• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

starting permaculture in Turkey....  RSS feed

 
Jake Olson
Posts: 11
Location: Mora, Minnesota
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd love to hear a long discussion of this situation:

Imagine you have a son who is early 30s, married, has two toddlers and lives in a large city in Turkey.  He's been turned off to the whole Permaculture thing his whole life and never really learned anything about gardening or growing stuff.  Now all the sudden, he's gotten interested in doing something to take control of his food supply through listening to podcasts like Save Our Skills and the survival podcast and The Permaculture podcast during work.  He's ready to do something.

Only one problem: he doesn't live on a homestead in Montana, he lives in a concrete jungle in Adana Turkey.  You want to give him some baby steps to help him in his current life situation to take steps toward a more sustainable, less toxic lifestyle that could lead to being in a permaculture situation many years from now.  He has no access to real land at this moment, but has  a big balcony and year round sun (the climate is probably similar to the places in texas that get cold, but never freeze).  He also lives in a second culture with his Turkish wife and is apprehensive about freaking out the neighbors or whatever, and obviously has a full time job that is not homesteading.  The other trick about being in Turkey is that he can't just order stuff off of amazon or go to walmart to buy all the paraphernalia that usually goes with any DIY project.  It's even hard to get books (expensive to ship).

So you got a son, he's shown a bit of interest, but doesn't have a lot to work with.  What baby steps would encourage him to take that would not overwhelm him and cause him to give up and would get his wife engaged in this stuff as well (not freak her out.)  What's one book you'd tell him to read NOW?

Obviously this guy is me, but I ask you to envision it being your son because I really want to know how you'd advise someone in this situation who you care deeply about.

I'm loving learning from you through the podcasts and youtube videos, but am just a bit overwhelmed about where to even start.  Especially without access to land.
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Jake,
          How about starting with observation which is basic to permaculture and important in life itself.

          Where does the food you eat now come from?    Can you get to any of the small farmers that supply the local markets to learn and observe what they grow and how they do it?

          What is your wife's favorite meal and can you grow some of the ingredients organically in a planter on your deck?

          What's recycling like there?  Can you start a worm compost bin on your deck?  They are easy and no odor if done right.

        Well that's a start son, by the way - send money.  Pop
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9696
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Can you start a community garden in your neighborhood?  Find a landowner with a vacant lot or a yard?

http://www.communitygarden.org/learn/starting-a-community-garden.php
 
                    
Posts: 27
Location: Central Croatia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
gary gregory wrote:

         Well that's a start son, by the way - send money.  Pop



Nice

Big balcony definately = containers, look up square foot gardening.  Maybe you can find out what is being thrown away in your area that could be used for something.  If you can't use it, find someone who can.  Build or buy a small compost bin so that you can at least use your own organice waste (or worms as mentioned).  Even if it's one pot with a tomatoe plant and a bit of basil, it's a start.  Maybe even an aquaponics setup with some fish?
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
container gardens with cuttings or seeds of native plants from the area that he lives..he can probably scarf some salvaged containers of some sort that are available there..esp in the garbage dumps, and he can probably go into the streets and get soil..i remember many many years ago reading about a woman who would go out with a broom and a wheelborrow or bucket and sweep up the soil in the streets every morning and bring it in to her gardens..
if there is some access to soil elsewhere it could be brought home in bags or other containers a little at a time.

i would think that there might be seeds of salad things around, or that maybe some wild edibles could be dug up and grown as cut and come again greens..maybe a vine up and over the balcony or more than one..beans are probably available dried ..or peas..in grocery stores and some of those for sure could be planted, and sometimes the roots or tops of some of the fresh foods can be regrown into a new plant..at least it will get a start going.

also you might be able to send a gift package with some seeds in it
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd go even farther in the direction Mr. Gregory started on.  I'd propose that taking responsibility for you and your children comes from fully engaging your community.  Look at your family as an organism... what are your inputs and outputs.  How can you manage those responsibly.  What do you do with your day job assets?  How can you build mutually beneficial relationships to people who are creating a local food supply, or improving access to land, or strengthening circulation of wealth in your community?  How can you reduce your investment in activities and relationships that are destructive of community and the earth.  If those questions lead you to growing some tomatoes on your porch... go for it.

http://patternliteracy.com/articles/the_myth_of_self_reliance
 
Jake Olson
Posts: 11
Location: Mora, Minnesota
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Everybody, I just wanted to say thanks for the great suggestions. 

I really appreciate the thoughts.  I'm already doing a little container gardening (see http://foreignperspective.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/views-from-the-balcony-garden/ and http://foreignperspective.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/balcony-garden-update/ ) but am really looking to take some next steps. The Worm composting is something I've been wanting to do for a long time (just gotta find the worms.) I also love the idea of transplanting some wild edibles to the balcony garden. 

We actually rented a place for the summer down by the sea and will be allowed to do a little planting there.  I put in a couple square meter garden boxes there over the weekend, and look forward to producing a bit of our own food on that little corner they're letting us use. 

Thanks for all the ideas.
 
                              
Posts: 25
Location: near Bellingham WA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't have a son, but I do have a daughter..so excuse me for ..uh...altering your gender.

Daughter,

You have access to the internet.  Look up things like garden walls and vertical gardening to maximize your usage of your balcony and even your windowed areas.  If you didn't have a balcony I would suggest looking up "window farming" which uses a hydroponics system and your windows.

There are 6 permaculture physical systems:  soil, food, water, energy, material resources & "wastes", and shelter & built environment.  Prioritize which ones are more important for you and your family to work on.  If your energy bills are high, then maybe start there.  If your house is filled with clutter, or your garbage gets filled too high, start there.  (remember, "waste" is just another term for an unused resource) Or if you want to eat more local, start there. 

When you get to the food section, zone out your foods.  zone 1 would be what you can grow yourself, zone 2 would be food you can find within your neighborhood, zone 3 would be food you can find in a csa type thing (If there isn't one like that in your location, maybe try making one...there are suggestions online for how to start one.)  zone 4 would be food you find in a organic market, zone 5 would be food that is imported from other countries.  Or something like that.  So that basically your eating habits alter based on what food is more locally available.

Basically, pick a physical system and begin applying permaculture principles and techniques to.  Remember when you were in high school and we did an audit of the house and the physical systems?  The process we followed was
* Observe the elements and interaction in a system
* Integrate an understanding of the interrelationships observed with the core ethics and principles
* Apply the understanding towards redesigning the system to better reflect the core ethics and principles
* Observe the changes created, both within the system itself, as well as the influences it has outside of that particular system.
* Repeat as a cycle of redesigning

Remember how we made small changes at a time?  Pick the change that will provide the most benefit with the least effort.

Make sure that for each physical system, that
* You have Multiple Functions per Element
* You have Multiple Elements per Function
* Your system is set up to be primarily Self-Regulatory, so that you don't have to put much effort into maintaining it...and neither would the rest of your family
* Your elements and functions are Located Relative to zones (how often you visit the location) and sectors (the energies that are flowing through the system).

You may not be a full blown permaculture farmer, but permaculture is about more than just food production.  And as someone pointed out above, it's not about self-sufficiency nor doing it all yourself.  You're part of a community.  Maybe find some other people who are also interested in making similar changes, and work together.  Or find someone who has a small plot of dirt that doesn't do anything with it and ask if you can experiment with it, learning to build up the soil and growth.

It may be a bit scary to put yourself out there to find these kinds of opportunities, but they're out there.  And you?  You'll be similar to an ambassador.  People will notice the kinds of changes you've made, which ones are successful, which ones are desirable.  From you they will learn that there are other options, maybe even experiment themselves.  Ask you lots of questions about why you did something the way you did it, and so on.  Some people may even ask you to help them set up a similar system.  You can choose to charge a little money, or do it for free.

I'm glad that you're finally taking an interest in this stuff.  I had hoped to provide you with enough experiences and skills so you could do this no matter where you were.  But I started too late, and had to go through the learning process myself.  I'm sorry that my mistakes turned you off from the idea of permaculture.  But, I am also glad to know that you have taken an interest in it.  You may not have gotten the chance to grow up with permaculture ideals, but at least you're starting out while your children are younger, and they will gain some benefits, knowledge, and skills that they can use when they become adults.

Give my grandkids a hug.  Please send a picture of them.
I told you having kids of your own would turn your hair grey.  Now you know how *I* felt raising you. 
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jake Olson wrote:
I'd love to hear a long discussion of this situation:

Imagine you have a son who is early 30s, married, has two toddlers and lives in a large city in Turkey.  He's been turned off to the whole Permaculture thing his whole life and never really learned anything about gardening or growing stuff.  Now all the sudden, he's gotten interested in doing something to take control of his food supply through listening to podcasts like Save Our Skills and The Survival Podcast and The Permaculture podcast during work.  He's ready to do something.

Only one problem: he doesn't live on a homestead in Montana, he lives in a concrete jungle in Adana Turkey.  You want to give him some baby steps to help him in his current life situation to take steps toward a more sustainable, less toxic lifestyle that could lead to being in a permaculture situation many years from now.  He has no access to real land at this moment, but has  a big balcony and year round sun (the climate is probably similar to the places in texas that get cold, but never freeze).  He also lives in a second culture with his Turkish wife and is apprehensive about freaking out the neighbors or whatever, and obviously has a full time job that is not homesteading.  The other trick about being in Turkey is that he can't just order stuff off of amazon or go to walmart to buy all the paraphernalia that usually goes with any DIY project.  It's even hard to get books (expensive to ship).

So you got a son, he's shown a bit of interest, but doesn't have a lot to work with.  What baby steps would encourage him to take that would not overwhelm him and cause him to give up and would get his wife engaged in this stuff as well (not freak her out.)  What's one book you'd tell him to read NOW?

Obviously this guy is me, but I ask you to envision it being your son because I really want to know how you'd advise someone in this situation who you care deeply about.

I'm loving learning from you through the podcasts and youtube videos, but am just a bit overwhelmed about where to even start.  Especially without access to land.



Permaculture Research Institute in Austrailia has projects near Turkey, and well, all over the world currently, you may wish to look into the extensive website, free materials from other Permies there, and so on, as well as help, just like here.  Never limit yourself.

For example, you can get in touch with urban permies such as this person.

http://www.urbanedibles.com.au/



2nd, make sure you read an ebook, or a real book such as Gaia's Garden (which is great for small / suburaban permaculture systems).  One thing to keep in mind, permaculture isn't just about gardening.  It has an ethics attached to it, which many people seem to forget.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9696
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mekka Pakanohida wrote:

One thing to keep in mind, permaculture isn't just about gardening.  It has an ethics attached to it, which many people seem to forget.


Hush! 
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
      I agree with pakonohida Bill Mollison and Geof Lawton do projects in Anchorage i think it was, at least they were doing a course there and their courses usually go with a project.  Seeing were they have courses my second guess is that they try to have projects to help those with less, so paying learners who help a project that includes poorer local learners in some poor desertified part of the world. I am not sure that that is justme second guess, if i remember right they say that they do as much.

   It is not very expensive buying things from other countries, I bought apple trees fom Reads nursery, and others from Habitat Aid nurseries in England and the  apple trees where about the same price as they are here, a bit more expensive, i am not sure how many euros there are in a pound.
   Reads as well as the apple trees sold me a whole lot of rasberries that were a lot cheaper than they are here, 18 pounds for sixteen plants with really good roots four plants of each of four different types of rasberry that were part of Reads package for rasberries for all seasons i mean for spring summer and fall, the only cheap rasberries here have nearly no roots, and Habitat Aid sold me some buckthorns with really good roots that where at a very good price so between one thing and another it was not expensive.
  If you look on line you can find fruit trees say that cost forty pounds and in another place can find them for twenty or fiteen or less so dont get sad if you find very expensive trees in the first site you looook in, another online nursery may have very cheap ones. The cheap ones may be much younger and smaller than the expensive ones, but that is me second guessing.
 The price of sending them to Spain was the same for lots of trees as for one and when you open the packet you find out how to put a lot of trees in a small place.
   I looked up a polish plum with a plolish friend of mine, polish people should know which is a good plum to make desserts with, they are famouse for their cooked plums and we found the plums she talked of and they were selling for four euros a tree, so if you look in r¡gh right country you an find very cheap fruit trees. and probably other plants, maybe very cheap seed maybe.
     Maybe selllling turkish almond trees, special apricot trees and such could be a way of keeping yourself from the land and helping others with like climates like may be high mountain apriots, there are mountains in Turkey aren't there' You could start a gene bank, preserve turkish genes before they get lost replaced by plants from big industries, probably they has been already. Dont they have a ecological rule of plant a tree for each house in Turkey, a once friend of mine went there talked about it. agri rose macaskie.
   
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
      It is probably a bad idea to try to please the neighbors i tried  it here for years but all that registered with them was anything i had said that they did not like. How others see you  depends on the character of those around you, what they will and wont see in you has as much to do with their blindness ofrability to see, as with your personality and it depends on your spending powern who lwil not try to keep their job for their fqmily for example.
        I think my husbands family are very keen in keeping the upper hand and that made them inclined to do me down morally and intellectually, which is not to say i am perfect it is to say they give me faults that i dont have, which  had an enormouse influence in how others saw me. THis young mans success in permaculture or anything else will be more likely to save him than any effort to fit in.
      People often dont bother to talk about what they are like, it is easy to feel others will find out and also that there is time to be known so you dont have to force it, if you want others to know you it is important to put all yourself out on show, be very verbal about it, you should be your own best friend means take it on yourself to defend yourself and what you do.
      Luckily,luckily because it keeps things lively, it is impossible to be perfect at second guessing what others are like, thats why its better to apply that impossible phrase, "be yourself" in the sense that if you want to do permaculture do it, they are as likely to like you if you are a crazy, different from them, permaculture  freak, as when you hardly dare move for fear of upsetting them. Another way of saying this is, you are just as likely to get it in the neck either way, anywhere, so, if you do what interests you at least you will have that satisfction though no one likes you.
    The phrase "be yourself" is an umbrella phrase, so imprecise about its meaning that it can be used by bullies.  Others seem to think they know you though they hardly try to find out what you think  and try to oblige you to be the you they think you are and how they see you is very humilliating and strange, so beware the phrase, the worlds is full of those who do others down, on purpose or because it takes a lot of work to know the more complicated side of others, it is easier to see the surface so they simply dont know you.
    Don't we try to increase our abilities, what are we then, the us we were, with less abilities and less ability at understanding the world of yesterday or the more competent self you have become, for instance. agri rose macaskie.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
287
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I certainly understand the difficulties (and costs) of getting supplies in certain countries.
Your location in Adana makes me speculate that you now, or at one time, were somehow involved with "launching weather balloons".  (I used to deliver supplies for those projects to Mersin.)  A possible source for some of those books might be:
http://www.ed.umuc.edu/general_info/locations/Turkey/adana.html

As far as the worms go check out here:
http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/topic/vermicomposting/vermiculture/directory-by-state.html#Israel
(They list overseas sources of supplies)

Iyi şanslar
John
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This thread, in this forum has a link to an 8 page article on permaculture gardening on the terrace of an apartment building.

http://forums.permaculture.org.au/showthread.php?10111-Sharing-is-caring.

It should help, many other resources too.


People Care, Earth Care, People Share! 
 
                  
Posts: 114
Location: South Carolina Zone 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The advice given above as far as using containers and terraces as well as books and resources  is spot on however it will take a bit of doing it your way with what you have available and this cannot be learned in books and by reading. They are also dependant on the resources you are able to aquire. For example while I can go into town and get a pot and a plant or seeds it soulds as if such things are not as easy to aquire where you are. Keep in mind you can get basic overall knowledge from reading but then it is up to you to figure out pratical application to fit your situation based on the resources you have at your disposal.

If I may I would like to add one more resource to increase your basic knowledge and open up possibilities. This is just to show how creative using materials easily gotten in most cases for free can work. The concept behind this is to make use of available resources and materials in the best possible way offering the most possible return for space used. I am talking about aquaponics which is not exactly accepted by many but it lends itself perfectly to small spaces and modifications to suit available materials as well as resizing larger or smaller. In truth it is a lot easier than it looks to anyone with basic tools and a little bit of common sense. I used this as a basic guide to build my system. You will need Adobe to open it. http://www.fastonline.org/images/manuals/Aquaculture/Aquaponic_Information/barrelponics_manual_email.pdf
BTW this can be as small and simple as using 2-3 pots and an aquarium with goldfish in it or as complex and large as using a small pond or swimming pool. Since it is fairly easy to do I tend to feel it is something that you can do while gathering materials and putting together other more complex or resourse intensive options.
 
Jake Olson
Posts: 11
Location: Mora, Minnesota
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You guys are so awesome! The suggestions have slowed down here, so I just wanted to come back and say thanks again.  this thread is such an inspiration for me.  I look forward to taking all of your suggestions to heart over the next few months. 

The big action I've taken is that there's a  empty lot by our house, and I've started a guerrilla garden there.  Guerrilla in the sense that I'm basically sneaking in and starting a vegetable bed. 

http://foreignperspective.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/guerrilla-gardening-in-adana/ shows some pictures of me starting it off.  Below is a summary of all I've done.

Remove all of the weeds and vegetation in an approx 2 meter by 2 meter square.
Break up the topsoil with a hand spade
Cover the ground with a ton of freshly chopped down weeds and vegetation
Covered it with 3-4 inches of soil

A few weeks later, I did the following:

Put down 3 or so layers of newspaper
Cover with 2 inches of dirt
Cover the dirt with about 6-8” grass clippings (the only thing I could find for “mulch”

My plan is to just let that sit over the summer and not do anything with it, I’m hoping that some good rich soil will be built up over the summer as it composts.  I also made a big huge heap of weeds and grass clippings in another spot that I’m combining with kitchen waste in hopes it'll make compost.

The trick here in Turkey is that there's NO rain for four months in the summer.  The bed I made (above) did get a few rain falls on it, but I'm curious how the compost pile will do with no moisture going in over the summer.  We'll also be away for from mid june - mid September (the Mediterranean calls.) 

This is all inspired in part by you all.  I've also gotten the big permaculture book and the Gaya's Garden book to read over the summer which I'm super pumped about.

Thanks again for all of your ideas?

I’d love to hear any feedback on anything you'd do to that vacant lot before leaving for the summer that would prepare it to be a better spot for planting in the fall.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1422
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Jake, I am an American who lived in Greece.  It was over 30 years ago so I am sure things have changed quite a bit.  Since I don't know what it is like there now I will tell you what we did then.

We lived in a very urban area that is a suburb of Athens.  It was a cultural norm to hang laundry out on the flat roofs.  I noticed that many people also had 2 or 3 chickens on the roof in small pens. 

The balconies, and the climate there, is a perfect place to grow wonderful varieties of grapes.  The grapevines also helped provide shade in the summer but being deciduos they allowed the sun to shine on the building and in the windows in winter.  I am sure that you know by now that it can get pretty cold there in winter.   The grapevines also harbored the strangest looking clear lizards - they looked like glass.  They helped keep insects under control and provided a snack for my dog

I learned to shop at the local street markets, the food there tastes better, was cheaper, your purchases help sustain the small local producers, and you can probably get great seeds out of your produce that you can grow on your balcony or in your garden.

That culture , at that time, was so much more in tune to fresh food sources.  I do hope it is still that way now and that you can enjoy it as much as I did.  Going to a local mom and pop  place where they caught the calimari a few feet away and then served it to you with wonderfu goat cheeses - brings back great memories!!



 
You guys wanna see my fabulous new place? Or do you wanna look at this tiny ad?
Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!