Janet Dowell

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since Jan 06, 2012
Kennewick, WA
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Recent posts by Janet Dowell

Why does it have to be him, as opposed to some other earth-destroying politician or CEO (trying not to name names.....)?


That's all I'm thinking and feeling right now.

His energy and contributions will be sorely missed, and are still so sorely needed.

Off to contribute.....
2 years ago
Welcome, Deborah! I've seen you speak at the Mother Earth New Fair (a few years back), have a couple of your books, have attended your online seminars, and also hang out every once in a while on the Ning group (does that make me a groupie?)

Look forward to hearing more!
I like the book. Can't leave a review yet...I will aim to remember to get return to Amazon next week to leave a review once they allow it. Thanks!
Yep. This is a very good one.

But here's my absolute spine-tingling favorite: The Last Nomads and The Culture of Fear
3 years ago
Thanks for your reply, D. I was just reading more about Sussex this morning and it looked like a breed with possibilities. I think we are going to have to try 3 or so breeds and see which one is easiest to raise. There's a lot to know! We keep a mixed flock of layers now (no roos), but he wants to get a little more serious and try to raise/sell some chicks, and maybe help an endangered breed while he's at it.
3 years ago
My 12-yr-old son has an interest in getting some heritage breeding stock (assuming we can find some at this point in the spring) so that he can experiment with raising & selling chicks. He has been reading and researching this morning and is considering Chanteclers. I've read a little more & it sounds like they could have a tendency to fly and be lightweight.

We have the book "The Small-Scale Poultry Flock", as well as other various books on chickens, so we have lots of book information, but I like to also get the opinions of those with 'boots-on-the-ground', especially since this is something for a 12-yr-old.

Any thoughts/recommendations?

3 years ago
It would be wonderful for permaculture to be taught in schools, as it is in Australia (have you seen any of their materials?). However, as a former public school teacher myself, I have to say that you have to show how it meets "the standards" and will improve "testing outcomes" in order for just about any public school district to use it. And, even today, nearly 90% of all school-age children attend a public school, so having something a public school could use would be fantastic. Best of luck with that (sincerely).

Done by the end of the week? That's a very aggressive timeline.

How exciting that Geoff has agreed to look at it. I'll look forward to seeing samples (hopefully) of the end result.

I am glad you are working on a curriculum. I understand that there are some (many?) from the PC community who will not want/need such a curriculum for their kids, but I think there will be a large enough market (particularly of those new to permaculture, of which there are more every year) who will.

My own two kids are in an alternative public-school program, where they are homeschooled 3-4 days a week and go to classes run by the school district 1-2 days a week. Since I have been part of this program for 5 years, I also volunteer as an advisor to parents new to schooling their children at home. For most of them, if a subject is not in a curriculum, the parents are not interested. They are too overwhelmed and too busy to grasp pulling something together on their own. I have also attended several at-PC-conference-roundtables about PC/education/children. The thing that has struck me over and over again is that no one really knows how to teach PC to kids in an ordered/understandable way that also engages the kids. I think there will always be those people who need an open-and-go book to guide their attempts. So I definitely think there is room for both the curriculum approach as well as the more organic/create-your-own approach.

My main question/concern about a curriculum is how one makes it engaging and meaningful to kids, versus just more words on a page that they don't really grasp and don't really have meaning for them (like too many textbooks that exist already). I think that will be the key to either success or failure in a curriculum. You may want to take a look at Tom Elpel's book Shanleya's Quest, as well as the SQ cards & games. I think he did a fabulous job of teaching kids about 8 common plant families with those materials, in a way that is creative & "in-a-book-but-not-textbooky".

I have some other thoughts but am out of time right now. Will post more later.


I made it, with the exception of the aquaponics chapter, which I will read after planting season...I am in the throes of it right now, and the weather has been nice, so I am outside every spare moment.

Even though I did not post here much, I too, am most grateful for the group slog & accountability...I never would have made it through chapter 11 without it! The. Endless. Chapter. 11.

I have a much better understanding of the underpinnings of permaculture now, and the importance of connections. I have a number of reference pages marked. I am really, really glad I read the book.
Wow, some great thoughts here, ladies (women?).

Ann, I agree with pretty much everything you said, esp. the part(s) about corporations. And the dearth of leadership, at least in some part to way too many advise-and-consent (but do nothing) people, who have seemed to proliferate in the last few decades. Who, really, would run for public office now a days other than the most thick-headed? You'd be nuts to want to put your family through that. But I digress.

Erica, I had some interesting thoughts while reading your post. I know someone who attended Sepp Holzer's advanced training workshop at the Place of Gathering in MT. She had very mixed feelings about it, because she really felt that he came in and instantly imposed a design across the landscape and that there was a lot of damage done to living things (whole nests of baby turtles), etc. during that wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am process. I do believe that sometimes there may have to be short-term damage done in order to instigate larger, whole-systems healing and restoration, but our whole cultural mindset does tend to originate from that "stand-aside here, folks and let me show ya how it's done" and so we miss how much of it we do. All the time. So much so that we don't even recognize how deep and prevalent that belief is in ourselves and our culture. (BTW, not trying to Sepp-bash here, but my friend is a long-time permie and very experienced and it was interesting to hear her feedback.) Loved your thoughts on observations of the land and relationships as well.

I actually skipped Chapter 13 - just ran out of time. Will plan on finishing this one, though and then heading back.

Is it down to us three at this point?