So, I'll come right out and say that I am a total and complete noob! Not, just a youngan, I am talking infancy new to permaculture. Recently though I started looking into permaculture and my excitment started growing when looking at some of the design principles involved. That said, I have never been into gardening or growing plants ( I know, seems odd doesn't it)! But I do love the mountains, nature, and the synergy found naturally in the world and it's landscape. Also, I am a designer occupationally. So, naturally I started falling in love with the idea of the needs associated with human living intertwining with the natural world, and that this could become integrated from a design perspective into the place you call home. Something cultures have been doing as far back as we can tell. So it's really an excitement about perspective shifting to the way I would reason things should naturally relate. Seeing some of the ways permaculturists have done this is fascinating to me! The problem I have is that EVERY idea seems so appealing that I am actually somewhat overwhelmed.
My question to anyone listening is this... If you had to teach, or maybe mentor someone, like myself, who is pretty much completely green, but very ambitious, what would be the first place you would direct them? Like I said, I have never really had much interest in gardening... Would that be a logical first step though? Start with a garden?
However, I do have a great interest in alternative and sustainable building techniques. Would it be more beneficial to start with what naturally piques my interest? Just wanted to throw it out there and maybe get some direction for a good starting point from a community that obviously has some seasoned experience.
ALL suggestions are appreciated, so long as it isn't condescending. Rather than give my resume of skills that might apply, just assume that I have none that relevant right now. Because that's mostly where I feel that I am at. I am being a bit vulnerable yet honest, hoping that this love affair continues in a paradigm altering lifestyle... Just looking for some guidance.
I do hope to someday acquire property to do this, but I'd rather have more understanding before I dive into the deep end of the pool.
Also, I live in Spokane WA. I am very hard working in my mid 30's and in good shape. I LOVE to work, especially outside, and especially when the work is of the mutually beneficial interdependent style. Along the lines of your skills, my muscle, type of thing.
So if there is anyone around this area that needs help on a homestead, farm, or anywhere, you have a young man willing to offer labor for insight and skill.
Thank you to everyone for any advice!
My first suggestion is going to surprise you (I think): Edit your profile here on permies, so that it shows next to your name, where you are located, what USDA hardiness zone you are in, and how much rainfall you get. (See mine, over there to the left? )
- You will start to make connections here on permies with people who know your area, or at least similar environments.
- Some of those people may be nearby.
- They will start to share local / nearby resources with you.
- And either:
-- a) Here online, you will get help on your projects / questions that you post here, from people who have experience in your region / your type of project
-- b) You'll learn about local places and events, where you can connect up with what's going on where you are. And conversations with those peeps start to give you a "lay-of-the-land" of permaculture in your area. You may find people and projects that are exciting to you, and you can find inroads there, that you are attracted to follow. *
-- c) or both
That done, here's one personal suggestion: this is what inspired me, and got me to permies. Watch the youtube videos and movies about Masanobu Fukuoka, including interviews with Larry Korn. If you find that doesn't float your boat (it's all about observation and plants and integration), then I'd flip right over to exploring the tiny house movement, because you are interested in the housing aspect, and get inspired over there.
Then, yes, I suggest you take a PDC (permaculture design course). I like Geoff Lawton's online one. That's what I took. It gave me context. And my guess would be that it would be really good and easy for you to plug into, because you're already attracted to design.
Hope that helps, and I will be very interested to read what other answers you get, here, too!
All best wishes,
* (E.g.: In my case, I found out about a Hugelkulturworkshop, got to help build one, and to meet about 10 people locally, in that one event. That plugged me into knowing about more events. Now I follow a hyperlocal facebook group, that shares news and tips, and sets up shared buying of supplies. I got to attend a local rocket stove / cob oven workshop, etc.)
Thank you SOO much Marianne for the insight! Glad to be here too. I figured the first step was to immerse myself as much as possible with the culture, hence joining this forum... I could tell from navigating around some posts that people here generally don't have any competitive mindset, which is wonderful.
I had been poking around for online classes and courses, I know that I do learn better with hands on application so the workshop suggestion sounds really awesome! generally going from the permaculture design mindset that one thing feeds into another, I was thinking that there might be some more critical first step, like learning to crawl before you walk... But maybe it's better to just throw everything at the wall first and see what sticks!
Thanks again for the suggestions!
And yes, I'll update the profile. Not only new to permaculture (had to google Hugelkultur) but also new to forums haha
Hi Thomas!!! We're happy to have you here at permies!
I think one of the best ways to start learning permaculture is to get a tiny taste of everything out there which is why I think Paul Wheaton's Keynote Presentation is a great way to start. It covers 72 bricks of permaculture. It is pretty fast-paced, short- sweet, to the point, of course filled with his good humor and emphatic language!
In another thread, I have listed a bunch of resources that people can use for learning permaculture.
Thanks much Dave! That thread with the links you posted is perfect too!
I will check out Paul Wheaton’s Keynote Presentation Youtube video as well.
Can’t tell you all enough how much I appreciate the suggestions. They say every journey begins with the first step, and we’re OFF!
Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit