Elia Charalambides

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since Jun 13, 2011
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Recent posts by Elia Charalambides

"What you are looking at is the Gold Standard of calf care" he said as we walked from the large barn of milking cows to the single pens of separated calfs.

They each had a white shelter barely taller than their own height with an adjoining penned in area of earth barely large enough for them to stand it. My family and I were visiting a local Cabot coop farm. The farmer was taking us and a small group on a mini tour of his dairy operation.

Did he think gold was the most valuable of metals? I guess I didn't want to burst his bubble, being the son of a jeweler and all.

For a dairy, it was pretty clean. It was pretty nicely laid out. The cows seemed content and clean. They even walked to the self-milking machine all by themselves! It seemed like a pretty well put together operation. This of course is the opinion of someone who has no idea how to raise a cow, feed it, or milk it. Really anything about cows. Nothing. Other than the sounds they make, the smells they make and the fertilizer they make.

I can't argue with him when he proclaims that feeding cows corn is "Just fine" and that people who say it isn't have never raised cows, well....because I haven't. I can't argue with him when he says there's "reasons" why they separate the calfs practically immediately after they are born. I have nothing to say to him when I see lines and lines of cows in the giant barn sitting on their "$300 a piece waterbeds just for their comfort! ". I can't say it sounds like a waste after he proclaims triumphantly that they will toss a whole truck load of milk if anything tainting it comes up on the computer. If I saw the animals as a product in themselves, I would have nothing to say. But I don't see them as just products. Though I still have nothing to say. I don't have cows. What right do I have to question what this man has been doing for the past 30 years. And doing proudly.

It's all very automated with a nice gloss of human-ness painted over the top. Be it a very thin coating, its still there. I see maybe one or two farm hands for the couple hundred cows they have. I mean I guess people stop looking at their automated electronic reports of cow health every so often to actually get out there on the farm. Right?

So this must be the "Gold Standard" in all its glory! Everything automated. Waterbeds. Human to cow ratio of perhaps 1/100.

He went to Ag school. He has a nutritionist come tell him it's ok to feed his cows corn.

But something touches me on a very primal level when I see a calf only a few days old sitting all by itself in a pen maybe 3 times its size trying to suckle anything that remotely resembles a teet that comes into range. But I should ignore my gut, right? This isn't a huge industrialized farm. The place doesn't stink like hell. The animals look healthy. I'm told by Mr Farmer that its the "Gold Standard". So why does it bother me so much?
3 years ago
I just found this on Indiegogo and it looks like the most amazing invention! I have always wanted to get hives but the labor in harvesting has put me off. Not anymore!!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/flow-hive-honey-on-tap-directly-from-your-beehive#flow_complete


3 years ago
Nope. It says file is corrupted when I try and open in with a browser or with Acrobat reader.
Hey Paul have you seen DIY?

https://diy.org/

Its basically a site for fulfilling a set of challenges that are themed around specific skill groups. People look at each challenge and then fulfil it by uploading a vid of them doing it. Think of it like an online merit badge system. Its very very elegantly designed and started as something mainly for kids but I could totally see you using their API for this whole PEP thing.

4 years ago
I've been working on a PDC teaching aid/ Permaculture designer consultant aid and these are the icons I've made for it so far. You guys a free to use them as long as you abide by Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license. Basically use them for whatever, just don't make money off them. If you like them I can try and put together some more that would be on your list.

P.S . its a png so its a transparent background. Don't know why but on permies in the post they look horrible. Just click on the image to see it without the awful weird black shadow.

P.p.s They are huge so you can resize them to smaller
I am completely inexperienced with any form of wiring and welding. I'd love to learn how to make a solar trailer or similar. Could you make this DVD "idiot proof"?
Hey Paul,

Dobn't know if you've heard of http://www.patreon.com/


As you are a pretty strong content creator, be it youtube vids, articles, or podcasts I think you may be very interested in this format.

It allows those who support you and value your work to offer donations. Think of it like an ongoing kickstarter. Patrons sign up and offer a donation at a rate that they choose at a frequency that is based upon your content creation.

So for example, for every Video, Article, Podcast you release you'd be paid by your patrons. This doesn't necessarily create a paywall for your content it just lets people donate directly to you and help support the work you do.

Imagine if your dailyish email subscribers where patrons at Patreon. It would offer a way to let people get discounts on workshops and DVDs and things based upon their donation level. You could also make higher donation levels that let people talk directly to you or whatever else you can imagine as a valuable offer in exchange for their bigger donations. Early access to videos and other content, extended interview podcasts, special patron only questionnaire podcasts etc etc.

Thought it would be worth looking into.
Cheers,
Elia
Love the work you are doing Paul.

Haters will always hate. Especially if you are successful. Actually, the more you are successful. Its probably a good barometer of how successful you are.
Just finished listening to the podcast.

I'm glad the kickstarters are helping you add liquidity to the laboratory so you guys can keep doing all that great work. I backed both the cards and now the earthworks one. Have you thought of making your articles on richsoil into a book with deeper explanations and more illustrative examples? I'd love to help permies and the lab grow so I'd like to offer my skills (Portfolio) as a designer if you were ever to want to make a book out of your content on richsoil into a kickstarter to further fund the lab.

Cheers
Just curious what's the game you used to play that this reminds you of?

One of the things I've been chewing on with this is to actually make it multi-purpose (in true Permaculture fashion ).
My ideal is to make the set a group of discs to design with AND a game that can be played by using the discs AND a teaching tool.
5 years ago