Jim Gruber

author
+ Follow
since Jul 09, 2020
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
5
In last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
26
Received in last 30 days
0
Total given
1
Given in last 30 days
0
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Jim Gruber

David Trammel wrote:Welcome Jim. Timely subject given how poorly many of our communities have been handling this health crisis.

Looking forward to reviewing the book.



David,

Yes...this has been a very sad affair on facing COVID-19 health crisis.   I think it shows the under-belly of a system that favors those with money and power and ignores the others.   My hope is that what I learned from communities that were healthy from the perspective of equitably sharing resources, promoting real transparency, making decision collaboratively, and working togethering for the good of all...including the ecological systems on which we are all dependent...could be applied to our own communities.    I particularly appreciate the African proverb that I quote ...."If you wish to go fast...go alone,  If you wish to go far...go together."


Jim
2 months ago

Chris Panagiotou wrote:Considering building a workshop and house and am trying to decide between log building and timberframe building. Anyone have any thoughts as to the pros and cons?

I have built homes before, milling the lumber with a chainsaw mill, I have the tools needed for both types of building, I have logs and trees available at the site but the logs would need to be hauled mostly by hand. Trees are spruce or western hemlock. I like the log option because I wouldn't need to spend an eternity milling siding and interior wall coverings as I would with a timberframe, however the logs will be a lot more work to get to the site because of the hand hauling. Timberframe would need expensive insulation where log would not. Timberframe might go up faster and would certainly entail less heavy hauling of wood. I have built small buildings both timberframe and log so I am familiar with both methods and comfortable doing either but this would be the biggest project I have tackled yet. Both buildings would be two story and around 1,000 sq feet each.

One main goal would be to use as little purchased materials as possible and all of the lumber would be milled with the Alaska mill on or near the house site. No building codes here.

Any input at all would be great!



I built a 900 sf traditional timber frame home 40 years ago.  Ir ia insulation is on the outside that stops  deterioration to the timbers.  Traditional timber frames are 500 year old because the structure is separate from the insulation.  I once lived in Kind Henry's  the 7th hunting lodge in Watford, England and loved this typed of construction from the 1500s.   I ended up co-writing the first traditional timber framing book in 1980  as a DIY manual (Building the Tmiber Frame House by Benson with Gruber). I was the engineer and all of the detailed how-to drawings.    I am now involved in the Pemies site due to a second book:  "Building Community" that is featured under the City Repair Forum.

So...I recommend Traditional Timber Framing...if you want to build once for a structure that will last 100's of years (if done properly).  It is also a great community event when you raise the frame!

Best,

Jim

Michael Curtice wrote:Welcome to Permission, Jim!!! Glad to have you in the mix! KUDOS for writing your book!!! Community is the key to many facets of everyday life and giving society a 'blueprint' (your book) to achieve a better lifestyle within your Community is definitely a breath of fresh air!!! Thank You for caring and sharing!!! Positive Vibrations...Mike



Michael,

Thank you.  I appreciate your comment on the book.  I also want to clarify that the ideas/concepts shared in the book are not my insights but, more accurately, the sharing of the lessons learned from hundreds of others from around the world who have been successful with improving their community's health, environmental conditions, food, livelihoods, and social capital.  We can all learn from others who are dedicated to improving their community so that all community members benefit, including the next generations.

Jim
2 months ago

Susan Dobbins wrote:I am interested in this book, for I feel for my grandson and his grandchildren will need connection as the world is becoming more separating with technology and right now this virus.  I'm starting over at 57, had a little setback with some pulmonary embolisms. My plans got way laid this year, but, next I plan on doing a lot of gardening and donating to food pantries.  I am in a small town now, bought this place at tax sale, crazy cheap and remodeling at snail pace, lol. Anyway, the world of my kids is so much different and distanced than human contact and sense of community that I experienced in another small town in the Midwest. These community building ideas I find facinating and so simple once started. Kind of like the old town church of many years ago. A place to meet and be part of nature, get some edible items and communicate live with others.  I'm planning on making a green house and becoming less dependent on the stores for produce. Also to be able to share produce in the city that they don't get at the food pantries. This economy is collapsing and more and more will need assistance and teaching building a community effort and support system with be necessary moving forward, in my opinion.



Susan,

Thank you for your thoughtful and kind comment. Many of your current efforts I have undertaken over the years.   I also grew up in LA but now live in a small town in New Hampshire where social capital and quality of life is a driver for decision making (not higher income, larger home, etc.)  You may also wish to get connected with your local university if they have community outreach efforts that you can support.  Here is one of the community outreach efforts that my university grew with faculty and students...to help grow healthy food and provide food to our local food shelf/community kitchen in Keene, NH.   https://www.antioch.edu/new-england/resources/centers-institutes/keene-community-garden-connections/
All of these bottom-up community efforts are grounded in growing or building community capital (social, human, natural, and cultural).  These types of efforts inspired our writing of this book   (https://buildingcommunity12principles.squarespace.com/.

Best... Jim

2 months ago
Wonderful photos of community efforts in US cities/towns...working to make these communities healthier!   I was able to collect and publish 26 case studies of innovative communities in the US and other parts of the world ... that made a difference.  Some of these communities have very few financial resources but high community social capital.   I think you will find these stories encouraging.  I have summaries of them and a few full stories on our book's website: https://buildingcommunity12principles.squarespace.com/

I hope this inspires and give you hope.

Jim

P.S. I used to be a town manager in Vermont.   I love local community efforts!
2 months ago

Aimee Hall wrote:Welcome Jim. That is a very important topic, thank you for bringing your book to the world and congratulations.

What I read in your excerpts and on your website I do fully agree with and have implemented (to the best of my understanding without having read the rest of your book) in my own communities.

I think the issue I have had the most problem with is the slackers. They are often the most involved and helpful in meetings, planning, often want to be the ones in charge but seem to fall short when it comes to doing any of the real work. Unfortunately, others get tired of doing those peoples share of the work and then tend to fall into their habits, but I have found that many of the principals you mention will rally most back into action. They have varied in specific habits and excuses, but always insist they want to be a part of the community, sometimes they are spouses, siblings, or children of helpful active members.

Though I have never found an ideal solution for dealing with the people who are lazy, nor have the other community leaders. (unfortunately I believe being lazy is something most humans have to fight against. I do not want to do all the work that I do, I just feel I must or I cannot properly relax during the moments of peace I allow myself. Some people however are quite content to let everyone else do the work.) What are your suggestions? Because in my experience, they have been the single biggest challenge to productive and healthy community building.

Thank you so much for your time and expertise. I hope your book helps many get onto the right track with their communities.





Aimee,

Thank you for your comments and sharing your challenges.   Yes...these issues of a few people carrying most of the load is common and a few people, like you, finally get exhausted and discouraged without broader support from others.   I do not have a magic wand to address this challenge but can refer you to some concepts by Ron Heifetz on a leadership approach (and other practitioners) in Chapter 10 (Principle I: Practice Leadership ... Practice Adaptive Leadership and Co-Management).  Also, building broader positive community norms...where the social expectations of the full group is clear (see chapter 12 Strengthen the Foundation for examples).  Clearly, some people have for stronger skill and motivation than others.  I have found that trying to find a role (job) for those with limited capacity is also critical.  I once developed, with a broad community group and 1000s of volunteers, a new recycling & composting center in Vermont.   One limited person was angry and felt left out.  We thought...what could this person do to contribute to a major celebration of the opening of the new center?  Well, we asked him to hep direct cars to the parking areas.  He was so happy to have a role, he became a strong supporter of this new center.    I hope this is helpful.

Keep up the good work.

Jim
2 months ago

Mary Haasch wrote:Welcome Jim! After looking through the book excerpt, I have a question. When I think of building things it always starts with a strong foundation and yet the Principle of 'Strengthen the Foundation' is not mentioned until 'K' which seems a little late in the process of building something. Conversely, in Figure 1.3 the 'Strengthen the Foundation' - K principle is dead center and at the base of the Principles. Was this by design? Can you provide any additional insight?



Mary,

Thank you for your questions.  I am appreciate that you have found that strengthening the foundation is critical in supporting positive change processes. I have also found this to be the case and is usually a very early on effort.   The Principles are not in any sequential order (and that is why they do not have numbers...because people like to follow the numbers in order!)  What I have found is that groups and organizations have different challenges or are at different points in their evolution or change processes.  Yes... Principle K is typically early in building (or re-building) community groups towards a more sustainable and healthy future.  However,  the principles: "Involving Everyone" and "Work Together" and others such as how leadership is practiced are also sometime starting points when I have worked with a group.   We have found that the foundation is strengthened by their leaders earning trust, becoming more transparent, resolving previous conflicts, etc.   In chapter 14 I provide a 10 step collaborative planning approach with a proposed sequence that starts with listening and a collaborative process for creating a shared vision.    There is also a community assessment process that could help identify the greatest challenges.  This assessment process is not in the book but on this book's website https://buildingcommunity12principles.squarespace.com/.    I hope I answered your questions.

Best,

Jim

PS. It was a (fortunate) accident that Strengthening the Foundation is located on the bottom - center in Figure 1.3!   Thanks for pointing this out!
2 months ago

Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:Hi Jim.
Building community, that's one of the most important parts of Permaculture, in my opinion!



Inge

Yes...I have also found that building an inclusive community is the foundation for Permaculture.   Without a foundation that includes trusts, respective, inclusion, and caring....very little else can be accomplished.  You may be interested in Principe:   on Strengthen the Foundation of a community (Principle K).    You can read more about this on my book's webpage: https://buildingcommunity12principles.squarespace.com/



Jim
2 months ago

Dado Scooter wrote:

Jim Gruber wrote:I am pleased to have my book on the City Form of Permies.  In particular, I will greatly appreciate your questions and comments on Building Community - Twelve Principles for a Heathy Future.  I will be responding to feedback and questions throughout this week.  
Best,  Jim Gruber



Hi, I am very interested in this subjecct.  I live in a very unusual community that wants to stay rural, lots of fallow conventionally farmed lands, but is within the sphere of influence of Silicon Valley.  Is there a way that we can make this a sustainable reegerative agricultural paradise?


Dado,

You asked how to make your community a "sustainable reegenative agricultural paradise" that is within the (economic-social) influence of Silicon Valley.   This is a critical question that applies (in different ways) to so many other places in the US and around the world.   Many of the 12 principles apply to many pro-active change process that includes seeking and moving towards a shared, sustainable vision for the future.    One that jumps out to me is the "Decide Together"  (Principle J) , Protect Resources and Promote Fairness (Prin. C) and Involve Everyone (Prin. A).  These are described on the books website:   https://buildingcommunity12principles.squarespace.com/

This is important but not easy work and requires practicing adaptive leadership (Prin. I).  You will fine some of the case studies illustrate this type of change process.

Let me know if this is of any help.

Jim
2 months ago
There appears to be two threads on the book, Building Community.  I will repeat a note I just posted to the other thread....

With the COVID-19 challenges in our lives and our communities, the BLM protests that are raising awareness of critical issues of systemic racism in the US (and other parts of the world), and the caustic politics that are now permeating into our local community, I think this is the time to start re-building our communities from the ground up.  The underpinnings values of permaculture/permies I believe is directly in-line with the principles of the book that I and 25 colleagues just completed titled:  Building Community- Twelve Principles for a Healthy Future.  I would love your feedback from reviewing excerpts available on this site and on my book web page: https://buildingcommunity12principles.squarespace.com/

I will be joining your City Repair forum this week and hope to answer any question your may have and hear your thoughts on this 2 year writing efforts with contributing authors from around the world.   We are all seeking healthier and more sustainable communities!

Jim
2 months ago