|2701 North 29th Street, Boise, ID, US
I bought a house with a small piece of land (half an acre total, including the house) and have been working with the help of various community members to transform it into a permaculture model for my city and the larger community.
I bought a house with a small piece of land and set to work transforming my half an acre in the city into and example of a more sustainable way to live. When I bought the place it was nothing but green grass lawns in the front and the back. Having grown up on an old apple orchard, the fruit trees were the first thing to go in (I bought them before I had even closed on the house). Over the course of the last couple years I have evolved to a small orchard of 17 fruit trees. Living in a community in Tucson, Arizona that had shared gardens and outdoor space, I was spoiled by the outdoor tubs and shower, so I created that next (and dug a dry well to put the water back into the aquifer). I had been dreaming for years of having an herb spiral, so my first big gardening project was to put one right in front of my house (near my front door and the closest door to the kitchen). That herb spiral has gotten more comments and allowed me to talk to more people about permcaulture than any of my other projects!
I feel that the spirit of permaculture and community has guided my projects as much if not more than any ideas I had. Because I was given the gift of community down in Tucson (which I had never really known before) I started looking for two other people to fill my house and create an intentional community. In my search I acquired a lot of friends and a connection to the larger community through couchsurfing.org. It was through these connections that the garden building began and a community garden for local couchsurfers was established in the backyard (with a firepit for communal gatherings right in the middle).
I kept working on getting rid of grass and maximizing my edge zone usage and wound up putting in blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries to fill some corners. A vineyard of grape vines filled a blank spot in another area. A narrow strip near the house was perfect for trellising and another vineyard of kiwi vines.
In search of a way to garden through the winter I beagn to think about a four-season greenhouse. I wanted a way to do it without needing to use external heat (except for that of the sun). Through ideas of my own and the help of Mike Oehler's The Earth-Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book I was able to plan, and over the course of a year dig and build a semi-subterranean, earth-sheltered, passive solar, four season greenhouse (built out of mostly recycled materials). Thanks to self-actuating vent arms I was able to grow in the greenhouse through the summer. Thanks to the heat of the earth and the sun I have also been able to grow in the depths of a cold Idaho winter. Super exciting!
In the winter of 2009-2010 I helped to found the Boise Permaculture Guild. Such a fantastic group of local practitioners and interested folks! We've all taught each other so much! It was actually a member of the group building a driveway a few blocks from my house that offered me the dirt, which I gladly accepted, which allowed me to sheet mulch and bury the grass in the front yard. Because of the beautiful Silver Maple that already resides there I decided with the help of a couple of my community members to create a food forest with a variety of different low-water, low-maintenance fruiting and nutting bushes. It is still maturing, but coming along beautifully!
I've been doing a fair bit of work as well on retrofitting the house with more efficient systems, insulation, an eco-friendly roof, and other goodies to try and lower our community's footprint as well. Gray water and rainwater collection here we come!
Through our small intentional community of three we are building and working with permaculture at home. Through the Boise Permaculture Guild we are sharing ideas and supporting each other to build with permaculture in our local community. Through couchsurfing.org we have been able to share permaculture with an even larger community of folks around the country and around the world. May the spirit of permaculture continue to guide us. Viva permaculture!
Note: The various badges displayed in people profiles are largely honesty-based self-proclamations by the individuals themselves. There are reporting functions users can use if they know of blatant misrepresentation (for both people and projects). Legitimacy, competency and reputation for all people and projects can be evidenced and/or developed through their providing regular updates on permaculture work they’re involved in, before/after photographs, etc. A spirit of objective nurturing of both people and projects through knowledge/encouragement/inspiration/resource sharing is the aim of the Worldwide Permaculture Network.
A member is a permaculturist who has never taken a PDC course. These cannot become PDC teachers. Members may be novice or highly experienced permaculturists or anywhere in between. Watch their updates for evaluation.
One of these badges will show if you select your gender and the "I'm single, looking for a permaculture partner" option in your profile.
People who claim to have taken a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course somewhere in the world.
People who have entered an email address for the teacher of their PDC course, and have had their PDC status verified by that teacher. Watch their updates for evaluation.
People who’ve taken a Permaculture Research Institute PDC somewhere in the world.
People who claim to teach some version of PDC somewhere in the world.
With the exception of the ‘Member’ who has never taken a PDC, all of the above can apply to become a PRI PDC Teacher. PRI PDC Teachers are those who the PRI recognise, through a vetting board, as determined and competent to teach the full 72-hour course as developed by Permaculture founder Bill Mollison – covering all the topics of The Designers’ Manual as well as possible (i.e. not cherry picking only aspects the teacher feels most interested or competent in). Such teachers also commit to focussing on the design science, and not including subjective spiritual/metaphysical elements. The reason these items are not included in the PDC curriculum is because they are “belief” based. Permaculture Design education concerns itself with teaching good design based on strategies and techniques which are scientifically provable.
PRI PDC Teachers may be given teaching and/or consultancy offerings as they become available as the network grows.
The individual with this badge is indicating they are, have, or would like to be involved in permaculture aid work. As such, the individual may or may not have permaculture aid worker experience. Watch their updates for evaluation.
The individual with this badge is indicating they are, have, or would like to do paid permaculture design consultancy work. As such, the individual may or may not have permaculture consultancy experience. Watch their updates for evaluation.
Community projects are projects that help develop sustainable community interaction and increase localised resiliency.