Blogs

What It Looks Like To Live In The Interstitial Spaces

  • Posted on: 28 January 2020
  • By: Blueday Jo

(Guest post by Blueday Jo)


(©Joe Mabel [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Here is what might happen to my partner and I on any given day – my partner gets a phone call from a friend who has another friend who works at the salmon farm up the river. A vital piece of machinery has broken down, hundreds of salmon have to be thrown out – they are fresh and perfect but can’t be processed – do we want some?

Do we what? Of course!

Interstitial spaces – the spaces between.

I read this phrase in one of JMG’s essays many years ago. I think it was in response to questions as to how we can possibly live in an ethical and practical manner in the monolithic culture that surrounds us – answer, live in the spaces between, the cracks in the system. This has been my challenge ever since, and continues to challenge me now. There is an infinite variety of ways to go about this project, and it would look different to every person, but here is how it looks for me.

Growing Onions Greens In An Apartment Window

  • Posted on: 15 January 2020
  • By: David Trammel

We here at Green Wizards talk a lot about gardening and learning to grow your own food. Its such a basic skill that no matter what style of Green Wizard your are, you should have a familiarity with it. You may not have a green thumb, but you should at least have a little bit of dirt under your fingernails.

It can be hard though, to experiment with gardening if you are like so many today, a renter. Income inequality, economic disruption, employment insecurity and other factors of the collapse of our society into the Long Descent make owning your own home or owning a home with enough land to garden difficult. Community gardening and share crop farming, gardening on someone else's property, can help you gain access to space to grow but there isn't anything like having a garden you can call your own.

Luckily the Internet and Youtube has a universe of examples of ways to grow food without land. Here is one great, low cost and easy way to do just that.

New Year's Resolutions and a Gift

  • Posted on: 1 January 2020
  • By: David Trammel

Its that time of year again, where we make grand promises to the God of Progress, which we promptly forget come January 2nd. I thought it might be better to start small, with just three habits I'd like to get into doing in 2020. Feel free to post yours too.

1) Take Better Care Of Myself: Whether its eating better, getting occasional exercise, learning to meditate, I want to take better care of myself and my body. You can't do much if you are always running at full throttle, which up until recently I was doing too much of. I'm not going to set any benchmarks, no walk 3 miles a day, eat home cooked meals 3 times a week. Seems to me that when ever I make it a contest, I fail. I'm going to just put "Do Better" on the white board in my kitchen where I'll see it.

2) Talk To Friends and Strangers More: Regrettably, having focused too much on my work life, left me little time for a social life. Not the grand, "Give Concerts in the Park" kind of stuff, but the simple things like having lunch with friends from time to time. I've realized that I have perhaps a half dozen people outside of work that I talk to on a regular basis.

And that means not just friends. I need to make an effort to try new things that involve people. Not just planned things. I need to learn to speak in public better so a visit to the local chapter of the "Toastmasters" seems to be something to look at. And not just planned events. Attending those concerts in the park and actually striking up a conversation with a stranger too.

3) WRITE MORE! Now that's a big one, lol. Time to stop writing down story ideas and outline, instead write stories.

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Along the lines of more writing, Ecosophia and Green Wizard regulars G.Kay Bishop sent me a copy of her submission to the "After Oil" Romance Anthology. It wasn't chosen because it was a bit long, but it is still a good story. You can read it, and discuss it here: "Ruinous Love" Discussion Thread.

Here's wishing everyone a good start to the new decade. May we still be here talking when the next one rolls around.

David

Green Holiday Gifts

  • Posted on: 18 December 2019
  • By: David Trammel

Its that time of year that we all hate, yes "Shoppingmas"! Get thee down to your local temple of spending, or log in online to the holy Ama-kin (one day shipping via angels available!). Really though, its the time of year that we do give gifts to friends and relatives, so let me offer some green alternatives.

Green Books
Top on my list to give are books. If they don't have a copy of Greer's "Green Wizardry", then that's a natural stocking stuffer. If they got that from you last year, then consider our own Teresa Peschel's "Suburban Stockade". Its a great second book on the skills we need to relearn. Other than that, hit the book stores and take a look at their discounted books. I've gotten several garden and herbal books for a deep discount. Don't forget some of your local bookstores too.

Give A Journal
Writing down what is on your mind in a personal journal is something I've recently stated doing. I never did before but I've found that keeping a journal really keeps me focused on the important things. I have one main one which I write in in the evening when I have some personal time, but I also keep a smaller pocket notebook on me during the day to jot things down for adding to my larger journal later. Good for teenagers, though they may roll there eyes at you for it. Don't be surprised if you find them writing in it later.

Thrift Store Chic

  • Posted on: 11 December 2019
  • By: Justin Patrick Moore


(This is the third in a series of articles on the theme of "Down Home Punk" by guest blogger Justin Patrick Moore.)

Financial distress and its attendant challenges in the coming Long Descent will cause a lot of people to scramble to meet their needs. Clothing is one of those needs. Most humans like to look good and feel good about themselves and others. Dressing smartly with the resources available is one to create a sense of control in your life. In a world with tight restrictions of income, expressing yourself in the way you dress is one way to be poor with style.

Recently on the Ecosophia blog and here on the Green Wizards website the topic of “Being poor with style” has come into discussion.

What does being poor with style mean?

Book Review: "Suburban Stockade"

  • Posted on: 4 December 2019
  • By: David Trammel

First let me say, this is the first book that made me brush my teeth more. Second, I wish I had written this book.

Its that time of year, where we buy things for friends and family. Much of what we buy though is going to be a clueless purchase. Unless you are like a few of us and actually ask the person what they need and would like, your Christmas shopping will mean aimlessly walking around a crowded and lets be honest, soulless temple of consumerism that is the Mall or Big Box store, looking for something you can vaguely think will be useful.

Or go online and do the same, scrolling through the selections and recommendations that the algorithms generate (and we know are being paid to be that high). This year why don't you buy something that will set your friends and family onto a path of resilience and sustainability.

Tersea Peschel (aka Teresa from Hershey here and on Ecosophia) and her husband Bill are living the Green Wizard lifestyle, now for many years. "Suburban Stockade" is a collection of her experiences and learning distilled into an easily and enjoyable read.

At just over 300 pages its not something to pick up and read in a long afternoon. Teresa though breaks the book down into 36 short chapters, each about a specific theme of 5-10 pages. Though several subjects, like "Chapter 11: Buying A Home" and "Chapter 28: Grocery Shopping and Food Storage" come in around 25 pages. Within each chapter are short subsections. Not only are they very informative but are filled with personal information on Teresa and her family's life. This makes it a great book to toss into the car or in a backpack to be pulled out when you have a few minutes to read. You'll be left with much to think about too.

(See the entire listing of chapters here: Pershel Press )

You'll be motivated to make a change or two in your own life. Changes which will make it better and also save you real money. Give it to a friend and help them prepare for the Long Descent. It is the perfect companion to John Michael Greer's "Green Wizardry" and a great addition to your library. Buy two and give one away.

Being Poor With Style

  • Posted on: 27 November 2019
  • By: David Trammel

In last week's Ecosophia post Dancers at the End of Time, Part Three: A Mortal Splendor Greer made this comment:

"MichaelV, true, and they also don’t know how to be poor with style. It can be done; it’s just that most people now have forgotten how to do it."

If you take Greer's writing seriously, as I do and many others both Green Wizards and not, you have come to understand that we are headed into a cycle of downward de-growth. The energy and resources just aren't there any more. Its getting harder and harder to mine and extract what our energy intensive civilization uses to just get by, let alone continue endless growth.

Yet for at least the last half century the machinery of that civilization, fueled by energy has made the life of most of the people in Western and now some Asian cultures the envy of medieval Kings and Queens. The opulent over spending and extravagant (and sometimes decadent) excesses once reserved for the rich and powerful, which once were the markers of style and something for the Masses to expire to with envy, are now available for those Masses as well.

Made me wonder, just what being poor with style might mean? To answer that we must look at what "style" actually is and why we seek it.

.

Essay On Apocalyptic Thinking

  • Posted on: 13 November 2019
  • By: stevet


To Divine Hermes I give thanks, and to Him I offer these words. Speak through me Oh God, for thy glory and the profit of those who will hear.

This essay began with a comment that I posted a few weeks back on John Michael Greer’s Ecosophia blog. The subject was Fantasies of the Apocalypse, a recurring theme at that site. I commented that I had, for many years, believed very sincerely in the imminent collapse of civilization. From roughly the year 2000 onward through Barack Obama’s second term I was a committed anti-civilization anarchist. I was certain that civilization was about to collapse, either all on its own or through the concerted effort of dedicated partisans.

Well, the reader will already have noticed that it’s two decades later, and civilization is still with us-- nor did the heroic partisans ever get around to emerging. And you won’t be surprised to hear that my belief-- or what I thought was my belief-- in the approaching apocalypse kept me from making any provisions for living in the actual world of my experience.

This is an essay about what happens when the apocalypse fails to show up, and you have to go on living anyway.

Improve House Lighting with Solar Tubes

  • Posted on: 6 November 2019
  • By: Teresa from Hershey

A solar tube is an odd thing to see in the wild. A skylight is obvious: it’s a big hole in your roof framed out like a window that lets sunlight pour in while excluding the rest of the great outdoors. Skylights tend to be large; several square feet or more. All that glass means a whole lot of free sunlight can come flooding in to light the room below.

A solar tube looks so small that it asks a question: How can a glass pane the size of a large dinner plate let in enough light to make it worth cutting a hole in your roof? And there is the fact the tube, which looks like an oversized dryer vent, ensures that the light has to travel a long way from your rooftop, through your attic, and thence into the room below. Surely light must be lost on the journey to the glass dinner plate set into your ceiling.

So the solar tube does seem questionable. They are expensive, need professional installation if you don’t want your roof to leak, and they don’t seem to offer nearly as much light as a skylight would.

In practice, they are tremendously useful.

One Policy Proposal Green Wizards Can Support

  • Posted on: 23 October 2019
  • By: David Trammel

I've tried to stay away from endorsing any sort of specific policy or plan for dealing with the challenges that climate change, petroleum depletion (and more broadly resource depletion) as well as the myriad of ways that the Long Descent and coming economic stair step backwards towards a level of tech that can be sustained because too many proposals try to do everything. Or as is often the case, their focus is not on fighting the actual challenges but instead use those challenges to advocate for a different policy completely.

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