Saturday, December 15, 2012
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I thought I was clever coming up with the term 'ecozen' today to describe a participant or player within an ecology, but a quick search shows it is already used as a brand by several global businesses from synthetic pools to chemical companies. It seems today greenwashing and astroturfing occurs even before a thing exists or is named; such is the rapaciousness of progress-capitalism.
The word 'citizen' etymologically refers to a city dweller. But as cities are only responsible for half the world's human population, and account for 75% of global energy consumption and 80% of Greenhouse gas emissions, I think it's time to rethink its use despite already being superseded by the far more violent term 'consumer'. Words form us as much as we form them. To be clear about words and our choice of them is to be clear about who we are, what we are saying and how we are treading.
The word 'ecozen' simply means place dweller, which can be extended to mean inhabitant or being of place.
But all this is a rather slow and musing segue into sharing the main critical premises for my forthcoming book, Walking for Food: regaining permapoesis. I'm three years into writing it, which pretty much spans the life of this blog.
Here they are:
Life is uncertain and human ideologies are consistently flawed, but there are a few things we can be clear about:
1. Life is made and unmade within ecological communities; ‘man-made mass death’ is an interruption to life.
2. We are born animal, we require animal protein from birth, we excrete animal wastes, and we die animal. None of this need involve cruelty, markets or pollution.
3. Real wealth comes from the land; it is generative and relational, and non-extractive.
4. Poverty is a construction of private property and abstract systems of wealth. The answer to poverty involves free access to land and to local knowledges.
5. Energy, and its degrees of availability, shapes all life.
6. Life is not progressive but rather performs in waves of ascent and descent.
7. Sustainable societies foreground ecological knowledge and background technology and labour.
8. Sustainable societies produce no waste and do not engineer ecological overshoot.
9. Complex societies are primarily products of high energy availability, not superior intelligence.
10. Complex societies are rarely sustaining for long periods because they are inherently wasteful and destructive.
11. Mainstream thought promotes pollution, greed, narrow self-interest and shortsightedness, but rarely recognises itself as being ideological.
12. Science is merely an extension of humanism when it is accountable to industry’s imperatives.
13. Western culture, and those under its influence, operates as a doubling performance looping mastery and amnesia.
14. Climate change is a product of unsustainable development, driven by energy availability and market capitalism.
15. Governments control so as corporations can more effectively exploit; this is sophisticated violence.
16. Non-procreation doesn’t solve overpopulation, rather perpetuates the myth humans are not really animals.
17. Reckless procreation is a thing of ignoring limits or being under stress.
18. Love is a thing that cannot be measured or treated; it is always relational and generative, never extractive and violent.
19. Perennial food ecologies produce and return nutrients in place. Conventional annual agriculture mines the soil and requires the transportation of other mined inputs for synthetic succession.
20. A weed is a plant in the wrong place, according to anthropocentrism.
21. A sensible life involves the senses. In a violent and interrupting society sight dominates the other senses.
22. Schools perpetuate ideologies of mass control; they explicitly teach children how to veil or normalise mass violence by becoming conformist cosmopolitan consumers.
23. Being born is regarded a medical emergency. Infants are rushed into life in an ambience of hysteria.
24. Dying today is prolonged, passive and drugged. Bodies are either burnt as carbon or buried and released as methane. In either case death becomes pollution.
The following people helped form such views: Derrick Jensen, Peter Minter, Deborah Bird Rose, Bernard Stiegler, David Holmgren, Masanobu Fukuoka, John Zerzan, David Graeber, David Fleming, John Michael Greer and Vandana Shiva.
Friday, December 7, 2012
A new site for Jaara people (Dja Dja Wurrung) is now online and the traditional owners are presenting some great information and short videos, such as this one:
Monday, December 3, 2012
A reading with Les Murray in Melbourne yesterday took me back to an afternoon in my youth where I came home from school to find a large poet sitting at our kitchen table eating his way through a bowl of scones mum had just cooked. My mother was the president of the local literary society and had invited Les to come share his words with the community. Although I did go to the CWA tea rooms that night in 1984 (or was it 83?), my hungry teenage mind wouldn't leave the lost scones for the poems. Yesterday, all these years later I actually got to hear his words in relative peace.
|Les Murray at the Butterfly Club for the 4W launch Melbourne Dec 2012|
This guy for example, Pony, who has the sort of short bio you can really do something with:
Pony lives somewhere in Melbourne. He spends his time writing poetry, growing vegetables, reading, resting, hanging out and partying. And making online dating profiles and deleting them.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Over the last month, while ima Meg recuperates from long nights of breast feeding, Woody, Zero, (sometimes Zeph) and I, dada, have gone out walking every morning noting all the free public food in our local commons.
We and our thrown together clipboard have seen cold, windy, dry, warm and joyous mornings this spring and today, adding a few last finds, we finally got rain. Ah, the joys of being car free!
|Patrick Jones – Creative Commons: Foraging Commons|
Yes, the map is not the territory but it has been a useful project to see just how much food is available that is autonomous and not reliant on agriculture's heavy-footed resources and processes.
Over the past several years we have kept a mental note of certain trees and plants, but carrying out this exercise has made us even more aware of the autonomous floras – indigenous and newly naturalised – that are building mutual relations. It is common, for example, to see elderberries parking themselves under blackwood wattles on the fringes of town.
Blackwoods are themselves companion plants to eucalypts. Hawthorns, which are now habitat for ring-tail possums and their berries are a preferred food for gang gangs, proliferate in these new ecologies alongside blackberries and oaks and a host of other plants, longtime or newly naturalised.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
A recipe-poem in action (with a mini manifesto).
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Much respect to this incredible community.
Friday, October 5, 2012
|MapLight analysis of California Secretary of State data|
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
|A Hardee's and a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fast food outlet burns after protesters set the building on fire in Tripoli, northern Lebanon September 14, 2012. (REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim)|
Monday, September 3, 2012
From Radio National's Off Track programme:
So far, the Permeate series has focused on artists who are inspired by the environment.But today, Miyuki Jokiranta introduces Patrick Jones…
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012
On my forty-second birthday my second son Blackwood came into our world. One of the many pleasures this week has been watching Zeph and Woody get to know each other.
Zephyr is a geographical/gardening term for a gentle warm breeze or fructifying wind. In Greek mythology Zephyrus is the god of the west wind.
Friday, August 17, 2012
In April 2012, in conjunction with Fungimap, the inaugural Australian Fungi Festival was held in Hobart. Here is the audio of the debate, Eating Wild Fungi: Fun or Foolhardy from my perspective, the second speaker for the affirmative.
Monday, August 13, 2012
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
William Carlos Williams Spring and All 1923
With spring coming and a home-birth approaching – Meg now has regular visits by Sally our midwife –
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
A day of pleasure harvesting potatoes, carrots, beetroots, leeks, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion, chickweed and Brussels sprouts in the first warm day all winter. The chooks munched down wheelbarrow load after load of leaf matter and sunned themselves at siesta time. Clever chooks.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I walked along Diamond Creek from Eltham Station on my way to Montsalvat late yesterday afternoon to listen to Vandana Shiva. Gertrude Stein wrote 'People are the way their land and air are'; this is the current state of the sediment infested Diamond Creek, which feeds into the Yarra River.
I found evidence of both human and more-than-human restoration of the stream-side ecology. However most of the naturalising floras along the creek have no ecological status – chickweed, spear thistle, dock, dandelion, stinging nettle, oxalis and blackberry to name a few. These are all edible-medicinal plants (oxalis in small doses) that fix nitrogen and carbon, build soil structure and mycorrhizal relations, provide habitat and food for all forms of creatures and help reduce soil erosion and thus sediment flows into the river – sediments that could potentially kill aquatic life. The areas of restoration carried out by humans, which have ecological status, is especially marked by pollutants (plastic bags) and soil disturbance created by heavy machinery and the spraying of glysophate poisons. Where there might eventually be some ecological value in this sort of anthropocentric reconstruction of the biosphere (if left to its own devices) the ecological benefits being carried out autonomously by the more-than-human seem far more significant, generating no pollution and requiring no money. This photo shows an example of the two zones – the autonomous and the anthropocentric split down the middle.
I arrived early at Montsalvat and sat in the barn where the event was to take place. Vandana Shiva also arrived early and I introduced myself. She is a remarkable being, fiercely intelligent, a stern defender of the grandmotherly earth. I took around 20 minutes of footage of Vandana speaking before my camera's memory ran out. I then relied on my own, transferring technics for my mind's ecological carrying capacity. I'll upload a short video of excerpts from Vandana's talk shortly.
One environmentalist [Jensen (2006:547)] believes that the only level of technology truly sustainable was developed in the Stone-Age, a million years ago. We know industrial technology is inherently abusive and damaging but what level of technology, between a million years ago and say 300 years ago, do you think should we be employing?
Monday, July 16, 2012
Let's not beat about the bush, gold mining is an activity of industrial pollution.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Working on some energy descent era technics today building a crate to go on a bike trailer that fellow bike nut Andy (Mechanarchy) did up for us.
Monday, June 25, 2012
I took a short break from my writing today and wandered up to visit Zeph at his new cubby in the bush.
On the way there I collected some wood blewits (Clitocybe nuda) as a cubby-warming gift.
We cooked them on a small fire that Zeph had managed to start despite the soaked winter wood.
And made sure we cooked them well through as blewits contain a toxin that can be harmful if not well cooked.
I asked Zeph whether mushrooms shared closer DNA to animals than plants. He answered correctly.
Wood blewits are sweat meats to taste and before they're cooked smell of chocolate earth.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The first installment of the Permeate series.
Throughout the year, Miyuki Jokiranta will bring us the stories of artists who draw inspiration from the environment. This week we hear from musician and improviser Jim Denley, who has recorded extensively in the Australian outdoors.In the weeks to come Permapoesis will be featured in this series. I'll keep you posted.
Friday, June 8, 2012
I gave a presentation on ecological and community food systems at RMIT a little while ago, invited by Juliette Anich who takes a pretty interesting class on urban food generation. Juliette's students have been developing a research project called The Inevedible Garden, and invited me back to talk as part of a short video work.
On The Inevedible Garden homepage these tenacious students get straight to the point:
"The inevitable advent of urban food gardens, to undermine the current unethical food production methods."It is so great to see such courage and astuteness from students when big business (Coles and Woolworths and so-called public organisations such as CropLife Australia) is advocating so aggressively for ongoing chemicalised-industrial food production (check out CropLife's greenwash on their website).
We all have a role to play to bring on the local, mycorrhizal, ethical and ecological food revolution! And we all have a role to play to bring down the greedy, chemicalised, cancer-producing, environment destroying agricultures that are fueling climate change. Every dollar you keep out of the supermarkets is a small win for your health and the health of the planet. Don't be fooled by organic food in supermarkets – the ecological footprint of any supermarket food is far too much for the world to sustain. It only takes around 15-20% of market collapse to bring down a giant company, so get involved in your local community, backyard or balcony garden, start one up, find out more about the soil and its billions of workers, grow food anywhere you can, and share it and your experiences with others. These things will bring about significant change and raise your awareness of how our food and our ecologies are linked, things that all other earthly beings know inherently and we have temporarily forgotten. Take back our food systems, where possible make food a non-monetary resource, reduce our enslavement in the monetary economy that serves big business, and reclaim ecological functioning as creatures of the understory!
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The image above shows my fingers about to pick and eat an unripe native cherry (Exocarpos cupressiformis). Still edible when yellow, though when they turn red they're delicious.
Please check out the site and spread the word.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
I wrote this poem and took the footage roughly a year ago when in Mole Creek (Tasmania) visiting family. I finished editing it yesterday. Enjoy!
Friday, May 25, 2012
Two new friends that I met through the community gardens, Dave and Doug (and Doug's lovely son Malachi), came out foraging with me yesterday in pine forest plantations on the edge of town. I asked Dave if he would film our little excursion so we could make a beginner's guide to foraging edible mushrooms.
Identification is critical before consuming 'shrooms. Books and static images are not often enough to identify accurately. I hope this little video document provides enough tips to get you started. And remember, if you're not 100% sure, trust your instincts and do not eat it.
For much of my fungal knowledge attained thus far I owe to my friend Alison Pouliot, who runs courses in south-eastern Australia in autumn every year. Thanks Alison!
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
A drawing I finished today...
|Click for bigger|
Friday, May 4, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
I've been in Hobart for twelve days staying with my friend Glen, attempting to put together a first draft of all the chapters I've been working on over the past thirty months that constitute my doctoral research work, 'Walking for Food' (working title).
While at Glen's I was able to forage in his local neighbourhood. I brought to our table rosemary, figs, mallow, dandelion, hawksbeard, apples, feijoas, fennel, borage flowers, stickyweed, rosehips, crab apples, and up on Mount Nelson high above the suburbs I came across the one fungus I saw in hobart, the curry punk (Piptoporus australiensis), which I consumed only as sensory delight. Walking and foraging helped me loosen up my sedentary studious body, but I also resorted to quick break outs in Glen's apartment overlooking the Derwent River.
Arriving back in Melbourne yesterday morning I wandered once more disappointingly into The Age while I waited for a cup of tea and read another stupid article on foraging. Will the bourgeoise please take a plate of death caps now. Actually the article was not really on foraging at all but on secreting, privatising and selfishly capitalising on the autonomous food commons. Arseholes!
|Photo: Meredith O'Shea|
At the dinner I was on the affirmative team with Tasmanian food writer Graeme Phillips and my friend Alison, a photographer and fungi educator who I've been doing an informal apprenticeship with while helping her out with the brilliant workshops she runs. We argued for a return to commonsense and self-accountability, not the continuation of the nanny state. Naturally I found this debate a platform to critique anti-ecological society, its estrangement due to a lost connection with food. We won!
Then after the dinner I hooked up with Glen for a final bash at Hobart nightlife, and headed to the Brisbane Hotel to see the FUN FUN FUN world of the 5678s. They were very cheap, cool and mingled with the common mycelium after the show. I had a chat with bassist Akiko Omo about all things punk, fungus and Hobart.