Friday, October 24, 2008

Peas for Peace.

Everything is starting to require quite a lot of redundancy. "Freedom is constant vigilance" we used to say in the eighties.

What I dream of is an open system, where we can have "Seed Pals" in far far away places. Like casually I could just choose a womens self help group in Kenya say, and send off to them a small letter with several useful plants already matched to their bioregion.

That is to say when I start looking at women's self help groups or at Tamil farms I would like to only have to choose from those already in my bioregion. Of course I would even prefer to be sending these to refugee children who are being re-settled in appropriate regions for small scale subsistence farming.

Sometimes I get so frustrated at how much redundancy is needed to share out simple ideas anymore. To think we used to be able to offer for interns to come and learn with us by standing in a circle together. The luxury of that. The video conferencing we do in DCAR is the closest thing we can offer. One of the responsibilities of the older teens and some of the G Team is a steady set of course work for our international Dryfarming community. Sometimes we are actually sending seeds out however I get so frustrated and this work is so slow.

What we really need is a Black Bag type program for farming communities like the black bag program in the late nineties that taught midwives in Africa and beyond. The logic is that you can only reach so many people directly; the most effective way to reach people is to teach teachers. Of course my Mentor taught me to teach teachers who teach teachers however that is another story.

Th e idea is that you arrange for a sort of direct contact with the existing dynamic leaders of the small communities. Similar to the later emerging Womens Self Help Groups in India, and Grameen Bank Microcredit programs all over the world, the idea is to disseminate collective wisdom about diversity and Bright Green Tech quickly in other Third World countries.

From a global systems perspective Humboldt is a third world nation. Our only industry for most of our modern history has been a resource extraction based economy with very fragile connection to the outside world through roads and ports and rails and airports that are often closed or crumbling and sometimes both. These were the docks that the Pinkerton boys beat up so bad it broke the backs of the striking workers for Union rights a hundred years ago. Our railway slid sadly into our river long ago. Some light personal rapid transit exists on the old rail between Scotia and Mckinleyville however out here in the woods we are still on our own plenty of times.

Our broadband connection here is pretty good, of course we have a lot of tech on board. If the US west coast gets funky however that means us and recently we have had to figure out a way to try and jack a side signal from a whole new Indian satellite provider. Its all quite dubious however if we can continue our work through some of the interruptions its worthwhile. Also the drivers depend on us to have good signal when they come through the restaurant part of the station. Usually during our big harvests we are reduced to having the drivers carry food out and sit and hang out together in their own rigs. So far since we have slowed down on the work I haven't really wanted to switch back to having an eat in sit down space open to the traders even. We depended on them however they were not really all people that we knew well enough to want to have to share any contamination. We could trust for the most part that our fierce upriver teams would keep turning back the pilgrims that wander our way however we were also making adjustments here quickly to the threat.

The results in Eureka were startling. Parts of that town thrive like they always have, teetering on some slight brink of disaster. Other parts of the town show the recent scars of the conflicts around climate refugees. We have a pretty mild climate and there has always been strife with the hobo towns and pilgrims. Now they are afraid of who might be seeking compassion. When we drove by that end of town you could clearly see several people in huge yellow haz mat suits cleaning up the charred remains of the huge squats that periodically have raged out of control. It just reminded me of my own Protect system gear that I was wearing, albeit tied up fashionably in a scarf. One of the reasons societies often have their adherents cover their heads is that it is a simple way to minimize the amount of surface area that is exposed to contaminated air and mosquitoes. Its also somewhat anonymous to wear headscarves and hats and protect masks which is itself small comfort.

Pea Soup:
peas are shipped long distance by sail assisted cargo boats, or shipped by rail from local growers who improve their own soils producing the nitrogen fixing crop.

add 3 parts water to 1 part dried peas

cook without adding any spices or salt, this allows them to cook faster.
solar cookers cook peas easily.
peas cook fast.
add water if they get too thick.

when they start to get soupy
add salt and pepper to taste,
other veg or bullion after they are all soft.

If you blend them vigorously then you get whirled peas.

No comments: