I am a relative newcomer to the permaculture lifestyle / principles and have been browsing this site since I cottoned onto it after my light bulb moment last year. Before, I had been pursuing a relatively standard and unfulfilled western lifestyle that never really fitted, but I started to accept that was just my lot. However - permaculture to the rescue, I have since taken two PDC’s (I thought I should try to start with a good grounding…) and am constantly trying to increase my exposure to the ideas and opportunities, but also to a range of self reliance and homesteading skill sets wherever I can find the resources to do so.
I’ve got a tricky question to contend with now and I thought it would be good to get some opinions on this (apologies for the long story).
I currently live in the city and my wife and I have made the decision that we want out ASAP. We’re done with pursuing jobs we don’t really want, money we aren't motivated by and a lifestyle very literally fueled by depleting fossil resources that could be turned on its head at any minute. We’re looking at quitting our jobs (both in the city and in no way related to this lifestyle) and getting to a more rural setting so we can start to engage with homesteading / real community / a landscape we are invested in / our long term plans. My wife’s parents have also shown an interest in retiring, moving with us which would facilitate having some land, and living in close proximity to family. Although for them it’s probably 2/3+ years away.
It may be idealistic, but our current perspective is to move early 2014 and apply the skills we’re learning / start making our mistakes. We can then be in that location until my wife’s parents are ready and move with them to the long term home. We’re pretty happy with this plan – it will enable us to get underway and reduce our mortgage by 40%+ whilst giving us a small piece of land to work with and get some experience (obviously new employment either full or part time will also be part of the plan initially). We don’t currently have children, but that’s on our minds in the next couple of years as well.
Where we are is a tiny hyper urban apartment and we do have a very small, very ‘landscaped’ garden. In the 6ish dormant months that we have until we start the process of selling our current home I feel we should continue consuming information – reading, watching, researching – as well as getting our apartment in order for sale. BUT – I have a niggling at the back of my mind that tells me all the information is well and good, but until you get your hands dirty, it’s just theory, so should I be trying some sort of permaculture-esque systems in my yard, despite the fact that a) we won’t be there to see them to any meaningful conclusion, b) it’s likely that a sale of the apartment would be ‘easier’ just sticking to the landscaped norm, c) winter is on the way? I guess the question is really (eventually) if you had 6 months or so in my situation before starting to move your life in this homesteading / sustaining / permie direction, what would be your priorities? Permaculture on your space? Volunteering in your spare time? Continuing to consume information whilst getting ready to sell?
Sorry, very long but I thought it would be interesting to get some other opinions on this. Really appreciate the insight and keep up the good work.