My Hugelkurtur Mound is Finished!

Building the first Hugkelultur mound

Building the first Hugkelultur mound

finally.

I built it, tore it down. Gathered more material … branches, dead logs, newer branches, leaves, compost… then rebuilt it.. and then noticed it was pointing in the wrong direct. So I tore it down and rebuilt it. Then realized I should have kept it in the first position. So I left it… and decided to build another one East/West. Because I’ve learned from struggling with the first one.

Fall has finally arrived in North Carolina. Growing here has different challenges than in California where it was easier. My 10 acres used to be a 22 acre working farm. (I’ve even found a hidden room in the front barn that was no doubt used to hide illegal moonshine during the 1930s.) The land was not worked for over 7 years prior to my buying the property. The soil is hard and sometimes a bit rocky. White granite is everywhere. Less than two inches beneath the topsoil is hardpan red clay. But… it’s my land. It produced before… and it will again.

In the meantime, I’ve built raised beds. That too was a learning experience. I’d ordered four yards of compost/topsoil mix. Toting it from the pile into the raised beds was tougher than I thought … because I did it this summer and summer here in North Carolina is hot. Hot is bad enough, but the humidity! Oh man… I would work for 2-4 hours and then stagger into the house and lay drenched on the kitchen floor… eventually forcing myself to get up and drink some water, for as Les Brown says, “if you fall down, pray that you land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get back up.”

It’s not the biggest accomplishment in the world… but it’s one I’ve dreamt of doing for years. I’m 61 years old, tired, and bruised. Recently I’ve discovered that my central nervous system was all but shot. I’m going to have to commit to three years of yoga and exercise. I’m going to have to change the way I think about desire… for desire is a hell realm, different from passion. I suppose that it’s also a lot about WHAT you desire. As a black man, I learned a lot of whack ideas about sex and desire. What I learned, can shorten a man’s life, erode his mental health, and leave him open for sickness. (NOT the ideas an 18 year old… nor even a 25 year old is ready to accept.) But just as age is a gift, it’s also a season to reap the karma of all the choices, thoughts, and actions of a lifetime… and I feel them lodging in my body.

“Every problem is an opportunity in work clothes.” (~Henry J. Kaiser) So I could run to the VA and ask for some pills that will do nothing but mess me up more and hook me into Big Pharm, or I can reevaluate my diet. Give up the coffee and the sugary cakes and pies I love so much. By deciding to follow my passions … writing, gardening, and travel… I will have to get back into physical shape to do so… and gracefully, in doing so, extend both the longevity and the quality of my life.

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Surviving… Flourising under Globalization

Black FarmingWe’ve been in Globalization for a while now, but the past five years have sealed it. When looking at all the stressors of urban life… too many rats packed into cages, meaningless competition, crime, racism, high cost of living, lousy availability of good food choices… it’s logical to look for other choices. Many African Americans have opted to move to the suburbs at almost alarming rates.

Suburbia is where whites fled to get away from blacks. Poverty has not only increased in urban America, but in Suburban America too. With it, alcoholism and drug abuse has increased in both. So why… WHY… move to suburbia? If you’re of a certain age demographic and your employment is tied to inner cities, then it’s a natural choice. But mainly people fear detaching from the nightlife and the familiarity of cities.

It’s past time to change.
Long term survival for blacks now looks best if you:
a.) Have your own piece of land (two or more acres)
b.) Own your own business

Who isn’t tired of the “looking for a job” game?
It’s time to explore MAKING a job. It’s said that “Every problem is an opportunity in work clothes.” Most people are conditioned to fall down on the sofa and cry about this or that problem… like complaining is going to fix anything. Most of the problems that face Black America are designed with the hope that we’ll give up… or worse… feed the very dysfunctional egos that created those problems. (I won’t get into “Power Addiction” and the inner void that fuels it right yet. But if you’re interested, YouTube Dr. Gabor Mate‘s video on Power Addiction.)

For the ordinary person, moving to an area where you can be near an urban center but replace the ills of “Suburbia” with the more natural, healthier choice of “Rural.” I’ve used, “www.city-data.com” for years. it’s one of many websites filled with demographics and information about practically any place you’re curious of moving to. Gone are the days when we could find the grass is greener. But what we now have is even better… all the tools laying around those over-grown properties you’ll need to create whatever NURTURING lifestyle you dream of. All it takes is curiosity…. everything else will flow out from that.

Thriving in the PRESENT Transformational Era

Transform LifeWe entered the present “Transformational Era” five years ago. Massive changeGeneration Flux. So in this vast interconnected global time, with over a billion Smart Phones, our body-minds are having difficulty keeping up with all the information and change. Robb Smith discusses the very near future complexities … who will win and who will fail.

1. We WILL be a single society of 7 Billion people
2. Three in Four adults currently feel overwhelmed with increasing demands
3. One in TWO adults will have a chronic disease within 7 years
4. With overload, simplicity will be a necessity to survive
5. Learn from the different perspectives instead of getting insulted”
6. There will need to be a shift from, “scared to sacred”
7. Exceptionalism is NOT the new average… you must be your unique self
8. CEOs have the lowest emotional literacy… this will be a “FAIL” by 2020
9. Those without empathy will experience increased mental, physical, and economic problems…

So what does ‘Transformational’ mean? It means to change the shape of. What’s changing? EVERYTHING.” ~Robb Smith

Click on the link below and view the short but powerful TedTalk by social entrepreneur and Chrysallis co-founder, Robb Smith
http://integrallife.com/node/210086

African Farm Project Is World Model

“The best way to fight poverty is to turn the poor people into active producers. Communities can only be developed by involving all the members as productive and valuable contributors.” ~ Songhai Project

Much of Africa is difficult … no, hard to live in. You can literally be eaten by something. Wild animals, disease, or the greediness of the World Trade Organization that has systematically imposed crippling financial restrictions on Africa that has burdened it for decades.

But Fr Nzamujo Godfrey looked at starvation, the restlessness of youth, and poverty and came up with the Songhai Project. By teaching people to grow crops, raise farm animals, and create “Value Added” food-based products, Songhai is able to instil moral values that uplift both the individual and the wider culture as a whole.

The objectives of the Songhai Project is to develop technical skills, moral awareness, and empower people with entrepreneural techniques that lead to socially relevant, environmental consciousness and sustainability so that people can lift themselves out of poverty and become productive members of society.

Naturally, the State of any country doesn’t have to worry about farmers involving themselves in demoralizing crime nor involving themselves in activities that threaten civil society. People who are taught social consciousness along with integral facets that foster living balanced, happy, and productive lives with others are able to free themselves from hopelessness, addiction, and the mental illnesses that come out of self-hatred.

Please watch the video below and view the others posted on YouTube. You’ll quickly see why I–and others, view agriculture as a much needed “emerging field” for people who live in cities and country sides throughout the world.

I haven’t Been Posting …

I haven’t been posting for a while.  1st Truck

I got laid off in November. Thank God.
(All diver’s AVOID US Xpress !)

Time to re-group. I saw the country. Assessed where I could live. Small Farming … fantasy or reality. It’s real. Very doable. Very profitable. Controlling one’s destiny.

Now to switch my skill-set to “New Media Marketing” … with a Green twist.

There’s going to be new blogs.
Stay tune Space Travelers.
It’s going to be interesting.

Green-Collar Jobs?

green21Green-Collar Jobs Provide Pathways Out of Poverty

Most Green-Collar jobs are middle-skill level jobs. They require more than a high school education, but less than a four-year degree. Hence, they are well within the reach of lower-skilled and low-income workers. As long as a person has access to effective training programs and appropriate supports … it’s really not that big of a deal to get “job-ready” training in a reasonably short period of time.

Felon? Recovering Addict or Homeless?
Here in the California Bay Area, there are even “Green” programs designed just for you. (SEE Van Jones’ book, “The Green Collar Economy.”

Green-Collar Jobs are GOOD jobs. Like blue-collar jobs that often allow a person to earn a higher wage, quicker than recent grads with Batchelor and sometime Masters Degrees, Green jobs pay “family wages” and provide opportunities for advancement along a career tract of career tract of increasing skills and wages.

It’s time to begin moving away from the model that to live well, one HAS to have a college degree and live in the middle of a crowded city. With the high cost of tuition and other fees continually rising, college for many has already reached a point of diminishing returns.

The bottom line is that we’re going to have to start doing things differently. As the old saying goes, “The only constant is change.”

Click on the link to view your FREE copy of “The Green Jobs Guidebook.

A Black Agriculture Secretary??

1910 was the peak year of land ownership for African Americans. Collectively, blacks own over 15 million acres of land of which  US-POLITICS/OBAMA218,000 black farmers are full or part owners. A steady decline of landownership begins after 1910.

[Click here to read The Federation of Southern Cooperatives timeline]

The idea of undoing the many years of backroom deals that robbed blacks of their land is not simply a notion of justice. It’s a matter of wholeness. Not just for African Americans… but for whites … and … for all of us.

Each year, singers like Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Kenny Chesney perform for white farmers (Farm Aid) who lost or are in danger of losing their land.  How much of that land was formerly held by black farmers is not the question. I mention them because during my trucking through the South I heard from blacks who used to pick cotton in some of those fields.

Apparently, in their opinion, when minimum wage came into law, many white farmers refused to pay blacks “that much money.” So they invested in huge combines, larger tractors and other farm equipment to replace the African Americans who historically worked the fields. Then when they discovered they were over invested couldn’t keep up the payments to the banks loans and subsequently… they either reached across the Mexican border and found even cheaper labor, or were too in dept, and lost the family farm. All those dollars spent on  mega-machinery in the effort to both make a profit and deny blacks from improving their economic lots appears to have created a karma that was inescapable. Then, like small-minded crooks, in efforts to make up for all the lost, each year more small black farmers were targeted for their lands, and huge, mega corporate farms were created … hurting the smaller white farmers even more.

[NOTE: Does volunteering their time and talents to raise money for Farm Aid make the afore mentioned recording artist racist? Not when the lineup also includes artists like Neil Young, and Dave Matthews, and Arlo Guthrie.]

The agenda to correct the wrongs done to black farmers is not a vendetta against white farmers … nor Hispanic nor Asian farmers. It’s more a matter of finally doing the right thing allowing the turning of the page so entire new chapters can be written.

The very idea that President-Elect Obama is considering a black man for the Secretary of Agriculture, is an awesome sign that America is emerging from the dark shadow of “Good ‘Ol Boy-ism” that has plagued its heart, stifled its creativity, and literally, driven the economy into the ground. (Any time the mega American automobile industry is on its back, gasping for what may be its last breath, YOU KNOW creativity and innovation left the room a very long time ago.)

John Boyd, isn’t just a black political token available to fill this very important position. Mr. Boyd has been an advocate for the fair treatment of black farmers for over three decades. He is credited with building up the National Black Farmers Association  (NBFA) to a membership of 94,000.

To read more on who he is and how he did all this, click here: (NBFA)