Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence :: Part 3 :: A review of what I learned

:: Impact :: Using what I learned ::

This post is the third in a small series about the Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence. This blog post relays my experience of the workshops. First post of series is here; second post is here

Harvesting and Preserving Herbs. As a forager, growing up with nature walks, taking my own kids on nature walks, having field guides around the house during my childhood, I am knowledgeable in this area. Some technical information was learned here, and the presenter made good points about first aid, ethics, and continuing education. I loved being able to drink a shrub and tell my son — shrubs and switchels are recipes in our beloved Back to Basics.

I have this book. My kids have their own copies.

I have this book. My kids have their own copies.

I loved this point: Master one plant at a time. Seriously, this is my life! I want to know everything, but in reality, one new thing at a time is best. One plant, one drawing, one positive field identification, one herbal craft. There is no contest or race.

My plan going forward is to continue to expand my identification and use of plants.

World Cafe on Bioethics. New idea for me. I was really on the fence about this workshop. I really wanted to participate in a World Cafe to see what it was like, to learn about the ethics behind permaculture, and to meet others. I also really wanted to get off-site before dark so I could do a little work in town. I ended up staying for the world cafe. I enjoyed hearing everyone’s perspectives. Again, because of my faith, my frugal lifestyle, and my decades-long habit of consideration/mindfulness, I think I’ve been on a path that matches permaculture teachings.

Over the years, I have told a Christian friend or two that religion is not required for ethical behavior, and this session affirmed that. We had no religion talk, and it was completely transferrable to a religious setting. I think there can be more personal impact when religion is added to the mix, but it probably depends on where I am in life.

Permaculture and Poverty. My goal for Sunday was attending the Poverty and Permaculture workshop. With a new fire as the coordinator of the Central Iowa Food Systems Coalition, I felt that had to attend. It covered many aspects, and the speaker was well-qualified on this topic. Again, this affirmed my belief that permaculture is a natural extension of the last half of my life.

I am totally with this point:  -Someone- in a permaculture community (your family, your friend group, your CSA, etc.) will need to choose to be the traditional non-permie and create income in our modern world. We can choose to be not of the world, but we have to be in the world. (There is no other place to go!)

Sticky point: I’m on the fence about his building structures idea — I’m big on reusing current buildings and their historic value, yet after discussion with my daughter, I’m also concerned about energy consumption in old buildings compared to new construction.

Also interesting: I am still conflicted over the Lakota that my daughters and I have spent time with. Permaculture seems to be the native way, but the people seem to lack resources and infrastructure and culture to implement.

I will be keeping the information from the convergence on my mind as I continue to work in my various communities and groups. I definitely found value in the workshops and the people I met.

Overall. My permaculture path and practice is in a good place; the convergence affirmed that.

It would have been nice to stay for the entire convergence and stay with the community for the fellowship overnight. There wasn’t one person that I regretted having a conversation with. I wish I had met more people. I was sad that I missed out on the bonfire and wine tasting, but I really needed to pay attention to other things. I don’t know that I could shut off my phone — next time, I will be making arrangements for someone else to take calls for me.

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Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence :: Part 2 :: A review of what I learned

:: Impact :: Using what I learned ::

Permaculture has a few definitions. One is permanent agriculture; another is a way of life (mindful and considered culture that is passed down through the generations). I attended the 2016 Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence and presented one workshop. This blog post is about the workshops I attended and the after-affects.

fermentation (2) brined veggies

That white tray? A Pampered Chef purchase. This is one of a set of three, which I use for egg washes and breading.

Fermentation. My goal for Saturday was to attend this workshop. But I also wanted to be at the mushroom workshop. Argh! Choices!

Why it was great for me: samples. I have fermented in the past. But if I have no evidence to indicate that I will eat a recipe, then I won’t make it. I hadn’t tried brined vegetables except for green beans. They were excellent. But freezing seems to be a better use of my green beans because of my family’s eating habits.

At this workshop, I tried some excellent brined carrots, onion, garlic, and cauliflower as well as a fantastic sauerkraut sample. My previous attempt at sauerkraut was unsuccessful, but I think it was the time of year. Without a fresh head full of moisture and proper culture, I believe that wasn’t set up for success. This workshop inspired me to attempt sauerkraut again, and to make the same brined vegetables.sauerkraut

For the curious: In the photograph, I am using a bag of water as my sauerkraut weight.

Fun for me: I was present when the vegetable jar ‘burped.’ It made me laugh.

Permaculture Basics. I attended this workshop to ensure that I had a good background for the event. Prior to this weekend, I had been to only two Central Iowa Permaculture Guild gatherings. Now that I have Tuesday nights free, I can probably increase that number. I believe that I have practiced permaculture as part of my quest to be frugal in my consumption as well as part of my faith.

This workshop skimmed the basics. I felt that a review of the basic philosophy behind permaculture would help me decide how deep I wanted to explore its subpoints.

Cool for me: This workshop affirmed my belief that I’d been a permie without using that term, and that being faithful and frugal could introduce me to yet another network full of people and resources. (Actually, I am already in that place.)

solar dehydrator, kinstone, permaculture

A better version of my cardboard dehydrator.


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