Archive for February, 2009

Hey America – You Can Do It!

Ben Franklin

Hey America,

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a revolution that has started in Portland.

It’s called Bright Neighbor – and we are starting franchises all over America. Back in the 1700’s, we won the Revolutionary War with money help from France and mothers that kept their children in line and got them to work doing what was necessary… which is farming and keeping the community safe.

It’s time we put kids to work in the fields so they can learn how to farm – but make it fun! Let them jam out to i-pods while learning about food systems and soil – they have to if they want to survive the future. We can bus people (families) out to farms and let them stay in Yurts and housing so they can do hands-on learning. Or we can start farming within the cities themselves – wherever we can. It’s just reality, folks. We need to cooperate at the neighborhood soil level and start taking inventory of what land we have and share it with our friends.

After all, wouldn’t you rather lend your stuff and labor to friends over people you don’t know? MySpace and Facebook are good tools, but they don’t focus to help people survive and thrive in this messed up capitalism system. We can fix this place, but it’s going to take some New England style patriotism for a while.

We need to break out the revolutionary uniforms, get some drummer boys and flutes, and parade through the streets to rally ourselves. It’s time for purple-blooded Americans to take a stand for themselves. We are leading the charge in Portland, Oregon. Here is how:

By connecting rural lifestyle values such as growing and preserving food to hungry city dwellers who are paying to convert their lawns to gardens, Bright Neighbor is helping grow a new bull market – which is urban agriculture. If you are selling soil, then you are making MONEY. If you sell honey, you are making MONEY. If you throw $10 worth of seeds in the ground, it can net you $650 worth of produce!

We did not win the first revolution without the help of farmers, and we will not win the newest American Revolution without farmers either. That means Uncle Sam needs to stop buying frozen food from grocery store shelves and start growing, storing, and preparing his own meals at home. And if you don’t have access to land, one of your friends does.

Using Bright Neighbor, Portland hipsters are asking each other what crops they are growing rather than what music they are listening to. The techno-geek culture has merged with permaculturists, master gardeners, and we are now connecting with rural dwellers to reshape Oregon’s new economy. Our system is even functioning as an emergency back-up communications network for when power goes out to connect neighbors electronically, which means businesses and communities are moving beyond what present city governments throughout Oregon have been able to accomplish.

So get with the program America! We can get a Bright Neighbor system up and running in your town, it just takes $5,000 to get one started. Why not ask your local mayor to look into it? They just got a boatload of money from President Obama to help people, and Bright Neighbor is helping people. We can help you too.


February 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm 2 comments

A Good Food Farmer

February 16, 2009 at 2:24 pm 2 comments

Establishing A Food Forest

February 16, 2009 at 2:16 pm Leave a comment

Eat The Suburbs: Gardening for the End of the Oil Age

February 16, 2009 at 2:08 pm Leave a comment

Ideas For Turning Waste Into Useful Stuff

Please send us your discoveries from around the Internet on turning waste into useful stuff and we’ll keep updating this post with ideas!

Plastic Bottles Used As Solar Water Heaters
This is one of those “Duh” things that are so simple, yet so many people haven’t thought about doing yet. Thanks to Solarray.

Plastic Bottles Solar Water Heater

Plastic Bottles Turned Into Building Blocks
Just look at the neat things you can come up with when you are living near a trash heap. Thanks to Jeremy Faludi.

trash heap useful
trash heap blocks

Yogurt Cups As Slug Repellent
I came up with this one, but I’m sure other people have thought of it as well.
Slug Trap

And check out all the slugs I got drunk by offering them a beer!

Slug trap with beer

Here are some other ideas for managing with less and finding new uses for old items:

– Use empty prescription bottles to store garden seeds as you gather them
– Clothes pins are great for drying washed plastic bags

February 14, 2009 at 2:02 pm 4 comments

Privacy Is The New Transparency

Bright Neighbor Walled Garden

To the folks on Mashable that think they know markets had better listen up. Privacy is the new Transparency.

Social innovation and technology are starting to stink. I am neck-high in communications technology development, and the abuse of it is making me just want to throw my gadgets away except for my i-pod so I can rock out to tunes while I’m gardening.

Facebook sucks, because you never know when someone is going to blackmail you with naked pictures.

Thurs., Feb. 5, 2009
MILWAUKEE – An 18-year-old male student is accused of posing as a girl on Facebook, tricking at least 31 male classmates into sending him naked photos of themselves and then blackmailing some for sex acts.

Seriously, things are getting out of hand. The watchdog group Privacy International is sounding an alarm about Google’s new phone tracking system, Latitude. “As it stands right now, Latitude could be a gift to stalkers, prying employers, jealous partners and obsessive friends,” Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, said in a new report.

So let me just lay it out on the line. Here are the hot trends that will be followed by money in 2009 – because my company is making money with them.

1) Walled Gardens & Private Clubs Will Soar
Walled Garden
It sucks to not know if the person who you are chatting with is real or not. I’m no fan of Ronald Reagan, but he had one thing right: Trust, but verify. Just like the real world, you are allowed into some clubs and not allowed into others. You will start to see a lot more “Pay To Enter” groups, clubs, and social networks, because privacy is something that people will still pay for. It’s no big secret that humans like to have fun and enjoy sex and drugs and other social taboos. It’s whether or not it hurts your relationships and ability to earn money that matters. And relationships are where it is at. So businesses that capitalize on private, licensed walled garden community technology as well as free, community supported social networks will win.

And I’m just kidding about Facebook sucking – Facebook rocks. I see it as a vital player in helping America deal with our upcoming liquid fuels crisis. President Obama will be issuing orders through it, and it’s not Facebook’s fault anyone can use technology to do harm if he or she is a bad person. My bet is that they mimic and monetize Bright Neighbor’s member verification process.

2) The return of activities based on Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs
Bright Neighbor
This economy sucks. But hey, mountain hiking is practically free! And bowling is cheap! And people like to gather in the real world! So we will replace lost jobs with activities that help shape up our country. We are angry Americans, pissed off that we are losing access to money, but still the spoiled brats of technology and oil culture. That means we aren’t going to roll over and die just because some old fogies in Washington can’t get their checkbooks balanced.

3) Hyper-Local Community and Permaculture Becomes Sexier Than Hollywood
Bright Neighbor Permaculture
Please Hollywood – no more computer generated action sequence movies for a while. Batman is a weird, weird guy. We need stories that show monetary incentives that rally Americans to pick up shovels and get digging – not geomagnetically blowing up stuff and talking to armed vampires. It’s time that we all start listening to local hippies and farmers that get to say “I Told You So”, even as globalists start to freak out at the prospect of their capitalist empire of global trade shattering.

Because even though it looks like we have extra oil now that the price has dropped, it’s not the price that is the concern – it’s the supply. If someone blows up an oil terminal, we will have a real liquid fuels crisis, and immediately could suffer energy and food shortages, leading to social, business, and military pissed-offedness in a world full of really, really big missiles and boom boom sticks.

So 2009 is the year to get to know your neighbors better, even if you don’t want to. And don’t just get to know them, start hanging out with them and put yourself in an uncomfortable place for a while to get used to it. Because in case you haven’t noticed, we are arriving in Hell’s lobby. We have to take evasive action to immediately build hyper-local trust networks because people’s willingness to do things for each other, and to trust one another, depends on how well they know each other and how often they see them.

This has been my mantra for a long time, and luckily we do have so many ways to communicate with one another. It’s whether we are doing the right activities that counts more.

One last trend to report… hacked road signs. The trend is growing!

Randy White Bright Neighbor

Randy White is the Founder of Bright Neighbor, a community self-sufficiency and technology company that specializes social collaborations and logistics to help communities adapt to the triple threat of economic, ecological, and energy collapse. A city dweller who has focused on reducing his impact on the planet while helping entrepreneurs forge new businesses, Randy’s expertise focuses on home-based self sufficiency opportunities. He will be speaking at the Pacific Northwest Better Living Show March 28th at the Portland Expo Center.

February 6, 2009 at 9:43 am Leave a comment

Permaculture Services

Lawns to Gardens

We have begun to help people convert their homes into productive food generation stations.

Click here to learn how you can grow enough food at home to not only feed your family, but have extra to sell / trade to your friends and neighbors.

February 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm Leave a comment

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