[permaculture] Some thoughts on replies to Trends In America
tredding at mail.utexas.edu
Fri Oct 31 16:44:48 EDT 2008
Hi Isabel, Pretty nice that you were able to find a partner in life and
still not have to try to keep too many friends, etc, I'm rather a loner
myself. I work really hard not to be, I'll put it like that. In
addition, I got real bored on the land, wanted to turn right around and
go to the city, of course Austin is not that large of a city, so yes, I
am one of the ones that perma in the environ they already live in. One
day I started thinking, I've only got the money for one or the other
land in country or home in city. Where do we get this idea that owning a
piece of land is the be all end all, yes, I think advertising,
propaganda has much to do with it. Blade Runner made an impression on
me, hirise still in use after the apocalypse
Anything you do makes you "matter." I just want to be remembered as a
good person and try not to harm anyone. You sound the same, best to you,
hope to hear about your projects once in awhile.
One thing I realized, I may not think I have patience with people and
may not want to be in "groups" with goals, but I realized I really do
like humans or I wouldn't read so much, humans wrote the books.
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Udan Farm
Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 2:14 PM
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [permaculture] Some thoughts on replies to Trends In America
Thank you all for your posts..I have read them all, and replied to many
--You can't take them with you...
Yes, even though I was referring to four separate couples we have made
aquaintance with, and two single women, all doing the "back to the land"
thing, I have to admit, my partner and I are somewhat the same, and I
guess it points out where we all have similarities and differences.
He has lived on farms or in the woods pretty much his whole life-nearly
feral in the eyes of some city folks...We call his style "permaculture
on the cheap". I on the other hand was one of those "quit my job and
grow a garden" types, but since I was lucky enough to find my partner,
we make a good pair, and he does enough work for 3 people. It's his idea
But what we have discovered is that really, people who live in the
cities, while they may not be AS totally self sustaining as we are, they
don't HAVE to be. They have a network, of friends, plumbers, carpenters,
etc. Although a good many of the people in their networks are hired.
Which takes money.
We have come to the conclusion that everything takes money or time.
But to be honest, what we have figured out about ourselves is that
we-two only children who never socialized much-who I think are really a
product of the average dysfuntional nuclear homes of the 50's-70's, are
in the woods because we function better with trees than with people. So
we choose what is more comfortable to us, but pay a price in not having
that network. It's a bit painful of a realization, but it's necessary to
see ourselves honestly too.
I do think that it's a possibility in looking at what works, to have
people who are nomadic, wandering carpenters, etc. I think there is
something that seems "right" about some folks staying on land, and some
wandering. After all, I am in Cherokee/Creek country, and have been told
that even though the Cherokees lived in the high mountains, they did
sometimes migrate to lower elevations, or even the sea-coast in winter.
So having some travelling permies and people with skills, and an extra
cabin to put them up for a while seems like a good idea.
--Small buildings: We did build very small. We found a company in the
nearest big city (2 hrs away) that would build basically a "shed" and we
had two of them built and finished them as "green" as possible. I slept
in one for the first time last night and there was a 22 degree
difference in inside and outside temp. Not bad for the south. They are
built up off the ground, with passive solar and air-flow features that
make them cooler in the summer. Being in the south with few code
officials we have done without the legal indoor bathroom-that will be in
the greenhouse. We've also saved money by not having cumbersome "air
intake systems" or a/c so it's turning out to be a pretty nice build.
--Food/income and shelter/water needs: I'd say we are getting there We
eat a lot of sweet potatoes but I will always want (not need) chocolate,
avacados, coffee/tea, oil, sugar, salt, So I try to eat a lot more
tubers, less bread and pasta and shop carefully and as locally as
possible for my "treats". Locally in this case means stocking up at the
"closest" local co-op-two hours away! Income is fuzzy, and falls under
that "many sources to meet one need" principle. Shelter and water we are
--In reply to Kathyrn, I just feel that the suburban/city folk come out
to the land thinking they can buy their way into a bucolic-looking
sustainable farm-just as you can buy a house designed new to your
specifications.They're not seeking education, they're seeking someone to
do it for them.
I also think that we Americans move too much and should stay where we
are-"Bloom where you're planted". People don't value where they live.
We change homes like we change clothes or spouses. It's all a matter of
what they can afford. People in general don't move to the country to
create a place for other people to come live. They wait til they have
the money/time/retirement to create a homestead, which will be sold most
likely, not inhabited by family, when they die. If they HAVE kids, the
kids usually have different values and don't want the farm.
Everyone wants to take their own money, build their own dream, their own
way and what happens to it when they die?
Asheville, NC is a perfect example of everyone wanting to live in
paradise. It's becoming overrun with million dollar McMansions, and in
30 years it will be like Fla. No one wants to live there, and the houses
can't be sold! The planet is running out of room for everyone to "do
their own thing."
I think it would be far more valuable if people WOULD live in small
communities, and to get the Permaculture Gypsy thing going on. And to be
sure there are trusts and some sort of plans for future generations to
inhabit the spaces. What it really comes down to I think-and I will
speak for myself because I know not everyone is like this-is that in the
last 60 years or so, we as a culture have lost the ability to live with
each other-to cooperate, to live side by side, in each others spaces and
business. We are programmed by advertising and TV to seek our own space,
our own room, our own home, our own farm...we've lost the ability to
share. It's been bred out of us by the culture of advertising.
I will fight "my own self" as we say down here-til I die on that one. I
am one of those people and I have a lot of work to do to change it. That
being said we are working on acquiring road frontage enough to open the
land up for some sort of eco-village situation...
--Land ownership- I think Toby's lesson about the coffee mugs says a
lot. But I do think that as a whole society most of us do not value what
we have. Maybe we who have land value it because we put a lot of work
into it, where people who move a lot just see it as a "right to a decent
place to live." ..."Buy the land and then free it"...I like that SteveR.
Christopher, you make a good point about in your area people who own
land are basically "saving it" and caring for it, but I think that here
in America, many people do more damage trying to care for a large piece
of land...they are too busy with other things to spend their life
We do get a lot of people, who, after we tell them about our farm say,
"well, but what do you DO?" (Like we must have a real job) and a lot of
people think that because we live the way we do we are always free to
"drop by" or work on this or that project away from home...most people
don't have a clue how hard we work. We DO spend a huge amount of time
working on caring for and improving this land, and that IS our real job.
I think our biggest fear right now is what will happen to it when we are
--Trudie, to answer your question about no joining a community? The one
we seriously considered had way to many meetings, and committees, and
everyone seemed too much in each other's business. I guess that says
what it says about me and the culture I grew up in.
SteveR....I am 47 with bad knees. I don't have much of a desire to
travel-I've used up my lifetime share of petrol. The number of people
wanting designs in my area (about a 300 mile radius) would not feed me
for a year...but any larger non-profits that have asked, I am trying to
work with (and also getting much help from more seasoned designers.)
Right now there is a big need for education in the the US South, just
getting the word out there so people know what it is. That's where we
---Gene said:...I find the concept of ownership an illusion. We don't
own the earth. If anything, She owns us. But the real illusion is that
we are all separate and competing. I really think we are in the process
of evolving to the idea of oneness...
As permaculturalists, we feel the pain of a world gone mad, ... When our
earth mother brings us to our knees and many of us will change form and
die, then perhaps we will see the futility of ruthless competition,
ownership and slavery--slavery of people, animals, plants, water,
minerals, electrons, you name it."
Wow. Gene. Thank you for those words.
--Scott said: "Since everything that I have owned or accomplished was
without support from family I am not nearly as attached to the concept
of a "material legacy". Hopefully the love I hold and the support I
provide is sufficient provenance for my children."
Scott, I want to hear more and to understand more about your "not
(being) attached to the concept of material legacy"? Maybe not of your
land directly to YOUR children, but what do you hope will happen to the
land that you inhabit now (commons and owned footprint)? If you have
planted nut trees, WHO do you hope will eat those nuts? This is
precisely the point I am stuck on in my own life-except I don't have
children...I think it boils down to "does my existence as a human being
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