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Archive for February, 2015

Here is the latest episode of changing the world.  Today’s guest: Mountain Permaculture!

I found you through your blog. What is your blog and/or project about?
“MountainPermaculture started as a way to record the work I was doing to pursue a
Permaculture Diploma in Design and Implementation through Pemaculture Institute,
USA. It has evolved into a journal centered mainly around the development of our
mountain homestead and our experiences homesteading “part-time”. We try to share
our decision making process, successes, failures, and the realities of off-grid living and
“part-time” homesteading.”

I believe that you are someone who is helping to change the world in your own
way. How do you think what you are doing is making things better?

“There are so many who are making a difference on a greater scale that it’s difficult to
look at what we are doing in the same light. However, our desire for a simple life, timed
with learning about holistic design, alternative energy, regenerative land practices,
natural building, etc. has allowed us to work towards creating a homestead that we
hope will become a resilient and productive ecosystem. Our hope is to show others
what is possible and provide another voice of inspiration for people looking for a simple,
productive, sustainable, and fulfilling life.

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Through this transition from suburban life to homestead life and our increased
awareness of energy, food, environment, waste, and consumption we’ve significantly
changed the way we live. Our suburban life was downsized from a 2500 sq. ft. home to
a 950 sq. ft. condo located closer to my husbands job and within a walkable
neighborhood. While in town, we’ve decreased our in home energy & water usage. We
eat local, consume less, reuse, share, and recycle more.
When at the homestead, we are off-grid and consume very little relying mostly on solar
and people power. However, we still rely on a diesel tractor for the heavy lifting and
excavating.
Though sustainability came as a byproduct of our initial goal for a simple, fulfilling life,
it’s a byproduct that we have come to embrace.”

Many people, myself included, have not always been on this particular path. What
inspired you to start doing what you are doing?

“We were a typical suburban raised couple, college educated and gainfully employed.
We followed the suburban script and climbed our respective career ladders but felt
something lacking. Career milestones typically meant more stress and less time spent
together. “More” wasn’t making us happy the way we had been told it should.
We made a conscious effort to carve out some time for each other. One of those
activities was to start exploring the Colorado mountains. Those camping trips were
transformative. We found we were happiest with just a few possessions in the back of
the truck, exploring forests, hunting mushrooms, cooking over a campfire, and for the
first time in a long time, dreaming under a star filled sky.

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We hatched a plan to buy land where we would eventually “retire” and have gradually
been transforming it into a homestead that would sustain us. We established a budget,
worked out the details for a debt free life, and got busy downsizing, saving like mad, and
making it happen.
We’ve been on that path ever since.”

Doing things that are not the “norm” are sometimes difficult to get going with.
What advice would you give to someone who may be out there trying to start their
own unique adventure?

“Find Your Why & Develop a Plan – It’s important to spend some time soul searching and
developing a clear understanding of why you want to do something outside of the
“norm”. Once you understand your “why” you can move onto “what” will fulfill your goals
and develop a detailed plan to follow.
Know Your Risk Tolerance – When planning on making a major change in your life it’s
important to know your risk tolerance. Be really honest with yourself and if, like us, you
have a low tolerance for risk, spend some time “practicing” your new lifestyle before
taking a big leap. If you can, intern at a farm or homestead, downsize your current life,
live on your anticipated income, grow a garden, preserve food, etc. Practice everything
and make sure you still love it when the romance of your new life wears off.
Eliminate Debt – Be really honest with yourself about your finances and if possible,
eliminate all debt. Eliminating debt will greatly reduce stress during your life transition
and allow you to make decisions based on your beliefs without being influenced by debt
payments.
Find Support – This is also the time to have really candid conversations with your family.
These major changes are hard to make and having everyone onboard really makes a
difference. Spend some time finding and developing a supportive community. Learn as
much as you can from others who have been down the path you choose. They’re often
happy to share their story, things they may do differently and what worked well.
Embrace the Unexpected- Despite all your planning, the unexpected will happen. For
us it was a forest fire the first year on our property followed by a year of continual
flooding. Adversity provides great learning experiences if you embrace them!
Just Start – Most importantly, start moving forward on your own unique adventure. We’ll
all be here to support you along the way.”

Mtn Mahogany Band July 7-41I really love the very last thing said, “We’ll all be here to support you along the way.”  That is one of the things I have found a lot of is this type of lifestyle.  We have barely started out and have been emailing and asking questions of everyone who did things we might be interested in.  The good information people have shared with us, for free, is awesome.  everyone is excited for you and is there rooting you on.  Everyone who is into this type of lifestyle is interested in having others join in and want to help.  The support system is amazing.

Thank so much for the great answers, Mountain Permaculture!  The information you give about starting out I couldn’t agree with more.  Really good advice.  I wish you all the luck in your journey and look forward to reading more!

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I found you through your blog. What is your blog and/or project about?

“I recently starting blogging again after a three year break.  My previous blog started in 2006 as a scrapbook/craft blog but I found I was much more interested in sharing my garden.  I started over with a focus on our suburban homestead.  We know we will move eventually (due to silly laws about our bees being livestock and no chickens allowed) so I am focusing on the things we can do now and learn to prepare for our eventual “cabin in the woods”.”

I believe that you are someone who is helping to change the world in your own way. How do you think what you are doing is making things better?

“Thanks for thinking that of me!  In my professional life, I teach inner city kids how to naturally grow vegetables.  I love, love everything about teaching outside of a classroom.  I just find that “plant people” are so willing to share what they know.  Through my blog, I hope I can share how ANYONE can try their hand at homesteading.  I am always hoping to “spark” someone to give gardening a try.”

Many people, myself included, have not always been on this particular path. What inspired you to start doing what you are doing?

“It’s all about my Grandparents.  My Grandfather is my bee keeping idol.  Both my Grandmothers made sure I grew up eating jelly and pickles from their own canning jars.  It’s very important to me to pass down these skills.  Otherwise, they will get lost.  You can read all about how I got started gardening here:  https://hudmanhoneyfarm.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/29/

Doing things that are not the “norm” are sometimes difficult to get going with. What advice would you give to someone who may be out there trying to start their own unique adventure?

“I started years ago with deciding I would learn a new homesteading skill each year.  So far I have taken classes on soap making, had my Grandfather teach me his way to make sauerkraut, earned a certificate in compost making, took a class to make cheese, added to my canning skills, taught myself to knit with Youtube videos and went back to school to earn a degree in plant science.  This year I focused on studying herbal healing with a monthly group of ladies.  I am thinking next year I am going to focus on bread making.”

Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.  I think it is wonderful that you can share your knowledge in a blog and teach kids in the city to grow food as well.  That must be a fascinating job.  Kids are usually so interested in learning things outside of the classroom, it must make you feel good to get to work with them.

We started out our homesteading journey in the same way.  We would learn new skills as we waited to get enough money together to make the big move.  It is amazing how much we have learned.  So much that we didn’t realize we could do ourselves.

Beekeeping is one of our next ventures.  I’ll be doing some reading on your blog before we start!  Anyone else who wants to check out the Hudman Honey Farm blog, please do.  Lots of great information.  Thanks again for your contribution to my project and keep making the world a better place.

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I temporarily have a computer to get some posts done, so I am going to try to get in a couple extra of the Changing the World project.  I planned on posting this response from “The Feeling Universe” a couple weeks ago, but here it is now instead.  Enjoy!

What is my Blog about?

“Essentially it is a reflection of my philosophies. I write about and post videos on things that I am passion about, such as, freedom, zero point energy systems, organic gardening, spirituality, and the principles that I live as a result of my ‘awakening’ to the greater truth of who I am, who we all are.”

Am I making things better?

“Yes, beyond the shadow of doubt. There’s nothing like life experiences to show you in real time what path you are on and if you are a positive influence. I have seen friends start their own gardens, take up meditation, begin using holistic healing practices, and to speak about topics that are leading edge, such as quantum physics and zero point energy. All these examples and many more are positive signs that people are seeing through the limitations of our current institutionalized belief structures that benefit only the top 1%. The most important is one’s own inner peace or lack there of. I have found that I have achieved a greater sense of inner calmness and with that, love, wisdom and compassion come easier. This is, of course, an on going process.”

What has inspired me?

“My source for inspiration for the greater part of my life has been nature, being in the great outdoors and having a respect for all living creatures. Organic gardening was an obvious choice, an intuitive choice. To have that deeper connection with nature is to know on a spiritual level our oneness with the environment and Mother Earth. As a result of this unshakeable foundation, I am able to move forward in my life knowing that I stand on solid ground. Lastly and most importantly, I had this ‘inner feeling’ most of my adult life that I was missing some important data, knowledge. About seven years, I eventually decided to put all my beliefs aside, break from the herd mentality, and to become a full time deliberate seeker of truth.”

Advice for the new adventurer.

“Regardless of what quest you are on ask yourself, “Am I following my bliss, am I following my heart?” Know at an intuitive level what you want. In other words, your passion will feel right; it will feel true in your solar plexus which is your emotional centre. Dare to dream, take extra time to imagine your project(s) unfolding. Try to stay relaxed and enjoy the journey because there will always be another project. This energetic component that I have just described flies in the face of our ‘nose to the grind stone’ attitude that we have been falsely taught to believe is the only way to succeed. ‘Out of the box thinking’ is now required, even over due, if we want to individually and then collectively remove ourselves from this control/fear based paradigm we live in. Oh yes, before I forget, unplug the TV. It is of no value except to the corporations that are the masters of mainstream media. Get your news on-line through alternative websites and always be discerning. What I have spoken about here works. I barely passed high school English class and yet I published my first book titled, ‘The Feeling Universe’ in Nov. 2013. I am 63 years young. If I can make my dreams come true so can you. The only thing that will stop you is your own self imposed, illusionary limitations. FEEL what is right and move in the direction of that. This wisdom will serve you well.”

I really like sharing this response because it touches more on the spiritual side of things.  A big part of my transition of breaking the herd mentality was spiritual.  This is not something I often discuss just because I am more focused on the actual projects right now.  However, it is important for us all to have some sort of spiritual side, no matter what it is.  I found this blog by reading posts about gardening, but the other posts are really good as well.  For anyone out there, like myself, who are still finding their spirituality, please check out The Feeling Universe.

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