To get back on topic (hopefully) - I'll comment on the two videos shared by Paul in his original post.
How is "eternal economic growth" a fairy tale? Isn't that what permaculture is all about?
I remember one of Geoff Lawton's videos/documentaries in which he visited a "Transition Town"; one of those that try to be as independent and sustainable as possible. From supporting local farming to creating a local currency.
Basically, every permaculture teacher says, that every permaculture homestead requires less work and produces more yield over time.
How is that not eternal economic growth?
I have a family member who is an economist and a businessman. The typical "big fish" who spent most of his life making money. He's not even close to being a really big fish, but he's not a small one for sure.
He also lived through extreme poverty as a child, which traumatized him for life. I suppose that this was his motivation to choose the career that he had; later on he became sort of addicted to it too, like many businessmen I think. They're all gamblers (a trait he shares with his two siblings, who never got this rich, but they succeeded in other areas, in a similar fashion).
Then I have a number of artists in my family. The tree huggers, dancers, painters, hippies. Typically, they look like the ones who might be more attracted to permaculture, who will join Extinction Rebellion, Greenpeace, and whatnot. They care about books and arts more than they care about money. They don't kill spiders and they make friends with strangers, they save water and walk barefoot.
One might think that the second type will be more attracted to permaculture, because all the "work with nature", "care abouth the Earth", "less is more", etc, is right up their street. And it's true; so that's what I talk about, to them.
However, it's the businessman uncle who really *gets it*, I think.
Because when I talk about permaculture to him, I say: you can't have unlimited growth on a planet with limited resources. Guess what: he knows what limited resources means, more than anyone else. He knows how important the accessibility of resources is, and their actual cost. He knows how risky it is to put all one’s eggs in one basket. So when I explain permaculture to him, I pretend to be another economist ;) and then he's like: wow, that actually makes sense. He's retired now, but I'm sure there is a lot of more active economists and businessmen who know and understand these things too; they're intelligent people after all.
The real "bad guys" are the lazy ones, who just want things to be cheap and easy, and maybe also the sociopaths and other freaks who for some reason have too much power in their hands. But even with them, the positive motivation ("I want to do something good") is usually better than the negative, and then everyone is different, and diversity of people is actually good; so we just need to speak to those various kinds of motivation.
I think it's often a gradual change. When I first heard of permaculture, it was when my friends started growing veggies beside their house. When I found this forum, I first thought it was too extreme ;) but I kept coming back for the knowledge.
Then I met more teachers and read more books and became more involved here, and at some point I started to actually understand how my garden works. That's when I killed my house plants :P
Now I have both food in the garden and plants in the house, and I'm learning a lot about everything.
In fact I believe that permaculture is knowledge about complex systems. Sometimes it's being reduced to "just gardening", because that's how people usually start.
In another thread I have been told that in some areas it is impossible to live a "permaculture lifestyle".
There are things that go clearly against the basic ethics of permaculture, and then it might be impossible indeed; greenwashing is what happens in such cases.
However, I do like to apply the principles of permaculture in rather "unusual" areas - for example, when I was arranging a conference, or now when I'm designing a bioactive terrarium. It's fun! And often can bring up many new ideas.
A backyard permaculture practitioner that is making an effort to supply a portion of his/her food would that be a "permaculture lifestyle?
That's a good place to start! It's definitely not only about food, but we all need it, and "the how" of creating it is so important.
M Wilcox wrote:I had suggested long ago that my wife write a book and she nixed that idea immediately so I didn't have much hope that she would want to blog either. Nevertheless, I pitched the idea yesterday and she thought it was a great idea! In fact she setup a blog yesterday and already has done her first post!
That's wonderful! She could also write about your struggles, to reassure people, as it's often an uphill battle when you're a beginner. That will also be a way for both of you to talk about it, and put it into words that might actually be helpful for others.
M Wilcox wrote:My partner likes to sit on the sofa and write in her journal or cruise the internet.
Others made good points about it already, but I'll try to be a bit more optimistic... how about turning a problem into opportunity, the permie way? For example, you could suggest her to write a book, perhaps about your homesteading skills? Or about you trying to learn/do things that are useful and practical? Many people want to learn that but struggle with it, and also it's tiring and feels like too much of a routine at times. She could write about these problems, research the internet for most useful tips, and it could be both a feel good story and a useful handbook, that will bring you both a passive income in the future. She could even make it a bit like a journal (which itself is a great writing exercise).
That is assuming that you both love and value each other.
Like I wrote about my cleaning, composting and sorting garbage "problem" - it's not that I don't like it. I find it fascinating and important (well maybe just the composting is fascinating... the other stuff is just a good and responsible thing to do). But it's still a dirty, repetitive work, sometimes physically exhausting and not as pleasant as watching birds or picking fresh veggies for a salad. So I don't like that my family assumes that I can do the "dirty work" all the time because I like it so much, while I don't have any time or energy for more pleasant work, or I can't do some projects that I would like to do.
Another exciting discovery: I found an Instagramer named Mini Terraform, who does this:
(I don't know how to make an image visible here so I'll post them as links)
- collected yellow aphids from a milkweed and used them as a golden dye
- collected the over populated super worms and used them as food
- created a "curry forest" in a terrarium! So beautiful! It was the first post from this person that I found.
So many possibilities for indoors growies!
My next "note to self" will be about the first terrarium that I'm thinking about creating; a small one, because I never had a terrarium (although I did have a red-eared slider many years ago).
I first want to create a nice environment for my pitaya cacti to thrive; they need a lot more light than they receive now, and a little warmer. And more humid. Then I'll think about other plants... and maybe the Helix pomatia from my garden.
Of exotics, I thought of green anolis - a small lizard, and a corn snake or a common garter snake. However, I do have native snakes and lizards in my garden, too... I actually almost stepped on a tiny grass snake baby just recently.
...out of local stuff. This is just my recent inspiration, so a note to self a little bit... looks great for studying the tiny details of the micro life in our gardens (or other surroundings). Also, maybe the native, not endangered species should be more appreciated?
The idea is to take samples of local plants and soil (and the tiny critters will probably hitchhike on that) and grow it in a bioactive terrarium, recreating a miniature version of an ecosystem.
I like that whatever grows in there, can be put back in the garden (if I take it from the garden), and can be studied closely.
The idea of a bioactive terrarium is that it doesn't need much maintenance, other than feeding the animals and changing their water, and even less maintenance if it's mainly about the plants.
Here is a tiny native terrarium being made step by step:
And here is a corn snake bioactive terrarium:
The owner says, that the snake is 9 years old, and that the substrate in there is as old as she is. I think it's super cool!
I guess a sophisticated permie would do all these things differently, but these two videos were most inspiring to me I think - or the ideas behind them (to use native stuff, and to create such a durable living soil).
I think I'll make that in the room that's too dark for growing plants on a windowsill!
What is really annoying in my household, is that they all know that I really care about recycling, reusing, not wasting anything... so if they want to throw something away, they give it to me instead, knowing that I will first try to reuse it and then throw it away, if it's really not useful anymore. They know that they could reuse the thing themselves, but it's easier to just give it to me. That makes me mad!
But it's part of a general tendency that many people have - for example, they donate worn clothes to the homeless, although they know that these clothes aren't useful anymore. But it feels good that they didn't dump the thing into "general waste".
Another thing, which I'm now assertive enough not to get tricked into anymore, is gardening and animal care. Everyone knows that I love all the animals and everything related to gardening, so whenever they are lazy doing something - like composting, or trimming the bushes, or doing whatever extra care an animal might require, they first try to talk me into it, before doing it themselves. So I'm the only one cleaning up after our dogs, and only I do the composting; which tends to extend into only me being responsible for sorting any garbage...
On the other hand, I would love to have animals that are more useful for the garden, than cats and dogs - like quail, rabbits, or guinea pigs. Or a bioactive vivarium with lizards or a corn snake (my newest discovery - not very useful for the garden, but super cool - like a tiny balanced ecosystem). Here I have to credit the one vegan in my household - who is the only one supporting my idea of keeping animals for meat (and eggs). She thinks that this is the only way it should be (along with regenerative farming, etc). Pretty impressive for a vegan. Others (the vegatarian and the meat eater) are grossed out, although they obviously wouldn't do anything in terms of maintenance of these animals.
I guess it depends a lot on the type of relationship you have with your housemates - if they are your parents, other relatives, partners, children, or not related at all. Although, I used to live with two people I didn't have any relationship with, and one of them (the oldest of us) at some point complained that she's like a mother to us... as we ignored some chores. She was right! But she also put herself in that position a little bit... so apparently one can end up "parenting" others, even if they're not supposed to.
Unfortunately it also happens with real relatives, and backwards - when a responsible child has to "be the adult" for their immature parent(s).
I also lived with a person with whom we were really good at sharing chores fairly, even though we disagreed (temporarily) in other areas. I think it depends a lot on one's personality, and whether someone is trying to dominate the other(s), or not.
Tj Jefferson wrote:Liver is the first thing I eat after butchering- or even during. It is much better in my opinion never frozen.
Wow, that sounds extreme! I wouldn't eat it raw... although it does look delicious... hm.
Yesterday I had a delivery of beef meat (local breed of multi-purpose cow from a small organic farm! yay!), bones and also liver, most of which I cut into smaller pieces and froze it. I now have a lot of lamb and beef liver so I'm probably safe regarding B12 and vitamin A for the entire winter...
elle sagenev wrote:Next pig benefit is the way they roam the property digging randomly. Our property needs some disruption. It also unearths things for the poultry to eat. They love to follow them around picking up things they’ve dug up for them.
I just realized that I'm the pig in my garden ;D just kidding! But I really roam around instead of having a plan... and a proper design... which I always promise myself to do ;)
Funny that so many of you have bad childhood memories of eating liver! It is one of my best memories, and as it turned out - my sister's too; she's vegan now, so she takes all those nutrients as supplements.
Our grandmother used to take us to a bistro where there was liver with onions and it was so delicious... sometimes she also cooked it at home and we loved it too. I guess it was mostly chicken liver.
This year, when I was trying a variety of local meats, I often got livers together with other organs of small animals, such as rabbit, chicken, quail etc. I didn't really know how big is the liver of a larger animal; until I got a sheep liver today. It's not as big as I thought! I looked up the nutrients and the amounts of them. They are so very different in livers from different animals.
For example, 100 grams of sheep liver contain: 492% of recommended daily dose of vitamin A, 501% of B12, 214% of riboflavin, 349% of copper, and just 7% of vitamin C.
Chicken liver (same amount) contains: 25% of copper and 118% of selenium... which sheep liver doesn't contain? Or they just skipped it?
Beef liver contains 311% of B12, 359% of vitamin A, 99% of iron...
I'm now curious about all the other livers ;) but I guess it's especially important when eating the larger ones... not too much at a time! They all seem to contain A LOT of B12 and vitamin A, and I don't remember why I thought that they also contain vitamin D... now I didn't find it.
My recipe is: first fry the chopped onion until golden (I always used rapeseed or sunflower oil, but I just learned from the other topic that it's not so healthy... so maybe use lard?), then add the liver cut into small pieces, and fry it some more but as slowly as possible. Salt it just before serving. That's how I remember it from my childhood and I think that even my vegan sister misses it a little bit... now, when I have a tiny liver from a tiny animal, I also add the heart, chopped, after the onion but before the liver. If all these are really really tiny and from a bird, I also add the gizzard (chopped) - this makes a very interesting dish because each of these organs has a different hardness and texture (liver should be the softest).
There wasn't much, I guess from two or three rabbits it would be more... but there was a lot of meat on that one, so one was more than enough for me... and I couldn't really make the meat soft, so it was best in a soup.
Looks like Permies forum is having some hiccups, because some of my posts disappear and come back again... anyway, here is today's photo of the Christmas Tree; one of the ties at the bottom opened and it's falling a little bit... I need to fix it!
Edit: no hiccups, I just didn't realize that there are two similar topics ;)
I may not have enough trees and bushes to warm the house, but I made a Christmas tree out of them!
I used maple and mulberry twigs as a "scaffolding", and I tied juniper and thuja branches to them (with a linen cord). It smells great. I wanted to get rid of the juniper entirely, but it likes the place where it is now - next to a raised bed which used to be a compost pile - so it grows quite vigorously and I usually place the cut branches on garden paths. But perhaps I should bring them home more often, because they smell great; thuja as well.
I'll post a picture of my maple-mulberry-juniper-thuja Christmas Tree tomorrow! Once it's decorated it'll look totally like a real one, I think.
r ranson wrote:As expected, I scored right down the middle except for introvert/extrovert where I was 97% introvert.
Wow, that's quite extreme introvert! People often think that I'm more introverted than I really am, because I don't like city life and I'm fine on my own... but I do like being around people, including extremely social environments, such as theatre and some other artistic circles. I just don't like being social just for the sake of it. When I did this test first time I was working more on my own artwork and now I'm more into teaching, so maybe that's the reason for change in "intuition"... maybe the fact that I'm less judging now is also a good sign ;)
Sarah Koster asked a great question in her topic What's Your Mind Like? and I didn't want to spam her thread, but it reminded me of this test. Actually, I learned about it on Tinder ;) when someone had this "code" for her personality type and I didn't know what it means, so she told me about this test. And I love tests, questionnaires and all that stuff... so I can procrastinate happily (instead of writing a report like I should right now).
Here is the website:
https://www.16personalities.com the test is free and I'm curious about your results! It has quite a lot of research behind it, so I think it's trustworthy.
Funny thing - when I took this test for the first time and we compared our results with the person who told me about it, we found out that we wouldn't be a good match... so maybe this discouraged us from meeting ;) but I liked that she was so introspective.
So my first result, almost two years ago, was:
Greg Martin wrote:I like the ideal of rural folks being isolated enough to avoid this but I'm also wondering how many folks are really isolated enough for that to happen. There must be some, right?
I guess it would be ideal if people could isolate themselves in small groups?
I don't know if Poland compared rural and urban areas; I guess the rural lifestyle can be very different than what we think is healthy, especially when those people work in industrial farming.
I think we would generally agree that permaculture farms do better during this time than many other communities; especially densely populated cities, and highly industrial areas. But still, a lot of people who live in the countryside had Covid and struggled other kinds of trouble than city people; for example, needed to still do the farm chores every day. Or maybe had some accidents and needed to go to the hospital.
I wonder, if there are any communities which haven't really changed? I'm thinking of the most known permaculture farms and homesteads, which seem to continue their routines and maybe don't do workshops etc, but other than that, they're mostly unaffected.
I'm far from having a real permaculture system and I don't know if I will ever have - but I'm not at risk and the biggest change for me was that I had to teach mostly online. I think, that if I had a homestead where I could invite my students, or people I work with, we could do our jobs safely. We could do more work outdoors and avoid crowding in small spaces. I hope to have something like this some day.
I have this beautiful quote about horses, but it could be applicable to some other domesticated animals...
"If you are fond of a horse and wish to do him a real favour - train him well. Teach him good manners, good habits, both in the stable and under the saddle. You need never worry about the future of such a horse if for any reason you may have to part with him. You assure him of friends wherever he goes. Perhaps the greatest kindness you can do any horse is to educate him well." - Tom Roberts - The Young Horse
It's easier to do with more traineable animals, like horses and dogs, but you can raise a decent cat too (congratulations on your new kitty!).
Another way to look at it, is having pets that simply don't live very long. Of which, rats are maybe the most intelligent. Their life expectancy is rather short - usually 2-4 years, up to six.
They're fascinating, playful, affectionate, not very expensive.
It's always good to have a network of friends who will know what to do with your animals if you can't take care of them anymore.
I made roasted bone marrow once before, and it was delicious. Like a super tasty meaty jelly. This time, I ordered "marrow bones", but they were not the round cuts from the leg - these bones are flat, like part of a shoulder perhaps?
I found some that were "open" enough and roasted them like before, but this time the marrow was still hard.
The other bones were too thin, so now I threw all of them into a pot, to make a bone broth.
The only thing I did differently was that the bones were in salted water just overnight. Previously it was three days. But the marrow was also just different. So, did I do something wrong, or are they just wrong kind of bones?
Thanks, everyone! I chose Sansevieria (the "snake plant"), because it doesn't expand too much. Wikipedia says that it can yield fiber to make bowstrings! Maybe I'll make twine of it. I'm so obsessed with permaculture now, that I just can't have a plant that doesn't "do" anything... ;)
And the pitayas will go to more sunny places.
...and poor air flow, high humidity, and small space...
I do have the garden, but I like to have some plants indoors, too. Other than sprouts.
I successfuly grew pitaya cacti from seeds collected from a market fruit; but they stopped growing. I'll probably sell them. They are potential fruit crops, because they could bear edible fruits, but in better conditions...
They need more air movement (but no wind) and more sun (but not too much), perfect for a greenhouse or a winter garden patio. They develop mould each time they're watered, even if they're completely dry before.
However, maybe there are some plants that could survive in such place, and even do something good? For example: clean the air, suck up excess humidity, and not take up much space. They don't even have to produce edible fancy fruits...
Windows are to the North and the same relatively small area serves as a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom (which is somewhat separate, but the kitchen is not, and doesn't have a cooker hood).
Here is one of the poor pitayas - now about 2 years old - in a hanging pot which I made of calabash and crocheted net.
I was thinking of a dry toilet, but I can't carry the heavy bucket... but I have an opportunity to get an abandoned allotment. I think it doesn't have any rainwater harvesting system (except for a broken gutter which points to the ground), nor a toilet. But it has a quite good bower (almost a tiny house) and impressive glass greenhouse (many glass windows broken and stuff needs repair, but still...).
That sounds crazy, if you can't use rainwater on your own land...
I think the way she breaks the neck - by twisting the pig with both hands - requires quite a lot of strength in arms? Maybe it only looks like this in the video, but I don't know if I'd be physically able to do it this way. She looks strong!
Also, guinea pigs are not officially recognized as farm animals here, so it probably wouldn't be legal to use them as food. I know of someone who wanted to change that, but faced a lot of hate from pet lovers.
There is African swine fever virus which mostly affects factory farms, where pigs are tightly packed together. Also wild boars are affected here and there. But this video you mentioned looks like fear mongering.
Madame Booker, I hereby confer upon thee the honourary degree "Master of Badassity." Wear it proudly.
Well, kind Sir, I thank thee!
Blimey! as they say in English, thank you so much everyone for all of them apples and pies! Never expected that. As I re-read my post, I only noticed the spelling mistakes, (but then it was 1:00 am my time when I wrote it), and the fact that I told a lie. I did buy some item of clothing recently, I bought some new knickers!
Have a lovely day you kind people!
I love that your "I plant trees" was just an intro to build up drama :D
You know you're a permie when you visit friends who are also permies and you eat delicious food and everything around is edible, compostable, regenerative and beautiful! And the chickens want to eat your pencils but not your charcoal.
I cut a tree in half :D
It still has a birdhouse on it, looks happy and will regrow. The half that fell was huge though, and I made a new fence with it! I only used a small garden saw and it took me three days.
Also, I have friends who do completely opposite things to save the world... let's hope we all win somehow.
Pearl Sutton wrote:When you are picking the cherry tomatoes, but leave a good looking one, because you'd have to disturb an orb spider web. It can have a tomato. Maybe it'll attract something for the spider. :D
My spider ate a bee! I try to encourage them to rethink the idea of making webs very close to flowering honey plants... but this one was sitting above a lovage bush. I also found one sitting on a cherry tomato, and it was a tiny hunting spider, one of those that don't make webs but run after their prey (I guess). And it didn't want to give up the tomato! It was running under it and to the other side so I couldn't chase it off. One stubborn spider! But I still took the tomato, the spider had to jump on a greener one ;)
When you empty your pockets to wash the trousers and there are empty seed packages in both! Today: a birch boletus mycelium, and radishes. The radish bag was a wholesale quantity, but almost expired, so I'll either have lots of radishes everywhere, or none...
To comment on yours:
1. I collect shower water and I have shampoo, conditioner and soap in bars, but have to admit that I need to redesign the system because it's annoying. All bars look the same and they become gooey too fast. They need their own containers that will drain them, and maybe some shelves in the shower.
4. This year I began using twigs from fences that didn't take root to heat the house. I decided that I prefer fences that take root, because they're easier to maintain. And if they grow too fast, they're just extra mulch or compost. So the dry ones get cut for burning as they're already dry!
I started to eat only local food; the pandemic helped with that. Some is from the garden, the rest is from local farmers. It's very cool to know them in person! So I didn't eat a single banana, orange, avocado, coconut etc this year... only a bit of pineapple, when I visited a friend and she only had that to offer. I actually ate more meat than before, and a surprising diversity of it. Lamb, rabbit, chicken (local native breed), beef, duck, quail, pork... no wild game (I do respect permie hunters but not the other kinds of hunters... and I think that wild game doesn't eat healthy).
I taught a number of workshops more or less related to permaculture. I would describe them to earn a badge but I probably don't have proper photos or something... Anyway, these were: talks about permaculture in general, teaching crafts with natural fibers, drawing workshop in a permie garden, and exhibition of artworks is coming. In general, I try to apply permaculture principles in my artistic practice.
I tried to support other people's publishings, translations and other educational projects as much as possible.
For the first time I made a proper plan of what I want to grow and where, and I made a drawing of the garden with zones etc. Now it's all changed after the season so I hope to properly do it again.
This reminds me of Olafur Eggertsson's farm in Iceland, which is at the foot of Eyjafjallajökull volcano. When it erupted in April 2010, he locked up his 160 cattle, including 60 dairy cows in a barn and covered the windows with hay and straw to block the ashes. The cattle survived, because the gases from volcano weren't toxic and the mudslide that followed missed his farm. Article that mentions the farm: A cruise to Iceland on the 10th anniversary of its most famous volcanic eruption.
I took the attached photo three years ago, when I visited Iceland.