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!