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Loxley Clovis

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since May 27, 2016
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I'm a seasoned archivist & documentarian who cares deeply about the permaculture principles of people care, earth care, & fair share. By creating Story Connective, I bring these principles to life through filming stories of resilience & sharing them with the world. Being a GNU/Linux geek (yes, I has a Linux beard), I choose to use Free Open Source Software & Hardware whenever possible. I'm excited to contribute to the Creative Commons by using my passion for storytelling (In Spanish the word for history & story are the same after all) to spread solutionary ideas.
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Recent posts by Loxley Clovis

An update for those interested: Bryant RedHawk was absolutely right! I am loving these results. After gardening for years, then suddenly applying this simple homemade brew, my plants are at least 3 times as large & all the leaves look much healthier in general. I did not do a control to find out if it was the evaporation of the chlorine in the water, or the just bubbled healthy soil that's giving me these results. But I imagine it's both.
Thank you to everyone who creates online blogs & online video content about how to DIY all this stuff. This was the best $40 I've ever spent for my garden!
2 weeks ago
I just recently got back from visiting the people in the jungles of Mexico. I toured their traditional-style milpas and learned all about their shifting polyculture horticultural techniques. Essentially, it works like this: A large tree in the jungle near their settlement will be blown over in a wind storm taking out several trees around it. They'll clear a firebreak around this area & char all the vegetation inside. They then plant their polycultural garden: corn, beans, squash, chilies, tomatoes, etc. This garden will be fertile for 3-5 years. Then, after the soils are tired, they will plant it with trees: fruit trees, timber trees, plants for their thatched roofs, spiritual plants, as well as all the plants necessary for the jungle animals: trees that feed the birds, mammals, reptiles, etc. They will not burn this area until after 20 years have past. I was most surprised to learn that they also practiced aquaculture. They build cascading terraced paddies -like those in Hawai'i- & plant aquatic plants as fish feed. They would also gather insect nests from the forest, tap them together over the pond & the fish would eat the insects! So fascinating. They use modern tools: they weed & "mow" the grass with meter-long machetes!
Toby Hemenway gives an excellent account of the milpa system in this article: Seeing the Garden in the Jungle.
Below, in the first photo, is a second-stage milpa planting within a cleared "jungle". Note, all the surrounding jungle plants "outside the garden" have function & uses.
In the second photo, I was pleased to see cloud ear mushrooms growing on a tree stump in one of their gardens. I also was very pleased to learn that they cook & eat them!
2 weeks ago
I received some interesting additional info on this topic recently:

"Two additions I can offer are the antebellum home gardens of the Southern US, as documented by Dan Barber,

And the other are the coltura promiscua gardens of Mediterranean Europe.

Interestingly, living examples of these ancient traditions can still be found even in these areas of the world where agribusiness has acquired such predominance.

For the former, read The Third Plate where he describes a a trip (in the 80s or 90s I would imagine) to small family farm in South Carolina, established since the 1600s, that was almost completely self-sufficient in food (they made some money from moonshine liquor). This family had turned the principle of agribusiness on its head. Crammed onto their land were uncountable varieties of plants and many different livestock. After eating with the family Glenn reported to Dan on the “unreal impeccable flavour” of the meal.

He found one moonshine operation completely “off the grid.” The family had been farming the same land since the late 1600s. But this wasn’t just a moonshine operation. The family also raised pigs, goats, and sheep. And they grew countless crops for food. Everything was intertwined, and everything grew together.
   “So, you didn’t have field peas as field peas; you’d have field peas and corn together in the same field. You didn’t grow just wheat; you’d grow wheat that was, say, thirty inches tall, and then you maybe grow rye above it that was seven feet tall; harvest the rye first, cut it high, then cut low for the wheat, and then they’d have clover down at the bottom, or winter peas, or whatever. No one thing was growing in a field.”
   It was unlike anything Glenn had ever seen. “Like an idiot, I said to the father, ‘You can’t machine this.’ By that I meant you couldn’t run a tractor combine to harvest it. He looks at me real funny and says, ‘Why would we want to machine this? This is eating food.’ He wasn’t growing for animals. He was saying, ‘This is our kitchen food. This is what we eat.’ He would just as soon run a combine on his field as he would grow GM [genetically modified] corn. These people were frozen in time.”
   Glenn ate lunch with them. “Holy crap! I mean, everything on the table—everything—had been grown and processed on the farm,” he said. “It was unbelievable food. Breads, butters, jams, hams, even wine—you name it. Oh, the best corn grits I’d ever eaten. Unreal, impeccable flavor, simply and honestly prepared. I sat there with the bootlegging family in the middle of this food paradise and felt in reality what my mother had always said about southern kitchen gardens, and about the food she grew up on.



You might also find good info on the social aspect of these traditions in Ramp Hollow by Steven Stoll, which tells the story of the Whiskey Rebellion in post independence US where independent (white) horticulturalists from Appalachian were violently incorporated into the agricultural society of the USA -- a book much in the tradition of James C. Scott and especially interesting in that it treats traditions held by white Americans which not too long ago resembled those of 'savages' in distant climes. The South Carolina moonshiners of Dan Barber must have been vestigial remnants of this tradition.

Second group, the Southern Europeans... pretty fascinating stuff to be sure." - SIDDIQ KHAN
2 weeks ago
In this episode, Loxley & Rhapsody interview each other about what has inspired us to share stories, getting personal about our inspirations & motivations behind Story Connective. We share about some of the amazingly resilient & cooperative communities we got to experience during our Winter trip to Guatemala & Mexico. Then, we reflect on where we’ve been & where we are going as a podcast. We look forward to sharing our thoughts & ideas with you. Finally, we announce the winner of our latest Winter Fund Drive! Thank you to all our patrons who voted.

Rhapsody and Loxley Talk Story About Their Travels and Inspirations <--click this link to listen to the audio & hit "subscribe" if you like; it's free!

Special Thanks To: Manola Maldonado for helping us experience the beauty of Lake Atitlán, & to our non-profit umbrella organization E.L.L.S.S.A.

Find Out More:

In Grave Danger of Falling Food documentary,

Story Bridge website,

The World According to Sesame Street documentary,

The Story Connective Is 100% Listener Supported. If you support Story Connective's 501(c)(3) mission & vision of sharing inspiring stories of resilience & possibilities, please help us out:

Subscribe to our podcast & our YouTube Channel
Like us on Facebook.com/StoryConnective
The Story Connective is 100% listener supported; learn how to become a supporter at Patreon.com/StoryConnective

or by using the "Become a Patron" button on your Podbean podcast app.

If you would like to make a one-time donation to the Story Connective, go to Rally.org/StoryConnective

Topics covered include: inspiring, stories, sharing, imagination, community, cooperatives, friendship, school gardens, education, teaching, honeymoon, women, empowerment, travel, weaving, natural dyes, diversity, artisanry, handicrafts, Guatemala, Mexico, jungle, culture, storytelling, permaculture, content, language, Spanish, sustainable, regenerative, centenarians, lifestyle, food, horticulture, agriculture, Maui, farmers, growing, nature, pride, documentaries, paradigm, Bill Mollison, story bridge, online, environment, Sesame Street, New York City, Bangladesh, youth, South Africa, HIV, AIDS, muppets, peace, creativity, Native America, residential schools, Indian, resilience, listening, cooperation, milpa, Mondragon, San Juan La Laguna, Lake Atitlán, Sololá, Kaqchikel, Tz'utujil, Lacandon, Xe'kuku AaB'aj

Thank you for your support.
Excellent job with your photography of that Magpie Inkcap Nikolas! And thank you for sharing your blogpost.
1 month ago
I give this dehydrator 9 out of 10 acorns. I've been using this dehydrator for years & it functions very well for dehydrating.

However, after seeing this thread, I clicked on the Amazon link in the original post & read some of the the reviews & found this one in the "most helpful negative reviews" section:

MJ, amazon reviewer wrote:Beware you are cooking in a toxic stew trying to be healthy! Sure, the shelves are bpa free, but the rest of the inside structure I found out isn't. There's studies of rats living in a bpa cage and they found bpa in them. It off gases. So if you are into health stuff like me, yes it works good, but super toxic. People recommend this one because they established themselves BEFORE the bpa awareness come out. Plastic inside?? Why??? ...



Is this true? Does anyone here have toxin-ectomy thoughts about this?

I think I may only use the plastic Excalibur for aesthetic dehydration (eg. of flowers & such) from now on & invest in an all-metal dehydrator for foods that I intend to ingest. Personally, I'm losing faith in "food-grade" plastics. I especially do not heat plastics that touch food / drinks anymore.
3 months ago
Aloha Greg,
I love what you, Andrew, & crew are doing at OSU. Your team has done such a great job creating & sharing awesome permaculture content; I'm a big fan.

Also, everyone in this thread has made excellent suggestions so far. I would like to second S Bengi's point about permaculture being more than just "advanced gardening" as it's often stereotyped. It's full-spectrum, whole-life-systems biomimicry. I like Holmgren's Permaculture Flower to help highlight this. In reality, an entire university system could be designed around all the "departments" that permaculture includes.

1. Emphasizing solutions-based thinking over deficit-based thinking. I experienced a paradigm shift during my PDC from a single-sentence suggestion uttered by the permaculture instructor one day. We were to be working outside helping to restore a semi-wild creek. Before we started working on it all together, this teacher's suggestion outside of the humble tool shed to us was, "Today, we're going to focus on what we have at hand, not what we lack [in order to accomplish the task]." I after hearing this & now fully adopting this mindset in my everyday life, I feel as though I'm not only a more effective permaculturalist, I'm also a more effective person.

2. I've listened to 4 of Bill Mollison's PDC's & read his books. Bill was constantly citing & referencing the practices & names of indigenous groups - past & present - for their advancement of regenerative systems & lifestyles. This is a precedent that must be followed, not only because it's the right thing to do, but also because it gives folks real-life historical examples to be inspired by.

Tyler Ludens wrote:I frequently reference How Permaculture Can Save Humanity and the Earth, but Not Civilization by Toby Hemenway.


That video is epic, & for me, it was truly paradigm shifting.
It was also recorded / released in 2010. Toby later further evolved & refined his arguments in 2 follow-up speeches:

Redesigning Civilization with Permaculture by Toby Hemenway, in this 2013 video Toby's critique & solutions are more evolved & nuanced, building on the previous 2010 talk:


Liberation Permaculture by Toby Hemenway: in this 2015 audio podcast, Toby cites James C. Scott as a major paradigm-shifting author that has influenced his ideas about the global history of agriculture & outlines his major theories & their relationship to permaculture.

It was this podcast that introduced me to Scott's work. If you like this sort of anthropology of ag stuff, I definitely recommend watching James C. Scott talks online, & reading his works. He has some really innovative ideas about peoples who historically -& currently- engage in polycultural horticulture, as opposed to monoculture-plow-grain agriculture, as well as the relationships between these 2 types of societies.

This is crucial. When one listens to Bill Mollison's PDC's, one realizes that he is constantly citing the practices of indigenous horticuluralists (eg. pre-Western contact influenced horticulture in Hawai'i) as historical & currently existing examples of permaculture. These citations need to be carried forward in every PDC, not only giving credit where credit is due, but also inspiring folks as to what is possible with our relationships with the plant, animal, & microbial worlds.

Dave Burton wrote:Hi Loxley! I hope the work with the food co-op goes well! I've added this post to a couple more forums!


Thank you Dave; I really appreciate that.
The project idea is really getting a lot of positive responses from the community right now & we hope to acquire the land for regenerative ag & regenerative local co-ops.
3 months ago
Songs For Change is our latest Re-envision Maui podcast. In this episode, you'll hear how the children at an elementary school became rock stars. Pōmaikaʻi Elementary School has become a model for how to use the arts to inspire children to reach their highest potential in the classroom, in the community, & beyond. We sat down with 2 educators, Melinda Caroll & Rae Takemoto, & heard the stories about an innovative arts integration project that combines classroom learning, science, garden learning & music. Together, with the school garden as the theme, Melinda & Rae lead the children of the school through the entire process of creating a CD, from songwriting, to professional recording, to sharing the music with the world. Melinda & Rae believe strongly in creative potential. They share with us fantastic stories about their experiences & observations of how the arts can be woven into schools with powerful results.
3 months ago