After about 6 months of heavy listening/reading/learning in the permies.com and richsoil worlds, I've taken the plunge into getting involved with this community and providing some contributions. I'm constantly amazing at the wealth of knowledge presented here and the healthy conversations that take place.
Currently in my late twenties, married, and a father as of 7 weeks ago, I stumbled across the term permaculture about 3 years ago through some surfing circles here on the central coast. I think most surfers, and ocean-loving folk in general, are very open and receptive to such ideas due to our regular immersion in nature and the hippie undertones in our small culture. Well as someone who was discontent with the system after graduating college and struggling to figure out why, the things I read about regarding permaculture hit me like a ton of bricks, and have sparked a near-fanatical interest. A year after discovering the term and the large world it encompasses, my wife and I had moved out of a cookie-cutter home at the beach where we were giving away all of our earnings in rent, bought a small travel trailer, and moved into it on the corner of a friend's lavender farm under a work-trade agreement. We have been here for two years now, and moving into the small space out among the coastal live oaks has transformed our lives. We have been attempting to put into practice many gardening and homesteading skills we are learning about through Mollison, Hemenway, Paul's podcasts and these forums. Simultaneously I've been working on the conversion of a former U-Haul into an off-grid rolling tiny home, which we just took on a 3-month tour of the sierra nevada and rocky mountains to immerse ourselves in the big beautiful backyard that lies away from the coast.
I currently work as an energy engineer, providing energy savings recommendations for large commercial and government facilities. With my background in solar, wind, and alternative energy, in my spare time I've been developing some ideas about how to better design solar PV systems for off-grid homes, that will reduce the amount of materials and capital required with the same energy production. I'm in the midst of writing an article about it, and plan to provide a link on these forums in the next couple of weeks as I hope many members may find the information of interest.
Short-term plans include growing the grubstake, continued focus on learning permaculture skills as they relate to gardening, doing a 6 month internship on a farm in the tropics, and moving out of the travel trailer and into the rolling home. Long-term plans include leaving my desk job, buying some land with 5-6 other families, and building a permaculture community somewhere near some good surf.
Anyways, enough about me. I plan to begin contributing to this forum regularly, and as mentioned, hope to have my article on improved solar PV design for off-grid homes up shortly. In the meantime, I'll be looking for opportunities to share my knowledge in energy efficiency and alternative production wherever possible...and of course, gleaning as much knowledge from all of you smart folks as possible.
Thanks, looking forward to some enlightening discussions!
Wow Wes! Welcome to permies, officially. You sound like you are going to be a wealth of information! Glad you finally took to plunge and introduced yourself. Also I am a permie in the north bay of CA so yay for sort of closeness!
Thanks for the warm reception Jennifer. We've been loving the farm, everyone is always surprised to find out that we in fact are not inundated by the scent of lavender all day everyday - you don't even really notice the scent until you get all up close to it. If you walk in the barn though, where the essential oils are extracted, it's pretty overwhelming Here's a glimpse of the farm
Wes C. : Welcome to Permies and Richsoil.com our sister site ! Dig in ! I came here to talk about Wood stoves generally and rocket stoves all of the time.
Now I find myself linking to lots and lots of good people all over the World and lees and less time for every thing ! For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan