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Humanity's worldwide 'Indigenous' (Latin 'Self-generating') Polyculture Orchards

Indigenous humanity aligned with nature, cultivates the most abundant Polyculture Orchard habitat, food, materials, energy & water cycle.

Photo of Douglas Jack
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Sustainable Development Association / Association du developpement durable

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small NGO (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Indigene Community since 1983 devoted to all humanity worldwide 'indigenous' (Latin self-generating') heritage of inclusion, welcome, peace & prosperity.

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 10+ years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

LaSalle-Gardens is a housing development of 33 acres with 700 apartments & 50 townhouses built in 1955 as a garden city for 2000 people.

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I came to LaSalle-Gardens in 1986. Son born 2000. We know 100s of neighbours. Local children come on a regular basis to help garden, play & eat some of the excellent berries etc. 40 extended families live in this development with some 400 members living in intergenerational & friend mutual-aid inspiring many relationships among the other 2600 people in this distinct neighbourhood. Housing development is designed as a 'Garden-City' inspired by landscape architect Frederick Olmstead's (eg. Central Park New York) concepts adopted by the Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation at several developments across Montreal. Roads are peripheral around the property with large green-spaces where normally car-alleys would be. We've planted over 2 dozen nut hickory, Kentucky Coffee, & fruit Apple, Pear, Sour-Cherry, Plum orchard trees in an indigenous Polyculture Orchard style, which have grown & produced over the past 20 years. Grape Vines, black-currents, raspberry, strawberry, black-berries, rhubarb, Himalayan Balsam, Mint & 20 other herbs grow intermixed abundantly. Each year we gather over 400 garbage bags full of fall-leaves, grass-clippings & branch chips, normally a waste product for other nearby properties, in order to feed our plants. Mulch feeds soil, insulates trees & perennials all winter & insulates around our townhouse basement capturing natural geothermal heat. We've developed a rodent-proof Cement-Board Composter used by 4 families /c 8 people for kitchen cuttings. Originally operating as a Canadian Non-Profit with some resident participation in its operation, LaSalle-Gardens was illegally sold over CMHC objections to the private sector, which has managed the property since ~1983. still with its social housing mandate.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

LaSalle Gardens was built as a Garden-City in a modular affordable low-cost housing-style in 1955 designed for food growing among the buildings. A neighbouring 7 acres houses another 600 people in Low Cost Habitation managed by the city of LaSalle. Many extended families live across both 7 & 33 acre developments. Lasalle Gardens aka 'the-Heights' is a 15 kilometre bicycle ride from the centre of Montreal. We've 4 devoted bicycle-only paths on the edge of our property or close by, travelling 10s of km east west to various parts of Montreal island. Some bicyclists cycle all winter. City buses travel around our community on frequent schedules. Our neighbourhood includes some 600 French, 500 English, 400 Spanish, 400 Arabic, 400 Slavic (Russian, Ukrainian, Polish), 100 Swahili, 50 Gujarati & Punjabi, 10 First Nation & other language speaking families. The smell of diverse cultural foods is a blessing shared among our mixed family marriages. Over 400 people eat from their 100 LaSalle Gardens garden-plots nearby on Cherry-Lane on the edge of the property. 100 people have edible gardens within the 33 acres by their 30 townhouse or apartments. We're an international community, with some polyglots & over 400 children who speak at least 2 languages. 40 children easily switch amongst 4 languages. In community surveys, we find ~ 15 high level trained engineers, medical-doctors, accountants, nurses, special-educators, language specialists, professors, electricians, carpenters, security-guards, museum curators, trade-specialists, house-keepers etc. Food-Security is about diverse specialties of people working together, forming companies, collaborating & investing in each other within whole 'community' (Latin 'com' = 'together' + 'munus' = 'gift-or-service') Circular Economies. Indigene Community cohousing helps folks in existing urban neighbourhoods or rural villages, especially those in Multihome-Dwelling-Complexes to work collaboratively. Indigene Community neighbourhood-economy software 'DO-WE-KNOW-WHO-WE-ARE-?' is web-based, open-source, open-data, about bringing 'economy' (Greek 'oikos' = 'home' + 'namein' = 'care-&-nurture') back to multihome intergenerational-interdisciplinary, female-male, economies-of-scale. websites with online Human Resource Catalogues HRC, Resource-mapping & accounting in Community, Contribution, Investment & Exchange Systems CCIES. LaSalle Messanger Journal Metro Newspaper article on our work! LaSalle Heights Facebook page focuses upon our history of community gardens, sports, friendships, ongoing family including a natural-gas explosion March 1, 1965.

Notable Non-fiction Tracey Arial (Verdun member) Radio blog on our 2050 Food-Systems Vision-

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)


What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Our 20 year Polyculture Orchards & permaculture (perennial food plants) produce food for families sustainably. Surrounding community gardens are adopting our mulching methods. LaSalle Gardens ground crew works with us on a regular basis to recover ~ 1500 garbage bags full of fall leaves, grass-clippings, branch-chips etc. Birds, bees, squirrels, groundhogs & other wild animals are now finding habitat amongst our trees & bushes. An SDA / IC members Dag Radicevic has developed Kadafar, a 50 acre Polyculture orchard nearby in St-Lazare, which illustrates our Polyculture on a much larger scale. When Dag moved to Kadafar 45 years ago it had barely one centimetre of soil left. Dag contacted local landscape contractors to dump: Fall-leaves, grass-clippings, tree trunk & branch-chips, barn cleanings etc. Among fall leaves, Kadafar's squirrels, groundhogs & bluejays found & planted 90,000 oak-acorn & butternut trees all well-spaced & now averaging 35 year old are producing ~ 1/2 tonne per tree. All humanity's worldwide 3-dimensional 'indigenous' (Latin 'self-generating') 'SYLVALIZATION' (L 'sylva' = 'tree') grew 3-D Polyculture Orchards which are 100 times (10,000%) more productive than 'civilization's' ('city-state') 2-D 'agriculture' (L 'ager' = 'field'). Polyculture photosynthesizes 92 - 98% of solar energy converted into food, materials, energy & water-cycle. Food production as the foundation for all human economy, its absolutely important that; farmers, agri-business corporations, universities, government policies & all aligned food systems begin to align with & benefit from the abundance of the tree-based biosphere. Agriculture only photosynthesizes 2 - 8% of solar energy reflecting ~ 95% back into the troposphere where it pushes winds from the continent to the sea. At the Sahara/Sahel Latitudes of < 30 degrees north, the sun is so hot it burns 2-D agriculture. HYDROLOGICAL CYCLE: Tree roots descend 10s of metres as deep as the canopy into the earth's substrate where they mine minerals, pump water & develop nutrient extensive colonies. Continental cold spots created through complete photosynthesis cause warm moist ocean winds to be drawn inland (warm to cold) where 60% of moisture transfer is through condensation of warm moisture laden wind onto trillions of square kilometres of fractal leaf & bark surfaces. Only 40% of water is transferred as rain/snow. 'Agriculture' 2-8% photosynthesis reflects 95% of solar energy, which pushes winds from the continent towards the sea causing permanent desert. Sahara, Gobi, Atacama etc. deserts are created by human agriculture including exploitation of animals such as domesticated goats, sheep, cattle, pigs etc. Indigenous peoples worldwide lived in collaboration with wild animal tree & biosphere tending specialists. Indigenous polyculture maintains a constant humidity, which keeps trees from burning.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

The question above relates to how humanity with limited resources can recapture its living biosphere employing all of spaceship earth's plant species, human & animal crew. Each species & animal is a specialist in abundant biosphere food productivity. Humans alone, carry but a fraction of this knowledge. Central oligarch hierarchal finance-media, education, religion, military-industrial, legislative, judicial led economic dominance has failed over 7000 years. Industrial-reforestation & agriculture monocropping of low fragile plants have disastrous outcomes of drought, tornado, hurricane, earth-quake, tsunami, disease & fire susceptibility. Working with the intelligence of all species, we engage a whole-system's intelligence not found in human science. We need to understand the problem of linear 2-D false-science, which is at the foundation of oligarch-commanded human economy & ecological failure, as well as the solution of 3-D holistic-science. As humanity reassesses 2-D 'agriculture', we find it produces only 1/100th (10,000% less) of what the canopies & understories of 3-D Polyculture. Indigene Community's Polyculture Orchard documentation has been published over 9 1/3 years & viewed by many 1000s of academics along with specialized agricultural backgrounds along with farmers & other practitioners worldwide, with acclaim & without refute. Kadafar has now recycled 4 million tonnes of landscape-materials into soil. Wild animals have planted enormously productive nut & fruit orchards. Once dry springs are now flowing year round as the soil & trees hold millions of tonnes of water. Beavers have captured the spring flows with dams to make ponds with diverse valuable aqua-cultures as well as a fire-proofing with pond segregation of diverse Polyculture areas. LaSalle-Gardens as an urban model & Kadafar as a rural model, recapturing normal urban wastes & working with the forces of nature are exemplifying massive productivity with very little or no labour, equipment or artificial inputs of soil, water, fertilizer, bug-controls, monetary-expenses etc. Employing all humanity's ancestral tried & true 'indigenous' model of productive whole biosphere cultivation requirers that we think holistically across disciplines, just as the Circle of Life provided guidelines to our indigenous ancestors worldwide. Indigenous Circle-of-Life interdisciplinary balanced cultural strategies of livelihood for all, is exemplified here by a chart of 19 indigenous technologies which interact to provide a holistic interaction of basic capacities, which all people carry.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

WE'RE-EACH-A-VOICE-OF-THE-EARTH-SPEAKING All people & species carry complementary pieces of life's intelligence. To transmit 'indigenous' Polyculture orchard productivity on to future generations, we need ownership or belonging. Empowerment is key to each individual's intelligent animation of: vision, capacity, talent, goods, services, resources & dreams. We are exogenous colonial peoples, subject to oligarch whim. All humanity's ancestors deliberately cultivated 'fractals' ('multiplier, building-blocks where the-part-contains-the-whole') of empowerment. 1st Nations & all humanity's worldwide indigenous ancestors passed on knowledge through the 1st Fractal in human proximity & privacy of the ~100 person Multihome-Dwelling-Complex (eg. Longhouse-apartment, Pueblo-townhouse & Kanata-village). Today 70% of populations live in multihomes, with the average size being 32 dwelling units or ~100 people. Westerners have little knowledge about how to collaborate in local biosphere productive 'economy' (Greek 'oikos' = 'home' + 'namein' = 'care-&-nurture'). We're institutionally alienated into a lonely competitive isolated status presently, so our physical accomplishments don't transmit from generation to generation. Polyculture-Orchard biosphere accomplishments are quickly undone if not secured by lasting human culture. 'Do-we-know-who-we-are-?' as a multihome & neighbourhood web-software provides the relational-economy support for local activity. Included is the time-based equivalency accounting as used to be performed on the whole indigenous world's String-shell (eg. Wampum, Quipu, Cowrie). Once 'Do-we-know-? has been launched (May 2020) in the Beta-site LaSalle-Gardens, then it is shared with the other four also Beta-testing sites in Verdun, Rawdon, St-Lazare & Sherbrooke communities.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

ENVIRONMENT: When humans have unimpeded balance in our relations with each other, so are we balanced with our relations as stewards of nature. WILDLIFE: Polyculture orchards represent a 3-dimensional vertical high-rise biosphere, upon which tree, other plant & animal life is supported with food, habitat & water at all levels 10s of metres high above the ground & 10s of metres low below the ground. Polyculture is by definition each plant, animal, bacterias etc growing according to its own genetic programming in complementation to all other life. Trees grow at various heights often leaders being up to 100s of metres tall. Bushes, vines, herbs, vegetables, grains & mushrooms all finding their exact self-sustaining niche. Kadafar's 1000s of edible mushrooms in season are a miracle to behold. Tree-roots, trunk, branches & leaves hold tonnes of water percolating slowly through all forms of life. Hence water is recirculated many times after falling as rain-snow or condensing upon trillions of square kilometres of fractal leaf & bark surfaces before leaving downstream. In comparison agricultural areas shed water very quickly downstream along with valuable soil, carbon, nitrogen etc. Trees are the very basic bio-infrastructure foundation upon which life on earth depends & has evolved. CLIMATE GENERATION: The height & density of trees as a function of their massive ultraviolet photosynthesizing or infrared absorbing at 92-98% of solar energy describe a life-technology exactly suited to earth's distance from the sun. Such massive solar energy absorption causes warm-moist winds to flow from the sea drawn into the Polyculture vacuum hot to cold. 60% of moisture transfer happens upon trillions of square kilometres of fractal leaf & bark surfaces. Only 40% of ocean-continent moisture transfer comes through rain, but only if it is drawn inland. The low forest floor grains, plants & vegetables upon which 2-D agriculture has been artificially based are only capable of photosynthesizing or infrared absorbing at 2-8%, reflecting 95% of solar energy back into the troposphere. Agriculture's reflected energy pushes winds from the continent towards the sea, creating permanent dry-land & desert. Every tree functions as a Heat-Pump drawing excess heat & energy down into the earth's substrate in summer time & releasing this heat en masse during winter. Our St-Lazar Kadafar property receives the 1st frost 3 weeks later than its neighbours & growing season for lower plants arrives 3 weeks earlier into the spring. Our infrared temperature tests, show 17 - 19 degrees Celsius as a constant within the tree canopy & ground level, while above the canopy or on neighbouring denuded farm & suburban properties is 30 - 40 degrees C. constantly, AIR, WATER, SOIL & LIFE Trees provide oxygen to our atmosphere as well as absorbing & utilizing our CO2 & CO life & mechanical emissions. Trees absorb & store complex-synthetic-chemical & even radio-active & heavy metal toxins en masse, often for 1000s of years essentially removing them from active circulation in the biosphere upon which humans depend our sustenance & health. The same mass-storage of trees for removing toxins from the water & ground. POLYCULTURE FOOD SECURITY With Polyculture, humans remove mass-quantities of toxins & then measure & choose cleaner Polycultures from which to harvest our foods. Indigenous peoples grew massive Polycultures in the valley bottoms, southern growing climates, lower elevations, river, ocean & lake-side locations, upon which they thrived before the violence & genocide of colonial invasion took these prime lands. Millions as families fled to the mountains, northward, inland etc to escape settler murder, still supported by the continental Polyculture, which indigenous humans & wildlife had cultivated together over vast distances from indigenous settlements. In Kadafar's beaver ponds huge abundance of edible water-based plants are found thriving. DIET: Indigenous Polyculture orchards as noted send roots 10s of metres deep into the earth's substrate, pumping water, mining-minerals & developing extensive permanent nutrient colonies. The leaf canopy photosynthesizes ultraviolet sun rays & leaf & bark absorb infrared solar heat. Branches of the trees directly convert wind energy into needed cellular ATP, which is transmitted in the vitality of the food to animals eating it such as humans. Altogether, Polyculture food produced is deeply mineralized, full of: vitamins, enzymes, macro (proteins, starches etc) & micro (such as phyto) nutrients. Hence human bodies are satisfied with a full-range of essential micro & macro-nutrients without bulk as is demanded by the body tricked by foods grown extractively on exhausted exploited depleted farm soils. ECONOMICS: Humanity's main economy, which sets the template for all other economies is food generation. Food is the most frequent interaction of humans with their biosphere. 3-D Polyculture provides abundance of food, materials, energy & water-cycle, hence peaceful non-pressured economies easy for human collaboration & peaceful human relations. Violence is falsely attributed to indigenous peoples as the flee for their very lives from colonial violence & destructive encroachments over their family means of livelihood. Associated Polyculture water percolation, maintains essential water sources for human needs & pleasure. 2-D Agriculture creates scarcity, a life of intense slavery, hence fear, competition, command, control, hierarchy, violence & war as the template upon which all other human economies become founded. Oppression & violence breeds ignorance. CULTURE: Collateral human relations mirroring the trees standing upright in a Polyculture Orchard. We now know from studies, how trees share their nutrients & manufactured components to water, feed & heal a sick fellow tree & as well massive specialized exchanges at all times in the tree community. Humans in collaboration benefit in every way from thriving communities of trees. Trees maintain & build soil, air, food, materials, energy & water cycle in abundance if only we will learn about their gifts & work with them. In the Americas before colonization, huge populations lived largely dependent upon tree crops. 1491 by Charles C. Mann quotes & references multiple sources showing the 110 million person population of the Americas as being the most densely populated continents with the greatest cities. Tenochtitlan aka Mexico-city was a metropolis built on an artificial island, employing plant based biological processing of fecal & urine matters through such as floating gardens & trees. Cortez was shocked to find the world's largest city with clean water at its foundation, as he crossed one of the many causeways into the city, welcomed at first by its gentle, inclusive inhabitants. TECHNOLOGY: Indigenous technologies were all designed to be in harmony with nature & humans ergonomically. As people honour other humans & nature in every aspect of living, then technology is friendly & appropriate for food production & much more. Understanding nature's forces & complexity, enabled all humanity's indigenous ancestors. The key for humans is the time-based equivalency accounting performed on the String-shell value systems. String-shell integrates a range of inter-related human values into one accounting cycle as discussed previously with: 1) Capital, 2) Currency, 3) Condolence, 4) Collegial mentored-apprentice educational Credit, 5) time-math-Communications, 6) professional Costume & more. Accounting-recognition & empowerment for all contributions in decision-making is the foundation of peace, pleasure & productivity of collective intelligence. Forms of Participatory Accounting represent a key often invisible form of essential technology. Remember that; a) String-shell, b) specialized Production-Society-Guild universal progressive-ownership, ~100 person Multihomes, graphic-language character writing & sign-language systems bridging 100s of oral & phoneme languages on every continent, Council Process of dialectic Collaborative-Research & Conflict-Resolution, the Circle of Life & many other human-life-aligned technologies are found simultaneously before violent invasion on every indigenous continent & island worldwide. POLICY: Rather than the negativity of reactive colonial 'exogenous' false 'religions' (L 'religio' = 'to-relate'), 'Thou shalt not' under pain of punishment, indigenous peoples cultivated distributed pro-active life-culture. The basic law of indigenous peoples is based in what was called by multiple different national names on different continents. It is based in a) positive intergenerational interdisciplinary, female-male, critical-mass, economies-of-scale in the Multihome & Production-Society-Guilds, b) time-based equivalency accounting upon the Stringshell value system as a true memory or money. The Haudenosaunee Iroquois of North-eastern Turtle-island, North-America call it 'Kaianerekowa' meaning 'The-Great-Good-Way-of-Kindness' aka 'Great-Law-of-Peace' aka 'Constitution'. In southern Africa the Nguni peoples call it 'Ubuntu' aka 'Human-Kindness. In India this same kindness of living & recognition is called 'Swadeshi' (Hindi 'indigenous' aka 'self-sufficiency'). Indigenous concern & cultivation of human relations over millennia meant that Polyculture orchards were maintained in good conditions over many 100s of years without exhausting the soil. Typical 150 year old oaks were capable of producing 10 tonnes in the exceptional Mast-year. ORGANIZING FROM THE TREE-ROOTS Indigenous peoples were concerting their proactive 'policy' ('workings or governance of, by & for the many') of cultivating positive human interactions. Imagine the young surrounded by elders & all generations in free collaboration. Personalities rather than being scolded & punished, were mentored.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Prize partners

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Polyculture Orchard Movie on 2019-12-08 at 4.05

12 minute Video has Douglas Jack, president of the Sustainable Development Association & Indigene Community describing the huge productivity of Polyculture Orchards growing from 56 years of involvement, study, living & working with 1st Nations & indigenous peoples across North America as well as with productive contact with indigenous peoples from every continent. All humanity are originally 'indigenous' (L 'self-generating') Refer as well to our 4 other short films by Vision-Media Larry Levin


Join the conversation:

Photo of Douglas Jack

Thank you for your feedback & counsel to the evaluation criteria. I had understood the system's approach previously & wrote our Canadian non-profit corporation's proposal with human & biosphere systems as our core. Now at this stage in Evaluation Criteria, I see the FSVP emphasis on multiple writers leading up to September 13, 2020.
This process of co-submissions, collective writing etc, represents a year of work times multiple people without any compensation or significant chance thereof. Has anyone critiqued this 'privileged-volunteer' approach? I've been devoting time to meeting with & contributing to other project submissions from Tiohtiake (Mohawk 'Place-where-the-nations-&-their-rivers-unite-&-divide'), the greater Montreal archipelago region to see what common vision we might attain. The goals of improving our food system are laudable, but let's look at the process by which we are getting there? The communications specialist, Marshall McLuhan reminds us 'The medium, is the message." or how we get there, is where we get to.
In our Sustainable Development Association & its sub-chapter Indigene Community, we are a group of working people with families to feed, work to attend to & trying to get by in our day-to-day, according to 'indigenous' (Latin 'self-generating') economic-ecological practice. Indigenous criteria will automatically be considered strange to the average 'exogenous' (L 'other-generated') indoctrinated person. Our submission is already quite likely beyond the pale of most colonial understandings & most likely the PRIZE committee judges. We've tried to provide indigenous systems perspectives, arising from our many decades of 1st Nation & indigenous solidarity, but these will not be understood in average eligibility criteria.
As we are dependent upon our relationship with each other & the lands we cultivate, none of us really have the time to devote to such 'multiplicitous' ('not-counting-all-the-costs-due-in-a-collective-process') fickle 'PRIZES'. GAMBLING?!!!*** There are 10s of 1000s of 'prizes' which mislead & thus trap institutionalized non-profits & NGO's busy with a much greater than 95% failure rate, from the real work of 'community' (L 'com' = 'together' + 'munus' = 'gift-or-service') & 'ecological-economy'. Please imagine honest citizens with families to feed, clothe, house, take care of, etc. being abused by 'PRIZE' corporations times twenty-thirty for every action, which might seem 'reasonable' by itself. Most non-profits, co-ops & NGOs haven't figured this out, but its not in the 100 1000s of projects, causes & inherent prize competitions, that we find unity, but in our mutual-aid livelihood for the whole of each person & our collective community lives in Relational Economy.
Indigene Community has proposed our economic food-system's approach based in indigenous heritage traditions, called 'Do-we-know-who-we-are-?' as well as other indigenous Polyculture-Orchard food growing practices, time-based equivalency human resource accounting, research & conflict resolution practices. Such an 'indigenous' (L 'self-generating') web-software human-resource-cataloguing, polyculture & economy animation approach could help millions of neighbourhoods & communities worldwide reconnect with themselves as biospheres stewards. Every individual & community already has the resources for implementing the catalogued, mapped & accounted for mutual-aid, & polyculture food approaches, which 'Do-we-know-?' software facilitates.
Now that I understand the FSVP process, I doubt the Rockefeller Foundation's FSVP present 'exogenous' organization will be able to transcend from its money-dependent institutional to a collective cultural-economy indigenous path, which works for everyone on earth.
Thanks for the opportunity to express this. I hope it has an effect & can lead to a better collective process feasible for all, Douglas Jack, president of the Sustainable Development Association & Indigene Community.

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