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Opposites Attract; I'm into Permaculture, my wife is not  RSS feed

 
Posts: 4
Location: Saint Louis, MO
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Is anyone else in my situation. I want to live in harmony with nature while my wife wants to live the standard Mid-western suburban lifestyle. She wants to keep the lawn while I want to whole yard to be a garden. I would rather live in the country and she wants to live next to the mall. I want chickens goats and bees while she wants a de-clawed indoor cat. Any advise on how we can live in harmony? (Please no "get a divorce" responses since that is out of the question)
 
pollinator
Posts: 10113
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Can you find a community which allows farm type animals in a suburban situation? You don't need much room to have a whole lot of stuff in a yard, especially if you get a big suburban yard of 1/2 acre or more. Half could be your natural paradise, the other half could be her lawn.

 
Matt Leigh
Posts: 4
Location: Saint Louis, MO
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We live on a 1/4th of an acre in the suburbs. The back yard is southern exposure, but is shaded heavily by neighbors trees. Chickens and goats are technically legal, but are covered under a nuisance law. If the neighbors complain about smell or noise, I have ten days to remove animals. The neighbors already think I'm weird. They most likely would complain since it's not the norm.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 10113
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I guess I'm wondering if you can move to an area which would make both you and your wife happy?

 
                        
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geoff lawton made a comment about someone in Australia doing wonderful work with small spaces in cities, you might want to check that out for ideas in case you end up a little further in the city than you had hoped, which frankly sounds likely.

Compromise is a wonderful word!. I imagine "next door to the mall" isn't precisely accurate,..perhaps she will be agreeable to somewhere a little further away and you won't fuss about the declawed cat; you will also need to think about neighbors though, for such things as goats and bees. She might well not be the only one who has strong opinions about such things. Maybe some chickens and /or rabbits?If you need a big gun to bring out about living way too close to a mall you might suggest that the only option she is leaving you is to raise worms for composting things...sounds as though that might be something that could be a bargaining chip . If you get a place with a big front and back yard, perhaps you can get the area with the most sun, as lots of grasses will manage just fine with less sun than veggies and such need. She can have her area and you have yours. It might even turn out that she feels that's the best of both worlds and so do the neighbors, at least at first.

You might need to consider that if she doesn't want to be involved with food production, that you will need to do the caring for everything from seed to pantry. She seems to be making it clear that that would be your project, so no whining when she has no interest in canning pickles! OTOH she shouldn't expect you to spend a bunch of time weeding her petunias. Imo. One thing that always bemuses me is how people seem to expect their spouse to become someone different when they marry and it seldom happens. She should celebrate her lawn and you can celebrate your mini food forest and you can both admire the other's accomplishments.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 10113
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I think Geoff might have actually been referring to Path to Freedom, who are in Pasadena CA, USA. http://urbanhomestead.org/
 
                        
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He mentioned them on the first podcast but in the second one he spoke about someone who is being asked to stay at people's houses because her designs are so wonderful, and who travels to Japan to do teaching sessions. I think the Path to Freedom people are a little different in that that is clearly a whole family affair and this is equally clearly not going to be. That looks more like what one half of the equation wants and not at all what the other half dreams about. I think.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 10113
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Oh ok! Any photos of her designs on the internet, or other information?

 
Posts: 21
Location: Wiltshire UK
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We're reversed here hubby grew up on a smallholding and in no way wants to go back, I would love to have smallholding. We comprimised and bought a house with the most amount of garden we could get. We live on the edge of a town close enough to the countryside. He has all the perks of a "normal" home and I get to do all the "hippy" stuff lol!
WE still occasionally clash on stuff (really you want an outdoors oven why woman!) but generally we have found ways to compromise. I tolerate his obscene amount of computerstuff and he pees on a strawbale
 
Posts: 33
Location: Broken Arrow OK USA
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I am also in the opposite situation - I want a permaculture lifestyle, he doesn't. But we mutually agree on our love of nature. He's a hiker, and loves photographing nature. He understands what I want, he just doesn't want to do the work. I'm okay with that! I'll do the work - I just want to give up my large suburban home and find a small cabin in nature to work my permaculture garden around.

I also would love to do a passive solar home - but that seems out of the question for the time being. He's not sold on that concept. I think we may have to go with propane. I hate the thought of being dependent upon a petroleum product. But he doesn't think solar panels or wind turbines are cost effective yet (no matter how many times I try to get him to understand that they are getting better every day.) And the idea of orienting a house so that the sun does all the work - leaving us with very little to have to supply - has yet to sink in. We might have to baby step our way there.

But we, too, are stuck on each other in spite of our differences, 32 years, 4 adult kids, 6 grandkids. We're in it for the long haul now. We'll do it together - somehow.

Find your common ground with your mate and start from there... and be patient... exceedingly patient... LOL!
 
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Matt Leigh wrote:Is anyone else in my situation. I want to live in harmony with nature while my wife wants to live the standard Mid-western suburban lifestyle. She wants to keep the lawn while I want to whole yard to be a garden. I would rather live in the country and she wants to live next to the mall. I want chickens goats and bees while she wants a de-clawed indoor cat. Any advise on how we can live in harmony? (Please no "get a divorce" responses since that is out of the question)



these are some pretty serious differences. What amount of compromise will she have. Can you turn half of the yard into a garden?
 
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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My wife and I have been married more than 31 years now. We are much closer in thinking that we have ever been, but that doesn't say she is going to help spread manure. That is fine with me. We have zones, near the house is her zone and I make these how she wants them. The colors and arrangements are her's. But, behind the house, well that belongs to me, and the rest of the acreage. Her area is formal, my area is mainly food forest - and jungle.

Slowly, and I do mean slowly, teach, educate and let it sink in, without trying to force anything. Build little oasis inside your area that she will enjoy - so she can see the birds, etc.

You can accomplish a lot, when you don't try to use a bulldozer.

I originally wanted to live in the middle of nowhere - and she wanted to live in suburbia. Well, we know live in the frontier of a third world country, at her request.
 
Posts: 210
Location: SE Oklahoma
14
duck forest garden hugelkultur
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Matt Leigh wrote:Is anyone else in my situation.  I want to live in harmony with nature while my wife wants to live the standard Mid-western suburban lifestyle. 



You can have both if you can afford it or look hard until you find an opportunity. Buy a regular house for her on a piece of land for you. Negotiate how far away from the suburbs she is willing to live.

Where you live and what you can afford will determine how much land you can get. But do not despair as many have created extensive vertical gardens, raised beds, backyard hugelkultur beds, and even mini-permaculture food forests on less than an acre to a few acres.

Besides the usual permaculture sources, also see videos from John Kohler  [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/user/growingyourgreens[/youtube]  as he travels the world videotaping and describing exceptional gardens people have created in urban areas (and elsewhere).

Also see Marjory Wildcraft's videos on small homesteads. Or read my friend Angela England's book "Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less)" from (Living Free Guides).
 
Gail Gardner
Posts: 210
Location: SE Oklahoma
14
duck forest garden hugelkultur
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Moni Dew wrote:I am also in the opposite situation - I want a permaculture lifestyle, he doesn't. 



If only I could find a 60-ish mate who wanted to do what we want to do. We could get places near each other or buy one and split it and the three of us could do the building and the work. Broken Arrow is a lot closer to Tulsa than I'd want to be. Better to be as far from any major city as possible. And the further away you go, the less expensive land will be.

Because I have horses, my ideal land would be half or less cleared with a pond or two and the rest trees already, but not all trees. The best deals are on trees, but there are some nice little homesteads that come available now and then. They sell quickly, so you have to be ready to get one.

Examples I've found so far:

http://www.landsofoklahoma.com/property/100-miles-E.-of-OKC-80-miles-S.-Of-Tulsa.-Henryetta-Oklahoma-74462/3717011
116 acres trees 80 miles from Tulsa near Henryetta $69,600 116 acres

http://www.landsofoklahoma.com/property/190-acres-in-Latimer-County-Oklahoma/3286217 190 acres contract pending $86,000

http://www.landsofoklahoma.com/property/SE-180th-Rd.-Talihina-Oklahoma-74571/3604944 60 acres $48,000

http://www.landsofoklahoma.com/property/Bengal-Road-Panola-Oklahoma-74559/3607354 80 acres $48,000 Panola, ok $600/acre

http://www.landsofoklahoma.com/property/Section-29-Township-7-North-Range-27-East-Poteau-Oklahoma-74953/3251302 80 acres $60k Poteau

http://www.landsofoklahoma.com/property/THOMPSON-61-ACRES-Wister-Oklahoma-74966/3618988 61 acres $49,000 Wister Le Flore County

Good tips on where the cheapest land in Oklahoma can be found here https://www.okshooters.com/showthread.php?151995-Where-would-the-cheapest-land-in-Oklahoma-be-found

http://www.landwatch.com/Oklahoma-County-Oklahoma-House-for-sale/pid/284384351 ; Fixer-upper Jones, OK 25 acres $184,900

http://www.landwatch.com/Oklahoma-County-Oklahoma-House-for-sale/pid/257958171 87 acres $135,000 918-427-3212 motivated seller 3br 2 ba pole barn, 2 out buildings Muldrow, Ok cnty (Almost to Arkansas / Ft. Smith / Sallisaw)

House on 40 acres $89,000
http://www.countryhomesofoklahoma.com/oklahoma/country-home-for-sale/40-acres-in-Lincoln-County-Oklahoma/id/1401837 ; Older Country Brick Home on 40 acres. Sold in present condition. Roof needs repair. Chain link fence in backyard. Covered patio. Pasture land. Lots of privacy. Dead end road. Big shop/Barn, Storm Shelter - huge barn, wood burning stove, roof needed work, pasture. Contract pending

40 acres of off-grid, mountain land located just off of the popular K Trail for sale and available for immediate possession. http://www.landwatch.com/Le-Flore-County-Oklahoma-Land-for-sale/pid/25022975
It has Long Creek running through it, flowing into the property at the northeast corner and out through the middle of the western boundary. It is covered in a mixture of mature hardwood and pine timber. Trails come into the property and run primarily along the creek. Estimated Annual Property Tax:  $54.00 ***Owner financing available for 10% down. The remaining balance may be financed for a period of 10 years at the rate of 10% interest. This interest rate may be lowered by paying a larger percentage down payment.
 
Posts: 248
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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Try to get her involved in edible landscaping. You can both enjoy the unusual plants that can be grown and she can have bragging rights about the fresh, organic, gourmet cuisine that she is giving her friends!😄 This may start a trend in your neighborhood.
 
gardener
Posts: 789
Location: Ohio, USA
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My hubby is a tech nerd, I'm a garden nerd. He appreciates what I do, but will spend all day in the house with the computer. We live on 0.22 acres in an old suburb with flexible yard rules that are hippie friendly. When we were first married we were more opposite, but we have rubbed off on eachother. He loves the warm wood burner, but was a little less impressed with the insulating curtains. Still, being liberal and all, he resigned to if it does help so fracking, then it's worth the ugliness. Since he has the civil-eye, I think he is also a great resource as my reality check. I want this urban permaculture thing to take off like hot cakes, and it ain't gonna happen if it looks like a red neck haven. And yes, now I know how to make it sustainable and beautiful, thanks to him.

As for what to grow, I'd say generally think English cottage garden. Most of those were simply edibles and medicinals mixed together, varieties chosen for their beauty and flavor. In fact most of the prettiest plants are based on edibles: cherry, day lily, alliums, plums, pears, thyme, monardia, etc. So you can replace the non-edible varieties with the edible ones, more or less. I also do keep some lawn for running and playing, but it's Ohio, so it just grows pretty effortlessly, and I have a dog and a kid.
 
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