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Nate Mack

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since May 12, 2015
SW Missouri
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Recent posts by Nate Mack

Hey there, Shae. I'm in Missouri as well. I'm 38 years old and have been a fervent Christian since I was 11. It'd be great to chat with ya.
Hi Amy. I'm doing well here. Thank you for asking. How are you doing?
That sounds like a good way to approach it. All we can do is exemplify values and convictions. Hopefully the benefits and the resulting care will result in a change of inclinations.
Thank you, Sarah, for posting such thoughtful and candid replies. They are a breath of fresh air, for sure. You have a lot of impeccable logic and common sense in my view. I'm putting this one in my quote book:

People think if someone is talented, that they should be passionate about what they're talented at. But it isn't always so. Sometimes a person is only passionate about things they're really really bad at. Sometimes a person is only passionate about things that aren't marketable or interesting to businesses. And sometimes a person has such a wide variety of interests that they find it really really really difficult to invest themself in just one.



At this point, I kind of feel like I'm using the systems to get to a point where I'm less reliant on them. It feels kind of like indentured servitude. I'm not really sure what life looks like when you have a piece of property and a home paid for, but I'm hoping to find out. Then, I'm hoping to really take on the challenge of living in a different way. Until then, I'm doing my best to learn what to do when I get there.

I do think that our productivity and our work is one of the primary ways that God gives us to love on our neighbor. Whether it is man-made or nature-made produce, we have the opportunity to bring mutual benefits. How you go about that is between you and God. Certainly Jesus wasn't very conventional in the way he went about doing the most important work. Most would consider him a vagabond today, I would think. Of course, he drew the ire of the societal structure as well (and still does).

I don't think that many people can be as honest with themselves as you can. It may bring with it a certain level of tortured discovery, but I think you will be better for having gone on the more-difficult path.

Thank you for sharing with me the link about things to grow here! I have planted a couple of pawpaws, but they are growing quite slowly. I would love to have some persimmon trees as well. I will bookmark this.

BeeBee Busker wrote:Thank you for the welcoming reply. Which county are you in? I think I'm blocked out because I'm new here and con not moosage yet? Either that or the name BB isn't an acceptable name.



Thank you for replying to me as well, BB. That's strange. It seems like you should be able to send the private messages. I'm relatively close to the Springfield area in Missouri. Where are you currently located?
1 year ago

Sarah Koster wrote:So... about the ducks.
I used to have two ducks, named Tender and Delicious. I didn't know about raccoons back then... their lives were brief and exciting. So much joy from a kiddie pool full of minnows.
I'm hoping you don't have an unrealistic idea of my merits, I'm probably a bit of a rapscallion by churchy standards what with my hitch-hiking ways. I have learned that my ideals are not something I can live up to and am trying to adjust those ideals (and my threshold for guilt over failing) more to what God asks of me rather than trying to live up to the fairytale hero paradigm in my mind.
Do you have the experience of people misquoting scripture to try and discourage you from farming? I'm not sure why people do that here.



Hey Sarah. Those are hilarious names for ducks. Evidently they were prophetic as well! Poor ducks.

I like what you have to say about not living up to our own ideals. I think everyone should admit that about themselves since we tend to build these frameworks of belief that we can never quite live up to. It's almost like we need intervention and redemption from a Being more powerful than us in order to see the light. :)

I haven't had people try and discourage me just yet. If I absconded from a lot of other responsibilities I have in life, I imagine I might attract some intervention from loved ones. Why do people try and discourage you?

Sarah Koster wrote:J- this thread is the wrong place for your question.

Nathan,
Thanks! I do tend to peddle in gloom too much, it's a learned behavior as my dad literally walks around the house saying, "Doom, doom dooom. We're all doomed." He thinks this is funny. Doctrinally speaking I'm well aware of the hope and the good and salvation for all of creation through Christ, but on the emotional end it's been quite the challenge.
I didn't mean to imply that agriculture has anything to do with salvation, if you got that impression. The fact that the Hebrews were largely nomadic shepherds kind of attests to that. There's always been conflict between nomadic herdsmen and stationary, grain-oriented farmers. The necessity of tilling came with the curse, but with Christ the curse is broken.
I would like to get back to your enthusiastic emphasis on love-- this is absolutely the most important thing. Honestly I have had a transient lifestyle for much of my adult life, and with it experienced a lot of abuse which has left me feeling not quite myself. I am interested neither in repeating this cycle, nor in making myself feel like crap over it. I am, however, interested in healing and growing and overcoming my grotesquely oversensitive conscience. (If I see a worm on the sidewalk, and I don't move it to the dirt, I might keep thinking about it for a few days, wishing I had helped the worm.) I would like to re-learn how to love people, as I've crawled into my little snail shell for safety and am having trouble finding my way back out.
I also didn't mean to imply that all companies and all industry are inherently evil and doom-hastening. However, the economic model which necessitates constant growth in order for common people to meet their basic needs, is flawed. It incentivizes over-consumption, over-exploitation and over-production at the same time as it artificially creates demand by holding back certain resources and conditioning people to consume and depend on services and quantities of goods that do not improve their quality of life.
Ideally I fantasize about using absolutely no electricity, not because I'm afraid that the greenhouse gases will ruin the weather and kill everybody, but because I think petroleum products are gross and dirty. Practically I would very much like to have a freezer full of durian at my constant disposal for the rest of my life.
I'm thinking that my own studies have been much more focused on the events leading up to the captivity than yours, there are a few books where God deals with human behavior on a nationwide scale specifically. Probably I have a fascination with the Isaiah-->Ezra (the priest Ezra, not the "book of ezra" that's being circulated which I don't trust whatsoever) series of events because I originally found it disturbing. In these books the events unfolding are attributed, not to an individual's sin, but to the collective behavior of the Hebrew nations as a whole. Isaiah actually does describe desertification as being the result of sin.
The flip side is that with a simple change of behavior, we can do a LOT of good. Nature prettymuch fixes itself, once we stop doing horrible things to it. The Ohio which was almost completely deforested 100 or so years ago, today is covered with trees. The nature preserve that was devastated by a tornado 20 years ago, looks like a mature forest now. There aren't any toads by my house anymore, since the township bought the spawning grounds and turned it into a "park" by cutting down tons of trees and messing up the wetland, but a 40 minute walk away there's a temporary pond in an abandoned parking lot that's full of toad tadpoles.
Anyway... not really looking for someone who agrees with me on everything (neither of us would learn anything!) so much as someone who shares the same goals and convictions of heart. That way we can work together effectively and not undermine one another. Someone with whom I can be candid and show my whole self to-- and not have to hide the parts I hide from church people, and not have to hide the parts I tuck away from permie people. (Last church I was at, they kept trying to get me to "get a job that uses my degree" even though I would hate that! As if that's what I needed to live a fulfilling life and to please God. Sheesh. Not to mention my degree is almost entirely useless on its own.) So basically... someone to call home.



Hi Sarah. I greatly admire your candidness, and I couldn't agree more with everything you said here. I do think that fallen humanity goes far to bring destruction where it need not be had. Thankfully, redemption and restoration can be found in both the natural world and the spiritual world, and I'm thankful that people are doing their best to push back the fall as much as they are able. It sounds like you are doing your part to do just that as well.

I love the historical aspect that you brought into your comments here. Your candidness reflects the candidness that is found in the Bible as well. The Bible doesn't mince words.

Sharing the same goals and convictions is a beautiful thing. It is a rare thing to see people working together under shared goals and convictions, and I certainly seek to find that type of symbiotism.

I also understand the reticence that comes from being hurt by others. Even though it is inevitable that we toughen up as a result of our experiences, I sometimes feel like I'm one of those flowers that closes up when it gets touched. I don't want to lose that sensitivity that flows from compassion, and it sounds like you don't either. I admire you for staying the course and for living a life of humble conviction.

Sarah Koster wrote:BTW I'm totally over myself so even if our other conversation goes nowhere, I'm probably gonna want to at least pay you a visit sometime, zero awkwardness other than my inherent social awkwardness. I sleep in a tent in my parents yard so I'm totally cool with sleeping in a tent in some other person's yard who's a cool permie who will do bible study with me.



I'm honored that you would want to come and check out the place. Adding a Bible study to that would make it very pleasant indeed!

J Anders wrote:

Nathan May wrote:That's great that you are able to keep up your garden in spite of the challenges. This is the first year that i have tried kale. I've barely gotten to eat any, because those and the brassicas are prime target for everything around here. I think I shall try growing them under a screen next year. Do you think that would work?



I would personally [based on my experiences] keep it going through the winter until you find that you're attracting the cabbage wasps... then they will gobble up those caterpillars that destroy it. My first year was horrible... I must have gotten cabbage wasps late that year, and then I had a 30' row of kale that fall, and then I harvested it for seed the next summer in about July. It takes an amazingly long time to go to seed- can be eaten through June. I have some this year that I don't know if it'll go to seed until next year, no sign of seeds this year, even though I planted it late last fall and a lot of it came back. Since that first year I've had NO problems what so ever with brassicas... other than cabbage heads splitting. I have 3 split heads in the garden that are already growing new heads that are nearly as big as the original split heads! But... since that first year I've had brassicas growing constantly in my garden and everyone is happy. However, I have gotten stung by a wasp twice in the last two weeks, first one was a paper wasp and I got rid of their nest which was  in a hole in my vinyl siding corner RIGHT next to the back door, and the other nest is somewhere in the yard in the same vicinity. Aggravating. I don't normally kill wasps... just leave me alone is all I ask.

If you're not desperate to eat it and you have enough ground to play with it's fun to let everything complete their natural cycles. I have also grown beets and spinach to seed as well.



I greatly appreciate this advice, J Anders. I feel like I haven't quite become the magnet for beneficial insects just yet, but it helps me to know that it might take more than a year for this to happen. I even put up one of those little beneficial insect houses, but it hasn't had much activity. I'll keep holding out hope for them to come by!

BeeBee Busker wrote:I am hoping to WWOOF in the near future! I have an RV and work online to cover my basic expenses. I am hoping to gain experience with sustainable agriculture, harvesting and canning, and hopefully keeping some canned or dried foods. At what stage is your homestead in? Do you need help with fall harvests this year? Feel free to send me a PM!



Thank you for contacting me, BeeBee. It sounds like you are wanting to do a lot of the things that I'm wanting to do. I haven't planted things for the fall yet. I wasn't quite sure if I would, but I would definitely do so if I had help with it. My homestead is basically a hobby farm at the moment, but it is quite functional for providing what is needed for living.

I'm not quite sure how to message you directly since it looks like your name is blocked out. I'll be glad to do so.
1 year ago