Saturday, October 31, 2009

I get closer and closer to the end of this journal—must mean a new chapter of my life will soon begin. I wonder what lies in store?

The weird vibe I’ve been getting lately makes me wonder if the next chapter isn’t going to be about total societal collapse. Economically we’re teetering on the very edge of the abyss.

It’s unnerving.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I’m having a new thought tonight. I haven’t had time to work with it so it’s still very undeveloped, but I wanted to jot it down so I don’t lose it.

I’ve been so frustrated that we haven’t found a way to tackle all of the “converging catastrophes” we face. We haven’t found that crack that would let us enter into a new paradigm. The old paradigm is a sinking ship still trying to charge along at full speed, but all the while taking us all down with her. Stopping the madness seems impossible. How do you topple the system?  And not only topple it, but have something even better to replace it with?

Tonight the new thought has to do with not how to bring about change, but where to bring about change. I was thinking again about the land and the unique energy of each place. I was thinking about Jared Diamond’s book Guns, Germs, and Steel, and how Diamond believes that unique features of the land brought about the domestication of animals, the rise of sedentary lifestyles, city-states, eventually colonialism, etc. When I read the book I remember being depressed—it made a pretty convincing case that the rise of Western society was an inevitable and very organic process of the earth.

Tonight I am wondering—if there were propensities held in the land which led to the rise of our Western culture, might there not also be propensities held in the land that might give rise to the next paradigm?

Are there places in this world which would be conducive to birthing the next paradigm?  Are there places which possess the right “personality” for that?  Are there places that are already small-scale success stories?  Are there places more conducive to evolving or expressing solutions?

I need to think about this more—not tonight, too sleepy. But if such places exist, we need to work with those places and help to expand the solutions so they can work globally.

What are the geological features that would birth of post-consumer, post-ego paradigm?

Or, another way to think about this would be to have every locale do an inventory of its “personality” traits and learn what part of the solution it might be able to give birth to. I’m sure each locale has its own particular strengths—each locale might have something to contribute to a global solution.

I’ve got to give this more thought.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

We’re having a cold October. It got down into the low twenties the past two nights.  The garden is done.  I’m not even sure the chard made it through. When all is said and done the tomato harvest was 241 pounds. I could’ve gotten more if I had picked all of the green tomatoes but I let them go into the compost.

It was a good year in the garden. I canned tomato juice, tomato sauce, marinara, ketchup, hot sauce, salsa, and three kinds of pickles, froze tomato paste, pesto, zucchini, chard, and green beans, sun dried (well, oven dried) a batch of tomatoes, dried oregano, coriander seeds and dill seeds.  I’ve got a string of garlic, the small pile of butternut squash, beets still in the ground, piles of cantaloupe and watermelon (although mostly they didn’t ripen). I still have tomatoes on the counter, the giant bag of hot peppers to deal with, more chard waiting to be frozen and basil to be made into pesto.  Is still have to dig the last of the potatoes. Collin has a mountain of gourds (plus I donated all but one pie pumpkin because they just didn’t get big enough to bother with).

The failures this year were lima beans (again), the potatoes (darn grasshoppers), cabbage, and peas (I got a good harvest of snow peas, but only one serving’s worth of shell peas before the frost hit). The onions did poorly too. The sets I planted had their leaves snapped off by wind and hail so they didn’t bulb out very well, and the onions I planted from seed didn’t grow fast enough to produce full-sized bulbs.

But all in all it was a great year.  I can’t believe the season is over already. Next year will be even bigger and better. And next year I’ve GOT to get hens and rabbits.  That’s a must.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I’ve been getting really bad vibes they lately about the stability of our society. That’s on top of my regular doom and gloom about climate, population, and the environment. Despite the official line of bullcrap we’re hearing about the recession being almost over, I don’t believe we’ve even begun to see the worst of things. I still think we’re heading for something absolutely catastrophic—far worse than the Great Depression. They keep pumping fake trillions into the economy, as if that could possibly create any real change. It’s mere slight-of-hand. What’s the point of any of that when the dollar is totally worthless?

For so many reasons the time is now or never for converting to a steady-state economy. But it won’t happen.  The machine is too big. The only way it will happen is through catastrophic collapse of civilization, with the survivors having to rebuild from nothing—and who’s to say those survivors will be smart enough to do it right?

Personally I would like to survive the coming collapse just for the adventure of it, but at the moment I feel very ill prepared.

My most immediate goal is to deal with the food issue. I’d like to have a year or two of staples stockpiled. I normally have at least a month of food on hand simply because I tend to only do one shopping trip per month. But one month’s worth of food isn’t going to cut it. I need a big stockpile of beans, rice, flour, sprouting seeds, salt, yeast, sugar, etc., etc. I need a grain mill and a pressure canner. I need rabbits and chickens.  The list goes on and on. I need to practice foraging.  I need to learn about hunting and trapping. There’s so much to learn and acquire. Fortunately this is stuff I’ve always wanted to learn and do. Even if everything were peachy in the world at large, I’d still be working towards self-sufficiency. This just adds a sense of urgency to the process.