I have been reading, watching videos and playing with permaculture for a little while now. I live in the deep south (Central Alabama) in a little place called Palmerdale. Palmerdale was built in the 30's in what I think was part of the New Deal. You got a small house, an outhouse, 5 acres of land, a small barn and a dozen chickens when you bought a place here and we still have some of the original residents.
There is not much here in the way of business or industry we are close to Birmingham (15 miles).
Palmerdale needs something and so does Alabama. We are not known for being on the cutting edge of anything (maybe the dull edge). I am wondering, if can convince the community leaders about setting up a permaculture, alternate energy, etc place here. We have a great community center with a few acres of land that this could be done around. It could be a place where people could come to learn and to help. I think this could help our area and the community plus provide a valuable service in making people in the south aware of what's going on in other places.
This all may be crazy but I want to bring this community together and let others benefit from it while letting others know they don't have to do things the way they've always been done. There is a better way.
Tear into me and let me know why it won't work or give me some ideas on how to make it work.
"Great minds discuss ideas, Average minds discuss events and Small minds discuss people"
It can't hurt to try. However, unless the community leaders are already permies themselves, I wouldn't expect much from them. They tend to be the status quo types who think more about how to game the current system than they do about new ways and sustainability. They are much too important to think about planting the neglected spaces of the city with useful plants. When I drive around town, I see many, many places that could benefit from a permaculture project, but few places (although more than zero) that are being shaped by permaculture thinking.
When you do see permaculture being applied, it is usually on a private piece of land, although there is the occasional "guerrilla gardening" effort. But you say you do have a community center that could be a good location -- what's happening with it now? Are there vegetable beds? Do they know about hugelkultur? Could they put one in?
Do you have a food bank? The one here in Augusta has a small vegetable garden; I think it produces more plans, ideas, and dreams than it does actual vegetables though.
Here's a thought for you to start with: locate all the fig trees in town and this winter take some cuttings. Maybe make it a project to beautify the area by cleaning up an overgrown tree. Then take all your cuttings and root them in plastic pots. Comes next March when they start to leaf out, you can have a planting program and then next July, everyone can be enjoying the tasty figs. It won't cost anything except your time to do it.
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