Aaron Perry


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Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 103 - Nick Chambers, Founder, Living Arts Systems, and ED, Valley Roots Food Hub

Nick Chambers, Founder of Living Arts Systems and Executive Director of Valley Roots Food Hub, gives a tour of his family homestead, “Chokecherry Farm,” in the San Luis Valley near Crestone, Colorado. After living in a teepee for a decade and apprenticing on a biodynamic farm in British Columbia, Nick and his wife Alycia moved to Colorado where they built their wood framed straw-bale home by hand. The circular two-story, load bearing straw-bale structure features a wrap-around greenhouse, solar hot water (with supplemental wood fire heat), and special cardinal alignments and symbolism of alchemical significance (Salt, Sulfur, and Mercury; representing “grounding,” “ascension,” and “cosmic” energies).

Also on the farm are a commercial kitchen with beautiful, nail-free mortise and tenon joinery; a below-grade greenhouse with anaerobic digesters buried underneath for heat, fertilizer compost, and methane bio-gas production (all via the magic of microbiology: thermophilic methanogens!). The farm has hosted a variety of interns and WWOOFers (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farm interns), and has been host to many artisan food manufacturers. He reflects on the super-abundant resources available from Mother Nature, and that by working with natural materials, soil, biomass, and solar radiation, we can create extraordinary dwellings and resilient homes.

At Valley Roots Food Hub, Nick and his team connect farmers, ranchers, and value-added artisan food manufacturers directly with restaurants, grocers, and even families’ front porches through their innovative Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box offerings (visit valleyrootsfoodhub.com for more information). Nick encourages us to rethink resilience, food security, and self-sufficiency in an interconnected world, and reminds us that with our food purchasing decisions, we are voting “3 times a day.”

Nick Chambers has worked in small farming, homesteading, and renewable energy innovations, education, and service/installations for the last 20 years. For the last 9 years he has worked in the Colorado local food movement, specifically in food distribution. He currently serves as the Founding General Manager for the Valley Roots Food Hub, a statewide distributor/aggregator specializing in source-identified and regeneratively-grown produce, meat, dairy, and value-added food products.

Nick is based in the San Luis Valley of Colorado where his beloved homestead, Chokecherry Farm, is situated in the small hamlet of Crestone, and where the Valley Roots Food Hub is based in Mosca, the potato and Quinoa capitol of North America. Crestone has been a verdant seedbed for Nick to put his deep Permaculture and “live or die” renewable energy to practice. Anaerobic digestion treats wastewater and produces cooking gas, solar hot water runs residences and a commercial kitchen, and wood stove thermo-siphon hot water provides domestic hot water back up. Thankfully, his family has been willing to check the temperature of the water before a shower, and if its been cloudy a fire needs to be lit! Much of the work Nick employs comes out of feasibility studies, mentorships, and solar installations done throughout the valley, as well as serving as Adjunct Faculty at Santa Fe Community College’s Biofuels department. Planned for 2021 is a commercial venture in Mosca where various renewable technologies will be working in concert to produce value added agricultural products in a Renewable Energy Park setting. Nick also enjoys supporting his kids as they embark on college and beyond, rambling through the wilderness, and playing music.

RESOURCES:livingartsystems.comFacebook: facebook.com/valleyrootsfoodhubInstagram: @valleyrootsfoodhubvalleyrootsfoodhub.comsfcc.edu/programs/biofuels/


(Automatically generated transcript for search engine optimization and reference purposes – grammatical and spelling errors may exist.)

Welcome to the YonEarth Community Podcast. I’m your host, Aaron William Perry. And today we’re in the San Luis Valley of Colorado visiting with Nick Chambers. Hi, Nick. Hi, Aaron. How are you? Good to see you, buddy. You too, man. This is gonna be a lot of fun. Now, I may as well dispense with a very important.

The fact about this particular episode, which is that Nick and I have been best buddies going clear back to high school. And we actually met in middle school, played some music together, had a lot of fun over the years.

It’s actually a real joy and honor for me to be able to do this episode to discuss a lot of the great work Nick that you’ve been doing in the sustainability movement, both as somebody demonstrating what can be done with home setting and also as an educator teaching folks all kinds of appropriate technology solutions. Yeah. It’s gonna be a lot of fun. Good deal.

Nick Chambers is the founder of Living Arts Systems. He has worked in small farming, home setting and renewable energy innovations, education and service and installations for the last 20 years.

For the past nine years, he has worked in the Colorado local food movement, specifically in food distribution. He currently serves as the founding general manager for the Valley Roots food hub, a statewide distributor and aggregator specializing in source identified and regeneratively grown produce meat, dairy and value added food products.

Nick is based in the San Luis Valley of Colorado where his beloved homestead choke cherry farm is situated in the small hamlet of Crestone and where the seed bed for Nick up, excuse me, and where the Valley Roots food hub is based in Moscow, the potato and quinoa capital of North America.

Crestone has been a verdant seed bed for Nick to put his deep permaculture and liver dye, renewable energy to practice.

An aerobic digestion treats wastewater and produces cooking gas. Solar hot water runs residences and commercial kitchen.

And wood stove thermo siphon hot water provides domestic hot water backup. We’ll be showing you some of this. We’ll be talking through some of this. There’s a number of terms and concepts that may not be immediately familiar to everybody, so we’ll get to that.

Thankfully, his family has been willing to check the temperature of the water before a shower. And if it’s been cloudy, a fire needs to be lit.

Much of the work Nick employs comes out of feasibility studies, mentorships and solar installations done throughout the Valley, as well as serving as adjunct faculty at Santa Fe Community Colleges biofuels department planned for 2021 as a commercial venture in Moscow where various renewable technologies will be working in concert to produce value added agricultural products in a renewable energy park setting.

Nick also enjoys supporting his kids as they embark on college and beyond, rambling through the wilderness and playing music.

So Nick, it’s so fun to have you on the podcast. I’m thrilled to chat with you and we’re sitting here standing actually here in a greenhouse that you built a fears back that has some very interesting properties, characteristics and technology in it.

But before we get to that, I want to just say that, you know, this is a very special property that you’ve been stewarding for many years now and right over yonder a few paces is where you and Alicia got married.

We’ve had some beautiful times here over the years as friends and some of those times have been with our younger children running around.

And so I just wanted to start by asking how the heck did you get into this homesteading thing so long ago when really it wasn’t something many in our generation were really even thinking much about yet.

Yeah. Well, Aaron, you know, you might be a co-conspirator to some of this business.

You know, studying anthropology in college and being in touch with just cultural diversity in different ways of living, certainly inspired it and then growing up, you know, we were we were hitting it hard with like there’s got to be a way.

There’s a greener way. Something’s not right. There’s there’s something a miss here and we were deeply inspired by wilderness and that was our thing.

And so when we got out into the world to, you know, make our own choices and make our own path, you know, for me, at least, you know, I was kind of had a proclivity for the canvas living environments, TPs.

My brother growing up would go stay with him near Durango. And then in college, it was just like, man, I’m going to save money. I’m going to go live in the wilderness. I’m going to get myself TPs and just have my own thing.

That was, that was some of the most enlightening years I’ve ever had and it was super awesome. And then you vined me, Bill Molison’s permaculture one book, the big, thick, hard back, the Bible.

And there was so much during those years we were creative. We were thrifty. We were full of resources.

And it was like, let’s put permaculture to practice and just do the stuff. So with landing here, it was a, it was really a blessing after working on several farms, biodynamic farms in Canada, working in the biodiesel sector, trying to, like, you know, solve the transportation issue for our families.

You know, a crest on, we ended up coming here because it seemed like such a great place to practice permaculture on a community wide scale, you know, community of a thousand people, pretty alternative, very globally minded as far as a lot of cultural influence with different spiritual communities.

And then everyone was on older builder. Everyone was building their own house, strawberries, huge, Adobe. There’s no structural building codes here. So it allows a lot of freedom and flexibility to design the things that we want to live in.

So, you know, garnering all those skills. And then this particular piece of land we eyeballed for four years. I was writing letters every couple months. I was calling every couple months for four years straight because we just felt like it was here or we were going to bridge Columbia back to that biodynamic farm community we were at.

And then after four years, everything came together. We invested out in the Bakka, which is where most people live in Crestone. And, you know, one thing led to another and all the pieces fell together. And so we were able to hit this land, which is an old homestead from 1916, had a one cubic foot per second ditch they put in right around that time.

You know, I had animals and you can clearly see where 100 years of animals were 75 or whatever based upon the soil and just like there’s grass here. Well, an acre grass. We don’t have a lot of grass.

So it was a real jam and we felt like we could do a little permaculture, a small farm and thing here. And we did for many years and we had interns and woofers from around the world.

Woofing is the, what, what does that sound for again?

Well, willing workers on organic farms. And it’s a way for folks to travel and visit and work on farms and exchange for room and board often.

Yeah. Yeah. You know, we had cool, we had a, you know, a carpenter from Austria, suit mad skills, but 18 and just looking to cut his teeth on something else and, you know, welder from Quebec, French speaking.

So yeah, good international. Then we had kids from New Hampshire that wrote his bicycle out here. And he stayed with us a couple summers. So we had a lot of good community times and building and putting this old cabin back together and doing a lot of this type of work. And you know, they were all game.

Like, well, what, what we want to do is, you know, we’re going to do humanoring. That’s what we got right now that we’re working towards creating methane off our, you know, septic system stuff. And they’re like, yeah, sounds good. Me.

Yeah. So, you know, we, we laid a lot of stones over the years and it’s just been a slow process, very much hand of mouth and just, you know, going and working a little bit and working here.

We did a CSA for many, many years of community supported agriculture model, where folks by shares early in the season, springtime and then get periodic food deliveries or pickups usually weekly.

Yeah, weekly, you know, food basket of whatever’s coming out of the garden.


And that went good for a while. And so, yeah, more or less brings us.

This is great. So you mentioned human, there are a couple of things you just shared that I want to circle back on and kind of tease those threads through the tapestry a little bit.

You mentioned human newer that may be a concept. Some of you are familiar with, I would imagine, but not necessarily everybody.

And there’s a great book called the human newer handbook. This is, this is helps us in a spiritual way to get in touch with our turd eye if you need to do that kind of thing.

But tell us, tell us what is human or in, you know, of course with your anthropology background, you’ve got this very interesting lens and perspective on the real aberrations that are modern Western American consumer culture.

And so human or something that goes way back in time, right?

Yeah. I mean, yeah, as long as we’ve been going or, you know, collectively as a, when we wanted to deal with our byproduct in a, you know, responsible soil producing way.

Yeah, I don’t know how many years, but of composting human manure is all we’re talking about.

Shout out to Joseph Jenkins, the author of that. I met him once at a bio cycle conference.

You know, bio cycle is a huge industry related around composting and anaerobic digestion and all this stuff.

And so high big dollars, big industry and high pollutant, you know, governments and big corporations and all that type of stuff.

So the largest corporations in the world are big money because it’s municipal wastewater treatment. It’s municipal composting.

And here’s Joseph Jenkins getting up there and he says, this will call you cost you about $3.50 and it’s a five gallon bucket and sawdust and wood chips.

And here’s the process. Here’s the data, you know, all biological organisms can get killed that you don’t want pathogens. It’s a proven process. It’s all there.

And it’s just really astounded and confounded this community of big money and big industry with such a simple, simple way.

And that’s basically composting our stuff. And you know, it’s a hard concept for some people. I think as a culture, we’re fecalphobic.

And so it’s like we don’t want to deal with it. We don’t want to talk about it. We want to flush it down and do it.

And so we kind of, you know, that seemed to work really well for our lifestyle. And it did accept your sister and your mom may not want to come stay with you.

So they’re in line as a rub. And so in order to, you know, create a situation where you want to have your family come and stay with you that need plumbing and flushing toilets.

And the solution was an anaerobic digestive system. So it could be a supercharged wastewater system that can provide not only methane gas for energy and cooking, but also treat the wastewater more effectively than septic systems or more effectively than traditional wastewater treatment.

So that’s the path we’ve been on there. Yeah. Yeah. Great. And what do we, what do we have going on in this greenhouse structure?

So this is a supercharged septic system or a biogaside gesture, anaerobic digestion, all pretty much the same thing. And instead of, you know, when you flush the toilet in most cities, it goes more than times and not because of aerobic treatment system.

So it’s using air and energy to blow air into the water and let the microorganisms that aerobic microorganisms do the breakdown of the organic material.

And anaerobic is certainly just shutting everything off, letting it be no oxygen, dark. And these are, you know, that of the five kingdoms of life, archaea are some of the oldest.

And their close, archaea are the organisms that yield methane in their metabolism. So they’re the ones responsible for the methane, digestion and treatment.

They’re closer related to plants and animals than they are bacteria, which is very interesting. Anyhow, so there’s no oxygen. So it’s an aerobic environment. You get these thermophiles of archaea that do the work. And it’s a passive system.

You know, it’s proven 99% pathogen death. And then what comes out the other end, you can pay your bills on the nutrient value of the wastewater as opposed to, again, treating it like a waste product that needs to be disposed of.

So it’s funny the way how our society has artificially priced energy where the methane gas that we make off the system is really fun and it’s great to torch and use.

But actually, penny for penny, it’s much less valuable than the nutrient value of the wastewater that’s going through.

And whether we’re out of place to effectively utilize that, I’m not quite sure. Again, it has a fecrophobic thing going. But again, this is big stuff. Like this is on a real small scale farm scale.

The Denver metro wastewater is the anaerobic, Santa Fe, ablicarkey and numerous other ones are big scale. And they’re creating four megawatts of electricity off the methane while treating some of the solids and things like that.

So this is a very small scale. This is a Chinese style. I did a training in China with a company. So they’re called a fixed dome hydraulic pressure.

And that’s just the way that the gas is created under these fiberglass domes. So if this is handing, you have your sort of tank. So we’re standing on one right now.

You have this big stomach. And as the natural anaerobic process goes on, it’s releasing bubbles that can trapped in this fiberglass dome up here.

And then it’s all sealed and fixed. So what happens is the water level, as you start catching gas, the water level starts rising up above that dome. And then therefore you have pressure.

Now when you open a valve on that gas bubble, you know, that water wants to push it out. So it’s beautifully pressurized passive system.

Very cool. And this. So these are the vessels that tanks themselves are concrete, right? And you poured them here. Didn’t cast in place.

So that it’s a great solution for the homestead scale, the small farms scale. Yeah. That’s great. And what else can you put in here beside whatever’s flown out of the out of the toilets?

Yeah. I mean, we have a little smoothie maker there, which is just a big blender. So all your kitchen scraps goes in there. I mean, we’ll put down 50, 50 pounds of old potatoes will grind up and pour in there.

Yeah. So pretty much anything, you know, nut shells, like we were talking avocado pits, mango pits, those just A, they’re not a lot of biodegradable sort of volatiles that they call it.

And then it can get cotton pumps and things like almost a little more of the hard kind of way. Yeah, organic to read try to keep out. Right. This is not, you know, for wood chips or, you know, high carbon materials, we need one of 30 to one carbon nitrogen ratio.

The stuff we’re putting in here, but most maneuvers are great. But and, you know, maneuvers are already been digested once. So they’ve got less energy to give up as far as gas production, then food scraps. So food scraps are super hot.

Yeah. And then oils and sugars and flowers and carbohydrates and all that stuff is really fantastic. Yeah. So we’re talking again on a municipal scale, megawatts of energy coming off.

And yeah, one of my rules of thumb, if you’re making four megawatts of electricity, that means you’re making 12 megawatts of total energy, because there’s all the heat coming off those generators, which is a big one.

So that’s very interesting. So essentially, we’re only doing about a 25% efficiency yield with our industrial electricity production with these systems.

Yeah, because if they’re essentially running on big engines and engines are only just like in your car, really only transferring about 20, 25% value of the fuel into motive power.

The rest of its heat that in a car, you know, gets wasted through your radiator or blows in your cab or whatever. But it’s interesting way to kind of recalibrate what we’re talking about.

And the only reason this happens is because energy is priced so low artificially from the petroleum legacy that we’re on. And so we can afford to do that. We can get by with 25% efficiency.

But it’s horrendous, I think, really. Especially when you start making your own fuel, then it’s like every ounce is so precious. And you want the most bang for the buck, because when you use it up, it’s gone. And then you have to wait till it makes more.

Yeah. So being staggered in your demands and appropriately designed.

Yeah, important. Yeah. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense to me. Well, I’m curious to ask you also, Nick, before getting into the home setting that you’ve been doing now for many years, you, as you mentioned earlier, you were living in a teepee and you call it the canvas lifestyle.

And I remember visiting you when you were in college studying up in Montana in the depths of winter and coming to stay with you for a few days.

We had a lot of fun and of course that wood stove in there made all the difference, right? Yeah. And it felt great when we were enjoying our time together in the evening kept that thing rolling. And then we’d go to bed and wake up in the morning and it would be pretty darn cold until it got fired back up again, huh?

Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s a, that’s a kind of rugged lifestyle. I know a lot of our forebears, our ancestors would have been familiar with, but not a lot of our peers have experienced that and certainly not for the number of years you did it.

Yeah. I’d love to hear you tell us a bit about how living such a simple style like in a way you’re a modern day through row, how that has changed your trajectory professionally.

And how that has caused you to perhaps think about life day to day life and the world a bit differently. Yeah. I don’t know. For me, it was a good match, you know, growing up certainly we were white suburban boys growing up outside of Denver.

You know, we weren’t necessarily wanting for much as far as shelter or food and but yet we knew that something was a miss I think in the larger society.

So I don’t know for me, it was just a match. And again, my brother had provided some exposure to that lifestyle and and then studying just, yeah, different ways of living throughout the world. It was like, damn, there’s so many different ways.

And you know, I mean, we would go light a fire in the wilderness for fun. And I was like, well, what if we just live that way? Yeah.

And so it was just a great match. And again, it was thrifty. I worked two jobs and saved a whole ton because one place with a hundred bucks a month and a little work trade and the other place was free.

And so that was just a great fit for a thrifty college dude. Yeah.

I don’t know. I think being young helps too because I was hungry for it and the cold doesn’t bother you as much as when you’re younger.

I’m a little more sensitive now. But yeah, just letting the fire go out and firing it up and you know, it heats up quick, quick release fires become a good skill.

I don’t know. I think domestically, it’s certainly influenced like, oh, well, what is it that you want next? And there’s just hot water. Well, it’s like, oh, you can’t have hot water till you have freeze proof conditions.

So then, you know, just segue it into like when we were going to build, what is it going to be? It’s going to be round. And it’s going to because I love the round living, you know, with the deep being.

You know, such a small place too that’s easy to clean, it’s easy to heat and all that stuff.

So frost free round. And that’s what we ended up doing here with the strawberry yogurt thing.

And I think just being in touch with resources, wood, water, hauling water, you know, you get real thankful for that five gallon jug and, you know, various places.

I would fill up a convenience store or I would have to dip the jug in the creek or any number of, I mean, keeping the hole in the creek.

This is here in Creston out in the bucket. We would keep a hole open all winter long and ice.

And it would, you know, the creeks get like a glacier because it freezes up and then more water flows on top and it just gets layer and layers.

So you have this three foot hole now to the water and you just keep it open all winter and God, it’s good, it’s good living.

But yeah, I think just being in touch with your resources, water, energy, all of it, you know, on the little solar panel for music is all we needed back then.

We could have charged our phones, but we didn’t have phones back then.

It’ll free, free smartphone era. Yeah, you’re more in touch with the fundamentals, right?

And it strikes me also that whenever I was visiting you over the years, we spent a whole lot of time outside in general.

And it seems to me growing up in the suburbs, as we did, probably one of the things that kind of ached in my soul was that we had, you know, in many ways it was a very privileged

and wonderful way to grow up, but also had this kind of disconnection from nature.

And you see in a lot of the development out there squeezing as much square footage of a house on a relatively small piece of property.

And our lifestyle has become such that we’ve really kind of lost that connection with the outside, with the nature, with the gardens, with the birds I hear them singing right now.

And so in a strange way, Nick, you’ve been living this very humble, thrifty, frugal lifestyle.

And I consider you one of my wealthiest friends and colleagues knowing that you’ve got this relationship with landscape and water and wilderness and animals and all of the flowing elements, right?

And my gosh, you can’t buy that. Yeah.

I mean, we counter blessings, being here and being able to have this space and the wilderness and the sort of the piece of space, I’d like to call it.

And it’s not for everyone. I certainly live in this way or living in such a rural place. It’s not for everyone, but I sure enjoy it and we get by OK.

Yeah. Well, and all the work you’re doing with the food hub keeps you really connected to all kinds of farmers, growers, food, artisan food manufacturers and eaters of all sorts throughout these many hundreds of square miles around this region.

And maybe when we show folks into the commercial kitchen over here where some of this biogas is feeding the stove, we’ll fire some flame up there too.

And chat a bit more about what you’re doing with food and just to let you guys know we’re here in the greenhouse.

Are we going to flare some gas here? Looks like we’re getting a little frozen and cold at the minute.

And then we’re going to go look at the commercial kitchen with some beautiful timber framing, straw bale building techniques on display there.

And finally, for Crescendo, we’ll go up to the amazing home that Nick has just referenced that he built over the years with his wife Alicia and check that out.

So let me just think, is there anything else Nick we want to mention in here before we move to that next spot?

Yeah. I don’t know if you want to get a video, but essentially we’re on three, there’s three discs here, three tanks.

The middle one is really the digester active and the other ones just have gas holders in. So I mentioned that fiberglass dome.

And then they’re all tied together. So even though the gas is only being created in this one, they’re distributed across all three.

So it triples our gas storage capacity, which I think is key again, because we’re making this every day and there’s times a big usage.

And then times of not usage, so having a storage capacity is important.

Well, are you thinking like do you want to lift the lid and just show folks what it looks like or is it not really something we can capture on camera that way?

Well, let’s see what we got here. I don’t know, it’s pretty raunchy.

Yeah, the good thing we can’t smell on camera.

Oh, you smelly. It’s a sweet swamp smell.

So you can see these circles around a bit here in the one in the background there.

And then you got your, this is a hydrogen sulfide scrubber just to scrub out the the eggie hydrogen sulfide smell.

And the hydrator because it’s obviously coming out of water. So it’s a wet gas and we want to dry it out.

And then just a meter and then the hydraulic pressure that I mentioned pushes it to all its places.

So this is commercial kitchen. This is a house and this is in here.

And that’s it. It’s pretty passive, low tech, no electricity, no moving parts like that.

And then the reason why we’re in a sub-training greenhouse partially is when it comes out of the commercial kitchen, the dang code and plumbers want to put your zero pipe three, you know, down in the earth already.

So by the time it gets out here, which is right here, we’re already this low below grade.

So hence sub-training because these vessels need to be pretty much under that pipe is how that works.

Yeah. But hey, sub-training greenhouse is actually really good.

And then when we get to finish it here, you see I’m just open to the elements.

But when we get to finish it, it’ll start keeping it warm. And then there is a coil of tubing in here so we can heat it eventually.

And then in the summer, we were growing tomatoes in here. So sub-training in greenhouse is great thing to have in a cold climate such as this.

So we just got to tie in a little more to the thermal status of the earth. You just dig down below frost line basically and that helps regulate temperature and structures, right?

Yeah. Yeah, that’s great.

Great, Nick. Well, why don’t we head over to the kitchen and show folks, we’ll light some gas and show folks some of that beautiful carpentry work you’ve done over there.

Sounds good.

So here we are in the commercial kitchen that you built, Nick.

And we’ve got the stove partially plumbed up to the biodeigester out there that we were just looking at.

We’ve got this gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous timber framing work here.

And then behind you is a straw veil wall, right? It’s really, you can see it’s pretty thick.

Yeah. I don’t know how many inches thick that is, but what is that, 10, 12 inches?

14, usually stay on the bales. Yeah, with a beautiful diamond window.

And one of the things that’s been really fun to watch evolve in this space, Nick, is a lot of the value added artisan food products that you’ve made here in past years and others in the community have come to make.

It’s just wonderful hearing about all of the work you’re doing at Valley Roots Food Hub also and working with all kinds of different farmers and growers here in the valley and other food manufacturers and getting.

You got home delivery for individual households, you’ve got commercial delivery for restaurants and retailers and all that.

And I thought I’d just ask you a bit about what’s that look like? What do you got going down there at the food hub?

Yeah. Well, let’s preface that, buddy, or let me back up a little bit.

When we were doing our CSA here and stuff, of course, this was an old ranch act cabin that was pretty derelict upon our founding it.

And this section was all rotten. So we just pretty much tore it down and we had an outdoor kitchen for many years and we do all the CSA boxes here.

So it was kind of a natural evolution of just like, oh, let’s just mill the nice kitchen for CSA or baking, cooking, community lunch, dinners, all that type of stuff.

So that was kind of the trajectory. And then there’s a point when I went and got a job working for a Colorado food company.

Yes, right. With yours truly, buddy. And that got me in the Colorado local food system developed a lot of relationships across the state.

And it was at the time that the San Luis Valley local food coalition was starting a food hub here based out of Moscow, which is out in the valley.

You mentioned where the quinoa North American quinoa was essentially bread and all the genetic work and all the agricultural farming has developed there.

So that’s where the food hub is based out of. But yeah, meat and dairy produce all around the state now.

We’re going into our seventh year wholesale and CSA and CSA as far as the fresh produce box in the summer, as well as its online grocery shopping.

We have a great online portal on software, which we’re our co owners of now actually, which is fun. Never saw that one coming.

It’s kind of like a tool that you needed in this day and age just in which so accessible and easy. And that’s where everything’s at.

And now we have a walking cooler here. And so all our CSA customers from Valley roots instead of us growing everything and doing everything here on this property.

It’s multi farms, CSA and everything. And they still come here to this walk in and get there.

There’s still that same kind of familiar community interface here. Yeah, even though your pollen produce from much farther afield, so to speak.


And then we’ve had different people rent in the kitchen to do different things. And you know, a lot of good things.

Giveings and Christmases and you know, I think that’s cook. It’s been quiet. I’ve been doing some fermentations and some prototyping of some different permits.

Yeah, potatoes and carrots and other fun things.

Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, we’re excited to hear about that on the road.


But yeah, so we took it down because it was all rotten and then a buddy of mine from Montana.

Shout out to Travis Rosenketter.

He turned out to be a timber framer. So he came down and timber frame this with us.

It’s a straw bail on this wall and timber frame structure essentially all dug for Colorado.

I had a mill in those days that we milled all this twice.

You know, you milled it once and then just sticker it, stack it for a year or two.

And then after everything’s had a chance to dry and any twisting they’re going to do, it does it.

And then we put them on the mill again and mill them square.

And that just leads to really awesome timbers.

And Doug Furr is like the Cadillac of Jim Framingwood and Colorado.

Why is that? It doesn’t check or…

It has a lot of strength, tensile strength and the grain is really tight and it’s relatively hard.

And it just lends to great structural wood.

It’s pretty.

I’d like to grab the camera in a moment and do some close-ups of some of this beautiful joinery work.

And let me just mention to folks if you want to get more information about Valley Roots food hub

that Nick is managing, you can go to ValleyRootsFoodHub.com.

On Facebook, it’s Valley Roots Food Hub, same on Instagram.

And we’ll include these links in the show notes, of course.

If you’d like to learn more about what Nick is doing through his own organization,


And then we’ve also got a link in the show notes we’ll provide for you

for Santa Fe Community College for their biofuels program.

And that’s sfcc.edu slash program slash biofuels.

I want to take a quick moment to give a shout out to all of the sponsors

making this podcast series possible through our Why On Earth community network.

And that includes Earth Coast Productions, the LIDGE Family Foundation, Alpine Botanicals, Purium, Earth Hero,

Vera Herbles, Growing Spaces, Soil Works, Earthwater Press, 1% for the planet, Dr. Bronners, and Walei Waters.

Of course, a huge shout out to all the folks in our ambassador network

and all the folks who have joined our monthly giving program.

If you haven’t yet joined and you’d like to, you can join at any level that works for you.

Just go to the Why On Earth dot org website, hit the click on the donate button,

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If you want to give at a $33 or greater per month, you’ll get monthly shipments

of the Walei Waters biodynamically grown CBD hemp infused aromatherapy soaking salts

as part of our thank you for your support.

And I want to also be sure to mention that a lot of our sponsors and partners I just named

have discounts available to our audience.

And you can get to links and get all the codes and so on on our Partners and Supporters page

on the Why On Earth dot org website.

So a huge thanks to everybody.

And Nick, I mean, you and I have been engaged in conspiring together

for well over two decades now and doing most of our work here in Colorado.

And it I think only becomes more and more clear to us over time how important community

and those community relationships are in those win-win regenerative economic connections are in our work

and our ability to provide value and service in the world.

And so it’s it’s true that we’ve been able to work together in a lot of different capacities

over the years. I guess beginning with having a band together back in the day.

And that was a lot of fun.

But you know, one of the things that I absolutely love about coming down and visiting you here in Crestone

is just the way that the land just invites us to relax and restore and rejuvenate.

And you have done an amazing job of incorporating that same energy and feeling into these structures.

And I just I’m going to grab the camera so we can show folks some closer up features you’ve got here.

It’s it’s such a joy to be inside of this building.

Yeah, cool.

Then we can also show folks the the burner.

Although we got to give our disclaimer that we burn in some propane gas

because the bio gas line is too cold at the moment to feed us in the kitchen.

So what do you want to show us first, buddy?

Well, we can talk about that real quick.

So yeah, the digesters connected actually to these two burners.

And our thinking on this is like it is possible to power your own house with 100% your own gas.

Commercial kitchen, we thought, you know, it has going to be periods where it’s going to be maybe using more gas

than we’re producing.

So anyway, these two burners are on bio gas.

The rest are on propane.

And just because of my the coldness of 8,000 feet in Colorado, the digesters are quieted up.

So the gas production is not quite cranking.

Crank’s all summer.

So these amount of gas at the minute is what I’m saying.

Should we fire up some of the propane just to show folks the beauty of this building?

I mean, it’s pretty much looks exactly similar.

Yeah, this is beautiful.

I love the arrangement.

That real nice blue flame bio gas is a little more purple, but it’s pretty much the same looking.

And this is a re-jetted, you know, nice commercial range gives you an opportunity to get in there and re-range things.

So I open the jets up and that’s the difference between, you know, that’s the first question people always have.

Well, can I run this on my propane appliances?

And the answer is that propane jets are really small.

And then the next jet down is natural gas.

And then the next jet after that would be bio gas.

So respectively, propane’s 2,200 BTUs per cubic foot.

Methane natural gas is 1,000.

And then bio gas is usually about 650 BTUs per cubic foot.

So it’s also just a correlation to the size of the jet.

But on a range like this, it’s really easy to get in there and that’s around.

So yeah, we know all our own lumber, all these timbers, all this wood here, you know, recycled tile.

This was a marble table that was in a dentist’s office that our buddy Chris Miro pulled out and he he brought down donated the

walk-in coolers here where people pick up their boxes type of thing and it’s

kind of like a down low situation where people just know where to come and

come get their stuff at their leisure

basically all the commercial stuff to get approved by the state for commercial

kitchen and tell us a bit about this woodwork here that I’m looking at. Yeah so basically

there’s no metal in any of it everything’s paged so it’s mortis and tenon

tenon is the part that goes in and the mortis is the hole and then you drill

hole and we put oak pegs through and hold it all together so it’s all

integral to itself and load bearing and then these are this is cool this is

called a through tenon and then it’s got opposing pegs so it they pull they

pull into each other so to speak so everything’s real snug and then lime

finished Adobe while here lines a little bit more impervious to water and

splashes and such and in this house is a liver die by solar hot water so this is

all solar hot water here and there’s a big tank under the floor so we have five

collectors out on the roof and then we’re banking that heat in the tank and

preheating the domestic water and then the solar also hits the domestic

direct that’s normally how you do it is you know focus on your domestic water

which is the water you get out of your taps and then solar never stops like you

can’t turn it off in the middle of the day so what we do is take it off the

domestic tank which is this and then you got to put that heat somewhere so we put

it in the big tank in the ground but it works pretty good you had a shower this

morning and that was three-day old heat yeah it’s pretty cool huh so yeah well

now for the for the finale of our episode Nick we’re gonna head over to your

house and take a look at that we’ll get some shots outside and then go inside

how does that sound sounds good so Nick here we are back outside and in the

background is your beautiful home that you’ve been building over the course

of about a decade 15 years buddy 15 years my gosh well and it’s got so many

beautiful features we’ll we’ll take you inside and show you around a little

bit I love the thermal and acoustic properties that come with working with

strawberries too but before we jump inside can you just kind of point out what

we’re looking at and what’s going on yeah so you know again this this comes from

living in TPs and then yurt and well what’s next and it’s just like well all we

need is water and then the only way you can have water is if it doesn’t freeze and

so then it’s just that got us to a load bearing strawberry yurt pretty much

with a wrap around greenhouse on the bottom and and again it’s got its antecedents

back from living in canvas and circular structures so it was just a natural

segue in much regards however circular is not the best passive solar so you

know I have a I have a whole catalog of things I would do differently and if I

build another house all the things I mean I have a long list and this house is

still going it’s been a labor of love it’s been you know operating very

thrifty Lee and doing all our things everything of ourself and again

strawberry and Adobe are real conducive to being creative and Adobe is so

forgiving and such a natural material and so you know with our building

materials are a truckload of straw bales and a couple dump truck loads of we

call it crucifix which is just a sifted road base and then clay and that can

get you get got us pretty far and then lumber a lot of the lumber we mill

ourselves this land had a lot of cottonwoods so we milled a has a lot of cotton

with lumber incorporated which is a novelty in some regards and you know on some

level there’s the classical alchemy speaks to a lot of what we do and so they

have the salt sulfur and mercury and there’s kind of the stages of ascension you

know the salt is of the earth and at ground level and sulfur is sort of that

next level of ascension or could be consciousness on the earth and then the

mercury is that cosmic sort of energy at the very top so with the three

tiers here of ascension and the geometry you know speaking to the heavens and

going up and stuff so the very top the cupola the total pain to build and I

just took down scaffolding I had circular scaffolding up there while I was

working on it and just took it down so it’s been a long road and we’re still

we’re still doing stuff on it but it’s been aesthetically hitting the nail on

the head we’ve enjoyed the aesthetics of it very much like I said I have a

whole catalog of other stuff is anyone I think you build anything you you get

ideas of what you want to do differently and such but no one builds round

because it’s a pain and it’s more costly in materials and time so we were

again young and ambitious and enabled us to you still are thank you well great

should we uh kind of follow you in here yeah come on in take a look

um the greenhouse is pretty well performing um you know we can get a jump on

early starts and we have some perennials in there that hang tough through the

winter it can freeze if it gets real cold but otherwise it’s pretty good this

is a grape this grapevine takes over and it’s just unbelievable how productive

they are and it fruits out real well too it’s a white grape

come on in see a entryway here works out good this is my daughter is

a bella how are you good in the dog hey bella bella what what is your favorite

aspect of living in this beautiful house that your mom and dad built my favorite

aspect would be that it’s so unique and no one else has it and I when I tell

you about it yeah it’s fabulous and you just graduated high school

congratulations so you’re off on to your own adventures now yep come on in

are we uh not worrying about shoes what do you want to do Nick you’re fine come on in

at least it’s not mud yeah it’s true it’s just a little bit of frozen water

so yeah I think round it gives a certain sense of coziness and like I said with

the teapy living and easy to clean easy to heat and small square footage is

always nice you know yeah it always stays so warm and cozy even when it’s quite

cold out which it is right now yeah what what do we got going on right over here

with this with this stove so this is our Amish cook stove that is the main

driver of the house as far as heating and it’s great for cooking and it’s got

an oven and then this particular one has a water coil so if you want to come

around the corner here and again I it goes back to building the energy portfolio

for domestic household and it’s like there’s no reason that especially in Colorado

we can’t goodbye on a hundred percent passive solar and again circular’s not the

best but if if one were to do it again passive solar is the way you heat your house

it’s just like there’s no other reason why you wouldn’t and then what’s next is hot

water how do you heat your hot water solar hot water is no other reason why you

wouldn’t and we have that here and then what happens when it’s cloudy well that’s

why we tie it into the wood stove so as we have a fire here it’s heating the

water and then this is a passive thermal siphon loop so it circulates itself

being that you know warm water is lighter than cold water so it creates a

convective loop and a convective current and then this just augments the solar

which is here and this is a direct PV glycol solar which means that it has

any freeze in it so it doesn’t freeze and then it has this little tiny solar

panel a little 15 watt up on the roof and we do have a controller so we’re not

actually there’s never an opportunity that we’re circulating cold fluid even

when the sun is shining so it always tells this pump to circulate directly

off the PV panel when the solar panels are warmer than the tank and these two

things together works great and like I said yeah my family’s been super awesome

to understand that if it’s been cloudy for a string we might need a crank of

fire for getting the hot bathtub and showers and stuff but otherwise you know

we’re not burning anything besides wood no no petroleum or fossil to get hot

water out of this situation which is nice

yeah that’s so beautiful yeah go ahead yeah just and then as far as the

portfolio so that leaves one remaining thing and that’s cooking with gas which

is the bio gas so to me these are like the the important elements as far as

solar thermal wood and bio gas and together with passive solar it kind of

checks all the boxes that we need to homestead and to build sustainable living

structures for us so this is a fig that does fruit we just lock those off this

morning yeah it’s beautiful all these plants you have in the the window and

this is south facing isn’t it yeah where I’m looking here I with all the light

coming in behind you’re a little backlit but I just want to show you got all

those beautiful plants in the window and then you can kind of see out that after

the first pane of glass you get into the wrap-around greenhouse so there’s a

whole another bank of plants living out there as well yeah and what about all

of this beautiful cabinetry work Nick yeah this is a juniper Rocky Mountain

juniper from the forest around here and when I had my mill we would mill

everything so you know juniper lumber is not necessarily thanks either

lumber is more of a thing but yeah juniper just has astounding colors between

the dark heartwood and the lighter sapwood so again we’re we had the

fortunate opportunity to be able to mill stuff stack it for years let it

really cure out well and then go to do the final carpentry stuff and then you

get really nice lumber that’s stable and not moving around and stuff and the

concrete countertop cast in place call it the poor man’s marble works pretty good

and did you do anything to give it that that beautiful coloring and kind of

polish finish it had a brown dye in it and then it still needs some

ceiling and touching up you did some some really cool things with the

flooring here too didn’t you yeah we were you know that’s one thing we’re I

think we might have in the crest on the vernacular is a doby floors and that

has of course ancient long history of just poured earth and floors and while

they are super beautiful and we help part in several around the community they

also just really take a wear and you have to patch them and they crack and they

have to take care of them over the years so we departed and we went straight

to concrete and it’s a cap this is just a concrete cap so it’s all you know

tamper road base underneath it and then just cap with a concrete and it’s just

super bomber durable never have to mess with it this floor is actually really

good yeah really really beautiful and can you maybe pull that door shut real

quick because it’s one of my favorite features in your home what you did with

this door I mean it makes me think of you know the shire and the hobbits and

yeah reading reading Tolkien and it is a it is a beautiful beautiful door and

the way you got that arch I don’t know can you see the diamond window on the

other side boy it’s let’s even get closer up there yeah it’s kind of the

meridian of the scene here bat back down where that kitchen is and that diamond

window it’s on the same axis and it comes all the way up through the garden

through this roundhouse through this door and then back out that diamond window

and the reason we one of the reason we did that well we start just observing

you know when you working with these old structures like what they had and how it

was set up and why it was the way they had a diamond shed back where we were in

the kitchen it was where they brought into plumbing in the fifties and we ended

up tearing all that down and then that diamond shed we took away and stored it

up the hill just to be like a horse’s tack shed and it’s on the other side

still on the axis so we had a diamond shed down there so that old house all the

way through out the diamond through the garden up through this house now

through here and then out that diamond window to the diamond shed which was

relocated deep connection to place and you know Nick I know that’s

something you and I when we were high school students teenagers we did a lot

of backpacking and obviously really valued our time in the woods and the

wilderness and you and I we also got into poetry and philosophy and reading

about different ways of being and connecting with place and it seems to me that

you’ve embodied that in your lifestyle in a manner that most of our friends and

peers haven’t quite reached and I’m just I want to ask you about what does

that mean for you to have such a connection with place I mean we’re you’re

working with meridian lines throughout a landscape tying different structures

together that you know that the common observer casual observer may not even

think to consider as a possibility yeah I don’t know I think you know a it’s a

blessing that we’ve had the opportunity and I think it comes out of just

studying cultures in different way different folks have done living

throughout the years you know and why did chimney rock down in southwest

Colorado you know the way they align that for the you know their structure is

based upon where the two stone pillars are on the solstice and the equinoxes and

all that stuff was always influential to us right so when when we have a little

chance to do make our little geomancy type move it feels great to have the

opportunity to do that type of stuff and yeah maybe only for us that we know

that I don’t maybe gives you more meaning in the day-to-day when we’re

dredging away digging or chipping or shoveling or doing all the manual labor

just having a little bit of meaning behind there perhaps yeah it seems there’s a

deepening of relationship to the place and you know I recall sometimes over the

years when I’d give you a call on the phone and check and say Nick how how

hard things you might say something like well the water just started flowing and

so that’s like this big moment in the seasonal cycle of the place and you know

for a lot of us living in our our plumbed homes connected to municipal utilities

you know the water flows whenever we lift a handle on the faucet on the sink

right and here you’re you’re really deeply connected to a lot of these seasonal

cycles these these daily diurnal cycles and the way you’re working with the

geometry of the landscape and the intentionality of the the salt and

sulfur and mercury and the way you built the structure I mean it’s just

tremendous yeah it’s been fun and again I’m really grateful to have the

opportunity to have the waters always been really important you know the

there’s a sad truth in that too is when we started here in 0405 this is a one

cubic foot per second ditch it comes off the creek and you know we have to

it’s about maybe a mile or so up and then we got to work all the way down

and we have to clean it out you know once the flow of the river of the creek is

up then it’ll start spilling into the ditch and then we have to clean the whole

ditch all the way down so that’s what like when it starts happening it’s a

couple days of working with it real close to bring it down and then just the

whole time it’s flowing and then lady you know just the way the state of the

world is is it just doesn’t flow all summer anymore you know usually in by

July mid-July it’s petering out plus we have a very junior rights on it so

sometimes the Baka Wildlife Refuge has all the senior rights and they’ll they’ll

pull a seniority on it and we have to shut it down or they shut us down but

yeah working with the water is a lot of fun and then during those times it’s

like my dreams are permeated by these water dreams sometimes it’s that the

house is getting flooded well some of the some of the thinking I know over the

years was a sense of preparedness right I know we shared even as early as our

teenage years a sense that wow some of these systems these global supply

changes these massive utility structures maybe they’re not as as resilient as

folks might be assuming and so there was a sense of hey how do we prepare how

do we how do we create the foundation of resilience and it’s something you’ve

done and demonstrated here over the years and not only do we have these broader

changing trends regarding rainfall and precipitation and temperatures you

know affecting water flow cycles perhaps connected to our changing climate but

now we also have this COVID situation right and that has brought a lot of

change into the world just in the last ten months or so whatever it’s been at

the time of this recording by the way we’re recording right around the second

week of December of 2020 and here you are prepared for that those kinds of

eventualities and I’m wondering do you find more folks out there reaching out

saying hey can we get involved what what can we be doing is there a sense do you

think that more and more people are perhaps reconsidering how how we might

think about these fundamental aspects of our lives yeah I think it’s

certainly there and you know since March of this year cut it’s the world is

really changed and there’s two sort of hemispheres for me there and one is the

you know renewable energy and homesteading and land-based stuff and the other

one is just local supply chain food distribution and so our business we’ve

tripled in action since March and in a lot of ways it’s been great for the

local food system and we’ve strengthened our all our relationships and we’ve

strengthened our team as far as like internal operations and it’s a great time

to be a small farmer because there is a supply chain to plug into so I think all

that is really found its place of importance and volume you know the

critical mass you know prior honestly prior to March I was like man this is

it’s tough I feel like I’m force feeding local foods I feel like why do I

have to compete and push and you know prostrate myself out with local foods when

people really want the cheapness and the convenience of U.S. foods at their

doorstep three to four days a week yeah yeah yeah so it was frustrating and I

don’t that necessarily hasn’t gone away but what’s come more to light is just

folks at home people don’t they’re not leaving their homes so we say yeah we’ll

bring you products from 65 producers to your doorstep it’s like a slam dunk

and it’s a it’s a really good thing so for us you know the biggest challenge

after that is running truck fleet and all that type of stuff being that we’re in a

rural area San Luis Valley 65,000 people we really need the population centers

of Denver Springs Pueblo and then over in the Drango area we really need those

markets to sustain you know our production base and we have great production

you know back to the potatoes and quinoa and carrots and mushrooms and we have

really good production and a lot of the stuff that people were concerned about is

like well what about the production and what’s happening and how are how is

it and they’re like well we’re pretty good we’re not experiencing that except the

meat meat processors have been definitely hit hard and that climate has

totally changed as far as a lot of our normal butchers that we would go do our

yak beef bison lamb they dropped out of doing USDA because USDA is what you know

food distributor needs to buy and sell food and it’s pretty much that stamp

that USDA inspection inspection yeah but it doesn’t mean that you can’t you

know have private ranchers that say hey or just process my cow and so that’s

what the butchers have been doing and they’re booked out way out into 2021 and

2022 of just local people that just want their animals processed and they don’t

care about USDA so that market’s been pinched a little bit and the supply

chain’s been a little bit disrupted even on our local small scale level however

it’s still working new producers are coming out of the woodwork and you know

nature reports the vacuum so other things are filling in and you know we’re

really all curious to see you know what what is going to spring up from this

transition time you know and hopefully the local food thing will just keep up

and keep on because it’s really important and a lot of other things too and then

on the other hemisphere of the homesteading and just like self-sufficiency and you

know land-based community and building and and just you know living out living

the dream on the land I’m somewhat removed out of that just because we’ve been so

busy doing the food business but I think it’s there and I think people are

real interested and and need tools and man if it to me it’s it’s getting more

simple as far as like well here it’s these things and put these things in order

and you know it’s not rocket science per se but it takes time

willingness and probably sending down the phone and picking up a shovel and you

know pulling up the sleeves and you know I we have this crest on energy

fairs been going on for three some years and we just had our thing the subject

of free energy came up and it’s always one that has inspired me because you

know like what is more free even the sun and what is more free than falling

water and blowing wind and things like that and people are looking for

something else than what we have and it might not be the super high tech

newest and latest but it’s so there and it’s so accessible and it’s not that far

away to implement and get into production and the free energy thing also

implies that we’re not going to have to work for it and you know it’s a big

misnomer I think so I think we do have to work for it even though it is

cosmically free right Nick I want to thank you for opening up your home to

share this with us and share what you’ve been creating here over the last many

years and I am so excited to realize in a even newer way than I had

previously that this type of rootedness and this lifestyle of of home

studying and working in the local food system is probably one of the deep

important threads of helping to transition into a much more sustainable and

regenerative and stewardship oriented culture in our near future and so I’m

just excited that we got to get this episode recorded together my friend and

I want to mention a quote by Einstein that you shared with me a couple weeks

back something about not being able to solve problems at the same levels of

consciousness that we created them and it seems that we need some new ways of

doing things in our culture and that you’re on to something here and so I just

wanted to before we sign off thank you and invite you if there’s anything else

you’d like to share with our why on earth community audience before signing

off for today and I think we may be seeing some more collaborations down the road

by the way would love to hear what you have to say thanks Aaron well of course

you and I co-conspirated a lot of this stuff and you’ve been with me the whole

way and I really appreciate that and even with local food system stuff I wouldn’t

be in it if it wasn’t for you and it’s a blessing and a curse you should say

somebody I’m sorry and you’re welcome yeah it’s true so in a way it’s been a

huge distraction but also a great blessing like so many worthwhile endeavors

yeah so I’m grateful and is yeah it’s been it’s about relationships and the

cool thing that happened with this food hub I’m gonna dress that in a couple

of ways is our board came together and these are the founders of organic

movements you know the old-time organic farmers of the valley and they really

wanted a gold standard and it wasn’t necessarily certified organic they wanted

a regenerative soil farming you know food that was grown in living soil so we

coined the RSF regenerative soil farmer sort of designation so all in our

listing you know anybody that’s doing that growing food and living soils are

building soils and that’s everyone from vegetables to you know cattle rancher

they get that RSF designation so that’s been fun and I think going on with

what you’re saying there is just recognizing that this regenerative soil is

really where so much of misplaced long-do importance is needs to be invested

in and it’s slowly coming up I mean the conversations and the work you’re

doing and it’s definitely becoming more highlighted so that’s exciting to see

and it’s been a privilege to work around people doing great work in that way

and to be helping by just you know providing market for their products and

stuff and there’s so much more work to do I think the COVID kind of was a

distraction for a little bit as far as the you know climate scenario and like

what we need to be doing on carbon neutral activities and I think it’s good

to see that it’s still like even with my daughters community it’s still up and

they’re still working on it and it’s very much of importance and I think that’s

a lot of my interest you know and we always knew again back to like something

was just not right and we knew that something had a change and there was

something and a lot of it was like oh man we’re gonna run out of oil it’s gonna

be like Mad Max and that’s a lot of it’s fueled a lot of my thinking and I never

saw a biological or a virus latent sort of pandemic to drive home important

lessons such as local food so that was kind of when we didn’t necessarily see

coming in that way but it’s been a blessing as far as it’s really improved the

importance of local food and the climate and the carbon neutrality and I

think that stuff is coming out of this new crop of sort of consciousness and it’s

the next big thing we need you working on and and I think you know some of the

things that we’ve tried to do here is just yeah it only makes sense and it’s

only really impactful in at scale and at in quantity you know so you feel

free to reach out in your circles to see like how can we build settlements and

communities that you know our carbon neutral if not carbon negative for the

next round of earth habitation you know we might travel the Mars but doesn’t

mean we should not keep working for this planet indeed yeah in fact in

there are a lot of global experts really taking some of the folks to task on

this whole Mars fantasy fetish they would say and that we’ve got so much work

to do right here on earth and if we even might consider it a possibility to

terraform some other body in the solar system wouldn’t logic require us to get

really good at it here yeah first and in a much easier set of conditions where

we’re not being bombarded by solar radiation because of our magnetosphere and

atmosphere etc so yeah it’s it seems to me Nick that oddly enough we tuned

into this fairly early in our lives and now as more and more people in the

quote-unquote mainstream are tuning into this that folks like you are in a

position to shine even more brightly as leaders and so it’s my hope and it’s a

big part of why we’re doing the work we’re doing at the Winer’s community that

we can create more videos with you guys and do more to help share the

knowledge and expertise you’ve generated in the last two two and a half

decades and get that out to a lot more folks out there and if we go about it in a

good way we’ll probably have some fun doing it too so hey that wouldn’t be bad

either yeah well thank you my friend it’s great visiting with you love your

brother that may be the first hug on a podcast episode really well you and I

would do it all right well thanks Nick thank you take care everybody the

Winer’s community stewardship and sustainability podcast series is hosted

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