Chad Hellwinckel's Blog (46)

Being invaluable

As the recent market convulsions continue, I've been thinking about wealth and how to make a living in a changing world. And I realized that really there may not be much difference between a person who goes to work for a multi-national company and a person who decides to enter an eco-village. They both may be simply looking for opportunities to become invaluable.

When I talk to college kids looking out at their future, they are trying to find that place where they are invaluable. They…


Added by Chad Hellwinckel on August 26, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments

What 20 somethings are thinking

I interviewed a few friends in the Parkridge neighborhood of Knoxville and asked them 2 questions:

1) What do they do?

2) What about the future?

I showed it to the new Haslem Scholars finalists at the University of Tennessee (really smart driven high-school kids). They loved it!

Added by Chad Hellwinckel on March 9, 2015 at 2:26pm — No Comments

Mind blowing changes

For about 15 years I've put a lot of thought and belief into one paradigm --

(1) that energy will become increasingly scarce and the market will respond with higher prices.

(2) Higher energy prices will impact food production costs and transportation…


Added by Chad Hellwinckel on January 6, 2015 at 5:00pm — 6 Comments

Metro Pulse, Food, and Ownership

     Last week the Metro Pulse was closed down by their corporate owners. The Metro Pulse was a popular weekly paper  in Knoxville. If you were cruising through downtown on any particular day, you could probably see several people on benches or in restaurant windows thumbing through the paper. Like most weeklies it had a focus on the city, its people and culture. It really has deepened our communal thought process and…


Added by Chad Hellwinckel on October 20, 2014 at 9:00pm — 2 Comments

"10,000 Lunatic Farmers" lecture

This is a lecture I gave at Pellissippi State for their Civic Engagement Week. Pellissippi State has a year-long 'Good for for All' series to raise awareness and work toward improving food access in our community.

In this lecture, I talk about food price rises, food cost ties to energy costs, and why local food may soon have a strategic advantage over industrial food. Il review the production potential of the Knoxville Foodshed as reported in the new Knoxville Foodshed…


Added by Chad Hellwinckel on October 1, 2014 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

One Straw Revolution lecture and discussion

We talked about Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka's book One Straw Revolution at a Knox County Library's 'Books Sandwiched In' series. I talked a bit about despair and how helpful it can be.

Here is the podcast:

Added by Chad Hellwinckel on September 30, 2014 at 12:00pm — No Comments

'Healthy Farms, Healthy People' webinars

These are links to a couple of webinars I participated in:

August 14, 2012

In this webinar I explain why local food may become cheaper and more available than industrial food in the coming years in his presentation at the Healthy Farms Healthy People webinar (minutes 14:50-20:50)



Added by Chad Hellwinckel on September 30, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

August Permaculture Lecture

This is the video of our August permaculture lecture ~ Dylan Ryals-Hamilton of Asheville speaking~

Permaculture Lecture from Community Television Knoxville on Vimeo.

Added by Chad Hellwinckel on September 8, 2014 at 10:27am — 1 Comment


Check out Frank Callo's new podcast, "KnoxPopuli".  He interviewed me on permaculture

He also interviewed Jonathan Woodruff about a new Catholic Worker House in town, food not bombs, living without a house, and other stuff!

Added by Chad Hellwinckel on August 15, 2014 at 11:05am — No Comments

Farm numbers in the US

There are 2.2 million farms in the US, but most of these are not actual working farms.

Only 45% of these farms claim 'farming' as their principle occupation, or 990,000 farms.

And only 25% of these farms gross more than $50K, or 550,000 farms.

About 180,000 farms account for 60% of all agricultural sales.

And about 60% of farmers are age 55 or older.

This is down from the peak of 6.8 million farms in 1935 (when the US population was 127…


Added by Chad Hellwinckel on June 5, 2014 at 1:30pm — 9 Comments

Americorps positions working on local food education

Pellissippi State University in Knoxville has 5 Americorp VISTA positions starting soon. It would be great to get some people with some knowledge of permaculture to apply! Here is the info:

Make a difference! Become an AmeriCorps VISTA for PSCC's new educational initiative, "GOOD FOOD FOR ALL!" Be a team member for a high-profile nutrition education/food security/community schools project. Living allowance of…


Added by Chad Hellwinckel on May 16, 2014 at 3:30pm — No Comments

What is Sustainable Agriculture?

I did a short presentation on 'what is sustainable' agriculture to some UT students at the International House, which was sponsored by the OXFAM UT group.

Here are the slides I used.


(1) I started out giving the best example of sustainable farmers I…


Added by Chad Hellwinckel on November 25, 2013 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

The Food Policy Council "Movement"?

I just got back from a national gathering of food policy council folk. We were convened under a national non-profit wanting to motivate food policy councils to take action on "obesity". There was good energy among the folks that convened. Lots of talking and lots of smiles (we got kicked out of the restaurant after we wouldn't take the hint it was time to leave). I learned about councils motivating…


Added by Chad Hellwinckel on November 18, 2013 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

The Urban Food Corridor of Knoxville in 2022.


It is 2022, and as you move around East Knoxville’s urban food corridor, you see that the old vacant lots are growing vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs, and flowers on good soil. Some have greenhouses growing for winter markets. Some have integrated fish farming as well. Most urban farmers are individuals managing 3 to 6 lots within a few blocks of each other. A few are run by community non-profit organizations for educational purposes (training young farmers),…


Added by Chad Hellwinckel on December 19, 2012 at 12:00am — 1 Comment

'Do Nothing" Farming in Thailand

This is a good write up of what has been happening in Asian agriculture. Farmers in Thailand are finding it in their interest to apply agro-ecological practices:

This is another example of how the first adopters of practices that will be commonplace throughout the world in another 100 years are happening in poorer regions by farmers with small plots and…


Added by Chad Hellwinckel on August 29, 2012 at 8:50am — 4 Comments

The Drought of '12

As I'm laying here recovering from a back injury, I've had time to look into how our nation's crops are doing this year. Wow! 3/4 of the corn crop is under severe drought. Corn prices are up over 50% in the last month, soybeans are up almost 30%, and the USDA says they are still assessing the damage. No rain in sight yet and we're probably looking at another record spike in prices. Here's an article on it : …


Added by Chad Hellwinckel on July 17, 2012 at 8:30pm — 6 Comments


Fish and vegetables + water cleansing. Low tech. Can be small or big. Can fit in an urban backyard.

Here's some videos from the Urban Farm Guys:

part1 :


part 2: …


Added by Chad Hellwinckel on May 10, 2012 at 9:32am — No Comments

Evolving Permaculture Solutions—keep it simple.

(Original version posted in:Sustainable Learning )

It’s great to see that permaculture is taking root in institutions of higher learning throughout the world. Groups like Sustainable Learning make up a growing…


Added by Chad Hellwinckel on February 13, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments

The Importance of Local Food Systems

This is from a talk on local agricultural systems at the Square Room in downtown Knoxville in November 2011.

Added by Chad Hellwinckel on February 6, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Permaculture Explained

This is an interview I gave to the University's online paper "Tennessee Today".

Added by Chad Hellwinckel on January 20, 2012 at 1:00pm — No Comments

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