Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nationwide PermaCulture Initiative

 

Permaculture Goes to the White House… With Your Vote!

Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Education, Education Centres, News, Urban Projects — by Ryan Harb February 25, 2012

I’ve got some incredible news to share with you! The permaculture initiative that I facilitate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (USA) has been selected by the White House as a finalist for the Campus Champions of Change Challenge award! This means we are in the final round and the general public is now voting for which teams will get a trip to the White House (judges selected 15 projects from more than 1000 applications!) The top 5 winners also get featured on a television program called ‘The Deans List’ on MTV.

You know the really good news when you read it, by the feeling going up the back of your head and the joy that sings from your heart. This might have potential if WE the people give it our all. A #Nationwide #Permaculture #Initiative could provide everyone with purpose. Something a desparately demoralized USA critically needs. jg

Campus Champions of Change Challenge

Last fall, the White House announced the launch of the Campus Champions of Change Challenge. After reviewing a record number of entries, we are delighted to announce the Challenge finalists and are ready to kick off the next phase where the public will have an opportunity to choose the top five projects they think best embody the President’s goal to win the future.
“All Across America, college and university students are helping our country out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world,” said President Obama. “I hope this challenge shines a light on their efforts, and inspires Americans of all ages to get involved in their communities.”
The top five vote getters will be invited to an event at the White House. They will also be featured by mtvU and MTV Act and be given the opportunity to host an episode of mtvU’s signature program, “The Dean’s List.”
The deadline to cast your vote is Saturday, March 3rd at 11:59 p.m.
Standings will be updated in real-time so be sure to come back to make sure your favorite project is in the lead.
Instructions
  1. Create an account. You can sign-in at the top right using your existing Facebook or Google account, or create a login expressly for the challenge.
  2. You get 3 votes. You can use all 3 on one entry, or spread them out on a different entries.
  3. After you vote, remind your friends to participate! Click the “Like” button to your right – you can even add a comment to your wall by hovering over the button afterwards.
 PLEASE VOTE

Friday, February 24, 2012

Necessities, Water is Precious to Life

Self Reliance Act of the Day
The mortality of physical reality dictates our requirement for clean drinking water. Living things in the animal kingdom (humans) typically can survive only 3 days without it. On our farm we have wonderful well water for showering, laundry and our garden, for which we are so grateful. It is however very high in manganese and iron. Not as of yet building our filtration system we have been "hauling" our drinking water.

I now know from experience that we have been using, for our family of four, ~2.5 gallons/day.  I also have 2 good friends who swear by the Berkey. Berkey has also assured us that while our water may require of us a bit of additional cleaning of the filter it will suffice for our needs. We are sold and you should be too. I have not found a bad review. And they also have food stores ready to go. Be sure to let your self reliance out. Preparedness is next to godliness.

Please Click Here For Big Berkey Filters

Freedom Bee

Latest Favorite Book

Love the premise and title of this book. It is sure to teach the values we cherish for generations to come and become an enduring part of our family legacy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Self Reliance 101- Be Prepared for the Worst, So that you may only know the Best

Food Preparedness

For 100s of millions of years generation after generation lived in seasonal harmony with nature. Our body weights would adjust with the availablity of food nature provides. We would eat seasonally, greens in spring, grains in fall and meats in winter (AND WHATEVER ELSE WE HAD DEVELOPED THE TECHNOLOGY TO STORE). Population would adjust, due to sickness and starvation until a "natural" balance was reattained.

Populations that prepared, survived. Peoples' that didn't succumbed to starvation, hoards and barbarians

Today in America we have become too dependant on the "Supermarket" as our 'nature' in providing the sustanance required for survival. Most people have never experienced empty supermarket shelves and so take this for granted. I know I used to.

Frankly though after studying our economic debt situation, foreclosures, unemployment etc, I don't know how anyone could continue to trust this fragile system or the crooked politicians who are only making things worse. After seeing revolutions sweep around the globe due to food riots, increasing scarcity and inflation I can no longer make pretend that food grows on supermarket shelves.

 I am especially concerned for friends and family living in major population centers such as cities. Here there is at most a 3 day supply of food. One major disruption and it is all toast. We all saw what happened during Katrina. Don't expect FEMA to save you.
  
So while you scamble going to and from your job for your paycheck remember you cannot eat your cash.  And remember you cannot store any food after a crisis happens and there is none left to store. Cash in the bank is no measure of your true wealth. Banks can close their doors, ATMs can easily stop working.

I'd rather we all prepare a bit and probably one of the best places to start is to consider putting back a little. A one month supply of basic food stores feels better to me than that same money sitting on vulnerable 'account.'.

In case you have no idea where to begin, click the link. Invest a bit to learn, save yourself the time, money and hassle of research Self Reliance 101, A good place to start if you haven't already... And even if you have and want to double check, - make sure you covered most everything. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A special invitation To Improve Your Brain Health

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life
70,000+ brain scans performed by Dr Amen prove the resiliance of the human brain to heal and improve itself from all manner of abuse and injury with things as simple as changing your diet. No brain scan necessary.
Check out the link.

Friday, February 17, 2012

More Wisdom From Another UnSchooler

9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn

Post written by Leo Babauta.
Kids in today’s school system are not being prepared well for tomorrow’s world.
As someone who went from the corporate world and then the government world to the ever-changing online world, I know how the world of yesterday is rapidly becoming irrelevant. I was trained in the newspaper industry, where we all believed we would be relevant forever — and I now believe will go the way of the horse and buggy.
Unfortunately, I was educated in a school system that believed the world in which it existed would remain essentially the same, with minor changes in fashion. We were trained with a skill set that was based on what jobs were most in demand in the 1980s, not what might happen in the 2000s.
And that kinda makes sense, given that no one could really know what life would be like 20 years from now. Imagine the 1980s, when personal computers were still fairly young, when faxes were the cutting-edge communication technology, when the Internet as we now know it was only the dream of sci-fi writers like William Gibson.
We had no idea what the world had in store for us.
And here’s the thing: we still don’t. We never do. We have never been good at predicting the future, and so raising and educating our kids as if we have any idea what the future will hold is not the smartest notion.
How then to prepare our kids for a world that is unpredictable, unknown? By teaching them to adapt, to deal with change, to be prepared for anything by not preparing them for anything specific.
This requires an entirely different approach to child-rearing and education. It means leaving our old ideas at the door, and reinventing everything.
My drop-dead gorgeous wife Eva (yes, I’m a very lucky man) and I are among those already doing this. We homeschool our kids — more accurately, we unschool them. We are teaching them to learn on their own, without us handing knowledge down to them and testing them on that knowledge.
It is, admittedly, a wild frontier, and most of us who are experimenting with unschooling will admit that we don’t have all the answers, that there is no set of “best practices”. But we also know that we are learning along with our kids, and that not knowing can be a good thing — an opportunity to find out, without relying on established methods that might not be optimal.
I won’t go too far into methods here, as I find them to be less important than ideas. Once you have some interesting ideas to test, you can figure out an unlimited amount of methods, and so my dictating methods would be too restrictive.
Instead, let’s look at a good set of essential skills that I believe children should learn, that will best prepare them for any world of the future. I base these on what I have learned in three different industries, especially the world of online entreprenurship, online publishing, online living … and more importantly, what I have learned about learning and working and living in a world that will never stop changing.
1. Asking questions. What we want most for our kids, as learners, is to be able to learn on their own. To teach themselves anything. Because if they can, then we don’t need to teach them everything — whatever they need to learn in the future, they can do on their own. The first step in learning to teach yourself anything is learning to ask questions. Luckily, kids do this naturally — our hope is to simply encourage it. A great way to do this is by modeling it. When you and your child encounter something new, ask questions, and explore the possible answers with your child. When he does ask questions, reward the child instead of punishing him (you might be surprised how many adults discourage questioning).
2. Solving problems. If a child can solve problems, she can do any job. A new job might be intimidating to any of us, but really it’s just another problem to be solved. A new skill, a new environment, a new need … they’re all simply problems to be solved. Teach your child to solve problems by modeling simple problem solving, then allowing her to do some very easy ones on her own. Don’t immediately solve all your child’s problems — let her fiddle with them and try various possible solutions, and reward such efforts. Eventually, your child will develop confidence in her problem-solving abilities, and then there is nothing she can’t do.
3. Tackling projects. As an online entrepreneur, I know that my work is a series of projects, sometimes related, sometimes small and sometimes large (which are usually a group of smaller projects). I also know that there isn’t a project I can’t tackle, because I’ve done so many of them. This post is a project. Writing a book is a project. Selling the book is another project. Work on projects with your kid, letting him see how it’s done by working with you, then letting him do more and more by himself. As he gains confidence, let him tackle more on his own. Soon, his learning will just be a series of projects that he’s excited about.
4. Finding passion. What drives me is not goals, not discipline, not external motivation, not reward … but passion. When I’m so excited that I can’t stop thinking about something, I will inevitably dive into it fully committed, and most times I’ll complete the project and love doing it. Help your kid find things she’s passionate about — it’s a matter of trying a bunch of things, finding ones that excite her the most, helping her really enjoy them. Don’t discourage any interest — encourage them. Don’t suck the fun out of them either — make them rewarding.
5. Independence. Kids should be taught to increasingly stand on their own. A little at a time, of course. Slowly encourage them to do things on their own. Teach them how to do it, model it, help them do it, help less, then let them make their own mistakes. Give them confidence in themselves by letting them have a bunch of successes, and letting them solve the failures. Once they learn to be independent, they learn that they don’t need a teacher, a parent, or a boss to tell them what to do. They can manage themselves, and be free, and figure out the direction they need to take on their own.
6. Being happy on their own. Too many of us parents coddle our kids, keeping them on a leash, making them rely on our presence for happiness. When the kid grows up, he doesn’t know how to be happy. He must immediately attach to a girlfriend or friends. Failing that, they find happiness in other external things — shopping, food, video games, the Internet. But if a child learns from an early age that he can be happy by himself, playing and reading and imagining, he has one of the most valuable skills there is. Allow your kids to be alone from an early age. Give them privacy, have times (such as the evening) when parents and kids have alone time.
7. Compassion. One of the most essential skills ever. We need this to work well with others, to care for people other than ourselves, to be happy by making others happy. Modeling compassion is the key. Be compassionate to your child at all times, and to others. Show them empathy by asking how they think others might feel, and thinking aloud about how you think others might feel. Demonstrate at every opportunity how to ease the suffering of others when you’re able, how to make others happier with small kindnesses, how that can make you happier in return.
8. Tolerance. Too often we grow up in an insulated area, where people are mostly alike (at least in appearance), and when we come into contact with people who are different, it can be uncomfortable, shocking, fear-inducing. Expose your kids to people of all kinds, from different races to different sexuality to different mental conditions. Show them that not only is it OK to be different, but that differences should be celebrated, and that variety is what makes life so beautiful.
9. Dealing with change. I believe this will be one of the most essential skills as our kids grow up, as the world is always changing and being able to accept the change, to deal with the change, to navigate the flow of change, will be a competitive advantage. This is a skill I’m still learning myself, but I find that it helps me tremendously, especially compared to those who resist and fear change, who set goals and plans and try to rigidly adhere to them as I adapt to the changing landscape. Rigidity is less helpful in a changing environment than flexibility, fluidity, flow. Again, modeling this skill for your child at every opportunity is important, and showing them that changes are OK, that you can adapt, that you can embrace new opportunities that weren’t there before, should be a priority. Life is an adventure, and things will go wrong, turn out differently than you expected, and break whatever plans you made — and that’s part of the excitement of it all.
We can’t give our children a set of data to learn, a career to prepare for, when we don’t know what the future will bring. But we can prepare them to adapt to anything, to learn anything, to solve anything, and in about 20 years, to thank us for it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Is Your Brain On Spec?

What does it take to maintain your brain?
Understanding this is the key to happiness and success
No-one thinks about brain deficiency.. Yet correcting this has the power to change your life.
Watch the video

If that doesn't work click here
Click the link
www.amenclinic.com
Click Here!

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Need Of Play

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-serious-need-for-play
Play, As Natural As Life In Nature....
Examples, Animals in play...
Humans in play

3 Forgotten Hunter-Gatherer Secrets of Raising SuperKids | The Primal Family

http://primalfamily.com/?p=711
Sounds like our kind of unschooling.
Had to tweet this along.
Child stewardship.
Blessings

Thursday, February 2, 2012

UnSchooler (Permaculture Icon) Johnny Appleseed Movie Clip

By accident or design the life/legend of Johnny Chapman (Johnny Applessed) took the long view- creating an enduring legacy of abundance and rich perspective for future generations...



Enjoy this Youtube Disney clip of this American legend. It is a story rich in what values today people need to most remember and treasure the possibilities. Johnny Appleseed left a legacy. Now more than ever leaving the proper legacy to our children, knowledge, purpose, something enduring. If yoy want a plan on how to do this for yourself and yours for generations to come Check out The Elevation Group Here 
Disclaimer... I am not promoting religion. Religion shouldn't be promoted as it ought be recognized as inherent within.. As our founders recognized.. However Johnny was a man of "The Good Book" Bible, I know there is a lot of controversy with the use of religion for wars these days and I don't blame you for your problems with those that push religion... Hope you can see the value of all of it beyond the contention. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Indocrination

The Central Fallacy of Public Schooling -

Great Article that fits the bill of what I was looking for. I had read somewhere about the Pilgrim Communities (Massachusetts Bay Company 1600s). When people revolted to compusory education, their children where marched to school at gunpoint. This is what I was searching for when I came across this article. If you know of stories of violent forced, child indoctrination, please comment and include the links. This is history that ought not be lost by those that would enslave or forgotten by those who know not any better.


Excerpt: When parents send a child to a tax-funded school, they sacrifice their autonomy to alien interests. The state has goals of its own that are distinct from those of parents. Parents are able to economize by availing themselves of a “free” school, but the bargain is Faustian. The child is subjected to indoctrination outside parental control. The price of tax-funded schooling is that parents give up their children to become instruments of the state.
Daniel Hager is a writer in Lansing, Michigan.

"Empty Your Cup," Lao Tzu >400bce

It dawned on me the other day. It has been quite awhile since I've explored any Eastern 2400+ year old wisdom such as Lao Tzu's "Tao Te Ching" or "Later Teachings." I remember that the truth contained within (that I assimilated during College) rendered my writing incomprehensible (to others) for a time. Writing any truths whatsoever under a Hegelian dialectic (2 polarized, incomplete (thesis-antithesis-synthesis) and therefore falsehoods) to somehow then arrive at a more complete or better truth is rubbish. So much for State sponsored education. Writing from a place so shallow amounts to jibber-jabber and not worth writing at all.

The "Masters" who wag our tails use the same technique today continuously with their promulgated problem-reaction-solutions. No wonder it's the Hegelian Dialectic that is taught in "Public" school.

Later at Columbia, after I experienced "deconstruction" things for a time with my "scholarly analytical" papers writing only got worse. That is until I came upon "truth" in my own mind. It is there in all of us, always. Truth as is liberty, is endowed by god and kept by the people, not granted by some bureaucracy. Neither can ever be complete in words alone. I realised then how limiting is the "intellect" based in abstract letters, words and even worse- polarized analytics. Truth is found in those things beyond words and verbiage, certainly not in today's so-called "laws."   

To "empty your cup, often" this quote is best yet the essence and spirit of UnSchooling. And this was written in antiquity long before Unschooling. This makes Lao Tzu a very early steward of unschooling.   

What Unschooling is not

We cannot tell you what unschooling is when the point of unschooling is to unleash the individual. Because to nurture self-expression and inspiration and find the unique individual purpose within, is different for everyone.

We cannot tell you what unschooling is going to be for you and your children because unschooling is an individual experience. We can only refer to what unschooling is not. Each individual has a multitude of possibilities and inspirations. It is our role as parents to lend support and guidance so our children can realize their purpose as it comes to them.

This unfolding process can appear through examples and experiences, mentors. As long as you're there in support and as facilitator you offer opportunity to learn via freewill according to inner directive. That 'stewardship,' of our children, is the role as we see it, as parents. We learn as much from our children as we expect them to learn from us.

Unschooling is not instructive but constructive. Unschooling is not curriculum nor assessment based but more about becoming, about faith in natural processes unfolding, rites of certain passage. The best we can do most of the time is get out the way. Unschooling is not a rat-race but self-paced. Unschooling is not competitive but cooperative. Unschooling does not sacrifice the individual for the whole but waters the roots to enjoy the fruits..

At home with

At home with
Gnomes

Missing component in Education today

One critical missing component of typical education today is a focus on the development of Emotional Intelligence. You have probably heard of it. It ultimately has to do with the empowerment phase necessary of balanced education. This is opposed as you know to disempowerment. People who are achieved in emotional intelligence can actually put knowledge to work effectively. Those with limited experience in this area accumulate knowledge in the left brain while the right brain gets a headache. Connections become lost due to fragmented understanding. As coursework was taught to them in fragmented ways so goes the confused, undeveloped in emotional development and disempowered not knowing why. By designing the modern-cultural aspects of education devoid of relevant connection with emotional intelligence, modern culture is, by-design neutered. .. Devoid of the tools necessary for its' own empowerment. . Something critical to us all, at such rapidly transitory times.. We must evolve and Adapt. An immediate good first step could be a degree of Unschooling for all teachers with emphasis and inclusion to learning how to bring E.I. to the class.