Participant Forum: Please Introduce Yourself!

Hello from New England!

Picture of Pamela Sonn
Hello from New England!
by Pamela Sonn - Friday, October 23, 2020, 9:19 PM

Hello All!  My name is Pamela and I live on unceeded land of the Abenaki in central Vermont.  My house is on a 0.52 acre lot in a village that dates from the mid-1700s.  The previous house (from that colonial period) burnt in the early 1920s and my house was then built on the site.  This means that during times of drought (like this last summer) we can see the lines of old foundations in the drying patterns of the land, and when gardening we often find chunks of heat-transformed glass, bits of old clay pipes, broken stone-ware, and various other artifacts.  It also very helpful that the 1920s house was constructed with a cistern to collect rainwater off of the house roof!  We have 2 heritage apple trees, plus blueberry bushes, rhubarb, raspberries, 2 types of cherry (Nanking and sour), and a robust organic no-till garden.  I do most work with a horihori, and usually only dig with a shovel for larger things like removing rogue locust trees.  I have been moving to more perennials and more varied veg – things like milk thistle greens, Hablitzia tamnoides, Malabar spinach, Jerusalem artichokes, kouri squash, teff, shisho/ purple perilla, sweet potato greens, etc. – and am looking forward to even more diversity (good king henry, sea kale, blood sorrel).  I have found it helpful to read up on or watch videos by/about: Charles Dowding (no dig organic market gardener in the UK),  Masanobu Fukuoka, Stephen Barstow (‘edimental’ gardening with edible perennials), the Koanga Institute (New Zealand), plus Sara Backmo and Lena Israelsson (cold climate gardening in Sweden).

I am interested in agroforestry (particularly nutcrops and complementary understory plants), forest gardening in general, cold climate gardening, xeriscaping, paying attention to climate change and implications for food growing; living with nature and not against it.  In taking this course, I hope to learn more about permaculture, be part of a community of learners, and get on the path to achieving a permaculture certificate.  I attended the (virtual) Finger Lakes Permaculture Week in August, really appreciated the information, speakers and fellow participants, and I am looking forward to learning more about permaculture with you all.

Picture of Christopher Schmitt
Re: Hello from New England!
by Christopher Schmitt - Saturday, October 24, 2020, 3:02 PM

Hi Pamela!

It's so great to hear from you! Of course we remember you from the Circle Way during Permaculture Week--we really enjoyed meeting you! It's actually all four of us (Chris, Ande, Zoe, and Zach) here collaborating on the course together. We read your intro and are so thrilled to learn about your experiences (Zoe squealed in excitement when she heard about your discoveries of the old foundation lines, because she loves cultural anthropology and the finding of old, significant artifacts around our farm). Zach was so excited to hear about your plans for implementing agroforestry on your property, since he had a lot of fun planting pecan and apple trees this summer for the start of our impending food forest. Looking forward to learning with you during the course!

Chris and family   

Picture of Michael Burns
Re: Hello from New England!
by Michael Burns - Monday, October 26, 2020, 6:32 PM

Welcome. Thank you for the rich historical description. It is the type of observation that makes for good assessment in the design process.