I would try to find at least some place where a body of water could be fitting, even if ponds would not end up being the main design feature for relating with water on site. Ideally I'd like to create a pond within a ravine so in that situation it would likely make sense to build up a dam rather than digging down too much anyway. Specifically the area I am looking at is kind of central-southeast madison county, AR but I figured there would at least be some significant geological similarities throughout the mountains.
Right now I'm really just in the initial stages of thinking about possibilities, in the next year or so I'm hoping to go out there and start looking at land in person. I just want to prepare as much as I can before then.
1 year ago
Curious to hear from anyone with experience building ponds in the Ozarks, it seems pretty rocky in the areas I'm looking at, wondering if you had to ship in clay or just used pond liners only? I'd like to make some ponds preferably without liners but if liners are needed then I will just try to include more retention earthworks to the rest of the system.. Anything else that you encountered while constructing ponds specific to the region?
1 year ago
What are people's experiences with red mulberries, american persimmons, pecans, and white walnut regarding dead limbs and falling branches? I'm trying to figure out a few large food producing trees that would be good to plant as the highest layer relatively closer to structures, while having mostly smaller trees right around buildings and more taller trees further away. Since they would be near a building site, assuming they wouldn't be planted in areas with much standing water. not sure about soil type, but I'm sure these things would make a difference in how common dead limbs are for different species..
Would any of those four species be good in that kind of role? Regardless of those particular species, which large trees have you found to have the fewest dead limbs that need to be removed or avoided putting things under throughout their lives?
1 year ago
thanks for the replies, I will keep these in mind.
does anyone know if serviceberries readily reseed themselves?
2 years ago
This may seem a bit strange of a request but I'm looking for a species of small tree or large shrub that produces berries which are appealing to birds, but does not readily reproduce by dropping fruit or seeds in droppings. I'm thinking about making a small fenced space as a restoration experiment and I want to attract birds to sit and poop within the space without contaminating the species that the birds introduce with their droppings, so that I could get a more accurate sample of which species they are eating and how many they're propagating nearby. Ideally I'd want to select a species that has a wide spread, isn't too tall, is native to eastern north america, and has small and/or dispersed leaves to create very dappled shade, not full shade. Really as long as it could function well for the purpose of attracting birds to come and poop without filling the space with offspring of the tree itself, that would be good. doesn't have to be self-fertile, I could plant additional plants nearby for pollination. thanks for reading.
2 years ago
Only exists in my mind of course, but...

Sprawling areas of savanna, denser forests, chinampa-esque lands, and other water retention earthworks on the western edge of Appalachia.
Hickories, chestnuts, oaks, walnuts, pecans, sassafras, persimmons, sycamores, maples, hemlocks, pines, mulberries, willows, elms, hackberries, hazelnuts, paw paws, serviceberries, black and honey locusts, alders, cedars, dogwoods, redbud, junipers, hawthorns, elaeagnus, seaberry, silver buffaloberry, jujube, cherries, plums, apples, crabapples, pears, quinces, medlar, magnolias, great laurels, witch hazel, blueberries, nannyberries, cranberries, huckleberries, currants, elderberries, figs, chokeberries, sumacs, buttonbush, butterfly bushes, spiraeas, brambles, clumping bamboo, smooth rose, honeysuckles, grapes, hopniss, hog-peanuts, asters, ferns, milkweeds, jerusalem artichoke, sochan, coneflowers, yarrow, lovage, comfrey, lavender, thyme, mints, sage, tarragon, chamomile, meadowsweet, basil, lambsquarters, alumroots, quinoa, valerian, magenta spreen, goldenrods, cardoon, orpine, milk thistle, cress, vetch, irises, bee balm, wild yam, sea kale, asparagus, ramps, walking onion, garlic, cattails, sorghum, kernza, buckwheat, wild oat, wild rice, mullein, amaranth, anise hyssop, jewelweeds, wild potato vine, nasturtium, earth chestnut, wild carrot, camas, burdock, horseradish, sorrel, violets, clovers, nettles, thicket bean, chocolate vine, sweet flag, pickerelweed, water purslane, watercress, canada waterweed, water-lilies, spirulina, oyster mushrooms, hericiums, turkey tail, maitake, chicken of the woods, hemlock reishi, liberty caps, chanterelles, and so on and so forth...
Ducks, chickens, turkeys, quails, boars, trout, carp, perch, bullheads, lake sturgeons, bluegills, crappies, lake herrings, minnows, etc...

Multiple small homes made of stone, earth, and wood with a max population density of 6 people per acre; no more than 2 homes/acre. A central space built primarily of geopolymer and large shaped dry stacked high-silicate stones with acid paste between them. Murals depicting examples of symbiosis and geometry and mystic symbols carved and impressed into the walls, inside and out. Oriented with the cardinal directions and in a clearing that allows good night sky visibility. This central space would act as a center of learning where people from other parts of the world could come to gather and then branch out to experience human habitat integrated symbiotically with ecosystems and the water cycle..

All social interactions based on direct voluntary relationships between the people present, with education as the primary guide for morality, rather than imposed rule. People making decisions themselves relevant to the specifics of the situation they are present in and having healthy and fulfilling lifestyles and environment to support that decision making. One of the primary values encouraged through education being the maximization of symbiotically related diversity of forms through direct voluntary interactions..
2 years ago