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Eleanor Justice

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since Nov 29, 2012
Blueberry farmer, design thinker and Churchillian optimist making the world even more awesome with my own blend of whimsy and grit.

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Recent posts by Eleanor Justice

Very good idea ~ thanks a bunch!
7 years ago

I'm a blueberry farmer in Pennsylvania and this weekend I'm giving a free workshop on hugelkultur during a Homesteading Days event at the request of one of the organizers. They asked me because I spend so much of the berry season explaining the hugelkultur beds in my kitchen garden, which is right next to the berry stand.

Normally I'd have said that I wasn't enough of an expert to give a workshop because I've only built those four submerged hugel beds, but something Paul said in one of his fantabulous podcasts about getting more people interested in permaculture had apparently lodged in my brain and I said yes specifically so that I could use this opportunity to be an "inspiration vector" for an audience mostly unfamiliar with the concepts of permaculture.

That being said, I wanted to reach out and ask you: what are the top three things you wish someone had told you when you were first hearing about hugelkultur?

Are the aspects you found most appealing before you'd created hugelkultur beds and projects the same ones you're most enamored of now?

If you were me, and hoping to get a roomful of other newbies fired up about hugelkultur, would you be focusing on the water conservation and future reduced labor aspects, or does something else seem shinier to you?

Thanks so much for your input ~ and fingers crossed that come sunday evening at least half of the workshop attendees sign up!

7 years ago
Yay! It'd be fabulous if you asked her some of the ways she's seen places successfully increase socioeconomic diversity within intentional communities, ways she would *like* to see that happen (diverse systems being more resilient and all that,) and what questions she wished people would ask.
Thanks Paul!
I know it may seem a bit trite at first, but my nomination is my greatest and most engaging teacher: Mother Nature

Followed by:
Vandana Shiva
Rachel Carson
Barbara Kingsolver
Lady Eve Balfour
and Starhawk

8 years ago

paul wheaton wrote:

I think there will be some people with their own gardens (expressing their artisanal visions in seed and soil). And there will be some people that prefer to be part of the greater garden vision. And there will be some people that aren't into gardening.

Started at a 1.5/2, rapidly moving up.
8 years ago
Congratulations, how very exciting!

My partner and I are caretakers on a blueberry farm that's going on the market next week, when it sells, perhaps if there's a need for construction/plumbing/design expertise, we can figure out a way to dive in. I can't imagine living without my chickens and an intimate connection with nature anymore, even if it's my partner who does the lion's share of the physical work (I do the plannin' and the learnin' and the prettifyin' and wrangle minions harmoniously :>)

First things I'd say would be good to do is be on the land a month or so before building immovable anythings and learn the patterns of the land so when immovable things get started they get started in optimal places. (During that time would be a great time to start putting together a library)

A jillion thoughts come to mind, but low battery suggests I leave those two cents, stand back and be happy that this is happening. It's welcome news, and kudos for making it happen.

:> Eleanor

p.s. A solar bioremediation greenhouse that filtered blackwater into potable water while generating biomass for heating and biochar seems like the kind of experiment that could happen on this land of yours, yes?
8 years ago