And now for something not entirely different…

Dear Reader,

In my long absence from Rousseau’s Garden blog, I have been doing a lot of thinking.  I’ve also been doing a lot of planting, weeding, structural planning, daydreaming, and keeping the chicken coop clean; fortunately, all of these activities lend themselves nicely to the thought process.  While the ideas and conclusions I’ve developed during this time may not be a sea change from the original philosophy of Rousseau’s Garden, they certainly are helping me see change in new, exciting, and decidedly challenging ways.

My time in and around the garden has strengthened my understanding of and dedication to establishing as much of a closed, self-sustaining system as possible.  Constructing raised beds, assembling SIPs, studying the arts of companion planting and crop rotation, letting the chickens take care of the weeds and bugs, harvesting worm castings and chicken manure to enrich our compost pile, having rain barrels installed… Each of these efforts at urban homesteading have shown me how interdependent the whole system is, and how this interdependence is an organic, beautiful phenomenon.  Furthermore, I have started to see how lifestyle practices OUTSIDE the garden are an equally important part of self-sustaining permaculture, and are essential to its development.

Even though many of these practices may not be directly related to the production of food, they are, nevertheless, links in the chain of the healthy and responsible lifestyle that inspired Rousseau’s Garden in the first place.  Besides sharing general progress in terms of flora and fauna, I am going to post a series of entries about these non-agricultural practices and choices, and how they are necessary parts of the gestalt-ness of Rousseau’s Garden.  I look forward to your feedback.

Until next time,

JMW

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