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On the Radio: WMNF Sustainable Living and Alternative Health Show

Listen to my ‘plug’ for justice here:   Making Our Living Spaces Greener

Please come to the courthouse on August 8th at 8:30 AM to show your support for “Food Not Lawns”, and whether you can make it in person or not, please sign the petition:  Support Statewide Recognition of Permaculture Design Certificates 

Bee HappytatRead the history here:  Casa Seranita

 

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Inner Peace and Passion of the Vine

Hope is passion for what is possible.
Søren Kierkegaard

sur·ren·der

[suhren-der]  Show IPA

verb (used with object)

  1. to yield (something) to the possession or power of another; deliver up possession of on demand or under duress: to surrender the fort to the enemy; to surrender the stolen goods to the police.
  2. to give (oneself) up, as to the police.
  3. to give (oneself) up to some influence, course, emotion, etc.: He surrendered himself to a life ofhardship.
  4. to give up, abandon, or relinquish (comfort, hope, etc.).
  5. to yield or resign (an office, privilege, etc.) in favor of another.

verb (used without object)

  1. to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.

noun

  1. the act or an instance of surrendering.
  2. Insurance. the voluntary abandonment of a life-insurance policy by the owner for any of its nonforfeiture values.
  3. the deed by which a legal surrendering is made.

Origin: 
1425–75;  (v.) late Middle English surrendren  < Anglo-French surrender, Old French surrendre  to give up,equivalent to sur- sur-1  + rendre  to render; (noun) < Anglo-French; Old French surrendre,  noun use of theinfinitive

 

What maypopdo hope, passion and surrender have in common?  Why, the lowly yet lovely Passion Flower and fruit, of course!  This blog began with a “Maypop” flower, and over the course of the past two years I’ve watched my own vine grow, flower, and finally fruit this year.  My ‘homestead’ yard has begun to function and have the look of a true food forest, and the only items I now purchase from the store on a regular basis are coffee, milk (non-dairy), gluten-free flour, and cat food.  Oh, and wine—thus, my trips to the store are often punctuated by wry commentary on my ‘food’ choices…which, of course, I have to engage the cashier in conversation about my garden, because who wants to make the ‘crazy cat lady’ thing that obvious, really?

What about ‘surrender’, you ask?  That’s a wee bit more complex, and may I draw your attention to the first words of the definition above:  “to yield” and “to give”.  In permaculture we often speak in terms of yield—only it’s usually the outcome kind—here is an opportunity to explore the other kind of yield—the kind which could feel like ‘submit’ if not taken in proper context.  A couple of scenarios to illustrate:

  • Bully at school accosts you to forfeit your lunch money—
    your choices:

o   You surrender the money, and either go hungry or rely upon the kind
ness of strangers to feed you; or

o   You refuse, he beats you up, and takes the money anyway; or

o   You run, fast, to the principle’s office, in hopes of discouraging further graft.

Potential yields:

o   Hunger, perhaps a new friend or two, certainly a little wisdom.

o   A black eye.

o   School reputation as a ‘tattle-tale’, perhaps a spot on the track team.

 

So, what’s the point I’m trying to make here?  Maybe there is none, maybe this is just a rambling rant designed to clear my own head and it has absolutely no bearing on anyone else.  Or, perhaps I am still poking a stick at the concept of ‘surrender’, because, see—here’s the rub:  all of my spiritual friends will tell you that surrender is the way to peace, and they could be right—I mean, it’s certainly not very peaceful to allow a 2 ton machine to run over your body as it lies prone in the way of something deemed ‘progress’ by the dominant culture.  And yet, it’s no more peaceful to comply with rules which simply no longer make sense—ones that do more harm than good.

Here’s where I’m going to break in and interrupt my own musings, in order to shed some light on what brought me to here:  my dentist.  More specifically—the situation which took me to my dentist, which by the time I got there had me convinced I had a brain tumor, or something else equally as unpleasant.  I love my dentist, even if I can’t pronounce her first name—she said: “Good news!” and gave me high dose Ibuprofen, muscle relaxers, and a mouth guard.  Apparently, the stress of avoiding a ‘battle’ and attempting to comply had led me to grinding my teeth with a vengeance while I slept.

See, sometimes when we ‘try’ not to fight, we’re still fighting—we just hide it under the veil of our dream life.

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So, I let go—it took about a week, but I slowly relinquished the grip I had on what ‘must be’, and took down the bloody Warka that had the county code enforcement officer, zoning director, engineering department, and god-only-knows who else in apparent chaos.  It just.wasn’t.worth.the.stress.  It needs a new home, my lily warka—I’m not giving up on the concept, because it is a good one—but, perhaps this slightly above-per-capita-average-income county is not quite ready for such innovations.  Yet.

For now, I am taking the advice of some very evolved people:

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Peaceful Egg-in-a-Basket Breakfast

“Don’t give your energy, time, & attention to anyone with a clear investment in drama, victimhood & negativity. Be an atmosphere that evokes transformation & healing. Stop trying to “change” people who have taken out a mortgage in misery. The best way to impact change is by the example of our living. Meet people where they are, not where you are…and know that where they are is perfect on their unique path, and know that this does not make you better, special or greater than them or where they are with themselves…different not better. No one escapes the work that their soul came to do, so no need to police & judge. See them as Whole, separate the behavior from the Being and be clear we live in a Universe of Love, Perfect Order, & Harmony…surrender will restore harmony to chaos. Trust the Process and do not be fooled by appearances. See beyond circumstance and condition…let people BE. Stop trying to “rescue” people. Saving people is a conversation of your E.G.O…Save your self. Empower those that are open to your support and keep strong boundaries from toxic energy.
Be compassionate and exercise discernment with people…trust and yet still be wise. Serve people, don’t fix them, they are not broken…simply they have fallen asleep…you can’t want for another more than they want for themselves. Be the best you, that is the greatest gift you can offer the world.”  ~Judah Isvaran

Namaste

 

Read the Permaculture Principles Series:

Introduction:  ”Unplugging”

  1. Observe and Interact
  2. Catch and Store Energy
  3. Obtain a Yield
  4. Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services
  6. Produce no waste
  7. Design from patterns to details
  8. Integrate rather than segregate
  9. Use small and slow solutions
  10. Use and value diversity
  11. Use edges and value the marginal
  12. Creatively use and respond to change

 

© Loretta Buckner, 2014, We Grow From Here

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Loretta Buckner and WeGrowFromHere.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 


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A Year in Review: Casa Seranita Project 2013

Its hard to believe it’s been a whole year since we began the ‘Casa’ project!  One year from ground zero to abundance and a Full House with poetry nights, permaculture classes, and much more to come.   Inspiring!

Please stop by on Thursdays from 11-2pm for our ‘Lunch & Learn’ permaculture shares, and sign up for the meetup so you’ll be invited to all of our workshops!

The Tampa Bay Permaculture Guild

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Unplugging: No Longer Going Along for the Ride (or: “My Year of Permaculture Immersion”)

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” (Albert Einstein)

This post comes from several events which occurred last year: beginning with a three-month stint of ‘walking the walk’ which meant unplugging from internet, cable, and house phone, through the process of learning and witnessing consensus decision-making in action at the IPCC in Cuba, and ending with layers upon layers of un-composted (raw) material—both literally and figuratively (a common theme in my life, you may have already noticed).

In January, I had been attempting to switch from one mega-company to another for what I then perceived to be essential services: phone, internet, and cable. Granted, I rarely watched t.v. at that point—but I had my favorite channels or shows which I would record on DVR to watch when I had time, but having an internet connection seemed inevitable and quite necessary to the ongoing requirements of a real estate broker. The house phone was a number I had kept from when my mother was still alive (she died in 2001), and which she had for over twenty years—from the time we moved to Florida in 1977. That was, in fact, the hardest aspect to let go of—I remember thinking that someone might call that number, looking for her perhaps—someone who wasn’t trying to sell her something. It never happened—not in the 13 years I had the number in my name.

So, I took the plunge—vowing to remain unplugged for as long as it took to prove to myself how unnecessary these seeming ‘conveniences’ really were. That period of time turned out to be three months. The very first thing I noticed was palpable—when the signal was stopped, there was true silence in my home for the first time since I’d moved there ten years before. It was as if some background noise—a buzz—a sound I’d been so accustomed to I no longer noticed it at all–was suddenly cut off–and only in its absence was the former presence recognized. This was rather unnerving.

The next phenomena which became immediately obvious was in my first chosen public venue for accessing the internet, a necessary evil to remain in business: The Library. Those once-hallowed halls of infinite knowledge, sacred palace of hushed tones and reverential awe…not so quiet anymore. People talk there—a lot, and not in whispers. I had my favorite spots—places where I could plug in my laptop to both power and internet if required, yet the constant and persistent chatter of the other patrons—conversations in normal voice tone, games and even Skype calls on surrounding computers, and parents scolding children—all proved to be more than I could handle on some days. More than once I found myself on my laptop in the parking lot, with a thread WiFi connection from inside the building keeping me connected.

Flash forward to something a young man —wise beyond his years, attending a workshop at the International Permaculture Convergence in Cuba said, regarding ‘yield’ and expectations: “…when I attend a class and do not get what I expected in terms of subject matter—I look to what other yields there may have been…often that yield may be patience.” Oh yes, this is one unexpected yield which permaculture as a culture on the whole produces in great quantity!

Flash back to my first PDC (Permaculture Design Course), which I completed either just prior to or even during my ‘unplugging’—this was my first experience with an immersion course in permaculture, therefore I was unsure whether the level of, or more correctly complete lack of organization, was in fact not an intentional outcome of the design. There is after all, quite a lot of discussion in the community regarding chaos and order and patterns…but, as it turned out, those involved in this particular course were fully cognizant of the lack of structure, and barely held onto what little there was in order to complete the required 72 hours. There were moments of clarity, to be sure, but an overall or underlying structure was completely absent. Here is where my personal interest in the responsibility of the teacher to the student outcomes became a high priority—several of the students already having a fairly high degree of knowledge in the subject matter have since pursued the creation of improved class and curriculum design as a result of the chaos in that class. Which brings us to the subject of integrity—a multi-faceted jewel of a word, to be sure—it is in the persistent, focused search and recognition of this singular concept which cuts to the very core of permaculture.

in·teg·ri·ty

inˈtegritē/

noun

  1. 1.

    the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

    “he is known to be a man of integrity”

    synonyms: honestyprobityrectitudehonor, good character, principle(s),ethics, morals, righteousnessmoralityvirtuedecency, fairness,scrupulousness, sinceritytruthfulness, trustworthiness More
  2. 2.

    the state of being whole and undivided.

    “upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”

    synonyms: unityunificationcoherencecohesiontogethernesssolidarity
    “the integrity of the federation”

At the very core of Permaculture are its ethics: Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share (or return of surplus). The entire system is taught as a structure-based design system, based on nature and organic process, but based on structure it is. One of the most basic qualities of any structure, organic or non- is INTEGRITY. Structural integrity refers to the nature of being whole, while ethical integrity is that of being morally sound, or also ‘whole’. The whole of permaculture design systems is often depicted as a flower—each overlapping petal the various branches of system design throughout culture (it’s not ‘just gardening’, you see). The backdrop, or canvas of the entire system concept is, however, the principles:

  • Observe and interact
  • Catch and store energy
  • Obtain a yield
  • Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
  • Use and value renewable resources and services
  • Produce no waste
  • Design from patterns to details
  • Integrate rather than segregate
  • Use small and slow solutions
  • Use and value diversity
  • Use edges and value the marginal
  • Creatively use and respond to change

We will begin covering each one of these principles in depth once a week for the next 12 weeks, so please be certain to subscribe to this blog if this material interests you!

Back to consensus, and Cuba, and composting—I have yet to write my actual blog post on my Cuba experience, partly because of time factors with the holidays, but also in great part because I know that I still have some composting to do (thus the ‘raw’). It was a big experience, and one that I feel deserves time and reflection before attempting to put it into words. In fact, I do believe that would be a great way to start on the principles, with “observe and interact”. The mass consensus demonstration fits well under “apply self-regulation and accept feedback”, so we will cover it in more detail in that post—for now, let me say that it does work—I have witnessed a consensus model in action, and on a very large scale, and it worked. Was everyone entirely happy with the outcome? Perhaps not, but they accepted it as the best solution—and that is the important factor right there. This is what we strive for in permaculture—the highest yield, the best environment for not only the majority, but for everyone.

And that, my friends, is what permaculture, and regenerative systems design is all about!

Casa Seranita and We Grow From Here homestead photo update

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Casa Seranita, September, 2013:  sweet potatoes, Nopales (edible cactus), peanuts

imageCasa Seranita:  Peach tree, Loquat, Amaranth, Fig, Herb spiral

imageLemongrass, Chaya, Passionfruit, Papaya

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Homestead:  Peach, Passion Fruit, Papaya, Banana, Mango, Pomegranate

We Grow From Here Homestead

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Moringa, Bananas, Plantain, lemongrass, Guava, Key Lime, Passion Fruit, Blackberry, Peach, Mango View the pictures →

This gallery contains 7 photos