Monday, June 16, 2014

Accelerating Velocity of Life

A lot has been going on for me recently, and I want to write a post about some of it.  As usual, I'll try to be more consistent with writing my blog, but my track record speaks for itself, so saying so doesn't matter... only doing so.

I think it's worth noting that The Permie Homestead Blog is coming up on its 5th Anniversary.  It's crazy to think I've been bonkers about permaculture for so long, but it's also easy to understand considering how fascinating and important I think sustainable human settlement design is.  I also feel like my 6th year of interest in permaculture is going to be a big one.  I'll explain why.

In March, I FINALLY signed up for a PDC, and I will be finishing in about a month.  I'm taking Geoff Lawton's online PDC through the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) of Australia, and it's been amazing.  There has been anywhere from 3-5 hours of content released each week, as well as a .pdf document that gives the important information for each chapter.  Additionally, Geoff spends 3-5 hours a week answering student questions on video... he's really an amazing teacher who is extremely dedicated.  The final week of content will be released on June 21st, and my final design project is due on July 21st.  If I successfully meet all of the requirements, I'll be a certified designer shortly thereafter.

So what am I going to do with this new certification?  I plan on starting out on a traditional (I think?) permaculture path, and incorporating a permaculture design and consultancy firm.  There are a BUNCH of business type things that make me feel like I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, but the prospect of getting my hands dirty with permaculture excites me so much that I'm willing to start teaching myself the ins-and-outs of being a business owner, even if it feels really corporate to do so.

Future plans for business or services that I plan to possibly start or offer include design, consultancy, project management, a privately-operated composting service for the city of Portland, education, government-contract design (for public spaces and/or utility properties), and quite a few others.

Other things that are going on:

  • I'm the new resident garden manager for my apartment complex.  It's laborious because the previous garden manager let the garden fall into disarray over the winter, and ownership of the apartment complex isn't really letting me do it entirely in a permaculture fashion, but it should still be cool, and at least they're letting us keep the garden space.  I plan to try to post updates on the garden as I can.
  • I've been playing around with some interesting balcony garden experiments.  So far they're going really well, and I'll post future updates specifically on this as well.
  • As part of my PDC, I've been reading each chapter of the Permaculture Designer's Manual (PDM) in it's entirety while going along with the content released through the course.  I was doing well until we got to the climate comparison chapters (chapters 10, 11, and 12 if you're curious), which I've found are just too long to get through in the week that I had to read them.  I plan on going through them more carefully when I'm done with the course.  Anyhow, reading the PDM while also taking a PDC has proven to be AMAZING.  I feel as if I have a far more thorough understanding of permaculture than I've ever had before, and it's awesome.
  • I'm still working my day-job between 25-32 hours a week.
  • I'm volunteering for a permaculture podcaster as much as I can (which hasn't been much recently, but will be picking up soon) in what seems to be somewhat of a research assistant capacity.  He's agreed to let me offer him some help and in return is offering me advice on the podcast I'm working on (more details later), and I think it's going to be quite cool.  I'm going to resist giving him a plug right now, because I want to clear it with him that I can share that I'm helping before I do, but if I can I'll let you know soon.
On top of all the exciting stuff going on in my life right now, I'm also finally engaged to my sweetheart Kelsey, and we're planning on getting married next fall.  As anyone who has gotten married before will know, there's a lot of planning that is coming up for that, so my hands are QUITE full nowadays.  We're also not too many months away from buying our first house, which means I'll really get to turn up my permaculture volume, because I'll finally have an urban homestead space that I can design and implement into an awesome demonstration site.  I'm busier than ever, and going to keep getting busier, but luckily, it's all exciting stuff!