[permaculture] Re: [] () Berkano

Treesa Jane Rogerson treemail at cruzio.com
Sat Oct 12 04:42:38 EDT 2002

nutty, I agree.  no offense, Brave Experimentalist, yet:

a truly primitive person, wishing to attain optimum health?  STAYING in a
cold rocky region?  To farm?  Down in the warm belts the fruits are lobbing
off the trees at you.  Basic instinct tells me to go where it is warm.

not using the TOOLs he knows are available and can fashion?

learn how to start fire by friction.  What an achievement!  oh, but that's

well so are the fruit trees really, and the domesticated animals you talk of

We like to project a lot of disgust onto "technology."  as if it is evil.
But story-telling to remember how to plant the seeds and pray for rain, or
how to dance for that matter, is high-yield primitive technology!  Maybe I
should get my history right and go back further, to the stone age, but as
soon as you start banging rocks together to create a blade or just make a
sound to arrest your isolation, you will be a technological creature.

I am reminded of the recent discussion about what is native.  It's like:
'what is primitive?'

Is there such thing as retro-active primitivism?

All of that work you do will take technologia and techne--systems treatment
and art, respectively.
Killing no animal and being so isolationist seems like living in a bubble,
not PART of nature's  life-death trade.  Though a meditation retreat and
commune with land,eating raw foods, would be well worth your time.

I'd rather honor the gifts from the ancestors, with lower inputs from
off-site as close to zero as possible.

I want to do it in my own life.  Just walk outside, and around, and say
'okay.  I am here, no going out, no purchases, nothing.'  See if I can start
there, with all the materials and resources I am not even aware that I got.
I think that I would develop a 'must-have' list after such an experiment.
And I would remember all the apple cores I tossed into the highway medians
as an adult, without putting them into my little seed pouch.

I prefer to experiment with new eyes, but keep the gifts of the
ancestors--fire, foot pedaled sewing machine, needle, wool blanket, happy
angora goat,... etc...


> === AKA: The Berkano Project ===
> Many people seem to be interested in the viability of a
> lifestyle with minimum impact on the ecology and environment.
> It is suggested by countless studies and hypotheses that more
> reliance on agriculture and less reliance on sevice and
> technology will actually increase the overall quality of life.
> Mainstream research has been done on methods of farming,
> sheltering, production, and consumption, and the common trend
> is toward economic efficiency with little or no practical
> emphasis on sustainability or gestalt ramifications.
> I am dissatisfied with the data currently available and I
> believe that too many issues are left empirically
> unqualified.  Therefore I am beginning the documentation of a
> lifelong study on sustainable and ecologically harmonious
> living.  The purpose of this study is to gather the results of
> attempts to live sustainably and publish those results for the
> benefit of research.
> This is a request for assistance from all parties interested in
> the research, preparation, execution and documentation of every
> stage of a Primitive Survival and Sustainable Agriculture
> venture that I will personally execute. The full experimental
> phase of the project will commence after I have gathered a
> satisfactory base of information deemed cogent and thorough
> enough to ensure the success of the experiment and to minimize
> hardship to myself.  Please read on for clarification and to
> determine if you can help or be benefitted by helping supply
> the information I request.
> There are many modes of obtaining shelter, food, healthcare,
> and satisfying basic human needs.  Current human civilization
> reflects myriad variations of means to these ends.  It is my
> task to determine scientifically what means are the most
> efficient from a total world view and from a total individual
> view.
> Current capitalist societies and economies seek to deliver a
> maximum amount of goods and services to the individual, while
> entirely ignoring the long-term effects on the individual when
> supplying him/her with short-term goods and services under the
> description of essentials for survival.  I believe that it is
> necessary for an individual to test and experiment with all
> means of production available for supplying all basic needs and
> the maximum amount of wants on an entirely individual level,
> using every sustainable means possible, with exacting attention
> to the long-term cost/benefit analysis in every action and
> transaction.
> *** A. Experimental Hypothesis:
> 1. It is possible and desirable for the means of production to
> remain based on agriculture with a minimum of technological
> innovation.
> 2. An agrarian lifestyle is the most natural and healthful
> lifestyle for the individual.
> 3. If one is to witness dramatic improvements in the
> life-quality of the individual, one can generally assume that
> the individual actions that promote that life-quality can be
> applied to a group or society, if exported for social economy.
> 4. No society has lived a PURE agrarian lifestyle in recorded
> history, with a handful of exeptions on which there is very
> limited and obscured data.  Therefore, an individual living a
> PURE agrarian lifestyle is stepping into rediscovered territory
> that will cause effects on quality of life that are heretofore
> unqualified by historians and researchers.
> 5. The definition of 'pure agrarian lifestyle' can only be
> codified by the experiment itself.
> 6. Minimum discovery and emphasis on acute observation are the
> order for successfully embarking on pure agrarianism, if it is
> at all possible and sustainable on an individual level.
> 7. An individual can subsist in absolute self-sufficience and
> self-reliance with the proper education and discipline.  Any
> mode of living is generally learned by experience, example, and
> trial-error.
> 8. A pure agrarian lifestyle will impart hardiness, health, and
> longevity far in excess enjoyed by a technologically advanced
> individual or group.  Less-than-pure agrarianim will not likely
> have these benefits.
> *** B. Control Group:
> 1. Society, including all people, businesses, entities, ruling
> bodies, contracts, laws, mores, and everything that makes
> society.
> *** C. Experimental Group:
> 1. Myself, Berkano Berchta, all my ideas, beliefs, convictions,
> actions and all input gained pursuant to this experiment.
> *** D. The Experiment and Factors of Focus:
> 1. Goal: Live primitively on the land for a period of no less
> than 5 years and gather data on all means of production and
> survival during this period.
> 2. Restrictions: Subsist entirely via agricultural means
> without the benefit of any technology above the stone age, with
> a few exceptions that will be noted.  When enough skill with
> stone age technology is obtained, dispense with any newer
> technology and continue experiment.  Kill no animal of any kind
> for food, clothing nor shelter.  Procure all necessities from
> plant or earth sources.
> 3. Goal: Maintain optimum health without any modern medical
> intervention, including treatment of possible injuries.
> 4. Goal: Attempt to limit contact with other individuals to
> zero if possible.  Above that, take every reasonable measure to
> limit contact and note the psychological effects.
> 5. Compare all results to the results obtained by general
> modern society and try to explain the differences and
> similarities via evidence.
> 6. The survival experiment will take place in a remote and
> rugged region in the Rocky Mountains, situated near the alpine
> level where rainfall is normally at least double that in the
> arid lower valley and chapparal regions.  Shelter and farming
> will commence in close proximity to a clean, natural water
> supply.  I will plant staple foods and attempt to live as best
> as possible without any type of cooking, and without heat
> preservation of food.  The winters are long and harsh, while
> the summers are short and alternately hot and cool.  It is
> generally a cold climate but farming is possible and not too
> difficult.  Emphasis on food will include subsisting as much as
> possible on the local edible wild plants, and farming will be
> more for winter foods than spring and summer foods.
> *** E. Precursory Data Mining: (Here is the area where other
> individuals can best assist).  Any suggestions for the
> following queries will be greatly appreciated.  When posting to
> the Usenet, please courtesy copy to
> berkano[nospam]@netzero.net, as some Usenet servers are
> unpredictable and do not reliably propogate posts to and from
> other servers.
> 1. What wild plants will serve as food sources, and during
> which seasons?
> 2. How are plant food sources identified?
> 3. How are poisonous plants avoided?
> 4. What are the best methods for harvesting wild plant food?
> 5. What are the best plants for winter food storage, and how
> are they preserved?
> 6. What varieties of garden vegetables and fruits will grow
> best in the enviroment, and which ones are least likely to
> upset the local wild ecosystem?
> 7. What varieties of garden foods are best for winter storage
> in primitive conditions without using fire heat to preserve
> them?
> 8. How can one increase resistance to cold to minimize the use
> of firewood for heat?
> 9. How can clothing be made from plant sources without tools?
> 10. How can tools be made from natural, non-animal sources?
> 11. How can well-insulated shelter be made without tools?
> 12. What are the best fruit and nut trees for high-elevation,
> cool climates?
> 13. Which fruit and nut trees have the fastest yield time?
> 14. What are some methods for preparing soil for seed?
> 15. What are some useful natural methods of pest control to
> minimize crop damage?
> 16. What types of domestic animals can live in the Rocky
> Mountain Climate with a minumum of human care for their feeding
> and upkeep (such as work animals for plowing or animals for
> companionship)?
> 17. Can any indigenous creatures be tamed, and are any good for
> productive use other than using them for food?
> 18. How can natural paper, ink, dies, and cloth be made in the
> region?
> 19. What medical issues such as prevention, treatment, and
> medicines can be explored?
> 20. What location (anywhere in a mountainous region of the
> Western United States with afforesaid climate) could be best
> for this experiment, and why?  What is the best way of
> minimizing costs for a land purchase?
> *** F. Summary:
> Basically, I will be taking a minumum of supplies, such as
> seeds, first aid equipment, and writing paper to a remote, wild
> area and will attempt to live as primitively as possible for as
> long as is feasible.  Therefore it will be necessary that I am
> equipped with a wealth of information and skills for
> accomplishing this.  I did a similar stint of about 6 months,
> but that was for fun, not for gathering data.  I expect to do
> this for several years unless some emergency or disaster
> requires me to quit the project.
> One can expect me to live in a sturcture analogous to a wigwam,
> tent, teepee, or yurt, depending on which will be best suited
> to the situation.  Although I do know how to build a log cabin
> from the ground up, I do not anticipate doing this as it would
> be very, very labor intensive and time consuming.  I want
> instead to focus on attaining the maximum amount of simplicity
> so I can devote attention to the agricultural and health
> aspects of such a lifestyle.
> Please submit as much feedback as you feel compelled to offer.
> I will attempt to answer all questions as soon as possible.
> Please be sure to post to Usenet and email me a courtesy copy
> of any posts, to ensure everyone can see the discourses on this
> subject.
> I have started a website to chronicle this project, but it is
> under construction and hardly worth looking at at this time
> because I am still trying to code the look and feel of the
> site.  The URL is http://www.veg.101main.com.  In the futrure
> the site will have a page and discussion forum for this
> project.
> Thank you,
> == Berkano Berchta ==
> berkano[nospam]@netzero.net
> Usenet Key
> [8447-5678-7005-5160-6695-3495-5165-4486-8557-3358]
> Re: Gardening, Horticulture, Pomology, Herbology, Veganism,
> Vegetarianism, Wholistic Health, Natural Living, Live Food,
> Survivalism, Primitive Survival and umpteen other subjects for
> data mining for the project.
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture

More information about the permaculture mailing list