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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why do you grow food using permaculture?

 
gardener
Posts: 1654
Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
620
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Hello!

As many of you know I write blog posts weekly on my site Wild Homesteading. These posts are focused on helping people to grow their own food and build their homestead by working with nature. I want to make sure that my site and posts are written in a way that really will help people who visit.

And you can help me do that! Please take a moment to answer these 2 questions and if you do I got an apple waiting for you!

Question 1: Why do you want to grow food in a way that's good for the environment?

Question 2: What's the hardest part about it?

Your answers will really help me make sure the content on Wild Homesteading is helpful for you and others!

Thank you!
 
master pollinator
Posts: 2817
Location: Toronto, Ontario
314
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1) I want to grow food in a way that's good for the environment because it's better for me, because the product is better and cheaper, and you feel good about not contributing to all the commercial food badness. Eating is a thing we all need to do. It's not like some things that, while difficult to do without in some cases, you could manage without and keep living, like driving a car versus using public transit or a bicycle.

2) The hardest part about it is seasonality, I think, unless it's the SQUIRRELS! Seriously, urban pests are a pain in the fundament. I will add to that the difficulties of gardening in urban spaces without adequate sunlight, and making choices based on shade-tolerance.

-CK

 
Posts: 380
Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
82
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1. Sustainable food production and a reduction in my ecological footprint, particularly in regards to food miles and nasty chemicals used in mass production.

2. Working in a profession unrelated to food production means TIME is a critical factor - the seasons seem to come and go so fast! In our warm climate, growing things may not be as challenging as colder climes, but, that just means it's almost a 365 day opportunity (potential workload). Additionally, one of the hardest parts is using all the food e.g. An apple tree produces a LOT of apples, and if you're not interested in selling or using them to feed livestock, then it can be problematic if there's no bartering opportunities around.

 
Posts: 1695
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
98
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I'm lazy. Is that an acceptable answer? lol Traditional food crop growing is pretty labor intensive with the weeding and watering and on and on. I'd rather put a bunch of labor in up front so I don't have to put as much in every year. I've done crazy earth works and watching them fill with water brings me happiness.


As for the second question it's my climate. We are high, dry, windy and cold. Everything is stacked against me being able to grow anything.
 
Posts: 40
Location: Haida Gwaii, British Columbia (7b)
12
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I want to grow food and regenerate the environment. I see this as an investment for everyone. If I improve the soil and the environment around me, and the land I steward - wildlife, insects, my family, and the community will reap the benefits - hopefully for generations. It’s an investment for everyone!


The hardest part is waiting. Growing trees from seed, or watching my annuals fail can be simultaneously frustrating and rewarding. On one hand, I’m learning from these experiences and experiments, but on the other — I’d love to taste those apples and plums NOW!
 
Posts: 297
Location: Stone Garden Farm Richfield Twp., Ohio
15
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The world is a most interesting place, filled with all sorts of connections and unities and Spirit. It's not so much that we grow food that's good for the environment, it's more that we grow food that is part of the environment. We recognize that the Stones have a point of view, and the Animal People, and the Plant People. They want to live their lives in a happy and fulfilling and learning way, just as we do. The Nature Spirits and Fairies also have their ways and needs and wants and gifts and lessons to teach. We want, ~~we need, to be a part of that. Recognizing that there are all sorts of other Peoples that inhabit this wonderful Earth. And that if we join with Them we will help co-create the Earth as Garden, as it once was, and still is in places. It is what is most healthy and uplifting for All the Peoples of Earth.

The only "hard" part of this is the Remembering. The Remembering that we are a simple part of the Whole. And all of life and the living of life extends much beyond our sometimes small Human focus.
 
pioneer
Posts: 832
Location: 4b
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1)  Growing food in a way that is good for the environment is a side effect of growing food in a way that is good for me.  I want to eat food that is grown without poisons, so I do my best to create good, healthy, living soil to do that.  I help nature as much as I'm able, and nature helps me.  It's a win/win.

2)  The hardest part for me is growing dealing with the climate here.  Our growing season is much shorter than some.  We have long cold winters, and being in zone 4, many things I would like to grow struggle or simply don't survive here.  My variety is necessarily less than in a warmer climate.  Much more food has to be grown in a shorter time and then storage has to be accounted for.  Canning is a great way, but it's pretty time consuming.  Freezing is great, but dependent on things outside my control.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 338
Location: South of Capricorn
88
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1) reducing the footprint- I like things that are not common here, so growing them makes it so I don't have to import them from another continent. And as permies know, once you start you end up going down the rabbit hole.... a worm bin turns into an urban farm with rabbits and bokashi....  Plus it's cheaper than therapy!

2) the hardest part is adapting all the info out there to my climate and region. I'm out of sync with most of the gardening wisdom out there, since I'm southern hem, and even for Australian resources our "mini-seasons" don't generally match up in terms of precip and sustained cool or warm weather. I get too much rain for compost to stay aerobic, I have bugs that nobody else has ever heard of, etc etc. Bright side, it means I must experiment, and sometimes I learn cool things (tomatoes grow here better in the winter, for example). Learning keeps me happy.
 
pollinator
Posts: 375
Location: San Diego, California
50
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Ranked in terms of importance to me (although I'm sure "objective" importance could be greatly debated)

Food/Material production to eat/use/sell
Fun!
Shade
Family time AND break from family time
Improve the soil
Pride of accomplishment/"making" something
Oxygen production/Carbon sequestration
Wildlife Habitat
 
pollinator
Posts: 586
Location: Western Washington
151
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1. Permaculture gives me a sense of security and empowerment. Security because it creates a system that can withstand economic and social turmoil, and empowerment because it gives me a practical way of working on issues like climate change. It gives me an avenue to provide for future people, including my family, which is important to me.

2. The challenging thing is being a bridge between the people I love and a more sustainable future. These last months I've really done a lot of outreach with churches, temples, and friends, and meeting people where they are has been hard but productive.
 
gardener
Posts: 756
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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I was raised by an "environmentalist" before the word was common, and gardening was part of our lifestyle. Moving from Ont to a Wet Coast property with huge trees has changed what grows easily but opened up options I wouldn't have had where we used to live. I believe that growing with nature improves the nutritional value of what I can grow, and the micro-nutrients available in the food. I wish I could grow a greater percentage of the calories I eat, but the lack of sunshine and animal pressure pushes back hard. I have really enjoyed adding helpful companions around fruit trees that the former land-owners had surrounded by grass. I've enjoyed experimenting with uncommon fruit/berries looking for fruit that will do well on my property.
 
Posts: 259
Location: South Central Kansas
3
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Daron Williams wrote:Hello!

As many of you know I write blog posts weekly on my site Wild Homesteading. These posts are focused on helping people to grow their own food and build their homestead by working with nature. I want to make sure that my site and posts are written in a way that really will help people who visit.

And you can help me do that! Please take a moment to answer these 2 questions and if you do I got an apple waiting for you!

Question 1: Why do you want to grow food in a way that's good for the environment?

Question 2: What's the hardest part about it?

Your answers will really help me make sure the content on Wild Homesteading is helpful for you and others!

Thank you!



Answer #1: I for one like to grow things in harmony with nature if I can - nature is far smarter than me! Food and flowers in particular. I plan on donating non GMO and chemical free (meaning I don't use any chemicals) to a food bank if I have too much. Will help others who are in need. The charitable thing to do too. It gives me a nice feeling helping others in need.

Answer #2 - hardest part is all that dang LABOR it takes. Far less if I used chemicals (herbicides, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, etc are labor savers). Far more if I do not. So I have time to do it the hard way - organic. I feel a better sense of accomplishment and appreciation for ANYTHING I had to work for, not just plants/gardens.
Besides I like a well fed happy wife! And she loves pretty flowers too. Happy wife = no burnt supper for me!

In my research I ran across an article a long while back.
They USA (supposedly) on average had 12 FEET of topsoil when the country was first settled. Now we barely have inches in many places.

Here is some info in the issue of lost topsoil:
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs142p2_010152.pdf

So If I want to do my part in slowing that rate I need to do things the natural way - organic.




IMG_1827.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_1827.JPG]
Happy wife pic - food AND flowers!
 
pollinator
Posts: 428
Location: Derbyshire, UK
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1) laziness and cheapness- why buy fertilizers/pesticides/etc when you don't have to? And they take time to buy and apply, whereas leaving my trees to get on with it does not.

2) A few things- time. I am time poor (which is self inflicted but something I'm going to continue). Also shade- my actual garden is under deciduous trees so is limited, so I also got a very open community garden- but then I have to put up with other peoples opinions of my space and growing methods.
 
Daron Williams
gardener
Posts: 1654
Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
620
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Thank you all so much for the responses! Keep them coming - still got apples to throw
 
pioneer
Posts: 208
Location: The Arkansas Ozarks
24
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Hi Daron,

1.  Our Creator designed the environment and he made a garden.  I believe that HE used the same principles in designing both and that all of Creation was in harmony (before the tree of knowledge incident).   As we attempt to return the earth to that harmony, growing in a way that helps cleanse the environment of our filth is a small contribution that each of us can make.

2. The hardest thing for me personally is that my physical mobility limits what I can accomplish in a timely fashion.  I can still do most things, but it takes much longer to do them from a 10% standing & 90% sitting position.  Alrhough it is easier to spot squash bug eggs in a sitting position.

Sincerely,

Ralph
 
pollinator
Posts: 264
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
74
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Fear. Fear of the collapse of the food chain, biodiversity extinction like never before, societal collapse, war, desertification, soil erosion, ocean depletion, what hopeless mess we made of this planet and increasingly doing so.
Love. Love of the miracle of nature , the endless finesse in the small and the enormous, it's perfection , love for the future we can have in harmony with nature the promise of endless spiritual growth when we get there. Love of the joy and wonder an unexpected flower or rare insect can bring while working hard, the love of accomplishing the growth of one of the most essential things, we tend to overlook: food, healthy food while increasing the soil fertility and local biodiversity, pulling people in, showing them we're not powerless. Love of the simplicity and strength permaculture methods encompass. Love for the chance we all have to give it our best shot to avoid all i fear when implied en masse.
The hardest part about it for me is that i'm unsure of putting all this time and effort in in vain while the large majority of sleeple just keeping lounging about, flying all over the place, making tons of money, patting each other on the back, doing everything God forbade and consuming it's paradise and wondering why the heck i don't just join them in their nihilistic orgy of limitless consumption and superficial serotoniine jacuzzi hot tub disney world.
 
Chris Kott
master pollinator
Posts: 2817
Location: Toronto, Ontario
314
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I resist doing anything out of fear.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

-Frank Herbert, Dune

I have adopted the principles of permaculture not out of fear, or because I think some bad juju will fall on me if I step out of line.

I do so because it makes sense to mimic natural systems and patterns in my food systems. Knowledge is power. Reason shows you how to apply it. Permaculture is practical and pragmatic and real.

That's why I adhere to permacultural principles.

-CK
 
Kai Walker
Posts: 259
Location: South Central Kansas
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One good thing about gardening: at least the plants don't try to rob you!
 
Posts: 174
Location: North Coast Dominican Republic
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Daron Williams wrote:
Question 1: Why do you want to grow food in a way that's good for the environment?

Question 2: What's the hardest part about it?

Your answers will really help me make sure the content on Wild Homesteading is helpful for you and others!



1. Without an environment, there won't be any food.

2. These tropical pasture grasses are so aggressive, I can't keep up with cutting them back. I have to hire labor. And none of the locals think it can be done without glyphosate.
 
pollinator
Posts: 187
Location: Basque Country, Spain-42N lat-Köppen Cfb-Zone8b-1035mm/41" rain: 118mm/5" Dec., 48mm/2" July
40
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Daron Williams wrote:
Question 1: Why do you want to grow food in a way that's good for the environment?

Question 2: What's the hardest part about it?



Q1. I think it's literally insane NOT to grow food in a way that's good for the environment. Or do anything else in a way that's not good for the environment. I just don't really understand it on a basic level. What kind of nutso thinking got us here? I think our weird social-economic-psychological system at the moment is almost a one-off in human history. "Modern" society fantasizes that we can produce endless amounts of poison with no consequences. Continuing to sweep it all under the carpet when it's been clear we have a problem for my entire lifetime and then some. By keeping the consequences not-too-in-your-face-for-most-people for the longest time possible, we keep wishing away the day when our fantasy bubble will burst, when we run out of carpet to sweep under. So... I think we need to get our act together. Quickly. And I want to be part of it.

Q2. The hardest part for me is devoting the time necessary to do my part in a really great way (or even a half-decent way) while keeping my day job. For instance, I just started reading about Korean Natural Farming. It sounds great, and worth experimenting with. And it has a huge amount of depth. Imagining fitting in these experiments with my existing daily activities is making my head spin at the moment. And I still haven't read, much less digested all of Redhawk's Soil Series, nor have I prepared my last raised beds to plant my squashes, melons and hot peppers. And I have a couple of proposals due back at the day job. You get the idea.
 
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