Thursday, February 22, 2007

Slow Postings

Black Solutions is preparing to move to a paid site that will:
  • Be more secure, and
  • Present a deeper level of information
Please bear with us while we make this transition. The process will take a few weeks. It's amazing how fast things are happening once I began exploring and walking towards the JOY of my First Dreams.

My Buddhist landlord helped me with a recent quote from Gandhi:

Don't worry about all the world's problems .... "How will your next step help the poorest person on the planet?"

Mulling over that question creates both great opportunity and great wealth. But the "wealth" is not always monetary ... and when it is, shouldn't such funds be used to take care of the basic needs of you and your family ... and after that, care for those deserving poor who you can help?

[NOTE: You cannot help everyone ... and "everyone" who wants help ... is not "deserving."]

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Fear of Change?

This site is talking about change. Moving away from urban madness and buying rurual land to create ... whatever. Change.

Whenever I discuss life changes with most people, fear and adventure are the first two things that pop up. Fear of change, fear of success and/or fear of failure are key ingredients that keep people stuck in addictive, abusive and maladjusted lifestyles.

"Every where I went, I took myself with me…"
This is an old cliché commonly spouted around recovery rooms. In the first stages of realizing how they've kept themselves stuck for years in unhappy circumstances, addicts of all types, alcoholics and co-dependents often realize that simply changing geographic locations is not enough to change an unsatisfied, unrealized life. Chances are, if a person was unhappy in St. Louis, he or she will be just as unhappy in San Francisco. We're talking about the life skills needed to develop happiness, contradict shame and trauma … and to intentionally engineer the quality life that says, "I'm not going to simply survive … I will flourish" any enviornment I find myself in.

"If you find yourself in a bucket of shit, don't stomp around," Right?
Let's call that bucket "shame." African Americans often get a double dose of shame. Shame comes from many sources, but it's also comes from the common cultural values we get simply by being born and raised in a Judeo-Christian country. The second wave often comes from abuse, poverty, a lack of parental "good attention", and/or internalizing oppression. You don't have to live with shame. Read John Bradshaw. Join groups. Talk and "normalize" the events of your life. Stop doing the things that make you feel bad about yourself and start doing more that make you feel good. We're talking about walking completely out of the bucket and forgetting it was ever there.

It's absolutely necessary to cultivate mental and emotional habbits that make you feel good about yourself:

  • Expecting good things … tell yourself that 007 is MY year!
  • Expect people to like you. When you do, you radiate a charm and welcome that attracts people
  • Faith! They say you cannot be a Man without faith. But faith is only effective when we believe in ourselves … that God or your Buddha Nature loves you … and in turn, you love others.
  • Have and repeat a good opinion of yourself.
  • Stop telling yourself the same old negative stories about your life. Look at things from different perspectives. Instead of blame and guilt, take a step back and look at what the life experience was trying to teach you.
  • Take an honest inventory of yourself and rid your life of secrets. "I'm as sick as my secretes."
  • Live authentically. I'm not "exceptionally proud of everything I've done in life, but 12-Steps told me that if I didn't do everything I did… good, bad and indifferent… I wouldn't be here. I'd have exploded or imploded. The proof is that you're still alive … able to make yet another "growth change."
  • Joy. We don't have to get all complicated. We don't have to spend years on somebody's couch paying them for hearing our tired whining about our mothers… we just need to make a decision to move constantly towards JOY!
  • Love. We all need it. Unfortunately not as much as food or air, but to really do what we come into this life to do before they throw that shovel of dirt on your face, find FIRST LOVE for yourself. We get into all that trouble when we settle for second and third choices. Decide to walk out into the sun and live YOUR life. Not your father's life, nor the people on TV, nor the folks you went to high school with …YOUR life. Decide what's best for you and if you can't live with it in the light of the noon day sun … then you're going to have to let that ball and chain go.

God rolled away the stone of Egypt's Reproach on the Children of Israel before he allowed them to go into the Promise Land. "Risk the blind leap of faith into the wounded hands of Jesus and you end up with nothing" … a charismatic speaker once said when I was in early sobriety … and I still hear the truth of it 21 years later. This is where faith comes in again… if you believe that the "stone" has been rolled away from your heart… from your life… then you can walk boldly into the "Promise Land" of your new dream life.

Feel good about yourself, your family and whatever new community you're walking towards. Get up early in the morning ..before the noise starts, and put on a good record of thoughts about yourself. Then read all you can about small farming, permaculture, intentional communities and rural Real Estate. Join us on and lets begin taking the next steps.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

World Hunger Will Increase By 2015

The Bahamas imports over two thirds of their food but help is on the way. Micro and small farming techniques are being developed by Tuskegee Agricultural Chemists. Their goal is to funnel better small farming techniques directly to small landholders.

Professor Per Pinstrup-Anderson, from Cornell University in New York, says that improving agriculture is the key to both future national hunger and international famine.

"When you put money in the hands of farmers that money is spent on creating employment and reducing poverty elsewhere," said Pinstrup-Anderson.

"We have found in our research that for every dollar you invest in agricultural research you generate about $6 of additional income among the farmers and about $15 of additional economic growth in the society as a whole. Much of that will help poor people in those countries," he concluded. "

From BBC Online. Click for Full Story.

The world will have 100 million extra hungry people by 2015, scientists say.
I’m not sure how good their journalism is, but Prophecy Central list links to these stories:

From Prophecy Central. Click for full story.

One of every eight American families is on
the edge…

USA Today ran the following story about homelessness and hunger in America. I've posted a few story highlights:
  • "Families with children are among the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. The Conference of Mayors found that 41% of the homeless are families with children, up from 34% in 2000. The Urban Institute reports about 23% of the homeless are children.

  • "Cities and shelters are also seeing the shift. In New York, the number of homeless families jumped 40% from 1999 to 2002. In Boston, the number of homeless families increased 8.3% to 2,328 in 2002 compared with 2001.
  • "An estimated 3.5 million people are likely to experience homelessness in a given year, the Urban Institute reports. People remained homeless for an average of six months, according to the Conference of Mayors survey — a figure that increased from a year ago in all but four cities.

From USA Today. Full Story click for full story.

My question is, in light of the economic, cultural and social problems facing us in urban America, WHY ARE WE STILL SO COMMITTED BE THE LAST RATS OF THE SHIP?

How many tea leaves in the bottom of the cup does it take to see that becoming increasingly self-sufficient by producing as much of your own food, and growing it on land you own ---preferably with water on or beneath it. Please look through this and Black Farms post (and archieves) and follow the links to your survival, your freedom, and a greater quality of life.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mint Farming? Amish Acres?

As a born and bred urbanite who is seriously planning on moving back to the land within the next two years, I am continually researching:
  • Ways to make it on the land, as well as,
  • Exactly what does, "making it mean"? ... what are my expectations?
  • What crops bring in money to the small farmer
  • Are my expectations for sustainable living too low ... can I actually bring in a profit too?

These and other questions brought me to Mint Farming. A kind new friend on informed me that crops like mint could be easy as well as profitable. A quick search brought up Amish Acres. This site provides not only information about the crop, but the directions on everything from planting to harvesting.

Like anything, you want to do your homework. While the appeal of growing mint is that you plant it, treat it perhaps once, and do little besides ensure proper watering before harvesting the crop, nothing is guaranteed for small framers any more than they are for large, corporate farms.

"Mint is a small, unstable market with frustratingly little solid economic data," says Montana State University economist Gary Brester.

That’s why linking up with associations like the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) , that featured award winning small farmers Alex and Betsy Hitt and told the story of how they make above average earnings on just three acres of their 27 acre North Carolina Peregrine Farm. (Click here for photos.)

The web is filled with information for new hobby farmers. New Farm’s web site is a treasure trove of information and it also host a forum to ask questions and read problems and solutions encountered by other small and organic farmers. One of this site’s niche appeals is that it covers both national and international farming. They also plan to offer online courses for both the veteran farmer interesting in organic farming, and courses for tenderfoots like myself.

The United States Department of Agriculture's web site also offers a treasure trove of information to people who love the idea of growing crops for their family and/or for sale to the public. The link below details the planting of cover crops which are used to enrich soil and protect the land after the fall harvest.

NOTE: I encourage you to look at the text in this article closely. Links aren't easily viewed in some browsers.

What We Believe:

"Every problem is an opportunity in work clothes."
~Henry J. Kaiser