Gardening

Intro to Permaculture, Homework From Lecture 1

Can I be honest?  I’d never heard of the word “permaculture” until a week and change ago.  I putz around in my yard.  I play at gardening.  But truthfully, I’m a bad plant mommy.  Hubby says I kill my plants with kindness.  This is true.  I also kill them with neglect.  I over-water   I under-water.  And if by chance they DO manage to survive, Mr. Woodchuck eats everything that’s not nailed down…including my doormat.  It’s like Wild Kingdom around here!  Oh!  And I burn so quickly, I can’t stay out in the sun for any real length of time.

My Apple Trees Are About to Blossom
My Apple Trees Are About to Blossom

The other day, I was outside pruning my apple trees.  Poor things!  I had on a hat and I was wearing a sweatshirt and I STILL managed to burn the backs of my hands and the wrist of my right hand, BADLY.  Grrrr…  Hubby claims that this is why “vampires shouldn’t take up gardening.”  Perhaps I should work this into one of my stories.  Half the time, I’m gardening either REALLY early in the morning, or at dusk.  I think I can relate.  😉  LOL

Anyway, part of my “homework assignment” was to introduce myself and explain what I’m passionate about, where I live, and why I’m taking this class.  Since I’m doing this on my own, there is no “class.”  But I’ll play along the best I can.

What am I passionate about?

I love my family.  I love to learn about new things.  I love to explore and take pictures.  I was feeling passionate about my writing, but I going through a slump.  I’m not the sort who needs to write when the feelings aren’t there, so I’m taking a break from my writing for a bit.  I don’t know how long I’ll need, but that’s OK.  I could go back to it tomorrow.  I could go back to it in a month.  Who knows?  In the meantime, I’m filling my head with information and beauty.  When the characters wrangle me back in, perhaps I’ll have something fun and interesting to write about.  I’m passionate about reading.  Last week, I read five books.  FIVE.  Talk about decadence for the mind!!!  If I can’t find time to take a vacation, reading is the next best thing.

Where do I live?  What’s my region like?

I live in a rural area just outside Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The ground is hilly.  Lots of farms.  Lots of trees.  My yard is SMALL.  The only trees I have are the ones I’ve planted.  The soil around my house is dark, almost black, and it’s slightly alkaline.  I swear, the soil looks like something you’d get out of bag.  That’s the ONLY reason I’ve had any success at all with gardening.  Michigan has really rich soil!  We have some strange weather, because of the Great Lakes that surround our state.  Sometimes it works in our favor.  Sometimes not.  It can get up into the 90’s in the summer and single digits in the winter.  We also seem to get a lot of rain and humidity.  There are small lakes and streams EVERYWHERE.  We have a LOT of overcast days and a short growing season.

Why am I learning about permaculture?

Strawberries, chives, salvia, miniature tulips, and...I'm not sure what else, are all crammed together in this little spot.
Strawberries, chives, salvia, miniature tulips, and…I’m not sure what else, are all crammed together in this little spot.  And spring has barely started.  Yikes!!!  

Why not?  I don’t know anything about it, but from the little information I’ve gathered, permaculture seems to revolve around working with the land the way nature would.  It seems to be about diversity and planting things in a way so there’s less work involved.  I tend to plant stuff together anyways.  I’m not a “tidy rows” kind of gardener.  I plant zinnias with my squash.  Onions and garlic are all over the place.  Strawberries have taken over. Everything’s sort of hodge-podged and messy.  It would be nice to see what else I can do to make my gardening life easier and more productive.

What else?

I haven’t bought any of the books for this class yet.  I’m not sure if I’m going to or not, so I didn’t do my reading.

I DID do the Earth Day Footprint Calculator.  Umm…yeah…  I don’t know how they calculate this, but it would take 4-5 planet Earths if everyone lived like I do.  I have a global footprint of about 9 football fields.  Hmm…

I did watch Bill Mollinson’s video, In Grave Danger of Falling Food:

Umm…this reminds me of one of those films they made us watch in Junior High.  Also, it is a little scary.  It’s about 50 mins long, but interesting.  Again, not sure where all of his facts are coming from.

So that’s it for my first “homework” assignment.  You’re all welcome to follow along if you want.  It’s a freebie class.  First lecture was a little boring, but that’s OK.  I folded laundry in between taking notes.  Couldn’t do that in an actual class!   He! He!!  🙂

Take care and have a great day!

Juli         

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4 thoughts on “Intro to Permaculture, Homework From Lecture 1”

  1. Is this one of the on line classes you mentioned previously? Our garden does what it wants no matter what. Now it’s prettier than I’ve ever seen it. Spring arrived May 1 and poof everything bloomed.

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  2. I kill every plant I get near. It’s a sad, sad thing.

    glad I am not the only one who had never heard of permaculture! I should send my mom to this, she loves that sort of thing 🙂

    I take big breaks in writing. I like to bounce back and forth between photos, art, writing, you name it. I think it lets you recharge that way. 😉

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    1. If we didn’t have such good soil, there’d be NO hope for my outdoor plants. I would LOVE to be a good plant mommy…but I have a brown thumb. LOL

      You’re mom would probably get a kick out of this. 🙂

      Good! I suspect breaks are VERY necessary. I started planning out some of my vacation time, too. I NEED a vacation. 🙂

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