Monday, January 21, 2008

Looking forward/looking back, for the week

On encouraging posting here

I'm uncertain whether to post here or to my personal garden blog.

We do need a group (representative of the kinds of organizations and individuals we'd like to post here) to establish some sort of example for those who would post here.

I'm concerned about at least two things here in my posts: (1) This could be seen as one guy's odd project unless we get some other posters; (2) By not posting, this site could be seen as dead or as too formal / unusual for new posters to post at.

To help overcome those barriers, I want to encourage anyone who reads this or who has already become a contributor to post to this blog or the free-for-all blog.

I will also be inviting new contributors from those who were at the meeting this Sunday:

About the future of this blog

Ian posted some of the notes from our meeting yesterday. Main outcomes of the meeting may be the following: a statement of guiding goals, and plans for two future meetings.

Guiding goals

Here, from the meeting notes:
    • goals / purpose
      • place where organizations go to get their events publicized
      • individuals can find events in their community of the greatest interest to them
  • ease of use is a priority
  • offer multilingual ability
  • seek to integrate diverse perspectives in the region
Here from what I wrote down:
  • To become the place where organizations/individuals go to get their events publicized.
  • To become the place where individuals can find events of most interest to them.
  • To seek and cultivate contributors who can help the project present a more complete and helpful view of the region. (This was the wording I could not remember from an earlier post).
We were focusing primarily on calendar integration. We also addressed, blogging, mapping, and the use of Wikis to create knowledge base applications--such as tree-pruning tips or local gardening knowledge.

We also mentioned the possibility for publishing on paper: versions of the internet documents created collaboratively (e.g., and agenda view of the upcoming calendar); and to market the collaborative technology we create (e.g, cards in cafes, mentions in the SD Reader).

Upcoming meetings / in-person collaboration:
  1. Ian planned to come up with a demonstration of some of the ideas he mentioned during the meeting. I think these include ideas about the wikis and about the calendaring.
  2. Probably after that, we'll arrange a meeting to help contributors learn to use the mapping, blogging, calendaring, wiki, etc. features we decide will be a part of our collaborative project.
At both of these meetings we hope to have a projector so we can display the technology we're talking about.

More on the meeting

Some concerns:
  • Should we try to dialogue with more existing organizations about what we hope to do? Activist San Diego, IndyMedia, etc., may be people to work more closely with.
  • Do we have too wide a focus? Should our goals be more like the following: "to develop a protocol that like-minded groups can use to mutually publicize each other's events."
I sort of like that lower-key statement of goals.

I did appreciate that there was an interest expressed by at least Mariah and Ian to have better reporting about the permaculture/foodnotlawns type happenings--something this blog hopes to address.

Mariah recommended a simple archive of photos and videos, free of editorial content. I mentioned that like for streetsblog, we can have photos and videos on the various media-sharing sites tagged with identifying labels such as "sdfoodnotlawns" or "sdtjdph" and then aggregate these. Ian mentioned "tag clouds", which I'm not 100% familiar with, as a means of aggregating content by neighborhood or subregional location.

As an example, here are photos tagged with "sdtjdph", and "sdfoodnotlawns".

Other things addressed include:
  • wanting not to be over-dependent on google (some, however, like me, don't mind this if it reduces time spent fiddling with technology)
  • wanting to enable posting to the calendar without needing to register with some new system (google or otherwise)--anonymous posting, in other words
So anyway, what else happened last week?

The beginning of the week was a rest for me. Don found that World Market, not far from here, west on El Cajon & 53rd(?) (not in any online yellow pages I can find), is a budget source of seaweed and mushrooms and other foods used by the Asian community. And then he got to cooking up some fancy meals.

Five Gallons of Jerusalem Artichokes/Sunchokes + Amaranth

Don dug up these roots. He filled a five-gallon bucket to overflowing. I had been afraid to try more of them, thinking they had led to some bloating/ major gas due to the indigestibility of inulin. We've been slicing them and cooking them in a fryingpan with a bit of olive oil. So far no bad effects for me. We've eaten a lot.

We're both curious how sunchokes would serve us as an energy food for serious hiking or physical work--what is their actual nutritional value? Don also helped me prepare to harvest some amaranth grain.

Planning for the Garden

I rested and meditated on what to do with the garden. This will be reported later on the garden blog.

Rare Tree Walk, Balboa Park Walks, + Crash

On Saturday, Don went on a rare tree walk that begins every third Saturday at 10 am in Balboa Park at the visitor's center (in the main plaza-turned-parking lot). That's all the info I have.

I see in the Home Sunday fyi section of the Union Tribune there are other Balboa Park walks listed. . . maybe we can get these in our calendar to help us learn more about the plants.

Saturday evening I got hit by a car which was turning left without seeing me, but only had a minor bang to the knee, and the bike is fine, the driver was helpful. (There's a lot more that could be said about that, including about what I will no longer do).

Tule, Cattail, Sedge weaving workshop

The announcement, & some of the results:

I learned to make mats, bands, and cordage. And we hung out in a nice secret spot in Mission Valley for an afternoon. Now that we've done it, I realize there are tules and cattails closer to home as well. ( Laurie, the photographer, was also along for part of it.)

Taking the time to practice weaving using natural materials is potentially transformational in several ways. For one, I was made aware of how much time indigenous people had to do nourishing things in nature.

We passed Home Depot on the way back. I felt that the river with its reeds and river cane and my neighbor's bamboo forest was closer to being my Home Depot now.

A future project may be to use cordage I make to lash the bamboo & rivercane trellis and fence for the garden.

The week(s) ahead: an expedition; the garden

We've got an excellent start on restarting the garden here--I'm excited about that.

But first Don and I will be going camping somewhere, and then he's headed on to other adventures.

Thoughts about this post

In this post, written quickly, I strove for some balance between business, perhaps of wider regional interest, and personal reporting. If it were just a personal post, that might be best on a personal blog.

Reporting on food-not-lawns & permaculture-related events was also included.

This may be a good mix.

The hasty style I cannot avoid now if I'm going to post at all. Perhaps readers would prefer something more carefully thought out. Even so, this did take about two hours, and I've read it through to smooth rough spots.

Feel free to show us something different by example!

Also, I updated my links page.

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