Vibrant, Alive, Affordable + Living Lightly Locally= Sustainable Neighborhoods

5 Planets! How are we, the US of A, going to be a serious leader if our lifestyle requires 5 planets of resources??

How are we going to look our grandchildren in the eye and say with pride “All this is yours!”??

The good news is we are innovative. So, my fellow Americans, let’s roll up our sleeves and seize the opportunity. What else are we gonna do?!

Join us on Tuesday nights, and help design and build the 21st Century sustainable! MeetUp Design Lab for Sustainable Neighborhoods

More good news! Ya ready?  Mixed-use, mixed-income sustainable neighborhood infill developments of 2 or so acres, located in rural, urban, or suburban settings, meet the challenge to deliver sustainable lifestyles that are good for people and our planet!

Here is a drawing of one possibility that is efficient, affordable, and creates a beautiful oasis.

 

Infill Plaza at the Heart for web 1 copy

With approx. 40 residential units of varying sizes on the upper floor, and mixed-use commercial and shared common facilities on the ground floor, we just need 80 or so people who want to move in. Want to have your business here?

Come to the next Designing Sustainable Neighborhoods Workshop

Go to Meet Up Santa Fe and RSVP! and check the box letting us know you’ll be attending. Together, we can make Sustainable Neighborhoods real!

Don’t live in Santa Fe, but want one in your community??!! Let me know!

Gaviotas-World Class Sustainable Village

This article points out the incredible power of human ingenuity.  As I keep taking steps toward sustainable lifestyles, I run into all manner of inner limiting belief systems.  A major one is “Don’t Make Mistakes”. The correct answer is rewarded in school. But check out the learning from Gaviotas. Try stuff, learn from “the mistakes”…. genuis appears through trial and error.  So Go For It!!! There aren’t mistakes, they are the path to amazing.

It became clear to us that most of the successes at Gaviotas were not a result of brilliant planning but of a trial and error process, replete with wrong turns and detours.

Gaviotas showed us that there is not an orchestrated march toward a finished product—there is only the process, the unpredictable evolution of strategies and ideas… READ MORE >>

A Sustainable Way of Life Becomes the Curriculum! Part 5

Imagine. An elementary school and the surrounding neighborhoods joining  together to become  a sustainable community with the school at its heart.

Living machine

Biologies on the roots, detoxify water!

Science Rules! Tapping into the Power of Biologies; Community Composting and Recycling Water – Part 5

Throughout the neighborhood, attached greenhouses provide essential composting, soil studies and crop production opportunities. The solar recharged neighborhood electric cart collection service gives teens an opportunity to make money by driving household food scraps to the community composting bins.

“Living Machines,” water recycling tanks, demonstrate how bacteria and microorganisms purify water.

Living Machines, invented by Dr. John Todd, use plants and microbes to clean water instead of chemicals. They can handle household waste, and easily tackle industrial wastes, turning 600 to 750,000 gallons of waste per day into hyacinths and snails… Dr. Todd (a student of Bucky Fuller BTW), has been working with Living Machines for decades has found that there are certain plants or small animals that love certain kinds of waste. What he does is let the water run through a series of cisterns with different plants in each. What one plant likes to eat, it turns into other forms of waste, so in the next cistern he has the plant that considers that waste food. By the time the water comes out, it’s 5 times cleaner than traditional waste water treatment….

Part 1  Part 2   Part 3 Part 4  Part 5   
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Best Popcorn in the World and Other Benefits of Living in a Sustainable Neighborhood!

Imagine a room full of people, all gathered in a circle and sharing  their ideas on what makes a sustainable neighborhood. “I would like a swimming hole, like at my grandpa’s farm”, a 12 year boy shares. “It has a rope swing and turtles and the fishing is pretty good”. swimming hole

“I love prisoner of war escape movies and sci-fi movies. I’d like to curate a series of Saturday afternoon showings.  I just got a huge big screen TV, and my living room holds about 30 people!” Herb, a retiree, offers.

A young mother speaks next, “I’d like to contribute part of our front yard to community gardening. With the new baby, I would like to be growing more food, but we need help getting the soil ready. My husband agrees; he’d rather pull weeds. He’s tired of mowing the lawn.”

Around the circle the sharing continues.  ”Well”, Jack, a waste water engineer offers, ” I’d like to set up a water recycling facility… my idea is to go to the low point of the sewer system, and set up a series of living machines. Living Machines are greenhouses filled with translucent tanks full of water plants. The biologies on the roots of the water plants will purify the water, and we can then do a final UV treatment so the water is better than drinking quality. And that will fit into your ideas: One, the water would fill up the swimming hole and be a place of beauty and fun, and two,  the water from the pond could be fed to orchards and community gardens. Another benefit would be in case of a fire, the fire department could use the stored water for fighting the fire.”

My hand goes up.”Hey, I make the best popcorn in the world.  No brag, just fact! I’ll give lessons and man the popcorn machine on one Saturday matinee out of the month!” (See recipe below!)… READ MORE >>

Pathogens in our Wheaties- Restoring the Balance of Human Over Population Thru Science!

Roundup + plants = super resistant pathogens in our grains,  meat, and bodies.  Yeah for Monsanto!!

The list of Impending Bummers is long. At some point the Impending part converts, and the Bummer is now happening. Genetically Modified Crops have made it to the Now Happening list!

GMO lamb-cauliflower

What's the Problem?? I like Cauliflower with my Lamb!

Monsanto Is Poisoning Us All: 117 Peer-Reviewed Scientific Studies Expose Hazards of Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide & “Roundup Ready” GMOs

In a previous issue of Organic Bytes, we reported that Don M. Huber, Ph.D., emeritus soil scientist of Purdue University, wrote a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack about a newly discovered virulent pathogen that proliferates in soil treated with Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.

The Monsanto pathogen is taken up by plants, transmitted to animals via their feed, and is passed on to human beings by the plants and meat they consume. The pathogen has yet to be described or named, though that work is almost complete. … READ MORE >>

The #1 way to Support Local Food is…

The #1 way to Support Local Food is by… creating a deeply affordable lifestyle. Lowering the cost of living frees up customers’ pocket books so they can buy more local food and dine at restaurants serving locally produced food.

Santa Fe's Farmers Market

Local Farmers, Local Food...Santa Fe Saturday AM

A deeply affordable lifestyle is essential in other key ways as well. Farmers and their employees need affordable housing, water, land, processing facilities, season extending structures, fertilizers, etc.  Higher costs in any one of these networks of networks undermines our food security.

Here in Santa Fe we have one of the best Farmer’s Markets in the nation, apparently.  I think much of its popularity is because Santa Feans have more disposable income. And yet, in spite of all the success, Beneficial Farms CSA‘s Steve Warshawer estimates all the capacity of the Northern New Mexico regional farmers would feed only 2000 folks.  Santa Fe current population is around 70,000, with a surrounding regional total of approx 100,000.

For our regional capacity, our Food Shed, to grow significantly, I believe we will have to work  together to create deep affordability and free up more disposable income. I call it “Mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoods, with lifelong learning and open space”. The open space is for agriculture, natural habitat, and recreation.

This strategy is good for everyone; builds our regional resiliency and food security, lowers our eco-footprint, and raises our quality of life!

Share your ideas and experiences in the comments area! Back yard chickens, collecting urine for fertilizer, compost piles, converting front yards to food forests, deep mulching strategies, farm to school programs, aquaculture, etc… the list is long….Together we can make sustainable real!… READ MORE >>

Cattle + Predators=Soil Carbon Sequestration… How Burgers Can Save Us From the Ravages of Global Warming

The Professor is in the House…

Cattle + Predators= Soil Carbon Sequestration. How’s that for a Math equation??!!

You have sharp hooves (no sneakers allowed), You poop, you roam…You restore the planet’s balance.  Duh!!

Any questions??    Yes, you with the red blouse. More Specifics?? OK, here’s how the Savory Theorem works…

In a natural context, constantly moving, healthy herds of large herbivores, interacting with their associated predators, create the disturbance (grazing and animal impact) necessary to maintain healthy ecosystem processes. Their presence ensures the continuation of the carbon cycle (with the all-important step of “decay” accelerated by the microbes in their digestive tracts), high levels of plant diversity, and a covered soil surface. Because the animals are constantly moving to new grazing, plants (between episodes of heavy grazing) have the chance to fully recover their above-ground leaf area and restore carbohydrate reserves in their crowns, roots, and stem bases. Holistic Management’s expertise is in re-creating/imitating these natural grazing patterns with domestic livestock, and regenerating the land in the process.

Any more questions?  Yeah, you in the back. Yes, that’s right, if you eat Predator Managed Open Range Certified burgers you will be sequestering carbon back into the earth, and helping reverse Global Warming.

Yes, of course. The distance from the ranch to the slaughter house to your plate adds to the carbon footprint. That’s why ranchers and meat packing plants are switching to algae biodiesel… READ MORE >>

BioChar-Carbon Sequestration and Soil Fertility

Black Soil, biochar, a special kind of charcoal, has been discovered in the Amazon jungles, as well as in Japan.  Tierra Preta,  as it is also called in Brazil, has amazing properties.  In the midst of large amounts of rainfall, where large quantities of biochar have been introduced into the soil, the soil’s fertility has lasted for centuries. This special kind of charcoal retains nutrients for plants and creates a most hospitable environment for microorganisms and has provided fertile soils for large populations in the Brazilian jungles for several thousand years.

As the “charcoal” withstands being broken down for long periods of time, modern soil scientists and farmers have realized Biochar could be the most effective way to sequester carbon out of the atmosphere, while adding to a soil’s fertility.  Most any material that contains carbon can be “cooked” to not only create a charcoal like product, but also the gases released during cooking process, pyrolysis, can be used as a substitute for fossil fuel. These two together have raised the specter that creating biochar out of waste carbonaceous material (agricultural wastes, etc) could be a major part of a long term solution to global warming, while adding to a soil’s fertility… READ MORE >>

Fuels-pick your poison!

Nuclear, coal, natural gas, methane, biochar oil, ethanol, algae bio-diesel,  the sun, the tides, the wind, or good old gasoline…each comes with its costs.  As we innovate  toward a sustainable lifestyle, the refining processes and embedded energy, the delivery system, and all the other externalities come into play.

Currently 60% of the US’s  primary electricity comes from coal fired plants.  The burning of coal releases mercury into the air. The fish in New Mexico have quite a bit of mercury in them, especially those located downwind from the Four Corners Generating Plants. Fish in the Pacific Ocean have high levels of mercury as well, as the mercury bio-accumulates in the bigger fish, like tuna.  The Chinese coal fired plants are the mercury source for our sushi and salmon!

Agricultural crops converted to fuels come with GMOs, fertilizer run off, soil degradation, and embodied production and delivery costs. Local production and supply keeps dollars in the community, building wealth and cutting transportation costs. Talk about complicated…. READ MORE >>

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