Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Power of Eight and Three (Reinventing our Native Cuisine)

(This is for Charles Hugh Smith's Website)

There is a revolution taking place. A revolution without guns, without ideology, without rules and regulations. Without spies, gulags, power-hungry rich people verses power-hungry poor people. This is a revolution involving the elderly, middle-aged, young, and even child soldiers. This revolution has upper class office workers, professors, factory workers, restaurant workers, rednecks, and poor people in the ghetto. This is the Permaculture Revolution.

I was introduced to this revolution six months ago. I found out about Peak Oil over a year ago and began researching everything I could find. I think I've watched the first ten pages of Youtube videos on Peak Oil. I checked the “Breaking News” at Life After The Crash everyday. I checked the Bloomberg site for the price of a barrel of oil twice a day. I was going nuts with fear. Then I realized what I must do is take control of the situation. Then I read about Permaculture and all the activities people are doing to make their cities able to produce their own food.

I had grown up around gardens and farms living in rural Ohio. My father had a large garden and so did one of the neighbors. So I went to the book store and bought a bunch of books on gardening and started reading up. Also my roommate's father, on whose land I'm gardening, grew up without electricity in rural Kentucky. He used to plow with a mule and live the whole year on what his family grew, buying only sugar and flour.

This first year is a training year. I have cabbage, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and corn and beans growing up together. I have potatoes growing in tires, a watermelon and squash patch growing amongst weeds. I planted two apple trees, one cherry and a plum but the plum died recently. I also surveyed the area and found wild edible plants, there is wild asparagus, grapes on a fence, domestic apple trees, burdock, white pine, and dandelions. All of which can be eaten or made into teas that are rich in vitamin-C.

I have a well which can't be used for watering plants because Global Warming-related lack of rainfall has caused the water level in the well to drop fifteen feet, and any excessive use has been causing the pumps to break. Also I live in the middle of a natural gas field. Their drilling has messed up the water table. So I hooked up a plastic garbage can I got from work for free to the gutter system of the house.

I worked recently with a gardening group called Grow Youngstown. Grow Youngstown started this year. They are a non-profit organization that is trying to bring gardening to Youngstown. Youngstown has many empty lots and has a lot of room for possible gardening. The group's leader is Elsa Higby who I met and who has a sincere interest in bringing gardening and farming to the city. Grow Youngstown for their first year received one lot of ground. They had to throw down a lot of soil and manure to make the land usable but they have persevered. They have potatoes, onions, tomatoes, etc. growing on the lot. When I worked with them they brought in a group of young people from the Juvenile Dentition to help. These supposed “trouble makers” behaved perfectly and worked hard to pull weeds and mulch. People walking down the street kept stopping and asking what was going on. Grow Youngstown is planning on getting more vacant lots and hosting more seminars on how to garden.

Having these groups in our cities is really positive. When diesel gets high enough, our truckers will not be able to deliver their loads. And who knows what the floods in the Midwest will do to the price of corn in the future.

As things get worse people are going to be looking for food and ways to get food. If there is already a group of gardeners and farmers in the community, the community will have a place to go for instruction and help. They won't be starting from scratch. People will be sitting in their houses hungry and go, “Hey, I think we should grow our own food. But I don't know how.” And their friend, husband, wife, or kid goes, “Hey, there is community thing down on Oak Street. Lets go ask them how to do it.” As opposed to, “There's no food and I don't know anything about farming, maybe we should riot or steal.”

Reinventing our Native Cuisine

I read this book called History of Food by Reay Tannahill. The book describes ancient cooking methods, how they could only eat what was near by, how they cooked their foods based on possible cook times: by how much fire wood they had.

The book showed that if there are no semi-trucks and boats bringing food from far off places, you're going to have to create a cuisine based off what will grow where you live. You are going to have to find staples that will grow in your native environment and figure out combinations and ways to cook them together that make a meal.

The Power of 8 and 3: I live in North-Eastern Ohio and am basing my picks for possible crops on the environment here. It must be noted that things like eggplant and watermelon can grow here. But eggplant needs pesticides because they get attacked by bugs. And the small version of watermelon will grow here but it doesn't produce a large amount of food and takes up space, and it cannot be preserved and kept through the winter.

1.Corn: Corn can be preserved, made into cornmeal, and used to feed animals.

2.Beans: Beans can be preserved and dried.

3.Squash: Squash is easy to grow here. You throw down a pile of compost, put the plants in, and they grow.

4.Cabbage: This is a Russian staple which has kept them alive during some hard times. You could easily grow two seasons of cabbage here and it is easy to preserve in different forms.

5.Potatoes: Potatoes are another staple that can grow here. Potatoes I think would be the savior of many places if they were taught how to rotate crops so the potatoes do not become diseased. And potatoes can be grown in car tires right on top of concrete. And we know we will have a lot of car tires to go around.

6.Tomatoes: They can be eaten raw, or preserved in sauces.

7.Peppers: Peppers will grow easily here.

8.Apples: Apple trees grow easily here. You can make apple sauce, apple-cider, to preserve apples, and you can eat them raw.

There are many staples that can grow here. If yards, empty lots, empty fields, large spaces in parks, and fields that are currently being used for feed-corn were covered with these staples, it would be possible to produce enough food for the people of this area. This would create jobs because without huge tractors and the ability to crop dust and pesticides, it would require a huge human workforce to maintain the farms, but they should be able to grow a surplus so we could still teach our kids how to read, have markets, people making clothes, entertainment etc. Also it has been proven that human maintenance yields more than machine maintenance. If a plant falls over, a human can push it back up with some dirt. A human pays attention to detail. As opposed to throwing a bunch of seed down on thousands of acres and some live and some don't. Let the tractor sort it out theory.

The other three may surprise you. There are wild edible plants that live beside us and we love to mow over and weed whack. What is important here is the vitamin-C content. Because if a human does not have vitamin-C they get scurvy. And if live in Ohio and you want coffee and tea two of these plants can make it.

1.Dandelions: Dandelions can be eaten and even made into coffee. The flowers and leaves can be eaten. The leaves need to be boiled for a short time to rid them of a bitter aftertaste and they are edible as a salad. The flowers can be fried and taste very good, like eggplant. The roots can be dried, crushed, and made into coffee. The coffee does not contain caffeine, but it contains a large amount of vitamin-C which will replace the lack of oranges and the possible lack of milk that may take place. As we could see from Germany's milk farmer strike it is possible to be without milk.

2.White Pine Needle Tea: Native Americans drank white pine needle for its vitamin-C content. If there is no milk and oranges White Pine Needle Tea will become important. It has five times the amount of vitamin-C than oranges and helps fight colds. And the sap from a white pine can be used to heal cuts. The easiest way to get mass production of this is to get Christmas Tree Farmers to focus on White Pines.

3. Burdock: Burdock is a weed that grows everywhere, and is in everyone's yard. It has large elephant ear sized leaves and in the second year of growth it becomes that horrible Velcro plant. But the first year root can be taken out of the ground and eaten. The root is very good for you, Burdock helps with coughs, colds, tonsillitis, sores, arthritic conditions, contains 45% insulin etc. The leaves can also be eaten when they are cooked. In Japan, Burdock is eaten everyday, but we Americans mow it over. Burdock can also be stored all winter.

I have this terrible image in my head if things got really bad of some sad looking Americans starving to death surrounded by dandelions and burdock.

These are plants native to North-Eastern Ohio. Different areas should check out what staples can be produced, what fruit trees grow, and what can provide Vitamin-C if there is a shortage of milk and orange juice.

We need to figure out what grows well in our local environments and can produce a large amount at the same time. In San Diego it could be The Power of 5 and 5 because California can grow grow different types of fruit trees. But we need to address there are certain power crops that can grow an abundance and alert people of what those are.

This year's planting season has passed. I propose that this winter those who know about gardening, in gardening clubs or organizations get motivated and start canvasing their neighborhoods and town halls. Start writing opinion articles for their local newspapers and town reviews. Start getting the word out. There are organizations like Grow Youngstown in many cities. Go there and join or at least participate. Try to make friends with people with similar ideas. There are a million things to learn about gardening, you can learn from each other. Someone might be a master tomato grower, another a master potato grower, trade knowledge, socialize in person, with the soil, be a human. Because in the last six months I've learned that growing food can't be taught by reading it, reading about it can give you ideas, but learning from a person is the best way to go. You aren't going to learn the difference between loam, clay, and sand soil from a book. You're going to need to stand next to an experienced gardener, and hold the soil in your hands together while they point out the differences.

If you live in a neighborhood of several gardeners, go up and introduce yourself. Start a dialogue about world events and how it would be good for the gardeners to meet. Ask them if you tried to get more people in the neighborhood to garden by canvasing see if they would like to help the new gardeners. Most people will be happy to help their neighbors learn how to garden.

Make a small pamphlet of world energy issues, why it is important garden, and a list of staples that can be grown and wild plants that can be eaten in your area.

Something beautiful can happen here if we let it. Grow Youngstown has a lot of land where eight people garden together. The gardeners are working together. They are working for free. Everyone is going to take home some of the harvest. There is no sole owner. No overseer or boss making sure they do their work. They are doing it because they know it is important.

We have a choice in the future. If the semi-trucks stop delivering and the farm tractors don't run either. We must choose between latifundia or The Permaculture collective farm. A latifundia farm is a plantation with a sole owner who forces people to live in shacks like serfs. The serfs go out and do all the work, get paid little, and live sad lives. But we could choose Permaculture. We could choose to work together. To find farm land together, clear those spaces together, and work those spaces together.

This is why Permaculture is a revolution. It is people working together to bring back agriculture to the normal people. The group dynamic has been lost during three hundred years of industry and capitalism. But we can regain it. We can regain a sense of unity, of control over our lives.

There is an alternative resource, it is YOU! YOU are the alternative resource that can produce your own food. And if all YOU, view yourself as a person that can produce YOUR food, and create YOUR own world. Then you have a collection of YOUs, which make a group. Which make a TEAM. And what do you have then? UNITY.

The problem isn't Peak Oil or inflation or The Republicans or The Democrats or the big oil companies or Saudi Arabia. The problem is that YOU think you can't do it. YOU think you can't do it because all your life people have been telling you to listen to the television for answers, to listen to politicians for answers, to listen to advertising for what to buy and where to go. YOU can tell yourself what to do.

Get out there. Stop constantly reading Peak Oil articles being paranoid, stop being angry about oil companies or Republicans. YOU don't need them. Take control of the situation. Google your city and the word permaculture or grow or garden. Find those people, join them if you know how to garden, learn from them if you don't. Figure out what grows best and can be preserved through the winter. Stop planting stupid ornamental trees and grow some fruit trees in your yard. Instead of letting your kids play video games all day. Get their asses up and have them help you work on the garden. You'd be surprised, kids love to do things with their parents. If you didn't know your kids want to spend time with you, going to the zoo or a ball game once a year isn't spending time with them. Working with them all the time in the garden, building things together, creating together, sharing responsibility together, that's spending time. And you will be surprised how much work they will do.

Most of all when the semi-trucks stop delivering massive amounts of sliced bread, McDonalds, and Doritos. And your neighbors who never paid attention are walking around looking for food. Don't put on the attitude of, “I was prepared, go screw yourself.” Look at your neighbor as a human like you, who wants to work again, who wants to feel like a person again, who wants to live. Be a human and show them how to grow food. Have a community meeting, find out who knows how to grow what, who did construction and knows how to build things, who might be a welder, maybe there is a person that used to work for a theater company and knows how to make clothes. And even go as far as finding out who plays instruments so you have entertainment, find who has books, build a small community library in an abandoned house. There a million things that can be done, you know that one neighbor with the big ugly fence around their yard. Use that yard to keep the chickens in.

A Prmaculture Rvolution will not create a utopia. People in the north will be cold in the winter, and those in the south will be hot without their air-conditioning. Without hospitals getting supplies as they used too, many deaths will occur from simple things. Personally I've had spinal meningitis and was bit by a brown recluse on my chest by my heart. If there were no hospitals stocked full of antibiotics I'd be dead twice now. There will be a lot of sadness over dreams never being fulfilled by those who lived during the oil-age era. Personally I wanted to be a writer or maybe a restaurant owner. Now I think I want to grow potatoes and maybe if flour is coming in make gnocchi with them and sell or barter the gnocchi. But you will be alive with a sustainable life that allows for some leisure time. What we have to recognize is that we are alive not for cell-phones, cable television, video games, fancy cars and Internet blogs. We remain alive for those special moments with friends, lovers, our kids. There will still be the beauty of sunrises and sunsets, of the smell of spring, the color of the autumn leaves.

The problem is in how we view the world. How we view ourselves. We have been trained to view ourselves as commodities that sell ourselves on the “job market” like one sells cars or cheeseburgers. We have come to view ourselves as consumers, owners, as people who don't create their world. But let others create it for us. We go to college and vocational schools to work for people we never meet. We eat food from farmers we never meet. We drive cars and live in houses made by hands we've never seen. We don't believe in ourselves and we don't believe in each other. We think that FEMA or alternative resources or some super leader will come along and save us. The problem with that is that if everyone thinks there is somebody somewhere going to save us, then there is actually no one trying to save anyone, just a bunch of people waiting to be saved. We think that if we have enough money we will be happy. We think if can get enough products and gadgets we will be safe. Our world-view is going to have to change. When Rome fell they switched from the opulence loving profiteering Roman world-view to Catholicism. Which was the world-view of Jesus which is that man lives a suffering life, but by desiring less, we can live through hard times. The new world-view will have to contain the spirit of Jesus, Buddha, and Diogenes, that we must lesson our desires. We must make our desires relative to what we need and not to what we want. Or at least focus on our needs first, and our desires when the work is done. Unlike now which is to get jobs to fulfill our desires and hardly ever worry about our needs.

I leave you with a quote from Diogenes, “Diogenes was knee deep in a stream washing vegetables. Coming up to him Plato said, 'My good Diogenes, if you knew how to pay court to kings, you wouldn't have to wash vegetables.' 'And,' replied Diogenes, 'If you knew how to wash vegetables, you wouldn't have to pay court to kings.'”


Grow Youngstown

How to make Pine Needle Tea

A site on Burdock


jereme said...


I like your moxy and enthusiasm but the pessimist in me is winning the arguement in my head.

To be honest, if the oil depleats and the trucks stop then we will see what real terror is.

The weak will be stamped out. The strong will take everything.

Including these gardens.

I'll be in the jungle in Belize, alone, surviving off the natural resources. Other people will only slow you down and possibly get you killed.

That is a fucked up way of thinking but I believe it to be true.

You should research what the medical marijuana co-op grows in California are doing.

THey have accomplished this type of "social" program. It does work but they are in fear that at any time the feds will come and burn everything down.

Those are the guys with the guns and power.

Those are the same assholes who are going to ruin your gardens when the oil is gone.

But I like the idea. It is a start at least.

I'll see you in the fire.

Tao Lin said...

that was really nice

christopher cunningham said...

it depends on if it goes down slow or fast.

slow and we might make it work; give everyone time to come to terms and make good decisions.

fast and it's gangs with machetes, shotguns peeking out from broken windows, stinking red gutters, etc.

but for now, gardens and a measure of hope for sanity...

Noah Cicero said...

Everyone says this, "The weak will be stamped out. The strong will take everything."

and, "gangs with machetes, shotguns peeking out from broken windows, stinking red gutters, etc."

Humans are pack animals and when they get really scared, usually unify. The third world countries that can't get unified, are usually countries with development coutries using their money to divide them for their own purposes. If that money is no longer coming, more unity can come.

Cuba which has barely any oil didn't go around killing each other, but unified and are using permaculture to feed themselves.

The Wild West which could be considered a view into what an unstable environment looks like, if you look at the history of the shootouts and big murder sprees, they only add up to like three dead at once.

If you can get even three hundred people to work together, a band of 10 strong men won't be able to do anything to that 300.

If everyone is hungry then everyone will have the same urgency. Which will cause unification.

I think I am not so pessimistic is because I've spent my life around "The Strong". Hell my brothers are both six five, the one that is dead carried two knives on him at all times and a shotgun in his van. I've worked with nothing but poor people all my life and went to a blue collar school. My father and his sicilian family have ties to the mafia. And I've spent a lot of time in the stripping world full of strong ass females and big ass bouncers. I mean Bernice is five ten 150 pounds of all muscle. And her best friend is the girl featured in the The Warrior story from The Condmned. And I grew up with ten guns in the house and can shoot a beer can from 30 yards away.

So I am surrounded by The Strong, but I can see they are rational when it comes to food. And they have been working with their bodies all their life and will be able to work with their bodies in a different form the factory to the farm.

But I know and must recognize that this is an area thing. A place like the Youngstown area is full of farmland and farmland that went fallow after the corporate farmers took over. And our suburbs aren't what is traditionally considered a suburb. We have more like neighborhoods. They were built by the steel mills around 80 to 100 years ago. And they alloted usually an acre. And as time passed houses got burned down or abandoned and removed. So in this neighborhood which is common here there is a lot of open space. There are also a lot of fields that are currently fallow, one which is ten minutes walking distance away from me. Which could be used again and require a hundred people to work on it.

There is a massive amount of possible farmland in the rust belt, and if there were no tractors and humans had to work on them, they could easily get people from the cities to come and work on them.

Now I don't know what a place like LA could do, I've been to LA several times and everyone lives really close together and it is desert. It has a large Mexican population that grew up poor and probably were already involved in someway with farming. And know the habits of being without much. So I mean, a place like LA is in a completely different circumstance than places on the other side of the Mississippi. Our land is fertile but unlike the midwest we can't produce enough to supply restaurants with endless amounts of food. And we can't grow wheat either. Or have endless fields just to feed to cows.

But the key is, for every worker in the field, there needs to be a surplus of food created, like for every manual worker, that worker creates food for five or ten people. I guess in Rome at one point for every one worker, they created food for 30 people. The area is covered with fields. And if everyone had a garden in their yard. They would be able to create a massive of food.

Concerning if it will be slow or not. I think it will be quick in terms of history, but it is suppling some time. Considering we have to mark the starting point like five years when jobs starting getting lost. And then the foreclosures came.

Like for me, where I work just lost 400,000 dollars last month and closed 28 Lone Stars six months ago. For Berncie's dad whose land I'm using, his factory is now only operating four days a week.

If the banks collaspe all one day, then maybe horrible shit will happen. But I don't think the horrible shit will last forever. People will realize quickly that rioting and holding a shotgun will not provide what they need. And comes to terms that they live in a different world, that requires different habits and jobs.

And if you are so worried about the strong, become the strong, and I have to admit I sharpened my machete two days ago.

Noah Cicero said...

I want to say what I describe is very pessimistic.

It involves dreams being destroyed, world views being destroyed, a lot of Trails of Tears type of shit.

Could you imagine a 100 thousand people living in a city getting told, "Either you move to some podunk town and work on a farm or you'll die."

All those women carrying babies, all those men carrying what they can on their backs. There will be a lot of tears.

History is made up though of exoduses from rural to urban, from urban to rural.

Read Herodotus, people are constantly migrating in there.

Look at Rome, The Punic Wars occured and people left the rural areas and went to the cities. And Rome got North African wheat fields. Then eventually the cities were unsustainable and people went back to the rural areas.

Then when industrialization happened, everyone left their farms and went to the city.

There are a lot more periods of history when people moved from the rural to the urban, I just named the major ones.

My point is that this is nothing new in human history.

jereme said...

Yes, I do believe we were pack animals at one time. But language and cognitive thought has turned us perverse.

We are no longer pack animals led by an alphamale. Pack animals work together to survive.

Humans do not do that any more for the most part except deep in the jungles where education has not taught them that they can be individuals. That they are more valuable then others in the tribe. That they are all alpha males and the world is for their taking.

Any data out of Cuba has to be backed up. I don't believe the lies coming out of that island and I don't believe the lies being fed to me by my government about that island.

So I'm going to throw that out completely.

As for the Wild West, what was the population in terms of murders?

A population of 300 with 3 murders isn't a very nice place.

From what I have read about the early days of the West, it was every man for himself.

What socialist programs where exhibited during those times? Where they abundant, successful, etc.

"If you can get even three hundred people to work together, a band of 10 strong men won't be able to do anything to that 300."

Sure they will. 300 together working as farmers does not translate into 300 who are willing to die for the food they are producing.

History is rife with these stories.

The bottom line is that society is weak. Humans are weak. I don't trust them.

when my own personal Apocalypse comes, i'll be alone and alive in the jungle while you bicker over who stole food, who wants power, who is willing to fight to protect their new reality, etc.

I like your enthusiasm. I am not "shitting" on your ideas. I promote them. Go start a garden.

I am only making a decision for myself.

Noah Cicero said...


I don't know, you live in LA. I've been there to visit and lived in San Diego for a couple of months. There are a lot of people there. Like between Tijuana, San Diego, and LA you have like 15 million in a stretch. I don't know the number. The only big city people I can compare it to is NYC, and pretty everyone I know there is perversely alienated in someway like you describe.

I think it would have a lot to do with where you live and what kind of generalized personality that exists there.

Here in the Youngstown area, it is kind of rural, kind of city. There are like 200,000 people spread out over say fifty square miles. The people are a bit depressed and drunken but they are open, will talk, and aren't office worker type of people. They have been working with their bodies all their lives, and could transition easier than say a pure urbanite, or a person that ran to the city because they view country life as something bad.

I would say if a bad depression took place, I won't use the word economic collaspe because that makes it into a zombie movie or something. But if a horrible depression took, I think it would depend where you were.

NYC would be bad because everyone is alienated and doesn't want to work their bodies. Eastern PA would be good because there is farmland and people are open with each other there. Kentucky will be good, because they are really going to want more coal then. Nebraska would be good because they have farmland and not many people. Florida will be a hot hellhole and if they don't have the money to keep back the swamp life, then things will be ever worse. If you live next to a train track where supplies could come. There are all kinds of contingent things. I mean look at America now, Las Vegas is where gambling takes place, LA where movies take place, NYC where media takes place, etc.

Here are I think there are possiblities, there is a lot of farmland, and a train goes through Youngstown.

Bernice worked with a youth group in Youngstown yesterday to plant a garden in town. There are two groups now planting gardens. And today I got an email from someone in Oregon who is trying to do that there.

Also today I found several mulberry trees in the yard.

Also: to the alpha male thing. That comes from movies. Tribal societies were predominately led by a matriarchy. Which means they were led by women. They thought women had the most magical powers because they gave birth, had periods, and made the clothes. They had chiefs but they were based off of magical powers or age. Not size. The alpha male idea doesn't have anything to do with human behavior. It is strictly concerning animals. And most tribes and even ancient societies and in the middle ages, the leaders were picked by a vote. Not a total democratic vote like we have now. But still a vote. Many native American tribes had a form of democracy. Many roman leaders were picked by democracy, some not, some were. Or they were picked by their deeds and intelligence.

jereme said...

I concur that location will play a big factor.

Regardless, I don't trust that a people will inherently do "good" within a group or alone.

I guess the root is that I don't trust people.

I have been to jail before. I have seen the negative spectrum of "pack behavior".

Here in Orange County the last of the orange groves were forced out. An aging latino man owned the last groves. He was forced to sell his land from what I remember.

That is very disheartening to me. This place was prosperous because of the orange groves and strawberry fields and other agricultural products.

Now it is a concrete jungle.

I want to believe. Trust me I do. I commend you.

marilynpat said...

Great stuff!! Reminds me of my Mother Earth News mania, Helen and Scott Nearing's Living the Good Life....all '60's memories. My young family went a hunting communes....and discovered the Green Movement born in the 1920's.
There was even an 'elder' on the top floor who escaped the city in those times to be on his own. It wasn't peak oil or lack that sent them in that was the pure thrill of being self sufficient and self sustaining that moved those folks...imagine!!
I live in California now, where the fires, floods, mudslides, threat of major quakes, lack of water, over-population make me yearn for some of those '60 dreams once again...Guess I'm a pessimist about our culture/society. You really see a big dose of greed, excessive living, entitlement out here. At community/political events, there's hardly anyone under 45 (except in Portland!) We need some of your Youngstown attitude EVERYWHERE!! Thanks for what you do! Also, tho, I'm sure you must know about him already, if not, check out James Howard Kuntsler, author of The Long Emergency and Made by Hand.....

Noah Cicero said...


Pack behavior can get fucked up. I hate think about what people in the south might do. Or how in southwest states, it seems like the Mexican population could easily take over because of the power of the Mexican Mafia, and how they don't view mafias and cartels as totally bad. Gangs will come. But gangs require food also. And if everyone has no food then people will be in the same boat.

I think Youngstown has this attitude because we have been the cheapest and have had the lowest standard of living for like the last ten years. So if the standard of living in San Fran and Boston has dropped, ours has dropped to new lower levels. The people that are doing it aren't so much concerned with peak oil, they know about it, and understand it. But they don't go on about. They seem to see with their eyes things are changing. Elsa Higby the woman that runs Grow Youngstown had seen documentaries on Havana and knows about peak oil. But doesn't openly discuss with regular people. But tries to get them to focus on the idea that things are changing and that gardening is something that can help rebuild the city.

jereme said...

Yes, anything that helps rebuild what we have destroyed is a good thing.

Gardens are a good thing. It can be very cathartic I think.

Creating something from nothing is usually cathartic at least.

Cash by Johnny Cash talks a lot about farming in the early chapters.

jereme said...


i was thinking we need to grow grains so we can brew beer.

we will need beer during the hard times.

brewing beer is fun. i do it all the time.

i will be the beer brewer. i am in.

you win.

somebody said...