Tell us how your seed was planted. Was it an epiphany, a long process or somewhere in between? For me it was when I purchased my first house about ten years ago and I checked out a bunch of landscaping books at the library. One of those books was http://www.amazon.com/Landscaping-Revolution-Against-Contemporary-Gardener/dp/0809226650 and that was it; I realized something was not right and was on the path. I think I knew it long before that but was too afraid to do anything about it. I needed some validation. So what is your story?
I spent ten years in the navy a lot of it at sea I started to realy miss quiet, privacy and growing things renting houses and hating them made me hate the typical American house in general I seem to still be becoming less mainstream every day
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
posted 9 years ago
It has been a long process for me but in 1991 I was in Chile, we were driving south from Santiago, my host was pointing out the different valleys, (alluvial plains) stretching out from the Andes. "This valley produces crops exported to the U.S. and this next valley still gets sprayed with DDT." That moment caused me to realize that my food supply was not safe and in the years since it has become way more fragile.
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
posted 9 years ago
I think my grandparents planted the seed...for them, gardening and frugality was just the norm. But they had a very old-school attitude to chemicals: ie, "pour it on". My mother inherited her folks' gardening interest, but did the 60s hippy organic alternative thing. I've got the best of all their trial and error and practice: I know how to grow plants organically, I know how to live cheaply and I consider myself really lucky that I can access their accumulated knowledge, as well as the wisdom 'out there' in print and on the net.
posted 9 years ago
a guerrilla gardener, bounced a seedball off my head in the park... I was knocked unconscious and woke up with new eyes...
I was born and raised in the city. My parents were poor, so the only vacations we took were camping trips. I learned early that being alone, surrounded by nature was where I was happiest. Fast forward 25 or 30 years......I saw my first feedlot up close. I realized I could combine privacy, living amid nature, and producing my own healthy food in a kind way was possible. Bought my land, built my house, and started growing! Now I learn something new every day.
I never fail. I don't believe in it. I only succeed at finding what doesn't work.
I got handicapped. I can still walk around, but I will no longer be running a tiller or spending the afternoon on my knees, planting in the soft, warm soil.
But I can still harvest, as long as I do not have to dig or weed. I can still pick the fruit on the lower branches, still snap the asparagus spears, and still pick anything on a trellis. Heck, I can even bend over to grab that muskmelon!
With that in mind, permaculture looks like an EXCELLENT idea! I had already naturalized asparagus, and this spring I am naturalizing native American plums. DS was pleased also: I paid him $10 and ice cream to help me plant. I do not dig any longer, but that should not matter with perrenials!
I need to study up on what OTHER perennials will do well for me. Part of the Permaculture philosophy is to plant once and then leave the soil undisturbed: this SPEAKS to me because I now have trouble disturbing the soil.
This year I think that I will check out the chances of having a perennial carrot bed. If I amend the soil to make it light I should be able to just pull the carrots. Permaculture has so MANY interesting possiblilies!!!
If I also naturalize lettuce in the carrot bed then the spreading leaves should shade out a lot of weeds, and that would give me spring greens followed by summer carrots.... I must study on this longer!!!
Location: Western Pennsylvania
posted 9 years ago
I'm a Country Mouse. I grew up in the country, playing in the woods with nature. Our closest neighbor more than a mile away. I was primarily raised by my frugal, depression-era, nutrition-minded-vegetarian Grandmother and learned to not waste and to pay attention to the world around me. Mother Nature has all the answers. I do wish I could go back and tell her how much I learned from her, and yes, it stuck but it took years to come back to me. Sigh.
But.....for me, 9-11. Just by chance I had the tv on moments before the second plane hit and I really can't explain how it affected me. I became so obsessed with the coverage that I finally had to walk completely away from tv just to "cut the cord". I didn't know anyone who died, it didn't affect me directly but it cut me to the core.
I was in the market with my kids weeks later and I don't know what happened. An epiphany? I realized that if something happened in this world that just screwed up how food got to the market what would happen to us all?? Everything on those shelves came from far away and most people don't even think about it, what would happen if in three days the shelves were empty with no chance to fill them? That is the beginning for me.
Since then I have learned about the state of our food quality and safety in this nation, and the government that isn't on our side. It sickens me. Within a year we moved to the country and I began learning everything I needed to support my family with no outside help. I have always been a creative, crafty person and I have learned every primitive skill but one. I still have not sheared a sheep and spun wool. I can and do make things with little, and re-use all I can. I realized it isn't enough to have some ground to grow a garden "just in case", but to HAVE a garden, and live the life, here and now, not someday, "just in case".
I have learned medicinal herbs and I use them, I make soap, clothes, blankets, rugs, hats, socks and most everything in my house is made by me. My garden is large and a work in progress, the soil is poor and will take time to build up, but my chickens help me and never complain (unlike children ). My only issue is that my husband no longer feels the same. We used to be on a level playing field, lets live in the country, build for ourselves, go off the grid. I still have these wants and he has moved on and is back in love with his computer toys. It's fine for me, but he now walks another path.
But, life is a work in progress.
Always put your eggs in one basket.........why would you carry two?
My grandparents raised four girls during the Depression. They had a nice home and lots of good food .... and zero money. They did not have electricity until 1954. They didn't know that others were going without.
Now days they would be considered poster children for sustainable lifestyles and permaculture. Even though I grew up in Chicago my happiest times were with my grandparents. I have strayed far but when I wanted true happiness and fulfillment I always came back to the ideals of my grandparents.
There have been many seeds. I've got a mental/emotional polyculture going.
An indigenous activist telling me that we all share the same struggle, the struggle to decolonize our minds. That I must decolonize my mind. That, for me was a koan. My mind is colonized? How do I decolonize it? Having done so, what remains?
Then, connecting with the pagan cluster, a loose association of neo-pagan political activists. Can the birds speak with you? Does Pan beckon from the forest? Can the wind in the trees whisper wisdom in your ear? In some states of consciousness, the answer is "YES!"
Just listening to the Maddy Harland podcast. It was good to hear her talk about the emotional moment of enlightenment when her husband became a permaculture convert. As I described earlier I have always had some degree of exposure to the land even though I was born in the city. However…..
It was just here in the past few days while watching Sepp Holzer, Helen Atthowe, Bill Mollison I had this AMAZING moment where the light bulb came on. I just sat and looked at the computer monitor with my mouth hanging open. This is what I want to do – why am I sitting here – go outside and get started.
I do still have a job that I have to go to but I now have this incredible drive that I haven’t had since I was a young woman training horses. It is good to know that other people have similar insane type moments of excitement about this subject. Permaculture, as I am feeling it, validates all of my belief systems and creates not only sustainment but growth beyond just sustainment.
Some seeds don’t just open up, sometimes they just blow wide open – and our partners think we’ve lost our minds.
Growing up I always gravitated towards nature magazines/books/media and my grandfather on my Japanese side was an Arizona farmer with the big John Deer tractors and a mechanic garage behind the house (one of my earliest photos is sitting on my grandpa's lap "driving" the tractor). I was taught Japanese and lived in Japan for a few years too and somewhere in there some Buddhist/Shinto/other eastern philosophies with regards to nature seeped into me. My mother also loves to travel and so I got to experience many different places which also somehow contributes to my love and appreciation for nature.
And on the other hand I was raised an army brat, lived on military bases, taught to basically live to work rather than work to live, and went to an all-boy Jesuit high school - all of which probably helped lead me on this path as much as the more positive things in my life.