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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Simple Living Institute

The other night The Mess and I went to an Intro to Permaculture at Leu Gardens hosted by the Simple Living Institute. It gave me some insight on this way of thinking, and to be honest, it's how I've been thinking about us, as humans, living on this earth. The premise is that humans need to learn to live with nature, not against or opposed to it. This earth has been around for millions of years and will probably out live us, and will outdo us, because we, as humans, can't control nature. Humans are the ones trying to control our living environments, which only makes us frustrated when it doesn't work out the way we want it to. Animals, on the other hand, have learned to live with nature; learning to adapt to climates, weather changes, changes in geography, etc. And can you see how less stressed they are? 

Permaculture comes from a combination of "permanent" and "culture", or "permanent" and "agriculture", first coined by Bill Mollison, an Australian ecologist who believed in living with nature.  Our talk last night was directed towards ones own living environment, like our house. We take a look at our house, its geographic location, how the sun and winds face the house, the plants that are already there, and work with that environment to build a setting that is conducive to our living situation. For example, if there is a lot of rain that comes down off one corner of the house during the summer, which ends up dislocating all the dirt on the ground due to heavy rains, I want to install a rain barrel there. This way I'll gather all the rain water, and save my dirt from being eroded from around the house. 

The Mess was intrigued, as was I, and we have decided to take a look at our front yard to make some changes to the landscaping so that we can add some fruit plants and some lemongrass, in order to make the most use of the sun that shines in the front yard, and to give us some food too. 

The Simple Living Institute is hosting a permaculture design course this spring. It sounds fascinating and this is a certificate course, meaning you'll be a degreed permaculturalist afterwards and can go anywhere in the world to do your permaculture thing. We can't afford it right now, but we'll take whatever info we can get and use it to our benefit. We can all use some help and having food plants in our own yard is a pretty cool thing. 

The hostess, Tia Meer, says that her Econ farm in far out east orlando is a host farm for WWOOF. I told The Mess that I'm interested in visiting and helping. It's not that far from us, we can learn a lot, and maybe she'll let us bring Scotty with us. Cool!

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