Allan Babb

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since Mar 18, 2012
Greater New Orleans, LA, USA
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Recent posts by Allan Babb

You're looking for an intentional community, or something along the lines of a Transition Town.  Another place to look for answers to your local question may be in groups that do things like tool libraries and the such like  It will require people to work with each other either way you go about this, and that goes completely against the values of the dominant global culture.  You can't sell 15 lawnmowers to a family/clan that shares stuff after all.
2 years ago

James Landreth wrote:I feel like part of living this lifestyle is breaking down current values and returning to or creating new ones. One example of this is turning lawns into food (valuing life, biodiversity, food, etc more than trends and aesthetics). Another might be going out of your way to produce something for yourself “the hard way” so you don’t have to buy it and contribute to an unethical production process.

I have faced near relentless criticism for living this way. I’ve received praise too, which is nice, but another subject. A lot of the criticism I’ve received has been about dressing (I dress comfortably and second hand) and other personal aesthetics. It’s hard. I don’t shave as often or neatly because of time and energy, I don’t care if clothes match, etc. Oftentimes I brush it off and continue about my business, but lately it’s been hard not to dwell on.

What are your strategies for coping with this? Do you turn to other permies and like minded folks when things get hard?

To put it into perspective for you: the current global culture is killing the planet by turning life into profit margins.  So, why would you want to be commended by people living in that?
2 years ago
If you just want to see how deep you can go before you hit rock, then a pipe probe may be all you need.  There should be some ~60".
2 years ago

Alex Apfelbaum wrote:I see a few aspects that may give Permaculture a bad image to some people :

- It's seen as "unscientific" : A lot in Permaculture is based on the effects of inteconnections within a whole system, that makes it the oposite of a typical scientific experiment where you isolate things to pinpoint specific factors and results. Permaculture is also about trusting nature, the scientific mind doesn't like that.

Ecology is a (relatively) new science. Ecology and permaculture are very close cousins. There are a lot of people who don't have a firm grasp on science, or have kept up to date since leaving school.

- There is a "new-age/hippie/hipster/alternative/callitwhatever" side to Permaculture that attracts a certain kind of people who may not be taken seriously by the average professional farmer.

Yeah, I feel this vibe sometimes too. But I'm no hippie, I'm not a hipster. I might be considered alternative(and likely callitwhatever).

- There are no big corporations and celebrities endorsing it, no marketing, no big brands. In effect it doesn't really exist in the global media world, so how can it be serious ? (some people think like that.. sadly)

It is unfortunate that some people think this way. There's also nothing of real value that actually gets advertised these days. So this might be for the best.

It really depends on the people you talk to, these three points can also be seen as giving Permaculture a good image !

I like to draw my own conclusions from the facts.
5 years ago
Just an FYI. They make blades specifically for green wood(well, wet really): That's far from the only blade, many companies make them.
5 years ago
Sweet, now we have more Asiatic insects to go with our Asiatic plants.

Maybe the US and China can just trade landmasses. We give them all of their familiar plants and insects, while we get the beginnings of an industrialized nation so people can get rich quick while raping new land. /sarcasm

Reading a little on wikipedia, it seems they take a fancy to legumes in general and not just soybeans and kudzu. I guess it's time to use less annual nitrogen fixing legumes and more shrubs/trees. I assume the reason soybeans were mentioned is because people make lots of money from them.
8 years ago

Deno McFez wrote:.this past week the "ladies" have been in molt

Moulting takes some serious energy. I'd not be surprised if that moulting is what's causing the drop in egg laying.
8 years ago
MOST heavy metals only become an issue with low pH, they just aren't soluble, so plants won't uptake them in to their roots. I'll be damned if I can find anything on this, however(outside of the normal chart showing plant nutrients at pH). Compost is an amazing substance and can make some highly toxic substances inert and it also raises the pH. Again, finding a source of information is troublesome. But at least this is a starting point for your research. If I were doing this project, I'd just turn the entire lot in to one big compost pile and let nature take her course for about a year. See what grows, how well it does and let observation be your guide.
8 years ago

Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Hello Allan,

Thank you so much for responding, I hope I have not presented myself as too harsh. I also did not want to sound to culturally biased or judgemental, so please forgive me if I came across that way. We all have our "thin spots," and one of mine is what seems to be a never ending "we (Anglo Culture) know what is best for you" mentality. I probably read too much into things sometimes, (please forgive) but I grew up in the south under the parentage of mixed race, and more often than not, I see things from the minority or "3rd world," perspective.

I was born in Scotland, I am British by birth and my mother is German. You don't get more anglo saxon than me. I know what western civilization has done, and continues to do. I also live in Louisiana, so I know what you're talking about there too. Being a white male, I get to listen to a lot of it, even if it's not directed at me. The 3rd world is the majority of humans, which the 1st world continues to abuse, even if we're ignorant about it. Sustainability and ecofriendly are just advertising cliches these days and are becoming meaningless, they're the new "Extra Strength" and "New and Improved". Ah, consumerism, which the CNC built house promotes. I won't deny that it has a cool factor(and speaks to my inner geek), but that's all it has in my book. Seeing consumerism for what it is has to be one of the bigger benefits to learning permaculture.

What I'm saying is that you have no need to apologize. I was just joking, hence the ":p". Text does not do a good job of transmitting emotions.
8 years ago
While I like the open source aspect of the project, I have to tentatively agree with Jay about the care for earth aspect of this project(even though I'm a white European male :p). I realize that there are shanty towns and towns even made of cardboard across the world, but using sheet goods that last 25 years even when pressure treated is not the way to go. Most houses built these days have a 50 year life expectancy, I can't see the wikihouses lasting half that. This has a large possibility of forcing people to be greater consumers of forests, which we can't really afford. Not to mention all the chemicals that go into making sheet "lumber". Teaching people how to build traditional housing would be a much better approach(earthen housing that lasts 1000+ years for example and there are plenty of houses built during the Tudor period that still exist). We, as 1st world nations, need to approach 3rd world standards, not the other way around. True craftsmen need to make a comeback.
8 years ago