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Asheville Permaculture

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   I am a bit new to this forum and have been wanting to post something here about a new urban permaculture project I am working on here in Asheville, NC. I suppose I am looking for a possible partnership with a woman, but I would like to be able to talk about the work I am doing as well as post photos. I have no idea how to do it. If someone would be able to help me? Possibly tell me how to download photos... I guess you could private message me if possible. Thank you for your help ahead of time. I’m trying to upload a photo now, so it may work.

Nate Chambers
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Posts: 226
Location: nevada zone7
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photo upload worked, welcome to permies.
please tell us about yourself and your project.
would love to hear more.
Nathaniel Chambers
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Ok, think I will give this thing a try:

Where I Lived and What I Lived For
I live alone in the suburbs of West Asheville. It isn’t nearly as depressing as it sounds. These sort of neighborhoods popped up after WWII and this particular neighborhood was built on farmland with high rolling hills. During those moments when you want to give yourself over to your more cynical side, you can at least take a walk or look out the window and realize you are surrounded by greenery and quite a bit of wildlife. During the spring and summer months my backyard takes on an almost jungle like quality; after a good rain you can smell the earth and the soil coming back up at you.

I am here for two years while I work for myself during the day(I do a lot of different things), and while I learn to weld at night at Haywood Community College. It makes for long days but one certainly feels useful. I work in the yard, I turn wooden bowls, I teach and occasionally travel to teach, and I Air B and B one room of my house out during the tourist season. I am not a huge fan of Asheville and this is not really my community of people, but I am going to resist the impulse to be negative and just say that I am making the most of it. The thing that keeps me going is this yard, and the permaculture project I started when I returned to Asheville two years ago.

I am a woodworker by trade, though my interests are now specific within that field. I like making coopered buckets and currently have two classes set up this year to teach. I also turn in production on the electric lathe, and sell my work at shows. I used to turn and teach on the foot powered spring pole lathe. It isn’t practical and I am also 42, which simply means I’d like to reserve my energy for other things. I have been very involved in work as an artist AND a craftsman, and yes I like to distinguish between the two. I participated in an art residency at Haystack several summers ago, have demonstrated my work at MassArt and M.I.T., and have taught at a lot of well known schools, including Arrowmont. None of this to brag, but this writing sample here is designed to tell you who I am.

Future Plans
I am single. I can be quite clear here in this section about what I would like in a female partner. I had a near disastrous(and actually quite abusive) relationship three years ago in upstate NY, where neither one of us seemed to have wholly represented ourselves accurately, and suffered the consequences. So my intentions here, at the age of 42, would be to maintain transparency while being clear about what my needs would be in terms of a relationship. Perhaps someone out there might take an interest.

I value an education. I’m not saying I wouldn’t date someone who doesn’t have one. To be specific, I value a four year liberal arts degree(and more, if you have that). To say that you are “a voracious reader,” for instance, is a nice start. To be into yoga, and meditation, is a nice start. But there is no replacement for critical thinking and reasoning. The lack of an ability to think critically, in my experience, leads to shouting and violence. In light of our current political climate, I have been reading far more books on science. Books on how we construct narratives and tell ourselves stories. My friends on the far left, I have found, are as guilty of “cherry picking” facts and data as members on the right. Asheville is a very pretentious place and I have found it can be quite exclusive. I like the work of Guy Davenport, Gore Vidal, Leonard Mlodinow, Mary Kinzie, Eudora Welty, Robert Musil, Alice Munro, Anne Sexton, Marguerite Duras, Joseph Campbell, Jack Gilbert, Studs Terkel, Rebecca Solnit, Annie Proulx, Flannery O Conner, William Trevor, Cormac McCarthy, Maggie Nelson, Angela Carter, Jayne Anne Phillips, William Goyen, and this new lovely little book by Janisse Ray “The Seed Underground.” Also books on fermentation and chicken raising and permaculture. Anything by Wendell Berry, of course. It would be nice if someone could read a short story like “Solitude” by William Trevor, and have some idea as to what is going on. It is one of the most beautiful short stories written in the English language. Not extremely difficult, and by that I mean it might take a reading or two to figure out what is happening, but I am looking for someone who has that level of dedication to things. Looking. Looking deeper. Coming back later and looking again. As Jack Gilbert wrote: “it is the normal excellence/of long accomplishment.” None of that feels like high brow high minded snobbery to me. There is a world of information at our fingertips and what I value the most about science is that in theory it is all about admitting when you are wrong.

I am looking for someone who has high energy. Not just for work, but for life and life’s pursuits. I don’t want anyone who would hold me back from my goals, nor would I do that to anyone else. I would put this in all bold type: I don’t want to feel restrained. That isn’t equality. I’m not talking about sexual freedom here, as I believe in one partner and monogamy. I’m talking about not holding anyone back from being their best self. I admire a strong, intelligent woman. Let me repeat that: I admire a strong, intelligent woman. That doesn’t apply only to intelligence in the book sense, but personal choices. Not continuing on with old patterns of behavior. I abhor jealousy. I have female friends. I like them and they like me and we don’t sleep together. As you are reading this I would ask that you really consider whether these attributes I am listing as important in a partner apply to you, or not. If they don’t, it’s ok, we just wouldn’t get along.

I would like someone who would consider the possibility of children. If you already have a child, then the possibility of more children. In my life I would like the experience of raising a child, as I believe I would be a good parent. While it’s true, in the words of Philip Larkin that “they fuck you up, your mum and dad,” I do believe it is possible to create and then raise other useful people.

It would be nice if someone took an interest who knew far more about permaculture than I do. Someone who wouldn’t mind taking the leadership role in that regard. I have taken the initiative. I work very hard. I have raised beds done in the “hugulculture/lasagna layering” style, and I have a long term vision for this backyard. I have put a large kiln/starter room in the basement. Currently it is being used to dry beams for a workbench, but eventually it will be for starting vegetables. This house isn’t perfect. The location isn’t perfect. I’m not perfect. I’m looking for someone who isn’t perfect, either. Someone who understands that permaculture and gardening and reading and community are all activities we adopt so we can get at being our better selves. At this point in my life I would like to try to do that with someone as opposed to going it alone. This would be a joint venture, and I am also open to not staying in Asheville. I would just like to leave this place I am living better than when I found it. As W.B. wrote: “Make the human race a better head. Make the world a better piece of ground.”

That’s all for now. Photos to follow.

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Hello, Nice woodwork. when i was younger like 25  yrs ago in my single years i worked on wood i had a friend with all the tools. I made a bowl out of rosewood, a bat, some cut out signs...etc. . I remember how i always wanted to work with wood, then life happened. i got married in 95, had a son, got divorced in 2010 finished raising my son he is 23 now. I am 52 collecting SSDI. I can do most things, i like to bake so i would like chickens...i cannot lift heavy weights nothing over 20lbs.
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