I’ve dreamed of homesteading for years. In fact, its one of the things my husband and I talked about very early on in our courtship. We both wanted a small house on a piece of land to be sustainable and connect with the land. When I mentioned gardening in Hagstone Publishing’s Discord group chat, I was asked if I was taking “the permaculture course.” Like Alice, I fell down the rabbit hole to my new Permaculture Obsession.
Permaculture Women’s Guild Classes
I’d heard of Permaculture before but thought it was a gardening technique focusing on zones. The idea I recalled was growing what you use daily close to home and growing what you only attend to or harvest from irregularly or rarely furthest on the property. Heather Jo Flores quickly dispelled that thinking early on in her Free Online Permaculture Course.
Permaculture, from how I understand it, is a philosophy. Its a way of thinking about the whole world, not just the garden. Its a focus on what they call Whole-Systems Design, which itself focused on how many connections are in a system rather than the things connected themselves.
An example would be a chicken in a garden. This chicken eats bugs, protecting the plants, it also clears out areas where you don’t want plants growing (or at least not weeds and grass), it provides eggs to eat, it provides compost, and it can provide meat. From there, the eggs themselves not only provide food but the shells can be used in a number of ways from calcium supplementation, compost, chalk making, witchcraft, and more. A tree near the coop provides shade, nitrogen in the soil, mulch/compost, flower buds feed bees, fruit or nuts or seeds to eat, and is a habitat for bugs…that the chickens can eat. As you can see just right here I could go all day about the connections between a tree, a chicken, and a garden.
In homeschooling, it could be the act of baking a cake. It teaches my son math and science. We also talk about family history, geography of where the ingredients come from, and practice spelling and reading with the recipe and ingredient labels. He is being active with the measuring, scooping, stirring, and likely dancing around the kitchen. We practice cleaning up skills and we all get fed in the end.
Compare this to a direct line of buy cake from the store and serve it at home. This might include math, reading practice, and eating. In comparison, the first is more beneficial (not only because we know what ingredients are in there and where they come from) because it has more connections.
I think that’s how it works anyways – I’m still learning and am really early in my permaculture obsession.
The class is currently free – they do ask for a donation though. Please give if you can but don’t let that deter you from taking it if you’re having a hard time financially. The site also has classes for writing that I’m also enjoying.
Resources Feeding My Permaculture Obsession
So now to my homestead daydream of a small 2 bedroom house for me and my family on at least an acre, I’m also daydreaming of creating a Food Forest and Permaculture connections between myself, waterways, garden, animals, neighbourhood, community, and more.
Here are the things I’m reading, watching, and loving right now as I continue down this rabbit hole. Enjoy:
Permaculture Women’s Guild: As I said, I’m taking classes with this site and they also include lots of resources. Be sure to check them out. Also check out Food Not Lawns. I’m reading the book for free online and am really loving it.
Living Web Farms class on permaculture and homesteading (there’s a second part to this video).
Prigioni’s videos have been awesome. I’m just linking this one on getting started but there are many on his channel I’d recommend.
My favorite video is 1 Acre Homestead Tour 5 Years Into Abundance with Erik Ohlsen. I learned a lot despite him living in a whole different part of the country and different climate. I also was so inspired by what can happen in just 5 years!
Natural Beekeeping is something Damon and I have A LOT of interest in. Bees will certainly have a place in our homestead as Damon used to keep them and has dreamed for the last few years of having bees again. The following resources are also lighting me up:
HoneyBeeWild – I discovered this site via Beekeeping in Skirts on Instagram. I love the soft, feminine, shamanic vibe of this site that also discusses beekeeping.
This article gave me lots of food for thought about natural beekeeping and set me off on a search for more: Integrating Beekeeping into Permaculture
Please comment your favorite resources below so I can check them out!