Gary’s Blog: Ideas for the co-op etc….

Terraces with shed at the top

 February 28, 2015

From: Gary 


We finished terrace number three, and started working on its slope this morning,  to give Tami a starting idea on what we are trying to accomplish. It felt nice to do something different, and good to know we will have some area ready to plant a month from now when the rains start in the local version of “Prima Vera”.

I think we will be close at least to finishing the garden in time.  My next worry will be getting some chicken manure for basic fertilization.  I did talk to people in the co-op about getting some manure, as they have some, and want to see me garden to learn organic techniques…   So maybe we can get a decent price for here…

I’m confident with just that we can grow food fine…  and get ourselves off the supermarket chain gang…

I have been teaching Tami simple food recipes made from basic ingredients we can grow ourselves,  Its nothing fancy, wouldn’t win any blue ribbons or have clients coming back at fancy restaurants, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about getting by cheap for now, and home grown soon, and keeping one’s soul in the body via basic nutrition.

I have also been talking to co-op neighbors about various possible projects, that we could do together..  I had Tami buy a couple of simple chicken incubator thermostats online when we were in Oregon, knowing that here they were generally unavailable..  My plan is to build a couple of incubators, one for a few dozen, and another larger for maybe a thousand eggs…

I suggested to the co-op ladies that we could do this together, and start funneling local fertilized eggs into the smaller incubator, then do a chicken collective, until we could start filling the bigger incubator, at which point we would be in the egg and meat business, and have plenty of chicken manure on every farm to go organic..  It was like selling refrigerators to Eskimos, after them trying ice-cream…  These women have had chickens all their lives, but the main blockage has always been hens are only broody occasionally…  Meaning a rather large incubator would suddenly have the neighborhood cackling with unprecedented numbers of chickens.. which they know is a very good business..

And I was just told by my neighbor that it was discussed at a co-op meeting tonight, and the co-op president liked the idea and is going to come talk to us about it..  Gee?!  Where did we put those thermostats buried in all the stuff?

Another concept I suggested was booting up steel moulds for concrete aquaculture tanks, and getting a concrete mixer, and starting production for co-op use and for sale.. Aqua culture makes money here, so sales might be good.  And I designed a concrete tank that’s hexagonal, years ago, thinking for fish ladders, where you have a spillway, and stair step them down a hillside etc.  This would work perfect here with the available spring water and creeks…  And could be quite pretty if you backfilled around them, and used tanks with two or more spillways for splitters, and did chains of tanks…  I suggested they think about it and help me get going building moulds, and then we start using them to go into production, selling fish, and making fish fertilizer…  for their Wannabee organic farms… Also selling tanks..

Basically I am planting seeds and teaching at the same time, knowing that if we can get the neighborhood behind us, and get things rolling, one thing will lead to another…

I can pretty much run with the ball all the way to the goal posts, if I have them backing me…  I also suggested again doing green house frames, as a co-op venture…

What I know is the Co-op can market such things readily… and help get money and labor lined up. These are people that only half the houses or less own any type of vehicle.. And the nearest house with a refrigerator is maybe ¾’s of a mile away.. In fact the ladies were talking about wanting to get a freezer collectively so they could freeze things they grew…

We are talking an up from the bottom endeavor…

I am also suggesting that I teach a class or two, using a computer, to get them aware of online resources. Including Rodale Press, (Organic Gardening, and Prevention magazines) who also print organic topic related books in Spanish. I would like to boot the co-op a small library explaining the fundamentals of the things they are interested in..

They know they need more information, just don’t know where or how to get it, in a world with its main language being not their own…

Living here for me, is kind of like being the Bruce Lee of alternative technologies… ; )

I get to do battle with the chemical cartel bullies, and if I win, can free humble people from toxic enslavement….

I like it!

Bring ‘em on!

With the Co-op, all I can do is try. I learned long ago not to get my hopes too high with people.  But I do know if I start a successful and productive organic garden with Tami, and the locals see it, it will cause them to think, and to want to try it for themselves..

So if that’s all I managed to get to happen, it would be a very good thing here..

I also know we will be getting some help from organic friends coming down…  Which will jazz the locals, to see that we have some backup, and can field a new teacher occasionally..  

Basically what happens in these situations is friends show up, love the area and people, and decide they need a foot in the door too.. After that it gets yearly.. with everybody happy to see the friends from the US, every time the snow gets deep…

Works like magic!

This morning Tami was reading to me out of the Traverse City rag sheet online,

That the City Manager got a little wild and crazy, after too long in party mode…

I feel for those guys, No shortage of problems in the job, after a couple of generations of public agency management stuffing their retirements and insurance, and then having the ’08 crash lay it all bare..   Most cities and counties and even some states, have shortfall deficits now that, amazingly enough, equal numerically to how plush the retirements are for the people who voted themselves nice packages..

It’s human nature, a status quo, I saw it in my 20’s in the military; every time congress voted a raise, the lion’s share went to the officers, and there was an ever widening gap between them and the guys who did the dirty work…

It just amazes me what humans can justify, if given a job title and some power…

I couldn’t live like that, and live with myself..

Is any body’s life worth any more than anybody elses?  I don’t think so…

This the kind of thing that’s what makes me nervous about the “Technocult”, That it’s made up of fallible humans, and that all of us fit that description, so there really is no hope of building workable and lasting large organizations, because they just amplify our collective neurosis.

It is better to keep things small and simple, and to look to meet needs directly without the intermediary of money as much as possible. Basically it has become the favorite tool of those who cheat. And you are playing poker if you focus on using it.

All societies rise and fall, to last forever, something need only be perfect..  which we surely aren’t. To deny the possibility of increasing difficulties now, is to deny a de facto reality, and unless we can scale back, and down size, we are in for serious problems.. Everything has limits, and even big trees grow until they eventually fall over…

We have governments that are in business selling custom designed laws to the highest corporate bidders,  and who are treating common people as if they were cattle to be milked to death..  We have to start choosing alternative life styles and minimizing our feeding of the bears as much as possible, or our children won’t have lives worth living if all they know to do is chase money and screw others over.  Nash’s Equilibrium has a destination folks, and it isn’t a Nirvana. Take a look at the average city, does this remind you of an ideal scenario of human creation?

Being a prepper isn’t enough for the reality, we have to change our life styles in the now, and not wait for some ugly collapse to make everything wonderful again for us.

Very little ever gets fixed, by just doing nothing. And modern humans tend to fall into three camps; Those who hope nothing happens, and they never have to stop living as they are now,  those who hope a collapse comes and fixes things, and those who know better than both the above groups, and who aren’t waiting for fate to decide what happens. 

All I can say, is fundamentals first, and to get out of unhealthy situations at any cost. What good is success if you are dead?  I’d rather be poor and healthy, than rich and terminal.  Sometimes I wonder how so many people could have been driven so crazy as to create the modern world? Ain’t nuthin’ wholesome about it.

Personally, I don’t think the average person is capable of waking up in time to save anyone, especially themselves, but there is a movement happening, and I hope I am wrong. I do see things like tiny homes gaining popularity, and know this is just a beginning..  Going small is a start, but going self sufficient is what’s really needed.

People have to begin to protect themselves from reality, rather than living in a dream that never really was.

After minimalism, you discover mobility.

And as the Tao points out; he who stays endures…..

Anyway, lost in a lost world, and stranger in a strange land, but at least trying to do something that makes some small part of the world a better place for others besides myself…  Even if everybody could just get to there; to thinking beyond themselves just a little, and doing some small thing different to make a difference.. We have to start being different, or there is no hope.

Got connection tonight for a guy who cuts wood, locust, so we can start making work benches and some tent poles for the military tarps we have, to erect tarps for the work shop etc. It will all take time, but things are happening, and goals are falling into place..  I have a good feeling this time, that we are in the right place with the right stuff, and will manage to prosper. These are people with plenty left to gain, and who will probably end up better off than Americans when things go downhill. They at least still grow food, and life here for them is a long way from decadent.

We just work at things, and try to appreciate the beauty and the opportunity.

Tami read me an online article about Panama being the number one retirement country on the planet, for 7 times in a row.  It was a glowing account of life in the city or one of the Gringo areas, with costs of living ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 a month for those with more dollars than sense..  This underlines the point of what we are doing, minus all the vanity trips.  And as the dollar de-values, I suspect there will be a lot of rich yuppies trapped in a third world reality with no resources if they take the money fixes everything route.  I suspect that Tami’s cost of living will be more like a $250 a month, and that she can get that via working with the locals setting up businesses.

Personally I would rather work with the more humble locals, than throw money around in a city. More fulfilling to help people and kids, and forego being a high roller…

I suspect others will feel the same, even if they had the money to play the silly “I’m a Gringo Cow games”,  and then there is the added security of having one’s roots in agricultural businesses.  You can keep eating, even if the Magicians at the Fed run out of tricks and rabbits, to keep what is basically a Bogus Economic system operating.

Smart people hedge their bets,  not smart people believe Government Propaganda…

Anyway, that’s the news from The mountains of Panama,  where I just got offered 7 acres for $21,500  if anybody is interested..  Interesting piece, not for the vertically challenged, but would go for a million if in California, for some rich man to build a castle and winery on…



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