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Advice For Absolute Beginners?

 
Posts: 1
Location: Georgian Bay area, Ontario
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Hey folks,

I am in the Georgian Bay area on Ontario, Canada.

I dream about permaculture and sustainable, symbiotic living...
I am passionate about new environmental technologies, the Earth wisdom of the past, and being intentional, present, and practicing mindful awareness now...
I have done a little reading and researching about permaculture design in books and online...
I have studied environmental ethics (like deep ecology) at university...
I have deep, long-held values regarding topics like keeping wilderness wild, reducing footprint/impact, organic food, mutually beneficial relationships, and managing natural resources...
I worked with a gardener for a year, tended a community garden for a year, and have had my houseplants thrive for the most part...
I started to compost last year and just started a container garden this season...

But most of this is theory, and not a lot of it is practice!

SO I consider myself an absolute beginner...

Does anyone have advice (including links to other threads) for a newbie at permaculture?

1. How can a beginner start from where they are at? (ie. not jumping straight into buying land and building an intentional community, but taking useful steps toward that kind of thing)
2. How can a beginner meet other people locally who are similar minded (to learn from and support each other, or to check out what others are already doing)?
3. Are there any barriers that you have overcome that you wish someone was able to tell you about before you got there?

Thanks!
 
pollinator
Posts: 11777
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Posts: 30
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just enjoy the journey....
 
pollinator
Posts: 1676
Location: Denver, CO
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"Try stuff."
 
Posts: 177
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Make as many mistakes as you can.
 
master steward
Posts: 13464
Location: Pacific Northwest
6072
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Off the top of my head, here's my answers to your questions:

1. How can a beginner start from where they are at? (ie. not jumping straight into buying land and building an intentional community, but taking useful steps toward that kind of thing) I would say, start growing in containers, but you're already doing that. If there is a "Pea Patch"/garden plot you can rent, you can also start growing there, to learn more about the differences that soils make on what you can grow. Another plus might be building community

2. How can a beginner meet other people locally who are similar minded (to learn from and support each other, or to check out what others are already doing)? Renting a garden plot, going to local permaculture/gardening groups or meet-ups, taking a local master gardener class (some of the info will transfer, and you'll be meeting and influencing other gardeners), just hanging out and talking at your local food or farm co-op.

3. Are there any barriers that you have overcome that you wish someone was able to tell you about before you got there? That soils can be so very different from site to site, and that really influences what you'll be able to grow. I grew a lot of veggies and plants easily when I started out, in potting soil in pots. Then I got my property and found most of those things DID NOT want to grow for me there in the native soil in the ground... or were eaten by slugs or bunnies. I wish I knew that the learning curve would be so bad that for a few years the only success I would have would be in growing perennials, and that this is pretty normal. I wish I knew just how expensive it would be to start growing food because most of it didn't want to grow and was money that was not-quite-wasted because it was spent on education.
 
Posts: 3
Location: muskoka, ontario
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hi jak i am in muskoka poissonchantelle@gmail.com
 
pollinator
Posts: 344
Location: S. Ontario Canada
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Hey Jak.
Grow whatever you can and observe. I'm near you in the Grey Highlands and it's a challenge to find things that grow well locally between the alkaline soil and short season. Try everything, see what does well.

I wish I knew the importance of healthy soil bacteria before. What a difference it's made in my understanding of what I see.
 
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