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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Guardian on January 14, 2013, 08:03:48 PM



Title: Food Forest
Post by: Guardian on January 14, 2013, 08:03:48 PM
I have always been interested in the natural world, specifically the cultivation of plants and the interactions between the various species in a given environment. It has been my observation that Western 'civilization' has been constantly trying to distance itself from nature, whose efforts were exponentially increased by the Industrial Revolution.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon the concept of a 'Food Forest'. While I had seen the term last fall during an anthropology class when studying the ancient Maya, I thought nothing of it at the time. Only yesterday, did I encounter several videos demonstrating the true magic of Gaia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis). 

Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG7HqKoOGhY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QG_vRG66wkA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hftgWcD-1Nw


I decided on posting about this topic because I want everyone to think of the possibilities that could occur if voluntaryists use this technique. This technique would allow voluntaryists to achieve complete food independence. After college, I will most definitely grow my own food forest.


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: SinCityVoluntaryist on January 14, 2013, 11:21:51 PM
 I don't know if this adds to the conversation, but a lot of people in this country are starting to replace their plants and grass with actual food gardens. Governments have been clamping down on these actions for quite some time.


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Guardian on January 15, 2013, 12:28:19 AM
I don't know if this adds to the conversation, but a lot of people in this country are starting to replace their plants and grass with actual food gardens. Governments have been clamping down on these actions for quite some time.

Governments cannot allow people to be self-sufficient because then people would undoubtedly ask, "Why is there a government?" If an individual household, or small band of individuals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Band_society), all work to together (by consent of course) and are able to provide their own food, water, and shelter, then they need no government.

I have only heard of governments eradicating gardens that are on the front lawn and/or are within city limits. But, undoubtedly as the government seeks to increase its power, it will move to legislate against backyard gardens, and gardens outside of city limits. 

Examples of governments destroying gardens:
~ (United States) http://reason.com/blog/2012/06/21/tulsa-destroy-survival-garden
~ (Canada) http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/newsrelease/13169


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Agrarian_Agorist on January 15, 2013, 09:42:27 AM
You should check out Sepp Holzer; he's from Austria and has been doing this kind of stuff since the 60's.  Unlike a typical 'Food Forest' or even permaculture, Sepp Holzer utilizes nearly everything: large rocks for heat retention, aquaculture, along with a Food Forest-type permaculture system and free roaming wild animals.  It reminds me of the early Pennsylvanian method of farming -which included methods acquired from Native Americans.  I am currently utilizing a similar system, but I've expanded it to include Bees and Bats as well.  The method which I employ -which is a combination of the methods I've listed above- will increase its yield year after year and commence something akin to terra-forming, buy utilizing the birds to distribute seeds everywhere.  By the time I'm old I wont have to do much of anything but to go outside and pick my fruit and vegetables and slaughter an animal.  This is a far better agricultural system then our current industrialized agricultural system, because it requires less input energy (work on the part of the farmer) year after year, while increasing the yield of the plants and animals year after year.  It also, not only retains the soil integrity, but it adds to the soil by the utilization of trees and support plants and natural compost provided by the plants.

That being said, you should look up Sepp Holzer; he has at least one book and there are several videos on youtube and such.  If you're into this kind of thing -even if it's only for research- I believe it would be worth your effort to look into his information.


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: bsg1206 on January 15, 2013, 03:33:23 PM
I've got a little business where I sell some heirloom seeds and help people set up organic food gardens and I help and teach them to maintain it. Some people can get virtually all their produce from their back yard. It's really fulfilling to achieve that peel of independence and see your hard work turn into something valuable.


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Syock on January 15, 2013, 04:05:41 PM
Some people can get virtually all their produce from their back yard.

Unfortunately that tends to be a very small portion of most peoples diets.  A garden is one thing, true food independence is quite a task.  In an ancap world, I would say it is completely unnecessary.  In a world where FEMA turns away trucks full of bottled water... go for it. 

I think we have had threads on this topic before. 


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Guardian on January 16, 2013, 11:04:20 PM
You should check out Sepp Holzer; he's from Austria and has been doing this kind of stuff since the 60's.


I looked into Sepp Holzer and his work (or should I say nature's work and his knowledge) is amazing. For anyone that is interested on Sepp Holzer check out this article (http://www.krameterhof.at/pdf/the_earth.pdf).


I am currently utilizing a similar system, but I've expanded it to include Bees and Bats as well.

That sounds awesome. Do you have an photographs or videos to show as an example for those of us that hope to one day do the same? It is one thing to read, but another to see. I'm really curious to how you integrated bats into the system. While their usefulness is obvious (fertilization and distribution of seeds), do you have a problem with the bats consuming too much of the edible fruit, leaving none for yourself? How do you get them to stay in one area? How does one acquire bats?



Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Agrarian_Agorist on January 18, 2013, 10:57:09 AM
You should check out Sepp Holzer; he's from Austria and has been doing this kind of stuff since the 60's.


I looked into Sepp Holzer and his work (or should I say nature's work and his knowledge) is amazing. For anyone that is interested on Sepp Holzer check out this article (http://www.krameterhof.at/pdf/the_earth.pdf).


I am currently utilizing a similar system, but I've expanded it to include Bees and Bats as well.

That sounds awesome. Do you have an photographs or videos to show as an example for those of us that hope to one day do the same? It is one thing to read, but another to see. I'm really curious to how you integrated bats into the system. While their usefulness is obvious (fertilization and distribution of seeds), do you have a problem with the bats consuming too much of the edible fruit, leaving none for yourself? How do you get them to stay in one area? How does one acquire bats?



While I do have pictures, I've only been at it for about 2 years.  It doesn't look anything like Sepp's place.  My strawberries, blueberries, and grapes aren't growing properly -the soil isn't right yet.  Lets just say that it is 'Under Construction.'  I am taking photos and some videos of the work I'm doing, however, I think I'll be waiting a while until it starts turning out the way I want it; to avoid chasing people away from trying this kind of stuff.

I've built bat boxes for the bats; bat boxes are similar to bird houses but the opening is on the bottom -obviously- and there is a perch of one kind or another(depending on the design one uses) inside the box for the bats to hang from.  Bats, while most may nip at fruit, usually will be found wherever there are flying insects especially mosquitoes.  Stagnant water is a breading ground for mosquitoes so all one needs is a pond or bucket with water in it and eventually you'll have mosquitoes. Place a bat box away from the house and in time, whether one has a source of mosquitoes or not, one will eventually have bats.  However, if a source of food is not nearby, the bats will move on.

 Bats will not eat all of ones fruit; well depending on the size of the property, the amount of fruit grown, and the number of bats one has acquired.  As stated earlier, if their are flying insects around the bats will usually go after them.  If there is plenty of water around most animals will leave much of your food alone.  Animals, while they do eat the food for sustenance, usually take a bite out of one fruit then another and then another, because of the water content of the fruit.  If there is water around, i.e. a pond, then this will usually not be a problem.

Another source for fertilization is urine.  Mix one part urine with ten parts water -this can be useful in making explosives as well; because, ones urine has ammonia in it in the form of urea.  By diluting it(the urine), with a greater quantity of water, makes it more able to be used as a fertilizer.  Rabbit dung is also very high in ammonia, so if one is to raise rabbits, then one will have to dilute their dung as to not over saturate the soil with ammonia, thereby making it harder to grow most plants.

One of these days, maybe this summer or next year, I will get a blog and vlog up on the net for others, but I really worry that if I cannot show significant proof early in the blog/vlog then people aren't going to want to do it.  I would like to be able to show the finished product, while also being able to show everything which went into making it a reality.  That being said, if I think about it or I get reminded, then when things start growing this year, I'll post a few pictures on the net for the individuals here, who might want to see it before my blog/vlog.  Like I said though, it isn't close to being finished the way that I want it.


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Tear-Down-the-Wall on January 20, 2013, 02:21:30 PM
Growing up in Eastern Oklahoma I'm use to this lifestyle. The funny thing is people in the city or other areas are wanting to learn about this lifestyle and how to do it. The folks in my area are becoming lazy. For instance many people, including my mother, use to can their own food. Now, they don't and it's becoming a lost art.

My grandparents had their own garden, hogs, cattle, and chickens. I grew up with the freshest veggies and meats. Looking back on it I was extremely spoiled because I would give anything to taste that type of food again.


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Guardian on January 22, 2013, 12:20:01 AM
Growing up in Eastern Oklahoma I'm use to this lifestyle. The funny thing is people in the city or other areas are wanting to learn about this lifestyle and how to do it. The folks in my area are becoming lazy. For instance many people, including my mother, use to can their own food. Now, they don't and it's becoming a lost art.

It reminds me of that old saying, "You always want what you don't have." A coworker of mine made the observation that the people who don't live in a heavily urban like watching shows like Madmen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOQfBdCT-AI), while the people who do live in cities and towns like watching shows like Ax Men (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmG28-7uqj4) or Mountain Men (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv35VT5juH0). Maybe there is something to be said about human nature?

In any rate, you are a very lucky individual in that you know someone in your immediate family who possess these "traditional" skills. I wish I could be only so fortunate to have that opportunity.   




Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Guardian on June 08, 2013, 09:04:46 PM
It looks like another food forest is being constructed, this time in Seattle. What is interesting about this food forest is that it is built by and for the local community. It is a good example of voluntaryism in action. Different people coming together by their own will and working together.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUVqCpxVKl8

It will be interesting to see what happens with this food forest. I have a suspicion that someone will injure themselves or be injured by a wild animal, sue the city, and have it torn down. Or, due to the tragedy of the commons, people will take cart fulls and sell it on the side for a profit. Or maybe, someone will plant a few 'special plants' and law enforcement will come in and torch the place. 


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: MAM on June 08, 2013, 09:33:28 PM
Quote
It has been my observation that Western 'civilization' has been constantly trying to distance itself from nature, whose efforts were exponentially increased by the Industrial Revolution.

"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed." Sir Francis Bacon

If it exists it's by definition natural.


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: AgoristTeen1994 on June 08, 2013, 11:38:17 PM

Another source for fertilization is urine.  Mix one part urine with ten parts water - this can be useful in making explosives as well; because, ones urine has ammonia in it in the form of urea.

One of these days, maybe this summer or next year, I will get a blog and vlog up on the net for others, but I really worry that if I cannot show significant proof early in the blog/vlog then people aren't going to want to do it.  I would like to be able to show the finished product, while also being able to show everything which went into making it a reality.  That being said, if I think about it or I get reminded, then when things start growing this year, I'll post a few pictures on the net for the individuals here, who might want to see it before my blog/vlog.  Like I said though, it isn't close to being finished the way that I want it.

You know I was just just going through this thread again and noticed your post...specifically your comment on urine and explosives. I actually have experience with using it in that manner, got the info from the gov'ts "Improvised Munitions Handbook (by the way that book and "Home Workshop Explosives" by Uncle Fester are all I'll ever need to make most explosives I'd want or need to use, and most of the devices also.) All you do is take some urine (your own would be the easiest to obtain) boil it to a tenth of it's original volume, i.e. if you have 10 cups of urine boil it down to 1 cup, filter what's left into another container (all you need is some finely textured cotton cloth) slowly add 1/3 volume of 90% concentration nitric acid (that is if you had 30 cups of urine and boiled it down to 3 cups and then filtered it, you'd add one cup of the nitric acid) and let the mixture stand for an hour. Afterwards filter the mixture as you did the boiled down urine, and then you take the crystals that should collect on the filtering material, wash them off, and then let them dry for 16 hours. And then you have urea nitrate. :)


P.S. I'd love to see that vlog you also mentioned if you send me a link.


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: kunkmiester on June 09, 2013, 03:20:09 AM
Make sure you don't blow yourself up while making that.


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Guardian on June 10, 2013, 11:08:41 PM
You know...urine and explosives....And then you have urea nitrate. :)


Make Food, Not Bombs!
(http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/blogs/thenextgreatgeneration/food%20not%20bombs.png)
(http://www.pikespeakpermaculture.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/P81700791.jpg)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epui86fqmLg


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: AgoristTeen1994 on June 11, 2013, 12:40:28 PM
Make sure you don't blow yourself up while making that.

Bah, you're no fun. What fun is there in making and then setting off explosive and/or incendiary devices without a little risk. Besides I've done that dozens of times....though it HAS been a few years.  :'( *realizes I'm suffering from withdrawal from not setting off any explosives/incendiaries*


@Guardian: Hey! There's plenty of room for both! Especially since my explosives/incendiaries aren't built for the purposes of injuring or killing people, but just to set them off in areas where there's little risk of hurting innocent bystanders in the area. Besides IIRC Food Not Bombs is associated with stopping GOVERNMENT spending on and production of weapons of war, for purposes of war.


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Guardian on June 12, 2013, 06:08:31 PM
Quote
....Besides IIRC Food Not Bombs is associated with stopping GOVERNMENT spending on and production of weapons of war, for purposes of war.

I know, I was just trying to keep the mood of the thread, which is to create life, not destroy it. Through self-sufficiency, freedom can be achieved. Over 50 million people in the United States are on some sort of  government assistance (http://www.statisticbrain.com/welfare-statistics/) (ie: welfare, food stamps, etc.) Imagine if just 1% of those people (500,000) were to be become self-sufficient by growing their own food, either through food forests, hydroponics, or aquaponics, and if they generated their own electricity. If individuals can become self-sufficient, they will no longer be reliant on the government for their most basic necessities. Not only that, but if great multitudes of people generate their own power, grow their own food, and collect their own water, 3 of the world's largest industries (energy, food, and water), who are also 3 of the world's largest consumers of government subsidies (http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/11/07/363234/financial-tax-subsidies/?mobile=nc), will be eliminated.

Hydroponics
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5tnHfikb64
Aquaponics
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBspR2p0YYM
Power Generation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kH8lzTz23XE


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Syock on June 13, 2013, 05:23:27 AM
Unfortunately you just linked some of the most expensive ways to produce food due to all the equipment that goes with it, and for many people an unreliable, noisy type of wind generator.


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Guardian on June 14, 2013, 01:52:00 PM
Unfortunately you just linked some of the most expensive ways to produce food due to all the equipment that goes with it, and for many people an unreliable, noisy type of wind generator.

While I will agree the aquaponics and hydroponics have a high initial cost, once they are up and running, they can be configured to have a maintenance cost of zero. Also, I would personally never rely solely on any one method of food production or power generation. Diversification and the ability to change is the best way to survive. Those links I posted were merely a handful of the many ways individuals can grow their own food and generate their own power. For power generation, some other great ways are waterwheels and solar panels.


Small Scale Hydro-Electric
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8Iq0b2jwyw
Solar Panels
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouLa4Ftu3O8

But since you seem to have problems with these methods, what do you suggest? What way should an individual grow their own food and generate their own power? 


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: braindead0 on June 14, 2013, 04:12:40 PM
While I will agree the aquaponics and hydroponics have a high initial cost, once they are up and running, they can be configured to have a maintenance cost of zero.
How do you figure a maintenance cost of 0?  Pumps break, lines wear out. and they all require a lot of cleaning.


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: AgoristTeen1994 on June 14, 2013, 05:06:03 PM
I have to agree with both Guardian and braindead0 in this regard....while aquaponics, and hydroponics (hydroponics less so from my understanding) are pretty dang self-sufficient. They initial start-up cost can be pretty high, but once you get going it's not too expensive, though it isn't absolute 0...what with having fix/replaces pumps, and piping/hoses et cetera for both, and other stuff for hydroponics. Plus there's the cost of food for the fish with aquaponics though there are ways around that.

Oh and Guardian, I definitely agree with you that it'd be a fantastic thing if the majority of people who currently rely on gov't assistance for food, or even are just reliant on others for food and power generation can meet most of their needs through self-sufficiency. Of course there will be some things they'll have to rely on others for...for example someone from Michigan, New Hampshire, or Wyoming would have a horrible time growing oranges, or lemons. Or people who live in Florida, Alabama, or Georgia, would possibly have issues with cabbage, lettuce, cale, and to a lesser degree potatoes and carrots. But it would be awesome if people could provide say 90% of the food they eat from their own land. Also regarding focusing on creating/growing life, rather than destroying it....while explosives can be quite lethal (obviously) there are more benign purposes. Such as if you cut a tree down, and you want to get rid of the stump, blasting it would be quite helpful.




Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Syock on June 14, 2013, 05:21:44 PM
But since you seem to have problems with these methods, what do you suggest? What way should an individual grow their own food and generate their own power?  

I have long advocated the stuff you had in your first post.  

The issue I have with aqua/hydroponics is that due to the cost associated with them, they only make sense with high value or otherwise unobtainable crops.  If you go plant your everyday food crops in them, you will be spending a lot of money on your food.  There are constant inputs of nutrients in aqua/hydroponic systems that are self-sustaining in the food forest systems.   Instead of buying food for yourself, you end up buying food for the plants/fish.  Top that off with the cost of electric and/or the systems to supply that electric.

For power generation, they need to be tailored to the location/use.  The common type of wind turbine as shown in the video tends to only be effective in areas of constant high wind (greater than 10 miles per hour).  Helical turbines tend to be a less efficient at high wind, but work in slower and turbulent wind that is more common unless you live next to the water or in the desert, while also eliminating the noise issue.  A water wheel (not in the video) tends to be better for mechanical output.  Micro-hydro tends to only be cost effective if you have a decent amount of power to use/generate, such as a handful of homes and is only available in the right location.  If you want to get the most out of solar you need to consider concentrated solar, as the cells add up in cost for a relatively small output per cell.  When you concentrate the solar on cells they reduce output unless you keep them cool, which combines well with solar thermal.  Solar thermal can be used for a variety of applications (even cooling) without the need to even convert to electricity.  Electric is like gasoline, it is a convenient delivery system of energy, but certainly not the only one.  

There are a ton of options I would suggest, but I don't feel like typing more out right now.  


Oh and Guardian, I definitely agree with you that it'd be a fantastic thing if the majority of people who currently rely on gov't assistance for food, or even are just reliant on others for food and power generation can meet most of their needs through self-sufficiency.

The real problem is that they do not want to! 

If someone comes by every day and hands everyone on your block $250 as long as they continue to spend it and not work, how many would bother to work?  The same kind of problem is happening in most countries the USA claims to be helping.  The government workers basically have nothing to do, but get paid huge amounts of money.  The money destroys the local economy as people become reliant on easy money and imports, rather than local industry.  When the money ends, a lot of people in the world will be hurting. 


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Guardian on June 22, 2013, 10:39:13 PM

The real problem is that they do not want to! 

If someone comes by every day and hands everyone on your block $250 as long as they continue to spend it and not work, how many would bother to work?  The same kind of problem is happening in most countries the USA claims to be helping.  The government workers basically have nothing to do, but get paid huge amounts of money.  The money destroys the local economy as people become reliant on easy money and imports, rather than local industry.  When the money ends, a lot of people in the world will be hurting. 

What you say is sad, but true. However, I will do everything within my power to not only obtain self-sufficiency for myself, but for anyone else who will listen. It is my opinion that we voluntaryists should strive to not only liberate ourselves, but others as well, through food and energy independence.


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: MAM on June 27, 2013, 09:48:36 PM
Quote
or even are just reliant on others for food and power generation can meet most of their needs through self-sufficiency.

Should we just ignore the efficacy of the division of labour altogether then?


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Syock on June 28, 2013, 12:03:10 AM
Quote
or even are just reliant on others for food and power generation can meet most of their needs through self-sufficiency.

Should we just ignore the efficacy of the division of labour altogether then?

I don't think he said anything about that.  There are plenty of reasons to desire going off-grid/supermarket.  To be fair, there isn't a ton of work in maintaining the power supply if you set it up properly in the first place.  Food production can be a chore, but so is grocery shopping and cooking your own meals. 


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: MAM on June 28, 2013, 12:07:56 AM
Quote
or even are just reliant on others for food and power generation can meet most of their needs through self-sufficiency.

Should we just ignore the efficacy of the division of labour altogether then?

I don't think he said anything about that.  There are plenty of reasons to desire going off-grid/supermarket.  To be fair, there isn't a ton of work in maintaining the power supply if you set it up properly in the first place.  Food production can be a chore, but so is grocery shopping and cooking your own meals. 

The reason people aren't self sufficient today is because of the efficacy of the division of labour.


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: Syock on June 28, 2013, 06:29:13 AM
The reason people aren't self sufficient today is because of the efficacy of the division of labour.

There is more to it than that.  If good off-grid power came standard with houses instead of on-grid power, then people wouldn't be on the grid.  There are costs associated with making the switch.  People tend to look at the upfront cost and ignore total cost of ownership.  That means people won't go for off-grid housing in general because the cost of power is upfront. 

The division of labor in the case of power is at installation, not your day to day life.  The question is do they use that labor to run a line to your house, or install the off-grid system. 


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: MAM on June 28, 2013, 12:33:05 PM
The reason people aren't self sufficient today is because of the efficacy of the division of labour.

There is more to it than that.  If good off-grid power came standard with houses instead of on-grid power, then people wouldn't be on the grid.  There are costs associated with making the switch.  People tend to look at the upfront cost and ignore total cost of ownership.  That means people won't go for off-grid housing in general because the cost of power is upfront. 

The division of labor in the case of power is at installation, not your day to day life.  The question is do they use that labor to run a line to your house, or install the off-grid system. 

So the essence of your point here is that people aren't off the grid because in order for them to be off the grid they have to front the cost upfront instead of having the filter of the the electric co-op. A similar argument to one that I make about war, that if people had to bear the cost directly they wouldn't, so an anarchist society would have fewer wars... HMMM....


Title: Re: Food Forest
Post by: AgoristTeen1994 on June 28, 2013, 12:47:09 PM
So the essence of your point here is that people aren't off the grid because in order for them to be off the grid they have to front the cost upfront instead of having the filter of the the electric co-op. A similar argument to one that I make about war, that if people had to bear the cost directly they wouldn't, so an anarchist society would have fewer wars... HMMM....

I don't think that was QUITE the point he was trying to make. I think with War, there's a lot of propaganda involved that increases support for any given war a State enters. The financial costs are paid over time, and the cost is socialized (in theory) among the entirety of the tax (extortion) payers. Where as with stuff like solar or wind power for their home, they pay that upfront and unless they get a loan, they pay it out of pocket. Sure it saves money in the long-run but they don't see that. Either way I find it ironic (in a bad way) that you are comparing people going off the grid so they don't have to rely on state-favored power/electricity companies, to war.