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Covid permies

 
Posts: 46
Location: Ontario - Someday Nova Scotia
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I saw a post from Rebecca Blake talking about  "Wish You Knews" which is a great thread, I think. It it she mentions how she only just started around a year ago, when covid hit, same as me!

I'm sure the staff would know more than I, but I assume there's a large amount of us who are in this situation. I mean, it's obvious in some more topical ways: rural properties are suddenly getting gobbled, preserving food now might mean waiting for a year for suppliers to restock, garden centers are running out of seeds AGAIN, and I even saw a news article that "everyone is growing mushrooms".

I'm not keen to know that I am one of many who found permaculture (and the many things associated with permaculture), but I do think it has some advantages: more neighbours who are in line with our unconventional thinking, meaning local communities. I also hope it means that learning experiences will be more plentiful because there's suddenly a larger group to teach.

I'm not particularly asking a question but I did want to know people's thoughts, if they have any, about us, the "covid permies".
 
pollinator
Posts: 299
Location: Eilean a' Cheo
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I think it is inevitable that the Covid situation which affected just about everyone, led to more people thinking about their lifestyle and it's fragility.  Previously I guess it was more likely to be a gradual awareness, different for each person, rather than the sharp shock of mass loo roll panic. I think more Permie thinking could be one positive thing that has come out of the last year.  It would be interesting to know how the Permies membership has been affected over this period compared to previous years.  For myself, I happen to have joined the forums recently, but have been plotting lifestyle changes for getting on 30 years. Some of us are slower than others.....
 
gardener
Posts: 3604
Location: Southern Illinois
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Tonya,

I was already here at Permies doing my Permies thing for a while when COVID hit.  It really prompted me to plant heavily for calories as opposed to diversification.  I know that maybe I didn’t apply Permies principles like I should have, but I dedicated most of my garden space to growing potatoes on the grounds that potatoes could probably support me better than just about any other crop could.

At the time I was not certain how available food would be at the store (hard to believe that one year ago toilet paper was virtually unobtainable and groceries were scarce.).  I planted thinking I might have to support my family with my garden beds alone.

Fortunately that turned out to be an over abundance of caution and a lot of those taters went uneaten—by me at least.  But I know that the concerns over COVID really made me prepare to put my inner Permie to the test.

Eric
 
gardener
Posts: 2929
Location: southern Illinois.
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It was because of COVID that I became active on this site.  I had registered maybe sometime in 17 ....too lazy to look it up, but my postings increased with the lockdown. P  I have been homesteading for eternity, so I am well stocked with supplies. Like Eric, I do give more thought to what I plant.  My gardening has taken on a serious side.  
Staff note (Greg Martin) :

9/4/17....excellent memory John

 
Posts: 98
Location: Ohio
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At the beginning of COVID (this time last year?) there was a huge run on chicks/chickens. It was not only a chance for changes because of food systems it's also been a time some people picked up long awaited projects. I think it was just an opportunity. Many solo hobbies saw a rush.
 
pollinator
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Location: South-central Wisconsin
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I was digging through my seed collection a few days ago, and realized you can gauge my stress level by what I was ordering. Calm years had more "fun" plants. Years that had some financial concerns but were otherwise ok, I ordered more high-end medicinal herb seed. Years where health was a major concern, I'd order medicinal herb seed for things that might help.

The last 2 years? Seeds for things that are so cheap in the store that they usually aren't worth growing, like wheat and carrots. Staples like potatoes and beans (even though I already had quite the bean collection). Household items, like luffa gourds and various soap plants. Fiber plants. Things for the chickens to eat. Pest-repellent plants by the pound. I've ordered more cover crop seed in the last two years than in the previous (mumble-mumble) combined! And more of the things I ordered, while not mass-produced hybrids, they weren't the kind of obscure, hard to find varieties I usually gravitate toward.

I don't know if I'm explaining it all that well, but if you sorted out my seeds by the year they were ordered, you'd see a stark difference starting last year.
 
Posts: 85
Location: Franklinton, NC
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I can second Eric on the potatoes. Fancy greens don't have the calories to keep you alive, taters do ;). I'm not planning on doing a garden this year, but if I did, it would be trashcan potatoes all the way. There probably (in my opinion) WILL be food shortages coming. We've all been warned this past year what can easily go sideways upon the power of mere perception. First and foremost, secure a water source which will provide with or without electricity. Then, learning about wild edibles, building traps for small game, guns for large, and potatoes, of course. If anyone here has ever read the works of Solzhenitsyn or Kolyma Tales by Shalamov, it certainly mentally prepares you for what one can easily survive. Since it's all relative, day to day, it helps to have the perspective of what squalid conditions human beings can endure under, and thank your lucky stars your hardships are so minor in comparison.
 
master gardener
Posts: 2517
Location: Maine, zone 5
1149
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Ellendra Nauriel wrote:Household items, like luffa gourds and various soap plants.


I've been interested in soap plants for years and this year I ordered 2 types which also have the stacking function of being edible.  I bought Succulent Iceplant seeds from Baker Creek, which they say has nice edible leaves, and New Jersey Yucca from the Experimental Farm Network, which is supposed to have tasty flower shoots, flower buds, flowers and fruits.  I never realized that Yucca was related to asparagus and was amazed to see the picture on EFN's site of the flower shoots...I knew that I've been wanting to grow it for years, but that made me add it to my cart....wow that is one large asparagus!
 
pollinator
Posts: 215
Location: N.E.Ohio 5b6a
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Like many here I have been working on permies style homesteading for a long while, but this virus has changed the way we think.  Our little community tighten up a lot here.  Our neighbors all have been trading different things back and forth.  This has made better friendships and a healthier community.  We usually grow for us about 18 meals a week and for a small farmers market for the locals.  The prices of food is growing rapidly here.  Corn is up %25.  I saw pork go for $4.99 per lb on the hoof yesterday.  Common things such as canning supplies are all gone.  We have always had many canning supplies, because of the way we live so it doesn't effect us much.  Our customers are asking us how to store food.  I get to teach people the way we do things now almost every weekend.  To many of our customers permies has become a common word.  My wife, son and I have decided to grow way more food.  We are trying to make a higher volume of high quality nutrient food for our local people.  We are trying to keep it as affordable as possible so many people can enjoy better food.  We are even trading commodities instead of money.  Some people just don't have money.  The way we see it, if people have access to quality food then they will be healthier and happier.
 
Ellendra Nauriel
pollinator
Posts: 579
Location: South-central Wisconsin
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Greg Martin wrote:

Ellendra Nauriel wrote:Household items, like luffa gourds and various soap plants.


I've been interested in soap plants for years and this year I ordered 2 types which also have the stacking function of being edible.  I bought Succulent Iceplant seeds from Baker Creek, which they say has nice edible leaves, and New Jersey Yucca from the Experimental Farm Network, which is supposed to have tasty flower shoots, flower buds, flowers and fruits.  I never realized that Yucca was related to asparagus and was amazed to see the picture on EFN's site of the flower shoots...I knew that I've been wanting to grow it for years, but that made me add it to my cart....wow that is one large asparagus!




One of the stranger things I ordered this year was a large bag of horse chestnut seeds, already stratified and packed in damp soil. With a few horse chestnut trees growing, I'll have an endless supply of laundry soap!

(Edited to fix a typo)
 
Greg Martin
master gardener
Posts: 2517
Location: Maine, zone 5
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Nice Elandra!  I should do that too (such lovely trees as well) as well as order some luffas.  

I try to look at all this as a great motivator to try things like this that have always sounded fun and useful.
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