Holiday Reads: Some Great Links, Year in Review

Christmas 2014

Ahhh, 2014 is quickly coming to an end, and once again I wonder what happened to the year. It went by so fast.

Between watching world & financial events with open eyes & shuttling back and forth to Peru, I managed to accomplish a personal first, successfully importing over 3,600 pounds of specialty grade Peruvian coffee from the Chanchamayo region.

Now that really isn’t that much in the coffee world where the goal is to fill containers for shipping, each weighing 42,000 pounds, but for me it was quite an accomplishment to wade through the maze of customs regulations, not only in the US, but in Peru as well. It took quite a bit of time, and the jury is still out on how profitable it will be (if at all.)

It’s a little (actually a lot) of fear to overcome before moving ahead into the unknown. For years I had  been thinking that it would be an interesting business, that is providing high quality imported stuff to what I imagined to be eager buyers in the US. The problem was always that the sense of being generally clueless kept me at bay. I always thought about doing my taxes when I thought of Customs. Up there with getting a root canal.

This year, we finally took the plunge & decided to just do it. This of course, changes everything. All those endless websites talking about this or that FDA & Customs regulation suddenly took on new meaning. All the little things like where are we going to buy the coffee, how the heck will we get it from there to here – those kinds of things came to the ever growing detailed checklist.

Do it we did, and we now have mucho café waiting in a warehouse in California. We hadn’t really thought through the logistics of all this, and if we hadn’t had tickets already, I’d be home selling coffee for the holidays. Oh well…there’s always 2015.  The coffee harvest starts again in May.

In September I had another “just do it” moment that led to the creation of this blog. It’s wonderful to be able to enjoy the creative outlet, and it’s truly mine. Posting on Facebook, etc. seems kinda scary lately. Knowing that all you do is recorded and such of course applies to a blog, but somehow Mark Z just seems a bit sinister, so I prefer my own property in the digital farmland…

Merry Christmas to my Christian friends & Happy Holidays if you prefer!


Quote of the week: (via Charles Hugh Smith)

“Everything you say is boring and incomprehensible,” she said, “but that alone doesn’t make it true.” (Franz Kafka)


If you are on our email list, you will have seen some of these links. These are some of the best reading articles  we have found, and hope you will enjoy them.


2014 – The Year in Review (Epic read)

80% Of Shale Production Non-Economic

The Oil Market Actually Works, And That Hurts
Anywhere But Here: Casino Capitalism in Las Vegas (Must read about the Vegas housing boom & bust!)

If one does the math & watches the trends, then one can see that 2015 will surely be a year of surprises. The sudden drop in oil prices will shake up many “certainties,” which will lead to a lot of volatility in (at least) the next 12-18 months.

From : Charles Hugh Smith

The Oil-Drenched Black Swan, Part 1

The Oil-Drenched Black Swan, Part 2

The Oil-Drenched Black Swan, Part 3

The Oil-Drenched Black Swan, Part 4

Also see:

Beijing Admits $7 Trillion Waste And Theft During “Investment” Spree

China is a real potential for disaster. With so much economic mal-investment, surely as night follows day, the “broken window” monetary theory will be shown for what a fallacy it is. It will surely end badly for the world when the 2nd (or 1st if you use Purchasing Power Parity) economy flounders.

Fun Stuff:

Amazing Rare Cars (Absolute must see!)

Peruvian Hot Chocolate (Yum!)

Medical Tourism, Healthcare Etc.

Medical Tourism Links Roundup (A Recent Blog Post)

Sustainable Farming, Rare Seeds & More

Organic farming more drought resistant: Report

Great Article on Mexican Vegetable Farms (must read)

How Seed Banks Are Protecting the Future of Food

Homegrown Revolution (Award winning short-film 2009) (Video on urban homesteading)

See also our blog posts: Peruvian Heirloom Seeds Arrive in the US and  Peru Bans GMO Foods. Now if we can get our spineless Congress to do something actually good for us like that…


©2014 Ben Gangloff

You might also like:

 Saving Money on Healthcare in Peru

Incident at JuanJui (It’s No Fun to be a Hostage)


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