Post by david.
Larf has been doing permaculture on half an acre of land in Somerset for a few years. I offer here only a tiny glimpse of his place for you to ponder, to be encouraged that it exists, and to consider as a manifestation of a permaculture endeavour.
One enters the narrow plot and can immediately see that a lot has been done with relatively little. The building components are: a woodworking tarped area; two caravans joined into an office/accommodation area; a small shed and a small glass greenhouse; a compost toilet and urinals; and a bender – you do not need a lot of money to put something different to ‘the norm’ together, rather ingenuity, vision, time and imagination.
Seasonal veges are growing in raised beds; trees are growing into well-placed wind breaks; grass is sickled and left in place to return nutrients to the soil. Open fires are the main source for cooking. Water is caught and stored in small tanks, while drinking water is carried in from a mains water supply. I helped Larf dig a few swale-like ditches so that water can be collected to seep slowly under a section of raised beds.
Occasional skill-share weekends are held at the site. Members of the local community (and sometimes from further away) meet to… yip, share skills. People work together to learn to use the pole lathe, make elder flower wine, weave baskets, etc. These are three skills that come to mind but there are more.
The story of Larf’s journey is incredible, an immense dose of perspective for those of us who may have been more exposed to the orthodox ‘box-view’ of life and the world. I encourage you to invite yourself over to his place, preferably for a skill-share weekend, where you can meet Larf and other like minded people who can teach us more in such ‘informal’ contexts than one could imagine.
Larf’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org; there is no electricity on site so he will likely reply to you when he can, so expect a delayed reply. Maybe you could arrange to stop by his place on your way to the south west of England, or visit for a day during the next skill-share event. What awaits there is the an example of an alternative in practise and a glimpse into a way of looking very differently at the world we inhabit.
Quick pic of the swale-like water-storing ditches: