[permaculture] Urban Farming

georg parlow g.parlow at gmx.at
Thu Apr 24 15:49:29 EDT 2014

Since I am not sure if I get your point completely, I want to say  
upfront, that my 5 cents worth below is not meant as a counter  
statement, nor as an agreement - I am simply putting mine next to  
yours, Toby.

> It's one thing if you are a market farmer, selling produce for  
> money; then your labor and land are part of cost accounting. But if  
> you are growing some food strictly to eat, then I don't think  
> monetizing—commoditizing—your home produce make sense, from either a  
> practical or an ethical stance. Figuring the "cost" of that food, to  
> me, is a different kind of accounting.
> Unless growing your own food reduces your income from a job, or you  
> have the kind of job where you can add billable hours whenever you  
> want (I wish!) AND you do gardening instead of doing billable work,  
> then your home labor isn't convertible into paid labor. But if you  
> have a fixed salary or a limit to your billable hours, counting your  
> labor as part of your food costs doesn't make sense, because working  
> (or playing) in your garden cannot change your income. But it does  
> reduce food expense.

I think that growing one's own food (or part of it) is a matter not to  
be soiled with any financial considerations, just like you do not hire  
someone to take walks with your wife, just because you have to  
sacrifice billable hours for this, and your hours sell better than  
what you pay for the guy from the escort service.

As a matter of fact I am sick and tired of the monetizing of  
everything short of martial intercourse, and even this might happen  
these crazy days. I have a picture of the world --it was not me coming  
up with this idea, but it is so long ago that I read it that I do not  
remember who wrote it, and I just feel so at home with it that it is  
mine after all-- where the sphere of human interaction is divided into  
four realms: the house, the market, the castle, and the temple. And  
only in one of them --the market-- money has a rightful function. But  
in our times of cultural degradation the market encroaches on all the  
other realms, thus wrecking the world.

The house is the realm of subsistence, family life, care for children  
and old folks, gardening and neighbourhood collaboration. Here already  
big chunks have been put under the markets rule, so we have to pay  
people to look after our children and to wipe our butts when we are  
old and feeble, and most of us have to buy food (!)

The market is the marketplace --production of goods and buy and sell  
of them as well as of rare skills that cannot be bartered in the  

The castle is the realm of (lean) administration and protection --this  
includes police, firefighters and the army.

The temple is higher education, healing beyond the level of home  
remedies, science, and whatever is necessary for common and socialized  
spiritual practice.

But I am well aware, that there is a reason, that that financial  
considerations now also applied to castle and temple - and I think  
this reason is the fact, that the unquestioned funding of those realms  
was abused. I still vouche for the old system, because the monetizing  
of them as not stopped the abuse, quite the contrary. It only got more  
anonymous, so we cannot easily define the suckers.


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