We moved to Coonoor in June 2004 from Mumbai. Our family is Mansoor, Tina (Lisa) and our children Zayn('93), Pablo ('95) and dog Rhea ('02). It was my obsession to live outside the city and preferably close to nature. It took a long long time to get here, with one aborted attempt to live in Mandwa - a seaside haven across the harbor in Mumbai.
We used to visit Coonoor annually for holidays and stuff where we have had a house since 1994. Luckily I was able to convince Tina and then the kids about moving to Coonoor. I am so lucky and grateful that my family agreed to make the move and that now this is happening. I felt I was reborn and living for the first time.
Luckily this kind of climate is great for cheesemaking too. And that helped Tina find a vocation and we started exploring the possibility of organic gourmet cheesemaking. Now we are selling our cheese from several outlets in Coonoor and Ooty. Check our cheese outlets from the Our Cheese Page.
Mansoor and Pablo preparing for Peak Oil.
Born in Mumbai in 1958 and studied at Bombay Scottish High School. Did several years of engineering at institutions like IIT, Cornell and M.I.T. to finally decide that I would never pass my Bachelor of Science
So took leave from college in 1980 and ended up writing and directing 4 Hindi feature films -
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak - 1986
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander - 1991
Akele Hum Akele Tum - 1995
Josh - 2000
All this was while I was plotting about how to run away from Mumbai City and live on a sailboat and sail around the world..............
.....but that did not happen..........................
And so twenty-four years later I did get away.
So now it is Acres Wild and whatever it entails.
Civilization as we know it is coming to an end soon. This is not the wacky proclamation of a doomsday cult, apocalypse bible prophecy sect, or conspiracy theory society. Rather, it is the scientific conclusion of the best paid, most widely-respected geologists, physicists, bankers, and investors in the world. These are rational, professional, conservative individuals who are absolutely terrified by a phenomenon known as global 'Peak Oil'."
Above is the opening para on "Life after the Oil Crash", one of the first and best sites on the reality of Peak Oil. If you have to understand Peak Oil and it is high time you did, visit the sites below. But more important you burn the above graph in your mind. It will be the most important graph you are to see for the near future.
Peak Oil. You have not heard of ‘Peak Oil’? Well you better take some time to figure out what it means. Something your teachers, bosses, politicians and neighbourhood cable-TV man don’t want to tell you about. This is not a doomsday scenario. It is a one of the top-most concerns on the minds of people who are willing to look beyond the Sensex.
Forgotten Fundamentals of the Energy Crisis - absolutely marvellous and compact lecture by Professor Albert Bartlett of Colorado University, on the arithmetic of exponential growth that our economic system imposes on everything on this planet. A modest 7% fixed growth rate of market and therefore of resources means that you are doubling your energy consumption every 10 years and that is what is happening. But the main point he makes is about the time left for remaining resources to deplete and the implications of 'when' we are likely to realise that…… we are pretty close to midnight. The growth is exponential when added - and you know what they call a similar phenomenon in medical terms? - Cancer! - “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” — Dr. Albert Bartlett
Into the Grey Zone
Professor Bartlett talks to The House - Detailed and superb attempt to explain to the guys in power what Peak Oil is all about. Unfortunately the graphs are missing that he presented in his lectures. Anyway if you have the time and patience please read this as Prof Bartlett has a great way of bringing out the most important facets of Peak Oil so that they are not merely theory and fact but appeal to our sense of scale and urgency.
Anyway more on Peak Oil. I found this very compact and simple-talk presentation on the phenomenon. It is called Ten Principles of Post Oil-Peak Planning. READ IT I say!!!!
The Archdruids Report - A brilliant site with weekly posts that illustrate The Druid's (John Michael Greer's) perspectives on nature, culture, and the future of industrial society. All this with an emphasis on Peak Oil and it's implications. A must-visit site. You will be hooked.
The Road to Olduvai Gorge- A truly original investigation of the life expectancy of an Industrial Civilisation. Richard. C. Duncan, Phd. puts it at 100 years. Really worth a read. It encapsulates the trajectory of the current world civilisation and a lot of it is looking uncannily true. In contrast, both the “exponential growth theory” (of “mainstream” economics) and “steady-state” theory (of “utopian” economics) fail.
Olduvai Gorge Theory mainly says -
Industrial Civilization can be described by a single pulse waveform of duration X, as measured by average energy-use per person per year.
The life-expectancy of Industrial Civilization is less than one-hundred (100) years: i.e., X < 100 years.
Peak Oil News - An excellent blog on latest in Peak Oil News.
From The Wilderness- Another great site on Peak Oil. Good God! Won’t these excellent Peak Oil sites ever stop? Why are there so many of these Peak Oil sites around suddenly and worse still - talking so much sense? There should be a law against this kind of thing I say!
Deconsumption - Important to read the biography of the person behind this site, Steven Lagavulin, who uses a pseudonym for reasons explained below.
"My name is not Steven Lagavulin. Lagavulin..... I'm not using a pseudonym out of any desire to be deceitful; but there are a number of reasons why I've chosen to do so. The primary one is that I was (until recently) an Investment Advisor with a top-10 tier financial firm..... After fifteen years engaged in an active study and interest in the investing world, I found I could no longer accept responsibility for allocating peoples hard earned (or even easy earned) savings in markets that I believe are stumbling toward a cliff. I left because I couldn't stomach the lying anymore. I couldn't "push the product" when I knew those products were little more than a conglomeration of illusions. The things I felt that people should be doing to secure their future had nothing whatsoever to do with the things that I made a commission on...... So now I peddle whatever advice I have for free...... 'Deconsumption'. This is where the developed world is heading, like it or not. The products and resources are dwindling, and the buyers (the Western world) are over-burdened with debt. It's not conjecture, and the script has already been written. The party is over. The Age of Deconsumption is dawning upon us all."
So that was Steve Lagavulin but do read the page on Peak Oil - The Most important thing you don’t want to know about Peak Oil. And that article recommends you also read an An Important Announcement by Michael C. Ruppert.
Channeling Hubbert - Interesting looking site on Peak Oil.
Energy Bulletin - is a clearinghouse for information regarding the peak in global energy supply. They publish news, research and analysis concerning:
Resource Insights - A private blog mainly on Peak Oil with interesting insights of course.
Transition Culture - Now for some steps towards solutions or at least learning how to make a community wide response to energy and other such issues. Transition Culture is a great site I was just recommended to visit. Looked at it briefly but intend reading it more deeply soon. Check it out.
Die Off - Ok now that you are getting an appetite for this kind of thing, go thru this site. Can this really happen? No it is only supposed to happen to the bad guys is what our teachers, preachers and other creatures said…
World Without Oil - A site with a pro-active approach to waking up to the reality of a world without oil. So just goes to show that most people who are talking about this are not 'doomers' but in fact moving towards a realistic approach to reality!!! Oh shit get real, I say!!! …
Noooooooooo! Stopppppppppppppp! ……………. Crude Awakening.org!!
We have grown up in the 'Industrial Age' that has given so many goodies and perks for the human species that it was hard to criticize it or even see objectively when it comes to sustainability. But now the cracks of complete systemic collapse are all around and seriously questions the 'worth' of the Industrial Paradigm.
The Industrial paradigm has 2 main pitfalls. One is the deviation from nature as a fundamental outlook - in other words science and technology can improve on poor old mother nature. And secondly - that it is all about 'growth' and 'profit'.
To understand the first it is best to read the thoughts and efforts of Masanobu Fukuoka - The man who in a slim and efficient book 'One Straw Revolution', put the truth of nature's rules for all of us. Winner of Magasay Award and definitely my guru.
As for the second, even a child knows that infinite growth is impossible and undesirable. Yet our mainstream economics talks about steady 7% growth. Scary idea. A fixed arithmetic growth is actually exponential as it compounds over time and leads to an exponential consumption of resources. Take a primer at Professor Bartlett's Site. Yet the market cheers when growth is up and mourns when it is down. How strange! Even stranger is that we talk about sustainability in the same breath as infinite growth and use phrases of contrary terms like 'sustainable growth'. Insane! Here are some links that prepare you for what is truly meant by sustainability.
The Crash Course - an excellent presentation by Chris Martenson that puts the 3 E's - Economy, Energy and Environment in perspective and correlation of today's collapse in all. But I found the first part on Economy the most illuminating as I was better aware on Energy and Environment. He smartly uncovers the trickery and illusion that exists in mainstream economics and all that is doomed to crash by it's very self-deception.
Friends of Narmada- The most comprehensive site of the epic battle against large dams by the Narmada Bachao Andolan led by Medha Patkar. This web site is not just about a Large Dam and the poor helpless people displaced etc, but it epitomizes just about everything that human beings are doing wrong. Getting aware and being involved in the Narmada issue and struggle awakened me to the other side of development and made me deeply question the main-stream and industrial paradigm. Opened my mind to the other side of just about everything. I feel blessed.
Earth Trust - a small group of people in the Nilgiri Hills of South India who are trying to address today's environmental and social issues. Earth Trust is working to give tools to village people to farm their land in a sustainable way, to develop responsibility for Primary Health solutions with traditional answers and to give rural children inspiration, skills & passion for revitalising their communities & land.
Tragedy of The Commons - So you can't just take the Narmada away from the people who live there. It is very important in that context to understand the concept of The Commons, a common resource that all are free to use but don't know how to misuse. Read here some basics of The Commons
The Humanure Handbook - The bible for people who have often wondered why human beings ‘do their do’ in gallons of drinking water!!! That is exactly what we do. Very interesting and eye opening book on one of the most fundamental kinks of our species. To read more completely about what the author Joseph Jenkins is all about, go to his web site at Joseph Jenkins Inc.
Primitivism- Primitivism is the pursuit of ways of life running counter to the development of technology, its alienating antecedents, and the ensemble of changes wrought by both. This site is an exploration into primitivism theory, as well as various works that contribute to an understanding of the tendency.
Dismantle Civilization - This blog hopes to pull together many diverging strands of information, to illustrate that the problem lies not with any one simple factor, but with the whole culture that we call civilization. The way we have been raised to view humans as superior and separate to nature, and hence how we behave in relation to our surroundings is ultimately the problem.
Tarun Bharat Sangh Home Page - organization setup by Rajender Singh who has done pioneering work in Water Harvesting and revival of underground water sources and rivers in Rajasthan. I have made the link to Rajender Singh’s profile within that site as it gives a good idea to this kind of work he has done.
Arne Naess & The Deep Ecology Movement - Arne Næss, whose concept of deep ecology enriched and divided the environmental movement.
Through his books and lectures in many countries, Næss taught that ecology should not be concerned with man's place in nature but with every part of nature on an equal basis, because the natural order has intrinsic value that transcends human values.
WoW Nilgiris - a blog that passionately pleads to save the Nilgiris and explains why it is so important.
Rainwater Club - based in Bangalore are into rainwater harvesting design and treatment of gray water. These are principals that we definitely want to incorporate at Acres Wild if we want it to be gentle on the environment and a sustainable farm and farmstay.
Article from ‘The Farm’- This piece of writing is so heart-wrenching, because of its honesty and conscious effort at lack of bias, that I had to put it here. It is about a place called ‘The Farm’ that was started as a self-sustaining community and farmstay in the US and its final fate. Scary and tragic stuff but you have to read it even if you are planning idealistic stuff like Acres Wild. In fact all the more why one should read it. The return to basics is not easy at all. Actually this is the web link to The Farm.
Some Ideas for Unconventional Living - a page from a site called Unconventional Ideas. Really a great collection of simple thoughts on this page about what we really need to be doing in the face of Peak Oil and what not. You will find other lovely yet simple essays about all the things we have forgotten.
In Context - A Quarterly of Humane Sustainable Culture. Very well written and positive articles on aspects on how to achieve sustainability in the context of our modern lives. Their approach is solution-oriented rather than problem focused. I suggest you follow this link to their free back issues to read their articles.
International Rivers Network (IRN) - protects rivers and defends the rights of communities that depend on them. IRN opposes destructive dams and the development model they advance, and encourages better ways of meeting people’s needs for water, energy and protection from damaging floods.
Organic Pastures - A site about a family-run farm in California that keeps loads of cows and re-educates us about the virtues of drinking raw milk. Kind of puts in perspective why pasteurization ever happened and why it is damaging. It kills all the bacteria and a lot of other good stuff and generates histamines that cause a number of allergies to milk.
Soil and Health - A good source for free books online and some to download on agriculture and health issues. You can find 'One Straw Revolution' by Masanobu Fukuoka online here to read too.
Zero Budget Natural Farming - A concept and practice by Shri Subhash Palekar. From a background of traditional farming he went to learn and practice chemical agriculture for over a decade. But his outputs declined and he resorted to Gandhi's teaching and to finally evolve a method called Zero Budget Natural Farming.
The Complete Site on Gandhi - that's exactly what it is. Good time to take a look at the guy who said it all but we decided that modern economics and the super-malls were a better choice. Anyway I don’t mean to reduce his thinking to just an explanation of that - it is much more and we all know it.
Vidhya Ashram - I read a book called ‘ Gandhi’s Challenge to Modern Science’ (Other India Press), that struck some deep chords in my mind on ideas that were dormant and so I did not really realize they were there. Namely - the follies of western scientific thinking starting with its logic therefore that kind of science and technology that is proving disastrous to the world at large. This inspired me to send an email to the writer of the book, Sunil Sahasrabudhey who lives in Varanasi and so I went there to meet him. It started a lovely dialogue and relationship on all kinds of ponderings. Vidhya Ashram is a unique institution started by him and others. It is best understood by visiting the web page.
Come to your Senses - That is where it all was. Lose your mind and Come to your Senses - strangely when we say ‘come to your senses’ today we mean the thinking part - the what we call ‘Common Sense’ part. The thinking part. In today's context when we mainly live in our minds and our new found awareness of the ‘old or primitive’, the phrase takes on a new meaning - or did I mean the actual ‘old’ meaning……….. Anyway also a great site to learn some very valuable ‘Primitive Skills’ like making a fire (easy?), how to make cordage (rope!) and what not. Maybe very useful in times to come.
Healing Daily- focuses on self-care, natural health and wellness, body detoxification, colon cleansing, oral chelating, removal of toxins from the body, liver detoxification, internal cleansing, heavy metal detoxification, healing naturally and alternative approaches to achieving health. Learn how to take responsibility for your health today.
Green Cross Society - "The sewage system was designed by a plumber and improved by hydraulic engineers. Today, it needs to be urgently worked out with the input of a microbiologist too. It cannot be left to an engineering department.". This is a core thought of Shantharam Shenai, who is popularly known in and around Mumbai as the “Garbage Guru,” is successfully demonstrating “earthworm technology” for recycling and sustainable ecological re-development. Shantharam is demonstrating how deep burrowing earthworms are capable of replacing soil in one year that would take 200 years to re-generate naturally. His idea is to use these earthworms to convert all forms of wasted organic matter into usable bio-fertilizer or multi-purpose sanitation products. Check out this deeply passionate and enlightened site on some of the curses of our times - waste and sanitation - especially urban sanitation.
Waste to Health - Mr. Bhawalkar graduated in Chemical Engineering, IIT Bombay 1973. Here he gives a lot of practical info on his work away from chemical fertilizers and towards natures way like working with organic waster and earthworms, nature's farmer as well as composter.
Is AIDS really viral? 30 years after the so-called HIV hypothesis all evidences are against it. There are 2477 leading scientists who are contesting the mainstream hypothesis that AIDS is viral caused by HIV! They have signed a pledge to contest and reexamine the premise that AIDS is viral and caused by HIV. All the evidence, patterns trends and statistics around the world are pointing to AIDS being a life-style syndrome that weakens the immunity system and not a disease cause by a virus. It appears to be caused either by the extreme use of hard drugs (like the gays in San Francisco, where it was first noticed) or by potent medicines (as given to hemophiliacs) or by malnourishment compounded with drug testing (as in Africa). This is not the first time that a new medical syndrome has been blamed on viruses. In medical history it used to be bacteria that were blamed for everthing at one time - like scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency), beriberi (Vitamin B1 deficiency), pellagra (due to vitamins removed from brown bread) and S.M.O.N. (this one was medical drug related). Similarly AIDS shows all trends of being chemically induced in nature. The best and most complete book on The AIDS myth is published by the most staunch critic of HIV=AIDS theory, Dr Peter Duesberg in his book “Inventing the AIDS Virus”. For a start we need to stop killing patients with wrong medication due to a wrong approach to the syndrome, stop creating paranoia and moral dilemmas and start by reading stuff that the mainstream media does not report. There are hundreds of books and dozens of excellent websites and below are some of the most pertinent ones.
The AIDS Virus Myth - The most complete site that investigates and blows up the myth that HIV causes AIDS. You will find just about every part of the arguments, history and lies - over here. But do check out the other sites to get a complete picture of how many people and experts are questioning this myth that a AIDS is a viral syndrome and caused by HIV.
The AIDS Wiki - A Powerful site for collecting data on questioning the mainstream view of AIDS.
Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society - The mission of the Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society is to promote critical discussion of the HIV=AIDS=Death dogma. It does this by making basic science available to a wider audience and by disseminating the writings of other critics of the theory to a wide audience. The society is always interested in hearing from people who would like to help through volunteering their time, offering their writing or research skills or who wish to donate money to support and expand the work of the society. This site has a great collection of the Latest News on AIDS that is relevant to dissidents.
Alive and Well- and this is the experience of a woman who was diagnosed HIV positive and doomed to die. She did not obviously. She married a man who made this film - The Other Side of AIDS - and she had 2 children and is alive and kicking…. the mainstream AIDS propaganda in the butt. My idea of a heroine.
Pesticides and Polio - Important to revisit the polio syndrome in the light of AIDS being a chemical phenomenon and not a viral one. Opens your mind…. note how polio happened in countries that started using DDT and other chemicals that effect the central nervous system.
Rethinking AIDS- Yet another site questioning that AIDS is viral. They also give a list of other sites that are doing the same.
Sparks of Light - This is what they say - 'There are major things wrong in modern virology. No other modern science is in such trouble. This is my reluctant conclusion after nine years of investigation. I am both horrified and amazed by what I have discovered. Mistakes made in the 1980s are still being made today. The evidence is in the investigations below and in the library of peer-reviewed scientific research made available here so that you can judge my conclusions for yourselves.'
HEAL- This is what they say about themselves. 'We said "medical condition" above rather than "disease" because the medical business uses the word "disease" to get your attention. Take the case of AIDS (which is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Syndrome simply means a collection of health conditions. Syndromes are multifactoral and by definition, a single form of treatment would be inappropriate.'
HEAL Toronto - They say - 'We try to raise awareness of the strong evidence that "anti-viral" drugs, designed to eradicate HIV, are not as safe or effective as is widely claimed, and while we support those who choose to use these treatments to address and treat their health challenges, we encourage awareness of holistic, non toxic alternatives.'
The information you will find on our web site questions the fundamental assumptions of the HIV=AIDS Hypothesis.
Roberto Giraldo Website- Another dissenter who says 'The AIDS industry and the media want you to think there are only a handful of scientists who doubt the HIV-AIDS theory. Here's the reality. More than 2600 people who have some or all of the connection between HIV and AIDS, including a large number of doctors and scientists.'
Johnny K's AID's Dissident Infobase- Johnny K's (John Kirkham) AIDS Dissident Infobase, dedicated to the many lives (both HIV positives and negatives) being destroyed across the world every day by the dogma that HIV is the cause of AIDS
Immunity Resource Foundation- The IRF website features regular contributions from scientists and journalists about the AIDS debate, challenging the HIV/AIDS hypothesis, and provides access to the AIDS and medical archives of Meditel Productions and Continuum Magazine.
The Perth Group - The Perth Group HIV-AIDS debate web site. Contains many scientific and popular publications including debate on the existence of HIV.
The Other Side of AIDS - "How Positive Are You?" The official site for the documentary: The Other Side of AIDS, by Robin Scovill.
Help For HIV- An introduction to HIV tests, links to relevant scientific literature, podcasts, interviews, video, newspaper and magazine articles, and much more.
Living Without HIV Drugs - This website is dedicated to the true-life stories of people who have two important things in common:
- We have all been diagnosed as HIV-Positive at some point in our lives, and
- We have all stopped, or never started taking the HIV medications normally prescribed by our doctors and clinics and hospitals, and are living healthy, happy lives.
We want to share our stories with you, in hopes that they can be an inspiration and provide you with the hope that you, too, can live without HIV drugs and their very serious and damaging side effects.
Farms that I have found on the net that we can learn from.
The Fukuoka Farming Website - Masanobu Fukuoka was a Japanese farmer who developed what many consider to be a revolutionary method of sustainable agriculture. He is also the author of "The One-Straw Revolution" and several other books examining both his philosophy and his method of farming.
This website is an outgrowth and extension of The Fukuoka Farming Mailing List. Both were created as a place where people interested in Fukuoka's method can network and share resources and experiences.
Vanashree - A farm similar to ours, located near Bangalore where Srikanth and Priti are striving for goals similar to Acres Wild. Over the 10 years since they started they have achieved some amazing results in rejuvenating their land which was devoid of top-soil and striving for sustenance.
Navadarshanam - Navadarshanam is the collective effort of a group of concerned professionals who, after a decade of study, introspection and dialogue, had come to realize that:
- people all over the world today are caught in the dangerous, swirling, currents of the materialistic, urban industrial way of life.
- alienation of the individual from self, nature, and the Creative Power is going hand in hand with societal disintegration and ecological destruction.
On of the key people there is Partap Agarwal who brought 'one Straw Revolution' by Masanobu Fukuoka to India thru Other India Press, Publications.
The Living House - A house made by Ajay and Maithreyi who stayed with us at our farmstay. This website has fascinating photos and insight into making a house with local sustainable materials and with a great sense of aesthetics and design.
Natueco City Farming Blog - Around the year 2000, Preeti Patil, the catering officer from Mumbai Port Trust, started transforming the terrace of her workplace by planting veggies and cereals. What started out as terrace farming to get rid of the daily nuisance of excess kitchen waste, saw enough success to give Patil the confidence to conduct workshops to teach the process to others. She might just be the pioneer in initiating the term "home farmers". In 2009, she along with a few friends started Urban Leaves to take her idea to every building's lawns, and to the terraces and balconies of every Mumbaikar's home.
Bio-Dynamic Association of India - The methods are based on a series of eight lectures given by Dr. Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher and scientist, in 1924 at the request of German farmers. He showed how the health of soil, plants and animals depends on reconnecting nature with the creative forces of the cosmos. The practical methods he outlined are intended above all, to revitalize the natural forces being depleted through modern agricultural techniques. Bio-dynamic methods produce a living soil with increased biological activity, in alignment with planetary cosmic rhythms, particularly those of the sun, moon and planets in the fixed constellations. Cosmic energies can work strongly through a living soil down into the plant. The coordinated working together of earthly and cosmic energies is what brings about healthy and nutritious plants. Bio-dynamics is a complete holistic outlook on agriculture.
Senaapath Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation - Senaapathy kangayam cattle research foundation is situated in Kuttapalayam village, Palayakottai in the Kangayam taluka of Tirupur District(formerly Erode District), Tamilnadu, India. The area is best suited to cattle breeding. The soil is red-loam of calcium rich gravel known as ‘odai jelly’, and is the best land for rearing cattle. Such soils are known to be cool and though shallow, are retentive of moisture sufficient for raising pasture. It is, however, a dry tract where the cultivator has to depend upon the monsoon. In some parts wells are used for irrigating farm lands; and to raise water from a depth of 30 – 60 ft. the farmers require strong and efficient bullocks. More-over, on the break of the monsoon, large areas of land have to be prepared and sown before the soil dries up and for this quick work efficient bullocks are very necessary.
Central Poultry Development Organization - mainly useful for Supply of quality ducklings both egg type and meat type to state poultry organizations and farmers. Also source for turkeys. They are in Hessaraghatta, Bangalore.
Cinnabar Farm and Farmstay: A very personal and delightful family run homestay and farmstay in Kodaikanal - a scenic hill station in Tamil Nadu, South India. We stayed there and in fact that is where Tina learnt her basics of homemade cheesemaking i.e. cheese that is not processed by the industrial method. Thanks Bala and Vasu. We have a long way to go in cheesemaking at our farm and we will be coming back to Cinnabar Farm for sharing notes and learning more.
Keystone Foundation - Keystone Foundation is an exceptional organisation in the Nilgiris, working with indigenous communities on eco-development initiatives. The Foundation’s work has been concentrated in the areas of apiculture, micro-enterprise development, non-timber forest produce, land and water management, revival of traditional agriculture, and other issues concerning indigenous communities.
The concept of 'keystone' emerges from the nest-building behavior of some birds in nature. These permanent nest structures serve as habitat for several life forms. Such 'keystone' species become crucial in providing opportunities for other associated beings to grow and evolve. Thus, Keystone Foundation is born out of a simple ecological principle of the interdependence of natural systems.
Article from ‘The Farm’- This piece of writing is so heart-wrenching, because of its honesty and conscious effort at lack of bias, that I had to put it here. It is about a place called ‘The Farm’ that was started as a self-sustaining community and farmstay in the US and its final fate. Scary and tragic stuff but you have to read it even if you are planning idealistic stuff like Acres Wild. In fact all the more why one should read it. The return to basics is not easy at all. Actually this is the web link to The Farm.
Organic Pastures - A site about a family-run farm in California that keeps loads of cows and re-educates us about the virtues of drinking raw milk. Kind of puts in perspective why pasteurisation ever happened and why it is damaging. It kills all the bacteria and a lot of other good stuff and generates histamines that cause a number of allergies to milk.
Come to your Senses - That is where it all was before we became creatures of symbolic and logical thought. I have a phrase I coined for discovering the Primitive - 'Lose your mind and Come to your Senses'. Yes strangely when we say ‘come to your senses’ today we mean the thinking part - the what we call ‘Common Sense’ part. The thinking part. In today's context when we mainly live in our minds, there is a new found awareness of the ‘old or primitive. Then the above phrase takes on a new meaning - or did I mean the actual ‘old’ meaning………..:-) Anyway this is also a great site to learn some very valuable ‘Primitive Skills’ like making a fire (easy?), how to make cordage (rope!) and what not. Maybe very useful in times to come.
Village Milk Processing - Excellent guide to processing milk for cheesemaking etc with equipment, layouts and cost breakdowns by Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (F.A.O.).
Nature's Harmony Farm - is a family-owned, pasture based farm and they believe in a lot of things that we do. Would be interesting to read how they get about it.
Silver Oaks Farm - A family run farmstay just out of Bangalore. Owned and run by Meera and Praveen Khanna, it seems to be the ideal getaway from Bangalore as it is only 90 minutes from the city.
Polyface Farms - are in the redemption business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the economy, and healing the culture. Writing, speaking, and farm tours offer various message venues.
Four Season Farm - Four Season Farm is an experimental market garden in Harborside, Maine, owned and operated by writers Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman. The farm produces vegetables year-round and has become a nationally recognized model of small-scale sustainable agriculture.
The Camembert Web Pages - A good comprehensive site for most info on Camembert cheeses.
Gourmet India - Not a cheese link maybe but definitely one for anyone into gourmet food. Lots of photos and recipes. Check it out.
Food Down Under - A huge site with recipes from all over the world.
Countries and Their Cultures - I found this link useful to read about the cultures of a lot of areas where there are hunter-gatherer, tribal or indigenous cultures.
Music links that I find useful are listed here.
Duane Shinn's Piano Lessons - A great site from a great teacher for self learning piano. Duane has a knack of making really practical lessons that you get on CD's and DVD's. I bought one called 'Naked Music' and it teaches you some simple tricks to make your playing fuller. This is if you have basic knowledge of chords etc but there are all levels of courses.
Mr Piano - Super site for Latin tips and lessons for keyboards.
Latin Rhythms - A good site for studying the basics of latin rhythms and the instruments involved.
Danman's Music Library - A large collection of chords of popular songs and videos on 'how to play' various stuff. Worth a look.
HP 50G Scientific Graphic Calculator - Since my high school and college techie days, I have had a personal fascination for HP calculators, their unique design and RPN logic. In 1974 I bought an HP-65 for 600 pounds then!!! And now, recently I bought the HP-50g for 170 pounds. But we are luckier still as you can now get a free HP-50G emulator for the PC.
Above is the link to the best emulators for the PC for the top HP-50G scientific graphing calculator - and it is absolutely free.
Lotus Agenda - A DOS based PIM program (free again) that was one of a kind. I sincerely doubt that anything like it will ever come up again. Here is a link to download it but a warning - you have 1 in a 1,000,000 chance of liking it but if you do…….. you are hooked!
Sitemapz.com - This is one of the best, free, unlimited, site map generators I have found. Testing it for the time being myself. Generates a very big file. Hope that means it is good :-) Am using this one.
SitemapsPal - This is the second one I use.
XML-Echo - Another free sitemap generator for up to 5000 pages.
Gsitemap - Free Google sitemap generator and some other goodies like Web Analyzer to tell you how much you can compress files on your site. Of course to compress them actually you have to buy a $499/- software from them so I ran off to look for something else. Check out their site for details.
GOM Player - A free player that plays all types of files and you don't have to worry about codecs and what not. I prefer this to the VLC player which is also free but I found a few small glitches with VLC player. WIll check out more and update this para.
Learn to Play Pool- Now that we have bought a pool table we have to get down to learning how to play the game from this excellent free site for the basics.
Some Learning Videos from UTube - This stuff is intimidating.
Spice Up Your HTML Pages with Random Widgets - I needed a software that would display random entries from our Acres Wild Guestbook each time I press a button on a webpage in our site. The reason was that most site visitors would not go too far back in the guestbook to see what someone wrote a while back. This widget digs out old comments at random from a file of comments in our guestbook. This adds a dynamic quality to the webpage. You can check it out in action in our Guestbook.
I found this archive of old useful reference books from my favourite Peak Oil Site - Life after the Oil Crash. The first book, Henley's Twentieth Century Fomulas is a monster source of knowledge. It is a big file so may a bit of time to download but really worth it once you save it on your computer.
Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas, recipes and processes, containing ten thousand selected household and workshop formulas, recipes, processes and moneymaking methods for the practical use of manufacturers, mechanics, housekeepers and home workers (1914)
Deadly adulteration and slow poisoning unmasked; or, Disease and death in the pot and the bottle; in which the blood-empoisoning and life-destroying adulterations of wines, spirits, beer, bread, flour, tea, sugar, spices, cheese-mongery, pastry, confectionary medicines, &c. &c. &c. are laid open to the public, with tests or methods for the ascertaining and detecting the fraudulent and deleterious adulterations and the good and bad qualities of those articles: with an exposé of medical empiricism and imposture, quacks and quackery, regular and irregular, legitimate and illegitimate: and the frauds and mal-practices of the pawn-brokers and madhouse keepers (1839)
Beverages & Brewing
A treatise on beverages, or, The complete practical bottler Full instructions for laboratory work, with original practical recipes for all kinds of carbonated drinks, mineral waters, flavorings, extracts, syrups, etc (c1888)
The mechanician, a treatise on the construction and manipulation of tools, for the use and instruction of young engineers and scientific amateurs; comprising the arts of blacksmithing and forging; the construction and manufacture of hand tools, and the various methods of using and grinding them; description of hand and machine processes; turning and screw cutting; and the various details of setting out work incidental to the mechanical engineer's and machinist's art (1879)
Bookbinding / Printing
Cowie's bookbinder's manual containing a full description of leather and vellum binding, directions for gilding of paper and book-edges, and numerous valuable recipes for sprinkling, colouring, & marbling(1852)
Bread Making section
The technology of bread-making, including the chemistry and analytical and practical testing of wheat flour, and other materials employed in bread-making and confectionery ([1911?])
The science and practice of cheese-making a treatise on the manufacture of American Cheddar cheese and other varieties, intended as a text-book for the use of dairy teachers and students in classroom and workroom(1909).pdf
The international cook book; over 3,300 recipes gathered from all over the world, including many never before published in English. With complete ménus of the three meals for every day in the year ([c1906])
Six hundred receipts, worth their weight in gold : including receipts for cooking, making preserves, perfumery, cordials, ice creams, inks, paints, dyes of all kinds, cider, vinegar, wines, spirits, whiskey, brandy, gin, etc., and how to make imitations of all kinds of liquors : together with valuable gauging tables : the collections, testing, and improvements on the receipts extending over a period of thirty years !
Mrs. Rorer's diet for the sick; dietetic treating of diseases of the body, what to eat and what to avoid in each case, menus and the proper selection and preparation of recipes, together with a physicians' ready reference list ([c1914])
Practical cooking and dinner giving a treatise containing practical instructions in cooking; in the combination and serving of dishes; and in the fashionable modes of entertaining at breakfast, lunch, and dinner (1887)
A practical treatise on the most obvious diseases peculiar to horses together with direction for their most rational treatment containing, also, some valuable information on the art of shoeing horses (1863)
Artistic horse-shoeing a practical guide and scientific treatise giving improved methods of shoeing, with special directions for shaping shoes to cure different diseases of the foot, and for the correction of vaulty action in trotters (1899)
The horse its care, maintenance, breeding, rearing, ailments, diseases and general treatment of the horse, including the cob, pony, hackney, and nag with hints on stable construction, breaking in, buying, and the management of the donkey (1911)
Practical farming a treatise on present farming conditions 1907
The farmer's manual being a plain practical treatise on the art of husbandry designed to promote an acquaintance with the modern improvements in agriculture together with remarks on gardening, and a treatise on the management of bees (1819)
Farm Implements, Tools, Fencing etc.
Handy Farm Devices and how to Make Them.
Modern farm buildings, being suggestions for the most approved ways of designing the cow barn, dairy, horse barn, hay barn, sheepcote, piggery, manure pit, chicken house, root cellar, ice house, and other buildings of the farm group, 1913
Farm buildings. A compilation of plans for general farm barns, cattle barns, dairy barns, horse barns, sheep folds, swine pens, poultry houses, silos, feeding racks, farm gates, sheds, portable fences, concrete construction, handy devices, etc..pdf
The complete manual for young sportsmen : with directions for handling the gun, the rifle, and the rod, the art of shooting on the wing, the breaking, management, and hunting of the dog, the varieties and habits of game, river, lake, and sea fishing, etc., etc., etc. : prepared for the instruction and use of the youth of America (1856)
Fishing, Fish, Tackle, fly fishing, Angling
The Angler's Guide Being a Complete Practical Treatise on Angling 1815
Book of the black bass, comprising its complete scientific and life history, together with a practical treatise on angling and fly fishing and a full description of tools, tackle and implements (1881)
The book of the pike A practical treatise on the various methods of jack fishing with an analysis of the tackle employed, the history of the fish, Also a chapter on spinning for trout in lakes and rivers (1865)
Recipes for the preserving of fruit, vegetables, and meat (1908)
A practical treatise on the manufacture of vinegar, with special consideration of wood vinegar and other by-products obtained in the destructive distillation of wood; the preparation of acetates. Manufacture of cider and fruit-wines; preservation of fruits and vegetables by canning and evaporation; preparation of fruit-butters, jellies, marmalades, pickles, mustards, etc. Preservation of meat, fish and eggs (1914)
Philosophical experiments: containing useful, and necessary instructions for such as undertake long voyages at sea. Shewing how sea-water may be made fresh and wholsome: and how fresh water may be preserv'd sweet. How biscuit, corn, &c. may be secured from the weevel, meggots, and other insects. And flesh preserv'd in hot climates, by salting animals whole. To which is added, an account of several experiments and observations on chalybeate or steel-waters ... which were read before the Royal-society, at several of their meetings (1739)
The London art of cookery and domestic housekeepers' complete assistant : uniting the principles of elegance, taste, and economy : and adapted to the use of servants, and families of every description Containing every elegant and plain preparation in improved modern cookery -- Pickling, potting, salting, collaring, and sousing -- The whole art of confectionary, and making of jellies, jams, and creams, and ices -- The preparation of sugars, candying, and preserving -- Made wines, cordial-waters, and malt-liquors -- Bills of fare for each month -- Wood-cuts, illustrative of trussing, carving, &c (1811)
Gen Manufacturing, Craft, etc.
Glues and gelatine a practical treatise on the methods of testing and use 1907
Health / Medical
A Practical treatise on diseases of children (1873)
The complete herbal : to which is now added, upwards of one hundred additional herbs ... to which are now first annexed, the English physician enlarged, and Key to physic ... forming a complete family dispensatory and natural system of physic ... to which is also added ... receipts, selected from the author's Last legacy to his wife (ca 1650s)
The family herbal, or, An account of all those English plants, which are remarkable for their virtues, and of the drugs which are produced by vegetables of other countries; with their descriptions and their uses, as proved by experience By Author John Hill 1714-1775
Heating / Refrigeration Ventilation
Refrigeration, cold storage and ice-making; a practical treatise on the art and science of refrigeration (1912)
Irrigation, Sewage, Plumbing and water
Egyptian irrigation (1913)
Punjab rivers and works A description of the shifting rivers of the Punjab plains and of works on them, namely inundation canals, flood embankments and river training works, with the principles for designing and working them (1912)
Leather, Leatherwork Tans, Hides
Modern American Tanning A Practical Treatise on the Manufacture of Leather (1910)
Mechanical Draft A Practical Treatise (1898)
Principles and construction of machinery a practical treatise on the laws of the transmission of power, and of the strength and proportions of the various elements of prime movers, mill-work, and machinery generally (1869)
Masonry, Concrete, Brickwork, Terra-cotta, Etc
Practical Treatise on Concrete and how to Make it With Observations (1869)
Concrete and reinforced concrete; a condensed practical treatise on the problems of concrete construction, including cement mixture, tests, beam and slab design, construction work, retaining walls, etc. (1916)
Materials, Properties, Strengths
A Practical Treatise on the Strength and Stiffness of Timber, Intended as a Guide for Engineers ... (1833)
Milling, Metallurgy, Forging, Gearing, Machines
A practical treatise on testing and working silver ores
Pattern Making A Practical Treatise Embracing the Main Types of Engineering Construction... Together with the Methods of Estimating the Weight of Castings; to which is Added an Appendix of Tables for Workshop Reference 1885
A new practical treatise on the 3 primitive colours, assumed as a perfect system of rudimental information With some practical rules for reflections and Sir Isaac Newton's distribution of the colours in the rainbow (1826)
A practical treatise on coach-building, historical and descriptive containing full information on the various trades and processes involved, with hints on the proper keeping of carriages(1881)
Poultry, Fowl, Birds
Inheritance in Poultry 1906
A practical treatise on breeding, rearing, and fattening all kinds of domestic poultry, pheasants, pigeons, and rabbits : also, the management of swine, milch cows, and bees, with instructions for the private brewery on cider, perry, and British wine making (1842)
How to feed poultry for any purpose with profit; a complete and authoritative treatise on feeding all classes of poultry--nutritive values of feeds--formulas to meet every probable requirement and for fowls kept under all conditions--practical rules for feeding, and how to adapt them to individual requirements-a text book for the beginner-a reference book for the expert(1920)
Wyandottes, silver, golden, black and white. Their origin, history, characteristics and standard points; how to mate, judge and rear them for exhibition and commercial purposes; with a chapter on their diseases and treatment (1891)
Roads, Pavements etc.
A Practical Treatise on Making and Repairing Roads (1844)
Shelter, Housing, Architectural
Wilderness homes a book of the log cabin (1908)
Trapping, Snares, Furs, Hides etc.
Deadfalls and snares a book on instruction for trappers about these and other home-made traps (1907)
The trappers guide a manual of instructions for capturing all kinds of fur-bearing animals, and curing their skins with observations on the fur-trade, hints on life in the woods, and narratives of trapping and hunting excursions (1872)
Every man his own cattle doctor : containing the causes, symptoms, and treatment of all the diseases incident to oxen, sheep, and swine : and a sketch of the anatomy and physiology of neat cattle (1844)
Every man his own cattle doctor, or, A practical treatise on the diseases of horned cattle : being a concise and familiar description of all the diseases incident to oxen, cows, and sheep; with the most simple and effectual method of curing each disorder in all its various stages; and the most efficacious treatment of cows, before, at, and after the time of calving, and also of ewes during the lambing season (1814)
Woolens, Fabric, Knitting, Needlework, Spinning etc.
Beeton's Book Of Needlework. Consisting Of Descriptions And Instructions, Illustrated By Six Undred Engravings, Of Tatting Patterns. Crochet Patterns. Knitting Patterns. Netting Patterns. Embroidery Patterns. Point Lace Patterns. Guipure D'art. Berlin Work. Monograms. Initials And Names. Pillow Lace, And Lace Stitches.
A practical treatise on dyeing and calico-printing : including the latest inventions and improvements; also, a description of the origin, manufacture, uses, and chemical properties of the various animal, vegetable, and mineral substances employed in these arts, with an appendix, comprising definitions of chemical terms; with tables of weights, measures, thermometers, hydrometers, [etc.] (1860)
Garden, Agro, Threshing, Orchards
Science of successful threshing (1907)
The American wheat culturist : a practical treatise on the culture of wheat, embracing a brief history and botanical description of wheat, with full practical details for selecting seed, producing new varieties, and cultivating on different kinds of soil 1868
Melon culture a practical treatise on the principles involved in the production of melons, both for home use and for market including a chapter on forcing and one on insects and diseases and means of controlling the same (1911)
Grasses and forage plants A practical treatise, comprising their natural history comparative nutritive value methods of cultivating, cutting, and curing and the management of grass lands in the United States and British provinces (1859)
Edible Wild Plants (1939)
Navigation and Maps
Instructions for making forest surveys and maps (1912)
The amateur's handbook of practical information for the workshop and the laboratory : containing clear and full directions for bronzing, lacquering, polishing metal, staining and polishing wood, soldering, brazing, working steel, tempering tools, case-hardening, cutting and working glass, varnishing, silvering, gilding, preparing skins, waterproofing, making alloys, fusible metals, freezing mixtures, polishing powders, signal lights, harmless colored fires for tableaux, catgut, cements, glues, &c., &c (1879)
Paint making and color grinding a practical treatise for paint manufacturers and factory managers, including comprehensive information regarding factory arrangement pigments vehiches and thinners liquid and cold water paints as well as practical working formulas and recipes(1913)
A practical treatise on the steel square and its application to everyday use; being an exhaustive collection of steel square problems and solutions, "old and new," with many original and useful additions.. (1903)
Mechanical movements, powers, devices, and appliances : comprising an illustrated description of mechanical movements and devices used in constructive and operative machinery and the mechanical arts ... (1903)
Mechanical appliances, mechanical movements and novelties of construction; a complete work and a continuation, as a second volume, of the author's book entitled "Mechanical movements, powers and devices" ... including an explanatory chapter on the leading conceptions of perpetual motion existing during the past three centuries (1910)
Mechanisms and mechanical movements; a treatise on different types of mechanisms and various methods of transmitting, controlling and modifying motion, to secure changes of velocity, direction, and duration of time of action ([etc. etc.] 1919 [c1918])
The scientific American reference book [microform] : a compendium of useful information containing the complete census of the United States by counties; map of the United States; views of public buildings; patent and copyright laws; rules and directions for obtaining patents; forms for patents, caveats, assignments, and licenses; hints on the value and sale of patents; tables of the weights and measures of the United States; the principal mechanical movements, with 150 diagrams; history and description of the steam-engine and valuable tables, calculations, problems, etc (1877)
TO PAUSE THE QUOTE: move mouse into the box.
The Queen of Cheese in Coonoor
Born 1960, Santacruz, Mumbai City. Schooled at St. Joseph's Girls School, Bandra and graduated from Sophia College. Tina went to New York for a two month course in ceramics and stained-glass in 1989.
When we moved to Coonoor is 2004, Tina did a lot of self-reading on cheesemaking and then finally got the confidence after a visit to Cinnabar Farm, Kodaikanal. This is a very personal homestay run by Bala and his wife, Vasu. Bala gave her a quick demo on his method of cheesemaking.
Well since then there has been no looking back and Tina and her cheese have won many cheese-loving hearts. Our good friend and a true cheese aficionado, Minoo Avari from Kodai Kanal, lovingly referred to her as 'The Coonoor Cheese Queen'. The title has stuck ever since.
Zayn and Rhea - March 2008
Born in 1993 in USA. Zayn has now completed her 11th after managing to get through 10th (90%) from Riverside School but continues to waste her days there by attending as few classes as possible. Looking at the track record of most of the top Bollywood artistes I figure she has a great career ahead.