But, I couldn't find a thread about how we first learned about permaculture.
For me, it was when my husband and I were watching free documentaries on Hoopla (way back in the day when Hoopla was free), and we watched Fast Food Nation. Joel Salatin was showcased, and both my husband and I were so impressed by his ethical and ecologically respectful way of raising animals. It was when I was searching google to find out more about his work, that I encountered the term "permaculture" and I tried to find every free resource I could about it!
I actually don't remember how I first heard about permaculture. It would have been back in the 1980's; perhaps there was an article in TMEN, or one of the other homesteading/organic gardening magazines? I do know that we got a copy of The Permaculture Design Manual in the early 1990's. Definitely wasn't on the internet because we didn't get a computer until the end of 1999. But we were primed for it....my ex and I had both been forestry majors in college, and we both had life-long interests in gardening and growing fruit and nuts. I'd grown up foraging for wild foods. He'd done some survival training. Finding out about permaculture was just pieces falling together.
I think it was during an urban farm tour in Kansas City. Everybody had a hurglegurgle (huglekulture, irreverently mispronounced) and was making reference to other permie techniques. So of course, internet inquiries grew from there.
I began homesteading actively in the early 80’s; although, my first organic garden was in the mid 70’s. Of course, I read about it in Mother Earth and Organic Farming well before that. Organic Gardening, I think, I was introduced to in the mid 60’s. . I am sure, I was introduced to the basic concepts of Permaculture then. Frankly, Permaculture, as a full blown system, was introduced to me by this site.
Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions. Mark Twain
Five years ago I wanted to make compost on my one acre lot full of weeds, hoping to turn the rocky dirt into fertile soil, so I took a localcomposting lesson. Then someone said "biochar" and I spent months trying to develop a "simple" way of using slash from my micro-forest to both grill meat and make biochar without complicated gear. Then I searched for expert advice about secondary air burning woodstoves and "Permies" provided the most info. THEN I had to look up "permaculture" to figure out just what the heck it was--and I still don't really know even though I promote it daily and am creating a Rotary committee revolving around it!
Today I see that permaculture fan-bois are even hate-filled groupies lashing out at each other for whom they favor and whom they despise regarding their philosophical purity! I wouldn't have noticed the trend except that I watched it engulf Objectivism.
So now I just use the work to refer to the best mantra to hum while seeing everything as part of an ecosystem.
Hubbie has this kinda-cool kinda-weird hippie-type uncle who mentioned it to us when we lived close to him in the mid 90s. I was fascinated by the concept, so he lent me his treasured permaculture book. Been hooked ever since.
I don't think all permaculture concepts can be applied to our current property, ie: a 7 foot high hugelculture mound would be nigh impossible to implement here. Also, swales are unnecessary here in the humid, oft-raining South (our water table is 5 feet). But knowing about them, and learning how to let nature work within itself is the most frugal way to live, in my opinion.
Gosh... I'm not sure. For finding Permies I believe it was Justin Rhodes, even then that was 6-7yrs ago? But I'm just a recent joinee.
For permaculture, it has just been the pieces falling together of things I could do in my various situations over the years. Lots of reading and dreaming. Grandparents had a farm. We always composted. Love of animals.
I guess getting out of the Australian military with a few physical and mental bags to carry. Bought a little fishing shack in a quiet little island in Kangaroo Island, south Australia. And started researching about water collection and storage. Found Geoff Lawton’s YouTube and well it inspired me to do better and leave my block of land a little better than I got it. Done my PDC with Geoff Lawton at Zaytuna and haven’t looked back.
I was Wwoofing in a farm in Italy. They were growing their own wood for the furnace and using pigs and chickens to weed their gardens and fields. I asked them how they got all these ideas or methods and they told me these are Permaculture practices.
I was in grad school in Madison and LinkTV was part of my cable package. I saw a documentary called "Rebecca's Wild Farm" produced by the BBC, also known as "A Farm for the Future". It left a great impression on me. I also became aware of Vandana Shiva and Joel Salatin around the same time, I think Joel was in another documentary I saw on the same channel.
Back in the mid 90s I saw Bill Mollison on tv and what he said just felt "right". In 1995 I did a "Permaculture and Peoplecare" weekend course with Patrick and Cathy Whitefield in England where I live and loved it. It took me until 2013 to do my PDC, however. I have been reading about and trying to practise it ever since.
I first heard about Permaculture on Jack Spirko's The Survival Podcast a number of years ago. I heard Paul on TSP and then read a couple of Sepp Holzer's books and watched Greening of the Desert from Geoff Lawton. I am currently taking Geoff's PDC.
The term “Permaculture” I only picked up recently. But I was fascinated by the ideas since childhood.
I always liked growing things. When I was about 10-11 we had a silver maple that went to seed and I planted the little seeds wherever I could find bare earth. I eventually transplanted the top 10 of over 100 seedlings. I thought it fascinating that I could watch a tree seemingly grow from virtually nothing.
Eventually I found an old, early 1970s copy of “Guide to Self Sufficiency” by John Story. He never used the term Permaculture but all the concepts apply and I started using those concepts as I started growing gardens after buying my first house.
I did not actually hear the term “Permaculture” until I landed at Permies while looking for help in growing my new comfrey plants which were slow out of the gate. I stayed at Permies for all the detailed content and made Permaculture more and more a part of my life. I still have a long ways to go of course.
But the short answer is that it was Permies itself that introduced me to permaculture while seeking specific information.
"Permaculture" is an extremely vague and often abused term. Some people import a ton of wood chips from without their own properties and call wood chip gardening "permaculture". "Permaculture" is supposed to be self-sustainable. I really have not seen many people practicing their so-called "permaculture" being truly self-sustainable. The problem is, unlike Fukuoka Natural Farming, "permaculture" has NO definite principles. Fukuoka Natural Farming is a closed system that is truly self-sustainable in the long-run and it has laid out several basic principles. I started my 2 acres of barren land using some natural farming and some human design. But eventually, I will move mostly toward Natural Farming, i.e., no human design and minimal human intervention. Read One Straw Revolution, Miracle Apples, Fertility Farming. All other books and sources are pretty much incomparable and uninspiring.
From the radio I think the sender is called S2 Baden-Wuerttemberg sucsessor of SWR2. There are to Series about intellectual topics. One is S2 Wissen and the other S2 Aula. I frequently listened to this daily Series. One morning the Topic was somehow like: "Growing Citrons in 1500m above sea level in the siberia of Austria". This was about Sepp Holzers Krameter Hof. Soon after that I visited Sepp Holzer to join a Farm Tour were he guided us 8 h over his Farm. I asked Sepp about a Project I probably could join. He mentioned Kinder der Zukunft of Bernd Gerken. I went there for one week. This was all I could afford. I also condidered to study Permculture in a course. But there were only Permaculture Design Courses. The word Design irritated me because I wanted to learn all about Permaculture. I didn't even understand that design is an important part of Permaculture. Therefore I distanciated myself from taking a PDC. Currently I study the classic "Permaculture, A Designers' Manual" from Bill Mollison. It seems me that this is a good alternative for taking a PDC. Of course other Resources like what you linked to might be necessary for further details in certain topics. Thank you for this. And of course practical exercise is essential.
I brought this back from the farm where they grow the tiny ads:
the permaculture bootcamp in winter (plus half-assed holidays)