Rolling a tread between People and Permaculture

Leave a comment

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!




I Never Wanted to Be a Dirty Farmer Until….

By Jasmine Wilborne

….I met permaculture.

Conventional farming sucks, to put it bluntly.  I’ve never wanted to help my mother in the garden, because I saw how she toiled. I saw how the plants needed constant “nurturing” I saw the weeds creep up. I saw the way she would turn the soil. I thought: Farming sucks because once the farmer turns its back nature gets all unruly like a kindergarten classroom.

I decided not to go into environmental science in college because I saw farming and anything environmental as a constant polarized fight of :Us vs. Them. Humans vs. Nature. Weeds vs. Heirlooms. I knew the fight was never ending and that humans would lose. I saw who won every time I looked at my mother’s poor garden.

Things have changed for me. With permaculture as my guide, I will be letting nature do what it does best and be a partner with them. I would NEVER go to conventional farm school and learn what is taught there. Instead, I will have nature teach me.




My Uncle Asked If I Would Be Cycling With a Gun

By Jasmine Wilborne

And I said I would look into it.

Why? Because I’m a black girl riding through a post-slavery post-Jim Crow country  with a white dude.

And to be honest, I would really like to skip the deep south completely. My uncle drove across the country with his fiancé and when he stayed over in a hotel in Alabama, he had the black staff telling him that it would be wise if he didn’t leave to go anywhere at night. That it would be safer if he stayed inside.

That’s why.

I want to believe that upper-middle class black chicks who speak perfect English, don’t “act black”* and grow up in two family homes won’t be victims of racist-sexist violence. (* This is a derogatory statement that I included to make a point. Saying someone is “acting black” is derogatory because it implies that the actions of the person are low-class, unfavorable and embarrassing.)

But my uncle doesn’t seem to think so.

And he is right.

Here’s a question for you: How many black girls have had week long evening news coverage after they have disappeared?

Continue reading

1 Comment

Part 1 of Dumpsterize My Diet! – We’re Wasting Away

By Seth Columbia

Lets talk about waste.

If there is one good thing that  we do efficiently it is, to waste. As a college student it sometimes feels as though every object I find crammed into a dorm living space is labeled as “single use”. Beds, lamps, posters, last seasons clothing, electronics, and textbooks with much more all tend to fill out the massive profiles of industrial dumpsters moved into the city early in September and midway through May. Unfortunately not much of this lightly-used material waste is given a second home by those who really need it and in some cases is taken by small business and returned to the local economic cycle. But what happens to everything else?

Continue reading


What is PermaCycle?

By Seth Columbia

PermaCycle is an adventure, a journey, a desire for the liminal phase of transition, a coming of age, and pursuit of happiness. I am comfortable saying it feels like all those things on the inside but what is it on the outside?

PermaCycle is a cycling trip across the country that will connect Jasmine and myself with all things Permaculture related, or as many as possible. This can include small or large farms, food forests, eco-villages, homesteads, or even just backyards, its as much about the people taking action as the actions they take.

With this adventure we hope to inspire others to follow their dreams, and with this blog we hope to promote the ideas, people, and places that make this bike trip an epic journey.

PermaCycle is a lot of things, some will be planned, others might just happen, and others that wont be visible until we are far down the line long after we finish up here.