Archive for the Organic Development Category

WEME Village

Posted in Cartoon Comics, ecovillages, Fictional Characters, Homesteading, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 17, 2017 by Drogo

SCOD Ecovillage Short Story

The woman and man planned and ran their own dream village of fwends.

Twin spirit kindred flames, like mirror twinsies; except one was more fire and one was more water, and both were rooted in earth and speaking signs in aether air.

He would say “isnt it so sister?”, and she would say “yes brother, it is so.” and then she would say “isnt it so brother?” and he would say “yes sister, it is so, and you are also correct about that.” and they would wind the gears, and dust the chairs, and sweep the floors and patch the roofs, and mend the windows, polish the wood, and explore the woods. They sing French songs together that she taught him. They kiss and hugs like good brothers and sisters do, in honor of Hermes and Hathor; and they invite all to do the same, if they do choose.

to be continued….

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Herbal Teas

Posted in Food & Drink, Uncategorized with tags , , on January 2, 2017 by Drogo

Drogo’s favorite Herbal Teas:

Peppermint (or Spearmint)

Catmint (Catnip)

Beebalm

Lemonbalm

Tension Tamer (Celestial Seasonings) – Blend: Eleuthero, Mint, Cinnamon, Ginger, Chamomile, Lemongrass, Licorice, Catnip, Tilia, Hops, Vitamin B

 

 

SCOD Economic Theory

Posted in Economics, Organic Development, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2016 by Drogo

Imagine for a minute that Capitalism was not ‘the only economic system that works’, as popular opinion believes; but instead that Capitalism is a failed system by humanitarian standards, that greedy people perpetuate so that no government can ever serve its’ citizens democratically. Most conservative capitalists would rather see church morality imposed on the masses, because that is their only response to the failings of Capitalism. When homeless get no government support, the capitalists will say “if they are too lazy to work, then they should find a church to take pity on them.” When a crazy person wants to exercise their amendment rights, rather than recommending they get help or take free medicine, the capitalists will say “they need to commit a crime so that we can put them in prison”. What if instead of trying to cover up for the failings of a selfish individualist economic system, we instead worked hard to practice an economic system that is for the common good, with its own built-in ethical code? SCOD economic theory is a combination of trade-barter and spiritual morality*. SCOD theory uses a sensible code of economic ethics* to foster transactions.

Offer only as much as you can spare, do not gamble all that you have. The higher your price is, the less you want to exchange it. Before finalizing a trade, consider how the transaction will affect the other party; if that trade will hurt them and they are ethical traders, then cut them a bonus break-deal. A bonus break-deal is when you give them MORE than they asked for, because you appreciate them as an ethical individual.

Mutual trade with ethical responsibility and humanitarian benefit.

*morality is more to do with religious dogma of reward and punishment, and ethics is more about common sense and having social respect for the good of the whole community.

Environmentalist

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Environmentalism, Organic Development, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 27, 2015 by Drogo

An environmentalist is not purely one type of strict practice, nor does it mean that an environmentalist does nothing to pollute or kill things. Not all environmentalists are pacifists, vegans, or political radicals. Perhaps some of the best environmentalists are more strict about their actions regarding anger, diet, or society; but snobbishness is not the heart of environmentalism. Environmentalists think and act in many ways that they and others believe are good for Nature and individual habitats. This does not mean that we all do more than one type of thing towards natural goals, nor does it mean that we never do anything that hurts others or their environments, the truth is we all are consuming resources from living and non-living things on this planet; which pollutes to various degrees. The ultimate environmentalist is a non-existent person; for even in death we pollute some; therefore the next best thing to never being born, is safe, painless, and legal suicide options. Since we do not have safe, painless, and legal suicide options, and our deaths would only leave the worst types of people on the planet, we should at least do what we can, within our own capabilities and circumstances, which for some people will be more diet based, and others will be more political, and others will be both mixed or more personal and not subject to the judgment of others, because of decisions they have made that are not observed by anyone else.

Here is my response to anyone that says you have to practice only one type of eco-thing, or all types of eco-things, to be environmentalist; you see it starts getting like Christian ‘Sin’ to shame all those not practicing your particular belief, and claiming that one branch is superior to another because they have figured out the ‘word of god’ more than others… Certainly i believe vegans are good little environmentalists in their own ways, just as vegetarians and omnivores do good for the environment by not just eating meat products exclusively; but to say that someone is not an environmentalist because they do or do not contribute in some ways to the system is fucking bullshit. Why? Because the issues are more complex within and without any system; for example no one thing in this World is the cause of everything in this World, FOOD, MONEY, JOBS, TRANSPORTATION, POPULATION all are pollution factors but they are also connected and not exclusive to all environmental problems.  – Drogo Empedocles

ON THE WILD SIDE

Posted in Organic Gardens, Poems with tags , , , , on October 24, 2015 by Drogo

ON THE WILD SIDE for September, 2015

by Christine Schoenemann (Maccabee)

Misunderstood but Beautiful (Part 2) : Tall Natives and Useful Pests

I just got in from collecting Japanese beetles from wild Evening Primrose flowers which are growing throughout my property. By 7 a.m. the bees are already busy on the yellow flowers, and the beetles are just waking up. Slowly I knock them into a container of water, careful not to interrupt the bees. Two things are accomplished by my doing this twice a day. First, I am saving the flowers from being devoured, and second, my chickens enthusiastically consume the crunchy bodies of these pests. Useful pests, I call them, providing extra protein and minerals for my birds.

The wild Evening Primrose used be seen in areas along roads which have not been mowed, in vacant fields and ditches if they are lucky, and in my gardens. Sadly I see very few of them this year, beyond my gardens, due to herbiciding and lots of mowing. I imagine most home owners would not like them since they grow much taller than the greenhouse cultivated primroses most gardeners buy. Perhaps this aversion is due to an over civilized fear of wild natives. Well, I have no fear, just curiosity. I have never seen my primroses grow as tall as they are this year which is most likely due to all the rain we had earlier this summer. My tallest plant towers above my head at a record breaking height of 9 feet. Now that’s tall !

For some reason I have a particular interest in tall, gangly, misunderstood plants. I suppose that is because I see their value for our pollinators, but mostly I believe it is because I admire them. In truth, I am blown away by the diversity of wild flora which are indigenous to this area, and have made it my mission to preserve as much as I can here on my property and elsewhere when possible, before they become extinct. I know my worry is legitimate since every year it seems many rare plants (see list at bottom of this article) have just disappeared from places I have seen them in the past. So, I am writing here to clear up misunderstandings about our interesting wild neighbors, and possibly to save them

Teasel, another plant which is normally not permitted to grow in typical gardens, can still be seen in areas along the highway and other unused places. It is not a thistle, though it looks like it. In my gardens I pamper it. It has multiple uses, primarily as a producer of beautiful lavender flowers which bees love. It is also an interesting component in dry plant arrangements which I make. Stately, but prickly, they are to be handled with care, preferably with a gloved hand. Presently I am cutting some of mine down now that they have flowered as I don’t want the seeds to scatter everywhere in my main garden where I also grow vegetables. I plan to scatter some of the seeds in the larger meadow before winter.

By far the most misunderstood wildflower of all is Golden Rod. I have learned through my reading that it is not the pollen producer that affects most people adversely. Ragweed is the culprit as it has very nondescript flowers and blooms at the same time as Golden Rod. Very sneaky of Ragweed, I would say. The pollen from Golden Rod is too heavy to be carried very far by the wind whereas ragweed pollen is very light. There are 16 species of Golden Rod throughout our country, and I happen to have about 4 or more species on my property. They are beginning to bloom, and I eagerly await the show ! All my various wild aster will bloom soon as well, so between the two of them my bees and butterflies will be well fed before the killing frost. Along with all these pollinators you can be sure I will be rejoicing as well !

The other day I nearly hit a Monarch butterfly which was caught between a road, parking lots, stores, and large grass deserts with no flowers in sight. It seemed confused and did not know where to go. This is a perfect example of a growing problem called “habitat fragmentation.”. Good-hearted people who plant flowers in their yards are doing a great service, but these same butterflies and bees we feed frequently must travel far and wide just to find other flowers to feed on or appropriate plants on which to lay their eggs. We all know the need of Monarchs for Milkweed, but there are many others, such as the larvae of the Fritillary butterfly for violets, the Checkerspot for Trutlehead flowers and the rare/endangered butterflies in the Blues Family for clovers and Lupine flowers.

Lately, and even over many years, I have been reading writings by prominent mystics and naturalists who all sing a similar theme song. This song is one of praise for creation and its awesome diversity which can aid us as humans to connect more intimately with ourselves and the Creator. This goes for everyone, even atheists and agnostics, for “things in nature are optimal teachers to help us discern how to be ourselves. We have been separated from the source of our identity and have to fall in love with it all over again “. Thus writes Belden Lane in his book Backpacking with the Saints, an amazing read full of wisdom.

And so, this Sunday morning the natural world is the temple in which I worship, today, and everyday. For me, and so many others, the amazing diversity of life forms on this planet are not only an expression of the infinite nature of their Creator, but also an expression of amazing love, without end, unless we humans choose to continue to destroy it. We always have a choice.

Some local natives which a rarely seen and loosing habitat: purple Swamp Milkweed, Goatsbeard, Moth Mullein, Bergamot, blue Lobelia, Vervain, Obedient plant, Deptford pinks, Cardinal flower, wild Columbine, Cinquefoils, St. Johnswort, Yarrow, Sweet Cicely, wild Sweet Clovers,etc..

SCOD Report 2015 Fall – Quest for New Cahokia

Posted in Organic Development, SCOD Status Update Reports with tags , , , , on September 28, 2015 by Drogo

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Aeyla and Drogo conducted a long-distance road-trip vacation-sabbatical from Maryland to Missouri, for the purpose of scouting various sites for case studies and potential projects. First Cahokia was visited and studied for historic perspective on environmental architecture. Then the Boe family farm at Schoen Ridge was visited to investigate potential for a medieval long-house and eco-village. Finally on the way back home, Mark Twain’s boyhood home was toured for literary, economic, and social wisdom. In Indiana, we visited Pat Long; who took us to  Traders Point Creamery: Organic Gardens and Green Architecture (see Barns & Restaurant in photo above). Many other adventures were had along the way, but those stories are for another time when a more detailed account can be recorded.

Sometimes you need to get lost to find yourself; because you can find things while being lost, or lose things when found. Found objects can be lost, and lost objects can be found. A full spectrum of lost and found. Animals have agendas like food and dominance , but are easier to handle. People are like dogs, sometimes they keep trying to bite me, regardless of how i am. Nature is not fair, but compassion is priceless.

All the most important SCOD factors are present with the Boe property. The Boe family homestead is a working farm run by the family with NO full-time paid workers; so it truly is a small family farm of apx. 80 acres and 50-70 animals (fluctuates). The largest city nearby is St. Joseph. The Boe farm is north of Savannah, south of Ravenwood (Ravensborg?), and adjacent to the village of Rosendale (whose buildings are selling for ultra low prices of $500-$1000).

Modest Proposal for Fee of Services as Architect:

We can list all our concerns over the months, and work out issues during scheduled and paid meetings, so we dont waste tons of time in endless debates. we could schedule Longhouse meetings for just before Equinoxes and Solstices, so 4x a year or when funds or needs are low only once a year. perhaps i can only charge for changes and additions, and trade the main drawings for future ability to live there for free for several months or something. Pay shows respect of commitment to a project, beyond the practical need to pay bills. paying me for each meeting, will allow client control on their budget. At $20 an hour, meetings should be reasonable to do things gradually. we can do meetings on skype, or phone, or chatting with text on facebook or email. friends that are like family, loved ones, are special clients with whom there is a trust of sharing, and options should be patiently felt out and pressure alleviated, even for final decisions when they are organically arrived at by all. my role is still the same as before the trip, i dont want to micromanage a scod project without pay or owning it, BUT i can say visiting did clarify the viability of the site and the family’s sincerity towards concept and kindness for sure. In addition, Karen’s volunteering posting in SCOD group certainly proves she believes in the concepts intellectually; but there is no funding for those of us running that social media aspect.

In the mean time; I recommend the Boe family to save money; and collect, cut, and store wood to dry on site: 2″ large flat slabs for tables and beams; 4x4s, 6x6s, 12×12″ etc at various lengths as long as possible. i think we will work things out as we have thus far, continuing to organically define our collaborative art to make everyone happy. There will always be more to do, in a world of ‘way too much’, but we can take breaks and remember to play.

Misunderstood but Beautiful – Flowers as People

Posted in Organic Gardens, Poems with tags , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2015 by Drogo
Much of the beauty and value of the natural world will be missed,
and lost, if it is constantly condemned as unimportant, and destroyed.“
– from Garden Ramblings

In a very real way, flowers are a lot like people. Fragile, they are born vulnerable, and if fortunate to receive the proper care, will thrive and bear much goodness. However, many people, like flowers, are misunderstood. Some of us are late bloomers and get cut down while struggling to grow, while others of us may express ourselves in the wrong way, or the wrong place, and are criticized.

True, it is about the world of plants and flowers that I mostly write, but the connection between humans and the natural world being what it is – ever constant and essential—it is ofttimes impossible to separate the two. Many of our greatest writers and teachers refer to nature, recognizing the wisdom that is to be gained if we but open our hearts and our minds to it. Many of these people have been misunderstood as well.

Four of my very favorite wildflowers are the lavender bergamot, rarely seen anymore due to mowing, the shy blue chicory, the wild asters of which I have 4 species on my property, and the tall rarely seen white and yellow wild sweet clovers (which look nothing like clovers, but are in that family). Both chicory and bergamot are blooming profusely right now here at my Mystic Meadows and I can never see them enough. The wild bergamot has cross pollinated with its relative the gorgeous red monarda, creating two new shades of purple and maroon. I am blown away by their beauty and their usefulness. Standing very still by each large cluster of flowers which are shoulder high, the hundreds of flowers seem literally in motion with the activity of hummingbird moths, various butterflies, and bumble bees large and small. Of course, even a hummingbird cruises by for a nip on the way to its favorite mimosa tree. Sadly, I see very few honey bees this year.

Chicory is the most tenacious wildflower I know. It tends to grow right up against the country roads people drive down in their early morning rush to work or school, gracing our journeys with their joyful blue color, brightening our moods if we but see them. Even when mowed down, they grow right back, undeterred. If permitted, they will bloom right through the summer into fall, providing nectar for bees and later, essential seeds for small birds like finch. They usually close their blue petals during the heat of the day, and so are seen as ugly by most people as they have tiny leaves and look spindly when their petals are closed. But oh, when the day is cooler and the flowers are open, behold the powdery blue profusion !

Wild asters spend the entire summer growing slowly into tall, elegant plants full of elongated leaves. There are 4 varieties which I grow throughout my gardens, and the reward for my patience is a glorious, end-of -summer show of tiny, daisy-like flowers, a final bust of white and purple beauty which goes well into the fall. These plants, besides being a welcome source of inspiration for me before the long, cold days of winter, serve as essential nectar and pollen for our bees. Without these wildflowers the bees could easily starve in their hives. Goldenrod, which I will write about in a sequel to this article, is also significant for bees, and even butterflies, to stave off starvation. It is and has been mostly misunderstood as well.

Many years ago I was enjoying the beauty of my back road where, unfortunately, the white and yellow wild sweet clovers were growing embarrassingly close to the road. They are somewhat guilty of looking gangly, like some people I know, and were very tall. I knew they would eventually be mowed, so I decided to cut them with more care by myself. So, I went home and came back laden with an arsenal of cutting tools, only to loose my resolve when I put the blade to their stalks. I thought to myself “what is more important, the flowers or the road”. I had observed very few of these particular flowers being permitted to grow anywhere, so I put down my weapons and joined the ranks of the misunderstood. After that day, they moved themselves to a safer place. They now grow, undisturbed, in various spots on my property. Plants come to me that way, and I welcome them with open arms !

I love the late bloomers and the misunderstood ones, be they human or flower. Perhaps our biggest challenge in life is to embrace these ones, to accept them as amazing creations on this miraculous planet which is full to bursting with diversity. I leave you with an ancient Indian quotation I love which reflects the awesomeness of it all…” Flowers are the footprints of the dancing steps of God.”

Now off I go to enjoy the rest of this glorious summer !!

by Christine Schoenemann (Maccabee)

Christine is a Master Naturalist in the State of MD.. She welcomes any questions and feedback at songbirdschant@gmail.org