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Adaptive Permaculture: How do we integrate folks with disabilities?

 
pollinator
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Location: NW Pennsylvania Zone 5B bordering on Zone 6
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Alan - You are kind and serve to remind me what it is about permaculture people that I like so much. They are kind, caring, considerate people. I think that I could get my dad to help with the install here and there and I have a new dear that, while he didn't know anything about fibromyalgia when we me, has been learning and I think that he would do what he could to help. There really isn't a permaculture "community" locally. The very few permaculture people I have met or talked to tend to keep very closely to themselves around here.

You asked about my plans. Here is the concept for the front half of the property. The area, from the left edge to where it jogs on the right is 50 ft x 200 ft. The back area of my yard (not shown) is 100 ft x 78 ft and has been planted with fruit trees in rows that follow the contour and has berries, nut bushes and trees and such along the edge boundaries. This front area does have some stuff that I would have to move around that I planted, but I don't think that will be a big deal. The entire yard is relatively flat with very little fall from back to front.

property.jpg
[Thumbnail for property.jpg]
50x200 area of property for beds
 
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Location: north end of the Keweenaw Mi.
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Hi Jen

you are on the right tract with the raised beds,just cut the pallets so there is only 2 runners instead of 3 and leave the slats attached to the 2 runners
this will give you a 20'' x 40'' panel for the side of the raised bed then just build what ever size you want.
you can run a wider board on top to stiffen them and make a seat all the way around.
also torx screws and cordless tools are awesome for us people with disability's [able to change things around as needed]and the battery charge last longer than I do.

ill share my issues at a later time [still having a hard time dealing with them] thankfully my wife and 2 sons are very help full and supportive

this forum has helped me out a lot with adapting to the way things are now.

Mike
 
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Hi Jen,

thanks for the reply. I'm sorry to take so long getting back to you. I don't have internet access where I'm currently living.

Your design is nicely drawn. I have to confess, I'm having trouble understanding your design, what's path and what's beds. As to getting folks to help, I'm still learning about that myself. My missing leg is more obvious than fibromyalgia, but I still have an ongoing task of communicating my needs and creating a situation where people can help and not lose something in the process. We always want everyone to be better off.

That said, I am finding that people are generally willing to help. What helps is when I'm organized enough to let people help as little or as much as they are inclined to do so. I'm really working on that one. It seems like you have a real handle on the work you want done, so if you were to break it down into specific tasks, folks will be able to pick a task they're willing to take on.

Another idea is a work party, pot-luck or other such gathering of friends. This can be fun!

I've been able to do some barters with friends who helped me with some painting in return for my design work. Maybe you could make a pie, design a rain garden, or do some other work in return for the physical work.

I'm surprised that you're not finding permies to be friendly and welcomin, but who knows.

One other thought, your design doesn't have to have a permaculture label on it. Having a water harvesting, healthy food producing garden seems like enough.

Thanks again for sharing your challenges. Please keep us posted. I think we can establish beneficial relationships and healthy interactions where everyone wins.

 
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Alan McGill wrote:Hi Jen,

thanks for the reply. I'm sorry to take so long getting back to you. I don't have internet access where I'm currently living.

Your design is nicely drawn. I have to confess, I'm having trouble understanding your design, what's path and what's beds. As to getting folks to help, I'm still learning about that myself. My missing leg is more obvious than fibromyalgia, but I still have an ongoing task of communicating my needs and creating a situation where people can help and not lose something in the process. We always want everyone to be better off.

That said, I am finding that people are generally willing to help. What helps is when I'm organized enough to let people help as little or as much as they are inclined to do so. I'm really working on that one. It seems like you have a real handle on the work you want done, so if you were to break it down into specific tasks, folks will be able to pick a task they're willing to take on.

Another idea is a work party, pot-luck or other such gathering of friends. This can be fun!

I've been able to do some barters with friends who helped me with some painting in return for my design work.  Maybe you could make a pie, design a rain garden, or do some other work in return for the physical work.

I'm surprised that you're not finding permies to be friendly and welcomin, but who knows.

One other thought, your design doesn't have to have a permaculture label on it. Having a water harvesting, healthy food producing garden seems like enough.

Thanks again for sharing your challenges. Please keep us posted. I think we can establish beneficial relationships and healthy interactions where everyone wins.





HI all,

WELL, it's 2016 November and let's get more excited about ADAPTIVE PERMACULTURE.

We now have a new ally in AUtism Housing Network, who are dedicated to helping folks with Disabilities of all sorts, because this helps everyone.

I have emailed with Desiree Kameka. asked them to put Toby Hemenway's book, the Permabulture City, on their resources page.

PLEASE feel free to add more Permabulture to the Resources page, this will help get folks to here and we can collectively build our critical mass!

http://www.autismhousingnetwork.org/

I am on the awesome Spectrum and have challenges with typing and putting thoughts to words, so will be writing more later.

As Valerie says, we Autists have some ideas which are differenct and we dream of sharing them too!

Valerie, if you're still there, please PM me. I did a search for Adaptive Permaculture. as well as your name, ane Zero came up.


I have also emailed to Cassie Langstraat about Diversity in permaculture, and she is enthusiastic to help move this forward.


 
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Hi everyone, I am looking for a Sustainable /Intentional community for living.
I was exposed to some Black Mold about 4+ years ago & developed severe sudden onset Rheumatoid Arthritis & some food allergies. I have been wanting to do or be a part of a sustainable/intentional community for as long as I can remember. AND still do!!! I love growing & can grow just about anything, I love chickens & their eggs but can't eat ANY Soy products, which is in most chicken feed.
I have always just wanted to live on a little farm & do the farm thing, I'm not short on ambition, or motivation I find that working in/with the Earth is actually very healing, but there are those days...that the pain is so bad I can't even pick up a glass of water.

Recently, my landlords asked me to move; their house flooded due to a water line break & they need the rental house back to live in while their's is being repaired.
I live in Santa Fe, NM where rent is very high, economy, education & health care are now the worst in the country, and recently we were declared the Most Dangerous state in the country.
I have been selling almost everything I own, except my tools & a few items I cannot replace, I put those is a storage unit & paid the rent through December. I am probably going to be living in my truck after I get things sorted out.

I came up with this idea a few years ago of a Sustainable Shelter & have been trying to get that going with another woman. But she has finally had enough of Santa Fe & is moving to Colorado. There is one in Austin Tx. Community First Village! but you have to be a Texas resident to apply & you can't get a Texas Drivers license without an address...big ol catch 22...

My Brother offered to purchase a property in his name for this community I want to get started as long as the mortgage & insurance get paid, but property is awfully expensive here... any ideas?

If there is anyone out there that is interested in having me, I would be more than willing to discuss any terms. I know how to do a lot of stuff, I have a small SS disability income & a small savings, some tools, a little furniture; bed, a comfy chair, etc... a small Stihl Chainsaw, lots of shade cloth (essential for growing in NM) a shoe box of seeds I'v collected & my dear companion Gladys; a 16 yo Border Collie, I don't expect her to be around much longer... :-(

I have 6 days to vacate & leave the house clean, after that my email will be BarbaraZiegler505@gmail.com and I'll have limited service, my phone # is 505 660-3852 any calls will always be welcome.

Thanks,
Barbara Ziegler
505 660-3852

PS if anyone knows how to change my email address on the permies website please let me know, not so great on computers...
 
Alex Freedman
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Hi Barbara,

As far as location, do you need to stay in New Mexico, or the southwestish area for your health?

What type of living facility do you need for yourself and Gladys?  a few hundred square feet with some nice outdoor area?

Let us know.

thanks and many heartfelt blessings to you.
 
pollinator
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I'm reviving this thread because of extreme life changes I'm facing.  On Friday we found out my husband has Leukemia.  We don't know exactly what kind but it looks like Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.  If it is he may be fine for years but will eventually develop symptoms and then death.  Today I found out I have a degenerative condition of the spine, but will need an MRI to know more.  This is on top of Bipolar disorder.   I'm also caregiver for my 86 year old Dad who is experiencing increasing Alzheimers symptoms.

I'm trying to formulate some plans for my life in the future, when I am alone, and I know that I want to live in community.  One of my ideas is to invite a permies family to live here in the house, with me also as a house resident, and then pass the property on to the family.  But other times I think I should sell (preferably to a permie) and move somewhere else.  In either case I will be a disabled person looking for community.  I'm reaching out to the permies community for moral support right now, and perhaps for some ideas about how to think about the future, and how to make plans.

Feeling really piled on and overwhelmed right now.
 
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Thank you for this entry! Just skimmed (Energy Limitng condition) but need to connect!
 
Kim Kish
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Hi, am I in yet?
 
Kim Kish
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I am new here trying to Figure out the forum. That comment was supposed to be a reply to someone else’s comment and now I can’t find their comment.
 
Kim Kish
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Hi! Thanks for your post. I am new here and trying to reply.
 
Kim Kish
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I am trying to reply to  Joshua Myrvaagnes’ post. I am having trouble w the site on a phone. Could anybody help get me connected?
 
steward & bricolagier
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Hi Kim! Welcome to Permies!
The blue reply button posts a reply to the whole thread, it does not end up with their post, it ends up at the end of it all. The Quote button will quote their post in your post, like this

Kim Kish wrote:Hi! Thanks for your post. I am new here and trying to reply.

 

This thread last had a post in 2017. Whoever you are replying said it long ago. So put a post about your own stuff here, without the earlier people, and we'll just start talking about all this again!

I get notifications on this because I'm disabled and doing my best to live how I want to. Some days it ain't easy.  

Welcome to permies, and let's start this thought back up!
:D

 
Kim Kish
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Hi Kim! Welcome to Permies!
The blue reply button posts a reply to the whole thread, it does not end up with their post, it ends up at the end of it all. The Quote button will quote their post in your post, like this

Kim Kish wrote:Hi! Thanks for your post. I am new here and trying to reply.

 

This thread last had a post in 2017. Whoever you are replying said it long ago. So put a post about your own stuff here, without the earlier people, and we'll just start talking about all this again!

I get notifications on this because I'm disabled and doing my best to live how I want to. Some days it ain't easy.  
THANK YOU PEARL FOR BEING HERE AND REPLYING!❤️❤️❤️
I STILL DON’t think I understand how to repky in the thread.



Welcome to permies, and let's start this thought back up!
:D

 
Kim Kish
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Oh so sorry. I did that wrong and the whole thing ended up in a quote. Ok I will try again after some rest.
 
gardener
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Thanks for reviving this thread anyhow Kim.  I’ve not read it before and found it helpful. You’ll soon get used to the way the forum works, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. The main rule is be nice!
 
Pearl Sutton
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Kim Kish wrote:Oh so sorry. I did that wrong and the whole thing ended up in a quote. Ok I will try again after some rest.


Try talking without quoting anyone.   It's easier!
The blue button will do a basic reply, or the brown one at the bottom or top that says "post reply"  The blue one is new, not working the way it was expected, and it's easiest to ignore it.



 
Alan McGill
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Hi Kim,
Welcome. I got a notice about your post because I participated in the old one. What's up with you?
 
Kim Kish
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Thanks for everyone’s kind replies! I just got home from graduation night from my PDC!
 
Kim Kish
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I would really like to talk with Joshua about this post, and to revive the thread about creating the solution.   I don't know how to really work this forum to quote/ reply/ comment, and am very brain-fogged right now.  just a little seedling reaching toward the light....  Anybody have any input?


Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Here's what I think is a really solvable problem but hasn't been solved yet that I knwo of.

You have people who are low energy, not healthy enough to push into the ratrace but well enough to work out in nature.  Nature is healing.  It's the Secret Garden effect.  So, if you can just get people like us started we'll get stronger in time.

I applied to live and work at a Steiner community where they take care of elderly people.  It's an awesome place, beautiful, biodyanmic farm, woods, a stream, gorgeous as f---.  And I loved the people there and the conversastions I had with the farmers, learning that only 15% of the world's arable soil is really healthy (well hopefully it's gone up a bit since then, that was like 2007).  Feeling connected, like I could relax, I'd be safe, I would be supported by the Earth rather than by the stress of a job and impressing someone else and pushing harder to be someone I'm not.  Feeling abundant and like heck, the Earth doesn't care who I am, it's supporting me unconditionally.  Really beautiful feeling.  And the fact that they said that the "from each according to his ability to each according to his need" principle was how they did things there made it really feel manageable.

So I applied to be a co-worker there (that's the term they use for the people who do the work and take care of the farm or elderly persons) and they said they needed able-bodied people only.  I was really disappointed, and I thought maybe I should apply again and lie and tell them I'm well and jsut tough it out.  But my second application I never heard back from, and it seems they could be a bit disorganized.  I gave up at the time, though I still think about applying again.  I got more into my own gardening and learning at that point though, which was an amazing experience and continues to be.  I still think though wouldn't it be great if I could pool resources? wouldn't it be great if I could just work on a farm and get my strength back?  and even better if the effort was being intelligently applied, like using permaculture brilliance rather than excessive amounts of brawn.  That would be so satisfying.

I really really feel a strong sense that I could get my health all the way back if I could work in nature--work hard, some of the time, be able to rest when I need to but push my body again.  I'm thirsty for it.  I just don't think it'd be good to promise someone and not fully deliver.

But to get back to the quesiton at hand--I'd say a way of integrating folks wtih chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia and so on is to give us an opportunity to work and also be able to rest as needed while getting our health back.  The social inclusion and opportunity to do meaningful work and connection to nature is a huge help for many a disabled/chronically ill person.

 
pollinator
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Designing for disabilities is hard because they are so varied and so unique to the individual.  Designing flexibility into infrastructure is not an easy task and almost impossible for a commercial farm that needs a certain ROI on space and time of the people working their.  Teaching and training employees or volunteers is a  very heavy time consuming and it makes it difficult for anyone needing accommodations to find professionals to work with them.  Those needing accommodations are also less likely to be able to afford to pay someone to teach them.  We mentor high school robotics team and we tend to attract students with various accommodation needs due to our hands on and very student lead and student run culture on the team.  We love having these students and they thrive in the environment because we give them all the extra time they need to find where and how they thrive.   It is a labor of love for the mentors and parents that make the team possible.  It takes almost 2 dozen mentors, $30,000 a year, a very accommodating host location and thousands of hours to run a team of 30 to 50 kids a year.  We don't build the most competitive robots but we constantly graduate an amazing group of competent, creative, doers that thrive as young adults every year.   We do sneak in permaculture principles all the time and try to host a team party at least once a year on our farm.  

For me teaching someone gardening and permaculture is easiest one  on one.  Can you find a friend or acquaintance that could teach you in exchange for you helping them out?  It is hard for me to teach this way because I often have to cancel when I am in a symptoms flare but I am lucky to be surrounded by good people who care and understand.    

We came to permaculture as a way for me to keep gardening.  We are continually having to find new solutions to manage my bodies latest addition to the things that don't function like they used too. I have our tiny farm with our very large garden thanks to my husband.  He does all my heavy lifting, shoveling, mulching, building, and laying out long hoses.  He prefers his exercise to be productive and he likes to dig.  I am not so lucky and every year my body loses a little more functionality due to my connective tissue disorder Ehlers- Danlos Syndrome and it's laundry list of comorbidities that doing anything a challenge.

Now that not only are we getting older but our friends and family are as well.  It is so hard to figure out what you need to design into your system till you have some new need shows up.  With the craziness of the last year and a half our large garden has become an important location to entertain in good weather and as a result my husband has been making more changes to make it more accessible for our loved ones who have more mobility issues than I do.   He has made temporary ramps, wider mulched path ways, shallow steps with handrails on both sides and planters on the sides to give it extra support to accommodate love ones who use canes. crutches, and wheelchairs.  The center of our garden is a natural swimming  pond that my husband added a seating area too.  This spot is so calming to just sit and chill that is so important when we get stressed out and our visitors absolutely love it.  

He has completely removed our hügelkultur beds and remade them into shorter and narrower  raised beds for me.  He had to do this because I kept injuring myself trying to work with them.  We did keep them long enough to breakdown most of the wood so they served their purpose but they had to go.   Now I have wood chipped mulched walk ways, narrow raised beds that I can work in while sitting on a small stool, sturdy trellises that I can can safely grab on to and use for support when I need it.

We will never have the elegant permaculture vision of food producing system that Paul Wheaton is creating.  It amuses me to read through the PEP stuff and realize I could never do most of it due to my physical limitations.  I do like using them as inspiration to  figure out what I could do to serve a similar function that fits into my reality.  

Designing to accommodate my  every changing functionality is our part of our goal.  The other is to produce a high percentage of safe for me to eat food, in a beautiful, inviting, and a joy to work in space.   For some context my husband currently works from home and is self employed.  I do not have a paying job. We both have other hobbies and we each volunteer several hundred hours a year mentoring an FIRST FRC Robotics team.    I have tons of joint damage,  nerve damage, bad eyesight, prone to dizziness and fainting, digestive issues, hyper mobile joints, chronic fatigue, brain fog, bad body awareness and spatial awareness, anxiety, dyslexia, and a bunch of other odd and annoying symptoms.  A lot of these are problems with my autonomic system which makes them frustratingly difficult to manage or treat.  ​

We plant shrubs, dwarf and semi dwarf trees whenever we can.  They are easier to harvest from and maintain.  

Cattle panels and t posts are my favorite trellises.  They are sturdy enough to hold up to the windy weather we have and I can use them to hold me up if I get too dizzy in the garden.

Raised beds are tall enough to me to sit on a stool and work them.  They are also narrow enough I can comfortably reach the center without over extending.  

Wide smooth path ways that are well maintained with either mulch or mowing.  I trip and fall far to easily and stumble around a lot so a narrow lumpy pathway is a disaster waiting to happen.   This also makes navigating our swales difficult for me so my husband filled the ditches with wood chips.  They still slow and sink water but now they will also produce wine cap mushrooms and compost.   These changes allowed our friend in a manual  wheelchair to take a tour of the garden with some assistance to get up and down the slopes that are part of gardening on a hillside.

We use lots of mulch and compost.  Most of it  is imported from local supplies in the form of wood chips, mulch hay and a pretty good compost.  We don't have enough time or energy to produce enough of our own so we out source the bulk of it.  We do use our grass clippings but we keep getting rid of the lawn one garden bed at a time so we don't make enough.  We use the chicken run and wood chips to compost but we have far more garden than compost making capacity.  I can't turn compost piles and my husband doesn't want to. We have the chickens do it and harvest the compost they do make.  

I love silage tarps.  I know they are plastic but they save me far too much energy to give them up.   We use them to kill the grass for garden expansion and to over winter annual garden beds.  They are great at dramatically reducing the heavy weed pressure which is critical for me to be able to keep gardening.    While I would love to go very heavy into perennial food crops my body can't properly digest the natural occurring sugars in most of the plants that would thrive in my cold wet climate.  So we grow a lot of annuals.  

Every spring my husband lays out an network of hoses on splitters so I don't need to drag heavy hoses around to water.  We do harvest rainwater to use but we do still need to irrigate at times at this point.

We will be adding some more seating areas in the garden so I have more shady places to rest while I am out there.  

There are a million little things that can be done it is just so hard to see what those things are until you are the one that needs them.  

 
Kim Kish
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Hi, Alan.  I got on the internet the other day to search for things to read and perhaps have classmates read, about permaculture ethics, principles pertaining to disability inclusion. I ended up finding this forum, and specifically this thread. Thanks for your reply. Do you have any more thoughts to share about this issue?

Alan McGill wrote:Hi Kim,
Welcome. I got a notice about your post because I participated in the old one. What's up with you?

 
Pearl Sutton
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Kim: Have you seen the whole list of the Personal Challenges forum here?  https://permies.com/f/381/personal-challenges
Lots of good threads in there, depending on what you are looking for. The idea of inclusion ends up in many threads. it's not a word that gets used much (according to the search function here) but it's a concept we talk about a lot.

My personal favorite threads are more how to cope with being the person that requires an adaptation, we talk of tricks to function, scheduling, etc. I think my favorite threads in there are probably:
Permaculture and Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and Asperger's
Aging in place with permaculture
How do you Have Both a Homestead and a Chronic Illness?

I don't know what your focus is, or why, but those are mine, I'm neurodiverse, getting older, and physically disabled. Might try looking up your issues, and see what has been said about them, both how we cope and how we cope with others with the issue.
:D
 
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Bookmarked this thread w/in Permies for reference later. While I am not disabled, I do have physical challenges (many ending in -itis, along with chronic physical fatigue) that impact my ability to do everything I want to do that concerns working in the garden, its design, and general permaculture principles.

This 'personal challenges' forum is one of my favorites.

 
Hey! Wanna see my flashlight? It looks like this tiny ad:
Native Bee Guide - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/wiki/140436/Native-Bee-Guide-FREE
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