kevin wheels

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since Mar 11, 2010
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Recent posts by kevin wheels

Hey friends, I'm trying to do some market cultivation in NC. Mostly looking into edible varieties as well as the drying and tincturing of medicinals. I've attempted to find some information on USDA regulations and things of that sort, but my Googley efforts have been coming up empty. Can any of you provide insight or direct me to a resource? Thanks, much love and gratitude
5 years ago
Dave,

I apologize if I came on too strong, especially since this discussion originally surfaced around the silly subject of semantic definitions surrounding permaculture. Perhaps I am prey to some naivety that is associated with the obstinate youthful mindset, but I am keenly aware of the hard realities. Separating oneself from what I have previously referred to as "the mainstream world" and its trappings is probably one of the most difficult trials a person of this post-modern era can face. And perhaps this is more naivety speaking, but honestly, I don't see any other way to dis-empower those who would attempt to enslave us besides dropping out of their scheme. This is of course something that will take time and energy, and likely won't happen at all. Also, I don't wish to continue fueling the fire of argument, but I don't want to leave some of your questions/points unaddressed either. 1) Mortgage in latin literally means, "death pledge." Just like government in latin literally means, "to control the mind." Words are powerful, they mean a lot more than their colloquial use. 2) As far as land use goes, what is right and what is wrong is hardly synonymous with what is legal and what is illegal. Squatting on some land in the middle of no where is probably safer than becoming insolvent with a bank loan. 3) Our community is indebted to another sister egalitarian community. Far better a situation than being in debt to a bank. I realize it's not free, I am not so naive to admit that the community I reside within is perfect or entirely free. We certainly use money and have one foot in. Perhaps you are right about the difference between agroforestry and forest farming, but I personally don't make the same distinction. A forest farm can be deemed agroforestry if one so wishes, and conversely, an agroforestry project can be deemed as forest farming... In my eyes, anyway. I wasn't implying that everyone should dumpster dive, I was merely citing an example in how we choose to alleviate stress surrounding resource scarcity.

I share the same sentiments, Dave... I hope all people have a chance to fully grasp what choices they have and how the consequences of seemingly trivial actions truly impact the world we all live in. I sincerely hope this awakening can occur before the insanity gets out of hand.

I have enjoyed this conversation, and I hope you have too. Best wishes.
6 years ago
Dave,

I appreciate your comment. Nothing will change, however, unless we change it ourselves. I used to fall prey to this rhetoric: "Until things change..." Don't wait for the change to come. Become the change. As a 23 year old who previously thought that I could do very little about the circumstances at large, I have realized there is far more that can be done other than buying your own land and entrenching yourself in mortgages (death pledges) and other silly institutions. In my case, I chose to join an egalitarian community that owns a prominent heirloom seed business. We eat much of what we grow, we dumpster dive, live low-impact lifestyles, and generally have our needs accounted for. Sure, we could work on some things.. Everyone can. Though to limit oneself to what money can buy is foolish. Sure, we still have one foot in to what many call, "the mainstream world." We have money, we make money, we spend money collectively. But the money and resources are shared within the community, and we have a large political involvement with this mainstream world in producing the change we seek. I am not trying to say everyone should join an egalitarian community, nor am I saying my way is the best way, but I am merely just trying to illustrate that thinking outside of the box can land you in many interesting and productive living arrangements.

Forest farming in and of itself is agroforestry, by the way. Permaculture is a philosophy and a way of life... The food production/land management is but one component of it. The larger picture is humans and their relationship to their environment.
6 years ago
I agree with Ludi.

Permaculture is a loaded term that means many different things to many people. Though in my humble opinion, if one is concerned so greatly with systematic and efficient monetary gain, and they're trying to operate under the guise of permaculture, they are missing the point almost entirely. The current economic model is anything but sustainable. To me, permaculture is a blueprint for revolution. It's a step towards dissolving the destructive human ego and realizing that all life is important, and money is not.
6 years ago
thanks for that great link, Ludi. I am certainly in favor of more 'organic' patterns in gardening rather than the conventional and accepted 'traditional' methods. A lot of these look/sound appealing based on the research I've done, and I've spent some time reading about perennial edibles but have had little personal experience with them. Do you have any favorites out of these?

warm regards,
kev
6 years ago
greetings, friends.

I live in an intentional community in central-rural VA, and am currently working on writing a proposal for a small experimental forest garden area. the plot I am hoping to use is a fallow space that is about 1/15th-20th of an acre, if I had to guess. it is surrounded by hay fields.

I feel as though there may be some resistance, as those that 'manage' (we don't really have managers here, but people who have worked in the garden for a number of years) seem to be uninterested in trying new methods of gardening. We co-own a prominent heirloom seed business, so some of the folks here have been at it for a very long time. There is a lot of interest in these gardening methods, but I would just like to swing this in a way where everyone would be excited for it.

My hope is simply to have this area be dedicated to ecological food-producing abundance. I am interested mostly in tree crops, perennials and mushrooms. I would like to design it in a way where at some point in its maturation, it could serve to be a nice quiet spot away from the bustle of the community's areas of congregation.

A loose plan I have is to start with a small nucleus at the center of the plot, which will be layered up lasagna-style with some additional inputs like maybe a hugelkultur bed. As resources become available (as they do consistently) it would spread outward in an easy to navigate pattern, with perhaps a nice area to simply be in.

my one issue is though I have lots of exposure to annual crops in my life here at the IC, I don't know too much about different types of perennials, which I have a strong interest in learning about. Are hugel beds well suited for supporting perennial varieties? Another silly question - has anyone attempted planting trees in a hugel bed? (my intuition says that a shallower, wider basin-like 'hugel' would be best.. if viable at all) I would be curious to know if anyone has any favorites or recommendations that would experience success in our mid-atlantic region. any other input, questions, comments? I welcome all feedback.

peace and blessings.
love,
kev
6 years ago

Jeanine Gurley wrote:
Well, I'm a woman so it's not hard to figure out I wouldn't want to go back in time.  My mother and grandmothers had a hard 'row to hoe'.  They, and others like them, paved the way for me. 

I am also glad that they passed a lot of thier wisdom about the old ways to me.  So I feel I have the best of both worlds.



You make an excellent point. Civil rights alone are enough of a reason to not want to turn back the clock.
6 years ago

Kellic wrote:
Just a short rant: Whenever I try to explain the benefits of permaculture gardening and applying it to the rest of your life people think I'm being a luddite. They claim its another fringe attempt by the "green movement" to go back to the olden days of how people lived in the 1800s.

This also happens when discussing organic gardening or anything else related to a sustainable lifestyle. No, I don't want to return to the 1800s. Though I really don't think it was as bad as the mainstream tries to make it out, but I realize that there were serious disadvantages. There was no good old days. We need to use the organic and sustainable methods available to us in the 21st century to create a good "old" future. To create a lifestyle that allows people to work much less, use energy efficiently, create close communities that eliminate need for driving, and get rid of chemicals period.

Thats the future I am talking about. The "good old days" are only a basis for what the world may be like after oil is gone or how we can live in a more resourceful world. No one actually wants to go back there.



I am largely in the same boat amongst my peers and family... That is to say, I am 'accused' of being a luddite. Though, I must be honest and admit that I am on the fence as to which period I would rather live in. I am sure that many of you would agree when I say that modern convenience and technology is a double-edged sword.

You touched on the mainstream media's depiction of traditional life, and I will support your statement with the quote by Churchill, "History is written by the victor." Realistically, no one has really any clue what life was like back then. We didn't live it, at least not in this life anyway. I am not so sure that I am willing to fully trust that which is written in text books. And even so, one can look back on key fundamental aspects of traditional living and point out the very roots of problems that they faced. Disposal of excrement being the largest one. If people knew how to compost their own excrement in a safe manner instead of excreting into a toxic pit, and thus into their groundwater, my guess is that they would have averted many illnesses. Food cultivation is another big one, and largely interrelated with the aforementioned 'waste' management. I don't really have to elaborate here, I am sure most of you get the jist of what I'm saying. Knowing what we know now, we can begin to re-approach facets of those lifestyles.

I am personally of the belief that humanity needs to start over a clean slate. There is so much that we have to relearn about our world and our true relationship with it. I feel strongly that there is a need for an absolute and total restructuring of our value system, because "money makes the world go 'round" is clearly not working out for us. When the Great Library was burned and the subsequent edit of the bible by Constantine occurred, we lost all of the knowledge that empowered individuals on this planet to live in communion with the Earth. To top it all off, western civilization has wiped out nearly all indigenous cultures on this planet, one way or another. I'm just thankful that permaculture is a budding community that is growing by the day. Furthermore, the internet is a fantastic thing for obvious reasons.
6 years ago
Brice, I agree with you. Ending all of the 'defense' spending is tantamount to getting ourselves afloat. John Michael Greer has illustrated with his 'catabolic collapse' model, in which a nation/community basically begins to eat itself because there are no resources left to eat. We are seeing that occurring in our educational and environmental programs. Though, I don't understand how defaulting would not cause a myriad of problems. This is pretty much unprecedented, and while I'm no economist, I can't help but speculate that the value of the dollar would plummet rapidly, or perhaps something worse...

Anyway, I'm right there with you, Jeanine! I'm working toward self-sufficiency rapidly. Thankfully I have the debt-free bit down... At least until I purchase a homesite!
6 years ago
Hey everyone! I was just interested in hearing some opinions and thoughts from those who have been following the impending financial crisis. To my understanding, many of the folks in office are basically holding the country ransom and are refusing to take action to raise the 'debt ceiling,' which has been done many times in the past to avert economic trauma. August 2nd is supposedly the day when something has to be decided, and it seems as though the USA is going to default on its $14 trillion debt. This seems like it could have some dire implications, as the 'faith and credit' in the USA is going to severely wane with this irresponsible lack of action.

Perhaps this is me being an idealist, but... If the USA does default, and we do find ourselves in a sticky wicket, I just hope that people come to realize that putting faith in such arbitrary systems is futile.  There have to be better ways.

What do you all think? 
6 years ago