Bioregionalism | Ozarks | A Vision for the Present

in #ecotrain6 years ago (edited)

Ever since I went to the permaculture course in the rolling verdant hills of Southern Indiana at a very magical place, my eyes have been open to the realities of changing our course of action to make a brighter and better earth experience for all of life.

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One of the keys to achieving this is Bioregionalism | Cultivating a Sense of Place

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

By Wendell Berry

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? by Paul Gauguin

We must start asking ourselves:

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

Andrew Faust gives a fantastic Ted Talk answering these questions in relation to Bioregionalism and Permaculture; a very enlightened talk!:

He answers the question, How can we design our way out of nihilistic self destruction in the privileged nations?

Producer economy in the place of a consumer society

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(heavily mulched raised beds in a permaculture garden)


The Living Awareness Institute answers the basic question, what are bioregions?
(make sure to visit their website as they have some great practical steps)

Bioregions are unique life-places with their own soils and land forms, watersheds and climates, native plants and animals, and many other distinct natural characteristics. Each characteristic affects the others and is affected by them as in any other living system or body.

People are also an integral part of life-places. What we do affects them and we are in turn affected by them. The lives of bioregions ultimately support our own lives, and the way we live is becoming crucial to their ability to continue to do so.

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(A typical home converted into a more sustainable habitat)

Living in Place

Basic Tenets of Bioregionalism:

  1. Ensure that political boundaries match ecological boundaries.
  2. Highlight the unique ecology of the bioregion.
  3. Encourage consumption of local foods where possible.
  4. Encourage the use of local materials where possible.
  5. Encourage the cultivation of native plants of the region.
  6. Encourage sustainability in harmony with the bioregion.
    (From wikipedia)

^^^In order to meet many of these goals, it requires that we get together and share local knowledge, support local farmers and producers, and creatively address solutions to local problems.

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Unlike our ancestors who usually didn't travel outside of their village, let alone across the world through the air within a day's time, our modern culture affords incredible mobility. Most of us are no longer creatures of place and oftentimes, to our great detriment and something that has always brought me much sadness, places don't even have character or a distinguishing ethos. This is in part due to commercialization and big box stores and generic restaurants taking over the Ma and Pop stores and local cuisine, but I think it is also due to a rootlessness many of us feel.

For Place doesn't mean a lot to most people. We are from a place, but maybe we don't know it. We aren't in touch with its geography, its seasons (read this excellent post by @slhomestead for insights on this), its traditions, etc. And many young people can't wait to get away from the place they're from. We are no longer embracing Place-based rootedness as a basic way of life. This has many repercussions, many times in the stability of individual characters and relationships and the lack of caring for the land (because we aren't attached to it anyway - we don't know it).

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(Rain Catchment from roof)

Local Solutions for Local Problems | CONNECT

One of the things I love about Steemit is interacting with people from all over the world. There is an incredible dissemination and cross pollination of ideals. We are truly abundant in that. I would encourage any of you inspired by a bioregional vision to start connecting with people in your local area! As Margaret Mead is very fond of saying,

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."


And, conversely, one of the things I love most is connecting with people who live in my region! Ever since I got on Steemit and the number of people I realized lived in the Ozarks grew, I was thinking about ways to connect us all. Here are a handful that live in the Ozarks, some probably within an hour's drive from me! Now I've been on dating websites before, so it's not totally new to me to make amazing connections through the internet (okcupid, anyone?), but to meet likeminded people who are also homesteading and working toward sustainability and the co-creations of new paradigms- now that's something special!

@agsurrection, @manfoundstanding, @awesomehomestead, @bluerthangreen, @bobbleheadstead, @borrowedearth, @chelseamcadam, @dakotakaiser, @freedompoint, @freedomtowrite, @hethur240, @jasonrussell, @lilastar, @melodyrussell, @mericanhomestead, @ozarkdogwood, @papa-pepper, @phedizzle, @powellx5, @slhomestead, @therightsideofup

(if you'd like your name removed from the list or added, please let me know as I am compiling a list of the people from the Ozarks who are into permaculture, homesteading, rewilding, off grid living, farming, gardening, crafting, etc.)

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(Keith Johnson and Creighton building a ferrocement water storage tank)

Ozark Happenings | Let's Build Bioregional Community!

Ozark Agrarian Newsletter

Created by one of my best friends, Amelia, this newsletter ties together Ozark happenings on the homestead, in local music, workshops, articles and farm happenings. She got a grant to network the Ozarks and she's doing a great job! Seasonally, she'll host gatherings where we can get together and swap seeds, connect with other likeminded people, sell or barter produce or farm/homestead goods, have a potluck and get to know one another. I'll keep those of you interested (let me know in the comments) when the next one is. Click the link above to get to her latest newsletter. Yes, you will find things from @mountainjewel in there :) You can also submit an article!

Ozark Area Community Congress (OACC)

We are very fortunate to come into our bioregion and find many dedicated souls have already started the work of creating sustainable communities. One shining example in the Ozarks is dubbed OACC and it is actually the first bioregional congress ever established!!

"Every year since 1980, a group of ecology-minded folks has gathered to discuss, celebrate, and learn about all things Ozark. The Ozark Area Community Congress (OACC) was originally organized to offer a forum for Ozarkers working in various fields considered “alternative” at that time, and to encourage them to consider themselves as part of the emerging bioregional movement."

"Early proponents of that movement asked congress participants to envision a future in which the economy of their bioregion was based on local goods that were produced in a manner that did not exploit or defile natural resources. In the early years, the Congress created and adopted a set of resolutions with which it was hoped Ozark residents might create a regionally-oriented culture. The resolutions were grounded in ecological principles and were intended to foster an economy and land use practices that might sustain our children and their children."

From their website.

Each fall they host a gathering where people come and teach sustainability tools, have presentations, and do an open mic. For anyone in the Ozarks, keep this on your calendar as it's a great way to network.

Ozarks Neighborly Exchange

They meet at least once a month. Their initiatives are growing food on a larger scale together. Try their sorghum molasses locally grown and processed using horse power!

Welcome to Ozarks Neighborly Exchange, also known as O.N.E. We are happy you found us and hope that you will join us on our mission of “neighbors helping neighbors”.

We are a group of gardeners, farmers, entrepreneurs, and caring folks from many walks of life whose goal is to come together and create self sufficiency through the unity of our neighbors. Since food is something we all need for our survival, our priority is to be able to feed ourselves LOCALLY. Grow what you can and get the rest from your neighbors. We can do anything when we work together, so let’s make it happen!

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Thanks for reading. Be sure to check the #homesteading, #ecotrain, #livesustainably, and #earthnation tags for more practical ways we can work toward a more vibrant and healthy earth home.

What a miraculous planet, let's take good care!!

Each of the garden photos was taken by me and from the Permaculture Homestead of my Permaculture Teachers Peter Bane and Keith Johnson in Bloomington, Indiana. They have since moved.



Hello fellow Ozarkian! I mentioned you in this article about Bioregionalism in the Ozarks! I wanted to connect us all as I am amazed how many of us homesteading and growing toward a life of sustainability in the Ozarks are on steemit. Let me know if you want your name removed or if there is someone I should add. Thanks for being you! At the bottom of the article I gave 2 local Ozark events I wanted to alert your attention to. Sorry if I've forgotten anyone ~~~<3 Thanks <3 @mountainjewel

@agsurrection, @manfoundstanding, @awesomehomestead, @bluerthangreen, @bobbleheadstead, @borrowedearth, @chelseamcadam, @dakotakaiser, @foureagles, @freedompoint, @freedomtowrite, @hethur240, @jasonrussell, @lilastar, @melodyrussell, @mericanhomestead, @ozarkdogwood, @papa-pepper, @phedizzle, @powellx5, @slhomestead, @therightsideofup, @tshore626

just a note, @jasonrussell is like @melodyrussell...two L's at the end. Just wanted to make sure it's tagged right so he can see what's going on as well. :) :)

I can't believe there are so many of us Ozarkian Steemians!

Ah thank you! ;) I’ll correct that.

I know right?! I started to make a list cuz I was so amazed!

Awesome thank you

How do i join .. O.n.e.??

This is a great article about bioregionalism.
I am excited that you have compiled this list. We have been in the area for three years, I have seen homesteaders come, and sadly many, so many go. I am really interested in finding a way to help folks make the decisions and plans to help them succeed. Connections with others is a big one. You are ~making~ it happen! Thank you.

<3 <3 <3 Thanks lady. Yes the ability for many to stay is challenged by the difficulty of the lifestyle, sometimes isolation or finances, and a host of other reasons. 3 years is a good chunk of time :) We're blessed to have developed some great community locally which makes living here all that much better, and I feel it's important to expand our awareness and circle of friends. Thanks for your kind words! <3

Wow! I just saw @borrowedearth yesterday (I bribed with curried lentils for her homemade apple butter 😂) and she mentioned this post. I knew there were a lot of us here, but I didn't know it was that many! I'm excited to follow them! Thanks for posting! 💜

haha :) awesome! that is a good bribe ;) <3 thanks for your enthusiasm. I'll keep you posted for the next Ozark Area Farm Summit gatherings :)

I am amazed that there are already so many homesteaders on Steemit from the Ozarks.

I also agree with you that we have become detached from our communities and it is time we started to reverse this trend.

I also agree with you that we have become detached from our communities and it is time we started to reverse this trend.

Yes!! Have you connected with any steemians near you?

Not in person. The closest I know of is @WWF and he is probably about 2 hours away.

Where about are you from? I'm located about 1 1/2 hours north of what people commonly call 'Edmonton'.

We are about 35 minutes south of the outskirts of Edmonton right now and will be moving this summer to about an hour west of Edmonton.

And yes I get the commonly called thing. The corporation known as Edmonton is not the same thing as the physical location.

Very nice. Out towards the Pembina River then eh! Beautiful area. Good luck with the move. We should organize an Edmonton & Area steemit meet and greet this summer. Thoughts about that?

I think that would be great. I would definitely make an effort to attend if there was one. I am not sure how much time I would have for organizing and planning though as we are building a house this summer and I have 7 month old twins.

Wow. Congratulations. They will be a hand full too! Full time job. I'll toss the idea around with others that I know that are in the area and see what transpires.

Oh it's great to have a community of like minded people, especially nearby! I mean, it's also great to have an exchange with the other side of the planet, but nothing can be more reassuring that others walking in your direction at "a shouting distance" :)

What I wonder... if you map all those onto a regional map, does a pattern emerge? Patterns in nature fascinate me and I find that people that are more connected to nature form similar patterns instinctively.

Yes! I echo this: Oh it's great to have a community of like minded people, especially nearby!

That is an excellent query @bobydimitrov. I suppose after many of meet up and gain some trust, we can find each other's exact locations and start mapping and asking the larger pattern-based questions. Exciting!

Do you have good community where you are? I must say it is certainly beautiful there.

Thanks for alerting me to fellow Steemians that are within our region that I haven't had a chance to follow yet. I'm looking forward to learning and growing with them.

Excellent! Glad to hear it! <3

Davis H. came up with the term "bioregional" many years ago. I thought it was a great idea when I first heard him talk about it. The OACC has been around for over 30 years and I have yet to see a community come from it, so I have stepped up to the plate and am creating an ecovillage here outside of Theodosia MO. We are calling it Indigo Crossroads. Though we don't yet have a website you can contact us through @earthnation or by phone @ (417) 273-1205 Feel free to add me to your list. I notice many people talk, now is the time to DO. <3

Yes, David H has been a forerunner and a place holder for many of us to connect around bioregional efforts! I'm not sure that OACC's goal was indeed to establish a community. I'm glad to hear of your ecovillage efforts though. Best wishes! I'll add you to the list, thanks.

That is paul stevenson 4eaglesthat wrote this.. :)

I'd be glad to be added to your list. Thanks for sharing this information with folks. Indigo Crossroads will soon be on the map! ;)

Fantastic! Great to hear about your project!

I suggest joining @earthnation here.
Our steemit guild is growing all the time. :)

Thank you. I just read up on it a bit, is the 30% fee for all of the user's income or only ones tagged with earthnation? I 've been confused on what earthnation is, so I appreciate the wee clarity. Should people not affiliated with earthnation not tag it? I'm guessing that's the case, so apologies for tagging when I"m not a part of it!

How do i join the o.n.e.??

There are monthly meetings (next is feb 9th) in theodosia. All are welcome. There are also potlucks a few times a year. check out their fb page for further connection.

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