ECO-Tours only purchases trees and dirt to plant them in...

Monday, November 21, 2016

Resistance is Fertile

My work involves building soils. The reason I have put so much effort into this process as I have has not been because that is where the money is, but because, it is where I can do the most good. In fact, as I have found, there is so little understanding about the difference between soil and dirt, that there may never be money in healing soils, or making them healthy, but that is not enough to get me to quit. There are more important things than money. I know that saying those words in our current culture may seem silly, naive or idealistic, but they are true. Life has very important things, like support, security, abundance and relationship. when we feel integrated with the larger whole, that in and of itself is important. We are designed to adapt to our surroundings, but a toxic environment, or one that has been stripped of resources often creates adaptations in us that validate, support and perpetrate behaviors that are not healthy, not sustainable and not able to offer anyone true security.

It seems that many are finally asking the questions that I asked myself four decades ago. My sister may have summed it up best when she told me that she wanted a bumper sticker that asks simply, Whom do you serve? My first post asked that question and it continues to burn itself into my world view every single day. Every dollar we spend, every moment we squander is playing right into the hands people we may never see, or know, or want to believe that we are "serving". It turns out that this is a very deep question with such distantly removed answers that many of us can barely scratch the surface of meanings that it holds. They say, still waters run deep and this year, perhaps we all need to sit a little more still and just appreciate the moving target that is the rise of fascism in our nation. Many of us continue to serve the needs of well entrenched power brokers, but more and more are finding their way toward truth and real justice.

No security can come from staying still, although taking a breather, to get your head on straight is always helpful. The active engagement that creates change is probably the most important aspect of resistance and leads to revolutionary changes that can last for generations. I heard a story this week about a child. Not a bad child, but one exhibiting the behaviors of a bully. This child has been born into a family structure that offers him very little in the way of attention. There are basically only two phases to his existence. He is either taken along and required to have only grown-up experiences, or left to his own devices, which in his family means retreat into his computer. There are no child appropriate activities, questions, discussion or relationships for him to grow through. In many ways he has been faced with a choice, face abuse and neglect in the company of the adults in his life, or retreat into the altered state of digitally mediated experience. One cannot blame him for the cocoon of distraction in which he chooses to live, but what others are experiencing is that the young child becomes easily frustrated and lashes out at others as a result.

When actively responding to our environment becomes commonplace, we can build, create, learn and grow in ways that are not possible when working within a framework of digitally mediated sub-routines and face time with our computers. I have been writing blog posts for over seven years now and not one session at the keyboard has "created" anything that has not first been experienced in real life. Not one concept or idea was born while sitting here typing away at the keyboard. The over six hundred posts have come from actual-factual real-life experiences in which I was paying attention, sharing myself openly with the world around me and participating in a relationship with a large and sometimes scary world. don't get me wrong, life is certainly not all about abundance and security, there are serious problems that abound as well. That is why resistance becomes necessary.

Many, when confronting those of us who are active participants in the revolution that has never been televised ask the same sorts of questions. What about violence, do you see the revolution turning violent? This is because they can fathom nothing but serving their own violent slave masters. Yesterday at Standing Rock, the "police" (which many in the revolution that has not been televised call pigs) attacked peaceful protesters with water cannon, rubber bullets and sound cannons. When bullies meet frustration, they can only resort to violence. They serve the existing system of power and control tactics, belief in violence and for their limited understanding, those are the only options. On the other hand, what people who ask this question do not realize is that, "We are peaceful loving people, and we are standing, standing for our lives!". Those of us who have been walking our talk for over thirty years are astonished at the level of ignorance required for people to even ask about violence. Those who think that violence can solve problems, are in fact, the problem.

I have made conscious efforts to resist oppression by enhancing soil quality. Our ancestors handed down so much knowledge that we would be foolish to ignore it, but on a daily basis we still do forget. embedded in the phrase, and concept that a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link begs the question, where can we find a weak link in the chain of life? it is perhaps so obvious, that most people never even look, but the soil under our feet is one of the links that has been treated like dirt from the beginning. In most areas, we had reduced the fertility and health of the soil even before we knew that it was a thing. We have been so busy serving faraway interests that we neglected and abused the very land upon which our lives and health are determined. In many ways, the most revolutionary act that we can participate in is to feed our neighbors and ourselves healthy food. That requires healthy soil.

I have seen the riots, the property crimes that have been perpetrated by mobs in the past. I fully expect that there will be riots again, but they are far more likely when a team wins the Super Bowl, a Major League Pennant or a trophy. It is fairly rare that people riot because they cannot feed or house their families. There have always been agents provocateur and false flag attacks designed to make the public thing that anyone willing to stand up for their rights is a threat, but that is completely different that wanton destruction that the current powers that be are willing to perpetrate to "protect" their perceived interests. rebuilding the soils that blew away during the dust bowl days can be done, it is certainly possible. We have the tools and technologies, we even have millions of displaced workers that with a bit of education and training could recreate soil that is healthy and productive virtually anywhere on the planet, what we lack is the will. As long as we continue to serve the fossil energy interests, as long as we allow the military industrial complex to operate their destructive shell game, as long as we let the big money ride on the funding of destructive boom/bust cycles, we will have dislocation, loss and despoiled landscapes to leave future generations.

The classes that ECO-Tours of Wisconsin Inc. offer allow individuals to become caretakers of the soil, double their agricultural output, reduce the need for irrigation and sequester carbon in healthy soils, healing the planet literally from the ground up. a complete series of classes, lasting thirteen moons, three hours thirteen times over the course of the year cost only $200. Single classes are twenty bucks. The classes are taught by real people in real time each full moon at our base camp here in Green Bay, if distance is an issue, I am working through the digital realm to teach the same material through online courses. Please contact us directly in one of three ways. Call, (nine 2 zero) double eight four, triple two four or use snail mail by writing to ECO-Tours of Wisconsin Inc. 1445 Porlier street Green Bay, WI 54301-3334 or e-mail me directly at tnsaladino42@hotmail.com.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Democracy

A huge blow to this ancient institution has been struck. Now we are being told that we must live with the consequences. The most recent numbers I have heard are still not finalized, that won't happen until the end of the moon , however the "loser" of the most recent election will have nearly two million more votes than the declared "winner" of The recent election in the U.S. of A.. Adding insult to injury, this is only the fifth time in our relatively young nation's history that the Electoral College will install a President who has received less votes than their opponent. It happened three times in the first century and this will make twice in the second half of our 240 year history. Here is how that works. In the early days, rural Americans knew that their voices would not be heard until and unless they had more say in who got to be President. As a result, a system was designed that unfairly weighted the "one man, one vote" system that existed before to give people living in less populous states more power. Perhaps the most egregious is the state of Wyoming, although there are others who are not far off, see, each and every vote in Wyoming counts as heavily (in the Electoral College) as 3.62  votes in California. the winner take all nature of the states guarantees the same lopsided representation that has crushed democracy on a local level. People are finally seriously discussing how we can have such an unfair system that penalizes people by their zip code, or state of residence.

In terms of raw numbers, as I mentioned before, the "loser" in this race is looking to have amassed over two million votes more than her opponent, yet, when the electoral college meets, after the votes from all jurisdictions have finally been certified, they will hand the most powerful elected office on the planet to the person who got less votes. I know that I have a huge following from around the world, so let me try to explain just a little about how this is even possible. First, and perhaps foremost, the old way of doing things had at least two primary purposes, perhaps three. First, transport was very slow when the system was designed. States had a major undertaking on their hands when it came to the logistics of taking a vote, even greater distances lay between the remote parts of the country and the seat of power in the East. Distances were great in many states and roads were poor or in some areas non-existent. Having electors in the nation's capitol made the tabulation possible and each of these people was directed to make the will of the people of their state known in a final tally. It seemed to make sense in 1787. Why the rural areas had more say was a combination of two more things. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, even back then, populations in cities had been growing and people living in the hinterland knew that they would be summarily ignored with a one person one vote system. After all, why would any candidate go to out of the way places like rural areas on the "frontier", if they could secure the votes needed in the largest cities easily. The way it was explained to me in grade school,  "If the rural landowners ever wanted to see a candidate, there needed to be a system that made their votes more valuable than those of folks living in the cities." If they were ever to have their concerns get any attention at all, they would need more power. This is also a holdover from the old way of determining who was eligible to vote. The landed gentry, the 1% of their time did not want the vast majority of poor folks directing the affairs of our nation, so this system assured that more power would reside in the votes of relatively underpopulated areas.

Why wouldn't they think that rural votes should be worth more? After all, at the time we were a primarily agrarian nation. Those who owned the most land were fully expected to have more say in the affairs of our nation. We could argue about why that system penalizes city folk, but that would make no sense to people from 1787. In modern times, we can look at a few elections that will help make sense of the numbers. More votes were cast for the, Electoral College determined, "loser" in this race than Barack Obama received when he became President just eight years ago. She will have won the raw vote by a greater margin than either Nixon or J. F. K. Continuing protests from around the world point to the fact that people concerned about democracy are not willing to stand for this archaic system any longer, especially when it leads to a professional theft of a nation, a corruption of the highest elected office on the planet and/or the terrible example of a human being that is being exalted by a relative handful of extremely powerful people in Washington D.C. 538 people will determine who the next President of the United States will be. The system that continues to work against the will of the public is being called out very vocally this time and we can only hope that the process by which we hand over power in our nation will change because of the disastrous consequences that will come from installing such a terrible candidate.


I have said repeatedly that sloppy language is an indicator of sloppy thinking and anyone who has seen The Donald speak knows that his thought process is crippled. At last count, I read that he has changed his mind on eleven policy positions that he attempted to make clear during his campaign, that was several days ago so I'm sure that other commitments have fallen by the wayside since then. heck, he changed his mind about at least three major policy points just from meeting with the current President for an hour and a half. He remains completely insulated from reality up there in his tower. for all his rhetoric about helping the "average" American, he has not the first clue about what our lives entail. so much for a system of, by and for the people.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Most Recent Biochar

This week marked about three moons since beginning this most recent batch. Beginning as about five pounds of char, to which I added rock dust, nitrogen, minerals and finally finished compost rich in biological life. Finally, I added about twenty pounds of expanded mica...(vermiculite). It finally came into a status that I feel emulates healthy soil after being aerated several hundred times, over the course of several moons; it has been kept moist, allowed to stay about the consistency of a wrung out sponge, warm and under shade, so the sun's UV has never touched it. Adding this material to the top few inches of soil and continuing to protect the surface from the harsh sterilizing rays of the Sun has benefits that can last for centuries, even millennea.

There has been a longstanding rule in business, they say that to succeed, never sell what you don't have and never over promise. Biochar has the potential to double production of crops when applied at the rate of two pounds per cubic yard of soil. (1 kg to one cubic meter) The raw material that biochar is built with is pure carbon which is inert in the environment. It never degrades, nothing eats or dissolves it. instead, it provides structure upon which microbes can flourish. The waste products of these microbes are actually what healthy plants need to most easily absorb their nutrients "food" from the soil. When you say, "Doubles biomass production." people tend to think that you are over promising. To prove the point, I will send anyone who wishes to do a side by side trial of biochar enough to enrich one five gallon bucket of soil. (.2 cubic meters) If you are the type of person who cooks using recipes as guides, not as gospel, then think of char this way. Every handful has fourteen acres of surface area. when first moistening char, it is best when kept just dry enough to squeal a little, like singing sands do when you walk on them. I have made really good char that almost felt like I was stirring tiny shards of broken glass. The carbon is essentially vitrified, like firing clay, it makes it more like stone than cellular tissue that it began as. However, the carbon remains a scaled down version of the original plant tissue.

Much of the nitrogen for this batch was from blood meal and as such, this biochar has been made for the pinery and blueberry beds. This material has the effect of slightly acidifying the soil.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Another View

Last night, I took a long, slow drive out to the north end of the island, the sacred ancestral home of the Annishinabe, to the beach where I have been singing, dancing, and praying for decades. Along the drive, a mama deer darted out into the road, and took a leap to get lost in the woods again. Deer = compassion.
When I arrived, the cold wind was reminding me, "take warm clothes!" I had already packed my winter coat, so I bundled up and made my way down the banks to the water's edge.
I remember what my First Nation's friends tell me: pray to be grateful, pray to be humbled before Creator, pray to be a servant of Mother Earth.
After weeping all day while watching the live stream, I stood on the shore of one of the last great bodies of fresh water in the world with two small prayer bundles I got during the mining fight in the Penokees. I could not help but be humbled. I thanked all of creation, and I thanked over and over the brave people who stood up yesterday against the US tyranny of people who will destroy us all. I prayed for all the peoples of the world standing up against US tyrants. I asked to be humbled before my friends and neighbors and for the strength to do the right thing.
Over the course of the mining fight, I met many of my Native American neighbors: Bad River and Red Cliff, LCO, Lac du Flambeau, Ho Chunk, St. Croix—so many descendants of the families who have been murdered, abused, abducted, sold into slavery, kicked off their land (some of which is my home now)—the awful things that have happened to my neighbors does not just go back generations, but it is alive and well today.
Since I was young, I was fascinated with the story of our First Nations. I read every book I could get my hands on. Over and over I re-read those books—Black Elk Speaks, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Lame Deer—and they always ended the same: in tragedy for these amazing people and their masterful culture. Every time, I sobbed, as if, maybe this time the story would end differently. It never did.
Today, watching them take down the Standing Rock Sioux with guns, LRAD, concussion bombs, rubber bullets to the face, tear gas, I felt like I was living that ending all over again. How could it be that these people are once again being driven into despair, their grandparents' graves and sacred sites being torn up by Corporations while the jack booted law enforcement protect the tyrants? How can this be happening? Silly me. They know it can, is and does still happen in 2016. Standing Rock is just the veil being drawn back for all the rest of us people of privilege to see and experience like never before.
As much as I have educated myself on the First Nations history, yesterday I felt as if I knew something I never knew before.
The only way for me to respond is to vow never again to allow this to happen. While I cannot seem to stop our reign of terror in Syria, Iran, Iraq, I can stand up here at home. It is my bound duty to help undo the injustices that have come before. As a white person living on the land of the First Nations, it is the least any of us can do.
Go to Standing Rock. Get there. Now. If you can't, please, educate your friends and family on what is happening.
Donate to their legal defense fund.
Send them the supplies they ask for.
Call the White House, ND gov, media, senators, congresspeople, call over and over and over and do not stop until the pipeline is stopped.

Thank-you, Barbara With! Ho!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Beating Weapons Into Plowshares

Some of my readers should be familiar with the Ploughshares Foundation, this group has been around for decades and has been instrumental in pushing international conversations about the immorality of war, especially using nuclear and inhumane means of killing more people faster and with less discrimination. The recent Obama Administration's release of kill numbers for drone strikes pointing out the fallacy of a "just" war. The lives of thousands of non-combatants don't matter one whit to the war machine. When you reclassify young men as "enemy", simply for reaching the arbitrary age at which you expect them to be able to carry a weapon, the demonization of people whose eyes you never need to ponder, is complete. There was a great rallying cry for the Revolutionary war propagandists that supposedly dates back to the Battle of Bunker Hill. "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes." This was to conserve powder and increase the kill rate with their notoriously inaccurate weaponry. Today, we use such overpowering force as to make even a heat signature on infra-red sensor a "target". Can our animosity extend even into the realm of hating someone simply because they have body heat? The thought of getting to know that we are all people, with hopes, dreams and aspirations, people who love their children and hope for them to have better lives than we have had seems so alien in acceptable political discussion as to be lost amongst the calls for "extermination", "nuclear war" and deportation or putting up walls around the people of this world that are one giant human family.

A woman, proudly displaying a placard that said: "You can keep your science." is far more willing to follow along flights of fancy, in which 1/3 of the world population is demonized, and "eliminated", than to understand fact. The vast majority understand that the likelihood of the other 2/3 settling for what would be left, after another World War, rather than finding some other division to exploit, is almost as silly as the initial prospect of killing off 1/3 of the Earth's inhabitants simply for their beliefs. A well-meaning and sincere man said to me just the other day that, "Anyone who reads the Quran needs to be deported. They are all terrorists" Little did he know, the same day, I had read a story about a Muslim, from Syria, he is a devout follower of his "God" Allah. As a recent refugee, he received a piece of furniture to start his new life in this country. His reading of the Quran spoke to him in a different way. When he opened a drawer and found fifty-five thousand dollars, and the personal information of 1500 private citizens, he turned it over to police, saying that: "Allah would not want me to profit from the labor of someone else. If we could only convince our oligarchs of such truth! The ignorant are not the ones who need to be condemned, but those who see their profit flowing from uneducated folks just falling into the line of stupid stretching to the horizon.

I would like to explain the reasons that understanding and being educated about history is such an important starting point in moving forward. My young neighbor girl looked at me very coldly when I spoke of important lessons in history (herstory). "I hate history." she said. If we imagine the current time as a lens, future can and will only be an upside down and backward representation of the past. Only things that are in the consciousness of people living right now, today are based on their beliefs of the past, their knowledge of what is real and possible that gets passed down effortlessly through generations. The uberwealthy have expunged virtually all stories about self-determination or fulfillment, any inkling of satisfaction and abundance, except in the peculiar stories about "crazy artists", "mad scientists", "inventors" (who are often said to have to forego satisfaction or acceptance in their lifetimes) or lottery winners (beneficiaries of the nanny state). There is a similarity of understanding here to things they teach in military academy, CIA training and diplomacy. Every story we tell about the past, expands our possibilities for tackling the future.

Before my time, there was a strong socialist tendency amongst my ancestors. Public Service, the local electric company used to use their extra electricity to power an electric trolley, transporting people from their residential areas to the commercial areas. This was a true public service. most people from my generation don't even know that in Old Green Bay, you didn't even need a car. Another socialist plan was scrapped because of the "conservative" ideas of our fore-bearers, One of the major paper companies knew that as part of their processing, massive amounts of waste heat (in the form of hot water) would be generated and they wanted to run a cooling loop under downtown sidewalks and roadways, so the city, and residents, would have never needed to shovel snow in the downtown area. The cost of fifty to a hundred years of snow shoveling was hundreds of times more expensive than just installing the pipes to allow the heat to become useful.

Knowing that, in the old days, large corporate entities had a conscience and worked diligently for the good of all, rather than just the tiny slice of the public deemed "stockholders" changed the way we see the oligarchs. From these facts alone, we can see that at least two corporations were ethical once upon a time. Knowing that there were better ways...(I could ride the train, leaving from Green Bay, Wisconsin as recently as April 30, 1971) The train that used to run from Chicago all the way to Ashland, Wisconsin (on the shore of Lake Superior) we need to understand that the costs of tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of car trips back and forth to the Northwoods could have been eliminated, just by continuing the line. Instead, the corporate climate has changed, to one of heavily subsidizing the benefits that are realized by the fossil fuel industry and requiring the rest of us to pick up the costs. The weapons corporations use to eviscerate communities are many and understanding the long-term effects of cutting services, increasing dangers and risks and the inevitable ecologic destruction of making the wrong choices have impacts that will last hundreds of generations.

The forge upon which we create the new future is fired by the longing in our hearts and souls for our progeny to have at least as much as we were granted. The materials we have available are the massive military industrial wasteland, rife with attendant bust communities, our own intellect and creativity and the sense of community that has reclaimed some of the areas in our nation that have been reduced to rubble by time and neglect, and the knowledge that there have been ways for everyone to live a better life at far less cost, to our families, our communities and to our own health and welfare as well. The anvil, far too often, is the hardheaded people who do not care to hear the truth, no matter what words we use to speak it.



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Puffballs!

This year was one of the best in years for puffballs!
several massive specimens have been found this season. Plenty for eating fresh, plenty for drying, plenty for putting up in other ways for the coming cold season!
 

Monday, September 12, 2016

PayPal.Me/congressrepairteam


[/congressrepairteam?ppid=PPC000628&cnac=US&rsta=en_US(en_US)&cust=324GWCS7WF2D4&unptid=90ae8fca-795f-11e6-a130-441ea14e9560&t=&cal=d7f0ab81552d2&calc=d7f0ab81552d2&calf=d7f0ab81552d2&unp_tpcid=ppme-social-user-profile-created&page=main:email&pgrp=main:email&e=op&mchn=em&s=ci&mail=sys]PayPal.Me/congressrepairteam


Although I have suspended this campaign until the next cycle, I will use donations to further the work of ECO-Tours and to teach people how to make and use biochar.