My family and I are new to the permaculture, sustainability, and even simple gardening. We have been doing some reading over the last year or so, blindly progressing from Fast Food Nation, to Omnivores Dilemma, to Food Not Lawns, to 100 Mile Diet, to The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved, to Chicken Tractor, with lots of pitstops in between!
It is really amazing to look back at the changes taking place in our lives. Although we have never been an (openly) fast food eating family, we certainly were not sensitive to the treatment of animals, proximity of food, *need* for organic food, or any of the other important injustices and non-sustainable practices going on.
Although I am a computer programmer currently, I have built a brick oven in my backyard and hope to start a local, organic bakery, paying living wages. As well, we have recently bought some day old pullets, which will help us with better soil, bug removal, and even give us some eggs to eat!
As well, I started a small garden this year (we have a one year old son, time is precious). Right now I have 4 16x4 raised beds, with all sorts of goodness growing in them.
We are looking to convert the rest (15,000 sqft) of our property (north Seattle) into something more sustainable and are looking for some ideas. I have a 30' deep well, and the rest of the property is a mixture of lawns, huge Doug Firs, huge Big Leaf Maples, and some other random trees and bushes. I want to convert as much as I can into food producing land. We are planning on taking down two of the biggest Maples this fall (they weren't taken care of and are very unhealthy). This will open up some more area for sunshine which is nice. But it also takes away our shade for the summer, and we would like to know what to do to keep it cool next summer.
Anyway, that is our home in a nutshell. I would love to meet up with some people in the coming year. Please let me know if you are interested in sharing your homes or thoughts.