Hello to all,
Been reading the forums for the past several months since I really got into permaculture. I had heard about it and read about techniques like sheet mulching but had never researched it properly. I currently live in Burlington, Ontario with partner and two kids. She is doing a masters program until september at which point we are looking at moving to the Kootenays. I can not wait to get out of suburbia where I feel like I have been stuck my whole life (born in Canada, grew up the Netherlands, moved back to Canada when I was 16, lived in Sweden the past 2 years). The pollution is too much for me here (southern ontario) plus we cannot afford any land of our own.
We are living with parents-in-law to save on housing costs but they are willing to let me put in a hugelkultur in the backyard this spring. It will be quite small, but good for experience. I have never built one before, although I have grown veg in raised beds and on balconies.
I hope to build another 4 hugelkulturs this spring. I think it makes so much sense to build these things together. I started a facebook group called "Halton and Area Hugelkultur Collective" although I have not invested enough time or energy to grow it. Part of my idea is to buy seeds as a collective since bulk seeds are much cheaper, but most people in the suburbs don't have enough land to use 1000 kale seeds for example. If anybody in the area has any extra seeds kicking around I would be very interested. I don't have any to exchange, but I just thought I would throw it out there. I have one neighbour with potential interest.
I have also sheet mulched two small areas in my parent's backyard. The first one I seeded with sedum, milkweed, butterfly bush and yarrow in the fall. The second one will get a black currant bush in the spring in addition to medicinal flowers and ground cover. My mother wants everything to look "nice" and not too "messy", so that has been a challenge for me. I yearn so much for my own land to experiment freely one, but having restrictions can lead to more creative/focused thinking.
I am also growing mushrooms. So far I have had success with oysters, elm oysters, lion's mane, reishi. I also had some turkey tail spawn going, but I didn't check it for one week and it completely dried out. I have started some again a couple of days ago that I will try not to murder with neglect.
I also started vermicomposting a month ago which has been going quite well, other than when I threw in a moldy banana on the second day despite my instinct telling me not to. I spent some time picking the worms out of the completely moldy bin, discarding the moldy bedding and putting in new bedding and food, but now they are reproducing as well.
Other than that I am a strong believer in transitioning into a system of natural and diverse capitalism. Rather than just growing money and the assets I could buy with said money, I hope to be able to accumulate and spread natural sources of wealth. I hope to be able to giveaway seeds, mycelial spawn, worms, soil, produce, knowledge etc. This combined with practices of mindfulness (yoga, meditation, peaceful parenting, non-violent communication for me) will hopefully lead to a more peaceful and inclusive community around me. Be the change you want to see and all that. I have oscillated between depression and apathy for the majority of my life but now I feel hope again thanks to some of the realizations and solutions I've gained from adopting permaculture ethics to my own life.
Anyways that was quite long-winded and self-centered. I really think these forums are a great resource and I look forward to actively interacting with you all instead of just reading post.