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Permaculture Design, Holistic Management, & Regenerative Business Solutions

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Climate Change

First Steps Toward A Global Change

As I began to think about how to begin doing this, I had some initial conversations with thinkers whose ideas and experiences I value.  I realized that I could make larger impact by sharing my thinking with groups who already are doing the work of trying to transform systems and cure large-scale social ills through philanthropy and business.  My work with TGI generated a lot of good thinking and experience around transforming supply chains, and gave me encouragement that many many dollars that flow through corporations are at the ready, just waiting to flow into better systems of production.  I know that businesses with tremendous economic impact are hungry for sources of goods and raw materials that have great transparency in how they are made, and for goods grown or made by the hands of people who are treated and paid fairly, and who have healthy communities and intact natural systems.  The demand is there, and rapidly growing.  This is good, because it shows me that there are enough people on the planet who at least say they desire something better than what is currently offered by the broken dominant system so rampant with exploitation, pollution, and destruction on all levels.  What is not yet there, is the fully developed and fully actualized alternative source.

I began searching for a way to start working from the grass-roots level at transforming the big things that current corporate ways of doing business are not good at doing – Even the best actors are not good at actually supporting long-term development, at the necessary level of investment, for the true transformation of those supply systems and putting their money into really transforming the quality and agency of the lives of those people upon whose backs their businesses are build and maintained. Currently, the dominant business models of eventually always trying to improve efficiency and cut costs wears down any innovators who might be trying to take a business in a more transformational direction which values multiple forms of capital, not just financial profitability.

So, I began thinking that transforming philanthropy and helping donors see the importance of understanding the true ramifications of their investments might be another important leverage point for shifting this global system into transformation.

There are so few aid programs or donors that truly think through what happens after their funds are injected into places and peoples lives are transformed.  Sure they hyper focus on short-term metrics, but its the long term story and the big picture the almost always are missing.  Its the million dollar question “Then what?” that never gets asks or reported on.

In this current broken global system we all live in, those transformed people almost certainly, if they get “helped”,  get sucked into the force of human beings that is causing the worst problem humanity has ever faced.  They too aspire to join their develped peers, and get sucked into the illusion of happiness which is actually just a twisted compulsion called over consumption, which seems to lead to a culture that cultivates humans that feel they live in a soul-less void where caring that the earth is undergoing biocide and humans are facing climate genocide, doesn’t faze them at all.  In this model, it would be better to do nothing, than spend billions of dollars adding more souls into the destructive forces of the dominant culture destroying the fabric of all life.  If an alternate reality isn’t explicitly designed into a donor’s approach, the dominant system prevails, and even though the donor might explicitly desire to alleviate social ills – because climate chaos is happening at the global scale and driven by our collective actions, all status quo actions actually lead back to contributing to the same problems that they set out to try to solve.

The logic driven, reductionist modality of thinking behind dominant culture, has ill prepared much of society to understand and think in ways that can grasp enormous challenges of this scope and figure out ways that can solve them.  To tackle these types of complex problems, basic ecological literacy, economic literacy and social systems must be well understood, and then critical thinking using a holistic approach must be utilized and actions evaluated that are equally enormous in their response to the problem the seek to solve.  I myself haven’t seen that type of thinking and educational background listed as a job requirement for any political or business leaders making important decisions that affect the fate of the world today.  If we continue to let them lead, unqualified and unprepared as they are, and equally arrogant and unwilling to listen to those who have spent the time to hone those types of skills, or to those who’s cultures remain intact enough to still foster that way of knowing, we will also be to blame for the outcome of our in-actions.

 

 

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Join Me in Leading – It’s Time For a Change

We have hit the exponential growth point in the curve of climate change, and all around the world, farmers that I work with are intensely aware of the present day realities that climate chaos is wrecking on their lives.  I am truly frightened by the enormity of the destruction we have allowed to advance to this point.  I am hopeful that the human spirit will triumph and we will rise to the challenge and stop this before it is too late.  I must start to act as I’ve finally realized that it may already be to late, and so far, no one else has fixed this.  Will you join me?

I finally realized I must act when I took the time to take a real hard look into the true and real depth of these realities. Now that I have seen them, the only way for me to emotionally and psychologically cope with these realities, is to be brave, stand up, and “Take the Lead” .  I decided rather than lie awake at night full of anxiety, I would be better served using my skills, knowledge and networks to start to fight for an alternative future than the one that current leadership has led us to.

I know I can not do this alone, but I must try.  I can’t sit here and wait for the world that I love to be destroyed by others who don’t see what I see.  I also know there are many, many, many of you out there, who feel as I do.  Together, we can fix this and I think I know how to start.

My seedling Vision for the Dawn of the Era of Regeneration

I know there are plenty of people on this planet today, probably the vast majority, who would love nothing more than to stop this madness today.  That knowledge is why I dare to act.   I know that it was just a handful of humans who got us into this mess,  so I believe that if a few of us put our heads together, we can figure a way out.

I’m not talking about a whole big decades long inter-governmental negotiation process for an abstract concept of trading carbon credits and allowing polluters to keep on polluting, etc. etc.  Government solutions have always been way behind the real innovation and solutions on the planet.  We have to do this  ourselves.  Their process won’t work in time, if at all. Its not focusing on the true root of the problem and that’s us.  Its humans, everyday, run of the mill, people doing what normal people do, but doing it increasingly in ways that are way out of balance with the realities of the natural world.  Since we have created this, the solution has to lie in changing how we behave and what we put our daily actions into changing.

It is time we take control of our destiny and protect what is rightfully ours.  We need to stop hiding behind stories that we are not in control.  This is our life that is at stake.  We must stand up and protect ourselves and stop giving that power over to governments and corporations and greedy individuals.  There just should not be any scenario where we let them continue to be able to destroy, pollute, abuse, and desecrate what is our, with no thought to our rights in the shared gift that is the Earth and its inhabitants. If we unite, we have power, more power than any other entity on this planet.  It is time we realize our power and use it to save ourselves.

With our collective intelligence, creativity, experience, social and financial capital, we have what is needed to make a rapid transformation of society.  We must start now, and we must begin with the steps we are able to take.  We don’t need to know every step of the journey in order to start.   Our path will reveal itself as we make progress.

I envision starting on this path, by putting my energy and resources into supporting areas and people on the planet who already know the truth in what I am saying, and who have already started out on their own paths to take back power and to reclaim the rights that are theirs, and others who are working tirelessly to regenerate their living systems.

I seek to help bring people together to figure this out, and then to spread our ideas and gather others into our network.  Together I know we can begin to make progress on a realistic path forward where individuals and communities become increasingly empowered to act.

I seek to find others with more resources and more energy,  so we can work together to  contribute to a rapid transformation of global systems into a new global paradigm where humans can reclaim the wisdom we evolved with over millennium, wherein we lived in families and communities with cultures that knew how magnificent and sacred the fabric of life is.

I know we have living examples and leaders ready to show us how to embark on a different way.  A way that humans can live in this world today, in ways that make sense within the real bounds of the natural world.

It is time to use all the amazing technology, wealth, and learning we have amassed, to re-establish systems where humans know their place within that delicate fabric of intricately threaded interrelationships of all life.  These leaders are already trying to help us all learn to live in ways that create true justice for the oppressed, and within systems of abundance that can meet our basic needs joyfully while repairing the damage done to the earth, and in ways that serve as an inspiration for rich inner lives where people can feel loved, and cared for, and can live in safety, health, and feel connected to all people and all of creation.

As our collective action takes root, and nodes of vibrant alternative systems emerge, more and more people will join us, and be able to see our progress as the beacon of hope in what otherwise will increasingly feel like a scary and desolate place of absolute powerlessness and ultimate destruction.

 

 

Put your permaculture ideas to work for Ugandan farmers now

Please help our friend in Uganda get points for his organizations idea that has been shortlisted on the Open IDEO challenge. He needs you to comment/ask questions/make suggestions on his idea to move into the next round. 1 week left to add your ideas and help Uganda permaculture farming organization here. Find his project here: A Project from Uganda run by Michael Ahabwe Mugerwa
 

Beginning in Treatment Free Beekeeping with a Flowhive

This is a whole new world for me. I’m really enjoying delving into the research and musings behind all the various versions of beekeeping wisdom for newbies out there. Today I was directed to this resource, by the Franklin County Beekeepers Association President.

I’m trying to figure out where to get bees to get started with my flow hive. I’m trying to find some that are as local as possible, that have mite resistant genetics, and that were raised without chemical treatments and antibiotics to start my new hive out on a good foot. Reference:

The
Complete Idiot’s Guide to
Beekeeping
(released May 4, 2010,
by Penguin

Kirk Webster of Champlain Valley Bees & Queens seems to have made a long term living example of the potential for this approach.  His bees are sold out for 2016 though, so am still looking for the first bees as the source for my venture into beekeeping. I’m hoping to learn more, go to his bee days in April and July, and do some plantings around my hives to augment the natural pharmacy available to the bees, based on some research that just came out that showed a couple of natural compounds from plants like wild tobacco and ones that contain thymol can improve certain parasite/illness conditions in bees up to 80% .

http://kirkwebster.com/index.php/feral-bees

I’ll keep you posted.

Common building products killing honey bills

https://pharosproject.net/blog/show/209/honeybee-killer-products

I got my flowhive in December and am just starting to watch videos and attend workshops to learn about bee keeping. I am enjoying learning about bees more than I expected. Youtube has a channel set up by FlowHive with some introductory videos which I’ve enjoyed. I also attended a portion of a Natural Beekeeping workshop at the NOFA winter conference last weekend. I have to say, I feel like I’m gaining confidence, but the test will be when my first package of bees arrive in the spring. I will start assembling my flow hive soon. More to come…

Is Your Farm Climate Resilient yet?

Are you ready for climate change?

This page is the beginning of a catalog of innovative appropriate technology, with costs, contact information for their purveyors, and ordering info/product reviews. Please contact me with items you know of that should be included.

The first thing any farmer making investments should do, is get a good understanding of the local predictions for climate change in their area. Continue reading “Is Your Farm Climate Resilient yet?”

Dreaming of starting a farm enterprise?

Help spread the word.  We are currently looking for 3 to 4 great people who

 

want to share a house and homestead and collaborate on permaculture and earth based regenerative businesses.  I am offering some consistent professional mentoring in permaculture design, PDC teaching, and farm business planning to those who come to live here. Continue reading “Dreaming of starting a farm enterprise?”

Maybe the tide is finally starting to shift

Maybe the tide is finally starting to shift, maybe humans will actually do something before we destroy our ability to survive and thrive on our tiny blue planet,
Open letter from Food Company CEO’s to World Leader’s, urging action on climate change at COP in Dec.
http://www.ceres.org/press/press-releases/global-food-companies-unite-on-climate-action
and Pope’s letter urging action by all for our shared home the earth http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

Today, I finally feel less alone in this struggle, and like humanity may make a lick of hope, the possibility for a great leap in its moral evolution, and just in the nick of time.

Upcoming Permaculture Design Certificate course for college credit at Greenfield Community College

The permaculture design certificate course that I will be teaching this year will be held at Greenfield Community College over the summer. The course number is SCI137. It is a 4 credit science lab course that can also be taken through Continuing Education (a great value at around $700 non-credit option). It is part of the new certificate program offered by GCC in Farm and Food Systems. http://www.gcc.edu/farmandfoodsystems

Registration is open now, and the course will be limited in size, so anyone interested should sign-up soon for the remaining slots.

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