Unfortunately, I can no longer afford to pay the website hosting for the Binikou wiki, and it’s being taken offline. I’m very sorry for this, but there were no contributions other than my own, so I’m guessing that not a lot of folks will even notice it missing. :-) Maybe someday the Binikou Encyclopedia of Solutions will find a new life, fulfilling the original mission of offering a way for humans of all ages to research, test, and share great ideas for using abundant resources to meet people’s needs more effectively and enjoyably. But for now, it’s again just a dream.

Thanks to anyone who’s been curious enough to at least check out the idea.

With Gratitude,
Turil Cronburg

Note: if you want to see what I’m up to, check out my main blog at http://turil.wordpress.com or the minimalist website at http://www.thewiseturtle.com

Saturday Morning Superfoods at the Palermo Community Library

Free Super Healthy Snacks!
Free seeds and plants!
Free exchange of ideas on how to identify, grow, and prepare super healthy local foods.
Free for all ages!

Free food, free plants, and plenty of fun and knowledge for the whole family!
11 am – 12 noon every Saturday morning at the Palermo Community Library, starting August 20th

The Palermo Community Library, in collaboration with Binikou ~ the Human Powered School, has received a generous grant from Healthy Waldo County to run a weekly program supporting healthy lifestyles that include eating and growing a wide variety of super nutritious local foods. Saturday Morning Superfoods events start on August 20th, from 11 am to noon. These events will be fun, all ages explorations of the highest quality foods you can grow yourself right here in Maine. Attendees of the events will get to taste local foods prepared with healthy, fun, and delicious recipes. There will also be information on wild foods, and planting and preparation techniques for growing your own superfoods. And attendees will receive free seeds or plants to cultivate at home, and will get an opportunity to contribute information and artwork to Binikou’s Enclopedia of Solutions for improving the quality of life for humans all over the world.

If you’re wondering what a “superfood” is, it is a food that is especially dense with nutrients, or has a high level of some hard to get nutrient. So eating even a little bit of a superfood makes your body superpowered!

Each Saturday Morning Superfood event at the library will feature different local foods, such as sunchokes, kale, wood sorrel, clover sprouts, Maine blueberries, and the surprisingly powerful and tasty purslane. There will be a variety of sweet and savory things to eat each week, so come on by on Saturday morning and bring some friends and family, too. For more information check out the library’s new blog at http://PalermoLibrary.wordpress.com or visit the “Palermo Community Library” page on Facebook. And look for the Library’s human powered garden float after the Palermo Days parade.

Also, for locals who want to show off their own locally grown superfood plants, especially hardy perennials, in the program, please get in touch with Turil at TheWiseTurtle at gmail.com or call and leave a message at the library at 993-6088. The library is looking for both fresh picked foods and whole plants and seeds for others to cultivate in their own superfood gardens.

Seeds are magic, even in real life!

Binikou got the grant! Whoohooo! It’s from Healthy Waldo County, and we will be using it to run three months of Saturday Morning Superfoods and Food Forest events at the Palermo Community Library. Each week we will explore one local food that is exceptionally nutritious and easily grown in the local area as part of a permanent, low maintenance garden. We’ll be planting, harvesting, preparing, and eating the superfoods while collaborating on a Binikou solution page for the encyclopedia that will be shared with all the world. And in the process, the Library, and workshop attendees, will receive plants for their own permaculture garden. At the end of the summer, the library will have at least 14 different edible species in the new Food Forest garden!

Did I mention, Yay! Congratulations to us!

The program will start mid to late June. Some of the first foods we’ll feature might include sunchokes, sprouts, kale, and stinging nettle. We welcome you all to participate either at the library, or online at the Encyclopedia of Solutions, with your ideas, art, questions, and knowledge…

more than a green thumb, a whole green body!

If you want to help Binikou stay healthy and growing as an online Encyclopedia of Solutions, maybe you could help us pay for the $130 website hosting bill we have this year. Right now, we owe a mere $10 for the domain name, and we could definitely use a little donation to cover that. (Later in the year, around November, the rest of the bill will be due as well.)

Donate towards my web hosting bill!

This link will allow you to contribute directly to the hosting bill, so you know exactly where the money is going! :-)

Thanks muchly!

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Binikou has a dream of starting a program at the Palermo Community Library (in Maine, not Italy) that would have a workshop every Saturday morning exploring one of the top most nutritious plants that grow sustainably and permanently in Maine. The goal would be to give away superfood plants that either are perennials or readily self-sow for people to cultivate in their own permaculture-style food forests. We’d also use the workshops to build up the library’s own garden space with long term food plants that need very little maintenance to thrive (as opposed to the more mainstream style annual vegetable gardens that need lots of maintenance and replanting every year).

The workshop leaders and participants, of all ages, would collaboratively create at least one Binikou solution page for the Encyclopedia of Solutions wiki for each plant. We’d explore everything from the history of the plant, to how to nurture it, to what nutrients are in it, to how to prepare it so that it is most nutritious and delicious.

We just applied for a small grant to fund this for the summer (the money would go to buying food plants/seeds and library media in support of growing superfoods, wild food identification, and permaculture). We will find out if we’ve gotten the grant by the end of the month. Cross your fingers! If we don’t get it, there will still probably be some more Superfood/Food Forest workshops at some point, since education about sustainable food practices and free food plants are such good ideas!

edible roof?

Binikou is sponsoring an event for Earth Day, up here in little old Palermo, Maine! Here’s the info for any locals who might be interested:

The Palermo Community Library celebrates Earth Day 2011 on Saturday April 23, from 10am to 2pm, with a groundbreaking event for the brand new Community Garden! Come help dig, plant, and plan for a living library, filled with a diverse range of herbs, fruit trees, flowers, and nutritious wild edibles.

Donations of plants, gardening supplies, and seeds are more than welcome! You can even help us plan and build a wooden bridge over the stream that runs through the garden. Learn a little about permaculture planing, food forests, plants that local Native Americans used, and all kinds of things about both wild and tame gardening. Bring your own gardening stories to share with others, too! Books and other media on plants, gardening, and being a steward of the Earth will be showcased, and you might find something exciting to borrow, and enjoy at home, as well.

If you want to donate materials for the new garden before or after the 23, contact Turil Cronburg at thewiseturtle@gmail.com, or at 993-2490. Otherwise just show up with your donations on the 23 and we’ll put it all to good use right away! Extra tools, perennials, and garden stones are especially useful.

We might also have some free seeds and seedlings to give away so that you might be able to start your own little garden, too, to make your part of the Earth a little more colorful and delicious!

Also, take a look at some inspiration for creating your own community spaces over at Reclaim the Commons! at Turil.wordpress.com.

Happy Earth Day wherever you are!

Recently published science research shows that voluntary “choice based” learning, like you get in a free museum, or with Binikou, gives people more knowledge than a mainstream school!

This is because people learn more when they are interested in something and have a good reason to learn about it, rather than feeling forced or threatened into learning. With the freedom to choose a topic, from a broad range of valuable options, they are far more likely to find something that they feel is well worth investing their mental time and energy in.

Binikou might not be very full of options yet (maybe you can help add to the interesting, valuable, and fun educational stuff we offer the world), but what we do have already is a good start, don’t you think?

Food! Food!

Air! Air!

Warmth! Warmth!

Energy! Energy!

Do any of these exhibits appeal to your curiosity? If so, click on one of them to enter into our welcoming space full of ideas!

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Binikou doesn’t want to change the world from the top down, or even from the bottom up. Instead, Binikou wants to change the world from the inside out!

We want to help each and every individual become so healthy on the inside that nearly everything that comes out is amazing…

In order to help you improve your insides, Binikou has a new solution! It’s called How to Express Anger and Sadness Energy.

And if you want to join in on the fun of offering the world interesting good stuff, and helping us come up with solutions, email me at thewiseturtle (at) gmail.com and I’ll set you up with an account on Binikou’s wiki. Yay!

who's in there?

The article Humans, Version 3.0 at SeedMagazine.com, by Mark Changizi, speaks about the adaptations that human brains have evolved over the history of homo sapiens and its lineage:

They’re astronomically brilliant in comparison to anything humans are likely to invent for millennia.

Neuronal recycling exploits this wellspring of potent powers. If one wants to get a human brain to do task Y despite it not having evolved to efficiently carry out task Y, then a key point is not to forcefully twist the brain to do Y. Like all animal brains, human brains are not general-purpose universal learning machines, but, instead, are intricately structured suites of instincts optimized for the environments in which they evolved. To harness our brains, we want to let the brain’s brilliant mechanisms run as intended — i.e., not to be twisted. Rather, the strategy is to twist Y into a shape that the brain does know how to process.

In other words, find a way to use what we’ve already got, to do something that gives us the same valuable result as what we would get if we had something we don’t have. We can recycle our human resources! We might not be able to fly with bird wings, but we can use the neurons in our brains to design things that are like bird wings and get ourselves up into the air anyway, and maybe even power it with methane made from our very own poop, too! Getting to a better future all boils down to being able to look more generally at what our goals are, so that we humans can do what we were best made to do, to think, create, rearrange, and test out theories. We can use nature in new and interesting ways, rather than trying to escape from it with inhuman manipulations to the human body and soul.

The point is, most science fiction gets all this wrong. While the future may be radically “futuristic,” with our descendants having breathtaking powers we cannot fathom, it probably won’t be because they evolved into something new, or were genetically modified, or had AI-chip enhancements. Those powerful beings will simply be humans, like you and I. But they’ll have been nature-harnessed in ways we cannot anticipate, the magic latent within each of us used for new, brilliant Human 3.0 capabilities.

This is a primary function of Binikou, looking at options for using what we naturally have as human beings in the most amazing ways, in order to create a far better future for all human beings all over the planet, and beyond.

what else can we create?

This past Sunday Binikou made a visit to the big barn-shaped center at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) headquarters in Unity, Maine for the annual seed and scion swap. The event is a grand exchange of potential for growth, in the form of gardeners and orchardists freely sharing their own abundance of nature’s seeds and tree branches!

Binikou offered our brand new thank you gifts of seed packets, using the abundance of seeds that we grew in last year’s very, very small garden in Somerville, Massachusetts, as well as some other seeds we had a plethora of. Binikou’s seeds were snapped up faster than anyone else’s seeds! (Maybe it was the appealing artwork that we put on the packets. :-)

We met friends, shared wisdom about growing and harvesting all sorts of amazing plants and mushrooms, and came home with a bag brimming with heirloom, wild, and cultivated seeds, as well as some fruit tree scions (scions are bits of branches from trees which can be rooted or grafted onto other trees and which will grow into clones of the original tree). Binikou will offer many of these seeds as thank you gifts to contributors to the project, and many of the seeds, along with the trees, will also go into an educational heritage garden at the Palermo Community Library for it’s “Living Library” project which Binikou is creating on the land surrounding the library. (An offical announcement about this will be coming soon!)

Today, you can enjoy some photos from the seed and scion swap, which was very well attended, and which featured 8 full length tables of about 100 different apple tree scions, mostly contributed by the illustrious John Bunker from Fedco Seeds and MOFGA. John might be called the modern-day Johnny Appleseed, promoting a wide heritage of apple tree clone lineages, and preserving the most delightful apple tree cultivars from all over the world. Apple trees are a unique agricultural oddity, in that each type of apple you hear about, such as Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, or Golden Delicious, is from a single original tree that has been cloned by grafting a small branch of the original tree onto another tree (often a “crab” apple tree). This is because when trees are grown from seeds, the flavor, color, size, and texture of the apples that the tree makes varies wildly, and most people only want the sweetest apples, rather than what are often called “crab” apples. Before humans started doing this cloning/grafting, apples were often very bitter, and were mostly used to make hard cider (alcohol). Nowadays we have the option of growing more wild trees from seed, and enjoying the creativity and surprise of nature’s approach to making apples, or we can clone the ones we really like. Using both approaches keeps both apple trees and humans happy!

All kinds of seeds for free!

just a few of the thousands of apple tree twigs for grafting

who knew twigs were so valuable!

grow your own heirloom popcorn!

a few of binikou's offerings

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