Rolling a tread between People and Permaculture

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Cut the Crap: On Cycling Safety

Every cyclist knows this struggle, well said.



(Noun) The Hood: (Definition) a Neighborhood Without Neighbors

By Jasmine Wilborne

I want to live in an actual neighborhood. It sounds really cheesy to say this, but I want to be able to wave to the people who walk on the street and know them by name. I want to be invited to my neighbor’s holiday party. I want to know the intimate details of what is going on in each other’s households. I want to answer the door to a neighbor in tears and be able to guide her to our family room to talk it out. I want to know the people on my block and I want to know that they know me. Simply, I want to be connected to the people on the small block I live on.

But that world is only a dream for me-for now.

The beauty of the eco-village movement- and mind you all that I know about the eco-village movement is from little articles here and there that I have independently read and from Seth’s own personal experience at Sirius in MA- is that it reconnects people to each other and to the land. Currently, there are so many factors that have severed the human from really feeling connected to the earth that an exhaustive list would be impossible to make. Eco-village’s are created by individuals of shared minds who are hungry to re-establish wholesome agriculture and wholesome community. This is what I find beautiful.

But I do not believe that the eco-village movement is the answer to the serious problems which are damaging and growing in our society like: gentrification in cities, fossil fuel usage, the era of the dispensable human (everyone is replaceable in a capitalistic society) and the polarization between people to, name a few.

Instead, I think the eco-village movement seeks to provide an experimental vision of what could be. Well duh, that is because they are experimental! Haha.

I’ve been grappling with the following questions:

1. I define community as people who are bound to one another by geographical location–specifically where they live- and who depend on each other for survival, support and the meeting of basic needs. In a society where basic needs are met outside of one’s immediate home, how can community be re-established?

2. There are huge disparities between neighborhoods. For instance, in one city  one neighborhood can be wealthy and another can be poor. If my definition of community in Question 1 was to be actualized in poor communities, what barriers will present themselves as the new found community were to grow as one seeing that they often cannot meet their basic needs without government assistance? Will wealthier communities have an easier time creating community defined in Question 1, or will they have a harder time seeing that they do not need to depend on one another to meet their needs?

3.Is it bad to “allow” homogeneous communities? I ask this because I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with homogeneous communities as long as they are open to others. BUT I think the problem with homogeneous communities is that xenophobia ARISES from them! Haha. So I guess have a dilemma. I want people to be with the people they want to be with, while also inviting them to be open to others. I’m thinking like a cell. A cell’s walls are semi-permeable— so maybe the communities can be to!

These are just my thoughts on neighborhoods.

Have a fancy week!




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Post-Holiday Reflection: How Wreath Making Made Me Stop Hating Botany

By Jasmine Wilborne

This is the story about how I used to hate botany:

Early November, after coming back from Vancouver B.C, I went for a hike after I had been a good living-at-home-after-graduating- a year and a half ago-daughter and did my chores.

I went for a simple hike around Lake Wintergreen in Hamden, CT .

This is a very small lake, maybe a mile all around. But very beautiful.

This is a very small lake, maybe a mile all around. But very beautiful.

Here is a trail. It ain't the Appalachian trail...but hey it's in my backyard.

Here is a trail. It ain’t the Appalachian trail…but hey it’s in my backyard.

I’m the type of person who likes to feel solidarity with others when we are doing something that is “outside the norm”, like cycling in the dead of winter or being one of two black chicks at a cool convention or idk something stupid like that.

So I smile, or nod or say “hello” to people. Usually receiving no answer or a blank stare, but whatever it’s New England. There were so many people enjoying the day, but so many people just kinda side-eyed me or ignored me all together that I started to feel downtrodden. So I made the big bad decision tooo….WALK OFF TRAIL.

I know scary.

Ahhh….so great to be drinking in, truly Nature’s glory. And then I started picking up pine cones. And then broken off branches of evergreen. And then branches of pine needles. And then before I knew it I was collecting the base for my wreaths!

Here they are:

Can you tell that I took this image with my shitty flip phone?

Can you tell that I took this image with my shitty flip phone?

The earth gave me enough for this interesting thing….the honeycomb makes an appearance.

My sister swears this is demonic. Kinda pisses me off. She's just mad.

My sister swears this is demonic. Kinda pisses me off. She’s just mad.

Let me tell you that that experience, crawling on the grown searching for pine cones and acorns and to my surprise and empty hornets nest, was one of the most spiritual experiences I have had thus far.

I am so NERVOUS to say spiritual because I have a very hard time reconciling the idea of spirituality after rejecting religiosity.

But it was spiritual. I felt bound to the earth. I felt like a child looking in awe at her mother knit or cook or laugh in the wind. I felt one with the earth. But even more like a true supplicant. Like the earth provided and I received.

At that moment, I knew that I could never live in a blind, unseeing way towards the nature around me. I knew that I would want to learn the names of the moss, the differences between trees and other creeping green things.

But you ask, isn’t that what permaculture is about?

And I answer, well yes. But it never became real to me until I was crawling around on the forest floor looking for natural gifts.

So yeah, unintentionally, wreath-making made me stop hating botany. Because I thought botany was stupid. Botany was about things that were not connected to me. Botany wasn’t about me. Boy was I wrong, botany is as much about me as it is about knowing the beautiful earth.

So yeah, I’m right now in the : I want to do it stage, but with the cold winter shooing me inside—-I find reading about wanting to do it better.

Also, Seth and I are about to leave soon. Ugh that’s an excuse because knowing at least a bit about what is going on locally is important!

The inner turmoil resumes—-

Thank you loveys!



My Youngest Sister is Causing Chaos, Pain and Anger: So I’m Turning to Spiritual Practices to Learn How to Turn Lemons Into Lemonade

By Jasmine Wilborne

I don’t want to go into much detail, nor do I feel it necessary to write any disclaimers.

What is happening in my life isn’t original. It isn’t unheard of. I’m not the first one to experience the pain, anger and confusion of having a family member reject their family in favor for friends, older men and drugs.

I’m not the first sister to consider a life without talking to their youngest sister.

I’m not the first person who has experienced family chaos.

However, this is the first time I’ve ever felt the pain, disorder and confusion of “out there” “in here”- in my heart, in my home, in my family.

I’m no longer religious. I don’t have religion or God to tie me down, to vent to. I don’t have prayer. I don’t have rituals.

But I want peace.

I want to cultivate spiritual and emotional power over the only thing I can control: myself.

I am seeking the wisdom of the earth and the body and the mind together as one.

Therefore, I have decided to take the first step of many steps towards spiritual enlightenment, meditation and yoga discipline.

I am starting now, in the midst of chaos. Where I know the last answer is the easier one: to disown my youngest sister. To severe her from my mind. To wish ill will on her. To regard her has scum.

There is another way, one that I am too emotionally and spiritually immature to truly consider.

But there is a way.

And I will grow to embrace and practice it.

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I’d Rather Be Without a Plan than Without A Rain Coat

By Jasmine Wilborne

( I wrote this closer to “I’m baking my ass off post” but got a bit idk wonky and decided not to post it at the time. )

Last week, I went over to my friend’s Jen and Jesse’s apartment. They live across the street from a Jewish cemetery, where I’ve gone on a very PG walk through with a date.

Jen, a new friend addition to my coveted friend group, and I swapped cookies. Her delicately cinnamon sugared snicker-doodles and me, my monster cookies. Naturally, since we share friends, PermaCycle came up.

This conversation made me realize that out of everything for this bike trip, having the stuff to do it and the right stuff, matters to me more than having a concrete plan.

Here is a snippet of what was said:

“Do you know when you are leaving?”, Jon says. Jon is Jen’s boyfriend. Because of their near inseparable and beautiful relationship I have resorted to melding their identities linguistically as: JenJon.

“We plan on leaving in April for a “trial” trip in New England and then come back in May for Seth and Jenna (one of my younger sister’s) college graduation,” I say.

“So you are basically leaving in May?” Jon says.

“Kinda not really,” I say.

Jesse, often referred to as a “gentle giant” butts in.

“Are you putting on weight? I had a friend who road his bike from Seattle to New York. When he rode through the Rocky’s he lost like 20 pounds and he was a skinny guy,” he says.

I scrunch up my face. Hell no. In no way shape or form will I gain wait just to lose it!

“Are you going to ride the trans-atlantic bike route,” JenJon says.

“That sounds so familiar,” I say.

The conversation goes on like this for a few moments and I feel exposed, unsure, ignorant and a bit naïve. Here my friends know more about planning this trip than I do. I’m really just flying by the seat of  my pants really. It really boils down to this: What some people have taken years to plan, we have spent honestly about a few months, if that, planning.

Me in freak-out mode is terrifying. And I was getting there. Thinking about all the things I would need and all of the unknowns. Until I settled on this truth: Focus on the things you can control. Buy the things you can buy and relax.

Until next time!



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My Best Friend Bought Me My Tour Bike!

My best friend, Jasmine Gear, surprised me when she came up from Baltimore by buying me the bike I will ride on PermaCycle!

This weekend, my best friend Jasmine (yes, both of our names are Jasmine!) subsequently eliminated the STRESS in my life by buying me a bike from the Devil’s Gear in New Haven, CT.

I didn’t ask Jasmine to buy me a bike. In fact, it shocked me completely when she said that she would.

That evening, she had come in from Baltimore, MD where she lives (we went to SCSU together and she is studying to become a dentist at Howard!) and I picked her up from the train station.

We ate at Tikkaway an Indian style Chiptole and I told her how I was building a bike from the frame up and how I had nothing to do it, no tools, no experience, nothing.

After we ate, we went over to the Devil’s Gear Bike Shop where I had purchased two bikes previously and had multiple tune ups etc there. The mechanics and salespeople are my friends!

While there I told them how I was building a bike for a tour and had just the frame.

I guesstimated that the cost of buying everything would be about $400-$600. (I honestly didn’t want to spend more than $600). But when David said that the cost of good wheels would be about $200, I became really uneasy. Building this bike would be incredibly expensive.

Jasmine Gear  observed and listened closely.

The mechanic mentioned how he had a green Cannondale outside that would probably work, and I shook my head “no, I will get back to you when I know what I need to build this bike” and we left.

As we walked away, Jasmine recounted at how the mechanics looked at me like I was “crazy” as I talked about building this bike.

I sighed. And then the crazies thing happened, she said that she would buy me the bike.

It’s crazy how in one second your reality can change. Homeowner to homeless. Talented unknown to musical superstar. College graduate to gainfully employed. Without a working bike to a beautiful tuned up $400 50cm tour bike. Wow.

So yeah, I went from feeling like I had nothing ready for this bike adventure, to now feeling like I could leave tomorrow.

I’m a lucky girl. I’m blessed with two best friends. Seth, who I have the great pleasure and joy of being a partner with on this bike adventure and Jasmine who believes in this adventure enough to buy me the FOUNDATION of this adventure.

Jasmine basically gave me the apparatus that will get me across the country. Every push of the pedal, both of my bestfriend’s will be riding along with me.

What joy it is to be loved by my best friends.

Me and my bestie marching for Trayvon Martin Spring of 2013.



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Bike Bloggers I like

By Jasmine Wilborne

Just a quick post on the bike bloggers  I have liked and the sites I have visited since September.—-I found this one recently. This cute Korean chick knows very little about biking and takes AMAZING photos, she is making me reconsider buying an android phone for pictures only. Idk, what do you think? Android or professional camera? Pffft, I can’t take photos with a professional camera!!!

Http:// —- According to Google Docs I found this site on October 6th. The photos of New Mexico make me wanna bike the WHOLE DAMN COUNTRY. Not just across it. But zigzagging and curving to see all of the Earth’s beauty.— This site is super cool. To be honest here in CT, I haven’t seen many black chicks on bikes. So I’m a fan of this website….wish they had a cousin though:!

Http://—I actually know this recent tourist personally…kinda. I was a camp counsellor for his younger brother Matthew! How exciting to learn that he did this tour! I definitely have cut and pasted a few of his recommendations for my own use! 😉—–This was my FIRST blog I read on touring. They really got me excited. They are very “poshy” tourers though, only doing about 30 miles a day and paying for campsites and bed and breakfasts. Hey! There isn’t just ONE way to tour, there are MILLIONS!

So yeah those are the ones  I have read so far. I don’t read many tour blogs, really. I think I mostly search for gear and read articles here and there 😀

Until next time!