RE: Bonnie's fascinating life...

From: altamira (
Date: Sun Jul 02 2000 - 15:02:25 MDT

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> A Practical Guide for a Sustainable Future_ by Bill Mollison.
> (end)

> This point indicates to me how the lives of the people on this
> globe could be so much better if greed, incompetance, and
> mistrust did not get in the way of making sure the basic needs of
> people were met. This book sounds to be a potential bible for
> those in the third-world, and not just for Americans trying to
> escape the "rat race."

The techniques described in the book have been extensively used in
third-world countries by people who were not getting enough to eat using
other methods of food production and acquisition. The book is not so much a
how-to-do-it manual for specific techniques as a meta-design manual that
describes how to go about turning a small piece of land into an efficient
life-support system. One of Bill's "rules" (which has also long been one of
my own) is that everything should have at least 2 different purposes. For
example, one of the bedrooms of my house (the house consists of several
small structures joined by covered walkways or breezeways rather than one
large one, since we have a greater problem staying cool in the summer than
keeping warm in winter--also it makes it look more like a series of storage
sheds, which is very good for purposes of ad valorem tax assessment) has a
window which faces west. I put the window there, because I love the look of
the late afternoon sun shining on a particular painting that I own; but it
presents a problem in the summer, because afternoon is the hottest part of
the day, and we don't want the sun shinging in then. So I built a
juniper-wood framework on which to grow deciduous vines which begin growing
in spring. By the time hot weather arrives, the vines have made a thick
cover that shades the window. A 2nd use of the framework is to support
vines which produce grapes (I made some grape jelly today, BTW). A 3rd use
is for visual beauty: one of the vines climbing on the framework is coral
vine which makes the most beautiful clusters of shell-pink flowers. A 4th
use is for olfactory beauty: 2 of the vines are star jasmine and honeysuckle
(these are actually evergreen rather than deciduous, so I have to trim them
back in winter). Here I think I part company with Bill Mollison, because
I've never heard him talk about growing flowers except in a rather
derogatory way. In my opionion, flowers are medicine for the spirit
(extropians don't believe in spirit? well then, how about calling them
anti-depressants) (and, in some cases, potent medicine for the body as

> Bonnie, I simply love reading the posts where you describe your
> lifestyle!!

Why thank you, John! I felt a bit self-indugent writing so much about my
own little life.

 I admire what you have done so much! The way you
> have gone from being employed as a high-powered lawyer, to living
> off the land to a great extent, in a home you built yourself is
> just amazing.

Well, between you & me, I wasn't all that high-powered. I was pretty laid
back. But I WAS good at getting IRS to leave my clients in peace.

 Have you ever been written about in your local
> newspaper?

No, but my dog Mousey got written up twice in the University of Texas paper,
once when a photographer got a cute shot of him begging for food from the
customers of an outdoor restaurant, and another time when I took him to an
art show opening and he peed on one of the paintings.


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