Ouch, the last post was in December? Eep!
Well, some updates:
- The next High Plains Permaculture meeting is Thursday, 4 March, at 7pm in the Barnes and Noble cafe area (the library’s semiannual book sale is tying up their meeting rooms). This will be a planning sort of meeting – what sort of things would you like to see done, this year? Bring your ideas and chat with us Thursday night. While we cannot bring outside food and drink into the building, there will likely be a surreptitious tasting of my home-canned elderberry juice in the parking lot afterwards. If it’s not blizzarding.
- Most of this month’s blog inactivity can be traced to the priority of preparing for my Feb 20 talk at the 2nd state Local Foods Summit, in Jamestown. I’ll be doing an Intro to Permaculture focusing strongly on examples from the small farm level, especially Mark Shepard’s Wisconsin work on a staple food perennial polyculture of chestnuts and hazelnuts.
The December-January inactivity is due to an abrupt change in workschedule from 4 days, 37 hours per week to 5 -12 days, 57 hours per week. Unfortunately I’ll soon be getting the time off I’ve been wishing for in the form of a layoff at the end of February.
So, some hard questions. Do I find another office job to pay the bills and continue to work with North Dakota permaculture on the side? Or is there a way I can turn this extra-curricular interest (which I enjoy a whole heck of a lot more) into some sort of income-generating arrangement? It’s hard, because there aren’t really any existing jobs in this brand-new field in ND. We have interest in our group in town here, and some small farmers up in Grand Forks and Fargo and Beach are exploring adding in fruiting areas to their existing plantings, but I’m one of the only people in the state doing permaculture education. (There’s a lovely guy in South Dakota hitting the NPSAS circuit this year, and a good whack of people in Minnesota, but not yet ND.) How much education would I need to add to swing an environmental/landscape planner with an engineering firm? 🙂
In the short term, my decisions are primarily whether to attend the Advanced Permaculture Teacher Training in MN in March, and the Badgersett Woody Ag Short Course in April – oh yeah! – but I’m really looking forward to the end of the 60-hour weeks in order to do some thinking. Maybe with some time off I can become one of those people with bread, yogurt and cream cheese incubating in the fridge, and vinegar and worm compost working in the basement… and finally start the first project on my 36″ floor loom, that I had just finished fixing all the misthreadings on when my teammates quit in November. That will be nice.