R Thomason

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since Oct 01, 2014
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Recent posts by R Thomason


I applaud you for admitting your mistakes and giving serious thought to moving on to a better live. That is the biggest and best step you can take, and congratulations for taking it. You've lifted a serious burden from yourself and that will make your subsequent decisions more likely to succeed.

The folks who gave advice about learning IT, especially with some sort of internship or earn-while-you-learn component to it, were speaking prudently. My sense is this is probably one of the better first steps since it will increase your income potential.

The folks who suggested woofing and checking out IC.org give good advice.  At some point when it is right for you and you find the right situation, try working in a permaculture or an intentional community a little before making a commitment.  It seems you have already put in a lot of thinking about your choice, and it is time to start testing those thoughts and growing from the results.  It will show you what works well for you and what you want to avoid in the future. Spiritual communities might have more to offer you than others at this point, but you will see for yourself what works best.

It could take a few years, but you probably can either combine some sort of IT with a permaculture lifestyle, or at least find a way to split your time between the two.

If there is a river watcher organization or some sort of citizen scientist group that is monitoring the health of local waterways you might want to volunteer with them a little. It will put you in a like-minded community that could make use of basic IT skills such as database administration (even if it is a simple database).  Without making a big commitment you can test out some of your ideas and get advice from good people while keeping an eye on our waterways.

3 years ago
Sounds good. Seems that some of the well-established conservancies, both local and national, might be interested in some sort of partnership as time goes by.
I think you have been given you good advice. Here are two sites I refer to when I want to survey what is going on the permaculture sector in a given region.


http://permacultureglobal.org/users (This one has a map that allows you to zoom into the location of the practitioner.)

These sites are starting points for further research and consideration. Best luck and I'm happy that you want to tend to the land with such care and intelligence.

4 years ago
It seems that using standard conservancy covenants should accomplish this goal for nature preserve sections. (But if anyone has experience to the contrary it would be good to examine the details of any problems with that approach.)

To take that a step further, I have been thinking specific permaculture Zone covenants might be useful. For example, as mentioned above, if you want your Zone 5 to remain as such in perpetuity, could you have conservancy lawyer draw up a land preservation document called "Zone 5 covenant?" That seems like it would be a straight-forward, standard nature preservation covenant.

But I wonder about a more mixed-use Zone 4 or 3 covenant, where you would use the language of the covenant to spell out how much land remains in trees, under canopy or whatever goal is. I don't know the answer to that today, but it seems that using well-recognized permaculture land stewardship concepts could make conservancy covenants more robust.

The laws on drawing up land conservation covenants vary by jurisdiction, and landowners many only have so much leeway in some cases to tailor a covenant to their achieve their goals. But what are your thoughts on this approach?
Based on my experience with LLC's I would recommend that you shop for a lawyer and work out the operating agreement on a professional basis if you have any uncertainty about the best path to take. One thing that works well is to e-mail a description of your basic business idea and relevant information about how you would use your resources. The lawyer should be able to combine the boilerplate language related to LLC's with provisions which speak directly to your specific concerns. A face-to-face meeting along with some e-mail editing exchanges would finalize the work. A good operating agreement should give you corporate protection, address tax concerns and outline who is responsible for what.

If you ever find new members of the LLC who would contribute capital, the operating agreement is critical, and it would be good to have an established relationship with a lawyer who understands your situation. Your local friends should be able to direct you to a lawyer who will be suitable for you. It's an extra expense, I know, but it will give you a good foundation to build on.

Based on your original question, it sounds as if a single LLC would cover the type of complimentary products or side services you mention. But that would be a good question for the lawyer:)
5 years ago
I've used clover and comfrey to good effect to compete away grasses in some areas. But getting rid of grass "once and for all" would be a more intensive operation and I'm glad that so many people have offered what worked for them. You will probably have to test which ones work best for you.
5 years ago
I agree with those who suggest acknowledgement in newsletters or online venues. The more you can recognize someone's good work, the more good examples you put in front of others to contemplate. It is especially helpful to recognize people when they are among only one or two volunteers who turn out to contribute.

Get permission to post a photo to Facebook. One could use the "tag," "like" or "comment" features to amplify the gratitude.

Endorse someone's LinkedIn profile for volunteering or other relevant activity.

Your group's Web site
Telling the story of a volunteer is a perfect way to describe what your project does, how it benefits the community and who is involved. You don't have to write a big, full-blown article. Just cover the basics.

I scrolled through a number of Tweets about volunteering. Happily, the number of Tweets thanking volunteers was not very much different from those calling for volunteers.

Look at the following example of how much information one Tweet was able to provide about a volunteer and the help he has provided the community.
Mayfield schools honor 94-year-old volunteer, Pearl Harbor veteran http://t.co/szB2zwbHOv #OhioEd
6 years ago
Hope that your arrival in DC/MD is good or will be good.

There is a DC Resilience Permaculture Weekend coming up Nov. 7-9. In addition to an opening performance and gathering at Howard Theater on Fri. Nov. 7, two community gardens will host permaculture events the next two days. The Common Good City Farm and Wangari Gardens will host events during the weekend. The specifics and schedules are in the link below.

6 years ago
Here are a few thoughts and suggestions.

First, many River or Stream Watcher organizations have good citizen scientist programs with trainings and mentors to help folks monitor waterway quality. Checking the Web sites of the ones in your region will let you know what they offer.

Second, the USA National Phenology Network is set up to help citizen scientists (or at least nature lovers who want to take their love of nature to the next level in a systematic way). In a nutshell, phenology is the process of watching and recording how species change over a period of time in relation to climatic conditions. The Web site https://www.usanpn.org can explain in more detail.

Finally, the Weather Underground has a network of folks who have set up personal weather stations and feed the info to the wunderground.com Web site; http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/about.asp

Hope this helps
6 years ago
Joshua, great photos and video. Thanks for the documentation. I hope you will keep showing us how the food forest progresses.
6 years ago