John Suavecito

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since May 09, 2010
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Food forest in a suburban location. Teaches grafting and helps people learn how to grow food. Involved with a local food exchange group.  Shares cuttings and knowledge with schoolchildren.
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Recent posts by John Suavecito

I see them in lawns and disturbed areas.  Hard to notice out of the blooming period, though.
John S
PDX OR
2 weeks ago
I have read about how oyster mushrooms, in particular, can destruct certain toxins so that they are no longer toxic.  In this instance, it was only because they changed the molecule into something benign.  This wouldn't be the case for a toxic element, like arsenic, lead, or mercury, because it won't be able to pull an element apart.

John S
PDX OR
2 weeks ago
I think you're onto something here about the balance of the ecology, James.  Even native borers could play a role, killing a few trees until it replenishes the soil, they become too numerous,  and the healthy trees survive.  They should provide tide over food for animals such as woodpeckers.  When a few trees are felled, the soil is replenished, the excess borers are eaten by other animals, and the healthy trees remain because the unhealthy ones were culled.

John S
PDX OR
3 weeks ago
I feel like this discussion in general has been great.  However, I don't think any of us gain from blaming one generation or another. I think we can all gain some perspective from understanding how the advantages are gained and lost at various times and rediscovered.  I feel we are all specifically called to fix the problems that arise as we are growing up and try to hand off as good a situation as we can to the next generation.  Some situations are really difficult and unproductive and we all need to pitch in and try to improve it.  Like the carbon in the atmosphere, toxins in the ecology and the selfish attitude of "pull up the ladder, Jack, I've got mine. "

John S
PDX OR
1 month ago
I tend to follow Francis of Assisi, both in faith and as it applies to permaculture:
"Go out and preach the gospel, and if it's absolutely necessary, use words!"

or
"Go out and feed your family, deliciously, healthily, and inexpensively, while helping wildlife, for fun.  If they ask, explain how." (permaculture version adapted by me)

John S
PDX OR
So it looks to me like James and I are pretty much in agreement:
easier to find super low cost housing and grow lots of food in the country.
Wider variety of jobs and economic prospects in a suburb or city.
Some people don't realize that the prices vary tremendously from say,
downtown of a city like Portland, to the suburb where I live,
to further out in a country suburb, to the country.
It's almost like a cost/price/stress ladder, where you can find your preferred level
of type of work you like enough, for how much you get paid, for
what else you can do in that situation.  There are lots of variables.

Will Allen is doing amazing urban permaculture in Milwaukee, WI.
Ron Finley (sp?) is doing great stuff in Los Angeles.  I don't want to live
in the middle of a big city, but it is really possible.   We need everybody
to wake up to what is possible to save our planet.

John S
PDX OR
1 month ago
I would say that a suburban or urban permie life is just a different permie life.

I have had a food forest for almost 20 years and eat food from my standard suburban lot every day.  

I switched to a less demanding, lower paying job so I could ride my bike to work and spend more time in the garden, playing music and doing things I like, such as skateboarding with my dog.

I don't aspire to grow 100% of my food, but I have great control of many parts of my food supply.

I can ride my bike to several different kinds of Asian, organic, and specialty grocery stores such as Trader Joe's.  I ride my bike to the library every week and read many books for free.

It's easy to meet up with other kaykers, baseball players and hang glider pilots.

It's easy to meet people to listen to or play music.

I can go to presentations on sustainable living and also make presentations on them, such as the Home ORchard Society in town.

There are as many advantages to suburban permaculture as there are to rural, but you need to pick the one that fits you best.

John S
PDX OR
1 month ago

Chris Kott wrote:Sorry, I call bullshit.........The job market is difficult, mostly because boomers don't want to retire, because they haven't saved sufficiently to support themselves afterwards. They've been so busy blowing their cashflow on luxuries, they forgot that they now have a couple of decades, rather than a couple of years, to pay for after they stop working.

Also, it used to be that a high school diploma would be enough to get you a well-paying job, or at least one where you could advance with time and effort. Now it's apparently an Undergraduate degree, or a Bachelor's, that you need to even be considered. So millenials need to shell out more for education that nets them less. We go into debt for education that is increasingly less-effective at helping us to land jobs to pay off the debt we incur just to stay competitive.

-CK



I am on the cusp of boomer/gen x.

The Boomers I know spend way less than Millenials.  We cook dinner, grow food, forage etc.   We shop at thrift stores, have cars older than our kids, haven't bought new clothes for a decade, don't go out to dinner, etc.  The reason that most Boomers have to work is because the medical system is so much more expensive than it was before.  You can't retire because you couldn't afford health insurance.  Almost everyone I know has been moved out of a job so the company can hire a younger, cheaper person.  Most boomers have to take care of themselves, their parents, whose care is extremely expensive, and their kids, who just want to stay in the basement and play video games all day long. We are deeply frightened about the prospect of our kids surviving.  When I was young, I lived in my car/tent and took minimum wage jobs in the recession of 1983  until I could afford a weekly flop house. A high school degree was never enough for us either.

When you get old, your body just doesn't work as well.  You need more health care and you have to spend more money on it.  You buy and cook vegetables because you know how bad your body would feel if you ate what your kids did.  You know many people who have already died, have cancer, have diabetes, are obese, are in wheelchairs, etc, and you don't want to join them.  You have had dreams of traveling, etc., but you see those dreams slowly fading away.  

One thing that is true is that college is way more expensive in the US than it was when we were younger.  They gave all the tax breaks to the zillionaires so they didn't have to pay for college anymore. I think more people are becoming practical and going to community college, learning a skill, and learning about liberal arts on their own.

John S
PDX OR
1 month ago
It's nice to know that the message is spreading across the globe.
John S
PDX OR
1 month ago