Thursday, June 28, 2007

Goings on

Life continues to be pretty busy with a bunch of projects and oddities filling up my time, yesterday I was filmed for a pilot for a garden show. It was quite a surreal experience and nothing like a normal afternoon in the garden, it will be quite a while before I find out if the program gets funding. During the filming I found myself reffering to peak oil, climate change, permaculture and the destructiveness of conventional agriculture so hopefully no matter how they cut it the revolutionary nature of urban self sufficiency wont be lost.

My laptop charger has stopped working causing some problems with work and I wont be online as much.

Im having a party at my place tomorrow night if any readers are interested in attending and havnt been invited yet just email me at jdarroch@gmail.com

Monday, June 25, 2007

Photos
The view from my laptop

Mushroom growing in freshly composted tatsoi bed

A confused peach tree flowering in the middle of winter.


View showing part of the perrenial area at the rear of the section

cool interview with Bill Mollison (cofounder of permaculture) here

Alan: Doing permaculture seems to be the opposite of abstraction.

Bill: Oh, I put it another way. I can easily teach people to be gardeners, and from them, once they know how to garden, you'll get a philosopher. But I could never teach people to be philosophers - and if I did, you could never make a gardener out of them.

When you get deep ecologists who are philosophers, and they drive cars and take newspapers and don't grow their own vegetables, in fact they're not deep ecologists - they're my enemies.

....

Alan: Permaculture involves tampering with nature, but how far do you think we should go? Should we be doing genetic engineering, creating hybrids, etc.?

Bill: The important thing is not to do any agriculture whatsoever, and particularly to make the modern agricultural sciences a forbidden area - they're worse than witchcraft, really. The agriculture taught at colleges between 1930 and 1980 has caused more damage on the face of the Earth than any other factor. "Should we tamper with nature?" is no longer a question - we've tampered with nature on the whole face of the Earth.

If you let the world roll on the way it's rolling, you're voting for death. I'm not voting for death. The extinction rate is so huge now, we're to the stage where we've got to set up recombinant ecologies. There are no longer enough species left, anywhere, to hold the system together. We have to let nature put what's left together, and see what it can come up with to save our ass.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

another cool fungi video here

Saturday, June 23, 2007

For international readers: John Key is the Leader of the right of center National party in New Zealand, a slick multimillionaire he is short on policy but is good at soundbites. He is probably going to be the next prime minister, a supporter of US foreign policy he wants to restart visits to New Zealand by US warships and up our contribution to the ongoing war of terror throughout the middle east.

Google Bomb shows Nzers think John Key is Clueless


Go to www.google.co.nz, type "Clueless" into the search box, hit the "pages from New Zealand" button, then click "Search" or "I'm feeling lucky".

Top of the list of results is National Party Leader John Key's personal website – www.johnkey.co.nz.

This result was created by a process called "Google Bombing". Previous political Google Bomb's gained international media attention when the word "liar" lead to Tony Blair, and the words "miserable failure" and "failure" lead to the White House Biography of George W. Bush.

A Google Bomb is successful when enough websites link to their target with the desired phrase. In this case hundreds of links were made to www.johnkey.co.nz with the word Clueless in the anchor text.

On the 25th of January this year, Google announced that they had changed their algorithm to "minimize the impact of many Googlebombs". However this latest successful Google Bomb proves that the process can still work.

For more information on Google Bombs, please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_bomb

For any further information, please email queries to john.key.clueless@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Photos of garden
Just a few photos of the garden from today.













Videos


I recommend watching at least one of these

Zeitgeist The Movie:

Part1:(without intro) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8461754114455236037

Part2: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2602704786128880796&hl=en

Part3: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8450558837192717138

Part one shows the parallels between Christianity and several pre christian sun worship pagan religions.

Part two is about the twin towers and I'm kinda bored of the twin towers.

Part three is one of the most entertaining attacks of the economic I have seen. I would love to hear other peoples opinions about this part particularly.

The website is here It simply states that the film is intended to trigger peoples own search for the truth and that the movies are not finished.

And this is a great example of how the medium is the message

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Someone said it better


As Chellis Glendinning reported in What A Way To Go, more than half of the human population now lives in urban areas. That means most human psyches are locked in boxes their whole lives long. They wake in boxes, eat meals in boxes, drive here and there in boxes, work in boxes, shop in boxes, come home to stare at plasma enhanced electronic boxes, and then retreat to sleep in boxes.

“Go to your box, I mean, your room. And don’t come out until you are ready to say you are sorry.”


I read this and shivered, the thought that halve the world is now living in urban areas scares me, I find suburbia hard to live in and I spend most of my days gardening walking and connecting with real living areas. How can others live in such a sterile environment without any cconnection to reality at all? And is it any wonder we are so destructive when none of us understand our gardens let alone the mind blowing complexity of non domesticated areas...


Besides the sick entertainment industry, there’s school. Go ahead. Put active, lively, curious young humans into age-segregated concrete buildings. Sit them for hours in metal chairs and desks. Make them line up and walk to the lunchroom every day. And then tell me you don’t wound their spirits. It works for Empire of course. Because after twelve years in public school it’s easy to sell those wounded spirits into corporate slavery and corporate executive slavery because they will accept as adults the same insanity they were subjected to as children in school. They will believe it’s normal. They will even say they like it. They will work ungodly hours for the privilege of paying the exorbitant mortgage payment on their McBox McMansion. Will we ever recover from this?

It’s possible to step out of the insanity. But it isn’t easy. It takes monumental effort because everything about Empire is set up to make it hard. Everything is set up to promote the continuance of the insanity. While it isn’t easy, there is a way that it is simple.

We only need to stop and sit together and regain our sanity. But what an anomaly it is for people to sit together with the simple intention to speak as openly as I write in my journal or on my blog. Thoughtful, compassionate, sober, honest sharing needs to be part of people’s lives on a regular basis.


I’m literally mad, insane, because that simple practice isn’t a regular part of my life.mI can’t be sane without it. None of us can. Not truly, deeply sane.


I know this. I know that time to speak fully and truthfully about one’s experience is as important to people as healthy food and clean water. Acts of violence and episodes of depression in our culture are now epidemic. People of Empire are frantically trying to fight their way out of this deadening culture that keeps us alone and isolated. A year ago U.S.A. Today reported that one of every four Americans have NO ONE to confide in. One in four! Shit.


Graphic violence and sexuality on the big screen testify to this reality. Americans are violently upset and dreadfully lonely. And we’ve no way to express ourselves or get our needs met except vicariously on the screen. Or violently in the streets and on college campuses. We want to shoot the face off of this culture and get to the blood, the heart, the body, the life that is somewhere there, under the masks, the clothes, the images.

Human beings need to sit in a circle regularly with others where getting beyond the masks is possible. The hours of my life that I have sat in a safe, intimate, circle with other people have been way too few. The hours I have sat alone in a metal box speeding over asphalt on rubber donuts, or in public school classrooms indoctrinated into hierarchy, or in darkened rooms, my face stuffed with Frosted Flakes or buttered popcorn, violent or even just stupid images flickering on a screen in front of me, have been appallingly too many. I didn’t even know it was possible for people to share honestly in a group, or anywhere for that matter, until I was a young adult.

I mean, who did that? Who sat in a circle with people, talked sincerely, cried openly, and faced into conflict together? Nobody in my childhood did. I have consciously sought out and created those opportunities over the course of my adult years, and still that experience represents only a precious drop in a lifetime spent keeping my head and heart just slightly above the murky waters of the ocean of Empire



The full entry here

Just this morning I had a long conversation about this sort of thing, New Zealand has the second highest working hours in the entire world and I have no idea why. How can people put up with selling their life away, and to go back to empty houses comforted only by the flickering blue light of a television screen. Its a wonder that only a quarter of people are depressed.

I know not everyone can walk away, and I know that people still need to eat. But I feel those are just excuses. If we wanted to if we really wanted to we could live differently, their are other ways of growing food, schooling, consuming and relating to each other. I don't know what it is that keeps us from walking away, I don't know why this culture has been able to overpower every indigenous culture every revolution that has faced it. Perhaps it is because this culture is so inhuman, dulled to pain and without any empathy towards anything really.

Just knowing that other people think this society is completely fucked makes it easier....

On a positive note things are going really well at the moment, I spent tuesday sheet mulching a food forest im helping develop at the local organic gardens using banana palms, paper and straw today was spent gardening and talking to a TV (hehe the irony) production company about a gardening program and this weekend has 2 working bee's at different community gardens planned and a class on permaculture principals. All things permaculture and organic are bubbling away and its a nice break from activism.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Community garden working bees this weekend

St. Columba Grey Lynn Community Garden Day,with Urban Sustainability Group !!
Sunday June 17th 2007, 10.00 a.m (bring pot-luck for a shared lunch after.), (inside St. Columba, 94 Surrey Crescent Grey Lynn)

This Sunday the Urban Sustainability Group will join the members of the Columba Grey Lynn Community Garden for a little tour to see some of its design features, and join the Grey Lynn-ers for a working bee to help prepare the garden for Winter Solstice, enjoy the community feeling! Afterwards we will all share a pot luck .

Even if the weather's wet, we can just sit in the clubhouse and chat, have a social time, do some networking, exchange ideas/visions/recipes, and look at map/s of permaculture designs/information etc (we have a small permaculture info library!)

Directions: 94 Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn, inside St Columba Church grounds. Enter the church grounds and go towards the far right-hand side at the back by the minister's garage; you will see water tanks with a mural, clubhouse, and the vege gardens!! (it's not the flower part with the labyrinth.)

The Urban Sustainability group is a group of permaculture-minded people. We have been having a tour and working bee at different gardens every 2 wks, to share practical hands-on knowledge and experience etc about urban sustainability, permaculture, gardening, growing food in the city, and community-buiding! (More activities may also evolve in various areas as people develop them!)

For more information about the Urban Sustainability Group: John Darroch jdarroch@gmail.com 021 111 3210 or (09) 275-3752

For more information about Columba Grey Lynn Community Gardens, Living Communities Trust or Kai Tika: Andrea Higginson 631-2520 John Oosterman 360-4327 Adrian Roche 360-4327 Karla Brodie 817-3051

Background about St. Columba Grey Lynn Community Gardens / Living Communities Trust / Kai Tika

In the mid 1990s, a group of visionary youth organised a beautiful community gardens at Basque Park, and formed a trust called the Living Communities Trust. The gardens were flourishing and abundant for a number of years -- unfortunately the council decided to discontinue allowing the use of the space. After many months of searching for a venue to move to, Hugh and Ree of the Saint Columba Church very kindly and generously came up with the idea of donating the current space, which was formerly the Minister's back lawn!

The gardeners designed the garden layout, in a koru / spiral shape, with a gathering/picnic spot in the centre of the spiral. With working bees, the lawn was transformed into garden beds and initially planted in green crops such as lupins and mustard to build up the soil fertility. The paths were dug to a depth of around 60 centimetres and filled with wood chips as a natural composting feature which maximises the use of space. In 2006 the main focus became community, with people having their own garden patches and also communal patches. The members share picnics, friendship, and veges!

Other garden features include water tanks to collect roof-runoff from the Columba Community Hall; four worm farms, fruit trees, a specially built tool shed which doubles as a seed-raising area, and a specially built clubhouse. Almost everything was made from recycled items, second-hand, reclaimed or donated.

The Columba Grey Lynn Community Gardens are a project of the Living Communities Trust, which also organises seasonal community celebrations. The next celebration will be for Winter Solstice Party, Saturday 23rd June at 6.00 p.m. in the Saint Columba Hall, you are all invited -door cost $15, discount for unwaged; there will be a karakia and a ritual followed by live music/bands and dancing (hot tea and a supper will be provided.)

Kai Tika Food Coop is another project of the Living Communities Trust. Kai Tika can provide many of the food needs of its members, who pay a small membership fee for joining. Kai Tika food co-op is a voluntary organisation which buys, sells and exchanges bulk local food products at discount prices, sourced from local farmers wherever possible; members can be individuals, families or flats and can get many of their food needs cheaply in this way.

And another

Last night, we held the inaugural Kingsland Gardens Forever committee meeting. A committed group of really warm, loving and good looking people attended, and big steps were made.

KGF (Kingsland Gardens Forever) are meeting at Kingsland Gardens, on Sunday from 2pm to 4pm. There is a free Comfrey root for all who attend, your fruit trees will appreciate it!

SO, if you can’t hang with the Grey Lynn Massive in the morning, or if you feel like saving the lovely Kingsland Gardens, then the rollout is:

Where: Kinglsand Gardens, Corner of Bond St and New North Road Kingsland (see map)…right next to Church as you walk down towards motorway.
Time: 2pm to 4pm on Sunday 17th June
What to bring: Spade, fork, seedlings, big smile, two litre bottles to hide our little babies from our slug farm.
Why: Because if we don’t, the council will pave this area and make it a carpark for SUVs. . .
Who: Pam and Rob will be there knee deep, sweating hardout. Your presence will be rewarded with big KGF love
What can you take away: Spring onions and potatoes and apples and artichokes and avocados and mangicopulus genitopamus and the knowledge that you made a difference, and met some très cool dudes,

So come along, even for half an hour to have a nosey, its gonna go off!

If you can’t come, or get lost, or would just like to send messages of support and dig energy, please feel free to call or txt moi on 021 68 68 54.

I already have advance apologies from Paris Hilton who said, although she would love to muck in at KGF, she is not allowed to be near a spade for 45 days.

No worries Paris, thanks for the support.

See you all on Sunday. . .

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Train thoughts

I’ve been busy so here’s something I wrote on the train a while back.

One of the oddest things about this society is what we have spent all the planets resources on, I guess its not that weird for some egotistical apes but still... We have strip mined the globe, dredged the oceans, burnt up millions of years worth of oil and chopped down the worlds forests and what do we have to show for it? Cars, malls and cheap food and a hell of a lot of miserable people. I must not be the only one that gets angry when I think of the average lifestyle of a westerner and how little they have to show for it.. What will future generations think about us when they come to realize we used up all of the planets available resources to build roads and created a vast information sharing network and all we use if for is porn and second hand goods?

If ads were anything to go by then a free for all culture soaked in material possessions would be full of happy if somewhat adults running round like three year olds let loose in a candy store and if that 70s show is anything to go by this may have happened to a few kids for a few years. However once the drugs wear off the reality is that the average person in this society is selling there life to a job they hate, with an average of two real friends or confidents (down from 3 a few years back) and trapped in a 50 year mortgage. We have a global population of drug dependenat, unfifilled consumers, living in sterile boxes spending their days in boxes before going home to stare at their own box. Addicted to the notion of possessions and raised in a system with hierarchy omnipresent we either have remarkable shallow imaginations or are remarkably well trained. Not even the most rebellious revolutionary will suggest giving up our industrialized culture even as it systematically moves across the planet destroying one forest, village and person after another.

How shallow must our imaginations be that 90% of those opposed to the current system go no further than suggesting a change in the mechanisms of government or a change of rulers. And 99% appear unable to suggest a different way of life to the industrialized fossil fuel dependant way of life which has ruled our planet for at the most two hundred years. The most likely response to the overwhelming destruction which faces us is to slow the destruction crippling the planets homeostatic feedback mechanisms as if melting the ice caps over another 50 years rather than 30 years made any difference. A way of life in which we are not constantly ruled and in which we do not rely on technofixes such as biofuels ot energy intensive solar panels does not exist in the dreams of the shadows of people that walk this planet.

Rather than mobilizing the poor to take the means of production off the rich we need to free everyone from this system. The middle manager killing themselves through work is just as miserable as the suburbanite and the suburbanite and the factory worker have a lot more in common than many seem to believe. We need to create a new vision of change, shaking off both the vision of a factory workers revolt or a primitivist setting off into the bush and instead presenting a picture of how people can live free from human dominion. There is a growing body of people for whome consumption rings hollow and who see through the tinkering sold by greenpeace and the greens. We need a vision of an earth based culture living simply but in a way that meets human needs for love community and a sense of space. We need to inspire people to fight for the land they live on and present answers which go beyond replacing plastic bags with cloth ones.