Andi Houston wrote:I am about 150 pages into volume one and slowly plowing my way through. I only found out these books existed a month ago, and I was quite hesitant to even begin reading them. I started planting my mini-food forest months ago and I was sure I would find out I've done everything wrong.
The part I'm finding quite daunting so far is the amount of knowledge expected about each plant we use. This book kinda feels like I need a degree in botany before I can plant anything. I've always been more of a "let's put it into the ground and see what happens" kind of gardener. This means I've made a lot of mistakes, but it means I've tried a whole lot of different methods and ideas, too. I'm good about recording my trials and errors so I'm generally only making NEW mistakes, but to me this is all a big experiment. Otherwise I get bogged down in perfectionism and never actually start anything.
Is this just a difference in philosophy? I don't know. I'm definitely learning lots from the book.
Brian Jeffrey wrote: Edible Forest Gardens (EFG) were what really set me on the path I am currently on. I stumbled upon them in the public library, and WHAM, when I looked up after finishing volume two and it was a month later. I thoroughly enjoy reading technical book/ textbooks, so it was not much of a struggle to stay engaged (is that the right word?).
I do have a few things I do in order to make reading and retaining the information a enjoyable. First and foremost I keep my own "manual" of what I want to do. It's just a 3" binder with a few hundred sheet protectors in it, sectioned out into Home/Greenhouse/Landscape/TEKS/Misc Notes/Bibliography. I was kind of self-conscious about making it at first but it has been the biggest help in finding and organizing all the facts in those big books. Be sure to take the time to write your ideas and quotes with their proper citation, as I often need to reread the page or two in order to fully get the idea back when it is months or years later. Just the rhythm of reading, working in your manual, reading, and back, seems to give ownership and purpose.... very motivating.
Also I do not worry about getting everything possible the first read through. Reading EFG vol 1 and 2 the first time I got the big ideas and little pieces that sparked my interest. After a year or so of reading other books, the topics of which were inspired by EFG, I re-read both volumes and it seemed like I understood and retained everything, like afterwards I could finally see the forest for all the trees. I guess what I am saying is don't skip parts, seemingly useless chapters only seem that way because permaculture is a "greater than the sum of the parts". And some parts are poop and ditch digging.
Robert Marr wrote:
... when I get home from work I am just mentally exhausted and don't have a lot of energy left over for dedicating to the textbook material. I am a software engineer so my brain is constantly churning all day.
Josef Theisen wrote:I think it's important to keep in mind that these plants, and the relationships between them, exist weather or not we understand them.
Andi Houston wrote:Joe-
I am reading your blog and I love your swale+hugelkultur+lasagna bed craziness. I can't seem to log in correctly to leave a comment... just wanted you to know that I like your blog!