[permaculture] Educating the ignorant

Leon Hudson sfg2006 at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 17 08:34:42 EDT 2005

"I know that I do not know."  

Don't various peoples develop skills and abilities to
survive within their environment?  Doesn't this give
rise to the different mindsets, cultures, beliefs, and
attitudes of these peoples?

I recently saw a program on PBS(Public Broadcasting
Service) about a people who survived the Tsunami in
Asia.  They were called the Moken and they live on the
water.  Because of their culture/lifestyle they were
able to read the water and head for safety before the
Tsunami hit.  They had no loss of life.  My Father and
I were discussing this when I learned something new
from my Father.  Dad told me that everytime he went to
Hawaii with the military that they were briefed -
Anytime you see the canals(?) water empty into the
ocean head for high ground fast.

All of this tells me we must first learn to understand
the culture of a people, why they do what they do,
before we can do anything to help.

Mel Bartholomew has one of the best ways of helping
people help themselves I have seen in a long time. 
His Square Foot Gardening method uses what is
available so people can grow their own food.  His
website is www.squarefootgardening.com and well worth
reviewing.  EXAMPLE:  I have seen a pumpkin growing 5
feet off the ground and hanging supported only by its
vine.  The vine was supported by a fence.  Many people
seem to think that cucumbers must grow along the
ground but they can climb.  In Haiti many people grow
gardens on their flat roofs using Mel's SFG method. 
This is to avoid the problem of chickens, etc getting
into their gardens.  It also lets them place their
SFGs where the sun is plentiful.  This happened
because Mel listened to the people he was teaching and
together they solved a challenge.

In my own situation of living in the arid high desert
after much study/learning I hope to combine:

Square Foot Gardening
Forest Gardening
Rainwater Harvesting
Edible Landscaping
Alternative power(solar, etc.)
Solar oven cooking

This so that I can grow food for my family and beauty
for the soul.  An area of 1400 square feet has been
identified to start, moldy hay bales are being
collected rather than sent to the garbage, rocks and
plastic have been removed from the yard.  The rock and
plastic were put there by a previous owner.  Small
swales have been dug around the perimeter of the front
yard and Blue Grama Grass, Fox Grass, and weeds(by
some definitions) are finally growing on their own. 
Most of this is going to be cut down and left to lay
over the winter.  Hay bales will be used in swales. 
Rainwater will be directed into 60 gallon barrels and
routed to where it is needed.

Much has been learned from others and I am thankful
they shared their knowledge.  Much has been learned
from the following:

organichomesteadinggardening at yahoogroups.com

and those on this group who have written books to
share their knowledge.

Many people cannot afford to pay for classes so
reading books from the Public Library is a good thing.

I thank all of you who are sharing your knowledge and
hopefully someday will have this project completed.

Learning continues, digging has started.


Leon Hudson  Zone 6  New Mexico

Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005 

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