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How To Get There 27/10/19

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 27th, 2019 - 14 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 …

14 comments on “How To Get There 27/10/19”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    As a result of some anxiousness around the local body election results smiley, I'm experiencing an upsurge of creative thinking and hunger for action, along with connecting with others similarly driven. All sorts of opportunities have dropped into my lap as a result; connections through the internet and visits to my garden, chance meetings in the street and so on. So today on How to get there, I'd like to share some of those that are around trees and forests and the role they are playing and will increasingly play, in recreating the world. The first "clip" is the most significant for me; an elegant explanation of why it's not useful to regard ourselves, we humans that is, as "bad" or a blight on the planet and how we can and will (here's hoping) reverse the trend and make good our destiny (the crowd goes wild!). Akiva Silver is a young nurseryman who loves chestnut trees. He grows tens of thousands of them every year and makes his living from selling them across the USA. Here's how his book, "Trees of power: ten essential arboreal allies", begins:

    My friend Mark and I paddled down the Clarion River in

    Pennsylvania. We were dressed in full buckskin. Our clothes

    were made from hides we had brain-tanned ourselves. We

    carried longbows of hickory and ash that we had made. Flint-tipped

    arrows of viburnum wood filled our quivers. Our minds were filled with

    vision. To gather all of our food, live in a shelter we made without tools,

    sit by a fire lit by no match, and become one with the wilderness. We de-

    spised civilization and revered nature. Every morning and evening was

    a fully attuned meditation to the forest around us. We had trained for

    this trip for years, learning ancient primitive skills, spending thousands

    of hours in the woods.

    Our camp was far from where any hiker would discover us, tucked

    back on the mountain under a canopy of rhododendron and red maple.

    It was the month of May. I had just left Rochester, New York. Living

    in the suburbs, I was craving the wilderness, desperate for her truths.

    The town was dirtied everywhere by the hands of people. Houses, wires,

    fences, garbage, streets, electric lights, cars: It was all in the way of what

    I thought was real.

    As the days went by on our camping trip, I slowly began to realize

    how quiet it was there. It was too quiet. When I left Rochester, it had

    been bursting with the life of spring. The dawn chorus of birds had

    been overwhelming during my morning sits. But here in the wilderness,

    under an endless canopy of red maple, it was silent. Maybe I would see

    a robin or two at dawn, maybe a chipmunk. In Rochester, in the heart

    of the suburbs, I had been encountering thousands of birds, foxes, rac-

    coons, deer, mink, opossums, skunks, squirrels, coyotes, and many other

    creatures on a daily basis. Here in the “wilderness,” it was silent.

    This was the beginning of my realization that people are not bad.

    We can be helpful or destructive to wildlife populations. It all depends

    on how we focus our energy, on what we do to the soils and how we

    influence plant communities.

    The hills along the Clarion River where we camped were covered in

    close to 100 percent red maple. Those red maples had seeded in at just

    the right time following a heavy logging operation 50 to 80 years ago. If

    someone had taken the time to plant just a few specific trees at the time

    of disturbance, then I would have been in a very different forest. Leav-

    ing that land alone following disturbance had its own dramatic effect.

    Choosing to do nothing with a piece of land is a big choice that carries

    significant consequences.

    We live at a time where there is widespread disturbance all around us.

    The ground is open and waiting for seeds. We can bemoan the tragedies

    that nature has endured or we can cast seeds and plant a future. We can

    and do influence the ecosystems around us more than any other species.

    That influence can come through reckless destruction, blind abandon-

    ment, or conscious intent. This book is about making the choice to

    participate in nature through conscious intent by working with trees.

    • weka 1.1

      Lovely.

      That shift to humans being part of nature and taking our place in regeneration will be the game changer.

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        I agree, weka. We've made a mess but can clean it up. It won't be the same as it was in most parts, but it was inevitable we'd find ourselves in this position (in my opinion) and what we do from here on in is what matters. The new version will be novel and that's what the universe yearns for smiley

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    I tried eating hosta for the first time this week. I fried a fat spear in butter and it was very good indeed. Coincidentally, I've just finished planting a hundred or so hosta throughout my forest garden and now I know I've created a edible perennial crop that will be part of our diet from here on in. This article describes that situation and gives some nice background to the plant.

    You’d be hard-pressed to find a yard without hostas tucked away in some garden area. These leafy ground covers, which come in an array of sizes and colors, make a beautiful addition to any garden border or location where you want to keep weeds at bay. But this beautiful ornamental boasts a dirty (or lovely) little secret: It’s actually an edible.

    Hostas originate in the mountain forests of Japan where they are known as Urui and part of a class of vegetables known as “mountain vegetables.” As part of the Asparagaceae family, the hosta’s best-known edible relative found in our spring gardens stateside is asparagus. It’s typically the young, tender shoots that are harvested, and they impart a mild, lettuce-like flavor.

    https://www.hobbyfarms.com/hostas-the-leafy-green-you-didnt-know-you-could-eat/

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    I know I'm flooding the thread, but I've got an event to prepare for this morning; the Medieval Club are coming out to stay and play in our garden and big yurt and I will be involved, on and off, meeting and greeting those fully-costumed folk, so I thought I'd lay down some think-pieces here now, in case I get too distracted. I'm very interested to hear your views on these things though.

    I've bolded the statement in this next piece that I think is most interesting, on the theme of "what we do isn't all bad"

    Urban forests with Ted talk,

    Now surrounded by cities and agriculture, humans are no longer living in their “natural” habitat, argues a forest-building engineer named Shubhendu Sharma.

    But we can recreate little chunks of that habitat in just ten years our own backyards, workplaces and public spaces, he explains in the Ted Talk below:

    Sharma’s forests grow 10 times faster, are 100 times more biodiverse and 30 times more lush than typical reforestation projects.

    He used his model for manufacturing as many cars as possible per square feet of factory space and applied it to growing trees.

    His methods enable him to grow a 300-tree forest in the space of 6 parked cars.

    Amazingly, the cost of growing a forest is roughly the same as an iPhone

    https://educateinspirechange.org/nature/grow-100-year-old-self-sustainable-food-forest-backyard-just-10-years/

    • A 3.1

      That is really impressive, thanks for posting yes

      • Robert Guyton 3.1.1

        You are welcome. Tropical is different from temperate so far as speed of growth is concerned, but his approach to problem-solving is the important thing.

  4. Thanks for fitting all that in on when you have something else on today Robert.   Good reading there for us.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    It is always uplifting and thought provoking to read your posts Robert
    Do not apologise for being interesting and a "go to " on Sundays 

  6. How to be in 2020?   We are at the end of 20 years since the millenium – how far have we advanced in trying to adjust our thinking, amend our behaviours, face our present reality and the likely scenario from the present trend line?    We know that we have to change, yet if people are comfortably off, if they have convinced themselves that they are hot-shot citizens just from buying, repairing houses or renting them then selling them, then such people haven't really entered the 21st century.

    Here is the first of stuff articles with the theme How I Made My First Million.  Titled 'Working hard to make his own LUCK' it is about a guy who started off in a bank, which at that time gave concessionary house loans to its staff, so he was a houseowner by 21.   He reached the $1 million mark through property.  He 'left a corporate career to set up startup Laybuy at the age of 56.'   https://www.pressreader.com/new-zealand/nelson-mail/20191026/282230897478090

    As Fred Dagg sang, 'We don't know how lucky we are'.   He had the chops to recognise opportunities, coming from a background that didn't have traditional approaches to work and lifestyle that kept them on the low earner level that goes with being  semi-skilled' or 'unskilled', ie not skilled in the good-paying job sector.    He went into the conceptual sector, where ideas that become physical are enabled with resources, with no direct physical activity being involved.   He made money from trading in one of life's necessities, dwellings where people live their own private lives, and making money from money, then went to the internet where people are losing touch with their physical reality and community, and increasingly denying trade to their local area;  on-line trading which is a useful adjunct, becoming the first and only stop.

    Physical work with solid matter is necessary for us to realise our own selves, but we don't think about that much, we don't do reflection, only self-congratulation.   That doesn't prepare us for a collaborative, friendly and honest relationship in our communities and country for the hard times ahead.   Can affluent people bear to share with others, take a cut in what they think as hard-gained assets and lifestyle?   When the hard times come won't they want to buy up the lifeboats and reserve them for themselves.

    I think we urgently need to think and understood our human nature and its tendencies towards excesses of thinking and acting.   I notice the practice of setting 100% targets which is utopianism, on one side, and on the other Randian selfishness and callousness, and desires for aggrandisement to meet the accepted standard of fashion, using others, people, animals, and materials of the planet.
     
    I thought this morning that we need to turn back to study of humanities, and away from the major emphasis being on science, and contempt for the soft 'social sciences' relating to people, behaviour, culture and past cultures.
     
    Hope and Reward could be the foundations of a basic understanding of our own drives.  If we start off with those words and meanings of what makes us tick – what gets us out of bed in the morning and working to keep ourselves, it will be the right path.   Then look for others who want the simple rewards of a good, happy life with decent standard of living in a healthy-minded community.  This would be one that enables people to make their individual way with boundaries to prevent excess.  And where thinking people get together for reflection on our physical world and our approaches to it and each other, philosophy becoming an important general activity starting at primary school without being religion-based.  And being encouraged to think, first about actions then about likely outcomes, kids planning and working together, and finding when they can't how to achieve community.  Having debates and  activities and argument which would get the mind going, sorting through ideas for the best, preventing narrow, rigid fundamentalism.

  7. Ad 7

     

    So here's a quandary: can you make airports more sustainable? Queenstown in particular?

    Well, at least when you rebuild the runway, make it out of photocopier toner containers and crushed beer bottle glass:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1910/S00519/queenstown-airports-apron-resurfacing-project-wins.htm

    Looking forward to Auckland Airport taking up the challenge for its runway rebuilds, second runway, and multiple new roads it has got going. 

    It would be awesome for our glass recycling and our massive use of oil-based tarmac in roading renewals if NZTA and local councils could specify more of this. 

    • Graeme 7.1

      There's a lot of pure engineering reasons for the approach as well and sustainability.

      Central Otago has huge challenges producing high performance sands with a suitable grading, particle shape and crush resistance as most of it is derived from schists which are pretty soft and produce a flat particle.  So high strength sand has a glass content to make up for the deficiencies in the geology.  Fortunately we produce plenty of waste glass and have just gone to a 3 bin waste system to improve the cleanliness of the glass stream, which wasn't really good enough with the old mixed stream.

      Recycled plastic is added to bitumen to improve it's performance over a wide temperature range, to stop it cracking in winter and melting in summer.  There was a reason they had to re-surface the apron after a couple of years.  The running surface on Frankton Road gets milled out and relaid every couple of years, it just falls to bits.  The surfacing contractors and engineers have been experimenting with plastic additions for quite a while with good results.  Toner cartridges evidently have the right mix of plastics,  are a consistent item and readily available through replacement / recycling schemes.  Chucking them in the brew deals with the nasties quite well too.
      https://www.closetheloop.co.nz/products/
      http://tonerpave.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/TonerPave_Product-Sheet_Aug14.pdf

  8. PS Robert could you drop me a line of what you think – I mentioned in last weeks How to about a collection of pieces in a Christmas booklet?

  9. From May 2019 Radionz. Plants plasticity – how they grow – hormone signals shape plants reaction to environment.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018695820/how-to-think-like-a-plant
    environment farming   From Nine To Noon, 10:09 am on 20 May 2019

    How to think like a plant
    A window into the world of plant decision-making, without the benefit of a brain. British plant developmental biologist Dame Ottoline Leyser talks to Kathryn about her research which uses the hormonal control of shoot branching to investigate plant decision-making mechanisms.

    She says we face huge problems in the face of feeding a growing world population and amid  increasing environmental challenges meaning that GM and genome editing techniques must be part of the solution. 

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