Tag Archives: eco village

Bitcoins – the missing link?

A concept that has intrigued me for many years, is a lifestyle combining the simplest of permaculture living with the absolute “bleeding” edge of technology. An eco-village (real or virtual) where we grow our own food, generate our own power and educate our children, free from the pressures and interference of big governments and rampant consumerism.

Now its easy to give up the day job, sell the house and cars and buy a piece of land in the country, but where will the money come from to feed, clothe, educate and protect your family? How will you afford healthcare? Many folk like me, with some web-based income, will find it easier to adapt, but what we cannot do without, is high speed Internet connectivity and the ongoing means to sell our wares online.

Once you have an online business up and running, the reality of payment options rears its head. I have fiddled with PayPal, credit cards and direct deposits over the years but the manual interventions required at almost every step makes the income earned not worth all the admininstration involved.

I started researching online virtual currencies a few months ago with a view to adapting my business model to a wholly online experience. With the recent financial upheavals in Europe I realised that governments and banks could not be trusted with our money and although online currencies where fraught with growth pains, they offer a welcome break from the traditional financial model.

Over the next few months I am going to re-visit my dreams of an eco-village, start another web business helping folk earn an income online and move all my payment options to virtual currencies, namely Bitcoin.

My ebooks book can now be paid for with Bitcoins.

Aquaponics – The Synaptoman way

If you’d like to trade in virtual currencies, including Bitcoins and SLL (Second Life Lindens) pop over to  VirWoX

To buy or sell Bitcoins, go to Mt.Gox and open an account.

Enough for now.



Aquaponics as a component of Permaculture

A while ago I conducted a survey on this blog to determine what my readers wanted me to write about.  Predictably, Aquaponics (AP) won hands-down and I attract a regular 200-400 hits a day reading mainly my older AP articles.  This blog has attracted well over a 1/4 of a million hits since its inception and has readers from all corners of the globe, but I mention specifically the USA, Australia and the UK as my most ardent followers.

I am humbled and also slightly intimidated by the 60+ subscribers to this blog who keenly await my next submission, so before I begin this missive let me lay a brief foundation.

I started as a backyard AP fan and rose rapidly through the ranks and found myself eventually designing and physically building backyard as well as commercial AP systems.  I also wrote an eBook on the subject (still available on this site) which still ranks up there with the best available for newcomers to this subject.

What really worried me, however, was the sustainability of AP and where exactly it fitted into the bigger picture.  My research eventually took me into the concept of Survivalism and from there it was relatively easy to work out that AP was actually a key element of Permaculture.

Two factors reinforced this realisation. Firstly, although the income from consulting, designing and building AP systems was good, it wasn’t sufficient to match the income I could earn in my primary profession, which was IT systems design, consulting and programming.  Secondly, despite what was claimed on numerous AP sites, we still had a long way to go insofar as yields and particularly financial viability of AP.

This gave me pause for thought and what I eventually did was to join the “Dark Side”, take a well-paying programming job in a distant town (Paarl) and leave the Child Bride and Brat Deluxe to manage my AP system in my hometown of Knysna, South Africa.  The objective here was to consolidate (which we all need to do at some stage in our lives), accumulate some capital and plan our next step.

My ultimate objective in life is to design, plan, implement, build and eventually live out my last days in an Eco Village.  I dealt with this extensively in my series entitled, Newtopia and only now this whole concept all seems to be taking shape.  So please excuse me while I deviate somewhat from AP for the next month or two and plunge into the subject of Permaculture.

In my next posts I will deal extensively with Permaculture and why we as aspiring AP experts should be embracing the concept.  My next subject is sheet mulching and if you have ever been frustrated by the limitations of AP or the fact that you don’t have “green fingers” read carefully. 

I’d like to end this post by wishing my wife, the world famous Child Bride all the very best for her birthday.

My Wife, my Life, my sole reason for Living.

Cheers for now