Why are we 'Alternative?'

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by mischief, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Why are we and every other organic farmer/gardener/orchardist movement etc... considered to be alternative????

    I would like to lodge a protest.

    I propose that we stop the BS about being something different and new.

    Chemical farming started with the petro-chemical corporations pushing their products and finding new and 'innovative' uses for them.
    First targetting the farmer and then spread to the home gardener from there.

    I propose that we start calling users of these products chemical farmer/ gardener/ orchardist and stop thinking these methods are 'Normal'

    They are not normal but have become so only because we all agree that they are.

    It is not normal to be poisoning the planet, This is the true alternative nutcase.

    We have been on this planet for a very long time and it has fed us normally.

    What We are doing is returning to 'normal'.
     
  2. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    I agree. The only explanation i can think of is that it has become so much a part of the culture, that is to use poisons to get rid of that weed, use that fertiliser to make your lawn greener than the joneses. I have lots of weeds on my property and the amount of people that try and convince me to use poisons is unbelievable. People have been conditioned to think it is normal to interfere with nature to make it conform by the use of chemicals and such. I think and maybe it is just hoping that there is an awakening in people that maybe these chemicals are affecting health and well being. Again we need to walk the talk. I take in my organic free range eggs to share at work and just in that little circle people are beginning to realise the difference. I'm afraid it is a long slow process of getting people to see we are not alternative but really the true path to health and awareness. We just gotta keep plodding on.
     
  3. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    It's just habit. You learn one way and become comfortable with it because it seems to work. Then someone else comes along and says it's bad. How can it be bad if the plants respond so well? Just like a habit, it's difficult for one to stop doing something that the mind has become comfortable doing in which a positive result is achieved (even if the results are misunderstood). Look at bulimia. It's killing the people, but the results are soo good at keeping one thin that it is difficult to stop. Not too mention peer reinforcement. Oh, you lost weight, you look so good. Eew, your getting fat. Oh, your yard is so pretty, eww those weeds are ugly. you need to cut it down. I'm sorry sir/madam, your yard violates city code. etc....
    Pluse in Monoculture areas it's much more difficult too find plant remedies not chemically related. It's difficult for many to go against the grain of their community
     
  4. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    we the organic natural gardeners were original, its the johnny come latelys who are the alternative, un-healthy for the consumers and environment, then another lot of alternatives came later on.

    len
     
  5. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    I concur.

    For over 10,000 years of farming traditions world wide it was organic, then in the 1950's that changed for the worse. Time to change that.
     
  6. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    yes pakanohida,

    when i was a kid all food came from local farms even milk, we walked to the egg farm, there was no such thing as chickens to roast, they were needed to lay eggs up to triple yokers and as fresh as the day or 2. as all food was.

    the alternative then cam along and slowly infiltrated our food chain, pushing farmers away from our communities. you hear lots of hype about climate change and oil depletion, mostly conjecture, but they won't grasp what we need to do really and that is get back to the future of the 40' and 50's, food miles is our biggest cost.

    for us to have affordable fresh food in season we will have to call for land near our communities to be allocated to raising food, and now the rot is well set in we might have to have houses and land resumed for this activity, we won't need the corrupt organic certification as we will live next door to the farmer and will see all.

    if we paid the farmer even 1/2 what the resellers charge us for stale food the farmer would be far better off.

    might have to do without things, might have to grow our own outside the staples the farmers will grow, but only in season crops and only local climate crops. like molleson says they do in asia. like we did way back then. oh we need to return to modest homes on no less than 27 perches somewhere for kids to play and dad to grow things, room for a mango tree and bananas.

    len
     
  7. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    There is a military term I've heard called 'Mission creep' where by you, lets say hypothetically, invade a country to free the people from the tyranny of a dictator. But then the creep starts to set in, the mission becomes bigger and bigger and eventually has no relationship with the original invasion. I'll let you be the judge of the sort of creep...

    I once said to my wife, when the idea of home schooling occurred to me, "When did it become OK (let alone expect), to cramp dozens of little kids into hot classrooms all day all year?" "How did we come to think it would be OK, that the children would thrive?", to me it's not much different to locking hens into cages and making them lay eggs all day and night, denying them the opportunity for them to express their chickeness (thanks to the coiner of that term). Kids no longer have any way of expressing their kidness. Schools are such an artificial environment, where they are isolated from people of different ages and generations for much of their formative years. BUT, this is something that crept in over time, often because misguided people thought they were doing the best for their kids. In Victoria now, they are going to increase the hours of kinder next year. I can't help but think this is driven by the fact that parents are looking for more state sanctioned 'child care' hours. Blah Blah Blah ad infinitum...

    It is all about Corporation and addiction. A virus of capitalism. That is why we are alternative, because we are the ones who are resisting the infection.

    (I may or may not be rambling a little because I've forgotten how I started this thread. I blame the mesopotamian bakers).
     
  8. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Haha ramble away, um you lost me with the mesopotamian bakers....?????

    So....Can we start saying that we are returning to the normal way of doing things?

    I have been thinking alot on this recently and cant seem to justify using 'traditional' at all, hell I personally cant even use sustainable cos we arent, but we are trying step by step to return to the normal way things are done.

    My daughter told me that I am considered to be a bit of a trend setter in our little town and pointed out that when I used old bits of concrete rubble to level a garden in the front yard so did heaps of other people soon after.
    Havent seen many leave it to grow long tall grass complete with seed heads yet but she is sure they are watching and waiting to see just what I am up to.

    They must be cos I never get any flack about the long grass on the roadside garden,( it used to be covered in trees).

    I guess what I am trying to say is that if we think of ourselves as alternative then we are and other people will pick up on that too.
    If we break through this social conditioning that has (unwittingly?) been inflicted on all of us, then they should start taking us more seriously and be more willing to try to understand what it is we are aiming for.

    A good example of this is...last week I got an early load of firewood from another supplier, not my usual one,his first reaction to seeing the veg garden was to say "what an awesome garden".
    I was quite startled because to me I see it as being under repair from the ravages of last year and not Awesome at all.
    I gave him a rundown on what we were doing and explained the chooks dome to him- I could see his brain ticking away and seeds finding fertile ground there.

    I know for a fact that people watch what I do, hence the example.
    (I find this hard even after leaving the big smoke so long ago but just ignore it now), but also found that if I blissfully go about my business and have a good explanation ready as to the whys and wherefores I never get a bad reaction.

    People like short sweet and simple so they dont have to strain their brain, so little and often works really well.
     
  9. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    I hear and agree with what you all say. I make it a point to call non-organic (and even most organics actually) industrial rather than conventional. Its the same way I feel about being consistently called a consumer rather than a citizen.
     
  10. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    As far as I am concerned, people who use chemicals in the garden are "new age" and I tell them that. Finchj's way is more kind. :D
     
  11. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Thats a good point.
    I like industrial,well actually, I dont, but it is better and probably more correct terminology for what is currently going on.
     
  12. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    I would love to see the faces on people when you call THEM New Age. Oh my :) Industrial works, but for a lot of people it doesn't carry much in the way of negative connotation since they enjoy living in a "modern industrialized society." Why, they ask, should they give up all these wonderful tools? :facepalm:
     
  13. MelMel8318

    MelMel8318 Junior Member

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    Fascinating thread.

    We are at the point where for the first time in human history, more people live inside the city limits than outside....sounds like city living is the 'alternative'.

    Pesticides and fertilizers became commercially available after WWII to support the companies that were built to produce NPK for the bomb industry....another 'alternative'.

    The first 'planned' suburb in the US was in the 1960's....another 'alternative'.

    I could go on and on (and often do), but I won't. IMHO, modern 'life' is just a commercially based 'alternative' to providing or doing for oneself. However, since the majority of people are living this lifestyle, the 'original' way of life is now the 'alternative'. The world really has been turned upside down. :)
     
  14. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    It keeps coming back to the insane urge to make a big buck doesnt it.
    I get the idea sometimes that we dont live lives we exist in a huge factory.
     
  15. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    correct Len we are Mainstream!!
     
  16. CRTreeDude

    CRTreeDude Junior Member

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    Here in the tropics, the people who garden who are locals, almost invariably follow something that looks very much like permaculture. Nothing else works, unless you dump incredible amounts of pesticides on it. In the tropics, you learn to work with nature, or not at all, no matter how much people from up North push the idea of pesticides, fertilizers, etc. Tropical nature is never knocked back by winter, and never takes a break.

    It took me a while to figure this out, too. Now I do as the locals, and have figured out why they have time to enjoy life. :)
     
  17. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Well, look at the history of some of our grandparents, as a result of WW1, the Germans had to deal with taking literal wheelbarrow loads of worthless cash to get a loaf of bread, some of these people are still alive. Then we got the chemicalization (new word?) of agriculture that promises to deliver high yields so people can always have food, that was the promise of the USDA, and it falls flat. At the same time our society at that time is pushing everyone has the white picket fence and the "Leave it to Beaver" life style. This leaves the impression on the children of WW1, and 2 that they should have this kind of lifestyle even though it is and was completely fantasy tv life. I know people who literally feel that despite being retired that it isn't enough money, because of what they see on TV and figuring that is how we are supposed to live. Yet these same people have more then enough money to take care of Maslow's Basic needs.

    What is needed to be done, is people realize that technology isn't per say bad for us, or Permaculture for that matter, but rather, the important social issue here is to make people realize that the media's hype of how to live, like the shows on NBC, CBS, ABC, BBC, etc, and the commercials connected to them is, well, simply bullshit. It's an unsustainable lifestyle except for everyone, and that's what is needed for people to wake up from so they resist that urge.

    In a twisted sense, society is sick, and we are the people who are healthy picking up the pieces till more of us can help out the world with Permaculture.
     
  18. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day MelMel8318

    Welcome to the PRI Forum

    Actually, the suburbanisation of major US cities (for example, New York and Boston) began earlier, a lot earlier, and can be attributed to the technological advances made in public transportation systems:

    Improvements in mass transit facilities were another aspect of the transportation revolution that encouraged the accumulation of population in large urban centres, by making it possible for those who could afford to do so to reside beyond walking distance of their place of employment. With the expansion of omnibus service, beginning in the 1830's, and the perfection of horse railways, in the 1850's, city dwellers were able at reasonable cost to ride to work from outlying parts of the city. By the later 1830's steam railroads provided communter service to and from small communities beyond the city limits.

    Source: Still, B. (1974) Urban America: A history with documents. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, p. 84

    Llewellyn Park (established 1857) is a classic example of an early 'planned' suburban residential community. Indeed, it is reputedly the earliest of its kind in the US.

    Cheerio, Markos
     
  19. MelMel8318

    MelMel8318 Junior Member

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    Hi Markos,

    The operative word in my statement was 'planned'. Prior to that, suburbinization was a lot more whimsical and wasn't planned by construction companies. They just sort of grew up out of necessity and city zoning.

    But what you say about the 1850's is also true. Perhaps I should have stated 'modern suburb'. :)
     
  20. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day MelMel

    Ahhh, it's the 'modern' period of sub-urban planning that we are discussing, great stuff! Generally speaking, this period emerged in concert with the mass production/consumption of the motor car. It was not long after Ford revolutionised car production methods by refining the assembly line concept (around the 1920s) that other doyens of the modern industrial auto era (GM, Standard Oil, Firestone, etc.) conspired to buy up the tramcar companies, rip up the lines, and in their place lobby governments for the building of new roads so that their vehicles (and petrol, oil, tyres, etc.) could reign supreme out in the 'new suburbia'. Of course, the wholesale planning and development of the 'burbs was slowed by the onset of WWII, only to re-emerge in the early 50s to forge ahead almost unabated throughout the last half of the 20th Century.

    The book that I cited in my original response is an excellent historical account on the urbanisation of America in general. However, for the real dirt on the history of US sub-urban planning and development, may I suggest Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream (2001) by Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, it's a fascinating read!

    Cheerio, Markos.
     

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