Karla Upton

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since Nov 16, 2013
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Recent posts by Karla Upton

It's Spring Planting Time or close to it, for half the world, so I wanted to re-post about the permaculture journal that I created. It originally started out as something just for me because I couldn't find anything I liked for my record keeping. There is a free sample earlier in this thread. I haven't gotten around to v.2 yet, and I ended up raising the price to $10. However, for Permies, FB Regen Ag, Geoff Lawton friends, and TSP members, I have a coupon that would take it back to the original $5. The code is SPRING2016 and is good until May 31, 2016. Thanks much! Karla
4 years ago
Greetings, Everyone ~

I have been working at my day job and hiding out with my computer in the wee hours. I am done with the First Edition of The Permaculture Journal. I didn't think I was gonna make it! Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement. This is a giant PDF of over 5,000 pages designed so that you may print out the pages that you need. The first 500 copies are available for $5 US at my Etsy store to thank you all for your support - I have been lurking for a while, and have learned so much here! The price will go up after the first 500 copies, but I don't know to how much.


Thanks again! It has been a learning experience! Karla
6 years ago
Want to thank everyone who have commented here or sent me email. Lots of good ideas and appreciate the encouragement! Thanks again!

Katrin, the zones are for the permaculture zones 0-5; however, the climate pages will allow you to record whatever growing zone you are in.

Thanks so much! Karla
6 years ago
I have arrived: so honored and tickled to be mentioned in the daily-ish email! The final full version is scheduled to be done in 2 or 3 weeks.
6 years ago
I was so excited to hear this update. I've been behind schedule with keeping up with the podcast (last one I heard was the review of the Permaculture Orchard), but one of the Geoff Lawton 2014 Online PDC members said to have a listen because we have been discussing the whole observation and record keeping thing on FB. I know you are technically just looking for an "observation" journal, but in case anyone finds my thoughts on this useful or amusing...

Now, it is true, I am an evernote fanatic - and I think it has its place... but, I still keep ending up with pen and paper... I have been gardening for 20 years, and eventually designed my own "printable" journal pages to take with me into the field because I couldn't find anything I liked, and I totally agree that there is something about pen or pencil on paper that cannot be replicated. The reason I moved away from bound journals is that sometimes I want to put things like all the weather observations over the years together, and I never know how much space to allocate. I run out of space for some things, and have blank pages left over for others. And then I have to look through several books (20+ years of gardening, and about 10 years of record keeping out of those 20+ years) to find anything. "Year over year" observations were difficult with a bound journal -at one time I had a bound journal for each month, and then divided each book into weeks - and each of the weeks had a section for weather, sow/plant/transplant, harvest/bloom, to do, journal/observation section. I got about 5 years worth of year over year in a set of 12 books like that. Adding a flock of chickens further complicated things... and then there were ducks...

I also used to keep a lot of things in spreadsheets, and I even thrashed around in some databases for a bit, but I find I am more connected to things when I write on paper - like Paul's observations about writing observations, I found that keeping my seed inventory by hand instead of in a psudo-database, made me know my seeds, made me think about them while recording their quantities and attributes - not just a tick mark in an electronic cell.

Anyway, I shared my garden journal with a few people on the Geoff Lawton 2014 Online PDC graduates' facebook site (https://www.facebook.com/groups/OPDC2014/) and they have generously suggested that they might find it useful if it had permaculture elements in it. I have a few weeks more to work on it, but have attached the current table of contents and some sample pages. This is a PDF designed to be printed out on durable paper and kept in a binder (I know, the binder isn't pretty... I haven't solved that one, yet.). Some one suggested that individual pages could be printed and put on clipboards next to whatever they pertained to, and could be updated "in the field" and then periodically gathered and organized into a binder. I am thinking that might be a particularly useful way to use it in a community environment. I am planning to do a crowsourcing campaign for it when it is done; however, I would be happy & honored to give a custom copy away to Paul & Team and 10 permies for feedback into making this thing better. I don't have the skillset to make it truly beautiful at this point, but, I am thinking that something is better than nothing, and I'd rather do something than nothing.

Thank you for any feedback and thoughts you might have on this subject. karla upton (freshly minted, overly enthusiastic PDC recipient and permaculture convert)

6 years ago
by way of TX, by way of GA, by way of CA, by way of NV.

Hello, Everyone!

My husband and I spent the last several years in the High Desert of Nevada (http://highdesertgardening.blogspot.com) playing with chickens on 4.77 acres and trying to coax tomatoes to set in 100*F+ summer temps. He grew up in the Mid-South, and I had spent a good amount of time in the Deep South, so eventually, we stopped banging our heads against the desert and "came home." He's former military, and I spent many years as an IT disaster recovery specialist - both professions that tend to make one paranoid - and so we found permaculture and Permies.com through our recently discovered Jack Spirko and The Survival Podcast. OMGoodness - there was a whole community that was articulating and doing what we had been thrashing around and trying to define for ourselves out there in the sand!

Anyway, the economy is much better here, we have jobs again, and we have stabilized the finances, so after renting in the 'burbs for the first time in many, many years, we are hoping to be back on land in 2014.

And through this crazy time of moving 2200 miles, and finding new jobs, and watching one child marry and another divorce, I am wondering if now is the time to change careers - the glitz and glamor of working in a fancy building in the financial district having worn thin. I am, at the moment, a systems analyst/business analyst/software designer by trade and a PMP certified project manager. I recently graduated with an AA in computer networking, and for my final project, I had to design a network that included redundancy, diversity, and contingency plans, and support multiple teams (guilds) of people, providing them with various types of network services. And then I had to map it out and write an implementation plan. But for all that I had now attained some mastery at what I do and a nice salary, I find that my work is meaningless, and I am looking for something more. And then I discovered permaculture. Could it be that I have been preparing all my life to do THIS? And after a few years at it, could I have some land that is our own paradise, and a career helping other people create their own paradise? Will I wimp out and not take the chance? Will I be content to have a meaningless job while simply improving my own little world? So I guess I am here to follow those thoughts and see where they lead.

Pleased to meet you. Looking forward to the journey, wherever the path goes.

6 years ago