Critique of Solviva

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Solviva is a system for building off-grid ecologically sound communities. The following is a critique of the method from a discussion with Blake C.-

I agree that all the solutions are here. But - we can't just do them - we need to learn/integrate and then implement them. We need to help people with the learn-integrate part.

We got on land - and found that we were very ignorant of skills ourselves.

What is the critique of Solviva? I've seen it - but realistically - how much is it a labor of love versus something that anyone can do? I'd like to see documentation on the labor, troubleshooting, and other insider parts.

It is one thing to write a book on Solviva - put tons of effort into setting it up - but how replicable is it really? I love the idea - but from my experience with greenhouses, hydroponics, animals, worms, etc - this is either a labor of love or absolute optimization.

It is the absolute optimization - and ability to teach the techniques - that is missing. So upon more careful analysis, Solviva is not highly replicable.

But I do believe that the work to document and optimize needs to be done. In particular - pest issues have to be addressed. I do not see much of a discussion on the trouble spots of Solviva, from what I recall. Then, after the information is opensourced and proven rigorously - we can talk about teaching others.

In any case, we are trying to document the various techniques. We're focusing on robust perennial beds outside - together with elements of Integrated Food and Waste Management System

Comments (general)

I also agree that these pages are fantastic. I also agree that reality is cruel. Making the 'solution' over-generalised is of course idealistic, but that's no reason not to try. There are many things missing, and from personal experience I know that storage is a major issue, boring as it may seem. Mice, rats and other furry creatures have their needs, and are competition for humans between harvest and the breadmaking. There is art and design to the grain storage, cleaning milling and so on, not to mention seed for the next sowing.

I love the machine tools too, but I wonder if it is really justified or useful to put all machines in one. I just ask if it might be better not to combine lathes with milling machines and pillar drills, but to modularize the drive. It is always better to work with other people (safety, productivity, company...), so more machines would allow more work and cooperation.