Love Yourself

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Natural Living - the Permaculture Way!

A Mulch Pit
bananas, papayas, sweet potatoes, basil

Inspiring Well-Being and Harmony with Nature!

Life Designs that transform

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is often simply defined as an ecological design system for sustainable living, yet it is far more expansive. Permaculture is the art of integrating humans in a natural setting and a personal transformation that results in the creation of safe, beautiful, diverse, natural systems that simultaneously provide for our needs and regenerate the natural resources from which we take to survive. This transformation has exponential beneficial effects on the land and the people and has the potential to lead to a global culture of aware, responsible, capable and peaceful communities. Ideally, this integration results in complete waste free areas as each element of the system nourishes other parts of the system. Similarly, the system is designed in a way that each element acts as support for the others.

Systems nourish other systems
Design from patterns to details
Follow and incorporate edges
It does this by applying a set of ethics and principles that guide us in designing connections, flows and beneficial relationships among various elements, whether in a garden, a pond, a building, a boat, or an organization and mimicking the way that nature works. Permaculture weaves together a combination of techniques and multiple approaches, technologies and solutions to challenges of sustainability. Instead of designing separate things, we design connections and beneficial relationships, harmonizing with nature!
Compassion and Love are our natural state of BEING!

The word ‘permaculture’ was coined by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the 1970’s, from ‘permanent agriculture’, and has come to encompass many sorts of systems: ‘permanent culture.’

Organic fresh picked peanuts - yum yum!

Permaculture has three basic ethics: Care for the earth, Care for people, and Care for the future—sometimes framed as “return the surplus”. It has a set of principles that direct us to observe natural systems and mimic the way they work, catching and storing the sun’s energy, using biological and local resources, with minimal inputs of fossil fuel energy, and getting multiple uses out of each element. Permaculture favors low-tech solutions that empower ordinary people to take responsibility for their own needs and impacts. Our goal is more than sustainability: we manifest ideal abundance for ourselves, teaching others to do the same, respect our Mother Earth, regeneration and ultimate natural Well-Being.

Permaculture is a set of tools for shifting our thinking, our awareness and ultimately our Consciousness—to Connection and Interdependence.

How did Permaculture come into my life?

I have been living here at Clarananda a desert property near Todos Santos in Baja, California Sur, Mexico for the last 4 years. The environment is very different than Vancouver Island, West Coast Canada. I wanted to simplify my life. Live with more sunshine, create simplicity and be close to food sources that I could access from my own garden or at least within a reasonable zone year round. Homesteading in an area that has little rain fall, off the grid and with acidic soil that is mostly sand has had its interesting challenges.

Fortunately, I have had an innate ability to connect energetically with the plants and animals that have given me guidance along the way.
During the month of December I had plans to travel to India and the last few weeks before leaving my partner was not well and able to travel...thus I was to remain here in Baja. Of course everything happens for a reason. My partner is much better now and I was introduced to a Permaculture Design Certification Course being held the first two weeks of December at Buena Fortuna Botanical Gardens in La Riberia, a small fishing village on the east side of Baja Sur. The Gardens are located two hours from my home and after reading more about the program I knew that the values and principles of what was to be offered was an ideal match. Lucky me!

Our host site, Buena Fortuna Gardens, is a verdant oasis that features over 3000 plant species in a dry, tropical ecosystem. The site has annual vegetable, flower and herb gardens, a variety of multi-functional trees, timber-grade bamboo, and a botanical garden featuring 70 species of aloe, as well as rare species of plants from all over the world. Snakes, skunks, birds, spiders, scorpions, lizards and other wildlife share Buena Fortuna with site founder Gabriel Howearth, interns, assistants and workers. The site has rustic composting toilets, sand paths, bamboo "palapa" structures and solar showers.

Aloes are wonderful medicinal plants

Gabriel Howearth teaching Sophia seed saving and planting

Local wildlife share the gardens

I set up my camp for the two weeks and was amazed at the level of resource materials, caliber of world class Permaculture teachers willing to share their knowledge and expertise. They truly did want to see all of succeed and held us accountable to self regulate and live peacefully, cooperate and create a sustainable community. I have come away with many new ideas, skills, tools, designs and resources and of course friends. Thank you to all!
Permaculture Design Course students
I also would like to give special thanks to all of the amazing teachers during the program, Penny Livingston- Stark, Gabriel Howearth, Krystara Kitzia, Andrew Jones from Baja Bio Sana, Bruce Horowiz from Raw Permaculture, Stefan Hetz and Loren Luyendyk -Surfers without Borders. Kudos for the fantastic teachings!

Penny Livingston - Stark - Regenerative Design Institute
Penny teaching Gabians and Swales - water is her expertise

Krystara Kitzia - co-founder Buena Fortuna
Now in Peru creating a conscious community

Planting seeds with music

Abundance all around
Cobb and other natural materials in home building
Creating a mulch pit - it has to be fun too!
Completed the mulch pit with bananas

Seeds for the future and growing our own food

Blessings on the day, the year, the now and the future 2011
May peace and light shine on your path.

I continue to enjoy living at Clarananda with solar energy, capturing water sources and harnessing energy to go into the plants, wonderful green gardens, mulch pits, herbal spirals and designing my new property in the Sierra Laguna Mountains.

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I have created this amazing life, attracting incredible women into my space. All of these women are unique and ready to live their real life too. My definition of success is like a river flowing with freedom, magical adventure, creativity, curiosity and recognition. My personal mission is to travel and create an enlightened world by spreading the light of consciousness. Everything that I choose to BE, DO and HAVE meet this mission and every day in every way I remember who I really am. I love my life!