Hey all, I'm not sure which category to put this post in, so I'll start here. I am a born and raised Alaskan, I have been gardening here for nearly 20 years. Although I had dabbled in it before, I have only recently started serious exploration into permaculture. I would LOVE to take a course, but 1. I'm poor, and 2. I live in the middle of nowhere. I started thinking about it, and realized this must be an incredibly commonplace permie problem!
Reading books is all well and good. I read a lot. Drawing up my own plans at home over and over is great fun. A teacher would be fabulous. But I think what I would value most out of an actual course is the commraderie and idea sharing of a group setting.
So, here's my idea. We make our own online class! I would happily orchestrate the structuring, with input from participants. We generate a booklist, centered around The Manual. We read together and discuss like a bookgroup. Compile a list of videos, I've found some good ones online for free. And then as we go along, we apply everything to our own project, building towards an end design for a real piece of land, preferrably our own land which we really live and work on. We share these as we go along, bouncing ideas around and brainstorming together. The danger would be in becoming too casual, unravelling into just a bunch of bullshitting. But, I think if we set out with a concrete structure, we can hold it together.
We will likely have different skill levels, which will be good. If any certified (or otherwise) teacher wants to join in for occassional guidance, that would be fabulous. But even just as a skill share, I think this could be a beautiful thing.
I propose that any interested participants start out by generating a schematic of your property/project. Start with the 'observation step,' noting everything that currently exists and where and what relationships, etc, etc. Include observations about your wider ecosystem as well-- weather, climate, seasons, etc-- to introduce your place to us, as well as further familiarize yourself with it. Using whatever you currently know about permaculture, make a preliminary 'visioning' design.
Well, first actually, right now, introduce yourself here. Anyone interested? Tell us a brief bit about yourself, your experience, and your potential design project.
I'll start. I'm 35 and have been on a path of homesteading/sustainable living since I was in high school. I spent two months working on WWOOF farms with my dad in the UK and Ireland when I was 15, which certainly set me on my way ;) Since then I have gardened as much as I could, as well as learned how to live Alaska style-- hunting, fishing, wild foods. I'm a mama of two littles right now, so I don't get as much done as I used to, but I'm trying to look forward anyway. My design project is a double city lot, in a very tiny little coastal Alaskan town. We have lived in this spot for five years and I have already put a ton of work into the yard, which was mostly just a gravel pad to start. I think I'm at a good point to stop and assess, to make a more coherent design. But I'm also interested in a broader sort of 'sustainable lifestyle' design for this incredibly harsh climate.
Thats goog work, and hard too. Its wonderful that you are trying. we are many families with kids too, and are teaching ecology and permaculture. We also would like to support a possibility of learning simple sustainable practices free of charge online. Our vision of ecology is very holistic in nature and of developing a deeper understanding of ourselves and our environment.
You can add us to your list, we can ask one of us to keep an eye on your questions.
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