Wednesday, May 14, 2003

(If you are new to this blogg, I suggest you start in the archives at the first blogg - it will explain a good deal.)

Tapescript Journey Four part two
The urge to explore further takes me up the stairs, and it’s not a library I see but some kind of control room. Knobs and dials everywhere – I could swear I was on a flying saucer.

Slipping into the pilot’s chair in the middle of all these controls, I see “Porena” on the center of the screen.

You cannot just get into a flying saucer, which is also a library and fly it. Or can you? Looking at these controls it hits me. The most ecological machines are the ones that you cannot do any damage with. Ones that are failsafe. Completely. Like they are talking about controlling cars on the motorway, and letting the driver relax.
This one does the thinking for you. A guy come up behind me and, following his encouraging remarks, I push the lever to my right.
The doors close, and very slowly and gracefully we take off in the direction of Porena.

We’re flying low and slowly over fields of what looks like – is it bamboo or another fast-growing energy crop? I get the idea it’s for energy anyhow- Green oil.

I walk back down the stairs and start to engage passengers (is that what library visitors are?) in conversation.

Is there anybody who would like to show me how you grow food everywhere?

I get invited home. The houses, or maisonettes are built in wide circles, are cream coloured with tile roofing.
My host shows me the wheat grass on the balcony, the corn etc, all grown in hwt appears to be ordinary potting soil. Here’s what I got out of the interview.
They don’t have to grow food at home, because everybody grows food everywhere.
The cassettes I asked about contain cotton wool and start seedlings off, they can replant them on the balcony or in the area outside. This family has a skylight in the roof to let in natural light, and they put some plants under that.

Artificial light is not ecological and is not used.

I asked about composting and for that I need to go outside.

On the southern side of the maisonette the front doors open out onto a glazed in section, rather like a conservatory. Here, the heat from the sun warms the air,providing insulation and extra heating for the houses as well as a growing area.

This is communal and tended by everybody. The principle is permaculture. That is to say a plant and leave concept, bearing fruit and nuts annually requiring the minimum of tending.
I have to ask… how can you get along as neighbours, all helping out. Surely someone will slack!

The explanation comes back
“Everyone helps out as they understand it is in their own interest.”

In the glassed area they grow green peppers, corn, sweet potatoes and tobacco, for medicinal purposes. Tobacco is decorative too.

Outside, towards the center of the area, they have the composting machine.

It looks like a large black cauldron. They dry the organic matter first, using heat from the sun, before it crumbles into a kind of powder to be put back onto the soil.

Another thing, all buildings are designed with growing in mind. Horti-architecture. Cool name, huh?

I return to the craft, push a button labeled “Return”, the door closes and we hover off.
End of Tapescript Journey 4.

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