Jared Diamond: Worst Mistake – Agriculture

Posted in Creation/Evolution, Healthy Food & Agriculture on July 22nd, 2016 by dhawkinsmo

Blogger Sara Burrows writes …

Prior to agriculture, humans lived happier, healthier, freer and easier lives, claims one of the world’s top scientists and thinkers.

In an article published in Discover Magazine nearly 30 years ago, Pulitzer Prize winning anthropologist and evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond calls agriculture “a catastrophe from which we have never recovered.”

Diamond claims the domestication of plants and animals – which began around 10 to 15 thousand years ago – led to the eventual domestication of humans and is ultimately responsible for the “the gross social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism that curse our existence.”

For approximately 2 million years prior to the advent of agriculture, gatherer-hunters enjoyed excellent health, social and sexual equality, very light workloads, plenty of leisure time and freedom from any form of government. LINK HERE

LINK TO DIAMOND’S DISCOVER ARTICLE HERE

An Overview of Permaculture Land Types

Posted in Healthy Food & Agriculture on July 20th, 2016 by dhawkinsmo

One way that I like to CATEGORIZE LAND is by it’s relationship to one of the most important organisms of all – TREES … Bill Mollison has written much about trees – (Google “Mollison trees guardians of the earth”). The NASA pic I have included below gives a pretty good global overview of these land types. The 3 categories are …
(1) ARID – Land which currently has too little moisture to grow trees. The Chinese are well known for having one of the largest failed afforestation programs in the world over the last 50 years. (Google “china failed afforestation”). Allan Savory has correctly pointed out that there is only one way to solve this problem – Holistic Management of Large Herbivore Herds (Google “cows save the planet” and “allan savory ted talk”)
(2) OPEN – Land which currently has enough moisture to grow trees but is currently open (0% – 50% tree canopy cover). I categorize open land into two types – Cropland and Pastureland. The latter is the type of land upon which I interned for 6 months with Greg Judy, one of the world leaders in Holistically Managed Cattle and an Allan Savory disciple. This type of land can be improved year after year with herd management alone, but can be enhanced with annual Keyline Plowing. Trees can also be planted and there is enough moisture for them to take hold and grow. Mark Shepard says that a tree canopy cover of about 50% is optimum for supporting the maximum number of large mammals (which includes humans). On my small plot of land, I have about 8 acres of this type land.
(3) FORESTED – Land which is currently treed (51% – 100% tree canopy cover). This type of land is most interesting to me currently for three reasons … (a) It can be acquired through lease or purchase very cheaply compared to Pastureland or Cropland (b) It provides excellent resources for developing settlements and (c) Food calorie production per acre can be much higher than for open land used for grazing. (I don;t know for sure yet, but I suspect at least 1 million food calories per acre per year with no external inputs) The highest calorie production density of all comes from gardening. Walter Haugen reports about 2 million food calories per acre per year with (virtually) no external inputs. So to me the ideal settlement locations would include a mix of woodland and pastureland, but I’ll settle for pure woodland if necessary because the tree canopy can be opened up to around 50% (Mark Shepard Optimum) almost immediately. On the other hand, to ADD trees to a landscape takes many years. We should do it, but it’s a slow process.

Perma-Culture? Or Perma-Settlements?

Posted in Healthy Food & Agriculture on July 20th, 2016 by dhawkinsmo

AbramLeavesUrI’ve struggled recently with the question of “how permanent?” should our housing and our settlements be? And why? On one end of the spectrum, one could cite the Plains Indians who lived in teepees and moved with the roving buffalo herds. Or Abraham who was called to leave a permanent settlement – Ur of the Chaldees – and live in a tent surrounded by his flocks and herds. On the other end of the spectrum might be the massive “dream home” which my sons helped build recently for a bank president and his doctor wife which ran into problems because the husband and wife were disagreeing. (Figures, doesn’t it?) Anyway, I hope there’s a happy medium in there somewhere and I’m trying to find it. Where I’m at personally, keeping in mind Joel Salatin’s talk of “Compostable Housing” and “Mobile Farms” is that I’m not pouring any concrete (too permanent for me) and I’m trying to avoid massive digging as much as possible. All my water systems and sanitation systems (toilet / grey water) are very cheap and mobile and I’m even designing my houses with the thought of easy dismantling / moving. But at the same time, I really don’t want an “RV Park” look … I prefer a “Thomas Kinkade VIllage” look. Now some have asked me “Dave, how can you set up a Woodland Agriculture System if you are a modern day nomad? You’ve got to establish gardens and pollarding and such.” The answer for me is that I’m doing Perma-CULTURE, not necessarily Perma-SETTLEMENTS. To me “culture” is all about mind set. It’s my MIND that is “permaculture” and that affects the type of settlement I create and the type of food systems I adopt, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that my settlement will be permanently fixed, or that if I establish something that I myself will necessarily be tied to it permanently. With the knowledge I have now (and am gaining daily), I am able to create a settlement complete with instantly productive food systems anywhere there are trees (or tree / pasture mix). I’m talking about woodland (and/or savanna) dairy / meat / eggs and even gardening. I have a plan to take a cross country trip sometime with my dairy goats and see how it goes. (I have come to believe that Tree Fed Dairy Goat Milk is a very complete food and I think you could live well for a very long time – possibly your entire life – on nothing but this food) Anyway, these are just my thoughts and no, I didn’t have a “thus saith the Lord dream” last night or anything like that, and I may be wrong about some of this, but it’s where my brain’s at so I thought I would share it. I often think of that verse (Philippians 3:20) that says “our citizenship is in heaven” and I love that Negro Spiritual “Poor Wayfarin’ Stranger.” Yes we are!

Back to Eden (BTE) Gardening After Four Years

Posted in Healthy Food & Agriculture on July 20th, 2016 by dhawkinsmo

Gautschi_PeachBACK TO EDEN (BTE) GARDENING. I wanted to throw in my two cents on the Back to Eden Gardening method because I’ve been using it for about 4 years now with good success. I have also flown to Washington State and taken a personal tour of Paul Gautschi’s garden (See pic below). I do agree with some critics of the system that the need for animals manures early on was not emphasized enough in the film, but I do really like the system for the following reasons … (1) NO TILLING … the earthworms take care of that – I used to till my garden every year and what a pain!! (2) NO MEDIA MIXING – I’ve grown stuff in all kinds of media from perlite in bags to elaborate mixes (Lasagna Method) (3) NATURAL LOOKING – I personally do not like “the look” of rectangular garden boxes. I prefer flowing curves which to me look more like Nature’s patterns. (4) MOISTURE – I’ve had problems in the past with raised beds drying out but with BTE I never have moisture problems. I never have to water at all even in drought conditions. (5) WEEDING is very easy with BTE – much easier than with other methods I’ve tried (6) TREE BASED MEDIA. BTE Gardens are made from chipped up TREE branches and leaves. This to me is so important because it means that my vegetables will have much better trace mineral content (and perhaps other micro-goodies) than vegetables grown in non-tree based media due to centuries of land abuse by broad acre farming. Trees are the great “miners” of the plant world because their roots go so deep into the ground. I get all the free wood chips I want from my local electric utility company. (7) Last but not least, I just like Paul Gautschi … he’s really a great guy and it was wonderful to meet him in person. I do love his application of Jesus words “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” to gardening. I have come to believe that God’s Way is indeed the easiest, lightest way in whatever we are doing, gardening or otherwise. Note Proverbs 13:15 – “The way of the transgressor is hard.” Indeed it is.

Paul and Anne Ehrlich Say that the Sahara Desert is Manmade

Posted in General Science, Healthy Food & Agriculture on June 9th, 2016 by dhawkinsmo

The vast Sahara desert is largely manmade, the result of overgrazing, faulty irrigation, deforestation, perhaps combined with a shift in the course of a jetstream.” –Paul and Anne Ehrlich in “Population, Resources, Environment” (1970).

See book extract below …

Joel Salatin first made me aware of this in his book “Salad Bar Beef” and most of mainstream science disagrees with this view. But Ehrlich is a bit independent which is rare for scientists.

As for evidence supporting Ehrlich’s claim above, Ehrlich himself does not provide any … I suppose at the time he wrote it, he thought it was self evident. But now, with mainstream scientists making up wild fantasies about 200+ “Green Sahara Periods” (they even give this an acronym – GSPs) and Milankovitch Cycles over millions and millions of years, it is helpful to have some supporting evidence for Ehrlich’s claim.

The best evidence I have found comes from cave paintings found in southeastern Algeria, which is smack dab in the middle of the present day Sahara Desert.

The Pastoral Period (or ‘Bovidian period’) from around 7,200 BC to 3,000 BC is the dominant period in terms of the number of paintings, during which there is the representation of bovine herds and the scenes of daily life. They have an aesthetic naturalistic realism to them and are among the best known examples of prehistoric mural art.

The Horse and Libyan Warrior Period (‘Equidian period’), which dates from approximately 3200 BC to 1000 BC, covers the end of the Neolithic and protohistoric periods, which corresponds to the disappearance of numerous species from the effects of progressive desiccation and to the appearance of the horse. Horses have also been depicted pulling chariots, driven by whip-wielding unarmed charioteers, suggesting that the chariots were not used for fighting, but possibly for hunting. However, chariots with wooden wheels could not have been driven across the rocky Sahara and into the mountains where many of the chariot paintings occur.

Some of the last artistic images reflect the taming of camels in the aptly named Camel Period, which dates from around 2,000 BC to 1,000 BC. This period coincided with the onset of the hyper-arid desert climate and with the appearance of the dromedary (a camel with one hump on its back). http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-africa/15000-artworks-over-ten-millennia-reveal-evolution-human-life-edge-sahara

Some things to note here …

1) It didn’t become hyper-arid until the 2000 BC – 1000 BC range, much later than the mainstream view.
2) The “Pastoral Period” is dominant in terms of number of paintings and includes depictions of bovine herds. And since overgrazing is causing desertification today, it is likely that it also caused desertification in the past.
3) The timeframe for the Pastoral Period is skewed. See the work of GRISDA physicist RH Brown. I believe he has co-authored a book which contains this called “Origin by Design.”

Note to self: Gotta read this book sometime … http://www.amazon.com/rape-earth-world-survey-erosion/dp/B00086L0IC

Read more »

Afforestation is a Failure in Arid Areas

Posted in Healthy Food & Agriculture on January 12th, 2016 by dhawkinsmo

Ambio. 2010 Jun; 39(4): 279–283.
Published online 2010 May 13. doi: 10.1007/s13280-010-0038-z
PMCID: PMC3357704
Damage Caused to the Environment by Reforestation Policies in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas of China
Shixiong Cao,1 Tao Tian,2 Li Chen,3 Xiaobin Dong,4 Xinxiao Yu,1 and Guosheng Wangcorresponding author5
Author information ► Article notes ► Copyright and License information ►
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
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Abstract

Traditional approaches to ecosystem restoration have considered afforestation to be an important tool. To alleviate land degradation in China, the Chinese government has therefore invested huge amounts of money in planting trees. However, the results of more than half a century of large-scale afforestation in arid and semi-arid China have shown that when the trees are not adapted to the local environment, the policy does not improve the environment, and may instead increase environmental degradation. When precipitation is lower than potential evaporation, surface soil moisture typically cannot sustain forest vegetation, and shrubs or steppe species replace the forest to form a sustainable natural ecosystem that exists in a stable equilibrium with the available water supply. The climate of much of northwestern China appears to be unsuitable for afforestation owing to the extremely low rainfall. Although some small-scale or short-term afforestation efforts have succeeded in this region, many of the resulting forests have died or degraded over longer periods, so policymakers must understand that these small-scale or short-term results do not support an inflexible policy of large-scale afforestation throughout arid and semi-arid northwestern China. Rather than focusing solely on afforestation, it would be more effective to attempt to recreate natural ecosystems that are better adapted to local environments and that thus provide a better chance of sustainable, long-term rehabilitation. LINK TO PAPER

“BABYLON THE GREAT” AND CHRISTIAN STEWARDCULTURE

Posted in Biblical, Healthy Food & Agriculture on January 8th, 2016 by dhawkinsmo

I’ve been fascinated for a long time with Bible Prophecy and until recently I was a bit mystified about “Babylon the Great” (Revelation 18). However, it’s dawned on me recently that “Babylon the Great” is probably one and the same with what George Bush Sr. called “The New World Order” and it appears to me that two key components of this “Babylon/NWO” system are

(1) Big Cities, which in turn are dependent on …
(2) Big Agriculture and it’s attendant land control schemes and distribution networks.

One of the key characteristics I see in Big Ag is … FORCING the ground. Or to be blunt, RAPING the ground. God tells us we should “serve the ground” (Gen. 2:5 … “till” is a mistranslation – talk to Dan Grubbs). Josephus writes that “God was more delighted with the latter oblation, [Abel's] when he was honored with what grew naturally of its own accord, than he was with what was the invention of a covetous man, [Cain] and gotten by FORCING the ground; [emphasis mine]” (Ant. Bk.1, Ch. 2). One of the key characteristics of big cities seems to me to be PRIDE. (See Nebuchadnezzar’s boast about “great Babylon” in Daniel 4:30, “Glory of Rome” etc). So we have FORCING + PRIDE as the key characteristics of the “Babylon/NWO” system. So we could say that God wants us to do the opposite of this and follow the “Abel Way” (humbly working WITH Nature) as opposed to the “Cain Way” (proudly beating Nature into submission … which doesn’t work, by the way, all you get is death, destruction and slavery). I get the impression that in general God doesn’t like Big Cities (or at least the Pride that often goes along with them), as evidenced by the Tower of Babel Dispersion where God scattered them over the face of the earth.

So finally at 52 years of age, I have come to view the world in these terms:

Babylon / NWO / Forcing the Ground / Big Industrial Ag / Big Cities Dependent on Big Ag / Pride

vs.

Christian Stewardculture / Serving the Earth / Nurturing Her so that She Flourishes / Small Productive Communities Dependent only on God and their own Resourcefulness / Humility

NOTE1 … The Babylon / NWO system got it’s start with Cain, then the Tower of Babel, then Nimrod and Babylon and the kingdoms which succeeded Babylon – Persia, Greece and Rome, as depicted in Nebuchadnezzar’s Vision of the Great Image. Now it appears to me we are living in the Age of the Feet of Mixed Iron and Clay. Soon – I hope – the Stone cut out of the mountain without hands will smash the Feet of Iron and Clay and the God of Heaven will set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the angel of Revelation 18 will shout “Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen …”

NOTE2 … James Lovelock’s “Gaia” Hypothesis is interesting to me and – I believe – a very good description of how the earth really works. I find it fascinating that he chose a woman (Greek goddess named “Gaia”) to represent his theory. In light of this post, the Earth truly can be thought of as a woman … which can be RAPED … or LOVED. Men, not only should we ask ourselves “How do we treat the Earth that God gave us to steward?” but also “How do we treat our women that God gave us as help meets?” Do we RAPE and FORCE them? (Even within our marriages?) Or do we LOVE and NOURISH and CHERISH them?

Josephus on Tillage: Cain ‘Forcing’ the Ground

Posted in Healthy Food & Agriculture on December 24th, 2015 by dhawkinsmo

One of the most serious agricultural problems in the world today is TILLAGE … ‘ploughing’ the ground, and forest clearing which accompanies it. Tillage destroys topsoil, and – eventually – entire civilizations, and as well-known Permaculturist Mark Shepard has shown us, is completely unnecessary for feeding people. In fact, recent studies like this one have shown that food produced from this type of agriculture is generally harmful to the body. How interesting then to discover that the famous Jewish historian Josephus wrote quite unfavorably about the ORIGIN OF TILLAGE. Enjoy!

1. ADAM and Eve had two sons: the elder of them was named Cain; which name, when it is interpreted, signifies a possession: the younger was Abel, which signifies sorrow. They had also daughters. Now the two brethren were pleased with different courses of life: for Abel, the younger, was a lover of righteousness; and believing that God was present at all his actions, he excelled in virtue; and his employment was that of a shepherd. But Cain was not only very wicked in other respects, but was wholly intent upon getting; and he first contrived to plough the ground. He slew his brother on the occasion following : – They had resolved to sacrifice to God. Now Cain brought the fruits of the earth, and of his husbandry; but Abel brought milk, and the first-fruits of his flocks: but God was more delighted with the latter oblation, when he was honored with what grew naturally of its own accord, than he was with what was the invention of a covetous man, and gotten by forcing the ground; whence it was that Cain was very angry that Abel was preferred by God before him; and he slew his brother, and hid his dead body, thinking to escape discovery. LINK HERE

Great Quotes From Masanobu Fukuoka, Author of “One Straw Revolution”

Posted in Healthy Food & Agriculture on December 24th, 2015 by dhawkinsmo

“I do not particularly like the word ‘work.’ Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

“In my opinion, if 100% of the people were farming it would be ideal. If each person were given one quarter-acre, that is 1 1/4 acres to a family of five, that would be more than enough land to support the family for the whole year. If natural farming were practiced, a farmer would also have plenty of time for leisure and social activities within the village community. I think this is the most direct path toward making this country a happy, pleasant land.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

“Food and medicine are not two different things: the are the front and back of one body.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

“Modern research divides nature into tiny pieces and conducts tests that conform neither with natural law nor with practical experience. The results are arranged for the convenience of research, not according to the needs of the farmer.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka

New York City: Model for The New Concentration Camp?

Posted in Healthy Food & Agriculture on December 18th, 2015 by dhawkinsmo

Wooowww. Just wow. Remember George Orwell? Watch this video clip (I got from Mark Shepard) with Orwell in mind … here’s the best quote …

“I think that New York [City] is the new model for the New Concentration Camp where the camp has been built by the inmates themselves where the inmates ARE the guards and they have this pride in this thing they’ve built. They’ve built their own prison and so they exist in a state of schizophrenia where they are both guards and prisoners and as a result, they no longer have – having been lobotomized – the capacity to leave the prison they’ve made or to even see it as a prison.”

Link to video clip from “My Dinner With Andre”