- Historically, children had chores and responsibilities that taught them how to be an adult.
- Our children were homeschooled, never had television, and were encouraged to pursue entrepreneurial adventures.
- I don’t believe in allowances.
- 50 years ago, 50% of produce grown in America came from backyard gardens. Gardening teaches children about responsibility and nature.
- According to the hygiene hypothesis, sheltering children from dirt and minor pathogens leads to allergies, asthma, and a weaker immune systems.
- Traditional agricultures has always used grazing animals to replenish the soil.
- The circle of life demands that something must die for something to live.
- Animal activists will learn more working on a functioning organic farm with animals than sitting in air-conditioned home, reading articles on the internet.
- Chickens and pigs are great for turning scraps into fertilizer.
- Nobody in the world goes hungry because of lack of food production. What kills people is food distribution problems.
- Heifer International is getting it right, by starting with livestock.
- Not all plants are good. Many grains, grown industrially, devastate our topsoil.
- If people knew more about where food came from, we would all be better off.
- Can you name four vegetables that grow underground? Above ground? Legumes?
- Spend some serious time on a farm.
- Start a backyard vegetable garden.
- Eat more grass-fed beef and less chicken and less pork.
- Raise small livestock (rabbits, chickens).
- Take your kids hunting.
Ch. 3: Hog Killin’s and Laying in the Larder
- The average town only has three days’ supply of food.
- The first supermarket in America appeared in the 1940’s.
- Nobody goes hungry because of lack of food. They go hungry due to a lack of distribution.
- Having all food available all year is not natural.
- Lack of food security, caused by our current system makes us vulnerable.
- Buy more food from local farmers.
- Learn how to preserve food.
- Buy a big freezer and store more food.
- Start a 19th-century hobby.
- Grow some food on your property.
Ch. 4: Wrappings, Trappings, and Foil
- Book: Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman
- Learn how to preserve your own food.
- Learn how to extend your gardening season with cool-season crops like brassicas, carrots, beets, and greens.
- Take your own containers to the farmer’s market and grocery store.
- Reduce or eliminate buying processed foods. They are responsible for all the wasteful packaging.
- Get a ton of stackable, reusable containers.
- Get a good thermos.
Ch. 5: Lawn Farms and Kitchen Chickens
- Long distance distribution now defines the modern food system.
- Half of all food fit for human consumption never gets eaten. Much is lost to long-distance transportation.
- Lots of farmland is going underused because farmers are getting older and the children are not farmers.
- You can’t preserve farmland without preserving farmers.
- Urban farm example: raised beds, chicken yard, worm farm.
- Will Allen, Growing Power in Milwaukee: fish, hoophouses, warm farm.
- Small Plot Intensive Farming (SPIN): half-acre, vertical stacking, polyculture.
- Combining plants and animals gets the best of both worlds.
- America has 35mm acres of lawns and 36mm acres of land for recreational horses. And much more for golf courses.
- Cheap energy masks the true cost of our food system.
- We’ve traded our backyard gardens and neighborhood farms for Chinese imports and mega-crops filled with diseases.
- Plant edible landscape.
- Use marginal land.
- Eat locally.
- Raise backyard chickens.
Ch. 6: Dino-the-Dinosaur-Shaped Nuggets Don’t Grow on Chickens
- People today have forgotten how to cut up a whole chicken.
- Get a slow cooker.
- Today’s kitchen is nothing more than an unpackaging center for packaged food.
- Learn how to cook a complete meal from scratch.
- Process something simple for yourself, like applesauce.
- Everyone pitches in with cleaning up after dinner.
Ch. 7: We Only Serve White Meat Here
- A quarter of all food is now eaten in automobiles.
- Eat more home cooked meals and save more leftovers.
- Eat more soups. They are easy to prepare/store and way better than fast food.
Ch. 8: Disodium Ethylenediaminetetraacetate-Yum!
- Quit buying processed food with ingredients you can’t pronounce. It’s terrible for your gut biome.
- Buy organic and local from farmer’s markets.
Ch. 9: No Compost, No Digestion
- Food that doesn’t decompose isn’t normal.
- Get chickens to turn kitchen scraps into fertilizer.
- Get earthworms to turn kitchen scraps into earthworm castings for your garden.
- Buy only perishable food.
- The only stable foods at ambient temperature are normally nuts and dehydrated foods.
**Ch. 10 The Poop, the Whole Poop, and Nothing but the Poop
- On some farms, half the workload can be shoveling manure.
- Cities in the early 1900’s would suffocate in horse manure.
- Soil fertility is linked to manure.
- Cheap energy led to chemical fertilization.
- Soil is fundamentally a living organism.
- Book: The Complete Book of Composting by Rodale
- Composting + intensive pasture management with herbivores and electric fencing = productive soil.
- We should not be feeding herbivores grain. It’s not their natural diet.
Ch. 11: Park, Plant, and Power
- We are too dependent on cheap oil, even as we are reaching or have reached peak oil.
- Before petroleum people acquired their own energy.
- Before petroleum, people didn’t commute. They lived where they worked.
- Without petroleum, the suburbs will have to become more self-sufficient or else collapse from lack of food.
- Green trend: living where you work
- Green trend: passive solar gains at home
- Green trend: edible landscaping
- Green trend: backyard chickens and rabbits
- Green trend: biodiesel
Ch. 12: Roofless Underground Dream Houses
- Earth-sheltered home are naturally cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
- A methane digester can take care of human waste.
- A solar water heater would run showers and hot water faucets.
- A clothesline would replace a dryer.
- Gray water would irrigate vegetables and fruits.
- Rain water would collect in the cistern.
- A small woodstove would supplement passive solar gain.
- A solar array or windmill would supply energy.
- Earth berming would keep the house cool in the summer.
- Tiny houses are replacing McMansions.
- Buy tiny homes that are built with local materials.
- Book: Fire in America: A Cultural History of Wildland and Rural Fire.
- Book: The Moving Feast
- Hogs in forests help to stimulate growth.
Ch. 13: Grasping for Water
- Water is the most essential and overlooked resource.
- Less than 22 inches of annual rainfall is brittle (vs. temperate.)
- Permaculturists are deep ecologists who understand the need to collect, preserve, and use water efficiently.
- The key concept is to slow down and hold onto rainwater on your land.
- Use water barrels.
- Use greywater instead of clean water for toilets and landscaping.
- Consider alternative toilets like composting toilets or moldering toilets.
- Dig more ponds.
Ch. 14: Mob Stocking Herbivorous Solar Conversion Lignified Carbon Sequestration Fertilization
- Traditional farms used to be very diversified, with varieties of plants and animals working together. Modern farms specialize in one crop or animal.
- Perennials and herbivores build soil naturally.
- Perennials are great for building soil because they put all their energy into accumulating root reserves. They sequester lots of CO2.
- Herbivores forage on these grasslands and close the loop.
- Too much grain production leads to deserts.
- Herbivores + grazing management + grasslands + compost can build great soil on eroded bare rock.
- Traditionally, herbivores (cows, sheep, goats) were a stable and omnivores (chickens, pigs) were a luxury. Grains were expensive.
- Cheap oil reversed this. Omnivores > Herbivores.
- Grassland is as efficient as trees at sequestering carbon.
- Grass + herbivores is nature’s miracle cycle.
- Eat more grass-fed beef, less chicken, less pork, less soy.
Ch. 15: Let’s Make a Despicable Farm
- Today’s animal farms are kept alive only by cheap oil, animal pharma, and money.
Ch. 16: Scientific Mythology: Centaurs and Mermaids Now in Supermarkets
- Buy organic, local, unprocessed, non-genetically modified food.
Ch. 17: You Get What You Pay For
- Farmers are often synonymous with peasants.
- To save our environment, farming needs to attract more of our best and brightest people. Even at the very small-scale with backyard vegetable gardens and chicken coops.
- Buy less, but higher quality food and be willing to pay more if needed.
Ch. 18: Get Your Grubby Hands
- When you tax inheritance, you destroy farms.
- Prosecute anyone who pollutes, especially industrial agriculture.
- Reign back eminent domain.
Ch. 19: Sterile Poop and Other Unsavory Cultural Objectives
- Our legal system is set up to support industrial, mono-species farms, not small, diversified family farms.
Ch. 20: I Hereby Release You from Being Responsible for Me
- Frivolous lawsuits cost millions of dollars.
- Due to the risk of litigation, people confuse safe with sterile.
- Our legal system needs reform.
Ch. 21: I’m from the Government, and I’m Here to Help You — Right
- The two enemies of the people are criminals and government. –Thomas Jefferson
- If we want to raise responsible children, we cannot protect them from every risk.
- Quit buying from industrial food systems.
- The answer is not regulations that limit competition but favor industrial agriculture.
Ch. 22: The Church of Industrial Food’s Unholy Food Inquisition
- The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is the small farmer’s version of the NRA, built to protect small farmers and food rights.