Taking Action for a Better World – by Tank Barrett

Early in July, the man who started a circle of active and concerned Ubuntu Contributionists, Trygve Peterson, reached out to Derrick Broze – freelance journalist, YouTube personality, and now a Bitcoin-sponsored activist on a nationwide speaking tour.  Trygve wanted to know if there was anything the Ubuntu Minneapolis Circle could do in collaboration with Derrick’s event for the Twin Cities, and he was told to contact Juliet Nail, an activist with a group of concerned local agorists.   

 Juliet asked Trygve if the Contributionists could put together a permaculture event for Derrick – an “Action Day” – where his group, The Conscious Resistance Network, could participate and contribute.  The Minneapolis Circle accepted the challenge and went straight to work. 

On August 8th, the “Action Day” came to fruition.  Derrick, and his team members (Miriam, Johnny, and Mick) joined the Circle to install a rainwater capture system to provide water to a newly erected hoop-style greenhouse on a city lot used locally by Ubuntu Minneapolis as a base of operations.

MN Rain WaterFor anyone new to the word “ubuntu” – it is a South African word that implies unity in community.  Michael Tellinger, leader of the global Ubuntu movement and the Ubuntu political party in South Africa coined the term “contributionism” to capture its meaning in English.  Both the movement and the political party are organized and growing in countries around the world, including the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and many others.

Scattered in and around the metropolitan Twin Cities area, the local chapter of Ubuntu Contributionists was devising ways to incorporate the “One Small Town” strategy released by the Ubuntu home office in South Africa during October of last year. 

“It’s hard to imagine implementing the One Small Town strategy in this big city,” said Trygve, “so I thought, how about if we start with one small house and then build a network from there.”  At a recent meeting the Minneapolis Circle of Contributionists noted the many progressive organizations manifesting with common goals across the country, and a permaculture project seemed like the perfect way to start bringing them together.

“A hoop-style greenhouse alone doesn’t really capture or convey all the benefits of permaculture,” said Tank Barrett, another Contributionist, “… but if we used raised self-watering garden beds supplied by a rain-water capture system, we could get a lot closer to what permaculture actually is.”

“Here we capture the rainwater in the barrel shown, and we have installed lines to carry the water into the water reservoirs of the garden beds,” said Tank. “It isn’t a real permaculture yet, but it’s a start!”

According to Google, permaculture is “the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient”.  “A residential lot in the city is the last place anyone would expect to find permaculture,” said Jason Nelson, another Minneapolis Contributionist, “but with the ever increasing population of this world, I think it would be a good idea if we began to find more efficient means to produce and distribute our food. If we can move closer to local sustainability and self-sufficiency through permaculture ideology, we will be that much closer to finding real long-term solutions that everyone can implement – even if they live in the city.”

“One product I found that made this whole project easier was something called ‘Catch a Raindrop’.MN Device  It’s sold at many area retailers, and it is made to fit inside the downspout for your rain gutters,” said Tank.  “It filters out most leaves and other debris that might otherwise end up in your rain barrel and it’s designed to accommodate a regular garden hose,” he continued.

Over a period of 3 weeks, the Minneapolis Contributionists spent their Saturdays to prepare the hoop-style greenhouse for the Action Day event.  First they cleared the ground and rounded up materials donations.  Next, they built the structure.  Finally, they assembled the raised garden beds and prepared the materials to install a rain-gutter water capture system when Derrick and his crew arrived.

MN Progress

David Koehler – another Contributionist – installed the water lines.  “We didn’t put the plastic cover on until we had all the dirt we needed MN Containerinside – but now with the plastic on we realize we will be able to lengthen our growing season by quite a bit, said David.”  He continued, “We may even get a crop of lettuce or something before this year is out, but I will leave that to people with greener thumbs than mine.”

All things considered, this event was a rousing success.  The gardens are ready for planting, and there was a packed house at the Birdhouse Inn & Gardens where Derrick Broze and his team spoke that evening.

Their next project will be to collect the donation of a large aquaponics system.  “We aren’t sure where we are going to put it that it will be safe from the cold winter weather,” said Bruce Schaefbauer, another Contributionist.  While the MN GreenhouseCircle is figuring that out, they intend to build a healing pyramid in the side yard – a small metropolitan nature preserve that is already home to some chickens.”

Carolyn Smith, yet another Contributionist who donated most of the bricks for the floor and lots of labor said, “Our goal with the One Small House is to engage the community and to encourage cooperation and collaboration.  Hopefully, we can all learn a little about the Ubuntu Philosophy and support each other as this world transitions to a healthier socio-economic structure and a set of paradigms that values people and life over the almighty dollar.” 

They may be just a few small steps, but the Ubuntu Minneapolis Circle is seems to be taking them in the right direction and for the benefit of everyone.                        


MN CrewLinks

Ubuntu Minneapolis Circle online:   https://www.fullcircleproject.net/circle/499/

Ubuntu Minneapolis Circle on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UbuntuMinneapolis/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel