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Does your family support your permie nature?

 
pollinator
Posts: 437
Location: Washington State
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I was thrilled last night when my sister asked me to make a ginger carrot ferment.  

Slowly, I am seeing her choices shift toward permie options.  

Three examples stand out:

1. Ginger Carrots:
Sauerkraut is on my list of BB to do so when my sister was cutting cabbage for stirfry but cut it into strips instead of squares, I offered to make kraut and sliced the rest of the cabbage.
While reviewing the recipe booklet that came with my kit my sister was intrigued by the ginger carrots and asked me to make a pint.

2. H2O2 and Baking Soda cleaners
Recently I did the clean the exterior of your stove Nest.Alice BB and used Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda.  I discovered what an amazing cleaning combo this is and this past week, I made a paste to clean the glass top of the stove for her to use.  She was surprised at the lack of elbow grease required to clean the burn mark and has used it again.  A rewarding experience for me.  

3. Organic purchases
My sister is 7 years older than me and had never sought out organic items to purchase until last fall when I decided to make Fire Cider and she agreed that using organics to make medicine was a prudent choice.  Since then she has (without prompting) purchased more ingredients and asked me to make more.  We are using our fourth batch right now and have two more fermenting with a different vinegar for three experiments (apple cider, champagne, white wine).  

Please share milestones in your family's transition or conversion.
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Ginger
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Fermentation in Process
Fermentation in Process
 
master gardener
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Location: southern Illinois.
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My family has had nothing to do with me for many years.  They have decided I am a woods hippie. ....not that they have ever seen the home I live in.
 
Posts: 130
Location: Middle Georgia, Zone 8B
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John F Dean wrote:My family has had nothing to do with me for many years.  They have decided I am a woods hippie. ....not that they have ever seen the home I live in.



My family (mostly my mom) hasn't gone so far as to disown me, but they do think I'm off the proverbial deep end. They think we're "tied" to our house because of our animals and gardening, and it's bizarre to them that we don't travel or even go to the mall for fun. Or that we don't eat out. Like, ever...okay, we did eat out once last May.

My sister's kids sent me invitations to their high school graduations with a note attached: "We know you can't come, but here's an invitation anyway."

My mom visited our house once. Just once. She likes the idea of growing her own food, but the actual work to grow it? Mmm, not so much. She did go with me to the nursery to buy another persimmon tree though, does that count? (sarcasm...)

My dad won't even eat homemade bread. Or home grown anything. And I'm not exaggerating, either. There's something about home grown food he thinks is dangerous. Like store bought food is safe?!

Okay... my blood pressure is up now...Y'all are supposed to be my "safe place," LOL!

 
pollinator
Posts: 90
Location: East of England
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My sister back in Sydney is definitely permie. We grew up on my grandfather's farmlet, where much of the family food was grown, and for both of us that's an ideal we'd love to recreate in our own lives. She now lives with our elderly parents to help them, and since moving in has started a veggie patch and a chook run. The healthier food plus having something interesting to do and to watch has helped Mum and Dad a lot.
My hubby, though, is about as non-permie-friendly as it's possible to get. He tolerated me planting a hedge/food forest around our small yard to stop kids riding their bikes across it as a short-cut, but constanly defeats my attempts to get understory plants growing by weeding it back to bare earth. He rakes up mulch because it looks untidy. He won't eat home grown food and rarely will eat my home cooked food. Probably because he's on the autistic spectrum, he prefers beige food that comes wrapped in plastic. He sent me an article suggesting regularly consuming kefir may have some protective effects against viruses, but won't even taste my fermented foods and drinks.
I love him dearly, but... sigh!
 
master steward
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I got pretty lucky. Both of my grandparents had gardens and knew hard times and both of my parents are frugal. Growing up, we had a small garden and a little woods on the back of our 1 acre plot. My sister-in-law is from Russia, and her grandmother had/has a dacha garden, so she grew up growing a lot of food can caring for geese in the summer. We encourage each other in food growing and make-do and mending (she makes really nice wool pants for our kids out of old sweaters and makes her own slippers--she grew up conserving and making do).

I'm the most "permie" of the people in my family, but they support and understand me. Within two weeks of meeting my husband, we were talking about how we wished we could live in a cabin in the woods, and we made it happen (well, sort of...it's a manufactured home in the woods). He gripes about the work a lot of the things require, but he also works full time at the hospital, so I understand. When I ask about buying plants, he says, "Of course! It's grocery money. Buy all the food!" He's glad to live out here, especially during these chaotic times, and he helps with the stuff I can't do alone...albeit with a little grumbling as he does it, especially if it's raining .
 
gardener
Posts: 2154
Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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I grew up gardening and my parents used to have goats, bees and chickens. So parts of this life was what I grew up with. We always grew a large part of our veggies each year. My siblings all support this sort life though they live it in different ways. My oldest brother does a lot to improve his land down in Arizona though not a lot of food production. My other brother has experimented with rabbits, chickens and now is focusing on growing food in gardens and he wants to plant a food forest on his property. My sister is more focused on supporting local organic farms and eating a very healthy diet--she follows a vegan diet and is very careful about what sorts of food she eats in regards to how it was grown/produced. Her kids also went to a nature based school for several years.

My wife is very supportive of a permies lifestyle and her parents/siblings all think this is cool though it's not how they choose to live. But they love our place and fully support what we do.

We really are very lucky to have such a supportive family while on this journey. I think my wife and I have gone further than anyone else in our family but they're all supportive. Though as we shift to a composting toilet and some other larger changes we will see But they all love our food growing and how beautiful and "natural" our place is becoming.
 
pollinator
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This year? Yes. My family not only supported my self-sufficient tendencies, they even joined in with the gardening and the canning. Mom has already asked me to plant a bigger patch of a particular potato variety that she liked.

Most years? No. My family pretty much mocks anything I do. I'm the idiot child who exists only so they have someone to look down at.

I don't expect that to change. Their response to the widespread food shortages made for a nice reprieve, but I'm not getting my hopes up.
 
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They are not at all permies, and they don't get it. They enjoy the honey from our bees but think I'm nuts for keeping them. Same with produce from the garden. My inlaws are more supportive than my blood relatives, they live rurally and grow grapes and blueberries, ferment stuff, make sourdough. My MIL brings me seeds and plants often. I wish more of my family cared! Even my husband isnt into it.I'm really the lone permaculture nut 😏
 
pollinator
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John F Dean wrote:My family has had nothing to do with me for many years.  They have decided I am a woods hippie. ....not that they have ever seen the home I live in.



We still love you, though.
 
pollinator
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Wow, brutal stories here that I wasn’t expecting to see! I’m sorry about your family situations. Especially in John’s case. Sad to read brother. Family dynamics can be a very difficult for weird reasons occasionally. I guess I’m lucky to have found permaculture and will always be thankful to a YouTube video Paul made a decade ago.
My family marvels at the stuff I do. They continue on with the gardening techniques from their childhood but not out of ignorance; I’ve offered to help. It’s just tradition and marks the changing of the seasons. It’s a habit, and like most habits it’s comforting. They always ask why my produce is so much better than theirs. I invite them to the gardens to talk because I don’t know how to answer their questions. I never had an interest in growing food until I saw Paul’s video. Permaculture is all I know and my people seem to appreciate it. God, I’ve learned so much here.
I knew I was blessed to have more than we need but never thought of the family blessings until now.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
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It is just me and my hubby, and no, he does not support permaculture or any of the work I do in the garden, the orchard, the chicken coop. Meat is predominant in his diet. He likes the chicken soup I canned and the honey and the eggs, the apple schnapps. the Peppermint Schnapps but doesn't care to help. He will weld for me and has a good mechanical mind, which comes in handy once in a while. He helps here and there with "mechanicals things", just not with "permies stuff". Gardening is too hard for him.
I don't care: the beauty of being old is that you regain a lot of freedoms: "FREEDOM is being you, without anyone's permission".[Being financially secure enough, I abuse the privilege - if it is a privilege].
My kids live in Chicago, so not much gardening there, although... They enjoy fresh food and appreciate my productions, so all is not lost...
All in all, I'm happy. Can't ask for more, right?
 
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As one person wrote, I'm the idiot child. Yes, and the one economically disadvantaged, too. . That's hard at times. It definitely separates you from family.    My husband and I are the only ones that do this work. We love it, it gives us purpose and is so satisfying.  The bees, making maple syrup, gardens, high tunnel, chickens, eggs.   I  lay out the property the way I want and my husband helped plant it.  The edge of the woods , my food forest is coming along.
 Every one making comments now about coming here when SHTF.  No, I don't think so.  They didn't take the time to learn the skill sets needed and most like their couches too much. I've given them live plants, plans, canned foods, etc. They sure like the food!  But none have lifted a finger in fifteen years.
Our neighbors are a different story, they all garden and raise different animals although not organically.  When you talk to them about permaculture they don't know why we would do this.  They just clear fields.  We all help each other with projects and problems.
I hate to say this but aside from this group, the only time we have felt we had found our "village" was at mother earth news fair in Pennsylvania.  It was affordable. We learned so much, talked to so many  like minded people from every walk of life and circumstance.    There are so many classes out there I would love to take but it seems everything is so expensive we just can't do it plus as another wrote, we can't leave the farm !  
I want to thank everyone involved in permies.com and everyone that posts.  You are all life lines in teaching and support. Thank you for letting me vent.
 
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Some view it as my personal quirk, harmless and eccentric.  (Don't let him get on the subject, he won't shut up).  My adult kids are at various levels of excitement/interest.  Being starving college students with young, growing families their plates are already full to overflowing. Most of my siblings are waiting to see the rubber hit the road.  Their thought is 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating."  My wife is conceptually converted and is willing to let me run with it as long as it looks ok and isn't too expensive or inconveniences her too much.  She is mostly interested in the food storage/medicine side of things.  

We just sold our house in southern Indiana and are buying a house in Cache valley in southeast Idaho.  Pretty stoked about it.
 
Posts: 34
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
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I hope that I am going to be able to change, in the similar manner,  their mind in the future.
I grew up in the city, but inherited 3 acres.
When I was making my first hugel, my cousin grandpa who is living near by was holding his head with his hands in disbelif and was saying nobody is doing that.
I guess that non trust was hurting me, physically.

From the beginning of 2018 I was nursing my mother during & after chemo therapy, after lung cancer, than the brain cancer, very difficult but also rewording times...
She passed away in August. I convinced her maybe too late, with bush of tomatoes and cherry tree,  in a bathtub, with all that growing green in 1x2m surface.
We had garlic and onion and some black locus trees, stinging nettles  but also wild  plant called senf mustrad popped up growing on the top balcony  of cement hill. (13th floor building)
The several pepper trees she liked the most. Although she lost ability of speaking, she was smiling and showing on all that little red tomatoes  or chillies.
We had enough chillies to sell on the market.

 
pollinator
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I'm with most of the others here, idiot children and woods hippies ;)
My sister believes that people should live in cities and food should be factory farmed (the popular vegan agenda). Most others accept buying food locally, but not growing it. They believe that both are just an entertainment, and the "normal way" is buying food in the store. They believe that adults shouldn't keep animals other than cats and dogs, and keeping animals for a purpose (like eggs, meat, manure for the garden etc) is weird and only acceptable if a person was born in the countryside, in a family of farmers, and knows nothing else.
In fact, they were hoping that I get a well paid job in a large corporation, live in a neat apartment somewhere in the city centre, preferably abroad, and have a kid or two that I would send to a fancy school in that city. And maybe a dog. And a potted plant that looks nice and tidy ;D
I would be so miserable if that happened!
I'm also quite miserable now :P but art and permaculture help me create or imagine the part of my life that doesn't exist ;)
 
Stacie Kim
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Every one making comments now about coming here when SHTF.  No, I don't think so.  They didn't take the time to learn the skill sets needed and most like their couches too much. I've given them live plants, plans, canned foods, etc. They sure like the food!  But none have lifted a finger in fifteen years.



Reminds me of the old children's story, "The Little Red Hen." Most people will gladly eat the fruits of other people's labor.

I'm sorry you have family like this. I agree with you that they shouldn't be able to mooch off of you when times get tough. If they were willing to help out, that's a different story.
 
pollinator
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I was raised on a homestead in Alaska; my parents were both raised on farms, and Mom always grew or foraged most of our food.  Even my (ex) husband, though raised in a suburb of Omaha, always had a vegetable garden.  We were forestry students when we met in college.  So there was always that interest for both of us.  We always wanted our own place where we could grow most of our food.  No matter where we were, we always did grow as much as we could, even when he was in the Air Force and we lived on base for a while -- we gardened in containers there.  Actually, that was kind of a neat place -- Homestead AFB, southern tip of Florida, and our base housing had a big screened porch on the back that we filled with containers!

So our daughters were raised that way; one always loved all the 'farm' type activities and the other hated, and still hates, to get dirty.  But she still learned a lot.  Now, they don't do a lot of permie type stuff, because they are both working full-time.  But they do grow a few veggies, and cook from scratch.  Both of them have been planting berries and fruit trees around their yards. They do some sewing (middle daughter was sewing bags to sell at craft fairs for a while, but that's a hard way to make a living).  Oldest still does some foraging, and has led nature walks.  They like it when they come visit and can be around my goats and chickens -- oldest daughter took a picture of one of my Icelandic hens last year, painted a picture from it, and has stuff for sale with the picture on it -- mugs and t-shirts and so on.  They help me with stuff when they are here. Their dad lives in North Carolina near the coast and still does permie stuff on his little property there (complaining about the soil, which is mostly sand).  

Most of the extended family still does some gardening; the only one who has any livestock other than me is one of my sisters in Oregon, who recently got chickens. If they live where they can, they all have at least a few fruit trees and berries.  One of my nieces, young and recently married, is gardening and doing other permie stuff (I'm pretty proud of my two nieces -- they were taught a lot of useful skills as they were growing up, and either one of them can build a house, or fix one; repair a vehicle up to and including replacing the engine; sew any kind of garment -- the married one worked as a tailor for a while before she got married; cook from scratch and put up food for the winter; decorate cakes; grow a garden; raise poultry; train a dog; and many more skills).

It's a shame that so many people live so far from 'the land' that they would essentially be helpless without modern civilization.  
 
pollinator
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I never really thought too much about family being supportive or not- granted I just discovered permaculture last Spring and we haven’t taken the dive.

Regardless, my husband grew up on a nature reserve and always wanted to have land of his own one day. I’m the odd one out in that I grew up in the suburbs and wanted to live on land. Little did I know that I wanted to develop that land into a food forest and work toward growing most of my produce until just this past Spring. (I’m really working toward this goal and have high hopes I will actually follow through- though it is a new interest)

I guess it wasn’t really much of a stretch for me since my parents spoke of growing their own food frequently when I was in high school. They even bought some land that they were planning to retire on- but it was far away from their support system. Who would want to retire where they don’t know anyone? So they sold that land and now we’re planning on buying and sharing land more local to us :)
In terms of taking action, they tried and failed at a vegetable garden one year and never tried again... I’m not sure how committed they will be to this lifestyle, but I’m going full speed ahead whether they help or not. Either way, they’re supportive of it and I don’t mind them living in my backyard.

My husband is especially supportive- probably more so out of fears of food security than anything else. But I want to do this with or without food scarcity! Healthy food is important to me, and I now know home grown food is way more nutritious than anything at the store.

My sister has been a big help in getting me started since she has been vegetable gardening in the city for years! Not sure where my brothers are at precisely, but they knew what a food forest was when I mentioned it to them last Fall and said it was a neat idea to do on our own land.

My daughter is the most supportive- probably because she just loves it when Mommy goes outside and digs in the dirt with her. :) Her little toddler self even pulls me out into the garden more often than I would like at times.

I’m in the beginning steps of it all, so we’ll see if anyone changes their opinion of me once I start committing to more- like making my own clothes... something I’d like to dabble in this year.
 
pollinator
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My family members (mother, sister, brother) are all like me, only they do not use the word 'permaculture'.
My mother (90 y.o.) has a garden full of wild (not all really native) plants, of which some are edible. My sister has a job, but she has two gardens to work in too, one in front of her house and an alotment garden. My brother has a garden, chickens and bees. He lives on an island and is known as 'the bee-keeper' of that island (been on television a few times). both my sister and brother have partners who support them. My father died long ago, but he was a first class nature-lover too. We all love 'doing our own things' very much.

But, there's another group of people I consider like family, let's say they are my 'spiritual brothers and sisters'. I'm a little disappointed they are not really interested in permaculture (not even without using that word).  
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
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I forgot part of the family ... My children and grandchildren. The son who lives closest by, so we are most in contact, loves gardening. He is more towards biodynamic. He loves nature too, as a photographer. And his son (7 y.o.) loves nature too (do you know Freek Vonk? If you don't search for him on youtube. My grandson is a fan of those videos on wild animals. But that is not permaculture of course ...)
 
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Opalyn Rose wrote:

Slowly, I am seeing her choices shift toward permie options.  
[...]
Please share milestones in your family's transition or conversion.




Lead by example ... and power of choice! That’s awesome to hear.

On their own, my family are perfectly content with convenience foods/goods from outside sources, but are 100% supportive of whatever projects I want to undertake. If it’s in shared turf (mainly the kitchen), just so long as it’s squirreled away/out of sight, I have free reign to do mad science!

They were already accustomed to me boycotting certain companies/products years ago, and the solutions I came up with to fill in the gaps for my own personal use. Basically at this point we run in parallel — the version I use, and the one from the store they use.  “My” solution is always around, eeking into their consciousness...
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Home made versions of convenience foods (e.g. bread, chips, crackers)
  • Re-usable food containers and wraps
  • Countertop compost canister


  • Two positive changes/things that sprang up recently:
  • Family member purchased a fancy pressure cooker, but specifically mentioned that it could also be used for canning
  • Planning to sneak in a small food forest in the front yard (we live in a suburban community with loose but existing HOA rules) - eyes glazed over when I started describing the concept, but a week later, family member brought up research they had done on fruit/nut trees they would like to use in the plot (!)


  • Additional Ammo I Use
  • I translate some of the concepts/products to gifts! What better way than something delicious or useful (that they didn’t have to make themselves) in super cute packaging to introduce or hook someone on a new concept? (Or to save $$ buying it somewhere else)
  • The PEP lists for ideas have been awesome to share. “Oh, you’re texting me because you’re bored? Try this!”
  •  
    Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he's dead, that tiny ad sure bled
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