Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Holistic Management Concepts – Solar Dollars

Maturing solar dollars in home made mineral dollars
Holistic Management is an interesting set of concepts, techniques and methodologies. While the application is typically used to make ranches profitable and regenerative, it actually has broad applicability. Many of the other concepts have great potential beyond the ranch. Of these, perhaps my favorite is the concept of solar dollars.

According to Holistic Management, there are three kinds of wealth: mineral dollars, solar dollars, and paper dollars. Paper dollars are the easiest to understand. That is the actual money we are all familiar with. Mineral dollars are resources you have, like water, soil, rock, maybe even gold if you are lucky enough to have a gold mine on your property. Some mineral dollars are renewable, like fertile soil and water, while others are not, like that gold mine. Solar dollars, though, are the product of photosynthesis. Fruits, vegetables, wood, stuff like that. You use your mineral dollars to create your solar dollars.

This seems like a pretty simple concept. So why, of all the important concepts of Holistic Management, did I pick this one to expound on? This concept is really important when it comes to the application of everything else I am talking about. See, where this concept really becomes important is in the area of resource conversion.

Harvesting solar dollars (pollarding) to create more solar
dollars and more mineral dollars
Resource conversion is the conversion of one form of dollar into another. For example, you can buy a bag of composted steer manure with your paper dollars to help build your mineral dollars in the form of soil. You can then use that investment in mineral dollars to create solar dollars in the form of fruit from your fruit trees. Then you can pollard the fruit trees, harvesting solar dollars in another form. You can then chip them and convert them to another form of solar dollars: mushrooms. When the sawdust block is finished producing mushrooms, you can compost it and create mineral dollars in the form of improved soil.

The thing is, there are hundreds of ways to create and utilize solar and mineral dollars. It is really up to you to determine what is the best way to use them on your property. The important thing to realize is that these things have value, and not just some pie-in-the-sky theoretical value. In some cases, they give you a product to sell, and in others they prevent you from having to spend your hard-earned paper dollars, and in yet others, they give you a measure of resiliency.

Take a look around at your yard. What are you doing to preserve and earn solar dollars? Are you composting? Are you maximizing the production potential of the land you have through food forests? What can you do better? Remember, there is more than one way to earn income.

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