Sunday, June 12, 2011

Farm Details

The farm is actually quite small, excepting the forest and some pasture for the ponies. The main house has a kitchen, dining room, and living room, and three modest but beautiful bedrooms.

Next door to the house is the garden, about twenty beds in the French Raised Bed Intensive style with drip irrigation and some seedling tables. Right now we have lettuce, chard, kale, raspberries, peas, beans, tons of garlic, cucumbers, tomatillos, grapes (not yet with grapes but the bunches are there as little tiny green nubs) sage, basil, oregano, mint ALL OVER the place (it's growing wild and doing really well, there are "stands"? "groves"? patches of it as large as tennis courts) and a lot of other stuff that I don't even know what it is.


There are boatloads of roses, and about ten apple trees (in addition to the apple orchard across the way, where the ponies stay, that has a bunch more) and just down the hill is the walnut orchard, and something I think is a giant fig tree, but I keep forgetting to ask about that.

Also, there are some potatoes. Y'know, just growing here and there.

There's more stuff than that but I think you get the picture.

Oh! Five chickens! They lay eggs, and everything you've heard about country fresh eggs is true and then some! These yolks define orange. They are eye-popping, practically electric. Nora-san you were right! So delicious.

So, that's all up at the farm house. My cabin is down around the way, about a block and a half in city distance terms. The other cabins (except for the partially converted historic apple shed, which is close by the house) are also a ways away.

The place is completely off-grid. Electricity comes from solar panels and a micro-hydro turbine, water from a spring, and the internet comes in over a satellite uplink on the roof. There is also a propane system that feeds a stove and the water heater (which is normally off. If you want a hot shower you have to light the pilot light and wait for the burner to heat the water, about half an hour.)

Heat in the winter comes from a wood stove in the dining room, in the summer it's too dry and the risk of fire is too great, plus it's generally already a bit hot. This is California after all.

(I have got a whole blog post on lock about wood stoves and the absolutely ridiculous practice of burning trees in them. It is absurd. A rocket stove isn't so bad: it corrects most of the deficiencies of the conventional designs except for the main, i.e. wood consumption. But IMHO the real win is home-grown alcohol fuel and stoves that use it.)

Anyhoo, it's getting dark soon and I like to be snug in my cabin before then, so T.T.F.N. my friends! Love you!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


When I got here it was raining, and it kept raining for four days.  It was raining the day I came to visit too, and I started to suspect that it somehow just always rained here or something, but now the sun has come out and it's glorious.

Apparently all the birds and bugs were waiting on the rain to stop to do their thing.  The first day of sun saw an explosion of life, bugs flying everywhere. I think there is a bug for every plant at least, and maybe for every leaf. I've seen four species of bee alone! There are wasps by the dozen, cruising the eaves for likely nest-building spots. One wall has a wasp nest for each beam.

There are about fifteen kinds of fly, including the kind that tries to look like a bee, and cicadas and lacewings, and there are about a million ladybugs of all descriptions flying around and feasting on about a billion aphids infesting some beans in the garden.

Lest you think it's all bugs, I've seen at least a dozen different bird species, and heard more. One night I swear I heard an owl! They do say "Who?"

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Farm and Life On It

I've been here a week now and it's high time to write about what it's like.

First, there's so much life! I've seen frogs, toads, newts, a snake, a lizard, birds and more birds, a bat, ...and that's just the critters who aren't plants, bugs, or fungi! There are an extraordinary number of flowers of dozens of species. Pretty much every square inch is growing.

The farm proper consists of a main house and several out buildings on the tip-top of a little promontory overlooking a forested canyon. There is a chicken coop, a shed for tools and the solar electric system, an historic apple drying shed that is being converted to a cabin, and, of course, an outhouse (although the main house has a working bathroom and septic system.)

There's a primitive road below the main farm that leads down into the canyon and ends up at a clearing with a lovely little one-room cabin, which is where I'm staying. I basically have "my own" forest! There are redwoods (my favorite) as well as Douglas fir and oak trees, and dozens and dozens of other plants. I've counted three kinds of ferns, including a species that grows taller than me (I'm 6'3".)

The canyon is beautiful but very very steep, and there are huge erosion gullies leftover from clueless logging (done about fifty years ago.)  The creek that should be running along the forest floor is now stuck down in a gully that reaches a depth of ten to twenty feet and averages about fifteen feet wide.  I'll take some photos soon.  It actually looks really beautiful and dramatic, like the proverbial facial scar of the master swordsman, but knowing what I do about erosion it can only be considered tragic.  I'm making the repair of these gullies my first priority.

I need to do some research first to be sure I'm doing the right thing(s), but I imagine that drawing the water out of the creek bed and into swales and level spillways as high up in the canyon as I can will be the main task, followed by carefully filling in the gullies with whatever will slow down the water (and not be itself washed away by a heavy rain.)  This should also get the creek flowing year round; it currently dries up in the summer.

I got a chance to see erosion in action. It rained for the first four days I was here and on the third day it rained hard enough to cause the creek to rise and start scouring. The water looked exactly like a cafe latté, light tan (the color of the clay soil it was washing away) and fully opaque.  Whoosh! There goes more of your earth right down to the ocean only fifteen miles away. Bye bye!  See you next several million years from now.

The trees are doing a valiant job of repairing the valley but there has to be some way I can help!

More soon, I promise!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Phileas Fogg, Caterpillar Aeronaut

I saw a flying caterpillar yesterday!

I was walking through the forest when a little bitty caterpillar wafted past my face, obviously hanging from a strand of silk too fine to be seen. I expected that he was just swinging by, like Tarzan, on a strand attached to a tree branch or something and that he would presently swing back. But no! He kept going and even gained altitude as I watched.

The strand of silk the caterpillar was hanging from was "attached" to the air itself, and this tiny aeronaut was sailing into the heavens with all the dignity and aplomb of Phileas Fogg himself, off to circumnavigate the world in his eighty days.

Hats off to you, O intrepid wyrm! Sail the skies like a hero.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Unbelievable Greatness

Well, I'm here.  I can't really believe it but it keeps on not being a dream. I am essentially "done". I am as done as I've ever been in my life.

I'll try to explain.

I don't need much to be happy. A modest shelter, a little food, and occasional company of good-hearted people, that's about all I really need. Now, at this point, I have those, and I have them in a way that will more-or-less keep happening forever.  Everything around me that supports my life is directly dependent on Nature: the Sun, the rain, plants and animals, Earth and air.  I am "stitched in" to the fabric of Nature, the warp and weft of the sentient flows of life.

That means, as far as the anxieties of urban living, the struggle to "earn a living" and make ends meet, I am free! Done forever! Never again to fear.

Of course I still have to make a bit of money to pay for things, but that is hardly a burden. I should be able to pay my way using only about five to ten hours a week (the computer work I do pays well) leaving the rest of my time free to do...  anything, nothing, everything! Weeee!

I'm done.

(And with the extra money I make I can sponsor other people who want to make the transition to a harmonious natural lifestyle, rolling forward my own good fortune to benefit others and the Earth! Hooray!!)

Love you!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Abundance is Natural

Abundance is Natural, normal, the usual state of affairs, to be expected.

Bucky Fuller was an engineer, one of those folk trained to apply numbers and equations to matter and energy and create things like bridges and skyscrapers and planes and things.  He wasn't a philosopher.

He calculated that, by sometime in the mid 1970s, we would be able to pay for our entire life's resource usage with only about two years worth of work.  That is, if we were to apply the available (and ever-increasing) scientific knowledge of how to meet human needs with greater and greater efficiency, we could arrange things such that you would only have to work for about two years and then you could retire, having more than paid for yourself for the rest of your natural lifespan.

This is not a utopian vision; not a pie-in-the-sky pipe dream. This is a hard-nosed projection from an engineer who had taken the time to actually check things out from what I would consider to be a nearly fully sane perspective.

The microprocessor, our advances in materials science, and indeed all science, and the ever-increasing synergy between different interacting areas of knowledge make it inevitable that we will develop the ability to meet all our needs without a lifetime of work. (Not that work is bad, quite the contrary. It it the freedom from the necessity of drudgery that we should laud.)

With Permaculture we already have developed a "technology" that can bring material abundance to whomever practices it. In a regenerative garden that increases biomass as it provides for its resident gardeners there is every reason to expect the arrangement to be stable for at least several thousands of years.

We have all the technology we need already (except some medical advances to address certain diseases and human regeneration) and all of our problems now are psychological or spiritual, not physical.

I don't mean to suggest that we should stop creating new technology, only that
we are safe as far as having the tools we need to save ourselves. We have to learn to apply them to take care of everybody, and that's going to take love and compassion. But if we're willing to work with love and compassion for the betterment of everyone everywhere we can swiftly and easily change the world forever.

Packing for the Move Tomorrow

I'm currently packing to move up to the farm.  It's not as nerve-wracking as most moves would be since I have very little other than some books and clothes.  Nonetheless, I am a terrible packer and it will take me all day to fill what will eventually be less than five boxes. LOL

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Neighborhood as Unit of Abundance-Fostering (Part 1)

I used to think I wanted to be a hermit, or found a colony somewhere on sustainable and egalitarian lines.

When I first came across Christopher Alexander's Living Neighborhoods site I realized that what I really wanted was to live in a cool neighborhood where energy capture, food growing, and waste reclaimation were carried out locally in sustainable (read Permacultural) ways and where my neighbors shared my values (and sense of joie de vivre.)

I'm not a political radical. I'm content—truly, deeply content—with our democratic system. That may seem a strange thing to say in this polarized time but I know enough history to know how good we've got it.  I feel that we have all the clout and influence we need, at least on a local scale, to affect how our neighborhoods are governed, so I don't feel any pressing need to found or join a community on those grounds.

But I do think that retrofitting say, a block, or even just a street, in a modern city would be prohibitively expensive, and the only feasible way to build a sustainable neighborhood rapidly is, therefore, from the ground up.

I don't know that Wendy and Peter of Lone Tree Farm want to go so far as to have a whole neighborhood of people living with them, but they do want to expand the educational aspects of the farm and I hope there will be a role there for the "Pattern Language" techniques.

Prof. Alexander's "Pattern Language" concept is a fascinating fractal library of living geometric architectural patterns which, he asserts (with evidence and applications), can be used to evolve dynamic living buildings in situ by their inhabitants. The Living Neighborhoods site has extended this building process to encompass neighborhood construction and growth.

Whether or not you use Prof. Alexander's techniques, I think there's a huge advantage to creating Permaculture patterns at the scale of neighborhoods rather than single-family residences or farms. Even Lone Tree Farm with their hundred-plus acres would be able to more effectively modify the valley their property straddles if they could do so with the cooperation of their neighbors who share it.

Thriving neighborhoods, integrated with Nature, are the best bet for long-term survival, wealth building, and abundance.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'm a Little Scared

It is just one week until I move to the Pony Farm. I'll be leaving behind the amenities (however environmentally disastrous) of the city and trading them for the (perhaps romanticized) glories of the country life. Have I really thought this through?

It's a funny question: I've wanted to do this all my life, been thinking about it for over two decades, how could I be anything other than totally stoked?

Well, right now I am drinking a cup of coffee. The store where I bought the beans is just three blocks away. (It's a "Trader Joe's" which is a chain of really incredible grocery stores that stock great organic food. Something nice to have three blocks away.)

I ground the beans fresh in an electric grinder and cooked them in an electric coffee maker that also keeps the pot warm. I'm on a computer plugged into the wall, using a router and cable modem, plugged into the wall, to write this blog post over a high speed internet connection, which is also plugged into the wall.

Now there is electricity available at the farm, and internet too, but the juice comes from solar panels and a micro-hydro turbine and is stored in batteries in a shed, and the internet comes through a satellite uplink and has definite bandwidth (and lag) limits.

I actually want to live within these resource limits, at least I think I do, but I haven't actually done it yet and I find myself not without some degree of trepidation.

Of course, I have only to consider the millions (billions! *shudder*) who live without the luxuries I'll have on the farm:
  • Fresh water (from a spring!)
  • Healthy food (organic and just picked)
  • Clean air (rural setting just inland from the Pacific Ocean)
  • Internet (however limited)
  • Nearby to all the amenities of modern civilization: Hospitals, Universities, Libraries, Museums, Theaters and Arts thingys, heck, even malls.
  • Distant from all the crappy bits of modern civilization.
  • Ponies!
  • Self-determination (i.e. on both a personal and community level our civilization, at least around here, supports a responsible and self-determined life.)
So basically, when I think of it that way I realize that it's not so bad and I should stop "playing the world's smallest violin just for me" over it and be happy and excited.

But I will miss my roommate's DVD collection. ;)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Toby Hemenway Video

It's about an hour.  Here are some notes I took:

  • He reframes "sustainable" as the midpoint of a spectrum with "degenerative" on one side and "regenerative" on the other and emphasizes regenerative systems.
  • He talks about the length of time we (humans) have been doing "culture" (group activites, pottery, art, singing and music, etc.) and points out that it's roughly a million (1,000,000) years-- and that agriculture has only been happening for about ten thousand years, about 1% of that time.
  • Five culture types based on food getting technology:
    • Foraging
    • Hunter-gatherer
    • Agricultural (cities)
      • Pastoral (Animal herding)
      • Industrial
  • Then follows a great deal of the "dirt" on agriculture.  Old hat to those who know it, horrifying and challenging to those who don't. Hemenway sums it up, "Agriculture... ...converts ecosystems into people."
  • (Oil => Food => People) x (Peak Oil) = Hoshit!  i.e. we made people out of oil for the last few generations and now we are running out of oil. Could be trouble...
  • Holmgrin's scenarios:
    • Techno-fantasy (technology saves the day and we pack ourselves in like sardines until something else gives, or spew forth and colonize the galaxy until we reach the expansion limits of our space-drives...  Technology doesn't solve the problem, only postpones it.)
    • Green-tech stable - stabilize population (match growth and death rates) and live within the Solar energy budget while regenerating the Earth.
    • Graceful decline - (growth rate less than death rate for awhile...) "Earth Stewardship" "Permaculture"  I don't know where the people are supposed to have gone.
    • "Atlantis" - i.e. doom.  Personally I think this is the most likely, but I'm okay with being proven wrong on that.
  • "Peak Wood" - no kidding.  Peak Oil seems to have happened before with wood instead of oil, and could be responsible for bringing the Bronze Age to a close. Wow.
  • Last but not least, Horticulture to the rescue! All the great things about Permaculture and a Neo-Horticultural society.
The video is excellent and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in these subjects.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Visited the Farm for the First TIme

On Monday my friend Jesse was kind enough to give me a ride up the road meet Wendy, Peter, and Jeff at Lone Tree Farm.

The farm is set on the top of a ridge that forms part of the east side of Anderson Valley, about fifteen miles from the Pacific coast near the town of Boonville, California.

It was really beautiful. The ponies are really friendly.  They start out a little shy and then come up and try to give you kisses.

The folks there seem really awesome and I'm looking forward to getting to know them. Peter plays bagpipes professionally (warning: link plays bagpipes!), and Jeff is working as a sort of intern. Wendy is in Europe for the next few months playing in a band so I won't get to hang out with her.

The cabin I'll be staying in is nice, nestled in a clearing in the redwood forest. I'm essentially renting the cabin for the summer and trying out the life.  I'll be learning and helping out but I won't be starting any new projects of my own.

In addition to blogging about life on the farm I'll be working up a Permaculture design document for the property to stretch my Permie muscles.

All in all it should be a great summer and I'm really looking forward to it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Intimate Harmony with Nature

Being in Nature amidst plants and animals living their lives is a pure, unadulterated Good Thing.

We have evolved to be continuously immersed in a dynamic fractal-layered living process. In fact, we have evolved as part of that process, and it's not finished.

When I was young it was common to speak of people who wanted to "go back to Nature" as escaping from reality.  But it is the natural system which is real, and the human social system which is constructed, at least in part, by the tacit agreement of its participants.

This puzzled me until I began to realize that civilizations operate something like cults and all cults "demonize" the outside systems they are embedded within.

Breaking down the boundaries between our artificial economies and the natural ecologies they are embedded in is a precise physical analog of the psychological experience of giving up the disassociated stance of the modern city dweller for the participatory engagement of the farmer.

Our (tenuous, global) civilization has taken a great, and necessary, detour through a tumultuous land of mental constructs and physical artifacts that has brought us immense knowledge even as it has taken us to the very edge of destruction.

Now we have to "de-program" ourselves from the dysfunctional aspects of our civilization and embrace the role we play in the system of Great Nature.

When you're trying to quit any bad habit it is important to distance yourself from the situations and people who go hand-in-hand with that habit.

How do I love thee? Let me list the ways...
  • Fractal Nature vs. Flat Urban - Pavement and buildings are flat, Nature is made of fractally interlaced fractals at all levels.
  • Chemically clean vs. Nasty Molecules - Nature is made of natural chemicals whereas cities are full of artificial chemicals.
  • Fresh Air vs. Pollution - Nature scrubs the air to an unmatched healthiness and provides high levels of atmospheric oxygen, cities are polluted and have lower oxygen levels.
  • Birdsong and Wind vs. Sirens and Traffic - I am convinced that birdsong and other natural sounds have a beneficial effect even beyond their beauty, while cities make it possible to speak of "noise pollution"!
  • Sun, Moon, and Stars vs. Bulbs and "the Screen" - Sunlight is a nutrient and the cycles of the Sun and Moon (at least) are integral to the rhythms of our lives.  Artificial lighting is a boon but it has also allowed us to break with natural cycles and, in some cases, it can even be bad for you in and of itself.
  • All Living Things vs. Machines and Fake Stone and Dead Wood - In a natural ecosystem pretty much every single "thing" around you is alive or is the detritus of life, even some kinds of stone. In a city (even an extraordinarily verdant one like Seattle) a great deal of the matter around you is "stuck" in the form of buildings, concrete and asphalt, metal and plastic. There are machines, most of which are daft and dangerous. Also cars.
  • Not to mention the "Subtle Energy Fields" et. al.
There are innumerable reasons to live in closer harmony with Nature, but they all stem from a central consideration: we are children of Nature, meant to be a part of it. Living in conceptual opposition to or ignorance of the forces and dynamic patterns of Nature leaves us dissatisfied and ultimately unhealthy.

Farmer Dave's "Alcohol can be a Gas"

"Farmer Dave" Blume has a long history of promoting alcohol as a beneficial alternative to gas and oil.  He has compiled an amazing and very comprehensive book "Alcohol can be a Gas" which describes how, to quote his website:
" can become energy independent, reverse global warming, and survive Peak Oil in style. Alcohol fuel is "liquid sunshine" and can't be controlled by transnational corporations. You can produce alcohol for less than $1 a gallon, using a wide variety of plants and waste products, from algae to stale donuts. It's a much better fuel than gasoline, and you can use it in your car, right now. You can even use alcohol to generate electricity. Alcohol fuel production is ecologically sustainable, revitalizes farms and communities, and creates huge new opportunities for small-scale businesses. Its byproducts are clean and valuable. Alcohol has a proud history and a vital future."
There are videos and additional information at Farmer Dave's site.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Living the Dream (Dreaming the Life)

At long last the time has come to go, not back, but forward to the land.

When I was a boy I discovered my parents' copy of the Next Whole Earth Catalog and it became my bible for a great deal of time. Stewart Brand, J. Baldwin and the crew that produced this tome of wisdom were my heroes. Despite its ungainly size I carried it around in my backpack in lieu of my textbooks and pored over it for hours, disdaining mere schoolwork and forming a vast vision of what was possible.
It was from this book that I first learned of Bill Mollison's Permaculture, the New Alchemy Institute and Prof. John Todd's work in applied ecology, the incredible insights of the master architect Christopher Alexander and his "Pattern Language" (which later became the basis for the "Design Patterns" movement in software development), the critical importance of Cybernetics and systems thinking, the beautific vision of Bucky Fuller (the only man with a form of carbon named after him), and the "Soft Path" energy wisdom of Amory and Hunter Lovins at the Rocky Mountain Institute, just to mention some of the most prominent rivers of mind-expanding knowledge flowing into my adolescent brain.

Fast-forward twenty years or so to the current day. I've knocked about quite a bit since then. I've lived in Maui, Taos, Montreal, Seattle, Colorado, and of course in my home town of San Francisco, in conditions ranging from squalor to luxury. For the last decade I've been working on and off as a computer programmer while entertaining grandiose dreams of fixing the world and living in harmony with nature.

It finally feels like the right time to make a radical break from my urban consumptive lifestyle and transition to a new way of life, living in harmony with nature and supporting a sustainable future instead of destroying it.

A couple of weeks ago I contacted California FarmLink, an NGO that connects aspiring farmers like me with people who are farming and might want to retire or otherwise pass on their land while ensuring that it remains in agriculture and isn't developed into suburbs or something. (They also provide a lot of additional information and services.) I filled out their "Aspiring Farmer Questionnaire", remitted the modest fee, wrote up a brief introductory note and sent it to Molly Bloom, the North Coast Regional Coordinator, along with a list of my top picks from Cal FarmLink's database.

Monday, May 9th, Wendy Rowe from Lone Tree Farm contacted me and it looks like I'll be spending the summer there living, working and possibly settling down for good.

There's a whole host of reasons and motives behind this move.  I started listing them and came up with quite a lot:
  • This is a foothold for a new sustainable and regenerative economy. Most of my expenses will feed directly into the maintenance of the farm and most of my needs will be met from it. If I'm careful to spend my disposable income only with other people who are likewise situated then together we become the new economy, the one that can last forever.
  • I am feeling an overwhelming urge to live in intimate harmony with Nature. Sunlight and rain, starlight and growth, living things and loving hearts- living on a farm will let me scratch that itch.
  • It will shorten most of my "resource loops". The distances resources travel through our systems and the energy spent to move them can seem staggering.  Here in San Francisco where I'm writing, the water that comes out of my faucets has been brought here all the way from Hetch Hetchey Reservoir near Yosemite through "a 167 mile (269 km) gravity-driven network of dams, reservoirs, tunnels, aqueducts and pipelines" (from the Wikipedia article on the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct)!  I don't know where exactly it goes when it leaves here, but there's a sewage treatment plant a couple of miles away. The water I'll use on the farm comes from rain and a spring, and when I'm done with it it goes back in the ground.  Similar drastic shortcuts apply to most of the other resources I'm likely to "consume" (no longer an appropriate word, eh?) on the farm.
  • Efficiency and scale (I'll elaborate on this in another blog post.)
  • Because of the immediacy and personal relevance of how resources are created or developed in the rustic setting you have to be much more conscious of what you are using and why. Instead of "taps" of water and energy that you can draw on (and squander) as much as you like (you'll be billed later, and you can set up your credit card to pay for it automatically for you, so it's almost like it's free), which is a wonderful illusion, you must practice resource use awareness and direct your usage wisely. In return, the power and water and food and love really do become infinite...
  • Most of my activities will build soil and biomass.  I'll be gardening, mulching, shoveling pony poop (excuse me, "manure") and otherwise doing things that directly add to the health of the land.  (Stuck in a city I feel like I'm in a trap wherein my own struggles only serve to tighten the bonds that hold me. I can't eat a meal without I'm destroying things. No more.)
  • This should be an incredible boost to my health. The best quality food possible: fresh fruits and veggies that won't even have time to realize they've been picked before they're in my belly becoming me! Pure water, fresh air, beautiful views, and ponies. And I get to be outdoors, using my body as an integral part of the processes of my living. No more sedentary lifestyle for me, sitting in front of a computer twelve hours a day like a dalek with no exoskeleton.
  • I'll be getting hands-on experience and education on a working farm.  I've had a Permaculture Designer certification for years now, and the desire to use it, but I'm not kidding myself that I can jump right in and know what to do without a long and not-too-shallow learning curve.
  • Down the line we may be able to try out exotic and awesome things like alcohol fuel production and aquaponics.
  • Wendy hopes to bring up production and sales to a point where Lone Tree Farm can really thrive. With any luck I can help that along. In addition to working in the garden and around the land (and maybe with the ponies! Fingers crossed...) I'll use my internet and computer savvy to help LTF move into the bold new world of "Web 2.0" community building and business. Over and above any potential ownership interest I might someday acquire in the property I want to help Wendy and Lone Tree Farm improve in whatever ways I can. This goes all the way back to Boy Scouts and learning to always leave a place better than you found it.
  • I'll document the above and create an online resource center for other sustainable farmers who want to learn how to use the internet to boost their business (increase profits and decrease risk.) We'll document our own projects and also publish how-to articles and videos. This very article is part of this!
  • I'll also document my transition from urban computer programmer to rustic Permie, both for the entertainment value (such as it is) and to record whatever might be useful for those who would travel a like path. This very article is part of that too!
This incredible pile of motivations includes intricate feedback loops and co-mingling of intent. It reminds me of the Permaculture design concept of "many functions for each element, many elements for each function." I'll have a lot more to say about these subjects in this blog. I can't wait to see how my dreams unfold in the reality  we share.