Existence: Chapter Twelve
What is in the POD box?
Each POD can be fit into a 30’ x 8’ x 8’ container that has sections of components color-coded by the module in which they fit. The box itself contains a module with instructions in international symbol language. The POD is based on the military concept of a remote command post center. Each box will have a basic computer, with a film story that demonstrates the installation of the pieces from that box.
The POD color code system might be blue for water projects, green for growing projects, yellow for power projects and red for construction projects. The collection of components includes motors, tools, molds, and designs where the construction materials are either readily available locally or supplied with the box. One example of the potential: the green component might contain a cold frame for a greenhouse, along with seeds for planting and tools for constructing the working garden space. The red area would have the molds for structural casting of the staves, raised beds and flow forms. The blue box would provide direction on placing the cistern in a central location and on the construction of the flow form fountain, while the yellow would be a solar station set with panels and design for collection of energy and transfer into a storage grid.
The first POD will be a self-contained start from scratch system with additional modules available to add on after the basics are established. In each color group, there will be four basic design features, but only one of these will be in the POD – chosen on a mix and match bases based on the image that the group operating the POD develops for their space of love.
Some of the materials will not be able to be kept in a prepackaged framework. Someone can attempt to identify sources of materials and costs such that a group installing a POD does not have to go outside to complete the initial work. The costs of purchasing the box would be projected from the actual materials contained – the idea is to build self-sufficiency within the community by having the members of that community bring the materials and ideas that they wish to see implemented. In this manner, each community redesigns their own PODs, makes modifications that work and then exchanges their new technology with other POD communities.
Potential Workshop Areas:
1) Water Systems – Design and Flow
2) Community mentor systems
3) Alternative energy practices
4) Culinary Arts - feeding the work crews
5) Seamstering - shelter and clothing production
6) Herbology and herbal gardening
7) Basic Sciences : Chemistry, Physics and Biology
8) Natural Resources / Earth Science
An Example: The Permaculture POD:
Power Plant – Electrical, solar, hydro, thermal, photovoltaic and steam generation.
Water – Flow Form, Fountain and Cistern
Granary – Storage, Dryer, Mill, Still and Crusher
Animal Husbandry – residence, food, manure handling
Living Space – root cellar – common kitchen – privy
Orchards and Fields – flax and hemp – grow space
Greenhouse – starts and off-weather items
Each POD contains enough work for ten people. It would be combined with a trade POD where people could develop a trade and produce items requires. The POD includes a guide that tells what to do and a list of required resources, labor and skills. There are also references to other written materials on the topics. A complementary POD would be a community shop, where prototype components can be developed with common tool and equipment storage.
Fertilizer Production – Organic based soil improvements. Source materials are manures, clay and organic byproducts of farming and kitchen operations. Need to develop the proper crop rotation to enhance soil development. Keep a dynamic compost process going; use EM, vermiculture and other live materials. If at Copco Lake, the base compost material will be algae. Look for what is in strong supply – supplement by micronutrient enhancement. Keep a stable volume of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, with minimal reliance on existing petroleum-based products.
Animal Husbandry – Decide the proper fit of animals under the circumstances. Attempt to use limited footprint animals like rabbits, chickens and goats rather than major resource consumers like pigs and cattle. Look at functional working animals as opposed to just feeders. Need to keep track of breeding and feeding schedules, access to clean water and simple material considerations. Activity will be based on upkeep – the more time available to dedicate to this area, the more production basis can be accomplished.
Gardens, fields and orchards - Develop a proper crop rotation to enhance soil development. Keep track of the grow sequence and the composition of the soils, including the relative amount of moisture available. Identify the maintenance schedule for the equipment – as well as the equipment needs are for other farm PODs in the community. Decide what is necessary as opposed to what is desirable. Use harvest materials to maximum efficiency, with one or two secondary uses for materials that fail to meet the grade required for their primary use.
Consider processing factors including storage, dehydrating and drying operations, canning protocols, kitchen practices, cleanliness and organization, meal preparation. Determine the proper quantity scale for group meals and/or individual units. If meats are produced – have a smokehouse.
Decide what tools are required and have tools readily available in proper quantity for the number of workers. Look at planting and harvest operations as requiring more labor than the maintenance, watering and weeding. Choose a variety of crops to plant into the garden as opposed to the current monoculture systems.
Evaluate each crop in terms of the expected primary yield and also in terms of secondary products that can be developed from the waste materials. For fruits – we can create ethanol and other solvents. Roughage wastes can be turned back into the ground – identify the form that the final materials should be left in to create the next utility. Again, identify the tools and equipment necessary. Perhaps analyze the energy flow throughout the entire system. Identify all aspects of energy use, while paying attention to the details.
In order to get started on creating this POD, identify the space where the POD is to be created. Determine the location for the water source and create the well and cistern structure that will provide the stream flow for the encampment. The building structures will be based on the silo staves, a molded product that allows modular construction. The type of construction materials and the space requirements will be determined by availability at the site –initial construction may be temporary with an eye toward final construction of a more substantial structure later in the project.