Sunday, January 14, 2018


We are in the age of the Great Purification

Just as fire burns the impurities from iron, and transforms it to steel, the increased average temperature of the surface of the Earth is clearing the way for a better new age. Working together, we can make it an era of increased leisure, freedom, security, health, prosperity, and comfort for all.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. As wind, fire, storm, flood, and rising ocean lead us to more cooperative activities than, say, fracking, I expect Earth will bloom again with an abundance of plants and animals, some of which are familiar and some new. I expect warmer temperatures in Pittsburgh will allow for growing banana and papaya trees. I will be growing them again this year. Neither of these plants can tolerate freezing, but, with global warming I wonder if we'll continue to have any frosts in Pittsburgh. Maybe this year they'll be able to grow to fruiting at Everybody's Garden. Right now, I am (mostly) enjoying this cold weather.

Some scientists think our species is headed for extinction soon, and so have abandoned efforts to prevent it. This assumption - that it's too late - is itself one of the problems we face. If we don't try, we won't find out if we can. Now is the time to try to do whatever each of us thinks best for ourselves, our children and their descendants, our pets, our neighborhoods, our ecosystem, our world.

Jim McCue
composter and biotech researcher

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Green Money

The way to survive in this time of mushrooming change is to take on a thrivalist attitude. If we allow ourselves to become afraid and so act selfishly, things will be out of our control. A survivalist amasses weapons and preserved food for what seems like the "inevitable" environmental and/or warfare-caused catastrophe. A thrivalist recognizes the truth of FDR's statement that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Though this time in history is like no other in history, some basic things remain. As always, it's the best of times and the worst of times. Unprecedented environmental destruction, viciousness, ecosystem collapse go alongside the most incredible technological progress and luxury for a relatively minute number of the 7 plus billion of us. How to make a living doing good things, things that help others and help oneself sleep with a peaceful conscience?

I don't expect any more that I'm going to do that much good in the world. I do expect we here in Western Pennsylvania, just like so many other areas in the world which are suffering from war or flooding or high winds or acid waters or polluted waters or heat or forest fires or civil unrest or government brutality or terrorism,...I expect that we also will likely suffer more. It is my belief that our decisions will have a negative or positive influence on our fate. IF we get on the same page and recognize each other as family, the quantum increase in new inventions and the new possibilities opening when we converge as one workforce will allow us to play our role in helping usher in a wonderful new world that awaits. If we don't, what my mother used to say to us boys when we broke a toy we were fighting over - "Good for ya! Serve ya right!

Things are capable at this point in history of going far more wrong than most of us have ever experienced Rather than try to keep the attention of readers not wanting to read details of some of the horrors going on right now in the world that I know of, I choose rather to nurture good things like garden. But when or if all hell breaks loose here as it has in other parts of the world in this most drastic time of transition, I'll be at least a little more at peace because I tried to tell you.

I recommend two films:
The Economics of Happiness
Local Futures .

Via the School of Hard Knocks or not, we are going to learn to make our money doing things that are really worthwhile. Growing healthy food, for instance. I'm in the mood for a little argument today, I think it's necessary. So let me light into friends I've not told I think they're making money doing bad things. There should be maybe a thousandth of the the amount of added sweeteners in our food. There should be no leaf blowers. There should be no cars running on combustion. There should be almost no lawn mowing. There should be no weed whackers. There should be no additives in cigarettes. Marijuana is a food and should be eaten not smoked. Other psychedelic drugs should be available via prescription, but only after education and with guidance. I could go on.

We can live in a MUCH happier world by dropping our armor and enjoying each other's company. Do you have the courage?

Monday, November 27, 2017

Value me.

I need to be valued. I need to have my basic needs taken care of so that I can do my work. People give me less credibility because they see me dressed in hand-me-downs that don't fit, have stains, etc. People think I'm a bum. They think I don't work. People also think I don't work because I don't get paid for it.

I owe my life to the taxpayer. I have been on disability now for more than twenty years. I am grateful and extremely careful with my money...until some unconscious mental set has me do something stupid. I am a little less stupid today. I have a little more self-esteem. I have all my life focused on others' problems, often, for instance, giving away food and then not having enough myself.

I don't need paid. I get by well enough on about seven hundred ninety a month when you include the food stamps. I need the money for the work. You can donate to the Urban Ag group, which is a subcommittee of the 501c3 Hazelwood Initiative.

Jim McCue
composter and biotech researcher

Wednesday, November 22, 2017



People argue for and against modifying the weather, as if we don't do that already (accidentally AND purposely). We seed the clouds with silver iodide to bring rain. During the Vietnam war, the military brought so much rain it caused drought the following year in Africa. We burn so much paper, gas, oil, coal, and other things that we put huge amounts of co2, methane, and many other things in the atmosphere, warming the whole Earth.

We have the technology to use electromagnetics to affect the rate at which methane degrades. Don't mow the lawn and your grass grass will grow and absorb more carbon dioxide. Recycle your organic waste back to the soil and the plants will have more plant food to consume more carbon dioxide. Regenerate ocean ecosystems by feeding nanoparticles of iron to the ocean algae, feeding the rest of the food chain. Clouds can be made (cheaply) by spraying cold ocean water into the air.
Consumption of carbon dioxide is only one of the ecosystem services that would be provided if we allowed plants to grow everywhere they wanted to. Algae for food and fuel is being grown in greenhouses.

There are good feedback effects to from all our activities, such as increasing plant growth and so there's more photosynthesis absorbing co2. And there are tipping points in human behavior also. Most people now are heading toward renewables.

All we need is to get on the same page.

Jim McCue
composter and biotech researcher

Sunday, October 08, 2017


    Like it or not, we're in a world of changes.   If you can't relate to that, I feel bad for you.

    Everything is related.   Causes and effects connect everything.    We're all related genetically.     Life is about relating.  

    If you don't accept that what we humans are doing is changing our weather, well, you're not seeing the connections.     What we do has consequences.   

    Father Jean-Michel Gelmetti has filmed and put on Youtube discussion between himself and Matt Peters and I about urban farming and Hazelwood.  
Nurturing life in Hazelwood with Everybody’s Gardens 

Monday, September 11, 2017



We don't have to DO anything. Being is enough. I play/work with plants, animals, microbes because I WANT to; I don't HAVE to.

Carbon dioxide is much more than a greenhouse gas. All plants need C02. We human animals use co2 to grow plants, outside and inside (such as from co2 canisters in greenhouses). This molecule is a wonderful thing, not just a "pollutant".

By looking at only the bad in any context, we don't see so many good possibilites. There are both positive and negative feedback effects; why focus only on the positive ones?

To the extent our species awakens to all the good possibilities as well as to the bad, to that extent we will thrive.

Jim McCue
composter and biotech researcher

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


There are a thousand different ways of looking at something like balance. Not too much exercise and not too much intellectual work. A balance between yin and yang. Ecosystem Earth is both dying and being born. To maintain a balanced mind you don't wanna be too optimistic or too pessimistic. Balance work and play. It's good to be doing things for others, but you have to balance that with taking care of yourself too.

The balance of nature is upset in many areas. A healthy, diverse community has many different types of people, plants, and animals. In a healthy soil, disease is kept somewhat in balance by the births, lives, and deaths of trillions of microbes and larger life forms. A balanced diet means eating a variety of healthy foods. To have a balanced attitude, one must pay attention to problems while looking for solutions.

What's growing at Everybody's Garden? The strawberries are done; there were only a few. Figs, apples, peaches aren't ready yet. Chives, sage, tomatoes, tomatillos, mulberry, leek, berries, fennel, lavendar, rosemary,sunflower, sunchoke (aka Jerusalem artichoke), thyme, roses done already, purple irises done, rose-of-sharon flowering, comfrey, 2 six-year old or more apricot trees have yet to yield a crop. The kids try the apples before they're ripe, so we'll see what happens this year,...

Denial of drastic environmental change having become impossible, I've got some more than thirty papaya trees started in a little oval bed under the peach trees. Papaya doesn't normally grow where winters get below freezing, but I don't think we're ever going to see a normal winter again. We may not get that cold again in this part of the world. Papaya likes to be in say the Caribbean. Hopefully we're not going to burn up, like millions in other parts of the world, and Pittsburgh will continue to pioneer new technologies to serve other parts of the planet that are becoming hotter. I don't know how tall these papaya trees will grow; they are from seeds in papaya fruit I bought in the Strip. But I had them and banana trees growing in Miami about 8 feet tall before I had to move. Where is there room to transplant some of these baby papaya trees to?

It is a continuing effort with me to convince that, just as with predator/prey relationships and how they keep epidemics of e.g. rabbits by more e.g. hawks being born having having had plenty of rabbits to eat, microbial biodiversity suppresses but does not eliminate disease - by competition and predator/prey relationships at the microbial level.

O, by the way, the only animal I've seen in the garden, other than cats or dogs, has been a couple of toads and a family of rabbits. Come visit. Everybody's welcome.