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Jerjoboch Permaculture Learning Center


We don’t need a crystal ball to know that we are not leaving things as good as we found them.

A Legacy of Pollution and Waste

Often when I moved out of a place where I have lived, I tried to make it look better than I originally found it. I would like to do that when I take my final breath, but I am realizing that that might be an arduous task.

When we burn fossil fuels, we release a variety of chemicals into the atmosphere. Since we have to breath air to live, the air that we breathe affects our health. The polluted air we breath puts us at higher risk of respiratory diseases including asthma. Scientific evidence shows that 6-7 hours of exposure to ground ozone, a healthy person’s lung function decreases. Air pollution is mostly carcinogens, therefore, living with pollution increases our risk of cancer. Air pollution also damages the immune, endocrine and reproductive systems. It has also been associated with higher incidents of heart problems.

Toxic chemicals are released into the air and settle on plants and pollutes water sources. Animals eat the contaminated plants and drink the water. The pollution harms our food chain. One of the worst culprits is plastic. Since the 1950s over 800 billion tons of plastic has been created worldwide and only about 9% of it has been recycled. 73% of the beach pollution is plastic and 1.1 million birds and animals are killed annually by plastic. You are eating about 70,000 microplastics every year.

Rainwater and snow can cause water pollution if it is contaminated by chemicals on rooftops and lawns Not only does air pollution affect water, but also sewers empty into rivers, chemicals from farms run down into water, and factories dump hazardous waste into waterways. Dumping trash into waterways has a negative impact on the health of the water and the creatures and plants that rely on it.

The same sources also pollute the land. In addition, in order to artificially increase production, farmers are encouraged to pump chemicals into their fields often at detriment of their bottom line and their own health. These same chemicals erode soils draining it of nutrients. In many cases, modern agriculture has caused the food we eat to have half the nutritional value of the food that our own grandparents ate.

Desertification is a type of land degradation involving loss of biological productivity induced by human activities. Deserts emerge due to the rampant and unchecked depletion of nutrients in soil that are essential for it to remain arable. In just about every case, soil death occurs which traces its cause back to human overexploitation. Desertification is a significant global ecological and environmental problem with far reaching consequences on socio-economic and political conditions and has been the cause of the fall of every major civilization. Today’s forestry and agricultural systems are such that these forms of desertification are accelerated.  

The way we plow the ground destroys microbial soil life and creates a hardpan just a few inches beneath the surface. We pump irrigation water from deep aquafers that cannot be readily recharged and will eventually run dry if we continue at our current rates of removal. In addition, the water we bring up is rich in alkaline mineral salts which get trapped in the hardpan creating a toxic layer that will eventually render the soil unproductive.

Animals are kept in CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) spew toxic wastes This manure became toxic only because humans mismanage it.

There’s Still Time to Save the Planet, Save Your Family, and Even Save Money Doing It

Even if our government is more interested in serving the desires of special interest groups, we can all make a difference on the grassroots level. The first thing we have to do is be willing to educate ourselves and educate our families about the problems we face.

Second, we need to protect our families from the effects of the problems we face. We need decrease (or eliminate!) our use of plastics. We need to recycle everything else. We can filter our drinking water. We can get our food locally or grow it ourselves.

In addition to reducing our use of plastics (which are made from fossil fuels), we can reduce fossil fuel usage by learning to conserve energy. Some ways cost considerable amounts of money, but a lot of them just require a little human ingenuity. Doing things like turning off lights when you leave the room, batching errands you run when using a car or using mass transit, air drying dishes in the dishwasher rather than using the drying cycle, using bulk beans and cooking at home, or buying local fruits and vegetables in season, if done by the major population, will do a lot toward reducing air and water pollution.

Decreasing pollution in the air and water in these ways will save us money, who wouldn’t want that? There’s nothing like a grassroots movement to make a difference, especially in our day of the world wide web, but our biggest tool in our “save our planet, save our legacy” is in education.  There are so many more things that we can do on a larger scale.

Did you know that it takes ten times less energy to raise cows on grass than it does on grain? Did you know that plowing puts more carbon into the atmosphere every spring than any other source and you can see it on NASA satellite imagery? https://climate.nasa.gov/interactives/climate-time-machine

Did you know that there are people who are fighting desertification in some of the driest places on earth (Saudi Arabia, China) and they are actually changing those climates? These and so many more ways can be used to repair the damage that our society has caused our planet. In fact, any one of two or three approaches on a large scale can make enough difference that they can reverse in just ten years all the damage done to the air and water since the beginning of the industrial revolution! Wouldn’t you like to give your posterity a future that includes clean air, clean water, and soil health?

It is possible if we decide to take action now. Research what you can do today! I’ll help in any way I can!

 


Where will the journey of the 2020s take you?

Welcome to 2020, a new year and new decade! Here on this blog I am taking a turn in my life’s journey and devoting How my Spirit Sings down a slightly different path! This new path can be summed up in one word “LEGACY”.

This brings up the question of what does legacy means to me and how will I present that legacy in this blog—How My Spirit Sings?

Back in January 2019, I started immersing myself into prepper, gardening, and permaculture YouTube videos. I realized quite early on that prepping could only take an individual so far. It’s fine for short term, limited area disasters, but if a major event crippled the entire country’s systems, we would need to involve our entire local community if we were going to survive and that community included the natural community. That’s where permaculture came into play.  

For the past three months I have been working on a 22 Lesson course called “The Advanced Permaculture Student” hosted by Matt Powers. I watched all the videos and am now reading through the book and participating in the meetups whenever possible.

Permaculture involves working with the forces of nature rather than against them and it isn’t just some throwback hippy idea either.  During the past couple of decades, many modern farms have abandoned the green revolution of chemical agriculture and turned to cover crops, compost, and regenerative grazing practices. Some, like Greg Judy of Central Missouri, Gabe Brown of Bismarck, North Dakota, and Joel Salatin of Virginia  have created highly profitable farming systems that in many ways exceed the production of neighboring agribusiness farms, at a lower cost, with greater profitability, and without government subsidies at the same time building their soils often by inches per year!

Others like Curtis Stone have taken permaculture principles and brought them into urban settings to produce salad greens and microgreens in front and back yards to sell locally and make a reasonable living.

If you’re thinking that permaculture has to do with permanent farming practices, you’d only be partially right. It is that and much more. It involves recycling and conservation as well.  It involves creating a healthy emotional, mental, physical, creative, and economical environment for the individual, family, community, nation, and even the entire world! It is about creating a legacy for not just for my future posterity, but potentially for all future generations.

My PDC project will be a design of my own land. My advanced permaculture project will be starting to create my legacy of building a permaculture homestead and The Jerjoboch Permaculture Learning Center on my place in Oregon County, Missouri. I’ll be moving there this spring. (I’ll share more about this in the coming months.) On my place, I’ll demonstrate the rudiments of the practices mentioned, but other concepts as they relate to living in harmony with nature and other people with an eye on the future. I see it as a springboard for helping raise Oregon County from being one of the poorest counties in the state and we’ll do it by building soil.

This little sweet potato plant, like my plan for the future, might not look like much yet, but wait a few months and see what develops!

Over the past year, not only did I absorb copious amounts of information regarding permaculture, but I also started doing what I could on my patio here in Springfield. I grew tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, herbs, and potatoes. Just after Thanksgiving I started a sweet potato plant in an ice cream container that will be part of my bigger garden next year. I have regular potatoes wrapped in paper in the refrigerator and seeds in a container waiting to be planted in the ground. I have twelve flowering trees and a dozen strawberry plants waiting to be planted. I am talking with my son Jeremy and his wife about getting farm animals onto the land and I am thinking about getting an LGD (livestock guardian dog) to raise. Everything waiting for the weather to break in a couple months.

In the future, I plan to get into help others locally design their own permaculture homestead and holding workshops and other events and of course writing about my adventure. This past week, I started a new website: Jerjoboch Learning Center check it out! You can check it out here. In addition, here’s The Jerjoboch Learning Center Facebook page where you can follow my progress as well.

What are you planning to do this year regarding your legacy for 2020 and beyond?

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