Monday, 3 November 2008

Rhizome Growth, In Action!

Have you ever encountered a new idea that draws together various scraps of ideas in your head, so much so that you begin to see examples of it all around you? The first time I ever encountered the idea of systems analysis as a lad was a bit like this. That you could examine the interactions of things and deduce systems of activity was the most amazing thing to me. This surely led to an appreciation of things like permaculture and computer programming, though the two may seem to be from opposite ends of the earth.

Anyhow, I'd like to give you a link to what I think is rhizome growth in real life:

A New Patch In The Neighbourhood

Gavin now has a new seedling rhizome node right next door, I would guess in the largest part due to his example and enthusiasm, as well as due to his ability and readiness to assist with getting started. Gavin's neighbourhood now has the potential to be more resilient as a result.

I see the rhizome idea as being a model of an ideal system. Sure, most ideals remain just that, but it is an ideal that ties together a lot of different threads, and answers some unanswered questions. It's also being implemented at this very moment. What we end up with will most likely not follow the exact plan, but I don't believe it was intended in that way.

Hamlets in the city might end up being, rather than extended family groups, groups of 5 - 10 neighbouring homes, all working together to provide their own food. Hamlets in the country may well follow the model more closely, where there is more room and more work for children and the elderly, especially as PO kicks in and there is less opportunity outside of the home. Still, there is nothing I can see to prevent existing community living structures from existing well within the framework.

As I see it, the core tenets are those of self-reliance in small groups (ideally sized to foster that self-reliance) linked together in networks that by their nature provide an impetus against centralisation of authority and management, and that facilitate local trade over non-local.

This kind of growth is something that we could rationally expect to occur during tough times. The only reason we wouldn't see such networks forming would be in the case that existing centres of power act to hold on to that authority, for example comandeering farmland and creating government distribution centres for food, would quickly put a stop to such growth. Anti-stockpiling laws and confiscation of food would be another. Both things we would hope would never occur in our society and day and age.


Anonymous said...

G'Day Geoff - just wondering if you knew about the Indian Dairy Industry - a real organised rhizome..
" Besides creating urban employment in dairy plants, marketing, transport and distribution, these dairy cooperatives have helped to provide farmers with a sustainable rural employment program. A majority of the cooperative members are landless, marginal or small farmers who contribute their produce of milk at the cooperatives. For these contributors, the income derived from milk provides their only regular cash flow, transforming dairying into an economic activity."

Farming has always been a franchise - originally skills and knowledge passed between father and sons and after WWII increasingly a franchise of the Fertiliser industry - no doubt you've seen the field days held by Incitec Pivot and now by GM companies. What is needed is a new franchise - ie a tested system that ensures peoples survival and thrival!!


Crofter was Fargener (just too hard) and Sololeum - (no longer advocating oils from plants)
PS probably better to work on perfecting a model of ALS than to waste ones time trying to convert techos on SPO...

Geoff said...

Hi Crofter,

I wasn't aware of the dairy industry there, but in general there is a lot we can take from the way things are done in India. For a start they seem to have a lot more budget inspired inventiveness. Not that such is really missing out here on the smaller blocks, but we still have quite a way to go.

The idea of having a model or franchise appeals to me at one level, but I've got doubts at another, as most people moving countryward at this stage are doing it so they can do their own thing. Still, there must be a way to make the process easier, give a head start etc, at the very least on the networking front. ALS does a lot in that regard, but taking it to the next level, out into the real world, is where decent results would be gained.