[permaculture] absolute basics

Robert Waldrop rmwj at soonernet.com
Mon Jul 14 17:44:54 EDT 2003

I'd also suggest Toby Hemenway's Gaias Garden: guide to homescale
permaculture.  this is imho THE best one volume intro for the beginner
to permaculture concepts.

If it will be ten years to retirement, think about buying the land
now, or in a couple of years, and start planting things that have long
"lead times" like say pecan trees, fruit trees, etc.

And don't just mark time between now and then.  Begin living as
sustainably as you can right now.  Reading books is good, but there
isno substitute for just starting right now, and doing what you can,
with what you have, where you are.  You shouldn't expect that in ten
years, as a beginner, first time out ofthe chute you could grow all
your own food.  But if you start a garden now, in ten years you will
have the skills you need to grow all your own food.

What you can'tgrow right now,try to buy directly from farmers.  Start
with farmers markets, and build direct relationships.

Live as lightly as you can right now.  Conserve energy, use less
stuff, spend less money, reduce, reuse, recycle, make do, do without,
never buy a new car, never fly in an airplane, take the bus or train
for travel outside of your area.   Resist the urge to travel for
"leisure" or "entertainment".

We live in Oklahoma City and don't use air conditioning.  it's 100
degrees outside, the heat index is 110.  inside my thermometer reads
90 degrees, but with our fans it feels like about 80 degrees.  that's
still warm, but its not impossibly warm.  every hour or so I dowse my
head and feet with water and we are fine.  plus I like my electricity
bill when I get it.

Monitor how much energy you use. how many kilowatt hours of
electricity, gallons of gasoline, cubic feet/dekatherms of natural
gas, gallons of water.  track that over time and if it isn't going
down, then work harder to use less.  if you want to live lightly in
ten years, start practicing now and by then you will be good at it.
If you can't be perfect, be better, or even just plain good.

Don't live in the future, live in the now, be present to your
lifestyle as it is right now, and then you are free to make changes
now.  Procrastination is a deadly enemy, there is a lot you can do
even if you live in a condo in the midst of a city.  if you have no
ground to grow anything, grow tomatoes inpots in front of your
windows, or find and join a community garden program.

Robert Waldrop, okc
http://www.bettertimesinfo.org  lots of links and resources
forsustainable living

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Vlaun <scott at moosepondarts.com>
I'd be inclined to look for a little more than an acre but I'm sure
could grow a substantial part, if not all, of your food on an acre
depending on what climate you're in. If your looking for some free
online gardening information you might check out the Seeds of Change
On Monday, July 14, 2003, at 05:37  AM, Lance Bermudez wrote:

> Dear fellow list-members,
> I have zero agricultural experience, being raised in NYC. I now live
> in Germany, and after reading a book called possum living, I am
> inspired to retire in ten years with my wife, and move to some area
> buy a little land and a home, and grow all our own food. I intend to
> raise my own rabbits for our meat needs, and have a garden for the
> rest, relying on Permaculture / sustainable techniques.

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