Practical guide for Planet Friendly, 21st Century beings


FREE Water ! FREE Water !
July 26, 2006, 6:46 pm
Filed under: Articles of Interest, Energy, gardening, Green, hippie, hippy, New age, recycle

Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library

  Ok folks, today we’re going to talk about FREE water for your home, farm or cabin.

The first point I’d like to make is that IT’S FREE !!!!

The second point I’d like to make is that IT’S EVERYWHERE !!!

Not only is it FREE but it’s also FREE of contaminants that continually seep into the underground water aquifers.

If you currently have a well, the water is probably stinky and mineral laden ( iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell )) and may require filtering to remove these elements.

If you have a municipal water hookup then you’re paying for the local water treatment facility to find water for you, clean it, filter it, add chlorine to it and pump it to your house. In other words, a bill every month for someone else’s water ( a bit simplistic but you get the point? ).

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about by now but just in case you don’t, it’s called RAIN WATER.

Note: There are airborne pollutants that can affect the quality of rain water so you should check out the air quality standards and proper drinking water filtering and purification methods in your area before drinking the local rainwater.

You can collect it and use it to supplement your current garden watering needs including water features and bird baths using rain barrels (pickle barrels) or you can go all out and install cisterns (big giant plastic storage tanks) and filter it for grey water usage (washing dishes, showering) and drinking water (if properly purified), more about this later.

Add solar power and wind power to this setup and you’re ‘off the grid’ ! I can’t say enough about utilizing natural resources that remain untouched by human hands before we use them.

Rain water is as free as sunshine and windy days. It just needs to be collected and treated and that is where technology comes into play. There are many ways to collect rain water and the best one is the one that fits your lifestyle the best.

 ‘Rain garden’ technology; walk around your property during a rain storm (not a thunderstorm please) and look for low spots on the lawn or grounds where water naturally collects into puddles. You can use these low spots to plant bushes or trees that would basically water themselves if you have enough rain. The water would pool in the low spot then filter down through the soil/compost/sand mixture, used to fill in the depression, in sufficient quantities to maintain a healthy root system. Using this principle you could probably also build a sort of looping ‘French drain’ system around planting areas to collect water and moisten the ground right at the level of the root systems.

Rain BarrelRain barrel’ technology utilizes pickle barrels with a filter on top and a pump (sometimes a sump pump motor or submersible pond pump is used) to extract the water to the garden areas. You can also use manual (gravity) methods to extract the water via a hose connected at the bottom of a rain barrel on a raised platform or even a simple bucket method to scoop the water out. This is a great way to get started and to figure out what works best for you. You could also replace the electric motor with a solar pump if you wish?

‘Rooftop Rainwater Collection Systems’ capture rain fall from your roof, channel it through a series of downspouts into a giant cistern. The water collected is then processed through a series of filters according to it’s usage in the household. No sustainable home building architecture utilizes this system better than the Earthship Biotecture. Earthships and Earth Homes also utilize solar, wind, insulation design and lot placement to create self sustaining house designs that sever the ties between free human beings and the corporate power conglomerates.

There are lots of great books on Rainwater Harvesting out there so, just pick your preferred method of rainwater collection and distribution system and see how much FREE water you can collect and utilize. You’ll be saving yourself some money, helping the planet and feeling much better about your role as a planetary being. Not a bad payoff for utilizing a FREE resource?

FREE WATER! FREE WATER! PART II

More information on rain water collection :

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: This agency’s excellent Web site has much guidance, many links, an instruction manual (with suggested planting plans) that can be printed out and ideas for involving kids. See www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/nps/rg/.

Rain Gardens of West Michigan: A Grand Rapids-based coalition of environmental groups has advice and instructions at www.raingardens.org.

Friends of Bassett Creek: The Web site of this Minneapolis river conservation group has a good short primer and plant list: www.infinetivity.com/(tilde)stack/rain/index.htm

Maplewood, Minn.: This city’s Web site offers ample information, including suggestions for different types of sites and plantings: www.maplewoodmn.govoffice.com/index.asp

Rain Barrel Gadgets. An Excellent source of Rain Barrels, Kits and planet friendly products.  http://www.naturalrainwater.com/order_rainbarrel.htm

Earthship Biotecture http://www.earthship.org/

The Natural Home Building Source http://www.thenaturalhome.com/index.html

Davis Caves Earth Sheltered Homes http://www.daviscaves.com/index.shtml

Green Home Building http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/conservewater.htm

Sustainable Village http://www.thesustainablevillage.com/servlet/display/products/toc/ 

Rain Barrel Guide http://rainbarrelguide.com/rainwater_collection_links.html 

Rain Barrel Tutorial http://www.geocities.com/rainsystem/howto.html

The Path to Freedom http://www.pathtofreedom.com/newsletter/thepath_13.htm

Drinking Rain Water http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/wea00/wea00044.htm 

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Hobby Farming for Urban Beings
July 24, 2006, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Articles of Interest, farming, gardening, hippie, Hippies, hobby farming, New age

Hobby Farm

   Well, it seems that the harried pace of city life is finally becoming untenable for more than just a few 21st century beings? After a few generations spent building up the cities and turning the once quiet suburbs into the ‘new cities on the outskirts of the cities’, the children of the original city/suburban dwellers are now starting to feel the pinch of overpopulation and lack of peaceful existence in their current living conditions.

They are longing, once again, for the simplicity of life in days gone by where small farms, small towns and quiet living were the norm. Neighbors lived ‘down the road’ instead of across the sidewalk. People also lived simpler and consumed less.

Hippies, Boomers and other 21st Century beings are beginning to realize that they don’t actually need a cable connection or a new cell phone or a high speed internet connection to truly enjoy life, especially since these things come with the price tag of a frenzied big city lifestyle, a lack of privacy and limited open spaces.

Hustle and bustle is out, personal space and tranquility are in.

Hobby farms are becoming popular as a way to live outside the realm of the urban kingdoms while also offering the prospect of generating an income from the land as our forefathers once did. They are much smaller acreage lots compared to the working or industrial farms but still allow for country living complete with an old farmhouse and barn. They even qualify for a special tax status if they earn less than a pre-determined amount of income per year.

Hobby Farms offer tranquility, privacy and a way to reconnect with the land and nature. It’s a dream come true for bird lovers, artists, horticulturists, philosophers, dreamers and the occasional hermit as well.

All manner of beast and greenery can be raised or grown on a hobby farm just like a regular farm and the success or failure of any such venture would depend on the usual market demands for any product or commodity. Just a few examples of income generating ideas would be livestock, pets, herbs for restaurants, vegetables and fruit for the farmers market or restaurant, worms for bait shops, pond raised catfish, mushrooms and a myriad of other products I can’t think of at the moment.

Some great advice on planet friendly gardening can be found at Earth Friendly Gardening and some great insight to daily life on a farm can be found via podcast at Geek Farm Life.

Another perk of hobby farming is being able to get off the grid and become as self sufficient as possible after years of enduring utility companies and never ending rate hikes. There are natural resources available to all of us for free if we are willing to invest some money and effort to collect them. Rain water is one free resource available to any hobby farmer as well as Sunlight and Wind.

When the time is right, this could be a viable and necessary alternative for the overstressed and under-inspired city dwelling being who longs for open spaces, quiet evenings and a way to feel human again instead of just an advertising click through statistic.

Take a drive beyond the far reaches of our urban universe sometime and if you like what see you may just be the next hobby farmer?

Also see: FREE Water! FREE Water! PART II 

Here are a few links to whet your appetite on the subject :

Hobby Farms Magazine

Hobby Farming: Books

The New Agrarian



About the Singularity … I WAS THERE

Did it happen? How many times did it happen?

The Pope didn’t want Stephen Hawkings to investigate it.

Cosmology is based on it’s occurrence.

Arguably, the theoretical ‘Big Bang’ Singularity is the single most important event in the history of our Universe!

Wel, I’m here to tell ya that it did happen and I was there to document it.

[Don’t look at me funny or call me ‘strange’ because in one form or another we were all there].

Here it is in case you missed it ;

Click to play. Let the little hand with the pointing index finger be your guide for this never before witnessed event in the history of our Universe.

(For best results click on the very center of the singularity)

Singularity by DEFryer Copyright - Free for Non-Commercial Use if Artist (DEFryer) is credited



How about a Symbol for Free Thinking-Open Ended Philosophy !

Symbol I Painting by DEFryer Copyright

   There are symbols everywhere we look and each one illicits either fear, reverence, politics or power. We have crosses and crescents, hammers and sickles, fists and fishes and many more.

It’s time for a Symbol that will represent something different to everyone who posesses it or a symbol to mean nothing at all.

Symbols of Choice and Freedom, if you will.

Here are a few choices of random nameless symbols brought to life in paint and canvas which were created for this noble cause.

Pick the one that resonates within you and let it represent whatever you wish or nothing at all. They were all assigned numbers instead of names to keep their philosophical integrity intact. Enjoy!

 Symbol II by DEFryer Copyright  

 Symbol III by DEFryer Copyright

Symbol IV by DEFryer Copyright

Symbol V by DEFryer Copyright

 Symbol VI by DEFryer Copyright

Symbol VII by DEFryer Copyright

All preceding images in this post are free for non-commercial use as long as Artist DEFryer is referenced in caption.



Everything is Energy ; Energy is Everything !

  Energy flows eternally throughout our universe and is boundless beyond our imaginations as mere terrestrial beings.

As human beings we construct electromechanical devices (microchips and circuit boards) to regulate the flow of energy through electronic devices but still most refuse to believe that Universal energy exists. We physically contain energy in batteries and power plants by means of converting one form of energy into another more immediately useful form, yet still refuse to admit that the same energy that powers our technologies is flowing within all of us every moment of every day. Some refuse to believe because their religion considers Universal energy to be heresy or the whispers of the devil since energy has no form worthy of a deity? The pragmatic types see energy as a fantasy substance used by hippies to think about when they get high. They view it only as a power source for their laptops, cell phones and wide screen TV’s.

Our brains and hearts operate on electrical energy input as do our nervous systems and every other function of our body. It’s what makes our arms move and our eyes blink and our brains function. We use the term ‘take some time off to recharge your batteries’ yet we don’t connect the dots and realize that it is a true statement of fact as beings of this universe. Energy is everywhere, in everything and necessary to what we call ‘life’. When someone is ‘run down’ from expending too much energy they need to sit calmly without expending energy and reclaim the energy they lost before they can go on.

It’s just not cool or pragmatic for some human beings to envision our universe as a molecular soup with energy flowing throughout each of us, being exchanged by each of us then converted by each of us, as a means of locomotion through our universe. If our eye’s weren’t so primitive we might see things as they really are and we could then concentrate on our ‘energy selves’ instead of the primitive beings we see when using our primitive senses?

One day we may realize that our earth, our sun and the galaxy we live in as well as every other galaxy in our physical universe will someday be recycled by the same forces that created our primitive carbon selves in the first place. As energy beings we can and will live on forever in the formation of a new universe and in a new form of energy where our understanding will be limited only by the senses we develop to ‘see’ who we are and where we are.

Meditation is a great way to focus on our ‘energy beings’ as we have our eyes closed to shut off our primitive sense of sight and can therefore concentrate on ‘brain sight’ and the energy of our thoughts. When we can let go of the beast within we can ‘see’ our universe as it really is and with enough repetition and training we may be able to ‘see’ despite our primitive senses?

I have some great meditation music and guided meditations from Dragon Rising Publishing that I use nightly to regain some inner peace and control over stress and everyday life.

Try it out and enjoy your own journey through our world of energy.

Everything is Energy PART II



Wilderness and the Human Soul

 Wilderness

    Most people raised in major metropolitan areas seem to have an ominous view and definition of wilderness as being a place of desolate, forbidding wasteland where cell phones won’t work, computers can’t find power or a wi-fi link and technology as a whole, along with the 21st century, appear to come to a screeching halt. They figure that if they dare to enter the wasteland, the only outcome imagineable is imminent peril and impending doom. On a planet where every continent and previously unknown island has been charted and mapped by an orbiting satellite and almost every forest and jungle has been explored, a lot of people just don’t feel comfortable anymore around nature and trees and animals and open vistas. They yearn for the solice of concrete underfoot and solid structures to run back and forth between during their busy urban days. They only feel safe and comfortable within the best urban cocoon their money can buy.

The wilderness has beasts and bugs and wild waters and lots of dirt and weather and danger. The beasts can sometimes be unbehaved and uncivilized towards human beings and the weather doesn’t wait for a weatherman’s forecast. Nothing is predictable nor subservient to our will, Mother Nature makes all the rules and your life depends on just how well you follow them while you are within her realm.

I, myself, have been in the wilderness more times than I have fingers and toes and can attest to the fact that it is the last place on earth that a human being can really feel like a being of the planet. The term ‘being‘ is significant because in the wilderness there is no distinction between human ‘being’ and animal ‘being’. Every bug is a being. Every fish is a being as well. All beings coexist in Mother nature’s realm as equals and the only master is the Mother herself. It’s a very humbling experience for a ‘master of the planet’ human being to enter the wilderness as a participant in the food chain and endure everything that nature can muster. It’s also the most strengthening endeavor that a human being can experience because he or she soon realizes that ‘this is how it all began’. This is what it’s like to be off-the-grid.

We were once in touch with nature and dependent on it’s bounty before we pretended to conquer it. A human being alone in nature will almost surely be humbled and grateful to have survived once they have endured and experienced the most level of playing fields. It is the ultimate back to cave man experience if you just open your mind and let your soul experience the freedom to be found in the boundless skies and endless horizons. Meditation in a wild place is so easy it’s almost involuntary as you become one with nature and submit to it’s awesome power and deafening silence.

Pictographs

As this blog progresses I will also be sharing some personal experiences and insights along the way in hopes of enlightening a few of the souls trapped in concrete and electrical wire. Please do come again. Happy trails…



Let’s Hear it for the Hippies !

21stC_HippieGraph 

Let’s hear it for the Hippies !! Beings of the 60’s; Their legacy is still with us today

Hippies are people too. They are usually defined as someone, esp. of the late 1960s, who rejects the established values of contemporary society, and who demonstrates that rejection through unconventional dress and behavior, and by advocating pacifism and communal living. Other adjectives usually include Flower Child and Non-Conformist. They also are known for ushering in the movement towards being environmentally firendly, being healthful and mindful of our place in the evolution of our planet. By the way, lots of scientists could be considered hippes if they try to educate world governments on the effects of global warming or extinction of species.

Nowadays, the hippie (or hippy) moniker is attributed to anyone who:

Prefers the verdant outdoors with wildlife and wind to indoor office cubicals and recycled air.

Wears jean shorts and a t-shirt and goes barefoot in the grass in their own backyards

Prefers real food to processed (fast) food.

Prefers whole/natural foods to pesticide sprayed foods whenever available.

Watches the Food Network and screams at the tv set “That’s too much butter!”

Prefers green, living fences to chain link fences.

Prefers sustainable living in a smaller home and neighborhood to a neighborhood full of Starter Castles/McMansions.

Prefers Earth Homes and self-sustaining energy efficient homes to corporate energy slave homes.

Uses meditation techniques in conjunction with New age, meditation music for deep relaxation or personal development.

Practices recycling and conservation of renewable resources.

Practices Yoga or TaiChi on a regular basis.

Is informed about and/or uses solar lighting wherever practical and solar panel energy when available and affordable.

Views our visible world as just a smaller part of a larger Universe.

Ponders the possibility that everything in our Universe is connected in a pool of recirculating boundless energy.

Hippies are also determined, but patient -Asya 7/15/06 (thank you)

(I’m sure you can add a line or two to this list)

Hippies also resurrected the idea of communal living known in the 60’s as ‘Communes’. This Utopian back to nature-self sufficiency movement harkens back to an earlier time when people lived in small settlements and depended on everyone’s contribution to the collective unit. Ideally, everyone is considered to be an equal contributor to the society. I found a very good article on Commune living that is a first hand account and a must read for anyone interested in the subject.

They also gave us co-ops, a centralized collective of food and goods that were shared amongst all of the contributors. It’s an idea that seems to have waned a bit but it’s still with us to some extent in the form of food pantries and farm co-ops. A very good idea and one that deserves a major resurrection in my opinion.

 As time goes on I’ll be adding more to the hippie legacy and expounding on their contributions to our society.

Some of the topics we will discuss are :

Hippie living quarters [Available self sustaining home technologies, Solar powered everything, energy efficient homes]

Hippie landscaping [Zen yard/garden designs, green screens, rain water systems, viewer examples]

Hippie recycling [Waste material reuse, reducing waste]

Hippie eating habits [homemade gourmet food, whole foods, nutrition]

Hippie here-after [meditation, metaphysics, philosophy]