So I know this is our business site, but the work we do is personal so I feel comfortable sharing things about my life. We help others get connected with the land around them in a thoughtful and integrated way. 29 years ago the as the Challenger was exploding in the sky my mother had just given birth to me. My birthday last year was officially my golden birthday, 28 on the 28th, but I can’t help to continue to feel those golden rays. I have so much to be thankful for.
I write from my little cabin in the woods. Though it is small, I have a wonderful home powered by the sun and heated by wood. I have so many friends who are ever supporting and all helping to create a better world. I feel connected to my family more than ever. I have strong mentors who continue to push and nurture my exploration of my self. I am part of an awesome community that makes it possible for me to do the work I feel is so important.
I get to look out my window and see healthy young forest all around me. Even more closely I get to see all the beauty that is Bread and Roses Gardens. I am so thankful for my dear friend and comrade Salem Willard. We’ve come a long way from two weirdos spending all their time digging swales and playing with plants in the middle of the woods with no running water. We still don’t have municipal water, but we do have all the rain water one could need! Salem has put so much blood, sweat, and even a few tears into this magical place we call the holler. If you haven’t been out here… you need to fix that. This year things are going to bust of these now established gardens. With over 500 varieties of perennial plants it is a friggin’ jungle down here. Keep pushing Will! Oh and if you haven’t eaten the greens that come out of this place or a place like it, I dare say you haven’t eaten real greens before. These soils are alive and that comes from years of dedication of building capital in the soil. No till, No bull shit, just food teaming with life!
I met someone last year that has changed my life and whom I am truly in love with. Words are hardly enough to describe the happiness you bring to my life Rachel Beyer. Together we can do anything. As we prepare for an adventure to Tanzania, I am certain our travels will only bring us closer. We have so much to learn from each other. For those who don’t know Ms. Beyer… She is kickin’ ass up at Purdue running their student farm. She knows how to make those veggie babies grow! She has two sweet pups that are super cuddly and super farm dogs. And on the dance floor, she’ll sweep you away!
I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be teaching and practicing permaculture design. This weekend I will be teaching on agroforestry and urban strategies at the Bloomington PDC. These are two subjects I care deeply about. They are two core peices of the course. How do city folk continue their lives within the urban environment in a sustainable and regenerative way? How do country folk manage farm land and forest in a way that sequesters carbon, secures watersheds, produces all the foods and products we have come to rely on? These are huge questions, but there are design strategies and techniques out there to guide us into the future of abundance. Do yourself and community a huge favor and take a PDC.
Then after that I will be teaching/working with farmers in Tanzania. Holy shit! Totally different climate, culture, resources, everything! I have been told that folks there lack information. That it is hard to come by at least. Here is another reason I and everyone should feel blessed, as we live in a world full of info. The picture on the post is of the books I have been referencing to prepare for all these teaching endeavors. This is just a part of my reference library I continue to learn from. Also, pretty much anything I want to look into can be found on the internet. At times it is extremely overwhelming to have access to such knowledge and other times I am ecstatic from all the ideas and concepts floating round my head! Seriously sometimes I howl with joy! Thanks to all these authors who inspire me so. Pick up one of these gems! More details about Africa post trip.
We live in an amazing world. Think about it. We have access to more information, resources and technology than we have at any other time in history. Lately there has been a lot of gloom and doom talk out though. And there are many things to aware of like climate weirding, the unstable future of energy consumption based on fossil fuels, the rise of the new jim crow and the police state, economic injustice as more of our global and local decisions are being paid by crooked extremists and corporations, gender and identity inequality, just to name a few. Yes we need to be aware of this and fight for our rights to a healthy planet and just society . We also need to be creating examples of regenerative living and cooperation. We need to feel joy, love, and abundance. We need to throw out the scarcity mentality which has infiltrated even the best us leading to fearful competitive actions. Free your self, love your self, embrace those around you – plant, animal, human, rock, etc.
Lastly, as I need to find my way to breakfast. I want to leave ya with a quote from a book by Chris Maser called The Redesigned Forest. A great book! He is speaking here about forests, but I think this is applicable to all of our lives. “First, I recognize, as we strive to maintain sustainable forests that we are faced with the constant struggle of accepting change and its accompanying uncertainties and this often gives rise to fear of the future. We must therefore be gentle with one another and do whatever we do with love, because there are no “enemies””out there,” only frightened people. Second, ideas change the world; people change ideas. And people must change before ideas will change. Third, all we have in the world as human beings is one another; if we lose sight of one another, we have nothing.”