On the east side of Austin, Texas, tucked away at the end of a road in a lower income neighborhood, there is something… different… happening. What was once a derelict lot has now grown into a forest, and not just any forest, a forest of food and community. Welcome to Weirder Austin – East Austin’s own Urban Permaculture Education & Demonstration site!
Working with damaged soils can be a huge challenge. In the world we live in today, it’s hard to find soils that haven’t been damaged through agricultural or urban misuse. If you are one of those lucky few who stumbled on a piece of land that already had pristine, rich deep and loamy soils than rejoice because you need not read any further… Still here? Yea, thought so. Most of us in permaculture design are working with or at least, have started out with, damaged, desiccated, mineral depleted, lifeless soils. One way or another, we have been tasked with reviving our soils from generations of abuse. But how do we return the basic building blocks of life to the soil quickly and efficiently so that we can get on with the high yielding polycultures we keep dreaming about? Enter – Bio-Fertilizer!
I returned to Thailand in November with a goal to connect with permaculturally minded people and projects around the region, making as many contributions and exchanges of resources as possible along the way. What I discovered in my travels was far more than I ever could have anticipated! I am excited now to be able to share my experiences with you in hopes that it will provide a resource for all those interested in exploring the expansive world of Thailand Permaculture.
In Part 1 of this series I described my revisit to Rak Tamachat, a Permaculture education centre in central Thailand that I had participated in developing only a few months prior, and the community integration work that was taking place there. Then I traveled north to Chiang Mai where I connected with many friends and allies in the region. I visited Chiang Mai Life Construction, PermaPai, and ended the with more community integration and development at The Panya Project.
Do you have what it takes to be a Permaculture Superhero?! The Permaculture Design Course is your chance to find out. Take on the PDC experience and discover if you have what it takes to be a regenerative eco-hero!
Our Permaculture Design Courses are a mind expanding and paradigm shifting experience full of fun and interactive learning. Participants have the opportunity to co-create designs for urban and suburban environments and learn about ecological restoration and community cultivation strategies applicable to life anywhere on the planet.
Over the past nine weeks I’ve participated in the construction of an agricultural dam, a swale, a couple of terraces, a large urban garden, several compost piles, 1000 liters of compost tea, an aid proposal to a Nepalese orphanage, and 600 square meters of food forest. Aside from exploring a nearby rainforest, swimming in the ocean and the occasional night at the local pub… it’s been a non-stop permaculture marathon!
Over the past three plus weeks myself and 15 other cohorts have been fully engaged in farm life. And, although there are several aspects of this lifestyle that you might expect out of a typical farm experience (i.e. milking goats, turning compost, planting veggies, etc…) this is far from a typical farm!
For those of you that know me well, you know that it has long been my dream to be the most effective contributer to the cultivation of abundant livelihoods as I can be… If you didn’t know this about me, welcome to my vision! In pursuit of this dream, I have plotted a course that will take me to the other side of the world to engage and learn from some of the most accomplished experts on the subject. But my journey only begins there. Through my participation in the Permaculture Research Institute’s internship program at Zaytuna Farm in Australia this October, I’m looking to immerse myself in an established and proven system of “regenerative” design. And, although I see this model to be far beyond the simple idea of “sustainability”, it is only a single milestone in a long journey toward the realization of my vision.
Something you may also know about me is that I’m not really big on asking for handouts. Maybe it’s just the way I was raised but I think we each have a responsibility to earn our own way in life. In the same vein, I also recognize that, without the generous help of friends and family, I would hardly be where I am today!
It’s in this context that I ask for your help. And, as far as I can tell, there is truly no better reason to ask for help then to ask so that I might be better equipped in my mission to help others. Here’s what it’s about…
What it’s about:
I’ve set aside enough money for my modest living expenses and course fees while I’m in Australia. The plane tickets and transportation expenses are already paid for and I’m putting $2,000 in savings to cover my return trip as well as any emergencies I might encounter.
All these things are taken care of, all I’m missing is an opportunity to take my experience to the field… I mean, the real field! After a 10 week intensive permaculture internship, I want to take my new found permaculture skills to the people most in need (wherever they happen to be)!
…And that’s where you come in!
I’m officially starting a fundraiser on this site to ask for your help so that I might be better equipped to help others!
What it’s for:
The money raised through this site will allow me to spend at least 6 months after completing the internship doing permaculture aid work in one of several countries in need. To cover travel and living expenses for 6 months, I’m looking to raise at least $1,000, anything over that amount will go toward extending my aid work or reinvested into the community here, upon my return!
How it works:
Because I love you, I want to give back to you in the best way I can!
So, for every contribution over $50
I’m offering 2 hours of permaculture consultation.
Give $100 or more and get 5 hours on-site consultation!
All you have to do is click the ChipIn button bellow or at the right hand side of the page.
If you like, you can also contribute in a variety of other ways:
Send Cash or Cheque to
4605 1/2 Evans Ave
Austin Texas 78751
I will also be arranging a fundraising event that includes a yard sale, bake sale, and silent auction sometime this summer.
If you’d like to contribute but funds are tight, you can lovingly donate art, crafts or other items to the silent auction.
It is my personal promise to you that all proceeds received through this fundraiser will go directly toward supporting the vision stated above. If you have any questions or are interested in donating to the silent auction please contact me at theron AT communitycultivators DOT org
Your love and support is deeply appreciated ~!