Mary Wilson

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since Apr 10, 2014
Gabriola, BC, Canada
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Recent posts by Mary Wilson

Hi all -- I noticed in an earlier thread some discussion about the joys of living in the country compared to in the city, for access to nature and all its benefits. I live in the country now, more or less, and I love the ease of access to forest and shore.

I'm thinking about city-dwellers, though, since many friends and family live in cities ... and of course world wide most people live in cities! And most people are also really busy, so time to go to parks or other official natural areas are limited. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for ways city-dwellers can access nature without being out of the city?

When I lived in Seoul (15 million people plus!) I found street trees really important. I used to pat them while I waited for the bus. What other things did I miss?

1 year ago
This book sounds fabulous! Looking forward to reading more about your ideas.
1 year ago
I'm really enjoying reading the conversations here this week. It has reminded me that I should do more than just subscribe to the daily email from -- I should keep participating, too! Thank you all.

Today I'm thinking a lot about the connections between permaculture and building a better world -- between permaculture and the kind of change that Fay and I describe in our book. I see some clear connections, and yet I think this is an idea that I need to explore some more.

For me, there's a clear connection between the permaculture approach of caring for and living with the earth and all its creatures rather than taking a kind of mining approach to food production. (I see that in standard agriculture -- its very extraction-based -- and honestly in gardening sometimes too.) That's the heart of the connection between permaculture and social change for me.

How do you see this connection?
2 years ago
It is so interesting and inspiring for me to read that you have achieved success in supplying yourself with food, Su Ba! And Sue, I'm delighted that you are also venturing into permaculture.

It seems like such an important thing to do -- to care for the soil and think about how to support it and the plants, rather than just thinking about how much The Garden can do for me. I have found it to be a profound mental shift.

It also helps me not to be quite as annoyed when Something eats my seedlings. Not quite. I do not think I have achieved permacultural equanimity quite yet, though.
2 years ago
I truly love reading all these replies to this interesting thread -- thank you for starting it, Nicole!

I was actually heading into the forum this evening to ask what people think "counts" as making change in a community. Personally I think that all the things you've all talked about here count ... the helping neighbours, the raising food, the working online with these forums ... it's all ways of building connection and community, whether close by or further away.

Nothing by itself is ever enough, right? At least that's how I sometimes feel! But these gestures of real neighbourliness help to build the kind of community where people will see value in making larger changes, if they -- we! -- decide that's what is needed.
2 years ago
Lindsey, what are you planning on storing in the root cellar? I wonder if that makes a difference?

I'm not far away (on an island in the Salish Sea) and it seems that here a lot of roots store best in the soil, especially if they are mulched.

I was recently reading "gardening at the dragon's gate" and Wendy Johnstone's story of potatoes rotting in carefully-prepared underground storage made a big and sort of horrifying impression on me!

We're planning to add an insulated, unheated, vented-to-outside section to our pantry (kind of like a little closet with drier vents) as our root cellar equivalent. Haven't done it yet but I will let people know how it turns out.
3 years ago
We've had a composting toilet using the Humanure Handbook in our house for the last 2-3 years or maybe a bit longer. It works beautifully. We have two buckets that we swap in and out. We put a lid on the bucket to carry it across the yard to the compost pile. With sawdust (actually in our case usually planer shavings) sprinkled on top, the bucket is completely inoffensive for carrying. Dumping into the compost is quick, and then we rinse the bucket with a hose and pour the liquid onto the pile. We put a couple of inches of shavings on the bottom of the empty bucket.

We have had a couple of commercial composting toilet systems previously. This system is much easier. A bonus for us is that in the event of a power failure, absolutely nothing changes.
6 years ago