I was recently asked to be on our local garden tour. The proceeds benefit the Lebanon Historical Society. There were 12 sites on the tour, and I saw them all on the pre-tour. I was able to meet the other garden owners and take pictures of their gardens. I met some really nice people, as gardeners usually are, and I got to see some interesting things.
The properties were all different in their own way, but in some ways they were very much the same. Landscapes and gardens were very tidy and weed free. Lawns were mostly chemically treated deep green and weed free. Sidewalks and hard surfaces were universally weed free. Most did not have vegetable gardens, although some did. Most did not have orchards, although one did. Most did not have animals outside of dogs and cats, although one had horses, sheep, etc…
These properties were certainly beautiful in the conventionally landscaped way that mainstream society has become accustomed to. When Denise and I went on the pre-tour, and towards the end the group made it to our house, people were pretty surprised. Our property, our permaculture property was very much different from the others. My fellow garden owners were extremely complementary and supportive. One kind woman told me, “This is the way everyone should do it.” I think I was able to change perception among a few of my fellow gardeners. I also had quite a few comments from garden owners lamenting that they could never get away with this in their HOA.
One the day that the tour was open to the public, we had 120 people or so that visited our permaculture site. I prepared a self –guided tour that was 1.25 miles long complete with sign posts and a write up that corresponded to the sign posts so people knew what they were looking at. There was only one person that came to our property that had ever heard of permaculture. So, 120 people were not only exposed to the word “permaculture” for the first time, but they were also shown what it is. Denise and I had a tremendous amount of positive feedback from the people who took the tour, and most of them made the entire 1.25 mile hike throughout the property.
I’m hoping that by allowing the public to see what we are doing and why, it will inspire others to follow suit. This will make it more difficult for the police and township to feel as powerful when they crack down on someone like me. I hope to one day live in a town and community that embraces permaculture, but most importantly embraces our freedom to choose how we want to live on our properties.
I took pictures at each and every garden I visited. I found something beautiful at every garden. None of the following pictures are from my permaculture site. Enjoy the pictures below:
This last one is my favorite picture. This was at the last property on the tour which is actually a bed and breakfast. I ate a not ripe apple off their tree and fed these guys the core. They were bumping each other like sumo wrestlers fighting over it. Funny chickens.
See a tour of my garden and property. There have been many big changes since last year's tour. See the planted swales, keyhole beds, mandala garden, chicken paddocks, baby chicks, herb spiral, waterfall, and wildflower meadow.