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Wed Feb 29, 2012, 07:28 AM

Better Living Through Permaculture: Things Permaculture Can Teach Us Through Our Children

I spent the past weekend at the Green Phoenix Permaculture Design Course in High Falls, NY. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Kay Cafasso, our lead instructor, has done an incredible job in teaching, administering the course, and providing some really great guest speakers. Our first weekend had Chris Jackson and Tama Jackson (no relation) as guest instructors. This past weekend Connor Steadman taught us about the geological history of New York — both how our landscape affected human settlement in different ways, and how we affected the landscape in return. We shared fantastic dishes of food that we all prepared, and became immersed in meaningful conversation with each other during our breaks. The most empowering thing of all about taking a PDC is being surrounded by 25-30 other people who are as passionate to learn about permaculture as you are. If you have the opportunity to take one, do it.

At one point on this Saturday, another member of our group mentioned trying to find a kindergarten program that emphasized giving children time to explore “wild” areas as central to the curriculum. This immediately sparked a connection for me, because my 4-1/2 year old daughter is always asking to go into the small woodlot behind our house. She asks me to take her in there, often when I’m already engaged in something else. Sometimes I cave in and say yes. If I say no, she asks if she can follow the dogs if they go in the woods. By hook or crook, she’s determined to explore “wild” places.

Today, she and I explored back there for about 20 minutes, until the sun was barely creeping over the horizon and the coming darkness chased us inside. We followed the dogs’ trails throughout the woodlot, stopping here and there to look more closely at a moss-covered log, peek at the rich humus soil of the forest floor, or gaze up at the tall oaks in awe. Through her eyes, forests are places of wonder, beauty and grandeur — and fun!

I was blessed to have a tract of woods over 2 miles deep behind the house I grew up in, all the way back to the Allegany River in Western Pennsylvania. Two nearby friends and I spent hours and hours in those woods every year. We would just explore, climb, dam up creeks, catch crayfish, crawl through ice caves — whatever the area had to offer. Every summer we hiked the length of the creek, all the way to the river. Sometimes I would just walk the woods by myself. Even back then, they were a source for all of the things that my daughter sees in them now.


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Reply Better Living Through Permaculture: Things Permaculture Can Teach Us Through Our Children (Original post)
IrateCitizen Feb 2012 OP
Curmudgeoness Mar 2012 #1
IrateCitizen Mar 2012 #2

Response to IrateCitizen (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 06:43 PM

1. I just want to let you know that I appreciate the postings

about permaculture you have been making here. I have just a small, in town piece of property, so I can't do as much as I would like, but I do attempt to work with nature as much as I can....and I am glad to see posts about this subject.


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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 10:03 PM

2. Thanks!

I'm glad you find some use from them!

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