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Getting Away  RSS feed

 
Posts: 52
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So I'm one of those people who find them selves in a dilemma of how to figure out a way in which to escape the life of a non permie but I feel at a huge disadvantage because I personally can't decide to just up and leave the life I have now and begin working on this gigantic Permaculture dream that I so drive to start for just a few simple reasons.
First I have no money.
Second I have a family which I must care for (wife and 5 children.)
Third I own no property in which I would like to peacefully as possible put the Permaculture skills to work.
And last and most difficult for me is that I'm diabetic.

So my question to all my wonderful fellow permie is this:
How in the world do I go about leaving my job selling automotive parts to tree cutters and chem farmers, get my own property, generate an income, and raise my family all while at home?

If I need to go into more detail as to what kind of help I need or more details please let me know I'll help fill any gaps so that you may answer my question and in return hopefully I can help someone else when the time comes.

On and Paul Wheaton is AWESOME!!! Just saying lol.

 
Richard Force
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Oh I seem to have left out a part of my question which is how do I do all the things I mentioned with such a large family and little income or savings.
 
Posts: 535
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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We share an attitude, some values. But everybody is different and we all have commitments and responsibilities. Nobody gets to welch on their commitments and responsibilities and call themselves "Permie".

IMHO. That's part of my values. The good news is being permie is easy. The bad news is it's work just like anythingn else and it won't solve any of your problems because you'll still be you where ever you happen to be at the moment. But it's something great to go for, a great way to live - IMHO.

People seem to jaw about stuff a lot, "think" about it, discuss technique, read and "follow" all sorts of stuff. Normal for anyone and you see it in all sorts of activities, people "preparing" for years. Some of them eventually take some kind of plunge and often it works out OK. Good to have dreams.

My personal experience is that at some point you realize/decide you're tired of kidding yourself. But you're still the same you. Hmmm.

Well, fortunately "Permies" is not a place, it's a direction, a value system. It's not strictly tied to a farm. So it can apply even to "you" as you are now, if you want it to. Want to drive your 400hp 6000# man-machine to the bar to BS the boys? OK, but maybe it'd be more permie to drive your wife's Kia - less gas and stuff you know. So maybe you drive the Kia. Presto - you're a permie! Doing any recylcing? Maybe you could move that a little further forward. Maybe even talk to the city about making it easier for folks to recycle. Not good at politics? No problem. How about buying organic or even hitting farmer's markets? There's _always_ something.

See, it's an attitude that applies to _everything_. So you can do it now. If you're just too addicted or trapped or stuck to your "bad" life, well surely you can weasel a little bit - be a _little_ less bad. When a permie thought crosses you mind at a fork in the road, ask yourself if there is any way you could proceed in the permie direction. Sometimes you'll go the permie way a little. Do it enough and you'll start looking more like a permie. <g>

Tell you family what's up. (If anything is, that is.) Ask them to go along and help out - join you. ASK. You'll just have to accept whatever they think of you. To them you are now the "permie weirdo".<g> And that's good because they are the most important people in the world, right? Then keep doing your thing and ask them again in other ways (if they haven't already joined you just to see what trouble the simpleton is going to get himself into...).


Have fun.

Rufus
 
pollinator
Posts: 10116
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Most of us probably won't be able to get away from the life we set up for ourselves, at least not without a huge upheaval, which might not be beneficial. I agree with Rufus that our first responsibility needs to be our family. I think, though, that everyone who really wants to can get closer to the living world. If you want to work with soil and plants, if you don't have your own yard you might know someone with a yard where you can grow some food Or there may be community gardens in your area, or if not and you're very dedicated, you might be able to create community gardens. Or you might want to get involved with other local issues such as watershed and community forestry. I don't think we all have to buy our own farm in order to be permie.

If you give your location maybe folks here can help direct you to some resources.
 
gardener
Posts: 1757
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One of the cool things about 'going permie' is that the lifestyle and techniques themselves are usually also frugal. If you're raising a family on a meager income, you're probably already more permie than you've realized.

Paul started a topic specifically for apartment dwellers http://www.permies.com/t/55092/md/apartment-dweller-world-place which is full of suggestions of things that people can do without land.

Don't underestimate the value of how you raise your kids, also. Just raising them not to be afraid of nature can go a long way. Both my nieces (city dwellers all their lives) can identify edible 'lawn weeds'. They enthusiastically drag us outside to identify strange spiders and insects. Their first response to life (aka Nature) isn't to reach for a poison. I have adult neighbors who can't even hear talk about bees and frogs without freaking out.
 
Posts: 67
Location: West Central Georgia
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I seriously doubt we'll ever leave where we are while the kids are young. So I just decided to start doing what I could where I am, instead of waiting until we can move or we had more money. It was one little thing first, then another little thing, and so on. Big plots of land, living off-grid, large livestock, and probably food forests are quite likely out of my reach forever. But I can learn from the forums here how to refine and strengthen and interconnect all the little things I am already doing. It helps a lot to have someone who knows more than you and can show you in person what to do. This forum seems pretty welcoming and communal to that end, or you may already know someone who wouldn't mind sharing their know-how.
 
steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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You need to read "mortgage free" and "Early Retirement Extreme".  Focus on building your grubstake.

You need to build your knowledge.   Fortunately, there is a lot of excellent information out there in many formats.

In 1998 I wanted land to do my "cows and chickens" plan.   I had about $80,000 in debt.   I moved my wife and two kids to a cheap place in denver where there was a lot more work than in missoula.   I started off earning far more than I ever earned in all of my life.   I found that if I worked 40 hours per week, I had about 10% of my income to go to debts and bring me closer to land, cows and chickens.  If I worked 45 hours per week, my debt was reduced three times faster.  I did a lot of crazy stuff to get my income-per-hour to quadruple and then I worked two full-time jobs.   In two years I had paid off my debt and had set aside quite a bit for land.  And simultaneously reading gobs of books.

 
pollinator
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If the endgame is wholesome living and healing the ground, you can get started without land. At least while you work on the grubstake.

It's neat how you can add one thing a year.

Grow 40#'s of tomatos and you can make a year supply of ketchup in one weekend. You can pronounce all the ingredients unlike the store bought stuff, and look at the plastic not going in the dump bin. Once started, commit to never buying ketchup again.


Grow Luffa one year and you have sponges and bathing scrub pads for a year. Commit to never buy scouring pads again after your first harvest.

put stuff into practice while you wait. The changes just get bigger with land. More harvests and meat gets added based on the land. (eggs, chickens, cows, lambs)

Live it now, even if your growing in buckets.
 
gardener
Posts: 2433
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If you can buy a house with a yard, you can start with learning about edible weeds.  Look for a cheap area where you could still do your job.  Most edible weeds (think dandelions) are more nutritious than store vegies and you can grow them organically. It will be good for your diabetes. If you learn to graft you can have many fruit trees for almost nothing. Even if not, buy them on sale cheaply, like in the fall.  Berries are great and will normally expand themselves. All of this will make cheap food for your kids and wife too.  I recommend Edible Wild Plants by John Kallas, Rosemary Gladstar, Marjorie Wildcraft.  All available at the library.   The exercise you get in your yard will help your diabetes too.  Going hiking and ID' in g wild foods is good too. You can grow your own mushrooms.
John S
PDX OR
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 10116
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Or rent a house with a yard, if you can find a decent landlord.  One of my best gardens was in a rented yard.
 
pollinator
Posts: 132
Location: Basque Country, Spain-42N lat-Köppen Cfb-Zone8b-1035mm/41" rain: 118mm/5" Dec., 48mm/2" July
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Richard Force wrote:So I'm one of those people who find them selves in a dilemma of how to figure out a way in which to escape the life of a non permie but I feel at a huge disadvantage because I personally can't decide to just up and leave the life I have now and begin working on this gigantic Permaculture dream that I so drive to start for just a few simple reasons.
First I have no money.
Second I have a family which I must care for (wife and 5 children.)
Third I own no property in which I would like to peacefully as possible put the Permaculture skills to work.
And last and most difficult for me is that I'm diabetic.

So my question to all my wonderful fellow permie is this:
How in the world do I go about leaving my job selling automotive parts to tree cutters and chem farmers, get my own property, generate an income, and raise my family all while at home?

If I need to go into more detail as to what kind of help I need or more details please let me know I'll help fill any gaps so that you may answer my question and in return hopefully I can help someone else when the time comes.

On and Paul Wheaton is AWESOME!!! Just saying lol.



Hey Richard, glad to have you on Permies.

I sounds to me like you are in the beginning of a great attitude shift. You sound half-hopeless and half-hopeful, and on the rise. Loads of people share your situations. A good measure of creative thinking, caring community like here at permies, common sense, and decided action can put a really big dent in most or all of the challenges you face. There are plenty of possibilities, talking about them with smart folks can help you uncover them and then it's up to you to act.

I hear a big concern of yours is of course health, your diabetes. I don't know if it's type 1 or type 2. Type 1 is a different ball of wax but adult-onset type 2, there are a lot of diet and lifestyle things you can do to put a huge dent in that. There are some people who've been really strict about it and have rolled it all the way back to zero. Make friends with your local hippies, health nuts, exercise fanatics, vegans and raw foodies, and start frequenting health websites like mercola.com. If you let them, they will have a way positive influence on you, and you will find some practical steps to take that work for you. (It works if you make it work, and you can!) I personally am a big believer in juicing greens. I haven't done anything as radical as a juice fast (I do have a juicer and drink fresh green juice at dinner every night) but I've seen a great documentary on about 20 people with very severe medical problems of all sorts, including several with diabetes, who went on a strict juice-only diet (very thoughtfully constructed with tons of variety) plus ramping up their exercise, all under medical supervision, for 30 days, and at the end of the month all of them had a very, very significant reduction in symptoms, felt alive again, and most were off of all medication for the first time in many years (with doctor's OK, because their symptoms had disappeared). And I'm talking VERY major health conditions here.

Not to suggest this is the route for you, but it might be. In any case, there are many natural routes to taking the edge off and even curing Type 2 diabetes. Your health is not something that happens to you, it's something you create. Or if something does happen to you, at least there's plenty of room for action there to take back control. Don't let anyone tell you, "you've got so-and-so, your life is over." And certainly don't tolerate that message coming from inside yourself. Not that you're doing that, just advice -- adopt that way of being that's action-oriented, inquisitive and optimistic and you will find a way. Or several.

One other thing about the money. You do have a lot of responsibility and your family is lucky that you see it that way. Think of Paul's advice of looking for how and where you can minimize your expenses and maximize your income. Don't make yourself wrong for making a living the way you currently do, but be inquisitive and always be holding the question of what opportunities are out there that get you closer to your dream. Or even that get you straight there. If you have enough conversations with enough people about it, who knows, presto, sometimes opportunities just present themselves. Also, great advice to get gardening on other people's land, to get close to nature. Find someone with land that can't take care of it. With five kids, certainly one or two of them would be old enough to actually help a little bit while they have fun and learn about nature. And eating what your own family grows, even if it's on your neighbor's land, is really satisfying! You'll never see kids eat vegetables with such enthusiasm!

Remember always to start with yourself (put the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting other passengers). Be well yourself, don't get on the treadmill of sacrificing your health for anyone.

And also consider keeping a project blog in the projects thread here, or just generally hanging around a lot and throwing out your situations, your ideas, your requests for information. A few thousand heads is way better than one, and you'll find the info and inspiration to do a few good things for yourself and your family if you poke around a bit. And make your voice heard.

Keep us posted on your journey!
 
pollinator
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I rent I am happy my LL is estatic as I am improving a difficult to let place I am happy he is happy happiness abounds . You can make it work
You say you work selling stuff to farmers ok no one or at least very few folks manage to start with a organic ready patch of land most of us have to work with what you have got . So ask around many farmers have other buildings on there land maybe you can do some deal If you don't ask you don't get
Once you have some land your whole family can start growing stuff together a few chickens etc etc it can grow and grow . Ask around what have you to loose ?
After a while you will find growing your own food has lots of benefits including saving money

David
 
Richard Force
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paul wheaton wrote:You need to read "Mortgage Free" and "Early Retirement Extreme".  Focus on building your grubstake.

You need to build your knowledge.   Fortunately, there is a lot of excellent information out there in many formats.

In 1998 I wanted land to do my "cows and chickens" plan.   I had about $80,000 in debt.   I moved my wife and two kids to a cheap place in denver where there was a lot more work than in missoula.   I started off earning far more than I ever earned in all of my life.   I found that if I worked 40 hours per week, I had about 10% of my income to go to debts and bring me closer to land, cows and chickens.  If I worked 45 hours per week, my debt was reduced three times faster.  I did a lot of crazy stuff to get my income-per-hour to quadruple and then I worked two full-time jobs.   In two years I had paid off my debt and had set aside quite a bit for land.  And simultaneously reading gobs of books.



Currently taking my PDC through Regenerative Leadership Institute so I'm really hoping that once I get done with that I can figure out a way to make some part time income off of that.

Personally I have one major mental handicap and that is that I have to have as much hands on as I can get unfortunately Hough I have never really had the opportunity to be able to afford the classes I've needes for such experience so that when I get done with my PDC I'll unfortunately feel as though I have not gotten enough knowledge to do something with my PDC.

I'd love to set up an online PDC and have other classes such as herbal and traditional medicine courses and other things related to Permaculture and persons health.

I will admit I suffer a lot from the "there's no way I can do this or I don't want to because it's against my morals" point of views even if it meant helping myself in the long run.

I do read a lot of books I've watched wood burning stove 2.0 and am currently working on watching world domination gardening. I've watched the PDC with geoff lawton and bill Mollison. I've watched every video I can find I've got so many books already I could easily spend the next year reading them and then I have here on permies to answer a lot of questions. So my education myself part I have no issues with its just as I said before the hands on thing that is my issue.

Also to address the thing of working on someone else's property. I have a problem with that because I've always had the point of view of that if I'm going to try something I'll try it on my own stuff/property point of view because if I screw up then the only person at a loss then is just me not another person.

Oh and some one asked what type of diabetes i had I have type 1 hyperglycaemic(stays up on its own) diabetes and rely on a insulin pump.

And I'd like to thank everyone for all their replies you guys are great.
 
David Livingston
pollinator
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I think you are being hard on yourself as many rented property's are in such a bad state garden/ land wise you could not make things worse if you tried
David
 
Richard Force
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David Livingston wrote:I think you are being hard on yourself as many rented property's are in such a bad state garden/ land wise you could not make things worse if you tried
David



I understand that that not the issue it's just how I've always been. I want to practice on my own stuff so that I don't get complaints and such. I'm not a controversial type person. I understand Permaculture is going to involve so controversy but I'm slowly working my way to being able to handle things it's mostly I don't want it too effect my family especially when I'm broke most of the time and have very young children to worry about.

 
David Livingston
pollinator
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Ok have a look on my project page - permie for pennies in France
I took over a great place , but it was wrecked , gardens a tip rubbish neglected derelect with hard work and not much money it's gradually becoming a great place . It does not have to cost much at all to make an abundant garden the land lord is happy that anything grows and it looks tidy
I am teaching my self to graft and other skills , I steal .... Er sorry "find " plants   talk to folk who give me stuff , swap stuff . I will never own this place but I go to sleep knowing a part of this earth is better for me being there maybe you could find such a place you can make difference in . What have got to loose by asking around ? But have everything to gain your kids too
David
 
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Location: Southern California
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Where are you from and where would you like to set up your farm? What do your wife and kids think about living on the land? If your entire family is interested in that dream and that lifestyle, then 7 people all focusing on the same vision can really make it happen. If you have a team of 7 who are all on board, then I don't think you'll have much problem convincing them of the value in renting a small plot of land and making a living from plants/animals. Like others here, I think it's important to shift your money making endeavors into horticultural/permacultural pursuits so that your livelihood gives you the life you want. If you can't rent land, even starting a backyard nursery for plant sales would probably get you on the right track.

Depending on how radical you're willing to get, it could be really fun to just find a run down piece of land that isn't being put to good use, buy a few years worth of food supply, get an affordable and comfortable RV and permaculture the shit out of the place until you get some staple crops out of it. You might be able to pay the owner with a sharecropping sort of plan. Or just grow him an abundance of food he loves most to feed him and his family. I consider that a really good and fair payment. He gets his share, you feed you and yours, and you sell the rest.

If your family is up for an adventure like that, then it could lead to some of the most fun times of their lives. If things don't work out at that spot then you can always load the RV and find another spot you all love even more. If on the other hand your family isn't down for something like that, then you have the task of convincing. If you believe that this is truly the healthiest and best lifestyle for your family then convincing them should be pretty easy, but it would still probably require strategizing and a tactful approach.

As for your diabetes here's an interesting link that might help
http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/diabetes.shtml

 
Posts: 98
Location: Southern Finland
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Richard Force wrote:

I understand that that not the issue it's just how I've always been. I want to practice on my own stuff so that I don't get complaints and such. I'm not a controversial type person. I understand Permaculture is going to involve so controversy but I'm slowly working my way to being able to handle things it's mostly I don't want it too effect my family especially when I'm broke most of the time and have very young children to worry about.



That sounds so familiar, ie. like me  I too want to practice on my own stuff because I'm terrified of causing harm to other people or their property. I always try to take the risks that I take so that if all goes wrong the only person who has to suffer is myself. Now that's very difficult to do when you have young children. This fear of failure was  severe when my children were very young. As my children got older this fear became much less of an issue and I find I can now take risks and accept failure much better.  I think that a big part of what you might feel (what I felt when my kids were small) is normal and natural for that situation and will get better with time.

It's quite common to feel trapped in one's life situation especially when one has young children. I felt so at that time, even though I wanted to have children and love them. The everyday life with young children is just so exhausting. It's difficult to analyze which feeling comes from where when things are so hectic as they are in a young family.

Having five children IS a big responsibility. Could it be that you are overwhelmed and tired (it would be no wonder!) and that's part of why you want to get away?
 
Posts: 9
Location: Zone 7b; West of the Great Dismal. On top of the Scarp
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Richard,
Welcome to Permies!  You are in the position I was in a couple of years ago. A lifestyle change is not easy, there is no magic wand - EXCEPT - the decision to make a change and then get started!  Congratulations for making this big and most important first step towards food security and health for you and your family.
My suggestions to you based on what I've experienced:

A) Include your family in your plans, watch fun videos to get the wife and kids on board and excited about this change (IF they aren't already).
B) Make a plan to pay off your debt, BUDGET and SAVE, if you have loans or credit card debt, always try to pay more than the minimum each month.  The financials will start to come around and will be able to make progress, IF you stick to the budget.
C) If you have access to some land now, why not garden NOW?   Lots of edibles can be grown in pots on the patio, or a small plot in the backyard.  Practice, Practice, Practice.  Every garden you build and grow, every plant you nurture, will nurture you back; whether that comes in the form of actual nutrition and sustenance from eating the plant or in the form of experience gained and knowledge acquired from working your soil, and tending to the plants needs.

All the details are up to you!     Your farm, Your dreams!!!
Best of luck!
 
Richard Force
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Nina Jay wrote:

That sounds so familiar, ie. like me  I too want to practice on my own stuff because I'm terrified of causing harm to other people or their property. I always try to take the risks that I take so that if all goes wrong the only person who has to suffer is myself. Now that's very difficult to do when you have young children. This fear of failure was  severe when my children were very young. As my children got older this fear became much less of an issue and I find I can now take risks and accept failure much better.  I think that a big part of what you might feel (what I felt when my kids were small) is normal and natural for that situation and will get better with time.

It's quite common to feel trapped in one's life situation especially when one has young children. I felt so at that time, even though I wanted to have children and love them. The everyday life with young children is just so exhausting. It's difficult to analyze which feeling comes from where when things are so hectic as they are in a young family.

Having five children IS a big responsibility. Could it be that you are overwhelmed and tired (it would be no wonder!) and that's part of why you want to get away?



I'm looking towards getting away from a non Permaculture lifestyle. I know my only true limiting factor in reality is mainly (I'd say 80%) myself.

I do things like collect rain water and try to grow things in pots (which in the last 2years seems to have started to go down hill for me). My kids love playing in the dirt and seeing my 3 55 gallon rain barrels full after a large rain, they also love picking the fresh strawberries and tomatoes. I grow lavender because my youngest loves to eat it. We have purslane that i found and scattered around the front yard so that now I have giant patches of it that grow each year that my kids love to pick and eat fresh.

But what I want is to get away from the part where I still have to go to the store for most of my food and feed my family primarily with food we have all grown ourselves. I try to buy as much organic as possible but I hate that we still have to go to the store for the majority of it.

I want to just go to my back yard not drive with five children using fossil fuels to get something I know I could grow right there if I have the space to do so.

I'll break this down into what I really want as quickly as I can.

1land to build up soil for use in food production.

Chickens and other animals to provide eggs and meats and even to make our own cheese and yogurts.

Some forms of in ground water storage even if I have to be a quite small pond(s)

A green house designed so that citrus and other warmer climate plants could be grown even in the winter.

Have rain water harvesting systems on a larger scale.

These are just a few of the ideas that I have begun to put together that I want to do.

And at excess I would either sell or offer to the less fortunate in the community and offer to show them how they might do the same thing for themselves.
 
Nina Jay
Posts: 98
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It sounds like you've got a plan! And you're already doing so many things so I have no doubt at all that you will get where you want to go.  Just don't be too hard on yourself if because of your life situation progress is slow at times. Good luck!
 
garden master
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Richard Force wrote:. My kids love playing in the dirt and seeing my 3 55 gallon rain barrels full after a large rain, they also love picking the fresh strawberries and tomatoes. I grow lavender because my youngest loves to eat it. We have purslane that i found and scattered around the front yard so that now I have giant patches of it that grow each year that my kids love to pick and eat fresh.

But what I want is to get away from the part where I still have to go to the store for most of my food



Something that you might do which would be fun for your kids also is growing food from your groceries.  Cut the top off a carrot and put it in a small amount of water and watch it turn green.  Its amazing!  You can do the same with celery, and onions.  You can take an avocado seed and put toothpicks on either side and suspend it in a glass of water and watch it sprout.

http://www.diyncrafts.com/4732/repurpose/25-foods-can-re-grow-kitchen-scraps

I am not sure if this article explains what I am talking about exactly but will give you some ideas.  I think it would be fun.

Also you can spread the word about permaculture.  Talked to people about it.  I had never heard the word or concept until I was looking to ID a plant a few months ago.  I have always believed in the concept, just never knew anyone else.

Be frugal and save your money and you can do anything you put your mind to.
 
permaculture is giving a gift to your future self. After reading this tiny ad:
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
http://permaculture-design-course.com/
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