Privacy, Peace and Permaculture Promotion

April Sampson-Kelly askpv at
Mon Aug 19 11:28:06 EDT 1996

From: 	Loren Davidson[SMTP:loren at]
Sent: 	Tuesday, 13 August 1996 2:49
To: 	April Sampson-Kelly
Subject: 	Re: Privacy, Peace and Permaculture Promotion

At 11:23 AM 8/12/96 +-1000, you wrote:
>Is there anyone else who suffers from our dilema?
>We have a demonstration site that we are developing and
>share many of the ups and downs with our students - (...)
> they visit us regularly - I feel compelled to give them a tour and
>chat and I just can't get anything done.

I have a couple of thoughts, from other situations where I've tried to get
something done with people hanging around me:

1)  Establish "official" visiting hours, when you (or your helpers -- HINT)
will be available to give tours and answer questions.  During non-visiting
hours, you may be able to "teach by doing" -- do the stuff you were planning
to do anyway, but be willing to explain (with any free breaths you have)
exactly what you're doing and how it fits with the whole.  

2)  Hand things like shovels, spading forks, etc. to the bystanders and tell
them how *they* can help (during non-visiting hours at the very least).  If
people are *that* interested in Permaculture, then it's only fair you share
*all* the experience with them.  It's a bit subversive, but it will cause
the "looky loos" to vanish and will help you get the job done with the
people who are *really* interested...
a lot of my visitors are those who are part of the system from time to time
I must admit, they are giving me mulch or plants or office stuff - so I have to 
give them TLC for want of a better term.
Even so - our garden gives them something and they never leave empty handed.

3)  Have a sign made up and posted at the entrance to your gardens,
answering the most commonly asked questions, listing official visiting
hours, the reasons for same, and the risk of being asked to help if a person
wanders in at an otherwise inconvenient time.  
I like that !!!- "enter at own risk - risk
of being given a job that get your hands dirty"

4)  Similarly, make up a flyer for a "self-guided tour" of your garden and
have copies in a sheltered kiosk at the entrance to the gardens.  Yes -
I will do this seeing I already have that stuff on the home page and have 
full colour poster size designs for lots of other people!! should do it for 

5)  Learn how to talk with people and work at the same time.  I almost
didn't put this in, but this may be part of what you need to work on.
Permaculture is about sharing the surplus...but it's also, I believe, about
taking care of your own.  
This is really the hardest part - I didn't want to turn others off permaculture sites
being open to visitors BUT THIS CAUSES GREATEST SORROW - when people
come to visit and the children talk to them and they respond to the children to 
get them to be quiet or go away!!!  This is their home and they helped build all the gardens
this is their work and they are now - copying us and pointing things out here and there!!
I'm a great gabber myself, and will take any
opportunity to stop what I'm doing and chat with folks.  One of the things
*I'm* working on is the discipline to stop talking and start working after a
certain set time.  
Go with the flow Loren - we don't fight nature so why fight your own nature?
And I think you really *can* teach as much, if not more,
by letting people watch as you're actually working on things...
True - and you can teach what people are ready to learn
Good luck...sounds like your main problem is that of too much success!
Thanks for your time, April
Loren Davidson
loren at
The First Amendment went too far.  It should have said, "Congress shall 
make no law".

More information about the permaculture mailing list