local girl makes good

this morning i left jeff and fern behind to root for spain and the netherlands without me, and hoofed it down three blocks to the hayes valley farm.

i had been accepted under scholarship (for which i am ever so grateful) to attend “permaculture boot camp”…a three 1/2 hour class on the principles, ethics and perspective of permaculture.

i wasn’t sure what to expect, having studied the basics 800 years ago in under-grad. i was half afraid it would be like so many workshops i attend–a great refresher course but not much more than the basics, where i leave a little downhearted at the financial limitations that seem to limit my access to deeper training.

i could not have been more pleased. the co-directors of the farm, chris and dave, were teaching, lending their humor, passion, and expertise to our group with a simplicity that only someone who understands the complexity can do. and it was such a great group! we did a fantastic ice breaker exercise, each stating 1. a skill we possess 2. a resource we can offer and 3. a need that we have. it became your turn when you could connect with one of those things, and in this way we got to know each other in an immediate, intimate, real way.

one way permaculture was defined at this workshop was this: permanent solutions for cultural issues. at the end we broke off into groups to try our hand at envisioning design in a team. i listened in appreciation to the other members, realizing that although i often feel powerless in the face of inept government and out-of-control corporations, the power that lies in the hands of citizens…especially citizens who care…is accessible, fertile and bursting at the seams. when the system finally grinds to a screeching, halting stop like charlie chaplin stuck in the cogs in “modern times”, the people will be ready and waiting to lift the solution onto their shoulders. we’re going to be fine.

if you have any interest in permaculture, or have thought about doing a design course but can’t afford the price or the time, i highly recommend doing the boot camp. also, volunteer days are on thursday and sunday. maybe we’ll see you there.

last wednesday i finally remembered to bring my camera to esperanza in the mission. i mentioned it on “our garden challenge” page, which i’ve been updating fairly frequently in case you want to catch up. esperanza is really rockin now in midsummer…it is incredible how strongly the plants are flourishing there…tomatoes, eggplant, squash, melons, corn (corn!), chard, beans, herbs…if you find yourself in the neighborhood, check it out!

a place where urban gardening, sustainable living practices and collaborative arts can thrive
welcome to... the land of purple artichoke thistles
watering can tip jar and happy toms
wheelbarrow and part of herb spiral
esperanza's totem--king tut, a desert tortoise who lives in an enclosure. he's kind of a jerk. i let him out to roam, thinking maybe he will do some totally wild tortoisey thing, but instead he just makes a bee line for the plants, mowing them down. i guess that *is* a wild tortoisey thing. (or perhaps a bored tortoisey thing).
the corn is encouraged by art
urban gardeners and der fruit...dem all be wacky apples!
the garden is hot hot hot, sheltered from wind and beaten down with sun....everything thrives
your jack-o-lantern took a bath first
repurposing bathroom furnishings makes me giddy
my garden gnome, eating rocks

3 thoughts on “local girl makes good

  1. Awesome recap, we appreciate your kind words. We’d love for you to be more involved in the farm and we surely need your help. Your writing is beautiful, candid and clear. If you ever want to write a posting for our website (300+hits/day) please please let us know.

    Bee well,

  2. our family will def. be more involved with the farm and hope to make sunday workdays part of our weekly rhythm. i would love to write a post for the website too, am curious about a framework for that. big ups to you guys!

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