The Weekly Watch

Get with the System...the Ecosystem

Really a garden, farm, or homestead is an ecosystem. Working with nature, emulating natural processes, and flowing with the system is the key to producing food in a sustainable manner. It can be done in almost every environment. Soil can be improved, but as climate chaos accelerates, we all may need to consider how to buffer our gardens from the wild weather swings we're beginning to see. So this past weeks cold weather led me to write about techniques for winter production as well as creating a food producing ecosystem. We can live in harmony with the planet...(3 min trailer)

The entire 40 min documentary (and several others) can be seen here -
https://www.discoverpermaculture.com/p/video-1-pdc-2019

This California neighborhood project can teach everyone better food production practices.
www.permacutlureartisans.com - Erik Ohlsen takes you on a tour of an edible oasis he created on a 1/3 acre asphalt lot, encouraging you to think about sustainable living for small-town and suburban life. In the face of drought, fire, peak oil, energy depletion, soil depletion and more, you can live a more eco-friendly life. (18 min)

Here's a similar approach in Vermont. Ben covers many topics as he walks through some of his property, including Agriforestry Systems, steep slope gardening, lost soil, and how soil can be transformed after no productivity. He also discusses water management, biomass, ponds, building soil, soil creation, and Icelandic sheep. http://thepermaculturezone.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6FGD1KFHSw (11 min)

A system approach to farming isn't something new.

Over the past three decades, using archaeological details about the construction of terraces and irrigation systems, a development charity called the Cusichaca Trust rehabilitated and irrigated 160 hectares of terraces and canals in the Patacancha Valley, near Cuzco. The project was a success: it improved water access and agricultural production, and local families maintain the structures today. Lessons from the Patacancha Valley are now being employed to restore Incan agricultural systems in other areas of Peru.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/farming-like-the-incas-70263217/

These techniques can be combined with greenhouses to grow in all sorts of situations to extend seasons and grow plants that are not well adapted to your climatic zone...

Here's a fellow growing food in the Chicago area this winter (without added heat)
He uses row covers in cold frames within a greenhouse...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbD05gt3P1I (7 min)
Here's another clip to show his plants after -20 degrees last week
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd-FOj7cuLc (9 min)
Here in NE Alabama we are able to grow greens and lettuce under double row covers. We've kept them alive through lows in the teens this winter, and harvested some this week. (see picture at end of essay)

walapini.jpg

You might be interested in a walapini greenhouse or pit greenhouse...
Here's one in NM used for year round production...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfzDmVApBbQ (5 min)

Greenhouses can use the heat of the earth, sometimes called an earth battery. Here's a fellow growing oranges in Nebraska. This type of greenhouse requires lots of digging and piping, but are largely self maintaining after construction. (18 min)

Winter temperatures in Alliance, Nebraska can drop to -20°F (the record low is -40°F/C), but retired mailman Russ Finch grows oranges in his backyard greenhouse without paying for heat. Instead, he draws on the earth's stable temperature (around 52 degrees in his region) to grow warm weather produce- citrus, figs, pomegranates - in the snow. Finch first discovered geothermal heating in 1979 when he and his wife built it into their 4400-square-foot dream home to cut energy costs. Eighteen years later they decided to add a 16'x80' greenhouse in the backyard. The greenhouse resembles a pit greenhouse (walipini) in that the floor is dug down 4 feet below the surface and the roof is slanted to catch the southern sun. To avoid using heaters for the cold Nebraska winter nights, Finch relies on the warm underground air fed into the greenhouse via plastic tubing under the yard and one fan.

Growing food through the winter in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Thanks to good insulation and thermal mass, the passive greenhouse maintains above freezing temperatures all winter, and allows them to grow food throughout the year.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hfFx5z_R2Q (5.5 min)

Here's another approach in Canada. With an insulated back wall and an insulated roof the Groundswell Community Network's passive solar community greenhouse stores heat far better than your typical glass box.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvPVsMGlVVI (7 min)
http://www.greenenergyfutures.ca/episode/73-passive-solar-greenhouses

I'm a product of the back to the land movement of the 70's. The movement seems revived today. Here's some young folks with a kickstart campaign to create a farm of the future.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsZjd0HNgBE (3 min)
https://www.greenhouseofthefuture.com/home/

food forest web.jpg

Jerome Osentowski of the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute explains how he grows food forests as well as created multiple climates of greenhouses in central Colorado. Learn more about Jerome at http://www.CRMPI.org
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzi9gvDmx6A (14 min)

There are other permaculture institutes around. There's one in Santa Fe.
https://permaculture.org/about/

In just five years this front yard food forest is developing nicely. Here's how he grows his own mulch...known as chop and drop. He also discusses cover crop choices.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo3atfTD-N4 (4 min)

Some gardeners and farmers use living mulch and inter-plant into the cover crop. In my part of the world the increased water demand is the issue in the summer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsCAb1w235Q (5 min)

broken system.jpg

So How About Our Political System?

Well, it is broken - probably by design. Last week I had to rant about Venezuela. I'm still disappointed in the US and our agression. The US has been waging an economic war and upped the ante to promote a coup. The EU and many nations around the world are supporting the US led coup.

Excellent article reviewing all the hypocrisy and absurdity of the US coup...

Two things stand out about the US coup in Venezuela. First, it is unusually open. Typically, the US tries to hide its coups. Second, the coup is built on a series of obvious falsehoods, yet the bi-partisans in Washington, with a few exceptions, keep repeating them.

https://popularresistance.org/venezuela-what-activists-need-to-know-abou...

Jeremy Scahill has a nice summation of the situation...

The Trump administration is openly engaging in a blatant effort to overthrow the government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. It’s a campaign aimed at regime change, and it’s being publicly promoted as an opportunity to steal Venezuelan oil for the benefit of U.S. corporations. They’re not even pretending.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVQn_DdkYlU (9 min)

The United States is waging an economic war on Venezuela, the country with the world’s largest oil reserves. Crippling sanctions imposed by the Donald Trump administration have bled Venezuela of billions of dollars. The first United Nations rapporteur to visit the nation in two decades, legal expert Alfred de Zayas, told The Independent that the devastating international sanctions on Venezuela are illegal and could potentially be a crime against humanity.

https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01/30/us-economic-warfare-venezuela/

Jimmy explains how sanctions are hurting Venezuelans
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whgOvbw53WY (10.5 min)

US President Donald Trump’s hyper-militaristic National Security Adviser John Bolton spilled the beans in an interview on Fox Business, admitting that the United States government is working with corporations to target Venezuela’s massive oil reserves.
“We’re looking at the oil assets,” Bolton said. “That’s the single most important income stream to the government of Venezuela. We’re looking at what to do to that.”

“We’re in conversation with major American companies now,” he continued. “I think we’re trying to get to the same end result here.”

“It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela,” Bolton admitted.

https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01/29/us-coup-venezuela-oil-corporate-j...
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/great-oil-paradox-too-many-095223769.html
Mark Weisbrot explains the story (video or text)
https://therealnews.com/stories/new-oil-sanctions-on-venezuela-would-des...

...And surprise, surprise - Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington’s elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization.
https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01/29/the-making-of-juan-guaido-how-the...

So how is it US citizens are not objecting to this illegal coup? Because all the media tells them we're in the right...
https://fair.org/home/resistance-media-side-with-trump-to-promote-coup-i...
The NYT evidently never met a Latin American coup they didn't like
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/your-complete-guide-to-the-n-y-times-s...

Meanwhile Julian is still in his prison because he tells of of the crimes of the powerful
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W74dyiDrN_w (9 min)

WAR-TRUMP-760x1024.jpg

Here's ten reasons the US is the most corrupt country in the world...
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-united-states-is-the-most-corrupt-...

Oil, the MIC, big Pharma, ....

Yes friends corporations reign supreme. The US Department of Justice finalized its approval of the Bayer and Monsanto merger. A new monopoly will be created over agricultural pesticides and industrial seed production, with farmers locked into industrial farming and our health endangered. (video or text)
https://therealnews.com/stories/bayer-monsanto-merger-endangering-our-he...

Seems there is some growing awareness about climate collapse... a new poll reveals that Americans’ concern for climate change has surged to record levels. (video or text)
https://therealnews.com/stories/americans-concern-about-climate-change-s...

Last Sunday Chris Hedges gave a sermon at Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, British Columbia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9MnG7FTooE (20 min)
I'm not religious, but I found it interesting.

It is interesting to contrast natural and political systems. Natural systems are self correcting - if we stop polluting them, the system cycles back. Lake Eire is an example. Politics on the other hand seems captured by the corporate oligarchs. Our representatives have been purchased and act to promote corporate profits not to help citizens. Both parties are complicit. The US government seems rusted solid in corrupt, violent, and oppressive actions to promote the elite...as they rain environmental and climatic destruction upon the globe.

IMG_3867.jpg

I see no need in pulling my hair or banging my head against that wall. I prefer harvesting our little patch of greens and feeling like in my minuscule way I'm sequestering some carbon and connecting with the Earth. I hope you all came through the polar vortex without frozen pipes nor frostbite...and I wish you the peace of nature in the garden, or park, or trail of your choice. The gardeners in the north that are still growing plants in this frigid weather are really amazing. As always, I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

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Had to look this up.

Permaculture integrates land, resources, people and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies – imitating the no waste, closed loop systems seen in diverse natural systems. Permaculture studies and applies holistic solutions that are applicable in rural and urban contexts at any scale. It is a multidisciplinary toolbox including agriculture, water harvesting and hydrology, energy, natural building, forestry, waste management, animal systems, aquaculture, appropriate technology, economics and community development.

Thanks for the links and encouragement!

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Lookout's picture

@QMS

Water and food security are true wealth. How about those northern gardeners producing food in negative temps....pretty amazing to this southerner.

As another item of interest...I've been hearing about postal banking more often.

Here's R. Wolff with a short (3 min) explanation...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_oEzCjAT4U

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout
Was a going concern many, many years ago. The infrastructure is in place. It would give urban folks an alternative to payday lenders. Liz Warren was pushing for it before she got bought. I think the payday lender lobby are what is supporting that Debbie-Wasserman-Schlitz politician.

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Lookout's picture

@QMS

for profit prisons. She is the worst and should be in jail not congress.

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dance you monster's picture

@QMS

The philosophy was outlined as a whole by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison back in the late 1970s, in Tasmania.

Mollison wrote two books that introduce you to the idea.

The smaller book: Introduction to Permaculture, which gives you just about all a beginner needs to know.

And the big tome: Permaculture: A Designer's Manual, which is generally referred to as the Bible. It's worth the considerable price of this book.

Permaculture = permanent agriculture, and that latter form was first used by Joseph Russell Smith as the subtitle to his 1929 book Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture, a text that Holmgren and Mollison considered an important source for their thinking. There was also considerable influence of Masanobu Fukuoka, who was working on sustainable methods of agriculture in Japan in the 1930s. Several people -- Sepp Holzer and Geoff Lawton have been mentioned in these Weekly Watch essays -- have elaborated on various elements of the techniques, but Mollison really had most of it together.

Interestingly, to get back to Joseph Russell Smith's book, he cited a fruit- and nut-tree nursery farm created by John Hershey as the model for a temperate-zone food forest. That farm was situated less than an hour from my home. When Hershey died, the farm was sold off and subdivided. But many of the trees remain, now much larger, in yards and median strips that surround the built structures of homes, an apartment complex, a church, and more that arose after the sale of the property. Last I saw, Hershey's home, amid all this, is on the market. There is an effort to save the germplasm of Hershey's food forest, in seeds and cuttings, which is recounted here:

https://www.shelterwoodplants.com/blog/2018/10/17/exploring-americas-old...

This is well worth the read, not least because it shows you why those plants were the ones Hershey planted, and what the history behind them was, a history going back before the arrival of European settlers.

What permaculture presents is not something particularly new, but something particularly old and tested. And it did not kill the Chesapeake, as monoculture farming did.

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Lookout's picture

@dance you monster

I look forward to learning more about your fruit tree project. I found the second embedded clip showing espaliered apples with six varieties grafted on one tree interesting.

I've known about Mollison since the 80's. My training involved double cropping winter clovers and no-tilling grain sorghum, and then more forage and grazing management. I was lucky to spend some time with Gene Odom at UGa discussing agroecology...but I'm not a trained permaculturalist, but I'm kinda self taught.

Thanks for the input.

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@dance you monster
When you revealed the connection between human society and the plant kingdom, it woke me up. The balance of plants and animals is an key to our survival. The way we interact with our green neighbors, the mutual need, defines us.

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enhydra lutris's picture

currently it is a gallery, but originally for growing oranges. The wiki gave me this:

According to the museum's website, the Orangerie was originally built in 1852 by the architect Firmin Bourgeois and completed by his successor, Ludovico Visconti, to shelter the orange trees of the garden of the Tuileries.

IIRC, within the museum there is much more on that and either it or another source hipped me to the fact that while this specific Orangerie is a famous museum/gallery, the word is actually something of a generic for subsurface greenhouses built to grow citrus and other more temperate climate crops in northern climes.

Where we are, with a little work we can grow greens year round. I harvested some "perpetual spinach chard" for use as the lettuce in BLTs Friday evening. I usedsome more in my breakfast yesterday and will do so again today. We use them throughout the year for curtido, some salads or salad amendments, in omelets and such, in sauces and stews, etc.

In addition to the spinach chard, we have rainbow chard and about 3 kinds of kale. We have, almost by accident, a shady garden patch which we have had mixed success gardening in over the years. Finally, rather than trying to grow all the stuff one normally thinks of, we gave in to the fact that it was shady and started growing shade loving stuff. Now we find ourselves having to use shade cloth in the summers to protect the beds, but get year round crops of greens using "cut and come again" harvesting combined with replants/restarts from cuttings to keep things going. We also use pots/planters in sunnier areas to try to grow small amounts of ordinary crops during the proper season. It's all on drip, plus I used homemade "ollas" in the beds.

This has been a complete learning experience for me, but we are at 37.7 degrees north latitude, though blessed with the coastal climate while cursed with droughts and water issues. I suspect that row cover greenhouses, especially for getting an early start would really be a boon in this area, but spring/early summer is our travel time, which really limits what we can do, since the garden will always be ignored for weeks at a time at exactly the worst time of the year.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lookout's picture

@enhydra lutris

Most of the time we have a friend that will stay here when we're gone and tend the garden and critters. We usually time our trips in Sept when the summer garden has largely played out and the fall garden has just been planted.

Watering is an issue during the summer here too. I'm adding another 1000 gal tank to our cistern system this month. A lifetime of learning and still more to discover about gardens....

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

At 41 degrees north latitude, it would extend our growing window 100 %. Problem is high water table. Answer is to dig a pond to drain off excess water. Problem is cost. Answer is a community effort on public land. No problem with that. Just organization. Thanks again!

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Lookout's picture

@QMS

Here's another approach in Canada. With an insulated back wall and an insulated roof the Groundswell Community Network's passive solar community greenhouse stores heat far better than your typical glass box.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvPVsMGlVVI (7 min)
http://www.greenenergyfutures.ca/episode/73-passive-solar-greenhouses

As to your high water table, there are ways around that. ...french drains on the back (North) side and a lower swale/catchment on the downhill (south). I'm more interested in cold frames and hot frames in my production situation. No need to heat walking in space. I'll share those designs as we go along.

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detroitmechworks's picture

By just doing a basic thing like researching things from only Two hundred years ago, well within human memory, is how twisted and skewed our version of the past, at least the one we are presented with as Americans, is.

In addition, I'm stunned by how ignorant the fiction that our culture creates has become. Comic book mentality on the big screen has led to comic book mentality on the printed page, which gets xeroxed over and over again, losing sight of the original vision until you have a blank page that TPTB happily fill with whatever social programming they feel needs to be installed.

Course, I'm reminded of a guiding principle of my characters. "You want something done? You gotta do it yourself."

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Lookout's picture

@detroitmechworks

that we are not aware of our ignorance. Throughout my teaching career, I said the purpose of our schools was to provide fodder for the mills. They wanted a population that doesn't think nor question. Now those mills have gone South and to China and left a shrinking population of folks who are not equipped to adapt.

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Raggedy Ann's picture

I’m anxious for my husband to watch those greenhouse videos. Lots for us to learn. He works at a greenhouse operation now, which will give us a leg up when we create our own. We need a new well, first, so that will happen in early June.

At the greenhouse where he works, they are going to start growing hemp. The greenhouse owner was approached by someone who contracted with them to do hemp “starts.” Once they reach a certain maturity, he’ll put them in the ground. Thus week a second approach was made, which they accepted.

The greenhouse owner was ready to retire and now he’s energized. He knows my husband is a legal cannabas grower and has helped with bug issues, grow issues, etc. Now, he is excited about the hemp and the fact my husband knows so much about the plant. Should be an interesting year!

Expecting rain today. Hope so!

Have a beautiful day, everyone! Pleasantry

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"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." E.M.Foster

Lookout's picture

@Raggedy Ann

When I posted the NM walapini greenhouse. Hope Mr RA finds something helpful in the clips. I learned a good bit putting this together. As I said up-thread I'm developing a compost heated hot frame and some movable cold frames for our beds. I'll share those plans as I develop the project(s).

The hemp production sounds great....best of luck with that project, and I hope you'll keep us posted as it develops. Luckily we have a good well, but I'm going to re-build my well house and replace bladder tank, controller, and establish a better heating system for freezing weather. Always something to do isn't there?

All the best!

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Raggedy Ann's picture

@Lookout
one of my mother’s favorite sayings: when you own a house, your work is never done.

No truer words spoken!
Pleasantry

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"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." E.M.Foster

Azazello's picture

Here's a short vid on Venezuela, from RT:

Here's a longer one, RJ Eskow with Max Blumenthal: YouTube, 37 min.
Here's an article about football, from The Atlantic: The White Flight From Football
Today is Super Sunday, one of corporate America's favorite holidays. I think we'll skip the traditional Super Sunday feast of Buffalo wings, chips and cheap, yellow beer.
We'll have some pea soup and a glass of white wine instead.

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It didn't have to be this way.

Lookout's picture

@Azazello

Thanks for the clips. Max has been doing good work.

I catch the weather from Atlanta with an antenna, and even the weather is focused on the stupid bowl...amazing how we can instigate a coup and no one notices cause of the game. Kinda like the Olympics during Dilma's coup.

Just listened to Tulsi's Aloha announcement...her speech starts about 1:35 into it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMllW6PJH_s

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Lookout's picture

@Lookout

thought it was appropriate....
superbowl.jpg

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detroitmechworks's picture

@Azazello I got stiffed on a bet.

I said the Patriots were going to lose, after their perfect season. The guy skipped out claiming I hadn't said which game they were going to lose even though there was only one game happening that day.

Which was also when I stopped betting. I think it was a good call.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

ggersh's picture

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In the "Age of Trickle Down" why does most money go to billionaires?

We have a government in DC, of the MIC by SV for WS

NO MORE WAR

Lookout's picture

@ggersh

...is to be avoided IMHO. I don't even have a cell phone, just a landline and answering machine.

I feel for my addicted friends...but each to their own.

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detroitmechworks's picture

@Lookout at 2 AM. Because the message light blinked.

That was when I deleted Twitter. I created an account on facebook about 12 years ago, and remembered to delete that too.

If you can't live without something, it controls you.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Lookout's picture

@detroitmechworks

are pervasive in today's culture. But you have to let people do what they want to do. I'm not judgemental about it, but I think our culture would benefit from less connectivity. The internet at every moment might not be best.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

janis b's picture

@detroitmechworks

That’s true and wise; achieving that state is also clearly a significant part of our life’s work. I think most of us are trying to navigate the way between desire and reality. Thank you for your perspective.

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detroitmechworks's picture

@janis b For some reason they come easily, and google can never seem to find them in anything, so I assume they're original... or suppressed. Smile

I hope that wisdom, like love, is multiplied with the sharing.

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janis b's picture

@detroitmechworks

beyond what we might measure ; ).

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Anja Geitz's picture

@detroitmechworks

But I can't live without water either but that doesn't mean I'm addicted to it.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

detroitmechworks's picture

@Anja Geitz and I worry about turning our water supplies over to private corporations and contractors like we have. It's something that absolutely has been used to control populations.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@detroitmechworks

Our bodies do not need chocolate cake to survive.

Our government controlling our water source could in fact lead to our deaths, while the same could not be said for our government controlling our chocolate cake supply.

There's the inherent difference I meant to amplify with my original comment.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Lookout's picture

@Anja Geitz

Where profit is more important than non-contaminated water. Flint is just one of many examples of toxic public water.

A major aspect of permaculture is water management...retention and absorption.

Ever looked at the ingredient label of a chocolate twinkie? Sure looks toxic to me. Our high fructose diets are toxic in general....just takes awhile for obesity to kill us.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Anja Geitz's picture

@Lookout

However the original comment I replied to was discussing addictions. I merely made the distinction between desires versus biological needs. One may be addicted to chocolate cake, but they would not die from the absence of it.

I'm not sure why the government controlling our water source was brought into a discussion of addiction.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

janis b's picture

@Anja Geitz

I also think our more ephemeral needs are equally important.

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janis b's picture

@janis b

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Anja Geitz's picture

@janis b

is still not the same as our biological need for water. I think we can all agree that cutting off our chocolate cake supply would not in fact contribute to our mortality.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

janis b's picture

@Anja Geitz

Now if I substitute chips that might be another story ; ).

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Anja Geitz's picture

@janis b

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

magiamma's picture

and all.

watched the hedges sermon. I am not religious either but it is worth watching. he listed climate stats for the the first half of it. then talks about christian fascists and our responsibility to nurture and protect life. good on him.

have a good one...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

Lookout's picture

@magiamma

....I did too.

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janis b's picture

I know someone who would be interested in seeing this video. It may even work well here (where the earth is primarily clay), because from my observation the clay doesn’t crumble when dry.

It’s amazing how robust tomato plants are here in my small garden. They sprout in early Spring and prepare themselves for the hot, dry weather that follows. I do expect them to start to suffer a little in this prolonged hot, dry weather. I have to provide partial shade for most other veggies. The sun is very intense for a couple-three months a year. Last years Rarotongan chili pepper overwintered, surprisingly to me, and came back this season strongly. I think I’ll get some very hot little chilis over the next couple months. All the herbs, with the exception of cilantro of course love this heat. If you have any advise for growing cilantro in warmer temperatures I’d love to know. I have the veggies mulched with pea straw, which seems especially effective. It’s always a pleasure to grow things, regardless of the amount produced. Thank you lookout.

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Lookout's picture

@janis b

...in our hot summer, but it is a better spring or fall crop. Normally we intercrop them under other plants to give them partial shade. You mentioned watering, have you ever used an olla?

Cilantro advice from a grower in hot Manilla
http://www.urbangardeningmom.com/grow-cilantro/

All the best in the very deep south!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

janis b's picture

@Lookout

Thanks for the info. Using Ollas is such an elegant way of using water, organic and ancient, and very appealing. If I had the garden space I would definitely give it a try. Fortunately where I live has an abundant amount of rainfall annually, so I don't feel too bad about using the water I do because I am conservative in it's use. The Waitakere Ranges provide 80% of Auckland's water (pop.4 1/2 mil). Most Aucklanders are fairly conscious of water use, which is a good thing. I will use the advice you provided when I plant cilantro next. Thanks again, and it must be a little disorienting for you to consider that your living in the far north ; ).

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mhagle's picture

Been sick this past week, finally seem better this morning. Gardening in between times so only had a chance to finally read and watch a few videos yesterday. Wonderful! Hope to watch Chris Hedges this afternoon after work is done. Thank you all!!!

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo