Category Archives: Links

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Traditional and Modern Methods of Acorn Preparation

Bay Nature article by Emily Moskal about how the Indians used acorns and bay nuts for food, and how you can use analogous methods today with modern kitchenware! Acorns were probably the most important single food source for all American Indians, constituting up to over half their diet! Oaks are almost everywhere in the US, and all of them have edible acorns.

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On Ecology

Nice post (by my brother; former rocket scientist, current F-22 pilot) about the role of ecology (or rather, lack of,) in modern politics and concept of self.

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Petition to change NC building code that prohibits pioneer farms

UPDATE: Conway wins with the help of the public and NC state representatives! Turtle Island will re-open just in time for summer camp.

I don’t usually do this but please sign this petition to help Eustace Conway to keep his historical pioneer farm open to the public!

Conway, aka “The Last American Man” (the title of a book about his life by Elizabeth Gilbert), the only true mountain man, and complete badass is having his property closed to the public for violating North Carolina building codes.

This is a egregious, absurd, and malicious affront to all North Americans. He honors our heritage and keeps the knowledge of the settlement era alive with an extensive, fully functioning living pioneer farm museum on 1000 acres. He is an incredible character with astounding accomplishments (for example, the fastest US coast-to-coast horse ride).

Please sign the petition at change.org to defy the building code and allow him to re-open! Everyone has a lot to learn from Eustace Conway.

To see more read this news article: http://www.hcpress.com/news/turtle-island-story.html?fb_action_ids=1392741677631217&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

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Historical Human Footprint on Modern Tree Species Composition in the Purus-Madeira Interfluve, Central Amazonia

Just as has/is still being discovered in the US, recent research in the Amazon supports the idea that forests worldwide are the product of mutualist interactions with human inhabitants.

Burning, selective harvest, tillage, seed propagation, etc. were skillfully employed by ancient peoples to make their environment an “edible forest.”

Such cultures were the original affluent societies, working only a few hours per day to harvest the forest burgeoning with ultra-healthy wild foods and resources for tools, usually spending more of their time dancing than working (see Chagnon 1983 and Gowdy 1998).

These findings suggest the idea of “preserving” nature, or cordoning off huge tracts of forest to keep it “wild” is nonsensical, and perpetuates the harmful idea that humans are separate from nature. To restore these ecosystems and have humans and other creatures flourish together, we must rediscover ways of living with the forest, becoming the wise stewards our ancestors once were.

Quoting from the abstract (my italics):

“Background

Native Amazonian populations managed forest resources in numerous ways, often creating oligarchic forests dominated by useful trees. The scale and spatial distribution of forest modification beyond pre-Columbian settlements is still unknown, although recent studies propose that human impact away from rivers was minimal. We tested the hypothesis that past human management of the useful tree community decreases with distance from rivers.

Conclusions/Significance

These results strongly suggest that past forest manipulation was not limited to the pre-Columbian settlements along major rivers, but extended over interfluvial areas considered to be primary forest today. The sustainable use of Amazonian forests will be most effective if it considers the degree of past landscape domestication, as human-modified landscapes concentrate useful plants for human sustainable use and management today.”

A good post about this: http://anthropogen.com/2013/10/18/is-amazonian-tree-biodiversity-species-distribution-a-product-of-past-landscape-domestication/

References:

Chagnon, N. A. 1983. Yanomamo: the fierce people (3rd ed.). Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, NY.

Gowdy, J. M. 1998. Limited wants, unlimited means: a reader on hunter-gatherer economics and the environment. Island Press, Washington, DC.