Episode-1033- Fodder Systems and Brian Newhouse on Permaville — 29 Comments

  1. On the community aspect.. interpersonal dynamics within intentional communities are what makes or breaks a community.

    As a society, we’ve largely lost our ‘tribal communal’ skills, and with increased wealth our dependence or ‘need’ for each other.

    Many would like to ‘master plan’ an intentional community.. but that’s not a community, its a fiefdom.

    How do community members come together, and then come to agreement, on how they will act AS A GROUP to form the community they wish to live in? How do they determine/assign responsibilities and privileges? How are disagreements settled?

    The technical stuff is easy. The communal (people) stuff is hard. So people like to focus on the technical (the fun stuff) and ignore the hard part… (IMO)

    • Cohousing has been dealing with these intentional community issues for several decades, and is worth looking at. (IMO)

  2. I’ve been researching fodder systems for a while and thought I would share my two best resources found so far:

    This is a highly scientific look at fodder for beef cattle and an analysis on the claim that you don’t actually get much benefit on a dry matter basis compared to the pure barley grain. Great solid data in this report! My conclusion, I think that you may actually loose a bit of dry matter value in an average home production setup but this is assuming you are ok with feeding pure barley grain. I prefer to feed my ruminants grass 🙂 and am ok with a little loss in this area.

    These are blog posts documenting the successful path of trial to full production on an alpaca farm. David, who runs this blog, has been super responsive and available to the gobs of questions that have been thrown at him. Props to him for his reader support. There are 3 or 4 posts with nice pictures. Give his blog a look and ask hims some questions.

    • Great links!

      I keep bumping the DIY fodder system down on my to do list, but I think I might have to get it going as soon as I wrap up my current projects. I figured it would be a better project for the winter season anyway, as I had all the greens I needed for the rabbits during the summer.

      I’ve been wondering if the quail would like it as well, seems like an interesting experiment.

      Here’s another link of a guy in Tasmania that put a fodder system in and essentially cut his rabbit feed bill in half. Well, double his number of rabbits for the same amount of money.
      Cliff notes version:

      Feed cost:
      Pre-fodder system
      $760 / 3 weeks for 110-130 rabbits, $1.94-$2.3 per rabbit per week
      Post fodder system
      $760 / 3 weeks for 210 – 230 rabbits, $1.10-$1.20 per rabbit per week

      I can’t see a diy system like this costing more than $50-$100 depending on what materials you already had.

    • For malt you want sprouts, not grass. I made a small bag of malt once (for baking) by roasting rye sprouts in the oven (it took a while) and grinding them in a coffee grinder. I made the rye sprouts the same way you’d make a jar of bean sprouts. I bet you could find equipment to make the sprouting and roasting easier.

  3. To use more of our natural gas, human power and alternative fuels instead of oil we should make our electric cars able to run on a monorail maglev toll-way system with a computer control system to keep space between cars to travel to far away destinations. An electric maglev monorail system could use natural gas, passenger pedal power & renewably generated electricity and the electric/highway/natural gas right of ways. We could also use the system to transmit electricity from any generated power from wind and solar farms to the cities. It can be programed to automatically exit you at your destination with fully charged electric batteries of your car to take you to your final destination. We can use a system like a toll system to charge for system maintenance, electricity, taxes, WIFI, etc. used to get to your destination. Regenerative breaking can be used to help keep power up and charge my batteries. Better to build an electric transportation system and Smart Grid than another oil pipeline to increase employment. This system could also be used to speed cargo pods to final exits and loaded onto a final delivery truck. The shortage of long haul truck drivers also wouldn’t be needed if this system was in place. I would have MY car to travel to my final location at high speed not relying on cabs, buses, etc. This seems like it would solve a lot of our transportation problems. GREAT SHOW!

  4. Jack, my blood pressure was slightly elevated, but it went down with 2 teaspoons of flaxseed oil per day. It looks like a lack of omega-3’s and vitamin D has a role in causing most of the “diseases of civilization” we suffer from today. They also noticeably improve everyday health.

    Of course, Paleolithic man had no need for these supplements.

  5. The idea of Permaville is great in many respects, and its general concept — each community being able to sustain itself with reliance on a general grid — is something I believe will save lives and liberties. I do have questions, however: I am an unyielding believer in the power and natural rights of the individual over the collective, and that charity comes from the heart of individuals giving of their own agency. In Permaville, will all these “protected wilderness areas” Mr. Newhouse speaks of in his website be closed to man’s footprints, and who designates these areas? (See the United Nations’ Wildlands Project or Agenda 21 for what should be avoided in this regard — not that Permaville is that, but I mean to avoid the idea of “nature over man.”) Mr. Newhouse says on his website that the “community” in Permaville will “share wealth” for the benefit of the poor, etc. Does he mean, by “share,” “redistribute” by municipal gov’t program, or individuals’ voluntary charity? Is Permaville created by private contract and cooperation at the local level, or does Mr. Newhouse believe the state/fed. Gov’t should be involved in creating “sustainable communities” (back to avoiding an Agenda 21 scenario).
    Again, I love the idea of Permaville, but the old questions of who, what, when, where, how, why (and by whom) are still necessary to be asked. A free community with sustainable rerources can be built only by free individuals with their natural rights protected — this is, in my view, true Permaville.

    • Matthew, first I totally disagree on making some land “off limits to human foot prints” but I don’t mind that Brian wants that in his Permavilles. Who decides what? As each community is made up of privately owned property, the owners do.

      I may set up a place some day with 100 acres, 30 may be “zone 5” not to be cultivated only used for hunting, foraging and very selective timber harvest. You may do 100 acres and have no zone 5 only a zone 4 which is agroforest. Brian may follow the example of the Hawaiian natives and have a zone that is the “land of the Gods” and not to be stepped on. None of us are wrong.

      Now Brian is likely being sucked in somewhat with the concepts being pushed by what we call Agenda 21, but since he is actually doing something rather then sitting on his ass listening to celebrities it doesn’t bother me. He will sort it out, when it is your blood sweat and tears that builds something all of the sudden what some group of elitist assholes wants stops seeming like it is important in anyway.

      In short if you want to buy land and say no one can walk on part of it, I am okay with it. If they want to do that as a government component I look at it as violation of the Constitution. What other nations do though? I don’t get a voice in that as long as they don’t impose it on the US.

      • Thank you for the clarification, Modern Survival. I agree that one’s private property is his castle. If like-minded individuals freely linking arms to form a self-sustained community is all Mr. Newhouse means when speaking of Permaville, then I am all for it. In that case, he is echoing philosopher John Locke (and thus our Founding Fathers) when he spoke of the “social contract.”

        To your last paragraph, Modern Survival, (and regarding Agenda 21), I hope that, since we are speaking of SELF-sustained communities, I would exhort not only you but everyone to pay attention to your town/city councils, zoning plans, park proposals, etc. for any programs that borrow from or are part of Agenda 21 (particularly through the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, or ICLEI).

        “In the United States, over 528 cities are members of ICLEI, an international sustainability organization that helps to implement the Agenda 21 and Local Agenda 21 concepts across the world. The United States has nearly half of the ICLEI’s global membership of 1,200 cities promoting sustainable development at a local level. The United States also has one of the most comprehensively documented Agenda 21 status reports.” — from the well-documented Wikipedia article on Agenda 21

        We may not have much say over what the feds do, but we can work towards making our own versions of Permaville by holding fast to our municipal/ county gov’ts from oppressive intrusions.

        God bless, and thanks again.

        • @Matthew have a listen to todays show when it goes live in just a bit, it is all about this concept, not the Agenda 21 part, the other part, I think you will like it.

        • Hey Matthew and Jack,
          Thanks for your responses. I actually hadn’t heard of Agenda 21 before your posts. It seems like a top down approach to help people on a local level be more self-sufficient but still maintain some kind of global authority. Interesting, but sounds kind of vague and a bit contradictory – help people become self-sufficient but maintain authority? Hmm.

          I’m not trying to impose whether people should or shouldn’t be able to walk on certain parts of their land and I’m not trying to create a fiefdom where I can be the boss. We live in an age where we have to pay to live. I just want to live in a place where I don’t accrue debt by being alive. I think many people share these sentiments. In order to shift away from this centrally-controlled, highly-dependent society, we have to consider the raw elements we need for survival – water, food, sanitation, etc – as well as the more advanced elements like electricity and technology.

          Because we are all the same animal, the elements are the same. Where ever you live, you will need food and you will need some form of transportation. But how you decide to grow food or move around is up to the people living in that community. Permaville is simply a guide to say, if you are interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle, here are some questions, strategies and solutions you could implement in your community to make your life easier.

          Thank you for your comments,

        • @Brian,

          The thing with Agenda 21 is it has the worst influence on people who have never heard of it. The danger is if you go the way of Alex Jones you will see it in everything, even where it doesn’t exist, hell Glenn Beck is going over to that dark side now.

          The basic concept is people should all live in densely packed cities where they are easy to control. Now people don’t like being controlled and many don’t like cities so you sell it to them as “sustainability” the UN calls it “sustainable development”. Farms become giant mechanized concerns churning out GMOs all in the name of sustainability. In some places this is really evident.

          For instance in one county in Washington now you can’t even develop a piece of land in rural areas smaller then 50 acres. All in the name of keeping the country side beautiful. The existing small farms are left alone but as the owners die off they are amalgamated into the collective. City folks have been sold the idea that when they take a dive in the country it “shouldn’t be littered with dozens of small farm houses and homesteads”, instead there should be big beautiful fields. Acres USA just did an article on this. THIS FLAT OUT IS AGENDA 21, this is the goal.

          Now some cities and towns have started putting in bike paths in fact a lot of them have. To many fighting Agenda 21, that is also Agenda 21, to many others that is crazy talk. To me it isn’t that simple, the question I have to ask is simply why the path is going in now and why the points it joins were chosen. For God sake we can say putting in bike paths in and of itself is evil! That is insane but those that want total control use the sensible to eventually sell you on tyranny.

          We need a balance approach against Agenda 21 and permaculture should be part of it. The problem is many in the permaculture movement are suckered in, because they have never heard of it and if someone tells them about it they write it of as conspiracy anti government gun nut nonsense. What we need to teach people in the permaculture movement is simple.

          To shepherd land you must have access to it and you must have the rights to how you manage your land that you own. This land must be yours and you must control it. If private property rights are not respected that can’t happen. Some people don’t respect these rights and not everything being done in the name of “sustainability” is something that fits well with permaculture.

          This is important because the goal of Agenda 21 among other things is this. Everywhere that is red is a place you can’t go

          It is important that you understand this for two reasons if you are to be a voice in Permaculture

          1. The people behind it claim to be your friends all while setting up an unsustainable system designed to control people and destroy private property rights. With out that, permaculture is as good as dead. Sure a city may come to its senses and plant fruit trees in a park from time to time but all the real work in permaculture is done with private money on private lands. The people in the movement need to know that much of what is sold to them by government is a lie, it is the collective actions government and large corporations that created every single problem that Permaculture is attempting to solve. Permaculturists need to realize they need to stop holding the companies 100% responsible and giving government a pass. They both get equal blame and neither should be trusted.

          2. Permaculture needs to grow and the largest group of people receptive to it are of a libertarian bent. If you are not aware of things like Agenda 21 you will say things that such people will naturally connect to it. It will actually harm you even more if they realize you don’t know anything about it. For instance saying anything about how the “UN defines sustainability” it going to get people on the opposite side of your even if you don’t mean anything by it.

          Agenda 21 is a classic example of what I mean when I say our leaders are playing chess while we fight about checkers. Globalists convincing local governments that what the globalist wants is the local communities idea and that it is good for the local community.

          In short if communities want to be sustainable they should focus on what to do rather than what to restrict. But the UN and their surrogates are using one to sell the other. It makes it very difficult to fight, this is why some consider anything “green” evil failing to realize that is part of the plan. The more that side opposes everything period the crazier they look and the more ostracized they become.

        • It didnt let me reply to your latest post, Jack. this is in response to that post…

          Thanks for the good info on Agenda 21. Surely, people need to be conscious of the government’s agenda – basically reject anything coming from any government agency. All government arms are connected and are each conspiring to lead us to a centralized world government/Agenda 21.

          I would think the first part of our defense should be to, as you mentioned, fight and reject policies under the guise of “sustainability” or any other “eco-agriculture” BS backed by large corporations or government agencies.

          And the other part of our defense should to move our ass and install a myriad permaculture projects in our homes and communities and educate the masses on the benefits of permaculture, ie water, food, energy and financial security.

          The challenge often comes down to education and/or money. People need to be educated on permaculture and people need to learn how they can make a living by moving toward a permaculture lifestyle.

          I tried to write Permaville so someone off the street could read through it, answer the questions and by the end of the book have a complete knowledge of over 180 potential installations, know how to write an element installation and maintenance plan, learn how to configure a budget and estimate the specific products or income – ie chicken eggs, vegetables, energy surplus – they would produce after their installation. This “course” is modeled off the already functioning Permaculture Design Course.

          Money is the other major obstacle for moving forward. If people take their PDC seriously, or follow through as they read through Permaville… I think people could bank the knowledge and management tools necessary to make a living doing this. Then it’s just a matter of putting your money where your mouth is and move forward with your plan.

          As you said, “if communities want to be sustainable they should focus on what to do rather than what to restrict.” Make a plan, invest, install, maintain and educate.

          What other obstacles are keeping people from getting involved in permaculture?

  6. I wanted a place like Permaville, and thought this place would do. The people and environment were great, but some are too progressive for this libertarian, and they don’t allow guns, but they’ve done the hard work of making it work out, so I recommend taking a look at it.

    The Farm is profiled on CNN Headline News (HLN) throughout the month of December on a new show called “Making It In America”
    Check their web site for more information.

    The Farm is an intentional community of families and friends living on three square miles in southern middle Tennessee.
    We started The Farm in 1971 with the goal of establishing a strongly cohesive, outwardly-directed community. We want, by action and example, to have a positive effect on the world.

    Over the last 40+ years, The Farm has become well known for many things, from natural childbirth and midwifery to healthy diet and vegetarian cuisine, creative arts and alternative technologies to its partnerships and assistance to native cultures.

    We choose to live in community where we share our lives and fortunes, good times and hard times. We feel that we can be stronger and more useful together than we could be separately.

    Coming Up:
    Farm Experience Every Month Starting Feberuary 2013
    Check out our calendar for the full event schedule

    • @Aayla, I think for those with the libertarian ideal the solution is build your own. We can say what we want about progressives but hey have built more places like this then we have. 10 people with 10 grand a piece can do a lot with some agreement and a good work ethic.

  7. P.S. The Farm started as a hippy commune, but it’s not anymore. Everyone lives on their own land and have paying jobs or businesses. They teach classes on ecology and things perma.

  8. I agree @Jack, I’m just suggesting tweeking a good thing to make it better yet, rather than starting from scratching and taking another forty years to perfect it.

  9. I have been researching/involved with fodder systems for a while now. I’m in the NON-CORN ETHANOL business and I ahve a quote from a gentleman that claims 4 10×40 shipping containers will yield approx 4-6 tons of cellulosic material PER DAY.

    But I guess BIG OIL will somehow find a way to claim fodder systems and corn are similar and we should not be converting fodder to fuel either.

    By the way Jack, loved your show providing business ideas. I presented the same aquaponics idea to my uncle back in 2010. we built a demonstration model and then funds became too tight for us to continue.

  10. The “Progressive” vs. “libertarian” question in intentional community should be an expression of what the bioregion can support, not the mindset of whichever people happen to settle it.

  11. I’ve been feeding sprouted grains to my birds (parrots) for years. I soak the seed or grains, (oats, barley, millet, wheat) overnight, then drain and rinse them in taconics ( plastic containers designed for transporting small rodents. they have holes on sides and in lids). Then I let them sprout without any further attention for a day or 2 other than stiring them up in the morinings when I feed. I’ve never tried to get them to grow like you would wheat grass, but am working on a way to do that now since I’m planning on getting a hog to raise and would like it “pastured” and I don’t have enough land to do that at the house. Soaking the grain overnight really gets the sprouting process started quickly.

  12. Interesting show but I was puzzled when you and your guest talked about the interest budget being $414 billion. That was fiscal year 2010 when the average Tbill rate was higher. Fiscal year 2012 the interest cost is $225 billion. That will rise again when rates go up, the CBO estimates FY 2017 budget to be $566 billion which is really really big, however the $1.5 trillion per year number you guys were talking about is quite a bit off.

    • That’s because your numbers, well their numbers do not include the third set of books, aka the black books and they don’t include newly incurred unfunded liabilities.

  13. I was really excited to hear the info on growing fodder. I had just had a conversation about rising rabbit feed prices and feeding rabbits without pelleted food. Trying learn what I could about fodder, I came across quite a lot of info and videos. I would like to pass along what seemed the best info for growing fodder for a small homestead setup. I found it at half-pint homestead. They put out some useful videos and if your don’t want to build your own, they also sell kits.


    • We are getting our rabbits in a week or two. We already grow fodder for our farm and they will get it too. Our plan is half fodder and half pellets for their daily ration and then some alfalfa hay for roughage.