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Have I just "got" permaculture?  RSS feed

 
Jeremy Stocks
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Right then, I've this week received "Earth Care" by Whitefield and Hemenway's "Gaia's Garden".

I've had trouble sleeping since owning these books It was bad enough reading the online version of Tobys book! I just had to buy it to give him the credit! Now I have it in my hands it's even worse! The concepts in it I call "mind bombs"!

It was watching a video featuring geoff lawton also about a food forest which emphasised the notion of time in Pc. One thing I do not have. Call it an influence of now now from Thatcher's Britain, but as I understand it if you mess something up this year, nature is very forgiving. So that takes the pressure of every year to produce large quantities of food, and focus onto reliability of food not quantity. figuring that out leads to me to a calmer mind, and a longer term view.

Is this right?
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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rogertheshrubber wrote:nature is very forgiving.


That really depends. I might say "humans are very weedy."

I might also say that genuine food security is less about the quantity of one favored resource, than about access to a variety of resources that each have a good chance of feeding you regardless of the others.

Almost everyone can afford enough commodity grains & pulses to subsist on, so most of the effective ways to improve security can be found by figuring out scenarios that are likely to make that resource unusable to you, and develop alternatives that would still feed you in that scenario.

Piling up various symbols of abstract value is a common response to anxiety, and ramping up production of one important thing is another, but I'm not sure how forgiving nature is to either of those behaviors.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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sure you can step in at full tilt..but even if you do you might not be able to produce all your food the first year..esp if you eat fruits..as sometimes they take a few years to produce after you plant them..but it never hurts to try try try to get things in as quickly as possible and get well on your way.

in my property i have put in a lot of fruit and nut trees and perennial crops..they generally take several years to produce, which means in the meantime i have to buy some foods.

however, i'm sure that you can  produce most of your vegetables in your first year with a lot of good research and practices..

take your time..PERMA culture leans toward more permanence than the fleeting..so if you are planning some permanent or semipermanent really ..foods..like apples, grapes, pears, peaches, nuts, etc..it will take a lot of time ..be patient
 
                        
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I agree.  It will take a lot of time.  Like a lifetime.  And just when you think you have a system working, there will be more "mind bombs" and the whole project just gets better and better.  Sometimes there is a disability that needs a work around.  Or commitments elsewhere.

Roger:  Have you seen the 1981 Bill Mollison articles here?:

http://www.churchofdeepecology.org/permaculture.htm

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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I understand the "disability to work around" as my husban has a serious brain injury..and can be a problem, and i have some physical limitations.

lately i've been trying to get more an more "permanent" in my "culture"...i've plante new fruit, berry or nut trees or bushes every year for several now..just bought 2 more blueberry bushes yesterday making about a dozen.

i also seek out permanent food crops as often as possible..looking for greens that are perennial or self seeding..have also rhubarb, asparagus, horseradish, herbs etc..but also bringing in edible ornamentals and wildings..getting morels to grow in the property and purslane and lambsquarters..etc..but also cattails, daylillies, violets..etc..

overwintering things to see if they'll come back..our swiss chard did this year..and trying to see what things will self seed
 
                        
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How successful is it to try to get morels established, Brenda?

I know there were a whole lot of them in our woods back home in Michigan.  But they don't last long.  You have to be there collecting when they are ready.
 
rose macaskie
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       I agree with Brenda groth, it does not hurt to try to be sustainable in a year because you have to try to get anywhere but it is also real to know that what seems easy because it seems to be manual work or is easy to  people with a tradition in what ever it is not always very easy.
       paul stamets says that it is a pity not many mushroom producers have tried myco remediation, cleaning polluted earth with mushrooms because he appreciates that growing mushrooms is not that easy and its works better with proffesionals.  His is a real stance.
         These things that seem like manual labour have a lot more knowledge in them than they might seem to have and only time gives you that and knowing where to look for it or that it is worth looking for it if you did not grow up learning it from your parents, so  if you want people to suceed you must be real and say it could take them a good while. If you are real about the time you need to learn you wont get what psychiatrists call cross with yourself which means impatient with your own short comings, over strict and overbearing to yourself and too demanding of yourself, psychiatrist use expressions they seem to think are self explanatory  but are not a familiar way of describing anything. They or people who have a sprinkling of psychiatry can say you are angry if you do somthing they disaprove of and it can be totally untrue so be ready to deny them. If you get cross with someone who was mean to you they say you are angry, as in angry with your life no you were just righting a bad situation, not cross with life. Novelists are much more carefull with their explaination. i come from the literary tradition my mother made us read and if people think that is lazy, well when you hear all the unreasonable people around pushing others into unhappy positions if you only follow politics a bit  i can only say that literature that organises some of the ins and outs of the social scene and helps you get through the woodsmay not earn you money it seems to be important.  The psychiatrists or those of people who have picked up0 a bit of psychiatryies verbal short cuts annoy me they are sort of cliff hangers but ones that are menacinging enough of your credit to make you worried by them. ,this make them absorbent they leave you wondering what the hell they are on about so much it is difficult to attend other thigns. . 
       Remember that if someone else is more efficient than you maybe they have had some unseen advantage and don't be over critical of yourself and don't give up . It is hard to know how to both go at things fiercely enough and be pateint enough with yourself to give the project the time it needs, and you may have to try to do it in the face of the criticism of others so you have to be psychically strong which is to say good at baring all that can be chucked at you or a good arguer.  You need to have gone through some project untill you pushed it through to know how more than you could have realised at first  it does need both of knowledge and of phisical dexterity and that you do atain these with time..
  on the other hand if you spend all your money on the first year when you lack experience it could be a bad idea you might mistake what you need anin machines and lose the plants you have bought i certainely lost the trees i planted in the first years of having a garden. If you get mean with money it can also make you inefficient.
  Countries need people who take the risks and start businesses and lots must fail. I suppose, maybe, risk takers end up learning  so it is not so bad for themselves. Families need cautiouse people , so you have a moral dilema, your country or your family, or you have to work out how far you are willing to sacrfice each.  agri rose macaskie
 
                        
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I agree with Rose.  In my work Ive had an opportunity to travel around the country talking to people who have worked the land by traditional methods.  There is so much to be learned from people with practical experience.

I have a couple of graduate degrees, but I think I have learned most from an old Alabama farmer who was my landlord for a while.  He barely finished the 4th grade-- because of a family catastrophe.  Even so I would find him reading the New York Times each morning and totally on top of what the state agriculture college was planning.
 
Miriam Professor
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I love your use of the term mind bomb. I checked out toby hemenway's gaia's garden from my library this past fall and loved it so much I bought it for myself in December as a Christmas present to me. I have become so psyched about permaculture that I've started implementing projects in my own suburban yard, with an intention to get a better property for full implementation in the next few years. I am so psyched to get a PDC, teach/demonstrate the concepts and to spread the revolution.

Your enthusiasm as well as others on this forum give me hope!
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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couldn't agree more, I have read Toby's book so many times in the past year it is wearing out..and I got all the permie type books I could find from the library last year too, filling the old noggin with info.

This year I felt much more informed and am ordering tons and tons of new trees, bushes and perennial or self seeding vegetation ..some I've never heard of before like Medlar and Aronia..
I have posted a list of my new order for this year on my blog (although I did remove a few things from my order like the corn as I found in another magazine that it is a hybrid).

I'm hoping this is the last year I'll be needing to buy a lot of plants, and also hoping that more of my plants will be providing real food this year, esp the blueberries, raspberries and fruit trees.

As for the morels, I haven't "established them" they came on their own but I suppose you could establish them..they and a few other fungii grow wild here. I find shaggy manes in my yard as well and puffballs, others I can't identify so I don't eat them but do hope in the future to establish some fungii patches in our woods.

some of the plants I've never eaten that I'm buying this year are as above medlar and aronia, but I've also never had persimmons, and am ordering more paw paws (and someone has offered me seeds of both of those as well I'll try to grow). I found out my apricot and buffalo berry needed pollinators so those are on my order lists this year as well. And finally getting good king henry and some other perennial or self seeding greens as I eat a large salad nearly every day
 
I'm not dead! I feel happy! I'd like to go for a walk! I'll even read a tiny ad:
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