Today I was in the cafeteria eating top round with broccoli and brown rice (mmmm, race training food) and my friend Bryan sat down with me. I saw that he was reading a book called The Paleo Diet for Atheletes and it opened up into a discussion about permaculture. (I think the link between the paleo diet and permaculture is that they met during a Phish concert, but don’t quote me on that.)

Bryan told me he’s been looking into this hardcore for about a year, thinking about it constantly, and if he didn’t do it soon, he would go crazy. He convinced his wife to let him turn part of their backyard into food instead of devoting the yard to desert-native landscaping. He’s spending hours and listening to books and podcasts on it and has a magazine on permaculture that he had sent special from the U.K.

He’s really enthusiastic about it, and talking to him about this thing I’ve never heard of was really fun and involving. He pulled out hand gestures and names I couldn’t pronounce and latin names for fungus that grows under logs that looks white and fuzzy. I mean, dude is getting his knowledge on.

Permaculture is, to quote Bryan quoting someone else (I think Paul Wheaton), “working with nature, instead of trying to instead of trying to make nature your bitch”. It involves methods like using legumes like clover (clover is a legume. Betcha didn’t know that.) to enrich soil by adding nutrients they take from the air instead of using bags of fertilizer and such.

Permaculture sounds exciting because it lets you do things like grow citrus in the alps like Sepp Holzer does and grow food in the desert, where we actually live.

I’m starting to wonder if I would be able to do any of this myself, since it seems not to be so much about plants in pots and that’s about all my yard will allow. But I think it could be fun to figger out exactly how to apply some of this to growing in containers.

I would have to uproot my dog, though.
So what? My dog likes to sun himself in a flower pot.


~ by jesstracey on August 19, 2011.

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