Category Archives: Personal Journal

Agroforestry Cooperative: Succession for Success (and Long-Term Land Tenure)

Temperate-climate agroforestry offers the potential for long-term ecological mutualism with humans and trees, and while it is time-tested in having sustained millennia of our ancestors, there are many hurdles to shifting lifeways toward agroforestry in 2020. In this post I introduce the main challenges I have identified, and I outline a potential approach to overcome these challenges. In short, that approach is an agroforestry worker cooperative that ‘owns’ (has rights of control, and rights to returns) land and practices stewardship so to advance tree crops and sustain itself.

I hope this clarifies opportunities that we can turn into realities, to support multi-generational stewardship of trees for basic needs in a way that is mutually beneficial to all relations involved.

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Squash Chickpea Brussels Bonanza

  • 1 Orange Kabocha Squash
  • 1 can Chickpeas
  • Several handfuls of Brussels Sprouts
  • Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cumin, curry powder, cayenne
  • (supercharged version) Dukka
  • Sauce
    • Tahini
    • Lemon
    • Honey
    • Cumin
    • Warm water
    • Salt
    • Olive oil

Guidance:

Bake everything above with oil and salt and spices listed above. Bake squash seeds separately though, they’ll want to bake longer but the chickpeas and Brussels only want to go in for a little while. For sauce, combine all ingredients then titrate with warm water until it becomes sauce. If you have duqqa seasoning, also add that, especially with hazelnuts ๐Ÿ‘Œ. Put sauce and duqqa on all the baked goodness and enjoy!

White Bean Swiss Chard Pasta

Components:

  • Whole wheat pastas
  • 1can Great Northern Beans
  • 1 Onion
  • 8ish leafs Swiss chard
  • Basils
  • Garlics
  • Great Parmesan
  • Half lemon
  • Sufficient Salt & Pepper to taste

Guidelines:

  • Boil water and make pasta. When straining pasta, save a cup of pasta water in case you need to make the dish more sawsy
  • Dice onion and saute in pan with oil
  • Cut up swiss chard, first separating stems then cut it all in thin slices/ribbons
  • Add stems to pan, cook for a couple of minutes, add leaves
  • Add crushed and sliced garlic
  • Add cooked beans
  • At the end squeeze in half lemon without seeds
  • Add basil, grated Parmesan, S,P,etcetery
  • If mixture is dry, add reserved pasta water

Visions of Love, Gardening with Theurgy: An Imaginative Practice to Empower Plants

Plants are people that participate in our world in wondrous, mutualistic ways. Plants serve as the foundation of our human lives, in so many ways, grown by Solar rays of a very high Source. Plants bridge us and the Sun. How can we serve plants? A mystical practice, known as a type of theurgy, is one way to empower plants to give greater gifts as they go forth in life, using the power of human mind to imagine and visualize colors and light.

Definitions of theurgy tend to be vaguely described, as hints of it seep out from the mysticism of various traditions. Definitions often include compelling or querying supernatural beings and deities. I offer this definition based on my learnings and experiences on alchemy:

Theurgy is the mental animating of matter, so to bring out more of matter’s inherent qualities and potential capacities, without imposing a state or process on the matter that is not in harmony with its nature and natural laws of cause and effect [1].

There could be a lot to unpack here, but I will leave that to your own inner and outer inquiries. I raise this work to share an ecological application of it. Based in imagination, it is the use of visualization and color to enliven objects with their vital three-part nature.

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Fiddle Gnome Homes and a Trio of Turtles

Images from the forest
Natural wisdom of the forest

Breathing Exercises for Wellness

Breathing is an essential element of health. The following breathing practices improve body, emotion, and mind. Practice a little bit regularly, and stay grounded.

Full Breaths

Full breathing:
Breathe easy, be content.

Inhale slowly and fully by letting your chest rise, then your solar plexus, then expand your belly (pull your diaphragm down) to pull air deep into your lungs. Air will fill all the way down to around your naval all the way up to your throat.

Exhale slowly and completely by relaxing. Let your diaphragm relax and rise naturally, your lungs will release air. To remove stagnant air and exhale completely, compress your abdomen gently at the natural end of your exhale so that you force out any remaining air you have (be gentle so to not disturb your insides, you are doing this to help refresh them not stress them).

Four-Fold Breathing

Some call this square breathing, 4×4 breaths, four-way breathing, grounding breaths.

Begin by exhaling completely.
Inhale as described in the full breathing comment. As you do count to 4. This count should be comfortable for you, it is not 4 seconds, it is just breaking up the natural time it takes for you to inhale fully into 4 sections. 1, 2, 3, 4 at your pace. Whatever the pace is, keep this same pace throughout this exercise.

Hold your breath in for the same pace count 1, 2, 3, 4.

Exhale as described in the full breathing comment. 1, 2, 3, 4.

Hold your exhale out for the same pace count 1, 2, 3, 4.

Repeat this process 4 complete times with your awareness following the breath and the count. This will help you with energy.

Basic Qi’gong Form for Four-Fold Breathing

Mindful body movements can be added to this ‘4 square breathing’ as in Daoist qi’gong exercise.

Begin in basic qi’gong posture. You can learn simple and comfortable qi’gong forms in videos or local instruction. Legs shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, feet straight forward or slightly angled. Relax and practice good posture, as if a golden string runs from your tailbone up through the back of your head and out the top of your head to support you.

Inhale as you bring your arms from resting position up to shoulder-height with relaxed full arm length outward. As you raise your arms, also raise your body by straightening your legs, but keep your knees at least slightly bent at all times.

Hold breath in as you gently drag your hands close to your chest (near where your chest and shoulders meet), letting your arms calmly fold at elbows to do so. Try to keep your hands at a constant elevation – comfortable shoulder height – as you draw them near.

Exhale as you smoothly lower your hands from near your chest to near your hips, keeping hands near your body (~1″ in front of you). Let your body ease into gravity, bending your knees as you sink into a slight squat.

Hold breath out as you move your hands forward, near hip-height, until your arms are in a relaxed full extension.

As you begin the next cycle with an inhale, raise your arms in front of you to shoulder-height as in the beginning. Continue with four fold breath and hand motion, slightly straightening upward with inhales and squatting downward with exhales.

Complete the practice with an exhale that presses your attention and qi into the ‘lower cauldron‘, storing energy in one’s center of gravity, at the location three-finger-widths below one’s belly button and within mid-way between front and back. Relax as you release that exhale and continue relaxed, down-to-Earth breathing. Feel gravity and peace, and give thanks to all practitioners of all time in service to all.

Daoist Microcosmic Orbit diagram
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cr0 – Sword and Bowl (Lyrics & Instrumental, Rendition Not Recorded)

@16:56 begins intended instrumental for lyrics below, rhymes drop with beat drop @17:12
 samurai funk
semper fi punk
open wide trunk
dag nabbit go'n grab it
go'n stab it with the sword o' separation
meditation, divide two parts to start
finding the heart, third waypoint hark
there they point: two poles to a whole
two souls and a bowl
pythagorian therians has me seein' medians
dan tien meridians
fission vision endearing 'em

yea, gettin' outta my funk
pull a sword outta my trunk and behold it
thine self, known it
all along, we ample strong when we together
O, different for the better
opposites coincide, open yer eyes wide
breathe, so you ain't blue in the face
union, in pace with nature's trace

(read:)

peace
Equilateral triangle with annotation, via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle#/media/File:Regular_polygon_3_annotated.svg

Thanks for the Hazelnut Harvest

Hazelnuts from my first times harvesting intensively, summer 2019, have lasted me through Jan 1. Maybe a quarter of my stash remains, still in shell stored safe and sound. I snack on hazels alone and in good company sporadically, this year being my first deep diving into staple tree foods. I look forward to incorporating these wonderfully healthy serious staple foods into my diet more in mutualism.

This bounty I’ve been snacking on is from one casual afternoon’s harvest with friends at Z’s Nutty Ridge, where I estimate I hand harvested ~2,000 nuts and kept half. I did another hazel harvest with local friends & nurserym’n one morning over the summer as well, collecting ~1,500 nuts that I’m stratifying in buckets to propagate from Dilmun Hill Organic Student Farm. I enjoyed reflecting on those harvests as I sat and had an after party hazelnut munch this Jan 1 middle of the night.

Both casual half-day harvests were some of the best days of the summer. Sure, it could get old if it was everyday work, but one thing that would not get old (or at least would help me get old) is that they were also some of the healthiest days of the summer. And here’s to health in surviving with’em: trees, gotta love’em. Thanks and peace.