Listening to Others

Listening can be hard. Listening requires time. Listening requires energy. Listening requires you to ignore your own inner dialogue, so someone else’s can be heard.

Listening is about a single person. Listening is leadership. Listening is not the same as hearing. Listening is natural and easy when we want something. Listening takes skill and can be difficult when we need to listen but don’t know it.

Oddly, if its true that we have to intentionally listen in order to find out what we don’t know and need that means we must do something.

Listen first.

 

 

Why the Southern Apple

On the way to kickstarting an industry of apples in the Southeast I have had to consider what an indigenous apple, actually looks like. They say you have to have some idea about where you’re going before you step off so I’ve certainly considered this a bit. I know one thing about it.

It’s Tough

No, not the difficulty of the project of building tasty apples from seed, but the actual apple itself has to be tough. It may come to surprise some, but your fruit trees have to stand outside in nice weather, and bad. Just remember this:

You go inside when it rains, its cold, or it there is a hurricane. Fruits must live outside.

This is supremely why I will not use dwarf rootstocks, ever. Nor will I advocate for their use.  Isn’t this behavior dangerously close to stealing from future generations? Regardless, plants have to deal with reality, while we deal with abstract ideas, like spreadsheets.

For an actually sustainable and indigenous food system to work life forms must be more adapted to actual earth conditions, than ones modeled on excel. The alternative is a continued race to the bottom, globally.

Today, the Apple’s is Ripe

There has never been a better time for a return of apples growing in the South. There is quite a lot of land throughout the southeast that could immediately be put into apple production today. If people planted apples with similar enthusiasm as they do with crape myrtles the changes in quality of life could be measured as extreme. Yes there are other fruits I am interested in working with on a large scale, but one at a time. (cough: chestnuts, mulberries, honey locusts, others…).

But why spend anytime on the apple?

While others may be interested in figs, apples as a species are just impressive. They have an established record across the genome of having ripe fruit from June through December. Heck, it seems they don’t even seem to mind heat. The real cherry on top is that I believe due to the genetic variability that is often cited as a reason NOT to plant from seed, is actually a strength that gives seedlings the power to out surpasses any use of clonal varieties. Although, we’ll let future tell us which produces with less inputs.

Let’s not forget what the apple can do. The apple can be used as alcohol, vinegar, all the way up to great tasting fruit. Fresh local apples, at any time of the year, is THE 21st century grocery food. I have talked to enough people by now to stake my claim on two facts.

1. Local Fruit is Going to Dominate the Future 2. People Like Apples

Does anybody still believe that humans of tomorrow or going to eat fruit that is half ripened, shipped thousands of miles away, covered in chemicals and has been sitting for a year? Seems reasonable enough to believe that the internet has popped the lid off of that genie.

The worst part about this “extreme” statement is even if you get industrial products fresh they’re still, fruit half ripened, covered in chemicals, and come from thousands of miles away.

I’ll pass for now, and keep working on the apple.
Back to it.

We Live in Linear Time, Reality is Probably Exponential

I’m convinced we live in linear time, but reality is probably moving in exponential time.
 
Life moves excruciatingly fast and if you step out of the moment and see what has come before you may just find things a bit startling.
 
Yesterday we met neighbors for the first time who recently put up a new house in the neighborhood. The couple, in their sixties, had been living in this area their entire life. They told many stories about the massive changes that have occurred during their lifetime, many of which have been in recent memory.
 
“This whole area used to be pasture land not that long ago.”
 
Now, the areas of Southeast Louisiana are almost completely dominated by forests and it wasn’t that long ago that these forests came into being. In fact, where my homestead sits, was formally pasture for a farm. It has since been allowed to go into poorly grown, low quality timber with an understory of invasive brush. The same story can be said about the majority of the Parish and the West Florida Parishes on the Gulf Coast. What remains of the industrial harvests, are unproductive and whimpy pines, china originated “invasive” plants, and a population that doesn’t seem to know one thing or another about what is, was, or should be ecologically.
 
What I discovered that was a bit more shocking than this area was once a different ecosystem, but that this transition didn’t happen long ago. It seemed to have happened right in front of everyone’s eyes, little by little, over the past few decades.
 
“Now people are now building 300 to $500,000 houses in town. They’re building the area up into some sort of ritzy place.”
 
Since Katrina the Northshore has had explosive growth which does not seem to end. The traffic has gotten noticeably worse just within the last few years that I have lived here. Having formerly lived in the DC area I know traffic, and at times this “small town” has some serious traffic.
 
But that is apparently how it goes. The speed of change is happening so greatly that we cannot detect it today, or in our normal lives. Most of us can only look back in comparison and wonder how things could change this fast.
 
Having children makes this even more obvious since you can see rapid development in real time; it can be dizzying. The mistake is thinking that this level of rapid development is only relegated to children. Each of us are experiencing and adapting in our own ways to these speedy changes, however, it seems by the time that you become older you may find yourself a dinosaur completely out of place.
 
All the more reason to invest in a more prosperous future. This is why I plant fruit.

 

There is Only One First Post

There comes a time in one’s living experience that they feel compelled to write. Sometimes its after a particular experience where we know we will forget after the fleeting moments have ended. Other times in conversations we may realize the value of something we have achieved and until then never considered the information worth sharing.

So I’ll write.

I build living systems and let them evolve.

Since one of the most valuable human resources (food) for ourselves and perogenity is at stake, I try to minimize distractions. I hope my writings serve you in your quest for building a better future.