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When May Embraces November, Permaculture Dreams Come True

Submitted by on October 19, 2010 – 2:31 pm 5 Comments

Joanna's husband Ro at work in the garden

This article was submitted by Positive Writing Student Joanna Piekarski and is also the beginning of a new exchange that Happyzine will be hosting …

Living the good life.  That’s how pioneer back-to-the-landers Helen and Scott Nearing enthused about their years of “practical living” at Forest Farm in Maine, decades before organics became trendy or the word permaculture was coined.  The inspiring pair remained active in rural self-sufficiency into old age, and their property is now a centre for education in sustainability.

Worldwide, lots of 60s-era homesteaders are still loving the simpler life. Others felt the call later, understanding the need to buck the trend of urbanisation, and threw themselves body and soul into creating islands of beauty, productivity, sanity and self-reliance.  Not all of these committed permaculturists are as lucky in health and fitness as the Nearings, and there are now an increasing number of aging people in the organic/permaculture community who have put years of effort and love into caring for their land. Not only do they need help maintaining what they’ve achieved, their deepest wish is to have the land cared for in the same way they have done, both in their lifetimes and beyond.  Many don’t have anyone to leave their land to.

Here’s where a magical opportunity presents itself.  There are also many young people who are equally passionate about self-reliance and permaculture but don’t have and can’t afford land of their own.  It takes a long relationship with a piece of land to really put the principles into practice.

Ro and Joanna Piekarski of Golden Bay are starting a new national networking project in New Zealand to connect these two groups of people – to help the older generation to leave their land to young people who will look after it as they age and then eventually inherit the property.  Ro and Joanna will also provide basic advice on people’s legal options for land sharing and eventual transfer.  There is already one pair going through this process in Golden Bay, and Joanna and Ro are keen to do the same.

Happyzine has offered to host an online exchange where prospective members of both generations can post their info and contact each other.  If you would like to be part of this exchange email charlotte@happyzine.co.nz anytime.

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5 Comments »

  • Anna Lakeman says:

    This is amazing/ I often think about things like this and so pleased to see it is already happening…

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  • SHanti says:

    yep i want to be a part of this…keep me in the loop.
    awesome!

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  • Dear Joanna and Ro, this is such a beautiful example of ho generosity and passion creates a win/win, with much love, Rose

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  • Seth says:

    Kia ora Charlotte, Ro and Johanna

    I am a 29 year old Permaculture enthusiast living in Wellington and I definitely fit the bill of a younger person yearning for land to care for. I know a lot of other awesome young and not so young permaculture peops in Wellington – a particularly awesome enthusiastic bunch at my local community garden who, would be totally into this kind of initiative.

    You might also be interested to know about another group I am involved in. Last night at Crossways Community Centre in Wellington we had a meeting to form New Zealand’s first Community Supported Agriculture Co-operative the ‘Wellington Growers and Consumers Cooperative Society Limited’. For more information please see the Simply Good Food website: http://www.simplygoodfood.co.nz.

    Next week the company Simply Good Food will end its food distribution operations and our Co-operative will take over managing direct relations between Wellington based consumers and Wairarapa based biodynamic growers and farms.

    I recommend you delve deeper into the website, look at the prospectus, some of the video interviews with our growers etc. Frank and Josche who own, manage and tend the core farm that is presently supplying a lot of our produce are awesome farmers who have been running their farm on permaculture principles for decades.

    The vision for the CSA is bringing growers and consumers into direct relations to help support organic growers to care for their land and grow good food for a stable connected community of conscious ethical consumers. It is also encouraging and enabling consumer members to get involved however we can in the operations and decisions of the cooperative be it growing, distribution, communications, marketing whatever.

    I could say more but I suggest you’re probably best to check out the website and maybe even check out the farm and meet our farmers kanohi ki te kanohi

    Yeah and it would be awesome if you could please forward my contact on to Ro and Joanna of Golden Bay.

    Choice and cheers, Seth

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  • Andrew Morin says:

    Fantastic Joanna, what a great idea! The nearest thing to this in the US is this web site that hooks up individuals wanting to work or study on an organic farm with farmers/farm schools providing that service – more WOOFER type: but there are examples of what you are saying, including a couple I actually contacted about working on their 100 YO organic farm located up in South Dakota!

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