With my haste to get things started on this project I neglected to tell a bit about myself.
This project idea has already gone to many people whom I do not know and when I think about it, if a request came in for money from someone I did not know I would probably reply, "Go fund yourself."
With that in mind I will give you the bare bones.
I live in Halifax Nova Scotia was born here and resided here most of my life.
I must interrupt the resume here to point out that many of you who have received my info are U.S. citizens and because this originates in Canada you may be thinking that this is a Canadian thing. That is not the case. The issue this project proposes to highlight has no borders.
I Graduated from Sidney Stephen high school Bedford Nova Scotia with honors.Went to St Mary's University Halifax. Pursued an English Lit degree with a minor in history. After 3 years did not graduate but took the first year first day advice form a respected professor he said, "You will learn many things here but the most important thing is that you are embarking on a life time of learning". That is what I have done.
I have had several small businesses and several jobs over the years. The most recent job was as a dealer at Casino Nova Scotia. I mention that job because you absolutely do not get a casino job if you fail the security checks or if you or family have a hint of criminal past.
For the last decade I have been a tour guide operating my own tour business then partnering in Van Tours of Nova Scotia and associating with Shore Excursions. A quick Google of my name will verify that I have a good reputation in that business.
This concept of "a life time of learning" has served me well both in my tour business from my interest in history books and for this project from an inexplicably fortuitous chain of books,lectures and videos that have come my way.
A more thorough resume will follow. I hope this is enough for now to put to rest any suspicion that this project might be a scam or the work of a shady character.
I am sincere about this project and will do whatever it takes to prove that so.
Recently I’ve been trying to work on Councillors to begin to populate the wasted spaces in Metro/HRM in Nova Scotia to use as city edible landscaping. If we start now to seed and/or plant indigenous edible forage foods. The prospects are enormous.
In discussions Garry Jollymore (Preparedness Project Founder) commented : “You are on a good track proof is that some places have parks that have replaced ordinary trees with fruit trees. fruit trees produce beautiful flowers and take all the carbon from the atmosphere that any other tree would take and then offer up a delicious edible in the season. the trouble with this idea is that it will run afoul of Del Monte and the other corporate farmers that rule government policy.”
I responded : “However, I don't think Del Monte sells Sea Berries.”
“I did not know they grow here do you grow them?” said Mr. Jollymore.
I responded coming to my point of this motion “Yup, right in my front yard. They grow quick, spread easily, no pests so far, no fertilizer needed, are nitrogen fixing, heavy producers, grow anywhere and are a super food.”
They are also cold hardy- grown in Northern Europe and Russia. Canada has developed some new cultivars to produce more desirable attributes. The downside to these plants is the nasty thorns but some new cultivars have reduced the thorns, increased size and improved sweetness. The berries, are by their nature, quite tart but make great juice when sweetened. I have/will have 5 different cultivars.
Recently I took efforts to convey this to city council here in the HRM of Nova Scotia and reached out to Sam Austin. Sam is the councillor for Dartmouth Centre. He’s an urban planner whom ran for Council in 2016 on his platform to “help make Dartmouth and the Halifax Regional Municipality as a whole an even more amazing place to live, work and play”. Mr. Austin was re-elected for a second term in October 2020.
Here’s what I wrote to him:
Dear Mr. Austin:
I feel there is a great opportunity to greatly improve our edible landscape availability in Dartmouth and the greater HRM. I have a small plot of land on my property which is providing me with an opportunity to grow many varied species of fruit (mostly berries) with very little or no maintenance and only a modest initial investment. I would like to provide my time, expertise and plants to begin a pilot project (at no cost to the taxpayer) to show the viability of this "Agrihood" concept. The concept has 5 main benefits.:
1) A source of organic food for the general population (no pesticides or herbicides are required).
2) A source of food for birds.
3) Improvement of the soil.
4) Reduction of grassed areas (with a concurrent reduction in ongoing maintenance costs).
5) A community-based endeavour whereby the community can combine their skills and expertise to enrich and educate the community.
I would very much like for you to take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to drop by and see what I have accomplished thus far. Probably the Spring/ summer season would be the best time for a visit. I look forward to your reaction to this idea.
I was responded too with the following:
This sounds like a good thing you’re doing. HRM has had some experience in terms of edible landscaping. A variety of fruit and nut trees were planted on the Dartmouth Common a few years ago. They’ve settled in but will take some time yet before they really start to bear fruit. The berry bushes have been more successful. The municipality also makes land available for gardening in a variety of locations. In Dartmouth, there are community gardens at Victoria Park, Nova Scotia Hospital, Gaston Road, Rodney Road, Findlay Community Centre, and the Dartmouth Common. I have also had some interest from a lady in Dartmouth North about starting a garden in Northbrook Park.
The simplest thing for your project would probably be to attach to an existing garden, but you could apply to create a garden elsewhere. Maybe Brownlow Park since that’s close at hand?
I’m cc’ing Darren Hirtle in HRM Parks and Rec. Darren is a community developer and he works with a lot of our community gardens.
I’ll try to keep you up to date with any further developments!
- Geoff Aikens
If your interested in helping the Preparedness Project and don't feel comfortable donating via our Go-Fund Me Page this is one of the best ways to help the project grow and sustain itself.
"Oil,Power and War : A Dark History"
Author: Matthieu Auzanneau
Originally published: Nov. 30 2018
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 672 pages
“The story of oil is one of hubris, fortune, betrayal, and destruction. It is the story of a resource that has been undeniably central to the creation of our modern culture, and ever-present during the darkest exploits of empire the world over. For the past 150 years, oil has become the most essential ingredient for economic, military, and political power. And it has brought us to our present moment in which political leaders and the fossil-fuel industry consider extraordinary, and extraordinarily dangerous, policy on a world stage marked by shifting power bases.”
If you want to understand the world you inhabit and the challenges it faces, it is difficult to overstate the importance of this book. Oil supplies the global economy with a plethora of essential raw materials, not just energy. Particularly since the beginning of the 20th century the evolution of industrial civilization has been driven by access to oil. But oil and other fossil fuels are one-time, finite resources created by evolutionary processes that began more than one billion years ago. Their finite nature has long been understood – and feared – by those who derive wealth or power from control of access to fossil fuels.
The random distribution of oil by geological processes essential to its creation is the root cause of the ‘oil wars’ that have plagued Western Civilization since the middle of the 20th century. Auzanneau provides a concise description of oil’s origins, derived from his conversations with Bernard Durand, former director of the geology-geochemistry division of the French Petroleum Institute. He devotes a large part of his book to the “dark history” of oil - “dark” not just in terms of wars and political corruption but also in terms of ‘unknown’ to those of us without a serious scholarly bent or ‘inside’ connections.
But perhaps the real strength and importance of this book is its exploration of the consequences of what has been called ‘peak oil’. Prior to the introduction of ‘fracking’ most people understood ‘peak oil’ to mean the end of access to oil. As Auzanneau notes, the world will never run out of oil. But it is running out of access to cheap oil, except – and maybe even including - those few locations endowed by random geological processes with most of the world’s remaining oil reserves. The consequences of ‘peak oil’ understood in this sense (i.e. running out of access to cheap oil) should be of concern to everyone, not just politicians and the oil industry.
"Merchants of Doubt"
Author : Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway
Originally published:May 25th 2010
Publisher : Bloomsbury Press
Paperback : 357 pages
One of the absolutely essential reads on climate change and quite how we got into the mess of denialism at the very highest level of government that we're in today. In a sentence, the book documents the same playbook used by various industries from tobacco to foster doubt in the minds of consumers, allowing these industries to continue operating. It is an incredibly frustrating, depressing read and a cautionary tale about the power of unchecked information and unchecked capitalism. As well as a few unchecked 'scientists'. It's also fantastically researched and clearly written work that should serve as a gold standard for anyone writing about the history of climate or policy. There are well-characterised individuals who come up again and again, and does an exceptionally good job of explaining some complicated science. Every part of this book is impressive. Everyone should read it.
"Electrify: An Optimist's Playbook for Our Clean Energy Future"
Author :Saul Griffith
Originally published: Oct 12,2021
Publisher : MIT Press
Paperback : 357 pages
The best thing an individual North American can do right now to fight global warming personally is to switch to electricity for all your energy needs. Your next car should be electric and your next home heater and water heater should be heat pumps. Rooftop solar is an excellent idea too.At least that is the central argument in Electrify, Saul Griffith’s new book about global warming. He’s been talking about this for awhile; Electrify covers a lot of the same ground as his free self-published Rewiring America and his Make articles.
The most interesting part of the new book isn’t the personal advice but rather his global plan for how the whole world mitigates global warming. He starts by pointing out how urgent the problem is: we have to start doing more right now, this very year, and there’s no time to wait on new technologies. Electricity is the best form of energy for transportation and storage. The basic idea is to shift from fossil fuel to electric consumption while in parallel adding more carbon-neutral electricity sources to the grid. He argues we’ll need 4x as much electricity in the US to achieve full electrification but this is a huge net gain (50%ish) in both total energy consumption and actual costs. He advocates for an effort akin to World War II mobilization to get it done, financed with low interest debt.
What I like best about his argument is it breaks the Gordian knot about “what can we do”? Electrify now and work on adding clean energy sources. I also like his holistic clarity, he really looks at whole-world energy consumption and economics. The optimism is great too. I find the argument convincing.
"How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need"
Author :Bill Gates
Originally published: Feb 16, 2021
Publisher : Random House of Canada
Paperback : 272 pages
So let us begin with clearing the elephant in the room, Bill Gates is a rich white dude with an opinion. Do we really need another one of those? The people he rubs shoulders with have arguably done the most to put us in this terrifying mess with our climate that we’re in now.
Despite that caveat, in my opinion Bill Gates is still someone with valuable insight that a pragmatic climate activist will want to tap into. Yes, he’s a crafty billionaire. Also, a yes is that he’s a genius in at least a couple key ways. One, he seems to have a fantastic ability to absorb detailed knowledge on a subject quickly. Two, he successfully turns that knowledge around into brilliantly simple and poignant questions about the crux of the problem. If we can look past our instinct to “other” him, we can take lessons that will make us more effective at getting to the solutions that are going to save this planet from the worst on the horizon.
We’ve highlighted some things we found valuable in this book,
1. The honest, terrifying truth about the problem.
The first, easiest, thing to get right in any book about climate change is the honest assessment of the problem. The honest assessment is, we already have much more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere than has ever been there for the last 800,000 years – almost the entirety of time that our species has been on the Earth.
2. The best gift for concerned citizens – the right questions to ask.
This, in our opinion, is Bill Gates’ real talent. He asks good questions. For example, “What’s your plan for cement?” might sound arcane and technical. It’s actually a major consideration because cement is used in apartment buildings, bridges, sidewalks, even dams and power plants. Also, with cement, no one knows a way to make it yet without burning fossil fuels.
In the meantime, countries that are successfully pulling their people out of poverty, are making cement and lots of it. So, clearly, we need to fund the research which will make carbon neutral cement a possibility. That’s just one example, there’s also steel, asphalt, fertilizer, and lots of others.
3. He talks about the entire scope of the problem, a global society drowning in fossil fuels
Similar to the point above, he points out something you don’t see in the news. That is, if you look at sources of emissions, it’s pretty evenly distributed between things like transportation, manufacturing, electricity generation, heating homes, and even agriculture. Part of why fossil fuels are so hard to get away from is that they are woven into every part of our society. If you bought bread at the grocery store, fossil fuels probably made the fertilizer for the grain and fueled the transport truck that brought it to your home. If you use a toaster, coal was used to make the steel it is made of. For the electricity the toaster uses, your power plant might be natural gas.
It’s everywhere and so there’s no magic bullet. Tesla cars aren’t going to fix this problem. Our whole society has to swing in an entirely different direction to get to net zero carbon emissions.
4. He over, and over (and over) advocates for the people who stand to lose the most
One story I really appreciated reading in his book is about a family of farmers in Kenya he met on two separate occasions. They are the global poor. They own a plot of land just large enough to feed their family and make a little extra money with the meager excess. They till the land with their hands. They contribute about fifty-five times less greenhouse gases than the average American.
They have done nothing to put us in this terrible place we are with global warming and they will still be the people who suffer most. They will be more exposed to droughts and, due to the ironic science of a warmer world, more likely to have floods in those times that it rains. We, on the other hand, have contributed the most to global warming, and have the most resources to research the technologies we need to keep the problem from becoming worse than it already is. We don’t care if it’s a pampered billionaire who delivers that message, it’s one we all need to hear.
it offers a call to action in the form of getting vocal about what we can do about climate change with our politicians and with people around us to help galvanise a growing movement. A preparedness project recommended read!
Author :Bjørn Lomborg
Originally published: Jan. 1 2007
Publisher : Cyan and Marshall Cavendish
Paperback : 304 pages
This is one of the few books that all of our members and fans alike should read. Global warming has become unfortunately and for the masses such an incredibly irrational issue. Its an burning issue in bringing more awareness to our project in general, and this book brings a rational, objective voice to the debate. This book is meant to cool everyone's temper on the issue (hence the name 'Cool It'), and provide logical solutions to the problem.
Lomborg a sitting member on UN planning committees argues that we should be looking for smarter, more cost-effective approaches (such as massively increasing our commitment to green energy R&D) that will allow us to deal not only with climate change but also with other pressing global concerns,further discusses the following: global warming is caused at least partially by humans, but dealing with it by means of extreme CO2 cuts it not a viable solution. Instead, he argues that using our world's resources to solve other world problems, such as disease and poverty, will have an incredibly larger benefit to the world in the long-term, and will in turn put us in a better position to deal with a world that is slightly warmer than it is now. He argues that we should continue making our technology more environmentally-friendly, but that suddenly making all technology have no environmental impact (as some environmentalists want) is completely unreasonable.
Lomborg supports his position with a tremendous amount of evidence, cost-benefit analyses, and references. To give an idea of how much his argument is supported, this book has 164 pages of actual content, and there are approximately 450 citations and 400 references. Of course, we can't browse through all of them to see how valid they are, but of the few dozen that we checked they seemed quite reliable. However, there are some claims that I found somewhat hard to believe, such as what is predicted by the various models of climate and human condition that Lomborg references. For example, Lomborg claims that humans will be richer in general over the coming century, which we find somewhat believable, but we find it hard to believe the precise numbers that he gives from the models of the worldwide economy that he references.
As I mentioned, we recommend this book to you and those on either side of the debate on how we tackle these issues present and future. You might not believe all the claims made in the book, but it definitely provides an excellent and fresh alternative viewpoint on the subject. The book is short enough to be accessible to almost anyone, yet it doesn't miss any important aspect of the issue.
Many prepared and aware persons in North America enjoy a reasonably long vegetable-gardening season, starting as early as March and stretching on through late November. But success has as much to do with when you plant as it does what you plant.
Have a Plan
Consider four things in your plan: available time, available space, the size of your family and whether you plan to freeze or preserve what you grow.
It’s best to start small the first year then go from there, a 10-foot-by-10-foot garden would be a small one for a family of four. Begin with a list of your favorite vegetables, but don’t be afraid to experiment as well.
Next, consider your space. The ideal location has six or more hours of sunlight, good drainage and easy access to a water source. When it gets to be July or August, you want to have easy access to a hose and spigot, It’s a critical time for regular watering as the plants produce their fruits and vegetables.
If sunny spaces are limited, don’t despair. Simply choose a place that gets the most sun or grow plants in containers on a sunny patio.
Lettuce, and even tomatoes and peppers, will grow in some shade, you just won’t get as many.
Finally, sketch your garden layout in a loose-leaf notebook with page protectors for storing seed packets. For your garden layout, choose an appropriate planting approach. Traditional wide rows are easy to weed and mulch, while hill planting warms the ground temperature for heat-loving squash and melon vines. Then, there’s intensive planting, popularized by the square-foot method, which divides a raised bed into 1-foot planting squares.
For those with limited garden space, a few strategies. For one, you can tightly plant onions between rows of lettuce. The fast-growing lettuce is gone by the time the slower maturing onions need more room.
As you learn you can also train vining plants to grow upward by adding trellises, but remember to orient the trellises east to west to avoid shading nearby crops.
Cool-season Crops (Spring & Fall)
Leaf lettuces are easier to grow than head lettuces and come in many different colors and textures. Directly sow seeds in the garden as early as March or April to ensure a sweet, productive crop.
Radishes are a very simple, fast-growing crop in a variety of colors. Watch them closely, so they don’t get too big and split, they are best harvested when small and tender.
Peas are an early garden treat. “Plant the seeds early in March or April, and give the vines a trellis to climb, Chicken wire or branches with string work well.
Beets thrive in cooler temperatures. Plant one crop of seeds in spring and another in late summer,
Greens and kale are easy spring crops to grow. Many are highly ornamental and can be added to landscape beds and decorative containers.
Warm-season Crops (Summer)
Squash come in summer and winter varieties. Avoid insect problems by using transplants and delay planting until a little later in the season, ideally mid-June.
Tomatoes can be challenging but highly rewarding. Start with transplants, wait to plant them in warm weather, stake them and evenly water them throughout the season. Avoid disease problems by hand- or hose-watering the plants at their base and not the leaves.
Sweet corn is so desirable, but a challenge for pocket gardens. To ensure good pollination, plant corn in a block of two or three rows instead of a long, single row.
Eggplants are available in many varieties from Albino to Black Beauty to Little Fingers. “While they’re easy to grow, beetles can be a problem, monitor them closely.
Peppers are very popular for their variety of spices, colors, shapes and degrees of hotness. Remember to consistently water pepper plants to avoid thin walls.
Cucumbers are best grown on a trellis (except for bush varieties). Plant transplants later, ideally mid-June, to avoid pest problems, also try compact bush varieties for container gardens.
Green beans are best planted from seeds, but many gardeners make the mistake of planting the entire packet at once. Try spacing four plantings a week apart to extend the harvest.
I found this image shared with me not that long ago and I ask.... Why is this the case?
There are many complex reasons why the planet is in the state it is but there is a thread that connects them. Political leadership is the thread. In this case, there are tidal forces at work that explain why a situation like this persists. A part of that force that influences leadership is from those who are committed financially to the status quo. A status quo that exploits the planet beyond reason and it could be argued exploits people to an equal extent.
The other force that political leadership is subject to is the electorate and the electorate consistently votes for the leadership that takes us in the same direction decade after decade, sort of like the dog that chases his tail. Here is a question I hope you will answer. Is it not common sense to do everything humanly possible to preserve the place we live, this planet? People have not much hesitation answering this question in the affirmative. Yet when the solutions are rolled out in detail they magically transform from common sense to the articles of socialism. And of course, socialism can't be tolerated so the baby gets chucked out with the bathwater.
It may come too late but I believe it is going to fall to artificial intelligence to put this on the right track. Why? Because human intelligence does not seem to be up to the task.
We try and discuss subjects like this and others on our Facebook group , click here and join the conversation : https://www.facebook.com/groups/1094314960723248
You May have noticed we've kicked off our newsletter section and hope to provide a monthly syndication for our regular readers and members.
You can read our first entry titled " This is dedicated to your family" and the kick off for hopefully many more newsletter publicaitons.