Hi y'all, I am new to the forum and to this site, and am just figuring out how to navigate. I am from California, living in Philadelphia (2 years now), and looking at possibly relocating to Louisville, KY. My research doesn't come up with a lot of permie activity there save for what a *hub* in Ohio is bringing down; seems to be lacking in the South in general, although property (and land) is relatively cheap (I know land is cheap in Maine and some places northward, but I prefer the warmer climate!) Seems counterintuitive-- anyone with something to say about this, or any knowledge about what's going on in the southern states, do share!
You certainly won't find as many "permies" in the south as you will in California but when I moved down to northern Louisiana 3 years ago I was surprised to find I was not the only one using permaculture in this small (20,000 population) town. I've also chatted with some people in towns close by here on Permies.com. When I started making hugelkultures and putting in goumi and comfrey etc many people asked what I was doing and it's become a good way to teach and spread the word. My husband and I are originally from California and we've discussed moving back but I want to be in a place where permaculture is new and I can help show others what can be done and why. I feel there are enough permies in California and the south can benefit from more.
We can definitely use more permies in the south. I am in N Texas and live in the monoculture capital of Texas, or so it seems, and it makes me sad. We have been in a severe drought for the past couple of years as well. I would love to see how people in my area have used permie practice to create a sustainable way of life.
The south was a little slow catching on to permaculture, but I think it is growing in strides. We are in middle TN, south of Nashville (previously we were in northwest florida). Our place is called Spiral Ridge Permaculture and we have been teaching courses here for a number of years. We are seeing increasing interest, better attendance of southerners at courses, communities networking and creating guilds, etc. So, it is happening. Usually there are little pockets of folks - which are sometimes hard to find if you are in a real rural area. A friend of ours, Penryn is part of this group http://www.meetup.com/Louisville-Permaculture-Guild/members/9872718/, if you do end up in KY. The south is ready. The amount of food you can grow here is outrageous, and you are right, land is cheap. Many areas don't have building codes - which is great for us natural builders.
Owners of Spiral Ridge Permaculture
Check out our current course offerings: PDC's, Earthworks, Edible Forest Gardens and more.
The wife and I would really like to move to the Austin (Hill Country) area but, it is a bit more expensive down there and I am looking to buy a few acres and get out of the residential rat race. Kind of hard to do down there I would think. Wichita Falls just got dubbed the second cheapest city for cost of living this week. Unfortunately it is also one of the most obese cities with a population over 100,000.
With the booming economy here it seems everyone and their great Aunt Martha are moving or wanting to move to Austin. There are still bargains to find if you look long and hard enough. We were lucky to find our five acre spread outside of town, although we paid a pretty penny for it. Depending on what you are looking for, we have an older house near Lake Travis going on the market soon which has just under an acre. PM me if interested.
permaculture is largely about replacing oil with people. And one tiny ad:
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while