My Permaculture Story

Although it seems like many, many years ago, my Permaculture story began in August 2010…

I was home for vacation in the beginning of August, looking at gardening videos on YouTube and came across a series of videos on Permaculture.  I don’t remember who posted them, but I remember they featured Geoff Lawton and Bill Mollison and the Permaculture Institute in Australia. I found the first video and for every waking moment of that 7 days after (and since) I consumed whatever information I could find on Permaculture.

Based on those few videos, we planned the garden beds, dry river bed (swale) and the multitude of Perennial trees, bushes and vines. We started simply with just a couple of beds and have added steadily for the past 3 years. My thinking was that if we just kept adding, we could grow quite a bit of veggies, fruit, nuts and annuals each year.

Then something happened that was completely unexpected…

For the first time ever, the course in Australia was opened up on-line for people to take. People, like me, who could not go to Australia, but wanted so much to learn everything possible about Permaculture.  This design science, this sustainable living, this food security in an uncertain world – was open to me. The price was right and I signed up for what would change my life forever. Permaculture was already such a focus for me, I believe that everyone should have the ability to eat a variety of in season foods and food insecurity is an unnecessary condition of our current society.

I took the course, over the past few months, absorbed as much information as I could, took the quiz, and turned in my project to design a sustainable existence on our 100×50 ft. lot that we live on. Not only did I see the possibilities for us, I saw the possibilities for the world.

No one should be hungry…but instead, we have the answers to live in absolute abundance.

The past Tuesday, I realized another surreal and amazing event when Geoff Lawton came to UMass Amherst, (sponsored by the Permaculture programs there) and I was able to receive my certificate in person from Geoff. He spoke first of possibilities, of changes we can all make to create a different world around us – one of abundance.

When we arrived, we weren’t sure where we were, but I turned and saw Ryan Harb and Geoff Lawton walking by, as well as Jonathan from the Permaculture Food Forest of Holyoke driving by (we have purchased many of our perennial plants from him). So we followed them to the room where Geoff was speaking.

I stayed after the talk and met Geoff and received my certificate in Permaculture.  One of the most important events in my life, by far. It’s just the beginning, and now I have a certificate to teach Permaculture. I have a lot to learn still, and our experiments in this little yard are helping me to understand things on a bigger scale.

I am changed. Nothing will ever be the same. To have the solution and not act is inexcusable.

That being said, I have a lot to learn and will continue to move forward – experimenting with plants and annual garden beds in our garden, as well as keeping track of the perennial trees and vines, and learning so much from the small space we are working with.

I look forward to future adventures!

The pictures are a little blurry, but it doesn’t change how much this means to me.

Thank you, Geoff.