Truth Against the World

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Birth of Sun Harvesters

The above picture was taken from inside of a swale I just dug out at the Fox Den.  The fox in the picture is my companion fox, and she goes by Bo Beppa.  I was taking the picture when Bo Beppa jumped into the frame unexpectedly, making the image serendipitous. 

I dug this swale, measuring at about 2 feet deep by 2 feet wide, with an accompanying 2 1/2 foot berm, and about 50 feet or so long on contour, in two days by myself. 

I busted through South Carolina clay fit for a pottery wheel, and South Carolina rock that had bands that crumbled like salt.

I dug this swale to capture water and build soil.  During the spring, when we get torrential rain, I hope this swale stays full more often than not, and I hope that an underground lens of water forms.  If that happens, then another hole which I've dug at the lowest point on the property, about 25 yards away from the swale, may fill with water from that lens.  However, that biggest hole, at the bottom of the property, will fill with water because all of the water striking my property has been directed to that spot. 

I used an A Frame Level, which I constructed from scavenged and excavated bits.  I used an old broom stick, a piece of wood that was scrap from a previous project, a piece of trim from a 1969 Airstream International Sovereign land yacht, some cordage, and a rock I dug out of the ground in Asheville NC on a previous paid permaculture dig.  It was a crude instrument that I made simply to last for this one job. 

But an A Frame Level must be used because placing swales on contour is a counter intuitive thing.  You can't see that level of slope and land movement. 

one of the various rocks I dug up in Asheville NC

Today I jumped the chain link fence that separates my property from a trailer park.  And I racked up a shit load of leaves that fell from a massive oak tree and placed them on my side of the fence.  A few roads down I could smell the smoke from yahoos burning the leaves that fell on their property.  I suppose they lack the knowledge, or concern, or brain cells to know that burning leaves is a border line retarded thing to do. Concentrate them on the earth and let the earth worms eat them and shit them out.  Earth Worm poo is as fertile as soil fertility gets.  Building soil is not that complicated.  Concentrate organic matter, or biomass, and if you do nothing else it will eventually become fertile ground for life to grow. 

I placed many of those leaves on the back side of the berm I had just created.  I plan to place a couple inches of mulch on top of those leaves, once I drive back to the county dump to get another truck and trailer load of free mulch.  I have to fork that mulch myself, and I have to pic the trash out of it, but it's free and it's a very diverse mixture of woody plant material.  Lots of people worry about things like herbacides and pesticides accompanying the free mulch.  My argument is that the mostly perennial and ornamental woody plant material I see being trucked into the dump, to be ground into mulch, is not the type of plant usually sprayed by homeowners.  It's just pruned and driven to the dump, where the trash in the back of the pickup truck and trailer gets ground along with it. 

I'm building fertility on this acre of land that I've found myself a husband of.  I'm using the principles of permaculture to guide me.  I'll be starting a business one of these days, but I won't be calling it permaculture because that word is in the process of cooptation.  I won't be co opted, nor will any organization I'm involved with.  I'm doing ecological design.  I'm using my brain along with intuition and spiritual guidance to create a landscape that allows regeneration, fertility, and life all to flourish.

Zen busted open a dried out gourd on the concrete after an impromptu game of "kick the gourd."  It ended up in the future pond, and some type of green growth emerged on the gourd.  You can see four gourd seeds still attached.  It is sitting on top of mulch from the county dump. 
 This is what I spend my time doing these days.  I dig holes, direct water, collect and concentrate biomass, and I sift through the literal waste stream of an empire drunk and glutted on the end of the age of petroleum abundance.  I have dropped out of the Matrix and no longer pay in any attention.  Maybe my actions are futile due to radioactively contaminated Fukushima rain.  Maybe Obama's hench men will show up and cart my ass back off to the solitary cell they've created for my kind.  Mostly resistant to the bullshit destruction for pigmen profit, I carry on with my blissful work of concentrating the raw ingredients of renewal and regeneration.  I'm an earth moving alchemist concerned with the quality and ecology of living soil. 

The view from the top of my truck, before the swale.
The only meaningful action for anyone to take now, to give our children a chance to eat, is to begin concerning yourself with sustainable food production.  As in, we need to begin seeing ourselves as sun harvesters.  We need to design our society with this as our central purpose.  I see a symbiotic dance between the plants and animals on this Earth.  We can orchestrate this dance like conductors, and that should be our place.  To concentrate natural processes in an attempt to create the most life giving fertility possible is the loftiest of goals for our species just now. 

Zen swimming in the first pond I dug out after a good rain

So I've sort of rambled and ranted towards the summary of this particular photoblog.  I've got many more pics up at the SUN Foundation site  You can see them here

Hopefully someone with great means will show up and donate a large tract of land for the first Foxstead to materialize.  We are now a 501c3 foundation with a bank account.  Go and visit the SUN site to learn how you can help create a realistic alternative to the end of petroleum abundance.  A realistic strategy for dealing with the transition from a first world empire, to a third world slum.  Or just go back to your ithingy and mindless idiot panel entertainment in service of BAU pay checks and pointless poisonous existence. 

There is too much for us to be doing to be wasting our time in perpetuity for pay checks.  We can sustain our own universal needs if we just believe.  Even with radioactive rain falling from our corrosive chemical sky, we can seek shelter beneath a forest canopy under which we have built culture and food.  Even when it all burns down we can survive, and we can thrive under a new paradigm that honors our sacred connection with the natural world. 

This is what's left of the home I currently have a $744 per month mortgage on.  Hopefully Allstate does what they are supposed to do.  If they don't, my wife and I will default on this loan and my credit will resemble this burnt out shell.  Fortunately we have exited the Matrix and so none of this matters to us.  Yet, I brought my first baby boy home to this house.  I still can't believe it's reality. 


William Hunter Duncan said...

"""But an A Frame Level must be used because placing swales on contour is a counter intuitive thing. You can't see that level of slope and land movement."""

Whatev'. Some of us. :)

Nice swale. How's Aunt B feel? Them family people? Where's the telapia?

Waterbearers and sun harvesters (catchers?). I like that. ;)

Blessings Zen, Tribann, GM, LD.


btw- windchill around -1 around here. Soil temp in my garage greenhouse? An hour after sunset? 60.

Luciddreams said...

that's cause you're the shit William.

Now go get them MSM benjamins playa


we got work to do.

Jason Heppenstall said...

Nice! What's with the permaculture? Officialdom has deemed that my woodland has to be a business otherwise I'm not allowed to be there - so I thought about using permaculture in the name.

Things are pretty crazy there right now. Locals (some of them) are in a state of uproar and I've had to change tactics severely. The council is wasting thousands of pounds getting a man onto our case and this man has also been encouraging locals to spy on us with digital camcorders. It's a bit like Soviet Russia.

I have to laugh, cos there I am doing my permaculture thing - digging ponds, restoring the health of the trees, making fences, restoring soil fertility with my worm holes etc - and the skies above are filled with roaring combat helicopters and bomber jets, and the bushes are twitching with camcorder wielding millionaire libertarians who will argue to the death that one should be allowed to do as you want on your own land just so long as it involves shooting animals and you don't look like a hippie.

Someone left a rabbit with a bullet through its head by the sign that demarcates my land last week - and my friendly woodland neighbours, who happen to have dreadlocks and live in a converted truck, got a dead crow.

Gotta laugh!

Shit - the capcha is 'facisit' (!!)

Luciddreams said...

That sucks ass Jason, bout your ass hole neighbors and local government.

As far as the permaculture label goes for your business, you'll likely get permanazis on your ass without a PDC. Use "ecological design," it's what I Plan on doing.

Justin Wade said...


That is amazing.