The Better Earth Institute

Month: June, 2017

Short Version

There are many ways improve land’s hospitability to humans (as well as other creatures).

In some places merely introducing the seeds of some plants, without adding fertilizer or directing water, will lead to the growth of those plants and the consequent growth of other plants. Perhaps one plant grows which attracts animals and the animals bring both urine (source of water) and feces (source of fertilizer and other seeds) and this leads to growth of new plants. This animal may also lead to the presence of other animals which leads to more urine (source of water) and feces (source of fertilizer and other seeds) and the cycle continues.

Other places could require some simple irrigation ¬†and the addition of seeds and soil matters to increase fertility and catalyze the processes discussed in the previous paragraph. I say simple irrigation to mean methods such as digging trenches or setting up simple systems of water containment and distribution – methods that may have a reasonable labor cost but low dollar cost. Ideally, we can figure out something like “dig a trench near the bottom of a hill that will collect water such that more plants can grow” – this process would simply require working with a shovel – work that many people can do.

We want to facilitate change in ways that people can do on their own with little training and little funding; we cannot wait till everyone has an extra $100,000 to create some rural side-projects. Perhaps the government will decide this to be a worthy task and will create permaculture paradises all over the country, but until then – it seems better to work towards facilitating the simplest least expensive in dollars methodologies.

Orienting towards methods of relatively unskilled labor turning to things like: food production and shelter production leads to real empowerment and freedom that rises above economic competitive factors that can otherwise put someone in a crushing position attempting to sell their time as low-skilled labor – which is ever more difficult when that person must pay rent or buy housing for tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If everyone could build their own shelter and grow their own food – AND they owned their own shelter space and foodspace AND their annual costs associated with these assets were relatively negligible – THEN they would be able to accept a wide variety of work for much lower pay without losing out so much.

It’s not that people of today actually NEED to even earn $1,000 a month to live. It’s that people of today that do not have housing paid for nor food readily available for direct acquisition not requiring financial exchange – that need much more than $1,000 a month to live.

I’m envisioning situations in the US where people have perhaps an acre and a shelter and they paid $5,000-$10,000 for it (or less). Their annual property tax may be $50-$100. And that’s it. Their water comes from the earth and sky. ¬†Their food comes from soil, sun, and water. Their home comes from the earth, trees, rocks, water, and their labor.



Attainable Sustainable Accessible Path

Here’s what I want to do: I want to connect properties from around San Diego all the way up to Seattle that are around 30 miles of average distance from each other (around 50 properties) and to use sustainable rain gathering techniques (which would likely also function as a roof/greenhouse/or shade structure) so that there would naturally be enough water for a visitor to drink their fill (probably using some filter) and to plant location appropriate beneficial plants at each location.

I want to do this with essentially the least expensive available properties so that if other people, especially young people, wish to do something like this, then there will not be a huge financial barrier. Most of the properties I have looked at are in the below $10,000 range and my expectation of infrastructure costs per property is around $5,000.

So for $750,000 I expect to be able to accomplish the following:

1. Purchase around 50 properties ranging from the San Diego US Mexico border up to near Seattle and the US Canada border.

2. At each of the sites establish a passive method for water collection so that visitors to the property would have a source of water to drink directly or to purify and drink. In most places I expect this method to also double a shade structures, greenhouses, or sleeping platforms. They would also possibly attach to solar shower set ups. When possible, use time-tested natural methods utilizing on-site resources.

3. At each of the sites, plant location appropriate beneficial plants with the long term goal of having significant caloric yield of edible plant matter in each property so that if a person would wish to, they could sustain a trip traversing the entire 50 property path entirely or nearly entirely from the food matters produced on these lands

4. At each of the sites, set up sustainable and independent waste management systems at each location or use appropriate natural methods.

5. I would also put money aside to ensure that all property taxes are paid for and there’s at least 10 years of resources available. I don’t expect generating revenue by donations or payments for use to be difficult given that the annual property tax on the entire range of sites should cost less than 2% of assessed value.

From there, I would open this path up to paying customers and to unique positive influencers wishing to help pave the way for a more sustainable accessible lifestyle. So that we can show the world that sustainable living connects us across the country (and beyond) and that it can EMPOWER us too and overall just feel FUN and inspire feelings of awe.

I want people to feel like they can travel over 1,000 miles EASILY over the course of a month by setting up hospitable sites with lush edible plant-life in easily accessed distances. 30 miles of cycling is a reasonable expectation of fitness for most ages and sizes.

I want people to feel like they can also access land that’s affordable for them and that we can take land that doesn’t look like much and turn it into something we desire and realize with our effort we can contribute to it and turn deserts into oases and so forth.

Having this connected path will make many rural parts of the country more accessible and attractive. This will help people realize what some directed efforts can do to make a place more inviting and how plant-life and water can make an impact.

I expect that this will lead to some creation of new communities and settlements where people can benefit from nature and the fruit of their labor. Imagine if all high school graduates could own an acre of land that they could access through an epic couple days or weeks of biking. Imagine if each of these places had some source of water for them to start a garden or to use the water to create natural building materials. Imagine if YOU could have an acre of land with water, shade, a place to rest safely, and a growing garden. Imagine if you had that acre paid off and only had negligible annual property tax payments (like $25 per year).

Imagine accessible freedom not just for you, but for society at large.

Please help me create this into a reality.

You can contact me (510)473-6282