Permaculture – Promises Kept

by Rebecca Simpson on August 10, 2017

Permaculture QuoteThe gardens at Suburban Stone Age have been strongly influenced by permaculture concepts. For those new to the term, permaculture is defined by Wikipedia as “a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems.”

The promise is that if your follow Nature’s grand design, you not only build a sustainable garden that provides you with food and resources. You build a food web that extends beyond your human needs and into the natural community that exists beyond your backyard fence, for the benefit of all.

It has been over 6.5 years that Suburban Stone Age has been in operation – long enough to flirt with being a “mature” garden.  And I can tell you, without a doubt, that permaculture principles work.

We don’t use pesticides, we invite birds to do the work instead.  We recycle nutrients through the use of compost to let the land feed itself.  We build the soil with humus so that it can hold more water – this helped our plants survive the greatest drought in California’s recorded history. We group plants according to their habits and functions, so they can thrive and provide the maximum amount of usefulness to ourselves and the natural community.

This was all begun because of the promise that if you build it, they will come.  The plants, animals, and abundance, that is.  And there has been no truer promise, no more spectacular return on the investment, than what the gardens of Suburban Stone Age have become.

If you are curious about permaculture and how it works, please leave a comment.  I am happy to share whatever knowledge and experience I can.  And be sure to keep checking back for updates, as the best is yet to come!

 

Living with the Seasons – Stop Time From Flying By

by Rebecca Simpson on August 6, 2017

Time flies, doesn’t it?  In our hectic modern lives, the month is over before we were ready for it to start.  Days are just numbers that roll by on a calendar.  Children grow right before our eyes, and it takes but a moment before their precious childhood years slip away and they are grown.

The good news is that there is a way to change how we live with time.  And the surprising consequence it that time slows down.  Life makes sense, feels good, has cycles, and touches your inner being – connecting you again with the ancient rhythms we were all born to feel.

How is this done?  By living seasonally.  That means, wherever you are, stop and understand that place.  What are the rhythms of life there? The length of daylight, the temperatures swings, the rainfall amounts.  How have the native plants and animals that have lived there since ancient time adapted to these particular conditions.  What does that say about how you can adapt too? And this is just the beginning.

This new awareness is something that evolves over time, as you pay more and more attention to it.  But what ends up happening is that you sync up with your environment in a way that feel natural and makes sense.  There is no rush and bustle and worry to this new timeline, only moving along with the seasons in the great and gentle flow.

Compost – The Dirty Truth

July 25, 2017 Uncategorized

Compost and me – we be mates.  It truly is Nature’s “Black Gold”. In my evolving love affair with compost, we’ve had our ups and downs.  I’ve done everything from actively hot composting wagon loads of material to barely being able to get my own coffee grounds onto the pile.  A lot depends on my […]

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Are Birds Eating your Fruit?

July 24, 2017 Uncategorized

July is such a lovely month at SSA.  Wander around, and you’ll find peaches, plums, apples, grapes, figs, and tomatoes, all becoming ripe. Trouble is, every bird in the village knows this too.  So word gets out, and bird friends invite bird friends – and bird kids and bird cousins and bird neighbors  – to […]

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6.5 Years and Counting

July 21, 2017 Uncategorized

My how far we’ve come! Suburban Stone Age is 6.5 years old and counting.  The transformation has been unbelievable.  We started as your traditional suburban home, full lawn front and back, some shrubs, and nothing much else of interest.  Now I am fortunate enough to live in the middle of a fully functioning food forest, […]

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Starting Anew and You’re Invited!

July 20, 2017 Uncategorized

Good Morning, Fellow Adventurers! It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, but it is time to come on home. For the last 3.5 years, I’ve been working full time in the corporate world.  Sure, it’s been great.  But I miss my farm, I miss my plants, I miss my wacky experiments, and most of all, […]

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Fresnel Lens – Solar Cooking will be happening at Suburban Stone Age

November 15, 2015 Fall

What do you do when you have a bum shoulder and can’t dig your pond? Why, you buy a death ray on eBay so you can melt glass and cook food, of course! Let me explain… A Fresnel lens is a thin plastic lens made of small concentric grooves on one side that focuses light […]

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California Drought and Greywater Usage Update

November 8, 2015 Uncategorized

I love me a hot bath more than just about anything. But as a drought-striken Californian, that is a luxury I’ve had to forego for the last few years. Last week, I sustained a significant shoulder injury.  I was so sad. Until I heal, I can’t dig ponds, build fences, clean, and lift, like I […]

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