Presented here is a model of food production and land management which emphasizes regenerative grazing, water farming, and long-lasting structures made from stone. The purpose is to not merely manage land, but nourish it and leave it better than it was found.
What about growing plants? Plant agriculture can move indoors and still thrive, whereas it's the exact opposite for animal agriculture (with the exception of Wintertime). Even if you don't till the land, gardening takes up space, and that space could be better utilized by growing with the help of structures. No-till gardening is a great method for plants that truly need to be in the dirt, like potatoes. But it must be acknowledged that any kind of gardening is going to compete with space that can be used for animal agriculture. Again, orchards and anything that must grow in the dirt (and does so best outdoors) is best. Let the animals into the orchards after picking season is over to eat leftover scraps. Otherwise, plants should be grown indoors, via aquaponics, hydroponics, and aeroponics.
Currently, there is not a page in the main Equilibrium Archive allocated for no-till gardening. I do not know whether I will add one, since I am hesitant to over-emphasize it. Instead, I will link to that page here. There is another link at the bottom of this page, under “Related Pages.”
It should be noted that the basic problem with most forms of plant agriculture is the disturbance to the soil it causes. Further down this page, you will see a description of how the Dust Bowl was caused by a combination of drought and plant agriculture. Standard forms of organic farming do not solve this problem. Not only that, but organic farming as it is practiced in the 21st century is very often a bastardization of what it should be and what it was originally intended to be. There are pesticides which harm the human respiratory system when applied without protective equipment, and some of these pesticides are allowed for use in organic farming. So the label of Organic does not guarantee a clean and healthy product. Likewise, the use of plastic mulch and irrigation tubing is ubiquitous in organic farming. Everything decomposes eventually, but non-organic materials like plastic take an extremely long time to do so. Over time, even while the plastic tubing remains intact, chemicals in the tubing steadily leach into the surrounding water and soil, contaminating it thus. It is puzzling why something so toxic and blatantly non-organic (by all definitions) is allowed in organic farming. Perhaps it is allowed because it is considered a cheap, fast, and easy solution to the problems of pests, competition with native plants, and need for water that enables short-term profiteering to carry on.
When it comes to buying produce, I have found that the farmers who use the healthiest practices are NOT certified organic, but neither are they strictly conventional, if they resemble conventional farmers much at all. As long as you must continue relying on others for your food to any extent, I encourage you to seek out local farmers with relatively small farms-- about 100 acres or less. Note that farms of this scale typically cannot afford the costs and hassle of becoming and remaining Certified Organic. Ideally, you may even be able to find a food grower who is willing to barter with you, particularly if you have the skills to make other items of value.
From "Brian Harner on the Environment"
They destroyed all of the grasslands around here. This was like Ground Zero for the Dust Bowl by the way, where I’m staying right now. Up by Guymon- that’s up on the Oklahoma panhandle-, around liberal Kansas, those kinds of areas—that literally is Ground Zero for this problem (23:32). And the whole thing was created by this want and desire to have more farmers growing wheat. You know wheat- it still happens around here a lot-, but wheat doesn't have the same kind of root structure that native grasses and stuff like that have here. The native grasses and mesquite trees and what have you have very, very deep roots. Those roots go way into the ground. And not only are they able to access water in that way, but they keep the ground in a state of suspension that we just can’t do. And with the natural rains, just one year of drought, for example, caused an enormous problem for decades there following. The entire area was plowed and wheat was planted. That’s what created the Dust Bowl, though. You have a huge push to try to make, or try to get a bunch of farmers to plant wheat; mainly because in that time there was the Depression and what have you, and wheat was easy to process to turn into things like bread and crackers and shit, and easy to store food sources. But what ended up happening was they completely ransacked the whole fucking area of all the native grasses and plant life and animal life that existed in this area that kept it in check for a long time (25:09). And that was more or less how the Dust Bowl happened. They had one year of really dry weather and it wiped out all of the wheat crops, and what ended up happening after that was the entire land was nothing but dust. There wasn’t anything to hold it in check and this place is windy as fuck, you know—they call it “Tornado Alley” for a reason. So what ended up happening next? All that dust went up into the air in huge dust storms. Which made it even harder to create the rain on the backside of it. Like I said, you know-- once something like that happens, you’ve not only eliminated the cloud cover that would deflect the heat and produce the rain to grow the grasses, now you have this huge portion of darker heat-absorbing mass in the form of a huge dust cloud that’s sucking up more heat, which made it harder for the clouds to get here and produce the rains. And that’s what I’m saying-- that’s one of those feedback loops that gets worse and worse and worse. Before you knew it everything from Dallas, Texas basically to fuckin’ Canada was totally fucked. You know, and it stayed that way for years. Until- you know- there was something that broke it, some sort of huge shift, I guess you could call it, where something got a lot colder or there was a lot of water vapor that came in from other sources. Eventually it broke it, and then that’s what the government did, is they put a moratorium on a very large portion of land here for growing wheat. Shane was telling me actually there’s quite a few plots of land around here where the government will pay you to not do anything to it if you can. You can’t grow cattle on it, you can't plow it and grow wheat, you can’t even use it for hay. It's just, a certain portion of the land in this area has to be dedicated to at least keeping the soil on the ground, you know? Heheheh. That's one of the things they tried to do to fix it, you know? Obviously it's worked this long, but if you lose all of those underground water reservoirs like I’ve been talkin' about- the Ogallala-, it doesn't matter how much fuckin' land you try to save unless you literally save all of it. Just what the environment produced itself-- everything that is wheat in these areas that’s pulling from the Ogallala reservoir to water it, it’s just gonna go right back to Dust Bowl type shit, until the grasses can slowly infiltrate all of those areas again. It’s a significant problem, and that’s just the United States.
E-mails from Brian
September 9 2020 1:46AM
"Is it possible to simplify all the issues with veganism into one, which is scale?"
itself can only be accomplished if the environment, including the
entire planet's biosphere, can maintain an atmospheric loop cycle.
Carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrogen especially. What building a pyramid
as your domicilie does just from practical standpoint, is triple the
foot space. Vegetables, fruits, and various other plants will grow all
over it, if you design it that way. Being a Vegan when that has already
taken place on a large enough scale that you can feel comfortable and
safe from theft or war... is a strong possibility. There is a lot that
needs to occur in order for that reality to start taking shape. As I've
said prior, being a Vegan in today's society is only possible from a
heavily subsidized crude oil economy. The amount of produce that flies
all over the world and/or gets shipped on a boat, transported to the
holding facility, shipped to a distributor, then shipped from the
distributor to the grocery store. But wait, there's more... Then the
buyer of the produce has to drive their vehicle to and from work, then
to and from the grocery store. Unless there is an onboard aquaponics
system in place that is run on pure solar, off grid, that can maintain
light variations to keep the vegetables growing all year round, every
single Vegan NEEDS the crude oil economy to function. When it comes to a
community, absolutely not.
How many Vegans buy at least half of their groceries from a store? After the collapse, where will that half of their complete nutritional sustenance come from? The farmers that supplement those local shortages have run out (or almost run out) of reservoir water. Their want and desire to supplement a supply system that does not benefit them or their land will evaporate, plus they'll be busy saving their own asses. Really process this scenario. Living in a heaven like scenario on Earth where sustainability is easy is a ways off. Focus on the present dilemma, and then view that dilemma from everyone else's eyes. That is the obstacle. I obviously cannot make anyone eat meat, nor can I make anyone survive... All I can say right now, is that Veganism is a virtue signaling blowhard solution to a survivability equation. It is impossible to sustain without a complex system of external energy funding its circulation. Therefore, any past epoch representations of Veganism being sustainable, required a civilization backing it. The one currently is crude oil. Veganism also requires supplements (vitamins and nutrients) that cannot be produced without a crude oil economy powering the infrastructure. It's a fad in a time where the planet is dying, and everyone wants to think they have a solution to a complex problem. Veganism is not a solution to the trophic web collapsing right now, and is selfish in inception as a result. The problems I tackle are global. Meaning they are complex solutions that benefit every human alive. What Vegans are saying by promoting their ideology as a global solution, is they do not understand what the problem is right now, how to get beyond the era of said problem, and how to sustain life FAR beyond the life they themselves are living. Veganism is a ploy to the present state of a personally derived rationale in a time of great confusion and complex problems. It may seem like a solution to the self... but the whole reason why humanity is in hell is because of the self in the first place. I see the effort and the reasoning. I see the good intention, I really do. It's misplaced, simple as. If that is offensive, I think that should be taken up with your maker. It's his system. Not mine... and certainly not a Vegan's.
I've never heard of a Vegan Amish. And yes, I am very familiar with Belgian horses, the Amish go to work horse. The problem with comparing modern society to the Amish is that it is a very strict and difficult community to enter into. They have self segregated for hundreds of years now. They already protect themselves and police themselves. When the collapse ensues, they will be vulnerable in a variety of ways, but they will stick it out. How many Vegans live in anything remotely close to that now, though? They've been at this game for hundreds of years, and Vegans just started to make a footprint recently, much less formed self sustaining, self defending communities. If the Amish are looking at taking losses, what does that say about Vegans? The other problem that hasn't been discussed is viability. Being a Vegan makes the body itself a liability in times of shortage. Is the entire community going to be subject to the deteriorating abilities of citizens that choose to not eat bacon, or burgers? Those that do eat meat will continue being able to work at full capacity, or at least more so than a Vegan. What would a Vegan say to that dereliction? What if the Vegan was the only doctor in the community? Would he starve himself of sustenance in times where only meat is available... possibly dying and forcing the entire community to live there forward without healthcare... And for what? This isn't just about some principled ideology standing out from the rest. This situation is about survivability, community, adaptability, and cohesion. Everyone eats what everyone eats, thusly, forming what humans refer to as "culture." That's where it all begins. Being a Vegan at all means that you would like to separate from your community in some way... any way. Which is an attack on cohesion itself. The idea here is to work as a team, not an individual.
"Overall the truly important question is whether there are environmentally healthy ways of growing plants and if so, what are all of the details involved in doing so."
Like I explained above, once the civilization is founded upon equilibrium, sustainability, and cohesion, being a Vegan will probably be the norm just because of the lack in required physical labor and self defense strategies. That COULD BE a few generations into the future, or it could take thousands of years to appear, or it may never happen. The opportunity for a self sustaining Vegan community in the near future is close to zero. Not because of the ability for it to occur, but more so because of the lack in ability to sustain. I am a very big supporter of aquaponics. I had a very nice set up that I was planning installing myself before this all started. But even that requires meat to produce in any meaningful way. Plants to animals, and animals to plants. In a world of dwindling resources and starvation on the horizon, the animals must play a role in sustenance. They are imperative to sustaining any kind of land production. As far as the land goes, that will all depend on how much water you can produce. The water availability will decide how many animals any plot can sustain. That's why I'm also a huge supporter of water farming in those areas. Water is the largest factor in any land viability solution, other than aquaponics ironically. After the pyramids get built, I would build planter boxes, yes. I'm not too sure where the piezoelectric hypothesis started or why they think that particular motive exists for those structures, but that picture I posted some time ago is how I would design the gardens.
September 9 2020 6:43PM
"hunting and fishing. I notice that you’ve talked about aquaponics but not going fishing. Does this have to do with some of the current problems related to fish, such as toxicity (e.g. from plastic and mercury) and overfishing?"
In one of Sid Smith's talks he shows a picture titled "Earth's Land Mammals By Weight. It shows a basic overview of all life outside of the ocean... essentially. The distribution of sustenance for those mammals has decreased dramatically right alongside their population numbers. I would like to see those numbers balanced out with humanity's food animal share of the land. It's not an emotional stance, though it seems like it is. The real motivation behind wanting nature's animal population to rise is the genetic diversity within each species. There still is a significant amount of biodiversity, but within each species, the numbers have gotten so low that any disease or natural calamity has the ability to annihilate them from nature for good. That is the real fear. Once genetic diversity within a species is gone, the species itself is at risk. I am not against hunting or fishing, but there does need to be a moratorium on those activities outside of population control.
The idea that hunting wild game is a healthier source of animal protein is correct. The meat is leaner and has more benefits for the body when consumed. I cannot and would not argue that. What I am proposing as a solution has to do with the way cattle and other food animals are raised. The natural state of domesticated animals in a crude oil economy (grain fed) is the real culprit to maintaining grass fed animal food stocks. Capitalism and profit margins within it are the reason why grain fed beef even exists. It's a time allotment game, and the keepers of pricing standards control the ability for the farmers to diversify or make a total swap back to grain fed. The farmers are stuck in a loop where they have to produce calves for the grain fed establishment, just so they can survive. That said, grass fed beef is as good, if not better considering weight ratios, than wild game. The problem with it being profitable on the same margins as grain fed, is that it takes much longer to produce a fully grown grass fed cow than a grain fed one. Given the population situation globally, a complete swap to grass fed beef, and a resurgence in wild land for wild animals to repopulate, will not work in a financially controlled society. There simply is not enough time, as well as not enough beef itself that will be available to make such a swap. Humanity can not afford not to make this swap, but it also cannot afford to make the swap. Ultimately meaning population numbers in humans must go down, and during that period of time when we are choosing to cull our own numbers through passive means, people will need to drastically reduce their animal protein intake. The wildlife cannot sustain the onslaught that a world full of starving hunters will bring, so making hunting a viable defense strategy to this cattle conundrum will just be another level of omnicide coming to fruition. Humanity needs wildlife to sustain the wild. If we lose them for good, the entire biosphere will collapse. It's a touchy subject that needs to be debated within each mind alive right now.
Hunting is a great way to manage the wildlife populations, and it is a very healthy source of protein and fat. Considering the global impact that hunting has caused, there needs to be a break from it, though. 3-5 years should allow the populations to self regulate back into some semblance of sustainability. AT THE SAME TIME, a massive shift away from grain fed animal foods needs to also occur. The health system alone cannot handle an entire Earth full of clogged artery having humans. The feedback loops that impact every system outside of the animal food industries is enough motivation to make this swap, but as long as the food industry is tied to the crude oil economy, and that economy is based on capitalism, the seductive nature of profitability will win out more than not. This swap needs to be made by the populace that consumes these animals. When all animal food stocks are grass fed, the food will be as good, if not better than wild game. By my estimations, to make that swap would take about 3 years, which will require humanity to collectively change their entire eating structure. Keep in mind, I'm explaining the possibilities that could have been implemented starting last October. At this point in time, this kind of swap could be implemented, but there will have to be human sacrifice. There are simply too many humans alive right now to sustain this kind of a shift. The population numbers HAVE TO go down. There's no getting around that now. It's shitty news to have to give, but it's the truth no less. The solution is to raise our food animals the way that wildlife grows, which will offer a real alternative to hunting. Hunters are not wrong for doing what they've done, but at this point in time, knowing the numbers and understanding the impact that problem will bring to the entire planet, we have to take a break from it for now.
Fishing is a much more complex problem. Overfishing fucks up the atmosphere. Understanding the food chain of the oceans is essential to properly solving this equation. Without a fully functioning ocean biosphere, we will lose half of our oxygen... HALF. Keeping that system at full capacity should be the goal considering what will occur if we do not, but again... this is a profit game. The incentive to halt fishing does not exist for many countries around the world. Their culture was based on fish being food, and that is how they've sustained their populations to this point. The conglomerate fishing outfits that feed a production line system are the real problem, but humanity has is beyond fixing this problem with just shutting them down. The entire fishing industry needs to take a break and let the oceans form their own equilibrium. Again, this will take a significant human sacrifice, but if that sacrifice is not given, acidification will destroy the phytoplankton populations. And if that happens, the entire planet will perish. Most of these scenarios are identical in scope to that of the overall conundrum humanity is dealing with; annihilation, or Salvation. Those are the only real options humanity has left, and they spread into every aspect of life on Earth right now.
When it comes to lake and river fishing, the hatcheries do a very good job raising population numbers. Each individual region will have to decide their level of acceptable population within a given species, as long as their presence in the trophic web is sustainable. As far as ocean fishing is concerned, stop fishing them immediately before the feedback loops due to acidification kick into high gear. This is a severe problem that many do not understand. I lived on the Oregon coast before this all started, and used to walk my dog on the beach regularly. Once a year, a very large number of juvenile crabs would wash up on every beach dead. The cause was hypoxia. These types of events were happening, but on a much smaller scale. Now, they happen every year, sometimes several times. The oxygen in the water drops below life sustaining levels and the juvenile crabs simply suffocate to death. That is a direct result of acidification growing, and there's only "1" cure. While that cure is being implemented, humanity needs to let the oceans correct themselves. At this point, there will be mass die offs of numerous species. That is a foregone conclusion based on what we've already done. There's no way for us to manage every specie in the ocean, so the only way to know is to let the populations deal with the acidification process correction on their own, and pray they do not go extinct in the process. The die offs are bad... But fishing those populations during these die off events is suicidal. And this is just the beginning.
To compound on an already catastrophic scenario, the emulsification of plastics that humanity has dumped in the ocean over the last 100 years has caused significant biological problems in every aquatic lifeform on Earth. Plastics do not go away, they simply break down over time into smaller particles. During this gluttony of crude oil backed industrial expansion, the pulverized plastic particles have bio accumulated in everything in the ocean. Birds included (really, everything included that eats ocean fish). This small fibrous shards distribute evenly within the fish bodies, and as a result, plastics are consumed by anything that eats them, humans included. This is another dirty little secret that is often times protected from reaching the general populace's zeitgeist in any meaningful way. If you're eating fish from the ocean, you are also consuming a large quantity of plastic. That is a fact. What's worse is that it bio accumulates, meaning the saturation gets worse and worse over time. This is a problem that will last thousands of years, at the very least. The chemical derivatives that are released from a large quantity of plastics in the system is what's causing so many mental health problems in humanity right now. And it will only get worse from here. It's bad now... but this is only the beginning.
People will always want to eat fish. I get that, and understand the real mechanisms for why. That is why aquaponics are severely needed to reset the oceanic biosphere. If the fish stocks are raised and consumed outside of the oceanic paradigm, there is no reason to continue slaughtering the wild fish stocks. Again, this is a sacrifice that every human must decide to partake in of their own volition. I live this way now, by the way. I eat 1 meal a day, and usually it's balanced. If 2/3rds of the meals consumed by humans now were stopped immediately, the biosphere might recuperate. It's not a definite fix, but it is a step to rebuilding the wildlife on Earth. The food situation will not always be this way, but right now it is a necessary move. As I've said many times now, I wouldn't recommend anything that I would not also partake in. I'm partaking in this situation's solution now without anyone else capitulating. That's how serious I see these problems being. I can't speak for the majority of humanity, but if humanity wants to survive, this is the only viable path to that end. Just like the rest of the food and energy stores of the future, if you cannot produce it yourself, leave it alone. Fishing is no different. I'm not saying to stop eating fish, I'm saying humanity needs to stop fishing wild fish. To be honest, I have no idea how long that type of moratorium should last. The accumulation of carbon dioxide will continue to increase, and the deadzone phenomenon will follow suit. It could be a very long time before the oceans can be sustainably fished at the current capacity. The thing is, nobody really knows because of how vast and complex the ocean wildlife is. Anyone who contradicts what I just said is lobbying for profits. The health of the ocean and planet by proxy doesn't even enter their equation. There are problems we are creating now that won't be fully understood or felt by the populace for decades to come. The only motivation anyone should have concerning this matter is, if we lose the oceans, we lose the planet; omnicide, or Salvation. Keeps coming up doesn't it? Anyways, that's how I feel about hunting and fishing. I'm not emotionally attached to the stigmas of consuming wild animal protein. My concerns are based on practical application and sustainability. What we are doing now is as far away from those goals as anything...
https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/plastic-leaching-farmers-fields-alarming-rate-new-report Article addressing the problem of plastic leaching into soil and water.