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Permaculture Victories: tell your stories

 
gardener
Posts: 686
Location: Geraldton, Ontario -Zone 1b
264
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This thread is for anyone to share their successes, big or small, in convincing others to choose permaculture techniques. We all interact with people who have never heard of permaculture or Permies before, and maybe they never will, but we have opportunities to infect them with bits of permaculture information or techniques that can impact their decision making processes for the better.

The idea came to me when my new neighbour announced that he had built a new garden on his lawn using the sheet mulch method I had suggested long ago. This was a small victory for permaculture because he had initially asked me if I had a roto-tiller or knew where he could rent one. I'd forgotten about our conversation, but obviously he hadn't because he stated that his reason for not using a tiller was that I had explained that "tilling is killing" and that the soil biology is a necessary feature of a healthy garden.

Please share any similar stories you have as an encouragement to the rest of us that we can make a difference. A million tiny differences adds up to a large difference. A billion is even bigger.

success-motivation-meme
 
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 13452
Location: SW Missouri
8698
2
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I also have a neighbor, a new one, who looks like he's going to be doing a no till garden after talking to me. And he is fascinated by my sunroots, I told him if he wants roots in the fall I'll give him some.

I think corrupting my neighbors to garden, especially to garden well, is one of the best things I do :D   And there are heirloom tomatoes by the road, for them to pick, so now they KNOW what they are missing... Mwhahaha!
 
steward
Posts: 6571
Location: Everett, WA (Western Washington State / Cascadia / Pacific NW)
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Edited to add: great thread idea!!

I *think* I've convinced a friend to compost her households kitchen scraps directly in her garden to improve the soil instead of buying commercial topsoil or commercial compost. Closing a loop!

Her garden has struggled this year. She has bought commercial topsoil in the past and in response, I explained how that can be tainted with broadleaf herbicides. Then she thought she needed a compost tumbler, or a compost bin, etc. to create her own compost to improve her soil. So I described how I improved the rock and sand soil in Montana just by (the Ruth Stout method of) putting kitchen scraps directly in the garden covered well with sawdust, straw, or leaves. And putting it in between plants, of course, not putting the scraps right on a plant, because that would rot the plant as things decompose. And how no compost turning, no tilling are both better because, hey, LESS WORK (!!), and also, less lost nutrients (especially nitrogen) to the air/atmosphere.

She said she understands and will try composting directly in the garden, but she just had knee surgery; and after a delay like this, and such an odd/unusual idea, I'm concerned she might be a bit daunted about actually doing it.

((Fingers crossed and will check in with her!))
 
steward
Posts: 10627
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
5714
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I built a 30" tall raised bed about 4 years ago. A friend who had some 8" raised beds came to visit and thought it was wonderful, but she didn't have any way to fill that tall a bed, as she's got lots of rock at her place. I explained that the bottom 18" was punky dead wood that would help hold moisture. Last spring her husband built her one that was about 40" square, which is not big, but it still grew a lot of fresh veggies. This year, her husband built her a second one, and I'm working at talking him into building a third one this fall. Even if she only grows lettuce, tomatoes and beans, at least they're local and being grown without toxic gick and mostly with saved seeds.
Any progress is better than no progress!

Last spring I built two more, only mine were ~4' x 6 1/2'. I've got some HT skids in a pile to make two more. My knees aren't getting any younger, and the bunnies can't jump 30" high!
 
steward
Posts: 7472
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We got some new neighbors, early last fall. When they moved in, the very first thing they did was install a duck run, and their mature, mostly free-range geese and ducks. I was excited! When John drove past (they are on our way to the main road) one day, a few weeks later, he saw feathers EVERYWHERE, and nary a bird in sight, so we got worried, and decided it was high time we introduced ourselves and expressed our condolences, and offered assistance, about the loss of their beautiful birds. It was the right thing to do, but the birds were fine, lol. They'd just all hit a molt at the same time, and were hiding inside the run, since they were all pretty much naked! So, we all had a good laugh, and we've been fast friends, ever since.

They're already new (organic) homesteaders, and wanting to learn, but there are/were many things they hadn't done at all, and were avoiding, thinking it would just be too much, on top of homeschooling their 5 kids, her disabilities (rheumatoid arthritis & severe migraines), prepping, plus the ducks and their plans for wintering a couple pigs in their woods. But, the place they bought was previously owned by an elderly woman with a penchant for intensive flower gardening, and this spring, my new friend wanted me to tour her new yard, and help her identify whatever I could. The garden hadn't been weeded since last summer, and while I was able to identify most of the flowers, we both found the weeds to be much more interesting, with only a few notable exceptions. It got us on the topic of eating and healing with the weeds. She felt very intimidated, and didn't think she could learn enough to even begin - so, I pointed out the humble broadleaf plantain, and extolled its many virtues, as her eyes widened, and she started picking every perfect leaf she could find. A few days later, I invited her to go elderflower picking with me, and taught her it's benefits and explained some recipes to use them in, and how to identify it, and discern it from poke, and how to preserve and use it... And even though she was still not convinced that she could ever do much with herbs, to be an 'herbalist', she was/is like a sponge. I gave her some more tidbits, with each visit, always checking on whatever we talked about previously, to see how things were going, and if she had any questions.

At this point, not only has she completely succumb to the herbalist/wildcrafting bug, so have both of her older girls, and they're all starting to learn how to nurture their wild environments, how to garden, and so much more - and they actually seem to enjoy coming down to our place, to help us, and keep learning. I'm not sure how much is actually winning someone over, that might not have anyway, but each time I see their eyes light up, over new information and skills, it FEELS like I've helped them win a new a victory.

 
pollinator
Posts: 746
Location: Appalachian Foothills-Zone 7
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My neighbor mows his 2 acre field every week.  After seeing my silvopasture trees I planted take off, he decided to plant some trees in his field.  He's still going to mow it every week, but at least it'll be a little more than an inch of grass.
 
Michael Helmersson
gardener
Posts: 686
Location: Geraldton, Ontario -Zone 1b
264
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Yesterday, we had friends visit with their two young children. The three year old boy got to pick his own raspberries from one side of a hugelbed while baby grouse were doing the same on the other side. I thought that would be the highlight of his visit but that novelty was surpassed when he realized he needed to poop. He had to overcome some panicky ambivalence, but eventually nature took its course and he became the first to inaugurate our guest pooper. Afterwards, he peppered me with questions about our toilet, asking what the sawdust was for, and why it doesn't have any water in it. He and I concurred that it was weird but I pointed out that pooping in water is weird too.
 
pollinator
Posts: 75
Location: 4b Wyoming
33
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I moved from 5 acres in a small town north of Sheridan, Wyoming to a half acre just south of Sheridan's city limits after my divorce in 2013.  My past neighbors all had animals and gardens and hunted and fished with me.  We were a fairly tight community.  This current neighborhood is different.  Approximately half of the folks on my 'street' are retired and keep pristine, heavily "weed-n-feed"- laden lawns, watered daily, usually tended to by Nitro-green and small landscaping companies.  My property is at the end of the dead end road and I'm the lowest-lying lot, topographically.  We are part of an 'unincorporated' subdivision that has its own ditch rights and most of the properties have flood irrigation setups.  The city eliminated ditches at my end of our street and instead installed a worthless 6 foot deep hand-dug pit that is supposed to be for me to irrigate with.  I've fixed it but don't use it - it smells of sewage and has an oily sheen on the water.  

I've been told that I do weird things on my property.  I suppose I do.  But after watching me gather yard weeds in a colander, chew out neighbors for flooding my front yard with foaming chemical runoff from their yards; allowing milkweed, burdock, dandelions, plantain etc. to grow large along my far fence line, and piling up twigs and logs and covering them with compost from my chickens (the only ones in the subdivision), they've all of the sudden asked why I am doing it instead of what am I thinking.  Now they ask what 'that' is for, nod their heads, and buy my extra chicken eggs.  

One neighbor was ticked that I planted 9 new fruit bushes and 3 fruit trees in my front yard.  She said it would just attract more birds.  They ask if I am watering with my "well" because theirs is dry and they would like to use that water.  I let them know that I am using city water for now, since my "well" is nasty.  And the power company is currently more expensive (to run a pump) than city water costs.  Only one neighbor knows that I also have a 200 foot deep well in back.  He was surprised when I told him it was my number 2 most important reason for buying the place.  

Lastly, the half acre behind me once belonged to my lot.  I asked the neighbor who owns it if I could buy it.  He asked my reasons, and I had a list of them, but when I got to "I need a zone 3 and 4" since I have been making it all happen within feet of the house.  His eyebrows raised up and he slowly asked "zones?"  I said, "permaculture zones 3 and 4".... He actually knew what I meant and said he would think about it.  I ran to the bank to get things rolling on my end.  
 
steward
Posts: 6170
Location: southern Illinois, USA
2112
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I convinced an old coworker of mine to stop tilling his garden and go for raised beds.  The raised beds are going in now.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
steward
Posts: 6571
Location: Everett, WA (Western Washington State / Cascadia / Pacific NW)
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
I *think* I've convinced a friend to compost her households kitchen scraps directly in her garden to improve the soil instead of buying commercial topsoil or commercial compost. Closing a loop!


Per my post above, my friend is doing it!! Despite knee surgery and all! I visited her today and snapped this picture.

She knows this isn't enough mulch yet, but she has been putting the bad apples from her tree and kitchen scraps in her garden already! Yes!!

She even told me she read an article about no till methods. Wow! I'm rather chuffed as the Brits might say.
Kitchen-scraps-in-the-garden.jpg
Kitchen scraps in my friend's garden bed
Kitchen scraps in my friend's garden bed
 
gardener
Posts: 858
Location: N.E.Ohio 5b6a
587
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If your 17 year old son can be found about 8 pm after working all day laying in the grass between his chicken tractors watching a u-tube of his favorite farmer.

I have no room to complain if that's what he wants to do after working over 12 hours.


 
Christopher Shepherd
gardener
Posts: 858
Location: N.E.Ohio 5b6a
587
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The other day some friends, a mother and her two daughter stopped by to help us grind sorghum.  They really helped us out quite a bit.  As we were stripping leaves and cutting the heads off of the canes we started to discuss the camaraderie of doing things like this togeather.  The mother said " I feel so much better if I come out here and work with you guys, I don't know what it is" and one of the daughter said " it's relaxing to come here and learn to make something, you guys are always doing something".  

I think the seeds are planted.
IMG_20210924_121500325.jpg
stripping sorghum cane
 
gardener
Posts: 985
Location: Zone 6 in the Pacific Northwest
470
2
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Jay Angler wrote:... the bunnies can't jump 30" high!


Or so I thought!!! My needs are 36 pinches high and have escaped the bunnies for several years until this year. Something was nibbling a path of destruction through my newly sprouted beans earlier this summer and I was trying to figure out what it was when my kids told me it was the bunnies. I said no way, they don't jump into the raised beds but the kids said, yes, they watched one from their bedroom window and saw the bunny jump right in and start eating!  (Not a permaculture victory but I just had to share how surprised and annoyed I was.)
 
Jenny Wright
gardener
Posts: 985
Location: Zone 6 in the Pacific Northwest
470
2
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My neighbors have some convincing still but I have plenty of victories with my children and they teach the neighborhood children. Everyone knows that when you come play over here you can eat whatever you want from the yard and forest (after I teach them the 2-3 non-edibles) and you can't kill any bugs without identifying it to me first and getting my ok. The fact that my kids always want to know the name of a plant and what it's good for and don't think anything is a weed. And that the neighborhood kids often come talk with me about what I'm working on outside and ask if they can help me.
 
pollinator
Posts: 100
Location: Vancouver, Washington
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All your stories are great! I don't know if mine qualifies but here goes. We have a big, long bed up by the street that really needed a lot of mulch to suppress weeds and we had a 20 yard pile of arborist chips, so we used some of the chips to thickly cover the bed this spring.  All of our neighbors have all of their beds covered in what's called bark dust here.  It's purchased, standard sized bark chips from the sawmills and, of course, being bark and standard sized, it takes a long time to decay.  (Plus, that is what bark is supposed to do.) One of our neighbors came by yesterday and said they had to know where we got our chips as our bed is weedless and not so at all with the neighbors' beds! And, no, we don't spray weed killer on our beds. I'm sure it's because our chips have a lot of fines in them and a lot of size variability so they  decompose better, making them a nice robber of the nitrogen at the very top of the soil, and, thus, a good weed suppressant. Here's to arborist chips!
 
Michael Helmersson
gardener
Posts: 686
Location: Geraldton, Ontario -Zone 1b
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Jen Swanson wrote: One of our neighbors came by yesterday and said they had to know where we got our chips as our bed is weedless and not so at all with the neighbors' beds!



Yes, this qualifies as a victory. These seemingly insignificant moments can have a tremendous impact.
 
pollinator
Posts: 146
Location: Sonoran Desert, USA
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It's a small victory, but it made me happy.

I talk a lot about native plants that are good for the soil here in the desert, that attract bees, how to put in sunken areas to collect water.

My adult eldest child - who has no interest in gardening or permaculture in anyway - will now periodically comment on the yards around us and what they could do better. Stop putting trees on hills, stop covering the yard in rocks to make all the water drain off the yard, put in more of X and Y tree to add nitrogen.

The fact that they have literally zero interest in plants and STILL know this is first, hilarious, but second, is great to see when they talk to other people about plants and giving suggestions and I know they talk to their friends about this sometimes, so the info. is getting spread around to people to ARE interested in plants. ^_^
 
pollinator
Posts: 577
Location: South East Kansas
176
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This is from a thread I posted and here is a link: https://permies.com/t/166643/believing#1308357

Had a friend stop by the other day. “Hey could I see your rocket stove?” he asked. I was a little surprised, but I was happy to show him. After setting it up and getting a small fire going. He began to look over the rocket stove and putting his hand on the stove.

This is what he said about the stove:
“I saw than on the discovery channel” he said. I have not watched any discovery TV for a long time. If you know what program talked about rocket stoves or other rocket things please post below. Thanks
“Unreal”
“Wow”
“A few sticks of wood to cook lunch”
After talking about the book "The Rocket Mass Heater builders Guide by Ernie and Erica Wisner"  https://permies.com/wiki/57365/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Builder-Guide. And after showing him the great pictures in the book he wanted to build one.

In the end it was a fun and surprising day for me. Just wanted to share this story with everyone at permies.
 
pollinator
Posts: 252
Location: Sedona Az Zone 8b
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I bought my beat up old place in Sedona almost 11 years ago. Sedona is a really pretty place and lots of people want to live here. I quickly realized that nothing had changed since I lived here briefly 25 years ago. The overwhelming majority of people who work here still can't afford to live here! Rents are outrageous! They drive 16 miles or more each way just to be here. The rich people here are just fine with that but it really pisses me off. Everyone, regardless of race, creeds, colors or income level should have the opportunity to be here. It's called sharing!

So I decided to provide a little affordable housing and to rent out my 3 rooms a lot cheaper than everyone else to working people who earned at or near minimum wage. I'm trying to raise my good karma. A handful of tenants have stayed for 2+ years but most are in some sort of transition and only stay for 3-6 months. And when they get here hardly any of them have any concerns over the changes in our climate or the shape our planet is in! And none of them were trying to change their habits or make things better. They were all just living in their own little bubbles. I make it clear to each prospective tenant that we conserve everything to keep my bills as low as possible. I don't mention that they might learn a thing or two in the process.

Most all of them have never seen food growing before. Never even gave it a second thought. (In fact, most of the younger generations  don't even know how to cook their food!! Damn!) Here, they can help themselves to any of the vegies I put on the kitchen counter or go out into the gardens and pick their own fresh, organic vegies. They get to see where their food comes from. They learn the peels and rinds and unused parts do not go in the trash to be wasted. They go into the bucket for the compost pile to grow more food. The seeds fermenting in glasses of water or drying on plates will be used to grow new vegies next year. The leaves I rake up and collect from others don't go in the trash; they mulch the plants, go into the compost or into a big pile to invite and feed the worms.

They learn that nothing gets wasted here. That water is super precious and to save every drop. When it rains every drop of water gets used or collected and saved for the future. Seen pictures of Lake Mead lately?? And to even save the water that they rinse their vegies in and dump it in the kitchen bucket because it's perfectly good water to feed more plants. To never run the water needlessly or leaves lights on, waste electricity and run up their big, old carbon footprint foolishly. Yes, all those packages they constantly order from Amazon amount to THEIR big carbon footprint!

They learn a little about history too. When we were all walking around in loincloths, living in caves AND USING A CLOTHESLINE! HOLY SHIT... A CLOTHESLINE! Yes, they learn how to do that too. Most are pretty reluctant at first but eventually realize it's not bad at all.

They learn not to crank up the heat and walk around in shorts and a t-shirt in the middle of winter and pretend that it's summer. It's winter, put on a sweater and deal with reality. And in the summer when it's 100+ degrees, we open the windows at night and close them during the day and it keeps the house at a reasonable 85 degrees or less. 85 degrees won't kill you! I think they heard a Kardashian once say that your face will melt off over 85 degrees! It won't kill them to sweat a little  bit. It's what the human body does.

They learn that almost nothing here goes straight into the trash, it gets reused, repurposed or recycled. We have to stop being a 'disposable' society. And most of them are bewildered because they've never recycled anything before!!! Can you believe it?

They learn to occasionally put down their phones, close their laptops and climb up the hill in the backyard and watch the spectacular sunsets turn all the mountains into amazing colors. We are so darned lucky to be here. This is such an amazing planet! I don't suggest that they wear sack cloth and live like monks. I don't. I don't just grow food to eat but have filled my yard full of beautiful flowers which use up way too much water sometimes. My guilty pleasure. But every plant is drought tolerant and can fend for itself in really hard times for a spell. I just suggest they they all learn to act responsibly and reasonably and to take good care of this wonderful planet we live on. Yes, we can save this planet... but everyone has to help out.

These young people (I mean anyone under 60)... they just came here for a cheap place to live. But I hope  they learn an important thing or two during their stay. Some folks might say 'what a nice old lady giving the youngsters a break and  teaching them some sustainability and good habits'. While others might say 'what a conniving old bitch luring these young folks in and indoctrinating these unsuspecting people'! I would wear either title proudly! Hope this fits in with your theme.
DSC04790.JPG
It's easier to convince someone with a belly full of good food.
It's easier to convince someone with a belly full of good food.
 
Christopher Shepherd
gardener
Posts: 858
Location: N.E.Ohio 5b6a
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We have a widow neighbor that comes over about once a week to learn something new.  She is 68 years old and a wonderful person.  She is always so happy.  She was raised completely sheltered from food production. About 5 years ago she walked down to the potato patch while we were digging.  She asked "what are you doing?" I told her we were digging the potatoes up.  She asked " how did they get down there".  Then she asked "what do potato seeds looked like?"  She was full of questions and wanted to learn.  I went on and explained everything I could think of about potatoes.  Now she knows about potatoes, corn, beans, tomatoes, and her favorite peppers.  She also now understands some of the butchering processes and why.  She also buys produce from our stand, because she knows where and how it was grown.  Not only do I get a break once a week, but I also get to talk about growing food to someone who cares.  
 
Debbie Ann
pollinator
Posts: 252
Location: Sedona Az Zone 8b
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Hi Everyone,
I'd like to thank you all for the Likes, the Apples and the Pie.  I appreciate your support. Most rooms here in Sedona  now rent for $1,000+ per month. Just to rent a room! That makes me so crazy it almost sets my hair on fire! That's outrageous, especially when our minimum wage here is $12. per hour. So I'm happy to provide some affordable housing and make life a little more fair for some low income, hard working folks.

I always hope that they'll remember what they've learned here about conservation and appreciation for our planet and perhaps, think about the planet a little before they act. Or maybe they have developed some simple habits that they realize aren't so hard to do and will continue. Over the years I've also suggested some other things like.... that they fill up a gallon container of water (which I keep in the kitchen) while they're waiting for the water to get hot to wash their dishes and then I can water the plants with it.... but most people just ignored me. (I never even mentioned that I have a 5 gallon bucket in my shower for the same purpose. Like they'd ever agree to that!) I also once tried to convince them to use all natural products in the kitchen and shower or at least in the laundry room so I could use the gray water for the garden. But I guess that was a bridge way, way too far!

I'm always looking for new ways to conserve and care for our planet. So if any of you have some suggestions, I would love to hear them. I will probably try them out! And I could learn a new things or 2.  And thank you again.

And Christopher, on behalf of old ladies everywhere....Thank you! Thank you so much! I'm sure your neighbor lady appreciates your kindness even more than you could ever imagine!

Debbie
 
Christopher Shepherd
gardener
Posts: 858
Location: N.E.Ohio 5b6a
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We have a customer that could never eat garlic.  He said it tore up his stomach.  About 3 years ago I got him to try our garlic.  I was thinking maybe the store bought stuff had something on it he didn't agree with.  He came back about 2 weeks later and got more.  He has been buying ever since.  He said our garlic didn't bother his stomach at all.  Fast forward, 2 weeks ago he comes over and buys about 10 bulbs of garlic.  He swears to me that it fixed his ankle swelling problem.

This year I got some garlic that is popular around here.  I gave some to our garlic customers to compare and try.  None of them liked it and said they want our old line of garlic.

Our garlic is a cross between elephant garlic and a medium garlic my wife's cousin gave us 15 years ago.
 
Michael Helmersson
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Christopher Shepherd wrote:We have a customer that could never eat garlic.  He said it tore up his stomach.  About 3 years ago I got him to try our garlic.  I was thinking maybe the store bought stuff had something on it he didn't agree with.  He came back about 2 weeks later and got more.  He has been buying ever since.  He said our garlic didn't bother his stomach at all.  Fast forward, 2 weeks ago he comes over and buys about 10 bulbs of garlic.  He swears to me that it fixed his ankle swelling problem.

This year I got some garlic that is popular around here.  I gave some to our garlic customers to compare and try.  None of them liked it and said they want our old line of garlic.

Our garlic is a cross between elephant garlic and a medium garlic my wife's cousin gave us 15 years ago.



That's great. Is this something that you intentionally crossed?

Many years ago, I tried removing gluten from my diet to see if it was the cause of my digestive problems. When I realized that I felt much better, I made a conscious effort to avoid it, even to the point of quitting beer. Then I watched a video series about nutrition by Walter Veith and he suggested that whole grain, whole wheat flour might be a better option. I found a local farmer that milled his own flour without any further processing and tried it out. Problem solved. I think a lot of our health problems can be remedied by getting closer to nature, rather than continuing our path in the opposite direction.
 
Christopher Shepherd
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Michael, yes I did.  I wanted to try crossing my self.  It took me 4 years to get enough to be consistent.  It has been going for 11 years straight right now.  I always save a few scamps to plant for the next year just in case something happens.  The little scamp cloves become a clove the first year.  They become a bulb the second year.  The third year they get bigger. I like having backups of good lines.
 
Christopher Shepherd
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The post office lady knows my name now.  She is really helpful filling all the proper paper work out to legally ship seeds and samples out all over the world.  Everything I take in there takes extra time and packaging.  Her only request is she likes to know how well it made it the next time I go in.  She told me one day she thinks it is awesome that I help others get started growing things.  
 
Michael Helmersson
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Christopher Shepherd wrote:She told me one day she thinks it is awesome that I help others get started growing things.  



She's right, it is awesome.
 
gardener
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Location: western NY (Erie County), USA; zone 6a.
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A recent "Bootcamp question of the week" from Wheaton Labs:  "Why the permaculture bootcamp at wheaton labs?"

I bring this up and insert Paul's video because it does relate some very nice stories on why people choose the 'permaculture lifestyle' and the hope for a better future that it brings them. Potential victories!


 
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what an beautiful thread! these sorts of shifts really propel us around here. we toured our place for a couple of festivals and people responded so intensely, it developed into little films. this latest one has had a lot of folks saying they feel empowered to make a coldframe now they’ve seen it (and my victory is actually making the film amid a great deal of chaos! this midlife with teenagers, ageing parents, and climate change extreme storms is not for the faint of heart!).

the film is part of a series about exactly what we’re all doing here…small steady changes.

 
 
pollinator
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Our new neighbors (young couple with five kids) came over to look at our garden. Now they are building hugelbeds using another neighbors' downed trees and rotted hay and like us, trying to use only what the land provides to build soil fertility.

The neighbor with the extra logs and moldy hay would have just piled and burned that precious material. Yesterday he offered some wet, punky wood for building a new bed. He's getting to know us better.

Two years ago this same neighbor offered some of their red pears from a tree that has some local history. I saved seeds and potted up the best seedlings and had about 20 2 year old trees. Now three other neighbors have a couple of pear seedlings from that one tree that grows really well in this area. Just spreading the love.
 
pollinator
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This whole thread made me feel really good. My success story is, I have been able to get 4 people involved in vermicomposting and my neighbor's chickens are happy to turn my compost pile for me...They are some big girls!
 
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My pastor came by the other day to check out what I had going on in the garden and couldn't believe the size of the tomato plants that were growing in a small 4 foot by 4 foot bed. These plants are at least 6 feet tall and are producing loads of really great tasting fruit. Even this late in the season they are still setting fruit. I planted Cherokee Purple and Creole this year both are old fashion open pollinated types that do well in the heat of the south.
What are you fertilizing them with was his question. Rabbit poo and shredded oak leaf mold. Nothing else he asked. Nope. Well I'm going to have to try this out next year.
Another thig that I've managed to get him into is bee keeping. I caught a swarm from one of my hives early this spring and brought them over to his place. He's been hooked since then and has caught six more swarms since then. We will also be wildcrafting elderberries the fall. Didn't take much convincing when he found out that elderberry syrup was a good way to fight off cold and flu like symptoms.
Now if I can get him off the chemical fertilizers...
 
Sid Deshotel
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Hey Robin is there any way that I can get a few of those seeds?
I have a very small, just starting food forest and am looking for some pears?
I'm willing to pay postage or whatever...
 
Robin Katz
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sid Deshotel wrote:Hey Robin is there any way that I can get a few of those seeds?



I don't have any seeds. Everything was planted two years ago. I can say that growing pear trees from seed worked very well for me, so maybe find a local variety that you like and save/plant those seeds. That would probably work better for you than a variety that's adapted to our region.
 
Sid Deshotel
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I found a tree just a mile up the road from here. It has actually broken a limb due to the fruit load that was on it.
I have a couple of pear trees already planted on the west side of  the house, that were bought from a local big box store.
Last year which was actually year two for both of them one put on 12 pickable fruit that we enjoyed very much.
No thought of keeping seeds though.
The tree up the road is in the yard of an unoccupied home, so I may be able to get a few of the fruit a little later this year.
No idea of variety as far as this tree goes tough, but if it will bear this heavily in my area then it's worth trying out at least.
 
Christopher Shepherd
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This past weekend I had the pleasure of speaking to a large crowd of people about permaculture.  I was featured for speaking "Permaculture homestead Maximizing your potential".  The speech took 58 minutes!  I quit being nervous when I got up on stage and little 3 year old Paisley waved at me.  While I was speaking the crowd gave me their full attention and great feed back.  There was a young newlywed couple sitting right up front.  He would smile and nod then whisper in his wife's ear.  They found me later on that day to talk, because they are just getting started.  Many people complemented me.  Many people wanted to know where they could get my book!  I hope you all get to experience the feeling of when you did something that you thought you couldn't do.  Getting to be staff on permies.com and getting to work with Paul has given me much more cofidence.  Thank you Paul!  Wow, this is all quite overwhelming for a normal guy like me.

I am trying to learn how to communicate with the younger generation.  Most of them use their cell phone for everything, so I gave my number out to some of them.  Here is a text reply from a 17 year old woman.  I asked, "Was my speech interesting enough to keep your attention?". This is what she texted me. "Yes it was!  You explained each part to allow people to understand.  Also by telling to stories to connect each point helped while also giving an insight to your family.  It was a great speech."

If someone like me can get a 17 year old to listen to me for a hour, there is no stopping permaculture!

 
pioneer
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Hi All,

I moved into a new neighborhood a few years ago. I very quickly began growing my own food. Planting fruiting trees and bushes, creating coppices for wood heat, just generally doing my permies thing. At the beginning of this year my neighbor announced they will be putting in some raised beds and asked for my help, boy was I excited!!!

They even built the beds in a permaculture way using reclaimed fencing and filling them with horse manure from our other neighbor. Below  are some pictures of their very productive beds.

The new garden was so productive they said they plan to add some more beds for next year! And now Shauna, my neighbor is even talking about planting some blueberry bushes.

Meanwhile we together reclaimed a very overgrown 2’X4’ raised bed, that didn’t work out so well for them before (it was a dry and hard to water location). I planted some more hearty and drought tolerant herbs there. She is loving it!  

Just goes to show that leading by example does work!
4CC70360-4FC5-4063-BD83-101E96BABED4.jpeg
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pollinator
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I can't off the top of my head think of one single time I've ever convinced anyone to actually take action on a permaculture technique, but I have been doing a process that helps people get motivated (find inner motivation, actually) to do something for Earth care, and I helped someone inspire himself to shave a cat in Saudi Arabia (it was suffering in the 115 degree heat).  

I definitely could use a pick-me-up today, so I'll share a victory that so far I don't think anyone has imitated but they've gotten to hear me tell about it with excitement and it worked really really well--I made yogurt starter from scratch with two peppers and raw milk (leaving the stems on is the trick).  It came out so good texture-wise, and it's making nice yogurt.  I've been lousy about keeping a starter going batch after batch, but now I don't have to rely on buying a container of yogurt--in plastic--and learned that you can make a yogurt starter much more easily than I expected.

I made a mini hugelkultur with compost and wood and after a few years a gardener who hated my approaches to gardening in every way said it was amazingly good soil in there, so maybe she'll use that at some point after all.

At least 2 neighbors have asked about a RMH, but so far as I know they haven't taken action yet.  But I will post again.

I like that there's a thread for communicating victories specifically as well as for permacutlure victories.  
 
Jay Angler
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Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:--I made yogurt starter from scratch with two peppers and raw milk (leaving the stems on is the trick).  It came out so good texture-wise, and it's making nice yogurt.

Exactly *how* did you do this? Hot peppers or sweet peppers? Whole or chopped? What sort of temperature? Your victorious in piquing my interest!

Sometimes, it's the little things we need to celebrate - I've got a friend who now puts punky wood in the bottom of her raised beds and also saves seeds. Maybe that's not full-blown permaculture, but it is a step in the right direction!
 
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My permaculture victory has been little to no weeds whenever I create a lasagna garden!!!
 
Don't mess with me you fool! I'm cooking with gas! Here, read this tiny ad:
Boost Egg Nutrition With This Organic Algae Poultry Supplement
https://permies.com/t/153700/Organic-Astaxanthin-Algae-Poultry-Supplement
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