EXPANDING OUR ENTERPRISE
Applied Natural Living
– hyper-local food production is the basis for economy (exchange of goods, services, ideas, skills) & culture (fellowship, food, stories, art) based on living with&in natural means
– every organism has the birthright to live as part of a natural community
(We know that we do NOT currently have the culture, skills, economy or community (including rootedness in our regional landbase) to fulfill our responsibility as members of a natural community, BUT we can commit to LEARN. We will learn-by-doing (experiential/participatory). Part of that commitment is to JUSTICE (social, economic,environmental) that we KNOW is threatening our community. Working for justice addresses REAL political power and establishes DIRECTLY DEMOCRATIC structure.)
– life is a miracle, not a commodity (see below from Wendell Berry)
(We are anti-extraction (oil AND technological resources) and consumption. We are pro-hyper local production and supply (self-sufficiency).)
– the fundamental building block of our applied learning to be members of natural community is FOOD
(Because we can. Because agricultural practice generates rootedness in place, exchange (social/economic/environmental) and a tangible experience of meaning and authenticity that is our birthright. From this practice we will generate tendrils that allow us to address: the built environment, transportation, waste, water management, wildlife habitat, environmental restoration, cultural practice and economic structure).
– we seek strong, meaningful, committed relationship with a few hundred people
(We know that the scale of natural, directly democratic community is not possible with more than this. Once we pass this threshold, we establish new communities.)
Each of the world’s innumerable creatures is unique, and each of the world’s innumerable places is unique. Creatures survive in their places by local adaptation. To believe these things is to see that we must not separate ourselves too far from nature. We must learn to live a given life in a given world. Our ability to change either our life or our place is limited. To transgress those limits is to put ourselves and our places in danger. Now we are faced with a choice between life as defined by the corporate economy and its client institutions, including governments, and life as defined by our own nature and the nature of our home landscapes — between life as a commodity and life as an unreproducible gift, as what I think is properly called a miracle. Life is a gift to be accepted. Its acceptance implicates us in gratitude, and in a responsibility of care that is fearful, difficult, and yet pleasing. This is the only antidote I know to the ideas of life as commodity, as property, or as subject.
Wendell Berry, 2002
hyperlocal health – taking care of yourself – first aid, homeopathic
natural building – straw-bale, cob, adobe
rainwater collection & irrigation
Build a palette garden — http://lifeonthebalcony.com/how-to-turn-a-pallet-into-a-garden/
fight the squash-vine borer
Urban Farming/Gardening Water Conference
Urban Beekeeping 101
Sprouting for Beginners
Edible Mushrooms (yep)
Building a cob oven (multi day – probably 3) – plus later – baking bread or pizza in your cob oven
Make your own raised garden bed
Making your own compost tea
You can “humanely” kill a chicken too
How pale is your ale? Beer brew 101
Soil (what is it and why should I care?)
Raising Chickens in an Urban Backyard
Community Youth, Community Farms
Knot Tying 101 (half hitch, clove hitch, square knot, truckers hitch, rolling hitch, double sheet bend, bowline, etc., etc. – for tying tomatoes, to securing that lumber and wheelbarrow, etc.)
individual/group specific plant design focus (finding new ways to arrange space efficiently)
language of plants
hunting/cleaning/cooking small game (squirrels, possums, rabbit)
wild edible plant workshop
· IF I were there, I would want to know about companion-planting & toxin-free gardening. I would also enjoy learning gardening tips from the elderly who learned them from their forefathers (and mothers!)
urban deer hunting
Film screenings! A whole ‘nother topic. Jake Stewart votes for “Rivers and Tides” — great choice!
live entertainment/ gatherings on rotation at some of the 5miles farms. This will give an opportunity for making new collaborations and maybe new members.
The workshops I have been thinking about are more of a slow build, holistic design- multiple workshops relating to the same project. It sounds like the farm could use an outdoor kitchen. By combining the cob oven w/ water collection/ irrigation we can filter and purify that water as well as possibly reuse steam created from the oven. Adding thermal mass to the exhaust system of the oven (with versatile duct work for winter/summer) could provide extra warmth through seating or a possible future chicken coop. Within this one project there are several possible workshops based on the overall design possibilities, ex.- cob, a variety of finishes, mosaics/ natural mosaics, sculpting Texas limestone, masonry, building with wine bottles and earth, free form concrete sculpture, basics of metal working- could be a variety of metals workshops, mold making, tool making, wood working, solar workshops- build your own panel, solar oven, re-using broken solar cells, and on and on. Building a palette garden could be part. The point is the amount of workshops relating to a single ongoing project are nearly endless. Let me know what you all think, I have a number of possible designs able to adapt to any goals of the Garden.
· Herbs! And what to do with the abundance of them – dry? Oil? freeze?
scarecrow sculpture show or alternatively (I think probably more fun) a scarecrow fashion show, (could be a combo I suppose).
PS Some of those workshops look AWESOME. I think you’re going to create something really special and keep the spirit of Austin alive with what you’re doing. Creative, earthly, art. <—- I like that!!
TOOL LIBRARY – make tools & materials available for community