this article, acknowledging the fact that *baby deer* die from harvesters, suggests using *infrared sensors* to detect their bodies rather than *not using machines that kill tons of animals* so we can eat industrial plant foods
So a little story about the time we naively explored the idea of sharing the land we bought in Uruguay with some "like minded" folks from Germany, and how quickly and ridiculously it went south.
@RizomaAt and I bought 9 acres of land in Uruguay in 2012, when we were tender 28 year olds. We had long thought "wouldn't it be cool to set up some kind of mini-village on the property with others like us?" We were still in Chicago saving money for the move.
We listed the property on an intentional communities directory and put up a website. We started fielding requests for more information. We had regular meetings with people seeking to move to Uruguay. None amounted to much. Mostly people dreaming.
We've got to talk about the future of agriculture. Specifically, what's the vision? And what's likely to succeed in this transitional era?
I argue that we need to start at the smallest possible scale, lest our inability to solve many complex problems at once take us down.
Others have argued that the family scale farm is somehow inherently racist. We can get into discussions about land access and power, but for the sake of remaking the food system let's try to narrow our scope to the problem at hand: feeding people sustainably.
If feeding people sustainably is our scope, we must be realistic about how this can happen. We need to face the facts that we have lost generations of knowledge on how to produce food outside of industrial ag. Many of us are stumbling around in the dark.
When I saw the image above yesterday I almost began to cry. All of us have endured many years of community deprivation, loneliness, and last year was the most intense yet. We all want to crawl out of our screens and toward one another. But where to even start?
I think the answer might be in the model of psychedelics research, which has been showing promising signs of helping with many of the disorders of our lonely society: anxiety, depression, PTSD.
The problem right now is we are trying to yell at plants to grow without tending to the soil. That is, we are shouting "we need community!" without asking how it is made.
It's all backwards. We need to build the soil, the substrate out of which community grows.
Practically this means cultivating the base of all human community: a connection to the material world. If we as individuals take back responsibility for some of our material needs we are forced to rely on others if we will have any success in creation.
This is such a good illustration of my theory of change. These activists would have one million times more impact on the climate if they left that cow shit on the farm so it could build soil and literally sequester carbon.
When things are expensive, people learn how to fix them.
We don't need to "develop a culture of repair." We need the built world to not be subsidized by cheap energy anymore. When that happens, you bet your ass you're going to see formal and informal repair shops everywhere.
You should see some of the cars driving around here in Uruguay from the early 20th century. Because it was cheaper to rebuild them than to buy new.
Ok this convo gave me a few insights. Good low tech:
- capture moving water (rivers, tides thru wheels, etc.)
- solar water heaters/dehydrators/cookers including clotheslines!)
- passive solar buildings
- simple windmills (e.g. as well pump)
If we want to go high tech (solar photovoltaic, large wind turbines, dams) we've really got to think about storage (batteries) and distribution. IMO trying renewable energy generation to a grid is 1000% better than individual batteries in houses, cars.
Above all else energy consumption needs to go way, way, down. Luckily there are SO MANY inefficiencies (like shipping peaches from Chile to be packaged in Thailand and eaten in US) that can easily go away without too much pain.
First day of school in Uruguay! Let's talk about rural schools here. This model works quite well and could serve as an example for primary education in certain places.
One classroom. 15 kids aged 4 to 11. One teacher and one teaching assistant. School day is 10 am to 3 pm. Lunch is at noon. Kids eat together and learn table manners. Then they all brush teeth and play until 1 pm. There is a garden and an orchard.
The school day is not very long. 4 hours of classroom time is enough to focus on a foundation: reading, writing, math, science, history, etc. Kids therefore aren't expected to sit for many hours. Learning is in short bursts, in line with kids' attention span.