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Intending To Be More Outspoken About Permaculture  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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My deepest apologies to every Permie Member upon this site.

At a recent banquet where the State of Maine Commissioner of Agriculture informed of us happenings at the State and Local Levels, he finished by asking us to "share our knowledge". I have gotten a few pies on here and have shared a lot, but honestly, in a few areas I have kind of held back because I was thinking selfishly, like maybe someday I would put that information into a book, or that it would increase competition against my farm, or someone would steal a radical idea I had and exploit it to their benefit.

But our commissioner of agriculture was so right, we need to share and I am sorry that in areas I have withheld from many of you. It was selfish of me, and I do ask for your forgiveness.

This is not a silly New Years resolution, but rather in the interest of trying to live out my days with more integrity then I have had in the past, I intend to share not only my successes, but my failures too so that many of you do not fall victim to the same things I have.

Isn't this what we should be doing?

We often think of forums as meaningless drivel, but in reality it is no different then meeting up at the local feed store. We grab our coffees, teas and glasses of water, pull up a few feed stacks around the woodstove and talk about sheep, rocket stoves, digging ponds, and farm finances. And just like some have bigger farms then others, some just want to get out of the city, and some just come to hear the conversation, in reality that is what we are, just dispersed and using our keypads instead. We are a community.

I guess this confession also comes with a plea, not only in your forgiveness in me being a jerk and sometimes not typing out my mistakes, or using the vast history my farm in helping others, but also that you do not hold back either. I respect the ones who are reserved, lurkers as it is known, but I implore you to speak up as well and encourage you to participate...you have more to contribute then you give yourselves credit for. permiculture is based on observation, research and action, and as such the experience of others is vital.
 
Posts: 38
Location: USDA zone 6a/5b
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What's happening in Maine?

I'm in NY, but just curious...i'm learning a lot here... so thank you all 

I keep bees right now and am not using any smoke or any chemicals to tend to them. After removing the frame i will walk several meters away and brush the bees off against a hemlock tree branch and then walk several more meters and place the frame in a container with a lid to secure it.

Works well and doesn't require any tool except a hive tool to pry the frame apart....One BIG piece of advice is to place your hives FAR from your home (at least 80 yards i'd say) Because currently i have them much closer (about 40 yards) and after harvesting in the noon-time there will be a BEE or two at the front door waiting the rest of THAT day, but the next day seems this bee has gone back to work on something else
 
gardener
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I agree, Travis, and I think that's what permies.com is all about.

I think that culturally in the USA we are conditioned to think of everything as an opportunity to sell and make money as an individual.  Many people, myself, included, have spiritual beliefs about sharing and how it creates the community that we aspire to live in.  To be sustainable, we can't continue to just think like, "I've got my pot of gold. I don't care about you, the future, other people, or the planet."

Great post.

John S
PDX OR
 
steward
Posts: 4400
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Travis, Bravo !
I am looking forward to reading all about the successes and failures that you have experienced.
And maybe if you write a bunch of it out in a "project" thread, we could all help you write your book by adding and critiquing along the way ? Win / Win ?
Remember there are lots of folks who still don't know all of the stuff you do and do not know about permies, who might just buy your book!
 
gardener
Posts: 2279
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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I could scour all of what you write on Permies and not need to buy your book, but I'd MUCH rather buy your book.  Not only would it be greatly edited, I'm sure there would be a class of wit and wisdom to it that no reading of your posts on Permies would be able to accomplish.  Kudo's for you for coming up with this thread, and in asking others to step up in the same regard.  It's the least that should be expected, but... I think it's all to common, and I know that I am also guilty of this.  Thanks again, for being you.
 
gardener
Posts: 1884
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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Plenty of permies people bought Erica Wisner's rocket stove book.  A lot of the information was is available elsewhere, but to have it all in one place is a tremendous resource.  To not have to go to  a computer to check somehting is wonderful.  Add to that, that we who bought the book got an expert to sift through everything, and toss out the nonsense.

I hope you DO writ ea book, but in the meantime I look forward to reading of your adventures.  The things that did work and the things you learned more aobut how to make things work...
 
garden master
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  I have read several of your thoughtful posts recently and I hope you will continue to share.  Also do write that book.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
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Thank you guys (and gals) for being supportive.

I have honestly never felt like a true Permie because we have always been conventional farmers in most respects, but in many ways not. A lot of the Permie beliefs dovetail nicely into what we do just because they make sense. Some are VERY new changes for us, and yet some are just renaming of old practices.

About the only advantage I have is that I have been here 42 years and know every square foot of this farm, so the Permie concept of observation is one I am really supportive of...it is key.

Now that I have converted to full time farming as of 05-27-2016, it is simple economics that my wife and I identify high expenses and address them in cost effective ways. We just plain have too. But we have resources, and it is a matter of utilizing those resources to reduce our costs. It is a very unique state to be in. Having come from a lucrative career in the shipbuilding industry, to where we are now, we know we can't buy our way into efficiency, we must work through it with self-made improvements.

A case in point is our position on this hill. I love hydro power, but all water starts here and doesn't move through our farm, but we do have high winds. Really high winds, delineated as one of the best sites in the State. One of our biggest costs is heating our home and farm, so what if we heat water directly with wind, via a homemade appliance? That is one application I am thinking through now.

These are the ideas that I NEED to share and just haven't, and I promise I will get better at that, without trying to be a know-it-all, or get locked into a certain solution when others on here prove it is wrong rabbit path to go down. And likewise, if I can steer others from such routes, I will try my best to be persuasive, but with sensitivity and humility. I believe in honesty, but while while that is true, at times the truth does not always need to be said...there are tactful ways to convey the truth and people have feelings hurt when that is not adhered too. I know that, and as I get older, am getting better (I think)

I look forward; through expression, of having ALL of you help my farm improve. Strait up, we are struggling, we are getting byt, but struggling, and I hope to gain your help, as well as to give back.

 
Posts: 40
Location: Eau Claire, WI
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I'm following cuz I want/need to learn more about "dirt" farming.

I've used square bales since  beginning a veg garden about six years ago. However, now that those awful, stay-in-the-soil-and-plants herbicides are a factor, I am giving up SBG and going to earth (pun intended). This upcoming summer will be my first to depend primarily on dirt-grown veggies.
 
Screaming fools! It's nothing more than a tiny ad:
Rocket Oven plan download
https://permies.com/t/rocket-oven-plans
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