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Good idea fujisan,
Here’s another way to meet people: use the website http://www.meetup.com
I remember joe2baba pointing this out some time ago and it looked good to me. Not sure if anyone is using this yet because I haven’t been on in a while but it is something that looks very powerful and that I intend to use.
Thanks Mike (Damnthematrix),
I appreciate your feedback. I must say that I’ve not yet studied Permaculture, and I don’t know about farming in Australia, and 1.5 acres lends itself more towards self-sufficiency than farming – but not necessarily. Have you considered Biointensive gardening? Incidentally I’m not trying to "take you on" here. You have real world experience that I don’t have. But I do have to start somewhere.
Here’s a rough idea of what I’ve learned from the farming books that have been written by North American farmers.
Step one would be to assess the soil quality that you have. Are amendments required to adjust soil pH or various levels of minerals? These amendments would be incorporated in stages. This is an important step because certain missing nutrients can have a large ongoing impact on your production going forward. However once the soil has been brought back into alignment you can then work to maintain its balance going forward.
The next step for me would be to consider the pastureland. Do thistles need to be reduced by cutting them down before they go to seed? Do you need to build the grass by seeding by hand while the ground is wet before the growing season?
The next step would be to build exterior fences, interior fencing for managed intensive grazing, and arrange for water. Then purchase animals. I’m considering a mixture of cattle, sheep, and goats, on a daily move schedule, and follow these with a chicken tractor. This system has integrated benefits where each animal benefits the others in various ways, maximizing the production from the land, and while rebuilding the grass as they go. I would be targeting optimal grass height of, say 10in and eating down to 3in, in each paddock before moving on the next day.
The grass would include legumes to fix nitrogen in the soil. All of the grass builds up carbon in the soil. The roots go down into the subsoil to extract minerals. Since this system is powered by sun and water it pulls nitrogen and carbon from the air to put into the soil – thus you have more at the end of the process then you did at the beginning.
This is the reason that your permaculture example on concrete can work.
To say that you can’t sell anything off the farm just doesn’t sit well with me. Sure you want to retain nutrients to preserve the sustainability of the farming, and to even build up poor soils, but the system does generate excess foodstuff that can go off the farm.
For the most part my farming example above doesn’t include fossil fuels. And peak oil doesn’t mean the end of oil.
The IMPORTANTNT thing is that what you have remains YOUR property. Soil fertility is worth far more than any money you can get from selling produce.
I can’t stress how UTTERLY IMPORTANT this concept is….. Farmers today can ‘sell the farm’ at the markets only because they can then use the money to buy fossil fuel fertlisers to replenish the fertlity (but NOT the biota) of their soils. THEN, the entire system gets flushed out to sea, killing the oceans in the process. And we wonder why we’re in deep shit? I mean really, let’s get real here, the Matrix is wasteful beyond all comprehension……
I’m not sure why you refer to the fossil fuels of "mainstream farming" when I always refer to "sustainable farming". There are many branches of farming. I am trying to follow the methodology of the farmer and author Joel Salatin who integrates the different methods including permaculture. Perhaps you were just making a general comment about the current state of agriculture which I don’t disagree with.
Even if sustainable farming is only 98% sustainable you’ll recall that peak oil doesn’t mean the end of oil nor does it mean that the 2% brought back to the farm elsewhere annually requires fossil fuels for its production.
I agree that we are in transition. I don’t agree with the immediacy of collapse. There are a range of future outcomes. We are best to prepare for a wide variety of scenarios – rather than just the worst case. If we only prepare for the worst case scenario then it won’t help us if the future is different than that one isolated possibility. AmandaPops – don’t do anything rash. Oldmanvan has good, though very unfortunate, advice.
Learning is one of the key elements. I’d recommend everyone learn about sustainable farming and support it either as producer or consumer. This is an easy step starting now.
And I’m not saying as a producer that one has to buy the land. Joel Salatin doesn’t say that this is a good first step – becoming an apprentice and starting small would be better.
Hope this helps,
AmandaPops and NZSailor,
Perhaps one or the other of you could add an email address to your profile so that you can meet and work together? We will all need to bootstrap ourselves forward with those ahead on the planning helping those coming behind to make the transition.
My plan, once I sort out my living arrangements, will be to spread Chris’ message locally and try to encourage others to make the transition. Chris has identified that building awareness is the first step, then understanding, then taking action. The more people that you can reach and bring along will create the community that you need.
Here are the items on my to do list:
– start sustainable farming for myself, get renewable energy sorted out, lower my energy footprint
– spread Chris’ message to those that are receptive
– show others how to sustainably farm themselves so that they can become entrepreneurial – my hope is that it could appeal to the unemployed or to young adults or to those environmentally conscious especially if they are receptive to the Crash Course
– set up a small scale biodiesel plant – with a crushing machine you can turn oilgrains (like canola) into a mulch for livestock and vegetable oil then the vegetable oil can be processed into biodiesel and glycerine. I like the closed loop of the process because part of the biodiesel could go back into a farmer’s tractor to grow more oilgrains. What to do with the glycerine seems to be the question. Here’s a website that explores the issues: http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_make.html
– create a complementary currency to facilitate local trade – this is incredibly powerful. Chris has gone down this road and realized that widespread acceptance of the idea is important to getting the idea off the ground efficiently. See his comments here: https://www.peakprosperity.com/comment/10505#comment-10505
Rebuilding society at the grassroots level is a lot of work but we’ll end up with a better world in the process. There are many associated benefits to all of this beyond energy. Better health, lower stress, working in community, pride in accomplishments, time to do other things…
The more people we have, with their wide range of life skills, working on the transition the easier all of this becomes.
Not a small point at all. This is a fundamental part of Chris’ material but it is something that takes a lot of time to become comfortable with.
There are two kinds of money creation.
The first (which Chris presents second in the Crash Course) is currency creation – the Federal Reserve buying a bond and printing money out of thin air. Since that bond was originally issued by the US Treasury what is actually taking place is that the Federal Reserve is giving money from thin air to the US Treasury. By keeping these two institutions separate this hides the creation of money. This creation of money is electronic so it can be done on a vast scale – which the Fed has been doing lately.
The second (which Chris presents first in the Crash Course) is credit creation. When the money from the US Treasury ends up in a bank account this allows the bank to issue new loans after withholding a small part (fractional banking). These new loans are real money – identical to the currency creation (I’m just identifying them separately here to identify the source of the money). So $1000 of currency created becomes a $900 loan and then a $810 loan and so on until $10,000 of total money has been created.
Hope this helps,
I’m moving in this direction myself and preparing by learning as much as I can in advance.
There seem to be two routes (or a combination) that you can go down. Try to be individually self-sufficient or become a farmer or work directly with farmers.
A disadvantage of trying to be individually self-sufficient is that you don’t get the economies of scale of producing a particular item in quantity and then trading/selling within the community to get the other items that you need. Here’s an interesting book on the subject: The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It The Complete Back to Basics Guide by John Seymour.
An advantage of sustainable farming is that you can produce a tremendous amount of food and it provides you with an incredible opportunity to use your labor and the labor of others that would be interested in partnering with you. Since the value added part of farming is labor intensive (food processing) this makes a good match when society is creating a surplus of available labor as it is right now.
My favorite book on this subject is You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise by Joel Salatin. With just land, soil, sun, water, livestock you can produce high quality food that is the future that will trump agribusiness’ unsustainable practices that simply won’t work in a world of peak oil.
Personally, if we think that there is going to be a shortage of food I’d rather be producing a lot of it to feed the people that need it rather than just having enough for myself.
The next best thing to actually becoming a sustainable farmer is to buy directly from a sustainable farmer. My hope is that this becomes a grassroots effort, as both producers and consumers, because this brings sustainability back to the people and the planet.
Hope this helps,
I rarely have time to get back to the WSJ so it was nice to have you point this out this excellent article (even though I’m not a fan of the gold standard – I do appreciate a functioning currency). I liked the analogy to frostbite and heatstroke. Most especially I liked the close to the article: "…and remember you are under oath" (I won’t reveal the first part of the question and spoil the fun).
All the best,
that squaking flapping dude is intolerable, like a desperatly hungry baby bird nesting in your ear, he asks a dumb question and then continually interupts so it cant be answered. Embarrasing
…hasnt everything that Stephen Leeb said … in that segment since been shown to be a load of old bullocks? he should try listening for once and save us from that blackboard scraping voice
[quote=rufus]I find all the screaming and yelling on these shows to be silly and comical. [/quote]
[quote=castlewp]It makes me wonder why CNN would have this dolt on to debate Schiff. I just love how calm Peter is against this guy. [/quote]
Thanks castlewp for the post,
I recommend that everyone watch this for the comedy value. I’m still LOL.
All the best,
Great post. This could be used as a primer to the material in the Crash Course because it quickly illustrates how our system is unsustainable.
I liked the ending which is an illustration of the concepts of the book Natural Capitalism – especially since I’m a proponent of sustainable agriculture. I also like the concept of "living communities" which is an illustration of the book Deep Economy.
All the best,
The movie is Rollover (1981) and looks on the mark re: current events.
The last scene with Morgan Freeman was taken from the movie Deep Impact but the YouTube video is suggesting that he was playing the role of President in the 1981 movie and that this was foreshadowing Obama.
Thanks Kahibe for the good article,
Let me give you my impressions of each prediction (my use of the word "ought" going forward in my posts is a reflection of the book Financial Reckoning Day):
Nouriel Roubini – I agree except the depression ought to be worse than he predicts. Nouriel doesn’t comment on the impact of the rampant money creation because traditional economists (of which he is one) don’t focus on this.
Bill Gross – this is the status quo argument – bail outs and Keynesian fiscal spending will return things to normal – no concern about the impact of TARP or rampant money creation – sees profit potential from financial assets since federal government is bailing out financials – no concern about what impact this would have on the US dollar or the shifting of losses to the US taxpayer
Robert Shiller – I agree that stocks could drop 50% to reflect the losses that companies are going to record and since stocks will overshoot on the downside – I disagree that the economy is purely a confidence game – confidence does have its place but Hyman Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis would suggest that confidence = increased financial stability and now this has to unwind through financial instability (sadly on a scale of mammoth proportions)
Sheila Bair – I agree that all participants share in the responsibility for the bubble but I would lay most of the blame at the feet of the regulators – I agree with her comments about thrift but this is could be a gross understatement for what is coming
Jim Rogers – ah, breath of fresh air. I very much agree with his insights about physical commodities going up in relative price against labor – the impact of this ought to magnify the impact of the depression – this should be the siren call for us to take heed of the impacts of this. I’ve seen comments here and there suggesting that in the Depression of the 1930s people returned to the family farms to ride out the economy – in the current environment I suggest that people become apprentices to sustainable farmers, or at least relocate to rural areas and build local connections and work with farmers to do value added food processing. The handwriting on the wall is very clear to me why Jim Rogers relocated to Singapore last year. There is much to be said for a strong government to direct action in a crisis. I also agree with his comments that the Dow could fall below 4000.
John Train – I agree with the idea of "buying in Deepest Gloom if you can spot it".
Meredith Whitney – She has done a great job of analyzing this financial mess and calling things as they are. Her idea of a wholesale restructuring of the banking system makes sense. I don’t agree with the concept of shifting the losses to the US taxpayer. The comment about 2009 being the economy impacting the market makes sense.
Wilbur Ross – I agree that the economy can’t stabilize until the housing market stabilizes – little seems to have been done so far at the grassroots level to achieve this. I don’t agree with shifting the losses to the US taxpayer. I agree with addressing unemployment – but at a grassroots level. Everything so far done by the US government has been at the macro level – shifting wealth and income to the grassroots level is the way to reestablish balance in the economy. I base this on the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression in the section Inequality of Wealth and Income which I’ve found this evening and found tremendously insightful.
All the best,