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209: Fish In the Water


KMO welcomes Tara Holste to the program to talk a bit about J.R.R. Tolkien and the so-called environment before moving into Tara's shift away from a pre-occupation with a standard bouquet of liberal ideological positions to a focus on food and farming, hearth and home. A Shannon Hayes clip from Diet Soap Podcast #59 and a reading from a recent blog post by Neil Kramer round out the episode.

Music by The Same Damn Thing


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 10th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
Illuminating the other path
Great discussion that touches on some topics that are very near and dear to my heart.

Tara calls her 'withdrawal' from the political arena a selfish act, yet I am convinced that when we seek activities and interactions that cultivate our fullest self (i.e. I'm happiest when...) those actions will help restore the world far beyond the actions of her friends. Tara illuminated a truth in that the political arena (the marching, protesting, whatever) is just that...it is a stage. And those that participate on the stage are often just perpetuating the system. They might shift things slightly one way or the other, but at the end of the day most of us 'activists' are significant contributors to the economy that feeds the government and corporations that we are fighting against.

I have often thought that farms, sustainable food centers, urban food networks could be a potential place of real social change because by meeting basic needs, and using the system approaches like permaculture/lazy farming people could be free to pursue passion, set real, inspiring alternatives and it could even be the foundation of a powerful political change. By reducing the need for money, exchanging labor for food and cultivating an ecosystem of innovation and political action people could both step outside the existing arena and start to change the rules of the game.

But whatever, I digress. My main desire was to thank you and Tara for this episode and also provide a couple related resources for those interested:

In Santa Cruz there is the Homeless Garden Project http://www.homelessgardenproject.org/ which might be of interest to Tara if she doesn't know about it already. I have long thought that farms could be a restorative place for those that have a more transient life...very exciting to hear that someone is actually trying to make that a reality.

Also, for those interested in pushing further into the topic of humans as active, beneficial participants in their ecosystems: there is a wonderful book by M. Kat Anderson called "Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources"

Just as you and Tara noted, humans are here to stay (at least for now) and as resources deplete and pollution rises, we will be forced to get back to more regenerative forms of living (which are much happier forms of living anyway!) The taboos that indigenous people have/had about things like net size, taking appropriate portions, avoiding excess...maybe it's the cynic in me, but I doubt that those arose simply out of good will and a desire to be in harmony with nature. My guess is that many of them came from hard lessons. So I'm glad that folks like Tara are forging an alternative path and setting examples of different modes of being. When the hard lessons come, we will have options to choose from and inspirations to turn to thanks to the work of folks like you, Tara and so many others.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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