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Permies.com - What I learn from logging on and contributing

 
Posts: 67
Location: Gulgong, NSW, Australia
27
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I have been researching how to add pictures to my profile.  Along the way, I have discovered a world of information.  Not only am I improving my Permaculture skills but along the way, I am improving my web skills.  Thank you to all the contributors, moderators and advisors.  It is a great organisation to be a part of.  Input < Learning Opportunities.
What has been your key learning from using Permies and or being a Kickstarter?
1005-South-East-from-orchard.JPG
Home: Post and beam construction with compressed earth brick infil
Home: Post and beam construction with compressed earth brick infil
1016-Hot-house-with-ground-heater.JPG
First effort of preventing the bananas from freezing in winter
First effort of preventing the bananas from freezing in winter
Our-first-Hive-The-second-one-is-being-prepared.jpg
Our first Hive - The second one is being prepared
Our first Hive - The second one is being prepared
Our-Rain-Cactus-flowers-about-a-week-before-the-rain-More-flowers-more-rain.jpg
Our Rain Cactus flowers about a week before the rain - More flowers, more rain
Our Rain Cactus flowers about a week before the rain - More flowers, more rain
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Dual Axis Solar Tracker
Dual Axis Solar Tracker Control and solar cells
 
master steward
Posts: 16213
Location: Pacific Northwest
7433
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Oh goodness, I've learned SO MUCH in my years here. Off the top of my head:

(1) Communication techniques! I've learned a lot about being nice and sharing my own opinion rather than telling other's they're wrong. It's really helped me not only online, but also in real life!

(2) That just because something is "cloth" doesn't mean it's natural or good. Polyester is plastic! (I feel silly saying that now, but 8 years ago when I bought cloth diapers for my son, I thought "It's cloth, so it must be good and natural and safe." I was wrong! It sheds microplastics and gave my son rashes because it didn't come clean like cotton). I came here to learn about gardening, and ended up learning about so much more!

(3) That I can make things out of wood! I'd always wanted to carve a spoon, but never felt I could. Along came the SKIP program's roundwood woodworking badge and the badge bit for carving a spoon. Next thing I knew, I'd carved a spoon, then made a mallet, made a bench, made a stool, and used my skills to make a kiwi trellis.

(4) That my work had value to others. I never thought I could sell my stuff and people would buy it. But since the digital market costs nothing to make a listing, and takes such a tiny percentage if you make a sale, I thought, "Why not?" And people bought my stuff and I felt like I had value and skills that were worth something. (Now I'm so swamped with homeschooling my two kids and working from home, that I don't have much time to create, but the experience still really built me up in a huge way).

(5) That there's other people like me! The feeling of community and friendship and support here on permies is immense. It's neat knowing you're not the only one that piles rocks to attract snakes, or is excited about rare perennial edibles, or are proud of your clothesline (I stole these all from the 17 pages of "You Might be  a Permie If..." thread)

Wow, I just checked my join date. It was February 24th, 2014. That's  exactly 7 years and 1 day ago! Permies has been with me from when my son was just 4 months old, to when I was trying to pick a tree for his first birthday, to my soul searching as to whether we should have a second child (yes, we did, and yes, she's awesome! Though it certainly was a larger trial than we were expecting). A big thanks to everyone here at permies for being such a huge part of my life!
 
Paul Fookes
Posts: 67
Location: Gulgong, NSW, Australia
27
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Nicole Alderman wrote:

Wow, I just checked my join date. It was February 24th, 2014. That's  exactly 7 years and 1 day ago! Permies has been with me from when my son was just 4 months old, to when I was trying to pick a tree for his first birthday, to my soul searching as to whether we should have a second child (yes, we did, and yes, she's awesome! Though it certainly was a larger trial than we were expecting). A big thanks to everyone here at permies for being such a huge part of my life!



Hope you have a very happy anniversary Nicole.  Thank you for your fabulous input to our learning - when the student becomes the teacher, our job is done, except that we continue to learn as peers and grow together and support each other.
 
master steward
Posts: 4822
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1486
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Wow, I have learned so much since finding permies!

I can't even begin to tell all the things that I have learned. First, I will say the one thing I am most proud of is learning how to add pictures to a post.  I love pictures!  I love adding pictures to a post.  I am thankful to the person who was so patient and helped me through the process.

I love that I can ask a question and so many folks will try to help figure out my question.

I also love that permies is a wealth of information.  I can do a search and find all sorts of answers.
 
gardener
Posts: 2016
Location: South of Capricorn
803
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Hey Paul! Glad you're here and happy to see your pics.

I've learned an awful lot about dealing with pests, animals, and rocket stoves, but honestly the biggest takeaway for me lately is ideas for reusing things. Plus the pleasure of escaping to a place that focuses on nature, growth, and people making positive change when I have breaks during my workday.

I've got a question for you about your bananas. You have that super-cold-desert-night thing going on there? We get down to freezing here (southern Brazil, 9b, we do occasionally get a bit of snow) and the banana leaves get frost-nipped but the plants always bounce back. You figure you have to cut them anyway after they fruit, so it's just cosmetic. Or is the greenhouse more for containing moisture (since it looks really, really dry out there)?
 
Paul Fookes
Posts: 67
Location: Gulgong, NSW, Australia
27
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Hi Tereza,
The hot house is an experiment.  The tank in the foreground is a hot water tank that I recovered from our local tip.  I bored 6 holes in the ground 1200 mm (4 feet) deep and looped pipe from the tank onto and out of each hole then connected the free end into a solar heater I made and back to the tank.  There is a 25 mm (1") inline pump to pull the water from the tank and push to the solar heater.  It turns on for 5 minutes each hour between 10 AM and 2 PM to pull the heated water underground.  We have sweet potato and other sensitive plants there.  The Tank is painted black to increase heat absorption during the day and warm the air at night.  I have kept a thermometer in there and it appears that we can keep the temperature at about 5 deg C overnight and it also keeps the frost off.  As an experiment it is a success but there needs to be some refinements because the underground joins came apart and the antifreeze soaked into the ground.  A banana will die once it has fruited so they get cut out.  We tried dwarf cavandish and ladies fingers.  The cavandish fared a little better.  We have -5 deg C (Zone 9) in winter with frosts and up to 45 deg C in summer but most days are perfect save the odd drought or flood.  Not in the big smoke so life is a ball and everything else is a bonus
Hope that answers your questions. BTW our elevation is 493 Metres in the Central Table lands of NSW
 
Tereza Okava
gardener
Posts: 2016
Location: South of Capricorn
803
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Very cool, Paul, thanks for explaining in detail!
 
pollinator
Posts: 324
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Absolutely loving all the comments here!
Possibly the biggest thing I’ve learned is how to think- about how I think. I know that sounds like double talk but it’s really true. At a certain age it seems like we get set in our ideas and have a hard time accepting new and different thoughts. So many threads and comments here (and now Paul’s draft of Permaculture Thorns!) that have made me stop and say ‘huh! Never thought about it like that!’. Thinking is good, because you can’t learn if you don’t. So many discussions here have triggered the desire to do more research into an idea, and led to many fascinating ‘rabbit hole’ evenings. And overall I’ve just stopped settling for ‘I know what I know’, and opening up my mind to knowing something else.
I can’t fully enumerate what I’ve learned, but one prime example is hugelkultur. I’ve heard the term for years, seen pictures, skimmed articles about it, but never really had a full appreciation for it (meaning thought about it) until this forum. Same with the value of ponds, or ‘edge’. Especially edge. It never occurred to me how much of importance happened at those transitions.
Overall, it’s just great fun seeing and hearing different ideas from around the planet. Somebody is always doing something cool and interesting that I would never get to share in if I wasn’t here!
 
gardener
Posts: 3255
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The biggest thing I've learned about is the dynamic interplay within nature. How dynamic accumulators not only have deep roots to hold back erosion on a rainy hillside, but how they also use those deep roots to draw up many minerals that are often lacking in soils.  How certain pollinating plants can fill in the gaps and attract a steady flow of pollinators, but also harbor "the balance of nature" to keep predatory insects in check. How pioneer nitrogen fixing plants can go into a new area, grow fast and set up nitrogen into the soil before eventually becoming more scarce for other plants.  How a diversity of plants can also continue the balance of nature and set up predators to check on pests that dominate within a monoculture.  How keeping the integrity of the soil can foster the nurturing of the mycorrhizae so they can distribute the nutrients across the land.  How restoring a form of natural meadow habitat can revive native bee populations, and how having different microclimates within your garden can foster even greater diversity to grow within it.

John S
PDX OR
 
gardener
Posts: 713
Location: N. California
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I have learned to many things to recount, but in my mind the most important is I can make a difference.  Before I found Permies I thought, I can't do anything about global warming, or improving our world. I'm not powerful, or rich enough to make a difference. I learned how wrong I was.  Everyone can make a difference. It's the small changes we can all make that will be the most impactful. Especially if we share what I have learned with others.  
Permies is helping me to be a better person. That sounds kind of silly, but I feel it's true.  It pushes me to keep trying to be better, to do better. To know more, to share what I know. To grow.  So I too am totally grateful to permies, and all the smart, giving, amazing open hearted people who make permies what it is.  Thanks
 
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The interconnectedness. I look for sunlight patterns and slope/water flow everywhere I go. The "mistakes" & "things to know" are especially helpful. I find the vast mix of posters approachs very informative. And I love the absence of hostile trolls!
 
Paul Fookes
Posts: 67
Location: Gulgong, NSW, Australia
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leigh gates wrote:And I love the absence of hostile trolls!


Me too Leigh.  I have distilled a philosophy for life: "I don't care what you are.  I care what you bring to the table" Trolls must be very unhappy people needing to try to bring others down.  As we find out in Harry Potter, Trolls are not that bright!
Troll.jpg
Courtesy Harry Potter - we know trolls are not that bright
Courtesy Harry Potter - we know trolls are not that bright
 
Posts: 199
Location: Málaga, Spain
47
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If nothing else, this forum is a source of experiences from people doing crazy stuff to improve the world, tiny bit by tiny bit. It both encourages other people to try their own stuff, and check with others if that's too crazy or if that might actually work. It gave me confidence in my own projects, and also authority to defend my ideas, knowing that other people have already done something similiar with success.
Oh, I always love to share the little knowledge I possess, and here it is welcomed.
 
Julie Reed
pollinator
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Abraham wrote: If nothing else, this forum is a source of experiences from people doing crazy stuff to improve the world, tiny bit by tiny bit.



Sooo... you’re saying we’re all a bunch of crazies right? 😎
C2511C7D-C5AA-45D0-9714-EEDC61ABE4AF.jpeg
The illumination of permaculture?
The illumination of permaculture?
 
pioneer
Posts: 241
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 5a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
30
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Abraham Palma wrote:If nothing else, this forum is a source of experiences from people doing crazy stuff to improve the world, tiny bit by tiny bit. It both encourages other people to try their own stuff, and check with others if that's too crazy or if that might actually work. It gave me confidence in my own projects, and also authority to defend my ideas, knowing that other people have already done something similiar with success.
Oh, I always love to share the little knowledge I possess, and here it is welcomed.



This. The idea culture of Permies is awesome. “Crazy” ideas are the most innovative, and the acceptance of the potential value of any and all ideas, whatsoever is what makes Permies great. It’s helped me to be certain that if it works in my head, it’s worth giving a shot, no matter what anyone else says.
 
I've read about this kind of thing at the checkout counter. That's where I met this tiny ad:
19 skiddable structures microdoc - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/t/138333/skiddable-structures-microdoc-FREE
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