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Permaculture as a medicine.  RSS feed

 
Gray Haynes
Posts: 9
Location: Virginia Zone 6B
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Hi everyone hope I posted this in the right spot. I have been lurking around on here for a while now, cramming as much new stuff into my mind as possible, and I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for sharing your knowledge and experiences and all that good stuff. Maybe someone out there can help me just a bit further since my problem seems unique. After high school I used to be very productive, working 40-50 hours of hard sweaty labor a week in a furniture factory, never missing a day of work, never showing up late, that sort of thing. I loved it. Lost 60 pounds in no time as I prepared myself to join the military. Only I was never able to because of illness and everything soon went to shit. My life fell apart and I moved from job to job never able to stay anywhere for very long. I ended up on disability and all of these years later I am still little better. Now to the part where someone here might be able to help me. There are several things wrong with me but one part of my illness is extreme social phobia and I really can’t handle being around people for long, especially crowds. I remember my time growing up on a farm as a kid and how much I loved the outdoors. I need that again. A quiet place to go outside and do stuff. Be productive somehow. When I learned about permaculture and food forests my mind lit up and I knew right away that I had to do that. It will heal me in ways the medicines never will. That growing with permaculture was who I was and I had to find a way to do it. How then? I have no land and I live in a small apartment with a very low income. No one is going to hire me and deal with my medical problems, I can’t hold a normal job, my medications are expensive. Legally I can’t even own more than 2000 dollars in assets (SSI rules) so I can’t just patiently save up and buy land. I live with my long-term girlfriend who has a decent career but it is not enough to support us both and she doesn’t want to be a farmer. Even if I relocated to an apartment with some sort of yard or even rented a house it will be almost impossible to find a landlord that would let me plant trees or build hugelkulture beds haha. Even then I need quiet, and privacy, for this to really work out. My girlfriend agreed to help find a way but that will take a lot of time. Her only things are that she needs high-speed internet and to be close to her job—she works at a university and they are always right smack in the middle of a city with expensive land all around. I’m not quite sure what my options are in moving forward. No one is going to give me a loan and I don’t know of any programs that could help. Further I don’t even have any hands-on experience in permaculture so everything has come from reading, watching youtube or listening podcasts. Any thoughts or ideas? Thanks in advance.
 
Shaz Jameson
pollinator
Posts: 146
Location: Hilversum, Netherlands, urban, zone 7
14
bee bike books food preservation toxin-ectomy urban
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Hi Gray,

Welcome to Permies!

First off, well done for wanting to get started and to heal yourself. Just the initiative to seek out is a big thing.

I'm no expert but I can definitely say that it helps to think in terms of abundance rather than limits.

Every little bit counts. We also live in an urban area and though we'd like to have a food forest and live off our land, that's not possible for us right now. So, one thing at a time. Every little bit counts and getting your hands in the dirt and growing something, however small, already makes a big difference for seeing something grow, feeding our family, healing ourselves, reconnecting with our local ecology and space, being outside.

Do you have space where you are now to grow things? A balcony? Windowsill? Just get started. Microgreens and sprouts are also a speedy way to grow stuff, though not exactly a food forest.

My main suggestion is to broaden your vision to beyond the walls of the appartment and look around for shared food forest spaces. Is there a community garden in the area? Is there space where there could be one? Community centres? Schools? Religious institutions? Empty plots of land around? If you educate yourself by scouring the forums and getting a good book or two, you can approach say, the church, with an idea, and design a plan for them.

Maybe it's not ideal on the privacy front, but you wouldn't be dealing with hordes of people.

Good luck, and there's plenty of ideas and people wiser than I on the forum. You can do it!


 
Gray Haynes
Posts: 9
Location: Virginia Zone 6B
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Thanks! I have every inch of my mostly south facing window covered with plants, haha. Reading sepp holzer's Permaculture book as we speak.
 
Dawn Hoff
Posts: 504
Location: Andalucía, Spain
26
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As for saving up - could you save up in, say, gold? That way you'd never have more than $2000, but could store value regardless.
 
Gray Haynes
Posts: 9
Location: Virginia Zone 6B
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That would be illegal and I try to live a straight and narrow kind of life. I don't agree with the rule because if you ever end up on government assistance here for whatever reason it is very difficult to climb out of the hole. It encourages people to spend everything they've got no matter how little it is, or else risk getting banned from help for the rest of your life. Discourages saving, micro investments ect. I mean if I had like 20 extra bucks each month to put towards starting a small business or something that would one day help me pull out of the rut you'd think the government would encourage that but they don't. They see it as criminal. We paid you 20 dollars too much! That is how they see it. I mean I have no illusions that it is tax payer money that is keeping me alive right now, and I don't feel good about that at all, but still, you'd think the government would rather me take any excess money and pick myself up with it, save for a couple of bee hives or something that would save the tax payers in the end (illegal) yet taking any extra down to the local liquor store and wasting it on booze is perfectly legal (just an example, I don't drink by the way). Sometimes the government makes little since. I am ranting, sorry.
 
Dawn Hoff
Posts: 504
Location: Andalucía, Spain
26
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Sometimes the spirit of the law and the letter is not the same - so you could buy yourself jewelry right? Doesn't have to be buillion.
 
Gray Haynes
Posts: 9
Location: Virginia Zone 6B
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Resources that SSA includes are:

money accumulated in bank accounts, retirement accounts, or investments

stocks

cash

real estate

expensive jewelry

Resources do not include the following:

one house, if s/he lives in it

one vehicle worth less than $4,500, or one vehicle of any value if it is used for getting to/from work or medical services

combined life insurance (face value) and funds set aside for burial of up to $1,500

a burial plot
 
Dawn Hoff
Posts: 504
Location: Andalucía, Spain
26
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Sorry about that they really do want to keep people in perpetual poverty.
 
Gray Haynes
Posts: 9
Location: Virginia Zone 6B
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It really does seem that way
 
Dawn Hoff
Posts: 504
Location: Andalucía, Spain
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I know what I would do with that law, but then I'm not you

Maybe you could spin-farm for an old lady somewhere? Provide her with fresh veggies and get some for yourself and get all the garden therapy you want?
 
Gray Haynes
Posts: 9
Location: Virginia Zone 6B
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That would be very cool.
 
Gray Haynes
Posts: 9
Location: Virginia Zone 6B
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Thanks for that idea! I think that would go a long way towards repairing my self-esteem/self-respect. I have schizophrenia (a disease affecting about 1 percent of the worlds population, rich and poor alike) and I can do nothing about that, but I need to be productive again somehow. Get out in nature more. Heal the stuff I can.
 
Galadriel Freden
Posts: 363
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
18
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This is a paper reviewing a possible link between schizophrenia and diet. Schizophrenia, gluten, and low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets: a case report and review of the literature The case report is about a 70 year old woman (who was diagnosed at 17), who changed to a ketogenic diet and reported after 8 days she was no longer seeing or hearing hallucinations. It goes on to describe her diet and her condition for the next 12 months, in which she continues to have no visual or auditory hallucinations.

The paper then goes on to review several studies about gluten and nutrient deficiencies and their possible affect on schizophrenia.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2652467/

I don't know if it may be helpful for you; you may have done research on this yourself, and of course, because it worked for one person/some people doesn't mean it works for everyone. I know your question was about farming/gardening, so I hope I haven't overstepped. I had a relative with schizophrenia who died young in an institution, so it is rather close to my heart.
 
Gray Haynes
Posts: 9
Location: Virginia Zone 6B
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Thank you Galadriel. Sorry to hear about your relative. I will look into it and give it serious consideration. I read something a while back about people who had cut out gluten and all milk products and had amazing results but when I tried it (for three very, very long months) the only thing that happened was that I missed cheese. A lot. Still, I would do it all over again and more if I knew it would work. Schizophrenia is never the same in two people. So many different symptoms and patterns of getting well, getting sick again. Though it seems to me that scientists are getting pretty close to narrowing down the genetic side of the disease and that gives me a lot of hope.
I saw this today and it made me smile.
http://www.iflscience.com/brain/scientists-closer-ever-discovering-cause-schizophrenia
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1282
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Gray Haynes wrote:Thank you Galadriel. Sorry to hear about your relative. I will look into it and give it serious consideration. I read something a while back about people who had cut out gluten and all milk products and had amazing results but when I tried it (for three very, very long months) the only thing that happened was that I missed cheese. A lot. Still, I would do it all over again and more if I knew it would work. Schizophrenia is never the same in two people. So many different symptoms and patterns of getting well, getting sick again. Though it seems to me that scientists are getting pretty close to narrowing down the genetic side of the disease and that gives me a lot of hope.
I saw this today and it made me smile.
http://www.iflscience.com/brain/scientists-closer-ever-discovering-cause-schizophrenia


I'm off track as well, so sorry for that, but I'm a big TED talk watcher and there have been several compelling talks/studies on nutrition and mental health. I don't believe you have to give up cheese, just overly processed cheese. More of an organic, natural diet full of whole foods. This is not to be confused with whole foods the store that ironically sells protein powders, etc (processed food anyone?)

There is a guy named Raymond Browning, YouTube account https://www.youtube.com/user/VoodooGarden. He has trees, shrubs, fruit, veggies, flowers, squash, anything you can think of INSIDE HIS HOUSE.

This year I was successful at growing tomatoes from seed for the first time. These are 2' tall tomatoes I grew INSIDE. I did it in a 50 gallon fish tank with regular florescent lights. YOU CAN DO IT!!!

I grew a pistachio from seed. I have a peppercorn, tea, vanilla, jasmine and lemongrass plant growing inside right now. You are only limited by what you decide are your limitations.
 
His brain is the size of a cherry pit! About the size of this ad:
Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
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