I am living in a big state capital city. I am sure there are a lot of people near me who are at least interested in conventional edible gardening, and a few who are on board with permaculture and more sustainable food-growing ideals (like being able to source our food close to our city/region). Despite 3 million people living pretty close to me, I am not offline friends with even one person who is serious about this stuff. I do know a lot of renters and people who have good reasons to not be interested in growing their own food, and honestly I am not the type to work my pet projects into every conversation so food supply chat doesn't come up too often with casual acquaintances. So, how do people find their like-minded permie neighbors?
Is there a feature on permies.com to connect with nearby members? Are there other sites or communities that offer this? Meetups? I see classes adverstised sometimes but they are expensive and it seems weird to go/pay just to maybe meet someone who cares about this stuff in my neighborhood. There are some houses we drive past with pretty sophisticated gardens (rain barrel systems, raised beds, vertical space used okay, etc.) and I sometimes want to drop a note on their door to say hi, but it also seems weird, lol. One of the saddest things about urban midwestern life is how you are totally surrounded by people but there are few polite, normal ways to actually interact with them, much less find out if they are into the same esoteric gardening stuff you care about. Do you meet permies intentionally or by chance? Is it easier in the rural areas where talking farm/shop might be more natural?
We also have seasonal monstrosities called "home and garden" shows, but they are these slick, estrogen-targeting materialistic circuses devoted mostly to making gals with disposable income lust after pretty stuff to show off in their yards/house (thereby making other gals jealous and pushing them to buy more pretty stuff). There are conventional master gardener people there giving good information out too, but it's advice that really doesn't gel with permaculture or trying to get by without a lot of imported inputs, etc. So there are some places to meet people into gardening, but it's not really my kinda gardening. We have a state fair too but that is overwhelmingly geared toward rural farm/4H type activity and you rarely see urban mini-farm info.
I have found the best info, people, and communities online so far, but since my goal/ethos is to do more stuff locally, I'd love to know how everyone else finds their local friends (without just trying to convert everyone they know).
Thanks, I did not see the Midwest forum stuff here.
I will look into the localvore stuff too. I know that is catching on more and more around here (we know a few people subscribing to CSAs and similar). I even saw a CSA type thing for organic free range meat and eggs that looked interesting (but really expensive). Googling for localvore stuff turned up a bit more for me than permaculture as a keyword + regional words.
You could also start trying to put together a group yourself. You can find a grandma somewhere who will be happy to let you garden on her property. They love to see folks learn, and love to have life around them. Seeing folks work on something is a magnet for questions. Then you can't get any work done. Ask a fence builder.
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CJ, thanks for the transition town suggestion. Looks like we have several local groups interested in that.
I really like permaculture ideas and a bit of the localvore stuff, but not personally into the doomsday post peak oil ideas. I think the free market will sort it all out (prices of fossil fuels go up, then alternative energy becomes more affordable and investment in those companies booms, etc.). I have a lot of faith in the power of corporate greed. Nobody gets paid if everyone can't afford to be good little consumers, lol. So, I'm not packing a bug-out-bag or to live in a camo mud hut in the woods and grind my own grain with a bicycle mill or anything. But I'm also cool with people who are planning for that type of future too. To each their own.
Morgan, yeah a tshirt might be in order. Mainly I hope to meet local people who are already doing some permaculture or edible organic gardening so I can learn more. We are new to this and already can see how important it is to get advice and learn from the people doing this on our same climate/ecosystem.
We've got so much work planned on our property this year I can't imagine starting a group/project somewhere else but I can see that in the future. Would love to see more of my neighbors with more blooms and fruit in the yard (green grass and evergreen shrubs gets kinda boring).
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