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How To Get There 10/11/19

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, November 10th, 2019 - 29 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags:


This post is a place for positive discussion of the future.

An Open Mike for ideas, solutions and the discussion of the possible.

The Big Picture, rather than a snapshot of the day’s goings on. Topics rather than topical.

We’d like to think it’s success will be measured in the quality of comments rather than the quantity.

So have at it!

Let us know what you think …

29 comments on “How To Get There 10/11/19 ”

  1. Mista Smokey 1

    If I was a Halloween man, I'd be slack in November but cranking late April as the darkness sets in, and spirits (I'm told), are on the prowl. It seems more authentic to match the season to this place, rather than a calendar date attached to a Northern Hemisphere festival that's out of sync with us.

    December 31, great excuse for a party to midnight? Well! suddenly it's Auld Lang Syne, “Happy New Year!” and changing the calendars. Yet, next morning the sun's powering down, the year feels half-done.

    Mid-winter? Ohhh, comes a beautiful slowing over the weeks, to feel the energy winding down. Time to reflect as the Matariki Stars come cruising back at the date they choose. Comes our lovely celebration of past/present/future.

    June 22? This time! Because the date's a cracker for The Celts. There'll be a campfire. But the garden's whispering, “Not quite, mate!”

    Because early July, roaming our garden, early mornings, round about now the whisper comes again, “This is it mate, for sure. Happy New Year!”

    And it is, too.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    If this is on the level, it makes Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael" a must-read for everyone.

    I think it's a must-read in any case.

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    On terra preta soils…

    "The most famous of these ancient soils is undoubtedly the terra preta—dark earth—of Amazonia. Much of the soil in the Amazon rainforest is very nutrient poor, a thin red dust. However, there are key spots, often along rivers, where one can find deep, dark black soil—cluttered with potsherds and extraordinarily fertile—rich with calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. This soil seems to even be able to renew its own fertility over time. Crops have been grown continuously in terra preta for four decades without supplemental fertilization—and they remain fertile for hundreds of years.

    Researchers hypothesize that Amazonians started incorporating charred organic material, manure, and bone into the soil more than 5,000 years ago. Small areas were cleared with low-intensity fire, and then the charred plant matter remained to fertilize the soil. Likely, household refuse was also incorporated. The charred organic matter within the soil creates better conditions for nutrient movement and increases the growth of fungi and bacteria. Terra preta has 25% higher species richness than surrounding soils, in part, experts think, because the particles of char create hiding places for microbes where they can escape being eaten by predatory mites and nematodes. These deposits are currently highly prized, and some very successful farms are situated on top of them.

    The extent and spread of terra preta has helped show that the Amazon is not a pristine wilderness that was only ever home to a few scattered peoples. Before Columbus, it was home to a large, settled, agricultural population, especially along its great rivers. And these people didn’t just “live in” the rainforest, creaming off the rich resources it provided. Terra preta shows that they fundamentally changed their home, collaborating with the nonhuman world to create complex new ecologies that included them. Today, the “wild” rainforest is dominated by more than eighty plant species—including Brazil nut, abiu fruit, and cacao—that were domesticated by pre-colonization Amazonian peoples; it is essentially an overgrown food forest.

    Little new terra preta is being created in Amazonia today. The practices and lifeways that helped create the soil were massively disrupted by colonization. First disease came with European invaders and missionaries in the 1500s, followed by hundreds of years of murder and enslavement by those seeking gold, timber, rubber, or souls for God. In the pain and confusion, villages and whole peoples fled in the night, moved to new river valleys, lost generations of memories. With few exceptions, the link between specific people and specific soils was broken.

    One place where new dark earth is still being created is a Kuikuro community in the Upper Xingu region of southeastern Amazonia. Researcher Morgan Schmidt spent time in the village and documented how community members travel up to ten kilometers to farm in ancient terra preta sites, and how they boost the fertility of soil closer to home. Outputs from feeding the village become inputs to the soil. “Organic refuse is not seen as ‘garbage’ by the Kuikuro,” he writes. “Instead, it is a valuable resource that contributes to agricultural productivity.”

    • weka 3.1

      Mōrena Robert, haven't caught up on the thread yet this morning, but just a reminder that copy and pastes need a clear attribution, preferably a link. Can you please provide one for these two comments and I'll edit the link in.

      The ones below would work better if you used the reply button to your own comments. People on tiny devices will have trouble following especially if you get people responding and breaking up the thread.

      Thanks 🙂

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    "I think so many of us have agreements. What I’d like to remind folks is that there was a time on Earth when agriculture didn’t exist. There was the wild plants and animals. People have always been in relationship to them, and I think agriculture as a current concept looks very different in lots of ways. We humans have been shaping the landscape since time immemorial, and we have been in collaboration with all manner of different wild plants and animals for a long, long time. But there was a time in history—some people say it was around 10,000 years ago, although you never know—that there were wild plants. I feel like it was an invitation from the wild, and this is how it’s been told to me. There were wild plants who could see the potential of being in a different sort of relationship with humans, and they invited us into this co-creative dance that we call agriculture.

    The plants gave up a little of their wildness, and we humans gave up a little of our wildness too, and we came into this covenant, this sacred covenant or this marriage. In some cultures, it’s spoken of as a marriage. We came into this relationship, and part of those agreements were to take care of one another. We were going to be bound in this reciprocal relationship, to care intimately for one another as we move forward. So that is the foundation of those agreements—that understanding of reciprocity, understanding that when you do well, I do well, and that it is a courtship. There’s an aspect of wanting to ensure that they’re well taken care of, not just because it means nourishment and food for us, but because there’s a deeper sense of love and relationality in that connection."

  5. greywarshark 6

    This on Radionz yesterday Robert. The affect of plastic ingredients is so widespread that the speaker mention frogs possibly being affected. And you made a comment that you only have whistling frogs I think. I remember going to farm ponds and getting lots of tadpoles and watching them develop and then returning them to do their thing. I believe they are not around like that any more though I hope I am wrong.


    Anyway it was an interesting interview and I think Kim questioned Dr Myers thoroughly testing him to find out whether he actually had a joined-up case for his argument. It was startling to hear him say that the thermally sensitive coating on the receipts that I collect like confetti are coated with matter that affects body functions, and is absorbed through fingers.

    10:05 Are plastics a threat to human health?

    Dr John Peterson 'Pete' Myers is a US environmental scientist acknowledged as a pioneer of research looking at how plastics in food packaging and in the environment could be affecting health.

    He's the founder and chief scientist of not-for-profit organisation Environmental Health Sciences, and was co-author of the 1996 book Our Stolen Future which explored how synthetic chemicals could be disrupting the hormone and endocrine systems of both people and animals.

    Dr Myers has been in New Zealand this week, giving public talks.

    • Karol121 6.1

      Just wish that those darn cane toads could be trained to eat micro plastics, and in sufficient quantity to both gorge themselves and then die.

  6. Robert Guyton 7

    "The underworld journey and the alchemical transformation is the story at the heart of every religion I’ve ever come across. An individual has to be broken open in some way, has to go through the fire and come out the other side. That’s what our culture is doing at the moment. And all of the official stories that we tell ourselves don’t involve undergoing the underworld journey. The green narrative that we can fix everything and it will be alright, is now actually giving way to a more traditional structure in which we all have to go through the fire, and then we’ll come out completely transformed into something else.

    But we don’t like that as a culture. We don’t like transformation."


  7. Robert Guyton 8

    "There’s a story cited by Derrida via Plato about the invention of writing. Thoth, the Egyptian god of medicine and magic, tells the king he has created a method that will help the people remember and be wise. But the king tells him: the people will put all their wisdom in the writing and forget to hold it themselves. Eventually he agrees, with the warning that henceforth writing will be both a poison and a remedy. He calls it the pharmakon."


  8. Robert Guyton 9

    "In some of the old Indian stories it’s totally natural to have the land speaking. It’s true of the old fairy tales of Europe as well: you get speaking trees, you get magical things happening in woods. And it’s all completely standard. It’s just assumed that if you go into the forest, everything’s alive and weird things are going to happen. So, it’s not magical realism, it’s just realism."

  9. Robert Guyton 10

    "So, if you want to see things differently, you have to have different words to see them through, or different words to express. This language, as it’s currently spoken, certainly written in prose, is not remotely adequate to represent what you can actually see and feel when you go into a forest – it’s the opposite of indigeneity."

    Seems no matter how hard I provoke, no one cares to respond on How to Get There.

    No matter.

    I'm off to tidy the Spare Room smiley

    • greywarshark 10.1

      I can certainly respond to that prosaic action Robert. Tidy up, I'll start at in this corner.

  10. Robert Guyton 11


    What we do to the land, we do to our own imaginations. In the forests of our stories too, behind some energy and a few flashes of beauty, there is a hidden sameness that indicates some previous clear-cut, ideological or quite literal. None of this, of course, has changed substantially over the past decade.

    What has changed is the presence, on the borders, of the invasives. These creatures can smell weakness and ill-health at an enormous distance. They cluster around sores. The keepers don’t have the energy or resources to control them anymore and suddenly they are everywhere. So they are acknowledged now – but only as a threat, as something outside the real conversation, the true forest. Honeysuckle. Autumn olive. Lesser celandine. Strange, sturdy, tricky little monsters that seem to thrive better than the natives. Each time the guardians of our culture cut or spray them out, they regenerate in more durable and often poisonous forms. "

  11. Bruce 12

    I see the Hempfarm has hemp faux milk now available, so it's possible to support the healers rather that exploiters.

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      Yes. Hemp beverage though? Milk is from mammalssmiley

      • Bruce 12.1.1

        Yea let's argue over terminology, I thought faux milk was a good description. While the planet cooks. That will get us there.

        • Robert Guyton

          Not especially keen on arguing with a good idea, Bruce. I have had the experience though, of seeing dairy executives challenging innovative thinkers in the "oat-milk" industry with the claim that milk is mammalian, and that commercially, other words need to be used to describe such products as you and I are discussing. The oat-people chose "beverage" as the way through that prickly situation. The hemp-people might come under similar pressure. I'm sorry that you felt umbrage at that suggestion.

        • greywarshark

          Bruce it's the idea that we should be taking further, developing an enterprise around it. So that we need a more positive name than 'faux milk' to advance the idea to people.

          Any suggestions apart from beverage which sounds as exciting as grass-juice? Mind you the name shouldn't be too exciting, we don't want the public thinking that they will be getting some hidden highs on this. And that is whether mj ends up legit or not. This is to be just a healthy, refreshing drink. Terminology is important in this case. Is hemp elixir OTT?

          • Mista Smokey

            My Hemp Farm NZ calls this product of theirs:

            HEMP SEED & OAT MILK

            Hemptation the plant-based milk that’s just too hard to resist!

            Deliciously nutty, seductively creamy and silky-smooth. Hemptation with oat is the perfect choice for your daily essentials.

            Hemptation with oat is perfect for your latte or flat white as it is the ONLY dairy alternative that won’t separate in hot drinks!!

            Made from nature’s most nutrient dense seed, hemp! Packed full of goodness, such as a perfect balance of omega fatty acids, including GLA, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Hemptation contains all amino acids, making it a complete easily digestible protein, plus a great source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium and magnesium.

            Use Hemptation with oat in your smoothies, hot drinks, baking, sauces and cereals, or simply enjoy Hemptation nude!

            Hemptation is:

            • Low in saturated fats and free from cholesterol
            • High in polyunsaturated fats which promote a healthy heart and normal brain function. One glass of hemp milk provides approximately 50% of your recommended daily allowance of omega-3
            • Drinking hemp milk may benefit skin health and protect against heart disease
            • Hemptation is a little environmental hero, requiring no chemicals or pesticides and very little water to grow. Hemp takes in 4 x CO2 more than pine trees, plus nothing is wasted when producing food and drink from hemp, as the valuable fibre is also utilised for composites, textiles, eco-matting, plastics and more.
            • Hemp tastes similar to pine nuts, which means that it has a deliciously light and nutty flavour.
            • Will not separate in hot drinks
            • Proudly made in New Zealand
  12. greywarshark 13

    Mista Smokey I've taken a note of that. Thanks – Hemptation – i like it.

  13. greywarshark 15

    https://thestandard.org.nz/learning-to-win-fast/ Lots of discussion about Australias problems fire, drought etc.

    Using cactus as fire breaks!

    Interesting points about solar water extraction to encourage tree growing that will help bring rain as scientifically proven, needed in Australia. It is not helpful to desalinate using membranes as some salt still gets through and creates problems. (Could have shrubs, trees that can cope with salt in certain areas to stabilise and green an area, mangroves, possibly be trees salt-capable also.)

  14. greywarshark 16

    On diverse tree planting – mixed plantations https://thestandard.org.nz/fifty-shades-of-meh/#comment-1666583. 15 November 2019 at 10:30 am

    Stuart Munro.

    I'm not a nativist myself – but I want a bit more diversity than pine. A bit of macro – it's lovely timber. A stand of totara – wonderful stuff, given a bit of time. Some mixed podocarps for the birds. Bit of decorative chestnut. Some blackwood. Lacquer trees for a sustainable craft industry. Sugar maples. Not just radiata – even just staggering harvest dates would be an improvement on that.

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