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

Saturday, December 27, 2014

One Gross (that's a dozen dozens)

How can one sell an idea? Well, here is my shot at it. I'm a man. So much more than just a man, but on one level, nothing more either. I have created a product...(admittedly, with some help) these dozen dozens of posts on an obscure blog. I certainly never expect to get rich writing, but how can one value one's work unless some value can be ascribed to the labor of it? I have grown as a writer, but this value accrues to folks who read what I write in the future. I have become what I believe to be a better person by looking critically at information, turning ideas over in my head as a geologist might inspect a sample of rock. I have developed a deeper sense of self by stripping away the lies that I told myself about who I am. Now, I am coming to my readers with an outstretched hand, asking for you to value what I write in ways that feel appropriate to you.

I was recently at the store with my mother. She needed eggs and so did I. She selected the styro-trash container for a buck and a half. This woman, who was in the first graduating class from (University Wisconsin at green Bay, UWGB with a degree in Analysis/Synthesis, the trendy name for broadly educated with a major in ecological principles and a minor in Art Education. The same woman who was reprimanded by her school administrators that she was not to subject her art students to term papers. After all, the implication was, art is only for people who don't fit in, or to fill elective credits by drawing. The former teacher, whose room my mother inherited, only had tens of thousands of sheets of grey paper and about half a ton of chalk and pastels, more than half of that stock had been just black and white. The former teacher was training them to see the gray scale and render objects as the old masters did, but what the ancients learned over days of work and toil needed to take place in an hour each week. But I digress, this is about the eggs. A dozen dozens. I selected the Phil's eggs, I know Phil, or at least I have written him letters, he cares about the birds and their health is of primary concern. Phil puts his eggs in paperboard, which I recycle or pass on to folks I know who have eggs.

Mom's eggs have a definite ecological impact. I worked in an egg house that provided those kind of eggs. Mine were nearly five dollars, triple the price, and Mom was aghast. She asked "Why do you spend so much on your eggs?" Having had chickens, I knew what to say. "It is a lot of work to create an egg and I certainly wouldn't want to have to pump one out every day." I said, I appreciate that. So does Phil. I know he does, because I can see, feel and taste the difference between the two "eggs".

The point of the egg story is to draw a parallel between the cost of eggs and my work. I urge everyone to go back and read all of my posts, all 144. It is truly a dozen dozens. If it seems as if I'm just pumping out as many posts as I can, like the egg factory, please value my work (and please, please, pay me accordingly) at roughly the cost of the cheap eggs in your area. These will undoubtedly be petro-chemically underwritten to a massive degree. I'm not exactly sure about other parts of the world, but in The U.S. of A., the corporate food giants who deal in these sorts of commodities receive other corporate tax breaks and subsidies, but I have no hard proof of exactly what that might be in the case of my local eggs. The simple accounting practices that allow taking feed and energy bills off the top of one's profit actually encourage buying feed from elsewhere and concentrating birds too close together for health. If you can see, feel and "taste" the difference between corporate schlock and rich and nutritious writing, then pay me like the expensive eggs in your area.

I often think of my writing as an egg, meaty but easily assimilated. Like an egg to our body and mind, I seek to nourish both. I want to inform, invigorate and activate my readers, or at least prepare them for growth. I want the writing to hold together, for each post individually and the collection of ideas as a whole. I see the value of my work as helping bind divergent ideas into a light sponge, pliable and yet able to hold ideas in a suspended state of animation for future use. The neural net that is established by these ideas are for each individual to fill in as their experiences allow. I hope to never be as pretentious as to tell anyone what to think of the ideas I render, nor how to piece any of that into a larger world view. Each of my messages is about the need to collectively realize what we are up against and how we might retain as much of our humanity as possible within a corrupt and collapsing system.

I assure you that ECO-tours has received no government subsidy other than business planning consulting services and the guy who actually collected the money was truly a huckster and subsidized suit. Having a business plan, heck even paying back double that cost to hire another subsidized suit, a lawyer, for drawing up incorporation papers. The State payed out a few hundred in assistance, the lawyer collected $1,200. Another thousand or so slipped away to petrochemical giants through fuel use and our purchase of a few hundred dollars worth of black plastic pots which harbor our seedlings while they are in nursery status. At least I am aware of, and keep track of my subsidies. I have never taken them for granted. I certainly didn't feel entitled to them. My work through ECO-Tours has been with the intent of getting the biggest bang for the bucks that are given to our efforts.

For our part, we seek to plant more trees. We do it as efficiently as possible. ECO-Tours and our 100% volunteer staff as well as the many guests who tour with us have planted tens of thousands of native trees over the years. Additionally, we have begun to plant far more tree seeds, leading to higher rates of survival and trees that are better adapted to their sites. We plant about a dozen dozens of trees per acre and if you would rather make a donation to further that work instead of the writing of this blog, I will put your donation in perspective. It costs nearly ten dollars per tree for seedlings, but that includes purchase, planting, protection and care. If you would like to plant 144 trees, that's about 1440 dollars. When we plant, all the labor is done by volunteers or paying guests, so the donation you make is more than doubled by human effort, given with love by people who care about restoring the Earth, protecting soils, stabilizing climate and fixing carbon.

At five dollars per dozen, ($60 for the lot) that's less than fifty cents a piece for these first one hundred and forty-four blog posts alone. I'm willing to pay that to get good eggs and my goal is to put as much or more into each post than I get out of having an egg for breakfast. If you agree, send a check to ECO-Tours of Wisconsin Inc. 1445 Porlier street Green Bay, WI 54301 or you can use our paypal account: We are also working to build a new char burner that will allow us to build soils in areas that we are reforesting, reducing the numbers of trees that we will lose in the future has always been an overriding concern for us. Typically we lose lass than ten percent of the trees we plant, but when you plant as many trees as we do, that is still more than we wish to accept. Making biochar part of the soils that we plant into reduces stress, increases available soil moisture increases nutrient availability as well as beneficial soil organisms and protects against drought.

Any donations over $1,000 will come with a free week-long ECO-Tour so that you can see some of our operations up close and personal.

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