Friends and Family,
This is a time for reflection, again, looking at how humans cooperate and work productively and creatively together, and how humans parasitically manipulate and bleed each other as an ongoing business model, carried down and honed over the eons. It has gotten quite a sharp point put on it in the last few centuries, and it keeps adapting, changing with the times, neither "right" nor "left", but controlling the perceptions of human societies, always to the benefit of those who extract the value from every aspect of our human lives, draining our life force, weakening our bodies, minds, families and cooperative communities.
What is necessary is for each of us to look to what is humanly right, and to how we can avoid being manipulated and bled, now, and going forward.
When I say "we" I mean each of us, and I mean "we" as family groups. We need to keep our labors and creations from being drained out of our families. The handing down of "wealth" through generations, within a family, is a major thing that separates successful parents from unsuccessful parents.
This "wealth" is in stages, with the first being good support of the children in a loving and enriched environment until they begin school. 80% of your success in life is predicted by the first 4-5 years, though it is very hard to see that yourself. Everything after that seems so important, but accomplishing things depends upon WHO you have become at 5 years old.
Each stage contains situations where the wisdom and guidance of elders is of great benefit. The "latency" years are years where a whole lot can be learned rapidly before hormonal changes hit. Teen years are a transition to running with the adults with more and more responsibility, but also with risky experiments and running with other teens in bonded groups.
The young adult years are where grandparents can help guide the new parents, and where the older parents can help effectively guide and network on behalf of their young adult offspring. Also, it is important to keep resources from being bled out of the family, keeping the young adults out of debt slavery, and supporting them in the support of the very young children. Effective grandparenting can really help keep the younger generations from being bled, stunted and exploited by outside interests.
I am now engaging in cleaning up the estate of my grandparents, which my father inherited, and is now passing down again. I have been cleaning a lot of dust and rat droppings off of a lot of things, washing, organizing, communicating with people who have roles to play in the estate sale, sale of the house, trust-officer, caregivers from Dad's last days, and my siblings, who are good and competent people. We are working together as family, not fighting over possessions.
This physical process is informing my mental, emotional, and developmental process as I reluctantly embrace it.
I will soon be 60. As I face "retirement" in the coming decade, I know that retiring from my role in the system is not retiring from my responsibility to family, humanity and life on Earth. It is the time that I may be able to compose some legacy to provide to my family and other community going forward. Since I see a long decline in energy availability, I need to compose a living compound that can weather that low energy storm. It is our heritage, efficient farming, but not so very much in America, because there was always new soil to break with the plow. We need to adopt the intensive and sustainable practices of Asia and old Europe, always adapted to each place, and adjusting with prevailing climate and other environmental conditions.
I have been imagining a home that is flexible enough to handle large family gatherings, and which is productive of vegetables year round, on a larger scale than I m now doing.
I've been gardening, learning the ropes in my climate zone, reading books about small, intensive farming, like this book, The Lean Farm Guide to Growing vegetables, which I find to really get down to the brass tacks of efficient market farming on a small scale, using the Japanese efficiency techniques we learned about in the 1980s, the Kaizen process of continuous improvement. Here is a good review of that book
sustainablemarketfarming.com/ 2017/10/03/book-review-the- lean-farm-guide-to-growing- vegetables-more-in-depth-lean- techniques-for-efficient- organic-production-ben- hartman/
A quick little drone video from above his farm, swooping down to Ben in a field is here
Seeing the Forest