Monday, March 23, 2009

Be the Change



freeacre

Did you see Obama on 60 Minutes Sunday? I must say that I like him. I like his family. I want to see his daughters playing on their new swing set. I am waiting for the dog. I love the fact that our First Lady is planting a vegetable garden on the grounds of the White House. I love having an articulate and calm person as President. He reminds me of a young Morgan Freeman, who I have really enjoyed portraying the President in movies such as “Deep Impact.” President Obama is so refreshing in so many ways, after eight years of the despicable Bush administration, and all his reptilian associates. I find him to be a welcome relief.

Except for the delusional part. You know, the delusion that we are ever going to get back to being “normal.” The economy will recover. Banks will be lending again to build more condos and buy more automobiles and get the latest gadget at the mall. The Sex in the City gals will be showing off their $400 high heels and displaying Victoria’s latest “secret.” We’ll once again be entreated to put a dream vacation on a credit card and drink beer with lime in it on some Caribbean beach.

We can go back to pretending that those happy and industrious Chinese workers are just thrilled to be manufacturing all our widgets and processing all the world’s toxic waste in their bare feet. The Tibetan glaciers that feed the major rivers of both India and China are not really melting. We can pretend that the TRILLIONS of dollars of debt that are being loaded on the backs of the U.S. taxpayers is somehow repayable – despite the soaring interest it relentlessly accumulates. We can pretend that the government now has our best interests at heart, despite the fact that Big Pharm and Big Agri-business and Big Finance are all intractably in place, and in the interests of “our safety,” they are going after small farmers and vitamin producers.

Move along, Citizen, nothing to look at here… just the same ol’ same ol’ military industrial complex gearing up in Afghanistan and those narco-dollars propping up Wall Street sociopaths. Except that it ain’t going to work this time. Having no sense of enough being enough, the greed mongers and barons of avarice have leveraged their way to total and unavoidable systemic collapse. By summer, I would wager that even those of us who have seen it coming will find it difficult to believe.

I keep flashing on those NFL players who drifted off in the cold seas after their fishing boat capsized. Formerly so strong and fit and in charge of their lives, it must have seemed utterly surreal and devastating to be helpless and drifting off with no help on the way. Those of us in life boats will be surrounded by cries for help. Those are the sounds that I am haunted by. The blathering from Washington is seeming ever more distant. It just doesn’t matter much anymore what they say. The elites are going to do what it is that they do. We simply have no power over it.

The rest of us are on our own. So, after years of harping on resource depletion and financial nymphomania, it is quite gratifying to see that some of us, at least, are making alternative plans. I want to know the details of how Belgium’s crust turns out, how Randy’s seeds and beer making is coming along, how Rockpickers and Oldensoul’s and ras’s gardens are growing. What sense is Ely making of things from his perspective in South America, or Singapore Guy in Asia? That is what is important to me now. Mrs. P’s raised beds, Montana’s little village and swimming hole. P’s plans to move, Jaque’s coping in L.A. And all the newbies and those who have not spoken yet. You are all more interesting to me than those bleating the same old moribund message of revitalizing Wally World.

To hell with all that. From now on, I want to concentrate mostly on what works for us and how it is going. We have gardens to grow, new ways to structure our lives, places to explore, ideas to try. Eventually, new ways of being will rise from the dung heap of this culture. Let us celebrate our victories and share our defeats. To that end, I am going to attempt to put pictures up on the blogsite and include our e-mail address on the home page so that our cyber-tribe can send pictures that we will post for us all to see. Last night I went to sleep thinking of the question that Belgium asked about why a drop of water holds a piece of wax paper so securely to the countertop. I woke up still obsessing about it after dreaming of an electronic universe inspired by a book I am reading that I never would have picked up if it had not been for the influence of Rockpicker. I am grateful and amazed at the influence that we have had on one another.

I’ll quit now and see if I can figure out how to post this message with a picture or two for starters of our place.

aho

50 comments:

freeacre said...

Well, that didn't come out just right. The pictures were supposed to be at the end, not the beginning. That's our backyard and our dog, Brie, by the way. Just a test. We'll get it right, eventually.

Anonymous said...

Well they're beautiful photos anyway! I love it! We just got our veggie gardens going aqain. I love it that Michelle is doing the organic garden thing with the kids. Bravo for her. We, (both the hubby & I) actually enjoyed the 60 minutes interview also. Despite whatever else they cannot fix...I wouldn't want anybody else in that spot right now. You're right he is "calm". And he is "multi-facet-ted" (sp) Anyway he can deal with more than one diverse issue at once.

He's up on constitutional law and sure put Cheney in his place! I think he's sincere. So he may not let on to everything to everybody. Maybe he has to pretend a little that it's all going to be okay. So I don't care...I like him. I like his whole family. Sure he's surrounded by a lot of hooey-hoo people but he's still the pres!

Victory/survival gardens or whatever you want to call them are being put in everywhere. We went to a few garden centers over the weekend and it was amazing how crowded they were. People getting their garden supplies, buying organic seeds, etc. Spring is here and the locals are springing into action! Michelle obama rocks. Okay so I'm a little Polyanna today...can't help it. mrsp

Anonymous said...

PS: Brie is a very good looking dog. Loveable. mrsp

freeacre said...

Recently, we have seen two documentaries available from Netflix that I would highly recommend: Wild China from the BBC, and Man on Wire. Wild China features absolutely spectacular photography of some rarely seen aspects of China that have been sustained for millenia. Truly awesome. And Man on Wire is about Phillip Petit who walked a tightrope from one New York Trade Tower to the other back in the 70's. His passion and courage and dedication to a dream that was completely outside the box of any cultural norm is an inspiration.
Somewhat unnerving, though, is the fact that I've watched so many documentaries, that my dreams have subtitles now. Oh, dear....

MoonRaven said...

I'm with Mrs. P--I love the fact that Michelle Obama is putting an organic garden next to the White House and getting her kids involved. The first White House garden since Eleanor Roosevelt. Yes, it's more symbolic (like Obama's election) than real change--but it's good to see. A New York Times article on the garden ended with a quote from Michelle O that she knows everyone can't garden, but everyone could buy more fresh vegetables and fruits. At least her heart is in the right place.

And I don't think that her husband is any more delusional than the majority of Americans. Besides, if he told them how bad things were going to get, do you think he would have been elected president?

As for how my end of things is: My somewhat fractured co-op house is getting it together to actually work on a garden, which I'm happy about. And more important, I have finally found some people nearby who want to do the kind of sustainable projects that I want to do. Four of us met recently and began outlining things we could do together--and even more importantly, how we could do it in a way that would be cooperative and supportive of each other. It's very exciting and I'm pretty sure that I can count on at least two of the three other folks for long term building together, so that's the best news I've had for a while.

The pictures of your backyard and dog look nice--even though the yard is under so much snow. I want to hear the details about what you and Murph are up to. You didn't include them in your post.

freeacre said...

Moonraven,
I put details of what Murph and I are doing on the last comment section - then cleverly changed the post. My timing was a tad off, especially since there were good comments from others as well that should have gotten more play. Rats.
Anyway, we've been reading books on companion gardening, and different ways to plant that give more yield. Murph constructed a cold frame from an old freezer that is ready to go. We potted some seeds in plastic cups that we will transplant in the greenhouse when they are ready. Three different kinds of carrots from France, 2 kinds of radishes, Brussels Sprouts, Pole beans, bush beans, 5 or 6 kinds of tomatoes, Hubbard squash, broccoli from Italy, mesclun salad mix, 3 kinds of Swiss Chard, 2 kinds of kale, walking onions,garlic, and kale so far. I'm also planning a hedge of artichokes and cardoons,lots of herbs, more squash, purple potatoes,lettuces, and flowers that attract bees or ward off insects.
Now Murph has to build a little building to put the hay and straw and chicken and animal feed in because having it available is attracting wild rabbits who are living in it and eating it. If this continues, it will only be a matter of time before they start on the garden.
Glad to read that you are working with some people on a co-operative effort. Our Grange Farmers Market is thriving, and I've been talking to a woman who wants to organize a community garden. It's amazing to see these ideas finally catching on. There's hope for us yet!

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Freeacre that was an inspired post and the photos were brilliant too. I know you two are busy bees but keeping such clean wheels in the snow is dedication;-) What a magnificent dog Brie is! Is he a St. Bernard or a Newfy?

The pie crust turned out very good, for me but there again I always enjoy my own cooking. I decided to put cherries in this time. After committing the sin of gluttony and stuffing myself with half the pie together with ice cream, I put the rest in the fridge to keep and in the time it took to close the door, the pie and the plate were in pieces on the floor. Rats! I don’t know if I was more upset about loosing my deep pie plate or the pie after getting the crust right. Such is life.

Fa, I think you should write to Nancy again and ask her if she has the fortitude to pass HR875 and then send in the police or the military to trash Michelle’s garden.
That would probably give her pause for thought.

Palooka's Revenge said...

trash Michelle’s garden.


b... BRILLIANT!!!!!

now i know what i'm gonna ask that rep's grunt if he ever returns my call!!

freeacre said...

Thanks for the compliments on our lovely canine daughter, Brie. We got her from an ad in the paper in Tahoe City for "Fluffballs - $25." Her mother is a registered brindle St. Bernard - and it's a guess as to who jumped the fence to become her father. She has a tail like a Tibetan Mastiff, but is not as large boned. But, she looks a lot like a Newfy. Gentle, affectionate and joyous, she is really delightful. Except, at 110 pounds, she forgets that she is so big and wants to sit on my lap or jam into bed with us. When she lays on you, she feels like a large sack of cement. Pretty soon we'll be getting new baby chicks and Brie will go nuts. She loves the little guys so much, she becomes obsessed every year with them. I'll have to put in a picture of chicks jumping all over her.
Our new rooster, Li'l Red, is pretty, too. Happily, he is big but not aggressive so far. I'll have to get a picture of him. He's bright red with an iridescent green/black tail.
I have not heard anything further on the House Bill. I can't imagine them passing it with Michelle's garden going in... unless they just don't read the thing.
Sorry about your pie disaster, B. And, Palooka, how's the move coming along?

Anonymous said...

Well, now I know why my winter birds haven't gone back north. It seems to me they have ordinarily gone long before now. But there are still a few juncos and white-crowned sparrows coming to my yard several times a day for seed. And while you still have snow, a mourning dove is sitting on her nest in a pine tree just outside my window.

And I do wish I could have a dog like Brie. But I've gotten too old to handle the energy of them and have to make do with a cat. Not at all the same, but at least another living being in the house.

As for gardening -- I have to to keep my sanity. Fifteen years ago, I bought a house on a small city lot. The former owners had paved the little back yard. I didn't want to dig that all up, so made free-form planters that wander all over the yard on top of the concrete. They're 8 inches high and 3 ft wide, with 3-ft paths between, following Bartholomew's suggestions. But while his raised beds are straight and regular, mine are curved so they are more aesthetically pleasing to me. I've been able to grow just about anything in them and have changed their shapes several times over the years.

And, yes, I was thinking that, too, about Michelle's garden and Monsanto. If she can do it, we ought to be safe with our gardens, too.

And Belgium, I'm sorry to hear the fate of your cherry pie.I think I would have cried.

C

RAS said...

Brie is beautiful, FA and Murph. I bet she makes a good watch dog, too.

I was SO glad to hear about the White House veggie garden. I don't think that bill has a chance in hell now. ;-)

You know, there must be some kind of symmetry in the universe. Yesterday the dow went up about 500 points and at the same time, just when I was trying to get things back together, I have to shell out 500 dollars I don't have on car and house repairs.

Anonymous said...

"The rest of us are on our own."

That is the thing that has revealed itself to me, and will not - under any circumstances, be put back under the rug. Believe me, I have tried, but I'm just not that big on self-delusion anymore.

So, whatever shall we do about it? How can an entire "system" be radically transformed efficiently and in an orderly fashion with the minimum amount of pain when the next system is birthed?

Who gets to pick said system and see to its implementation?

"The rest of us are on our own."

Oh yeah, I forgot there are "them" and "us". That has been an important theme in our past systems, and is sure to be a highlight of the next.

Can we at least choose which school we swim with?

I never did well in schools.

"The rest of us are on our own."

But we simply cannot do it alone, at least I can't. Too much to learn. Too much to un-learn. School is back in session and classes are forming as we speak. Classes that are ongoing daily, all around, in every moment we choose to see and open up to real knowledge. Field trips are in order, to observe and participate and try on unfamiliar clothes. To get out "in it" and maybe wind up filthy and tired to the bone.

Spring is a great time to observe the most amazing, consistently honest teacher of all - the living Earth. Earth school is in, baby!

Tribes are forming. Old ways are being preserved and passed on and even improved upon. Much work is occurring behind the scenes by certain individuals that hope to cling to the current, so very beyond expiration system. They will not succeed. Change is afoot and those that know it know it as surely as those that know only small corrections need to be made to continue as we have been for far too long.

Time to place your bets it seems.

"The rest of us are on our own."

Not if you let me help you, and allow me to help myself by sharing what we know together. And so on.

As I was typing this, these 2 giant woodpeckers just landed in my back yard. Huge things with red crowns - easily the biggest I've seen (Man, they're like 12" -14" tall! I think they are called Pileated or some such, but I have never seen them around here before). What a racket they make!

Must be the bell for the next class. Gotta go see if I can learn something.

Thanks for the inspiring post, and for all the warm replies re: my upcoming recon trip. This is a very cool place, but I bet you already knew that.

Z

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Whether to prepare or not to prepare, that is the question. Here is Joe Bageant’s analogy of the onset of end times (From the Ants of Gaia).

As a small boy, I once transferred most of an anthill population
from its natural digs in our front yard to a gallon jar of fresh dirt,
sprinkled it with a little sugar (in the cartoons ants are
always freaks for sugar, right?) and then left the ants on
their own. Of course the day came when all I had was a
jar full of dry earth, ant shit and the desolation of their
parched little carcasses. I’d guess that it was the lack of water that finally got’em.
But the most interesting thing in retrospect – if a jar of dead bugs can be called
interesting – is this: Up until the very end they seemed to be happily and obliviously
busy. They constructed an ant society with all of its ant facilities, made
more baby ants and did all those things ants do that the proverbial grasshopper
is famous for not doing. Obviously Christian predestinationists to the last ant,
they met the grasshopper’s grim fate by another route, and did not look at all
surprised in death.

We shall see.

freeacre said...

Well, somebody's got an end game scenario going on Big Time:

http://media.abovetopsecret.com/media/94/Deep_Underground_Military_Bases/

Of course, the elites could all go down there, and we could just blow up the entrances... problem solved. lol

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Freeacre,

Thanks for the heads up on Wild China. I found the English version on a Chinese web site here:

http://you.video.sina.com.cn/b/14428213-1221042424.html

For those of you who are interested in documentaries of all types, a most excellent site is:

http://freedocumentaries.org/index.php

This site categorises the documentaries in different ways but unfortunately not by author. If you have a favourite author say like Michael Moore then Google him and you will find his stuff listed that is available on this site, or you can follow the format of the following link. Many of you may know that I have a great respect for the work of John Pilger, I have been following his work since the late 60’s. Here is the listing for him on the Free Documentaries site.

http://freedocumentaries.org/mod.php?prodName=John+Pilger

Enjoy.

Palooka's Revenge said...

Who gets to pick said system and see to its implementation?

z... i've heard the phoenix is in charge.

FA... okay... you asked. the road to the move has shortened significantly. The cal place is out for reasons i won't go into.

plan B now plan A but no final decesion yet. 20 is just north of us about an hour and a half. appalachian foothills country. they call 'em mountains here but most here have led a sheltered life.

planning in place for everything from tent city to little hobbit style earth houses (two already started) to conventional, to some cabins that are already in place along with several buildable lots already subdivided. cabins and lots available at discount pricing. that part of the area available is an existing rustic cabins development that catered to romantic weekend mountain getaways but the bank has cut them off. its called the last resort... www.thelastresort.com its a little family run op but the patriarch is in debt for 4 mil so he's been liquidating every chance he gets. 11 common acres already acquired from him that includes the pond and a 3 unit condo. the community center, gardens, orchard (already planted), etc will be located on this area. now that the bank has cut him off we figure there's a short sale opportunity down the road to acquire the whole thing and certain parties do have the financial ability to acquire. meantime debt is being reduced (thus acquisition price is being reduced) as some of the cabins and lots have already been purchased by community intendeds.

adjacent to it is 100 acres owned by the primary founder (his uncle had owned the land the last resort is on) and his dream is to build a community of like-minded, sustainable lifestyles integrating some of his land in with the last resort. the rest of his acres are going into a land trust inperpituity. 7 wells already in place between the 2 properties along with its own infrastructure and it all sits over a huge acquifer so there's plenty of water. its one of those things where, due to current circumstances, several key pieces of the puzzle are converging to manifest opporturnity to do something like this that couldn't have happened otherwise.

LLC is already set up and community is in formation mode. the llc purchased the 11 acres. very eclectic crowd with a wide range of skill sets. organic gardeners, permaculturists, alt energy folk, artisans, crafters, educators, facilitators of various and sundried healing modalities... both physical and spiritual, and so on. right over the hill is the home of earthkeepers, a native american education foundation and purveyors of fine native am craft and headed up by elder, tom blue wolf... http://www.earthkeepers.net/wolf/aboutUs.html

the seeds for many cottage industries, food production, and development of off-grid energy sources. diverse cross-section of ages and interests and part of the MO is to set this up to make it do-able for a wide range of financial abilities. the key is integrating all those skill sets and energies into common goals without endin up kickin each others ass. of high priority is the re-claiming of personal power through independence from the collapsing system, trading skills, goods and services, growing our own food, and producing our own energy.

there's a wide range of potential prospects that are already an attentive crowd via a music boogie hosted there every year... 300-400 folks get together for a whole week of music on 2 stages. think americana roots mucic. some great musicians and story tellers in this crowd!!

downside? too many hills 'mongst limited flatlands.

biggest challenge? time!!

thx for askin fa... been meanin to update you guys. and ya, the new agenda... BE THE CHANGE...? keep em comin!!

freeacre said...

OMG, Palooka! That sounds just awesome! We are excited for you. And, Zoner, maybe you could check it out as well. Sounds way more affordable than anything I know of around here. Sounds to me like the Universe responding to the power of intention, eh? Very cool!

Palooka's Revenge said...

Sounds to me like the Universe responding to the power of intention, eh?

well fa, i am absolutely convinced that intention is the key. U not responding is not the prob. for me, the biggest obstacle is pieces of myself that aren't aligned with the intention. i'll never forget the one time in my life that i'm convinced every bit of me came into 100% alingment. i got sober in that moment and i'll tell ya... i was high for 27 years but i ain't never been so high as from that experience!!

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

p… Sounds fantastic. If it’s not my biz I will butt out but any probs liquidating the assets of the place you are in now?
cyternit

Anonymous said...

From Belgium

Cyternit was the word verification thingy and now I know why it didn't work

RAS said...

Wow p, that's incredible! Congrats and good luck!

I'm still in the process of trying to liquidate what assets I have to raise enough money to buy a small piece of property, but it's tough in this market. And I still haven't found a full-time job, though I have a lead on one I will pursue today if I can get the car repaired.

Anonymous said...

On H.R. 875, I figured all the organic growers organizations would surely be up in arms about it.

Not so. In fact, they don't seem to know about it, as there are no alerts being posted.

Went to Organic Gardening magazine on-line and used their own search engine. No data.

Went to NCAT, which is located in Butte , Montana. It's the National Center For Appropriate Technology. They're into sustainable living and such. Nada.

AERO standfs for the alternative energy research organization. No mention on their site.

Then I went to site I googled up, an international group of organic producers. They offered no results on a search for H.R. 875.

So, I'm thinking most people just don't know what's going on. What I read over the weekend is that this bill threatens farmers' ability to save seeds, as it will outlaw the equipment they've been using for decades to sort and save seeds. Fines are ridiculously high. When all the heirloom seeds are gone, we will be forced to buy compromised seed from Monsanto and their partners in crime.

-rockpicker

murph said...

Rockpicker,

I dug out the complete text of the bill. It's 114 pages, at least in the format I found it in.

The bill sounds like a food safety bill, lots of regulations to control ALL parts of food production and distribution. The problem is, the bill is in quite ambiguous terms, gives one man a huge amount of power and there is no oversight in it. Sort of what Hank Paulsen wants dealing with the economy.

As the bill is written, the surface appearance has some good attributes, but when you read between the lines, it is scary as hell. The bill wants to identify every single animal, and every single crop, unless you are a factory farm, then it is by herd or flock.

One of my main problems with the bill is it is an extreme extension of all the other controls and regulations that are currently not enforced because department budgets and manpower were cut so drastically in the last 20 years or so. Hell, they can't even do an adequate job of inspecting meat slaughter houses, and there seems to be no control over what is fed to livestock at the factory level.

Cryptogon this month had a good breakdown of the provisions in the bill. I would have to get into their archives to find it again. I found several other sites that had similar analysis.

It sure has the appearance to me of being another huge control grab by big agribusiness.

Palooka's Revenge said...

b... we... meaning liz and i.. haven't reached full committment point yet. mostly because the more testy aspects of the larger we... the community entity itself and form of that... are not in place yet. think of it this way... there's the location and acquizition of that, which in this case is quite unique, and then there's what is the community entity itself including the legal form of it with its mission stmt, short and long term goals, wish list, bid'ness plan, site plan and development, by-laws, capital asquisition and distribution, and so on that untimately defines how bid'ness gets done, power is distributed, who owns what, if and how equity can be liquidated if it comes to that, what the decision making process is, finances, budget, and on and on. any time money is transferred from a pocket to a collective pile on the table things can get a bit testy. and what i've listed is just scratchin the surface.

by collective pile i mean the community entity. there's still personal ownership but you're also committing to a hybrid version of... and i hate to use this as an example but... an HOA only with totally different vision and goals.

on the bright side, there are parties involved with skills and experience on the ins and outs. we have folks who are trained facilitators who market their skills in the ic market and the husband/wife team of greg and dianne ramsey who's business is planing and development of ic's... http://www.villagehabitat.com/. they put serenbe together which is a deep pockets project south of atlanta that is very successful but out of reach for 90% of the population. also did east lake commons, a successful co-housing project in atl and several others around the country. most everybody who's ever rubbed an elbow in and ic meetup knows or has at least heard of greg and dianne. greg plays a mean fiddle too and been part of the boogie group for years! they're putting together a full blown site plan and mission stmt among other things. so we've got some fabulous home cookin goin for us and about 20 of us just spent 3 days doing an intensive site and community objectives analysis as the data for their starting points.

the legal side of ic's is unique and most lawyers haven't a clue where to begin. and so it is with most ic founders and intendeds. the learning curve is incredibly steep. full libraries have been written on the how-to's and how not to's. its a daunting task and is generally a very slooooow process IF the time and attention are taken to visit and address all the various aspects in right time. NOT doing so is a receipe for disaster. failure rate on ic's is about 90% and most of the ones that make it still struggle with trying to carry on and get bid'ness done via whatever form of decision making they're using. most of them use consensus and frankly that model sucks!! but what's the alternative?

and there's an aspect of ic development that most don't even know exists and when it shows up it can blow the whole thing right otta the water in a heart beat. it has to do with how people are. some are process people only. plan, plan, plan. to the point they never get into do mode. then there are the action only people that disregard the plan part. they figure its a waste of fuckin time and all they do is sit there and point fingers at the planners and say how long you gonna plan mo-fo? you know, fuck the instructions. just jump in and put the damn thing together. then there's 50 pieces left over, the damn things upside down and backwards, it can't function, and they're starting over. when it comes to ic development usually there's no starting over. its toast because of all the personal issues in conflict and too much water over the dam. there's a huge gap between these 2 often conflicting ways of how folks live their lives and do their thing and sooner or later those are going to clash and then it morps into i-told-you-so.

as it turned out, this is part of what happened with our deal in cal. some, who happened to be in various positions of power, where in heavy urgency mode and going past major issues. disregarding them as un-important. some of that amounted to putting the whole group into a compromized position with major cash on the line. i like flying under the radar as much as the next guy but some things are just unavoidable. oh, we'll just work that out down the road. not!!

in the middle of these often diametrically opposed ways of people are folk who can do a balance of both. we're conditioned to a who's-got-the-power culture. and am i ready to give it to them? is there an alternative? if you got folk who know this and know how to shephard groups of people without being the guru and ultimately becoming the bad guy to both the planners and the do-ers (somebody's gotta get the blame right) you got gold in dem der folk! we have those folk. still no guarantee but it increases the odds significantly. l is a tained facilitator and up to speed on ic's... especially the group process part of it... and now writing (as a co-project with a couple of her peers) a model to put the usual modus operandi onto a fast track. cover the bases and be in a hurry without getting thrown out at home and still assuring that every individual feels a sense of ownership and stewardship and a viable part of the power structure. she's using the open space technology model, the genuine contact model which includes the medicine wheel tool, (if you've ever heard of those) and some of her own stuff to create a hybrid model. powerful stuff that empowers every individual and engages them on an intuitive level. its based on the premise that whoever's there is 'sposed to be there and has valuable input andwhatever happens is what's 'sposed to happen. if she pulls this off she can write the bible on how to fast track ic development!

anyway, as far as ic's in general and the ga entity in particular thats a thumbnail sketch and those are the major challenge right now. how it all goes down and how it all gets written and how it all goes people-wise in its development process will have everything to do with what l&i do going forward and what our committment will be. so we've made a committment to seriously consider making a committment and we're willing to spend time, energy, skills, and a certain amount of cash to that process. i've concluded from my own personal analysis of the various parties involved that the odds for success for this vision are high and the core of founders that already have major skin in the game have their intent, vision and, most important, hearts in the right place. its a truely amazing mix of abilities and experience 'mongst a collection of folks pointed in one general direction. and in this case there are a whole lotta folks on the sidelines right now peering in in look-see mode along with a core of about 15 - 20 doing the actual grunt work. its one thing if one person has a dream and begins with, say publishing a newsletter on a few pages of 8x11 stapled together that ultimately morphs into rolling stone mag, and quite another if 15 or 20 are writing that newsletter with various personal interests and another couple dozen standing on the sidelines kibitzing. community development is a real lesson in community itself! how that goes down has everything to do with how successful it will be in form.

well this turned out to be a damn long answer to b's short question and probably a whole lot more than y'all ever wanted to know. but since we're into "being the change now" and self organizing communities will play a major role in that i thought i'd throw it on the table. and speaking of change, check out albert bates blog, "the great change"... http://peaksurfer.blogspot.com/. albert was one of the founders of the infamous farm in tenn and still lives there. i took his alt bldg course about 5 years ago. one of the highest profile eco-village mentors on the planet!

jump on a boat and come on over b. would luv to have your input in the game. we need more pie fer sur! u 2 ras.

Palooka's Revenge said...

rp.... scary but damn good info. thx for doing the research.

i've looked at the bill and agree with murph's review. 'spose the heavy will look at michelle o's garden and fine the taxpayers a million bucks?

Anonymous said...

From Belgium

p... love to come over but with the personal obs I have put up, I don't know if they would let me in and even if they did I am not altogether sure they would let me out.

Wish it was the climate of the 70's the last time I was over.

freeacre said...

P, you might suggest that your facilitator incorporate the non-judgmental circle and talking stick process in the communications between members of the community (tribe). Seems to be a powerful structure that has proven itself forever to build trust and community.

Palooka's Revenge said...

fa... stick well polished... a great tool. non-judgemental circle? is that NVC (non-violent communication)?

RAS said...

I like the idea of ics. In practice a lot of them have some serious issues, and I think this is because we were never taught to live in community. Our culture just forbids the mention of the word 'community', much less the practice. (Unless you're talking about philantrophy, then people are all for giving money to the 'unfortunate'.)

The farm even has issues. It's on its second generation, which is a good thing, but they still have issues. And I would never live there. Why? They outlaw weapons and raising animals for meat or milk. Um, no thank you.

It'll be a long road to getting it right, is all I mean. I hope it works out, p!

MoonRaven said...

RAS:

Sorry, but I have to ask: Why would you need weapons living in an intentional community?

MR

RAS said...

MR, I simply refuse to live anywhere where I can not own a gun or other weapon. Even if I choose not to do so. If a dangerous or rabid animal comes on my property and threatens me, my family, or my stock, I reserve the right to shoot it. (This includes the two-legged variety, btw.) You don't have the option of calling 911 or animal control out in the sticks. The sherrif will take an hour to show up and animal control, what's that? We have rattlesnakes in many areas down here. I, for one, am not getting close enough to one that's near my house to get it with a hoe if I have the option of using a gun.

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

I think the problem is the name you give to people who intentionally live in communities. In its real meaning it is quite a benign word but what a stigma it has today.
Do you think co-operators sounds any better?

I think the weapons are also for those who like the benefits of community living without the bother of doing any community work.

Anonymous said...

Hey fa, are these current pictures? Looks kinda cold. It looks like a lot of places around Mormon HQ, which are...c...cc... cc.... ccold.

Randy

freeacre said...

lol... well, it is cold here, but that is an older picture. Most of the standing snow and ice has melted. We still get a little snow overnight or even during the day, but it melts off at this time. The ground is still so frozen that I can't stick anything into it. God, it's frustrating. That's mountain living, though. I'll get some recent ones up next time.

Anonymous said...

Hey sports fans! Just read some A-B-C type information on that HR bill that's supposed to screw around with organic farming 'n stuff. Check it out -

http://crooksandliars.com/node/26883

Randy

Anonymous said...

And THIS makes me want to hurl!

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102005062


Randy

Anonymous said...

"...In spring the swelling earth aches for seeds of new life.
Lovely the earth in labor, under a nervous west wind.
The fields loosen, a mild wetness lies everywhere.
Confident grows the grass, for the young sun will do no harm.
The shoots of the vine do not fear a southerly storm arising
Or icy rain slanting from heaven under a north wind -
No, bravely they bud new and reveal their leaves.
So it was since the beginning of the world,
Here is the brilliant dawning and pitch of these days." - Horace

"I'm a lunatic farmer, that's my new catch phrase. I have a Ph.D. That stands for Post Hole Digger. Today we only need to buy toilet paper and Kleenex, everything else we make here. The only reason the framers of the Bill of Rights did not include freedom of food choice along with the right to bear arms, worship and speech was that they couldn't conceive of the day when food would have to have a USDA sticker on it." - Joel Salatin, owner of Polyface Farms in Virginia

mf

murph said...

Randy and all,

I read that article from Monsanto rep on bill 875 and some other articles floating around debunking the concern about it.

I agree with every one of the articles. There is no explicit statements in the bill to affect organic farmers or the chipping of animals. It doesn't exclude these concepts either.

I suppose it has to do a lot with how much faith you put into government policies and honesty that is going to determine how you look at such legislation.

Go ahead!! I dare you to ask me what I think of our "honest, open government" and what they do and don't do. Ask me if I trust them to act in our best interests. Then lets get back to the wording of 875. How you are going to view that bill is entirely dependent on how you personally answer the above questions I think. Do I trust the government to have our needs and interests at heart? Hell no!

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

When I had my English Company, the First one at least, I entered into a contract of collaboration with a Belgian Company. The MD there told me “We are all friends now but the contract Must be written as though we will no longer be friends at some time in the future. All the foreseeable causes of contention must be dealt with and tied down at the beginning to avoid animosity in the future and to save lawyers making a killing by arguing interpretation of intent. The HR Bill is no different. Loose language costs lives, well maybe.

Anonymous said...

Yep, point taken -Wouldn't trust the bastards if you paid me.

On another note, Old Man Winter is just hanging-out WAY too long around here. Or maybe it's just that I want to get my seedlings into the garden and start eating some home grown yummy stuff ASAP.
Must remember.... patience.... patience....

Randy

murph said...

Randy,

Damn man. We have been cup starting some early hardy garden vegies for 2 weeks now. Cold hanging on too long. Built a cold frame box out of an old upright freezer and transferring stuff to it almost every day. Covering at night with garden cold blanket. Hope the plants don't get too big before I can transplant to the garden. This is what happens when the patience finally looses out.

freeacre said...

Well, I am having a good time this weekend. We went to see the movie, "Knowing," and we received a new edition of "Backyard Poultry." That's about as good as it gets!

Anonymous said...

montana here,
listen up all you newbie pot growers growing outside, Start your seeds TODAY or TOMORROW, the moon is in Taurus only today and tomorrow and is perfect for above ground crops.
Also equally important is the fact that by the middle of May you should be able to determine the sex of your plants, thereby getting rid of all the males except for the one or two or whatever you wish to keep to make seeds for next year as pollinators. SRERM DONORS as it were.

May the Creator shine on your beautiful garden for the healing of the individual and the nation which could certainly use it now.

Let peace and prosperity be yours in this,...your sacred endeavor.

aho
mf

RAS said...

LOL, mf, that's why I come here. I can't believe that! LOL.
Wow fa, you've had a good weekend. It doesn't get much better than that. How was Knowing? I've heard mixed reviews.

I've been working all weekend. (That's where I'm at now.) The rain is finally drizzling out. Which, as much as we needed it, I'm kind of glad it's moving out. Five days of mostly torrential rainfall is a bit much. It's a good thing I hadn't planted the greens yet. They'd have been swamped.
Oh, check this out. I turned Walk-About into a book. :) http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/walk-about/6592032

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Wey hey Ras - You have been published!!!!!

freeacre said...

Well, I liked "Knowing" for the most part. It had good disaster scenes, good science fiction stuff (I don't want to give the whole plot away), good suspense, and maybe a little too much Christian influence for my tastes. But, I can understand why. Had to put something at least remotely comforting to the majority out there. Of course, one wonders just how much of this is a part of a greater effort to soften people up to the idea of extra-terrestrials, planetary disaster, etc. Anyway, I could watch Nicholas Cage read a phone book... I actually liked enough that I will probably buy it.
Guess the weather is pretty crappy all over. Snowed again last night and it's not melting...but that seems to be good compared to all the rain, possible tornadoes, etc. in the rest of the country. Good grief.
Yea for you publishing your book, ras! I loved the tale.

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Over here an item made the local news the other night about an organisation which has set up to deliver cheap household goods to peoples’ homes. They are buying popular items direct from the wholesaler, a bit like white branded goods, sold with “Minimum Packaging”. That made my ears prick up, it is certainly not a bad thing but I had a wry smile at the next conditioning exercise being floated in.

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Another item which ran on the news for a few days involved a 92 year old woman living in an old folks’ home who has gone on hunger strike. She is in perfect physical health for a lady of her years and she has the best of attention for her physical condition; she is warm, well fed and clothed and generally looked after. She wants to end it all partly because of the cost to her family or the nation of keeping her physically alive and partly because all this expense is going to prolong a mind numbingly boring existence. Now everyone is in a panic because this has never happened before and they don’t know if they have the right to force feed her. It does seem to be a thing with many old folks’ homes that they look after the person’s physical condition whilst disregarding their mental well being.

RAS said...

Belgium, that's horrific. I long ago concluded that I would rather take my own life than live in one of those old folks homes.

Thanks for the congrats. It wasn't that hard, really, and I've been published before. (One of my novellas was published last fall in a magazine and I've had some of my poetry published.)

freeacre said...

I wonder if the lady has the freedom to check out of the old folks home, and just go someplace else and be allowed to die? It's just horrific to me to think that someone else has the right to force feed me or hook me up to a ventilator to keep my lungs going in and out forever. That is true torture to me and my worst fear. That is one major reason that I moved to Oregon. It is a "right to die" state.