Snowy garden

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Somewhere down there is a garden or two. This weekend we got about a foot of snow; beautiful, fluffy and clean snow. The last few winters have been really dry and dark so this snow is doing a great job of providing insulation to the garden beds.


Back to the future

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Back to the future: A service has been invented through which you can send messages to people in the future. To whom would you send something, and what would you write? (prompt from DailyPost)

I’ve been flipping through seed catalogs and a most excellent magazine I found at the grocery store, Urban Farm, planning out what we’ll grow this year. I want my letter to the future to ask what grew well. Will my future self write back?

TogetherFarm – Everything is Awesome!

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My kids are obsessed with LEGO (the plural of LEGO doesn’t have an ‘s’) and we have them all over our living room. All. Over. And LEGO games. LEGO Marvel is played for a couple of hours a week, as is LEGO DC. We already played LEGO Harry Potter, Star Wars and Indiana Jones. I love them all. As they say in the LEGO Movie, everything (LEGO) is awesome!

So, when I saw TogetherFarm on Kickstarter last year I jumped on board. TogetherFarm has made LEGO-like bricks, made from food-grade recycled plastic,  for enclosing raised bed gardens  – you can buy them now on Amazon. The sets are pretty small but our plan is to combine our set of blocks with our Nourishmat system, also something we funded on Kickstarter, or the “Salad-a-Day” seed pack that came with our 4’X4′ set of blocks.

The boys are already interested in gardening but I feel like they need their own garden space, not just mine. They can use these tools to help them learn and get started, with guidance from me. Not exactly permaculture for kids but I like how many fun tools there are to involve children in the garden.

First light

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First light: Remember yesterday, when you wrote down the first thought you had this morning? Great. Now write a post about it. (prompt from DailyPost)

Maybe not first light so much (it’s coming soon and I promise to take a picture) as much as first notions.

It must be spring because my head is filled with more ideas and new life for old ideas than I can handle. It’s almost completely overwhelming. I have been keeping notes on my phone, on scraps of paper, in a little spiral journal I uncovered while cleaning off my desk. 

I think I’m going to take over this blog and get into the habit of writing every day. I love to write. I’ve written a novel. I teach writing. I love to read and read and read. So I’m going to write using these handy prompts a few times a week and then write more about permaculture principles and how they apply to how we parent our children or, in some cases, how we could parent our children a little bit better and more intentionally than how we do right now. When I began studying permaculture I realized that much of what I’ve done as a parent, and as a person too, has always gone along with the principles of permaculture.

I’m also going to apply to begin earning my EdD in transformational leadership. My intent is to focus on applying the permaculture principles (yes, again) to educational institutional change. 

So, this blog has a newer look to it and I may change and tweak it some more before the sun’s first light has even come up over the mountains. 

Happily Ever After

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“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there? (prompt from DailyPost)

We started this blog with high expectations but, as always, life gets in the way. Winter is hurrying into spring in a series of five minute jumps of light; the sunlight was just coming up over the mountains as I made my journey into school this morning. The air was warm this morning when I left the house (34F?!?), albeit a little later than usual because I slept until 6 A.M. instead of visiting the gym.

I’ve been daydreaming lately about our permaculture plans for our yard – at some point during spring break I’ll need to finish getting them on paper. What I’ve learned from studying permaculture though is that there is no happily ever after. You start from where you are and then make slow, gradual progress toward your goal, adjusting and readjusting as you go. You may be progressing happily, but without reflection and assessment it won’t be an “ever after” situation. That goes for this blog as well – we can’t keep it up without a plan, without reassessing our goals and figuring out what we want to do with our writing and our lives. We can live happily ever after, but need to remember that a lot of effort and commitment goes into creating that fairy tale.

Gazing and grazing on Williams St

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On Thursday evenings, Saskia Esslinger of Williams St Farmhouse has been hosting tours of her yard, explaining the systems and the principles of permaculture.
It was a treat last night to go with my parents – the sun popped back out just for us! There was a big crowd, with lots if kids and lots of food questions.
For a suggested donation of $25 this is an educational and beautiful two hours. As always, Saskia’s home is inspirational and fun.
















Permaculture public garden tour

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On Sunday the Anchorage Permaculture Guild held a tour of public gardens on the east side of town. Two of the gardens, the first and last, followed permaculture principles while the others, while not exactly permaculture gardens, definitely were interesting. Full disclosure: I didn’t take good notes, I missed one whole stop, and my pictures don’t really do anything justice.


First stop! College Alps Condo Association’s garden at Bryn Mawr Court as hosted (check out the spread!) by Seija and Sarah.20130806-191315.jpg














Second stop! St Anthony’s Church Garden (825 Klevin St). Located adjacent to Catholic Social Services, this garden also serves refugees.20130806-191628.jpg





Stop four! (see what happened there? we missed the Bragaw Community Garden in Mountain View) McPhee Community Garden in Mountain View. The rule is “no permanent structures” but it seems vandalism and theft are an issue so the makeshift fences and gates are fascinating. This is the oldest garden, at 30-40 years.










And the newest garden, Methodist Church Garden at 1660 Patterson, was the next-to-last stop.








Cormac’s favorite was the third grade garden at Anchorage Waldorf School. I love the fence and greenhouse and the way it is perched on top of the hill.20130806-191931.jpg