Monthly Archives: March 2013

Why Permaculture?

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Why Permaculture?

I was updating a group of friends on a social network I’m a part of, mostly to explain why I had been absent from them so much. This is what I said.

We’ve been very busy trying to find work and figure things out. Can we say fun? Not really. I described it to my honey as a constant low-grade fear and helplessness. Not only for what’s going on for us but the entire world! Some of the things going on make me really wonder what the hell we are thinking!? Being a generally happy person by nature, this does not suit.

So a few things happened that I won’t go into but we decided that no matter what, together, we were going to find a place and take care of ourselves. Off the grid, homesteading, whatever term you want to call it. Specifically we are going to create a permaculture food forest and live there. Look up Permaculture, tons of information online, most freely available. I found it that way and the fact that it completely answered my need for science and fact and results with connection to nature, self and community, meant that it was something I could really embrace. Don’t take my word for it, here’s the wiki just so you know what I’m going gaga over

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture

So to prove to our loved ones (and ourselves) that we are not crazy, honey is immediately going to go to an intensive permaculture course and after that perhaps some work/internships. I have to stay here for some freakin’ dental work and pay for it so that’s what i’ll do, at the same time I plan to also take some courses. I hope to get a job in some type of agriculture. There are lots of organic farms and wineries etc around here so I should be able to find something! In other words, actionable steps towards what we want.

Being flexible, easy-going people and old enough to know the value of being open to what the universe provides, we are very hopeful. Lots of options to be open to and lots of things that we might do, places to go. We have some basic criteria that we have already used to evaluate areas where we might do this and have a good chance of success. A good skill to exercise since it will be so vital to the actual detailed planning that will be required once we do know where where is! We’ve got lots of research done already and tons more to do. It is a good thing that I am finding out how fascinating soil is!

I will share one huge conclusion that I have made so far. That if everyone learned even a few of these principles and applied them, and many people do I’m sure (Brigit comes to mind!) we’d have a much better chance of not just surviving day to day but thriving and at the same time improving the chances of our turning things around. The oil will not last forever, the way we grow and distribute food cannot be sustained, nor should it be. It is no longer food. Our planet is suffering and we can stop it, we can help, each of us can make a difference. I’ve never really believed that before now.

Our planet is suffering and we can stop it, we can help, each of us can make a difference. I’ve never really believed that before now.

Knowing that unsustainable growth is our doom and that most refuse to see this clear, basic fact is a hard pill for many to swallow. Feeling totally helpless and sometimes horribly guilty despite our humble attempts to do otherwise, is not what I want to feel.  I want joy.  For me, my love, my family and friends, for the world.   The video below has been an eye-opening confirmation of this new hope.   Seeing the image of a totally decimated valley in China suddenly become a green, fertile  abundant place was utterly astounding.  To know it had happened within just a few years.  To see the same done in a village in Africa, to see them create water!  Learning that instead of fearing the population explosion, use the population to reclaim and rejuvenate the earth and in turn give those people destiny over their own lives.

John D. Lui emphasize the importance of large-scale projects and that those are the key to turning global climate change around, I completely agree.  If we do not, we are certainly doomed. I know that he would agree that each of us can help in that process knowing that so many of us are not equipped to work on that scale.  That it is just as important to preserve our communities large and small while still applying these principles.  Towns and cities have an enormous variety of new technologies and ideas being implemented all over the world to do just that.  If there is a new paradigm of society once the oil runs out, this is the one I hope we achieve.  One where the huge advances we have made in science and technology can join in the circle of our ecosystem, have their place without displacing the rest.  Putting these ideas into the minds of the general public by seeing it in action, large-scale and small is a vital step.

This video may change your life.  Hope you enjoy it!

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The Critters!

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Since this is a new blog to record all my notes, ideas and plans for our permaculture home, we’ll start at the top! We love animals of course and we do eat meat and will continue to. A permaculture project wouldn’t be complete without animals. For all they can give to us, in exchange we can give them a full, healthy life. Why would we want to eat any other kind of animal?

We have two cats but recognize that cats are dangerous to many other species. It may be handy that they keep the mice and rats down but they also kill lizards and frogs so a pond will be a challenge to protect. Our cats are inside mostly as well as both over 9. If it becomes necessary, we will get another outdoor mouser but only if we absolutely have to.

All our animals will be raised with a healthy diet from the plants that we grow but we won’t hesitate to buy feed if they need it.

Here are some basic notes an animals that we want to have immediately.

Dogs: two large work dogs, male (fixed), female, litter mates preferable, for security, protection of livestock and property, herding of goats, trained to harness for pulling sled or cart.

Chickens: prefer breed best suited for free range, young birds to be raised to increase flock but mostly eaten, lower number over winter. 20 birds max per flock is recommended.

Perhaps year two or three we will add:

Goats: smaller breed is preferred, small numbers to start to facilitate learning care as well as cheese making etc. And yes we can make butter and yogurt out of goats milk!

Horses: two would be best but only if the barn is complete and ready for them and we can afford decent tack. Since we don’t yet have our location on planet earth figured out (as of 3/19/13) we’ll just put them on the later list. Horses would be wonderful for recreation as well as for work and the manure!