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  • Mark
    To Stephen and the board in general I was hoping to generate some discussion about what folks are doing to change our cultural meme. But seeing the lack of
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 1, 2003
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      To Stephen and the board in general

      I was hoping to generate some discussion about what folks are doing
      to change our cultural meme. But seeing the lack of response I guess
      I will tell you what we are doing and go from there.

      I have only just finished Beyond Civilization after reading the other
      three books and have found that I am driven to do something to make a
      change as are all of the people who I have had read the books. It
      could be because we all have young children or that we practice Earth
      Based Beliefs and the information was not a real stretch for us. In
      any case even if the information is, as some say, simplified and
      inaccurate, the proposed changes in cultural models have a lot to be
      said for them and are worth pursuing.

      I am a business consultant and have been exploring possible models
      for rural, suburban and urban tribal models. I then looked at a
      project I have been working on for around 20 years and applied tribal
      concepts and what do you know all I had to do was get by my ego and
      desire to own the concept.
      I found this easy to start with, but I have to keep it in constant
      check during the process.

      The following sections will discuss the concept history and changes
      followed by the application of tribal concepts and steps being taken
      to make it a reality. The goal if this works is to develop a base to
      develop, and consult on tribal business models for expansions of our
      group and to assist other groups in becoming tribal.

      In the late 70's and early 80's I worked the Northern California
      Renaissance Faire. Day after day I watched thousands of people
      spending hundreds of dollars to get entertained. The experience was
      to shape an Idea that was to grow with me as I grew.

      I conceived of a Tudor style courtyard inn that had a Renaissance
      Faire all 365 days a year, with food and entertainment as well as the
      ability of our guests to join in. And yes I have been to Camlann and
      think Geoffrey is doing a great thing but not the same thing.

      Over the years I have participated in several living history events
      and have changed the concept to include them as well as my love for
      animals (horses) and my desire to be self-sustaining. Eventually (10
      years ago) I realized that my family and I could not do this alone
      and that it would take a community to accomplish. A tribal approach
      was a simple next step.

      It will need to be like a circus in that we must all have different
      strengths and yet all work together to succeed. I needed to stop the
      development at an outline of the concept, apply a consensus approach
      and find some folks willing to make the idea their own.

      The first thing I had to do was let go of my need to own and develop
      the concept and work my filters into a place where I can here and be
      open to the other members needs and inputs. Then I had to explore
      funding that did not make this a share business where investment
      could be perceived as unequal creating a possible assumption of
      hierarchy.

      The problem I have run into is that everyone looks to me to lead
      (tell them what to do) and I look at them to throw themselves into
      the plan. I shouldn't be surprised but always am, I am hoping with
      time we will get to a point where we can work together.

      We meet once a month at Sir Bean in Poulsbo and speak more than that.
      When plans progress we will get together more often.

      Your input is appreciated.

      Mark
    • Anderson
      Mark, perhaps some of the lack of response to your query was a result of some of those of us who have been on the board for a while having shared all this long
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 2, 2003
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        Mark, perhaps some of the lack of response to your query was a result of some of those of us who have been on the board for a while having shared all this long ago. However, there are new people, so it's worth repeating the highlights.
        As for myself, I'm making incremental changes in my own life and trying to set an example. I managed to get myself appointed the "green" person for my Unitarian Fellowship group, and I write a monthly column for their newsletter with all kinds of info, suggestions, tips, and so forth on living more sustainably. I've given out over 30 copies of Ishmael to others, and stamp my paper money with a readishmael.com stamp. I belong to a group called Southern IL Center for a Sustainable Future, which has a lot of activities in this college town where I live. For one, we're sponsoring Indigenous People's Day, Oct 13 (which is Columbus Day for everybody else). I ordered a bunch of literature from Survival International, which exists to protect the interests of indigenous peoples all over the world, and I will have a table to distribute these at the event.

        Vennie
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Mark
        To: ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 8:24 PM
        Subject: [ishmael_discussion] Our Project


        To Stephen and the board in general

        I was hoping to generate some discussion about what folks are doing
        to change our cultural meme. But seeing the lack of response I guess
        I will tell you what we are doing and go from there.

        I have only just finished Beyond Civilization after reading the other
        three books and have found that I am driven to do something to make a
        change as are all of the people who I have had read the books. It
        could be because we all have young children or that we practice Earth
        Based Beliefs and the information was not a real stretch for us. In
        any case even if the information is, as some say, simplified and
        inaccurate, the proposed changes in cultural models have a lot to be
        said for them and are worth pursuing.

        I am a business consultant and have been exploring possible models
        for rural, suburban and urban tribal models. I then looked at a
        project I have been working on for around 20 years and applied tribal
        concepts and what do you know all I had to do was get by my ego and
        desire to own the concept.
        I found this easy to start with, but I have to keep it in constant
        check during the process.

        The following sections will discuss the concept history and changes
        followed by the application of tribal concepts and steps being taken
        to make it a reality. The goal if this works is to develop a base to
        develop, and consult on tribal business models for expansions of our
        group and to assist other groups in becoming tribal.

        In the late 70's and early 80's I worked the Northern California
        Renaissance Faire. Day after day I watched thousands of people
        spending hundreds of dollars to get entertained. The experience was
        to shape an Idea that was to grow with me as I grew.

        I conceived of a Tudor style courtyard inn that had a Renaissance
        Faire all 365 days a year, with food and entertainment as well as the
        ability of our guests to join in. And yes I have been to Camlann and
        think Geoffrey is doing a great thing but not the same thing.

        Over the years I have participated in several living history events
        and have changed the concept to include them as well as my love for
        animals (horses) and my desire to be self-sustaining. Eventually (10
        years ago) I realized that my family and I could not do this alone
        and that it would take a community to accomplish. A tribal approach
        was a simple next step.

        It will need to be like a circus in that we must all have different
        strengths and yet all work together to succeed. I needed to stop the
        development at an outline of the concept, apply a consensus approach
        and find some folks willing to make the idea their own.

        The first thing I had to do was let go of my need to own and develop
        the concept and work my filters into a place where I can here and be
        open to the other members needs and inputs. Then I had to explore
        funding that did not make this a share business where investment
        could be perceived as unequal creating a possible assumption of
        hierarchy.

        The problem I have run into is that everyone looks to me to lead
        (tell them what to do) and I look at them to throw themselves into
        the plan. I shouldn't be surprised but always am, I am hoping with
        time we will get to a point where we can work together.

        We meet once a month at Sir Bean in Poulsbo and speak more than that.
        When plans progress we will get together more often.

        Your input is appreciated.

        Mark


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      • Nancy Dennis
        ... the ... and ... (10 ... I m intrigued with your description, Mark, of a living history project combined with a desire to be self-sustaining. I have been
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 4, 2003
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          --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Mark" <mdfrost6668@y...>
          wrote:
          > >
          > I conceived of a Tudor style courtyard inn that had a Renaissance
          > Faire all 365 days a year, with food and entertainment as well as
          the
          > ability of our guests to join in. And yes I have been to Camlann
          and
          > think Geoffrey is doing a great thing but not the same thing.
          >
          > Over the years I have participated in several living history events
          > and have changed the concept to include them as well as my love for
          > animals (horses) and my desire to be self-sustaining. Eventually
          (10
          > years ago) I realized that my family and I could not do this alone
          > and that it would take a community to accomplish. A tribal approach
          > was a simple next step.
          >

          I'm intrigued with your description, Mark, of a living history
          project combined with a desire to be self-sustaining. I have been
          nursing a vision lately that possibly has some similarities—I
          can't be sure because your description was so sketchy. Rather than
          ask you a bunch of questions to get more clear on what you are
          thinking,I've decided to just post my little dream for your
          comparison. It can serve simultaneously as an introduction to
          myself, as I have mainly been a lurker on this most interesting
          list. My vision is obviously of the Neo-tribal variety rather than
          trying to contemplate a return to a purely Leaver lifestyle. It's a
          little long, but I'm very interested in the responses of anyone who
          can get through it.

          A Design Dream

          Every night for a week now since I finished the Permaculture Design
          Course, I've found myself inside the same dream. I'm designing
          something. In that semi-conscious state just before waking, I
          explore the design situation of the dream more fully: A public park
          demonstrating Permaculture principles. All kinds of neat things
          could be on display: passive solar design, active solar collection,
          rainwater catchment, earth-friendly building materials, forest and
          other food gardens, swales, berms and other earthworks. I've
          never been overly fond of demonstrations. In fact, in my search for
          examples of Permaculture principles being applied, I've often
          become annoyed at all the demonstrations. Sometimes it can feel like
          everyone is building demonstrations but no one is actually living
          it.

          Whenever I conjure up a situation that would satisfy my longing, I
          realize that I would want to share what we were doing, me and my
          little tribe of eco-humans. Ah. That's what's missing from
          the public park demonstration. No one is living there. How can you
          demonstrate a food garden while leaving out the reality that someone
          has to be there to take care of it?

          Fully awake now, I rethink the public park design. What if you could
          include real human habitat in the design? Perhaps it could be a
          large non-profit land-holding run as a park or demonstration farm
          with resident caretakers.

          But one caretaker house would not be enough in my design. Humans are
          social animals. Designing for the solitary household will not
          demonstrate how to meet human needs. So what would be the ideal
          number? A tribal feeling is what I'm after, but, thinking that
          number would be larger than practical, I consider the smallest number
          that would work. Going on pure, unsupported intuition, I decide to
          design for four households. You have to start somewhere. It could
          be a good demonstration—oops, there's that word again! Perhaps I
          could make my peace with demonstrations if some could include actual
          living humans.

          Upon further reflection, I realize that if each household had two
          adults, two elders, and two kids, the total population would be
          24—almost the size of the early gatherer/hunter bands. Given that
          our modern households are generally smaller than six people, it would
          take a 2 or 3 four-household pods to create a tribal feeling. If you
          put 20 pods together, you would have a village of 500. So I'm
          thinking that my four-household grouping is a pretty good place to
          start.

          In addition to thinking about what items of modern life make sense to
          share and which should be duplicated for every household, I think
          seriously about how to keep shelter costs down. The kitchen is the
          most expensive part of a house. And eating together is a hallmark of
          tribal life, although I've been surprised to read descriptions of
          some indigenous peoples eating all but celebratory/ritual meals in
          nuclear family units. A good thing that, because sharing a kitchen
          has been the one thing I have fiercely resisted in my search for
          community. But economic reality is beginning to crumble my
          résistance. This crumbling has been aided by the evolution of my
          thinking about my own food garden.

          I've noticed a lot of backyard gardeners who seem to grow
          beautiful vegetable gardens mostly for the fun of it as much less of
          it ends up on the kitchen table than I would like My big passion
          around gardening is to design both the garden and the meals being
          eaten to maximize the use of garden space and of fresh food in the
          diet. The bigger goal is food self-sufficiency at some level, but I
          like the smallest garden to move strongly in that direction. For
          this dream design, I would want 100% of the four households'
          consumption of fruits and vegetables (including the calorie
          producers: Irish & sweet potatoes, and squash) to be produced on
          site. Given the value of chickens in a food-producing system, eggs
          would be included. My own digestive difficulties with grains has me
          sympathetic with those who say that grain was introduced late into
          the human diet and may not be an ideal food for us; but I don't think
          eliminating grain is practical and I'm personally adjusting to a
          small amount of grain in my diet. The good news is it's ever so much
          easier to grow 100% of your grains when you eat only a small amount.
          Fruits, vegetables and grains may be enough for four households to
          take on. Just one other addition: choosing a specialty item to grow
          an excess of for use in trade with other four-household production
          units for items not being grown on site that are needed in the diet.
          Ideas for specialty/trade items: honey, oil, dairy products, sorghum
          or sugar beets, medicinal herbs, meat animals.

          Spending time in my garden has brought me a peace I've not found
          in any other activity, so I enjoy spending time alone in my garden.
          Sometimes. But not always. Four years ago, I moved to a bioregion
          with a challenging climate and one radically different from any
          I'd ever gardened in. It was like being a beginning gardener again
          in some ways. Being in a fairly isolated setting, I re-learned the
          inefficiency of trying to learn gardening through classes and printed
          material. When I hooked up with another gardener and began spending
          time in her garden, my understanding exploded. Before I came, she
          was about ready to quit because the needs of the garden felt like a
          lonely burden. Just having someone else to work with revitalized her
          interest. For myself, the experience was in such contrast to the
          previous two seasons of great effort with almost no return that I
          vowed I would never garden alone again. I just need to find the
          right people to garden with—people who share my goals for the
          garden and, of course, my ethics that affect how the garden is done
          (no herbicide sprayers!).

          Another benefit to gardening with others is that for many crops,
          it's easier to produce the right amount for three or more than it is
          for just one person in much the same way that it's easier to cook for
          two people than just one. Which brings me back to sharing the
          kitchen. A large part of my reluctance to consider such a thing is
          the fear that I would not be able to pursue my passion for working
          out the kitchen/garden connection. It's a learning process. Since I
          wasn't taught these skills, and none of my peers were either, I have
          to relearn how to make it work. I think of it as relearning because
          only a few generations ago, nearly everyone knew this stuff. I look
          forward to understanding what will be in the garden and in the root
          cellar and in the preserved foods pantry at any given time for the
          full calendar year and to having a repertoire of meals that can be
          prepared using mostly the ingredients appearing in those places at
          any given time. Now I'm thinking, to share a garden you have to
          be on the same page as the people you're sharing with. Perhaps the
          same is true of sharing a kitchen. I just need to find four
          household's worth of people willing to remodel what's being eaten in
          the kitchen to suit what is growing, or has been grown, in the garden.

          Next design question: how many can share one kitchen? Personally, I
          would prefer to start with one kitchen shared by two households. This
          would feel closer to the autonomy and intimacy that we are used to
          with private kitchens. Maybe later when I'm more evolved I can do
          one kitchen for four households. But for this 2-kitchen, 4-household
          conception, each kitchen would include an eating bar or small
          informal eating area for solo snacks or smaller group meals. One
          large, comfortable dining room would be shared by all four households
          to encourage eating one meal a day together or at least several a
          week. Perhaps one kitchen would cook one day and the other cook the
          next. Or they could divide the meal between the two kitchens for big
          feasts like Thanksgiving.

          Also shared by all four households would be one root cellar and one
          greenhouse with adjoining potting/tool shed, outfitted with sink for
          pre-washing veggies right from the garden. Each kitchen would have
          it's own herb spiral.

          Other rooms to be shared by all four households: a comfortable
          sitting room designed for close-up conversation; a laundry/ironing/
          clothes-mending place (could include space for sewing if desired).
          This space would open to an outdoor clothesline.

          What private space would each household have? Sleeping quarters and
          clothes storage, bathroom, office/library/work space as desired by
          each household. Could include a quiet mediation place.

          I envision two private wings extending on either side of each
          kitchen. A clever, creative architect could come up with a way to
          tie the two kitchen/private space units together with the larger
          shared space of sitting, dining, and clothes maintenance, maybe
          through the use of a courtyard that would encourage many activities
          to take place outside when weather allows. (After putting these
          words down, I came across this design:
          http://www.sharedliving.org/octagonalvillagecluster.html)

          Sitting with this design in my mind for awhile, I realize it's
          really about imagining modern humans living in a quasi-tribal way.
          It has very little to do with a public park demonstration. That was
          just a weird dream hangover. But I take a few minutes to consider
          the problem of living in a fish bowl that these park caretakers might
          feel. This could be reduced by having the living/food production
          areas closed off the to public except at designated hours when guided
          tours and classes would be given. Other parts of the park could keep
          normal park hours and have the usual facilities, picnic tables,
          playgrounds, restrooms, hiking trails. An information center could
          contain displays illustrating Permaculture principles and their
          application in the inhabited area and give a schedule of upcoming
          classes and sources for more information.

          I'm intrigued with the question of how difficult it would be to
          gather up four households worth of people who would love to make such
          a design a reality. My Ishmaelite friends are interested in"walking
          away from civilization" and cooperating with others to make a
          living in "new tribal ventures." My design addresses the provision
          of food and hopefully the reduction of housing costs. If a design
          for earning money together could be added to it, perhaps some could
          actually make the jump.
        • goingtribal2001
          Greetings, I wanted to add to Nancy s vision of a Permaculture Park and her vision of a living community, as it struck me right in my own dream state. I
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 20, 2003
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            Greetings,
            I wanted to add to Nancy's vision of a Permaculture Park and her
            vision of a living community, as it struck me right in my own dream
            state. I thought I could add to the vision. (This is my fist day on
            this site and discussion...I am excited by it already! Thanks)

            I think you are a workable track for the right group of people Nancy,
            I have been seeing a very similar vision, due to my own interest in
            gardening and design. I too love working with others and not in
            isolation; be it gardening, cooking, house building, travel, bringing
            in some money. I have two additions to this vision that would help
            to build the tribe beyond a place to live: earning some money from a
            small business and doing service by teaching.

            I run a small business (a winery) in a situation that could be like
            Nancy's vison; there is room for 4 houses, gardens and land to
            produce from. I vision that a group as this could run a business
            shared between some of the members (thus no one person works too
            much). This would produce one source of cash flow for the "tribe".
            There could be other businesses too.

            The other part is to teach. Here is where the "park" could be only
            public during certain times of the year. (Belive me, running the
            winery with its public hours very near my home gets old, I like some
            privacy) By running workshops, hosting outside presenters/teachers,
            by having open house days, the community could help build a vision of
            one different way of living. Maybe the village would include some
            housing for interns, so that others could learn the skills of this
            vision (both on the ground skills and interpersonaly skills) and the
            tribe could have some help and feed back to co-evolve with. Maybe it
            would host a quarter's course for a near by High School or College.

            There is my two bits on this one vision.

            Cheers!

            --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Nancy Dennis"
            <nancydancy@h...> wrote:
            > --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Mark"
            <mdfrost6668@y...>
            > Mark wrote:
            > > >
            > > I conceived of a Tudor style courtyard inn that had a Renaissance
            > > Faire all 365 days a year, with food and entertainment as well as
            > the
            > > ability of our guests to join in. And yes I have been to Camlann
            >
            ...Nancy responded:
            > I'm intrigued with your description, Mark, of a living history
            > project combined with a desire to be self-sustaining. I have been
            > nursing a vision lately that possibly has some similarities—I
            > can't be sure because your description was so sketchy. Rather than
            > ask you a bunch of questions to get more clear on what you are
            > thinking,I've decided to just post my little dream for your
            > comparison. It can serve simultaneously as an introduction to
            > myself, as I have mainly been a lurker on this most interesting
            > list. My vision is obviously of the Neo-tribal variety rather than
            > trying to contemplate a return to a purely Leaver lifestyle. It's
            a
            > little long, but I'm very interested in the responses of anyone who
            > can get through it.
            >
            > A Design Dream
            >
            > Every night for a week now since I finished the Permaculture Design
            > Course, I've found myself inside the same dream. I'm designing
            > something. In that semi-conscious state just before waking, I
            > explore the design situation of the dream more fully: A public
            park
            > demonstrating Permaculture principles.
          • goingtribal2001
            Greetings, I wanted to add to Nancy s vision of a Permaculture Park and her vision of a living community, as it struck me right in my own dream state. I
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 20, 2003
            • 0 Attachment
              Greetings,
              I wanted to add to Nancy's vision of a Permaculture Park and her
              vision of a living community, as it struck me right in my own dream
              state. I thought I could add to the vision. (This is my fist day on
              this site and discussion...I am excited by it already! Thanks)

              I think you are a workable track for the right group of people Nancy,
              I have been seeing a very similar vision, due to my own interest in
              gardening and design. I too love working with others and not in
              isolation; be it gardening, cooking, house building, travel, bringing
              in some money. I have two additions to this vision that would help
              to build the tribe beyond a place to live: earning some money from a
              small business and doing service by teaching.

              I run a small business (a winery) in a situation that could be like
              Nancy's vison; there is room for 4 houses, gardens and land to
              produce from. I vision that a group as this could run a business
              shared between some of the members (thus no one person works too
              much). This would produce one source of cash flow for the "tribe".
              There could be other businesses too.

              The other part is to teach. Here is where the "park" could be only
              public during certain times of the year. (Belive me, running the
              winery with its public hours very near my home gets old, I like some
              privacy) By running workshops, hosting outside presenters/teachers,
              by having open house days, the community could help build a vision of
              one different way of living. Maybe the village would include some
              housing for interns, so that others could learn the skills of this
              vision (both on the ground skills and interpersonaly skills) and the
              tribe could have some help and feed back to co-evolve with. Maybe it
              would host a quarter's course for a near by High School or College.

              There is my two bits on this one vision.

              Cheers!

              --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Nancy Dennis"
              <nancydancy@h...> wrote:
              > --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Mark"
              <mdfrost6668@y...>
              > Mark wrote:
              > > >
              > > I conceived of a Tudor style courtyard inn that had a Renaissance
              > > Faire all 365 days a year, with food and entertainment as well as
              > the
              > > ability of our guests to join in. And yes I have been to Camlann
              >
              ...Nancy responded:
              > I'm intrigued with your description, Mark, of a living history
              > project combined with a desire to be self-sustaining. I have been
              > nursing a vision lately that possibly has some similarities—I
              > can't be sure because your description was so sketchy. Rather than
              > ask you a bunch of questions to get more clear on what you are
              > thinking,I've decided to just post my little dream for your
              > comparison. It can serve simultaneously as an introduction to
              > myself, as I have mainly been a lurker on this most interesting
              > list. My vision is obviously of the Neo-tribal variety rather than
              > trying to contemplate a return to a purely Leaver lifestyle. It's
              a
              > little long, but I'm very interested in the responses of anyone who
              > can get through it.
              >
              > A Design Dream
              >
              > Every night for a week now since I finished the Permaculture Design
              > Course, I've found myself inside the same dream. I'm designing
              > something. In that semi-conscious state just before waking, I
              > explore the design situation of the dream more fully: A public
              park
              > demonstrating Permaculture principles.
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