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inexpensive ways to teach children about permaculture

 
Ray Cecil
Posts: 65
Location: Somewhere in Kentucky
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Ughh....I cannot wait to dig myself out of the debt I have so I can do more sustainable stuff. I hate the industry I am supporting as a daily job. I design machines that put together the machines that destroy the planet. Our customers are John Deer, Case, Caterpillar, Ford, Chevy etc etc....I have no choice though, I literally feel like a slave to this destructive system. I know these tractors and back hoes can do a lot of good too, so that is what I am holding to.

School loans, medical bills, regular bills, two kids and a wife that does the mommy thing.....I just cannot afford to do much for the earth right now. I have a house in Tulsa I am renting out while living with my folks in KY. I am trying to sell that house....its keeping me pinned down. Fact of the matter is my folks are traditional americans that are religious, upper middle class, upper middle class salaries, have no respect for the earth, don't care to change there thinking, and have to have that perfect manicured lawn.....forget dandelions. TO my folks they ruin there lives by popping their pretty little flowers up....my wife and I cringed everytime dad gets out his round-up. We are so pinned down here, we have to respect mom and dad's point of view for now as they are keeping us and our boys under their roof while we sell our house. But I want to slap them so hard sometimes. I have about 50% of my tongue left because I have had to bite it so many times.

IF YOU HAVE ANY CHEAP IDEAS FOR ME TO START TEACHING MY CHILDREN ABOUT "EARTH DAY" AND/OR GETTING THEM WORKING ON ENVIRONMENT RESTORATION/PERMIE STUFF PLEASE SHOOT THEM AT ME. I CANNOT STAND SITTING AROUND MY PARENTS PLACE LOOKING AT A BARREN LAWN......sorry for the rant.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
steward
Posts: 3845
Location: Missoula, MT
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books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
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Ray Cecil wrote: IF YOU HAVE ANY CHEAP IDEAS FOR ME TO START TEACHING MY CHILDREN ABOUT "EARTH DAY" AND/OR GETTING THEM WORKING ON ENVIRONMENT RESTORATION/PERMIE STUFF PLEASE SHOOT THEM AT ME. I CANNOT STAND SITTING AROUND MY PARENTS PLACE LOOKING AT A BARREN LAWN......sorry for the rant.

Dang, Ray, so sorry you're in a situation that makes you ranty! See Erica's post in the Earth Day thread. She's in an office, and making some cool impacts there.

When I was working corporate jobs and living in an apartment and a condo, the lawns were probably more barren and toxic than your parents' place. So, here's some of what I did. My son was entering teenage years, and lived half the time at his dad's, so his participation varied:
--I would take my son hiking on the weekends and we'd talk about and sample the few edibles I knew
--I'd go forage in the forested or other places that I was confident weren't sprayed and my son learned he preferred nettles over spinach in lasagna
--I started a container garden of herbs on my patio
--I started a worm bin for kitchen scraps
--I'd line dry our clothes on a rack in my bathtub because I was in such a small place and the rules didn't allow it outside (between this and handwashing dishes instead of using the dishwasher I saved 40% on my electric bill)
--I'd cook large meals in a crockpot or as much as I could at once in the oven or stove top, and freeze portions for work lunches and my son's after school snacks (less energy, better food) My son started making stews in the crockpot, with lots of jalapenos , and I gotta say, to this day, my son loves crockpot food! Imagine being a ravenous teenager, walking home from a long day at school and/or work and having hot, homemade stew at the ready! That is hard to beat!
--I learned about fermenting foods - making sauerkraut! - for the pro-biotic nutrition and a less energy-intense method of food preservation, my son was great at helping shred, pounds or dice/slice things
--I started a landscape committee at my condo, with the idea that I'd eventually get us to use less-toxic, more affordable landscape maintenance techniques, but we somehow ended up reviewing and saving money on our garbage/dumpster bills by educating our neighbors on recycling and such.
--my son helped me set up for movie nights with our Transition Town group and one night this really cool Polish man (imagine the accent) told him the dramatic story of how honey bees mate.
--my son helped our Transition Town group set up for Earth Day festivities and maintained an outdoor fire for a fire blessing, and later got a job at the sustainability center that hosted the event (in part due to being a volunteer there, I think)

I hope that list triggers some ideas that might work in your situation and with your kids. Best of luck to you!
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1592
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Ray - you can respect your parents view on the weeds while still encouraging them away from round up. Get them a Fiskars Weed Puller. 2 seconds per thistle/dandelion and no need for any sprays. Personally I leave the dandelions but pull the thistles because I like a safe lawn to walk on.

Regarding some first steps in permaculture - fruit trees and shrubs in a perennial landscape make for a nice start, especially if you can plant them with some guild species. Permaculture designs don't need to be "messy" and when well thought out can look like ornamental beds. If your children are young you could just start with a simple seed growing project. Save seeds from your fruit and veggies and see what you can get to grow.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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