My name is Allan. I live in the Greater New Orleans are in the US, and I am formerly from the UK. I moved to the New Orleans area when I was 10, but I still hold a UK citizenship. A few years ago I finally got to a station where I didn't have to work graveyard shift(midnight-8am) and I guess the British genetics kicked in and since I had the time and (more importantly) the energy I decided to start a veggie garden.
Looking at systems, squarefoot gardening seemed the best method for my type of soil(~1.5 feet of sand on top of hardpan clay with the water table not far behind at about 2 feet, though might be a lot less now that we've had 3 years of drought...figures it would be dry when I wanted to garden finally). I still think it is probably the best "quick start" system for my area.
A year after I started veggie gardening I ran across the Master Gardener program with the LSU agcenter(for those folks not familiar, the agcenter has people(Extension Agents) that love to help people garden, no matter what they grow..and get paid to do it! Master Gardeners are the volunteer arm of the agcenter and each state has one. They all fall under the USDA and only use scientifically verified methods).
After intensive training as a Master Gardener, my thirst for gardening knowledge was not slaked...I wanted to know more. This brought me to youtube where I avidly watched Growing Your Greens. John is an inspiration for people who want to grow food in their yards. Seeing that he converted his entire front yard to raised bed veggies, it started making me think outside of the norm.
I'm not sure how I landed on permaculture, maybe it was via urban homesteading, but permaculture has a firm grip on me and I would like to learn more. I wish I could take the time off work to earn a PDC, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
I've been watching "an introduction to permaculture" videos of a class taught by Will Hooker at North Carolina University. I've also been muddling through some online information and a few books(Gaia's Garden, Permaculture: A Designers' Manual, One Straw Revolution..I don't regret buying my Nook now. Ebook readers are great, too bad I haven't found an electronic version of the designers' manual).
Around my SFG veggie beds are now a small pond, fruit trees(orange, satsuma, grapefruit, lemon, fig and plum), raspberries(which I'm pretty sure won't fruit), blackberries, a grape arbor(hopefully these grapes don't run into black spot..if they do then I'm going with muscadines)a double compost bin and a future conversion of an old vinyl shed(that stood up to Katrina) into a chicken coop. Inside the house is a worm farm. The front yard only has grass and 2 crepe myrtles, but since it is the front yard, I'll be taking my time to plan that out for something that is awe inspiring and not an eye soar. I have plenty of time to think about it.
Luckily my job allows me a lot of time to read, especially on the evening shift(4pm-midnight). Unfortunately, I don't have an internet connection at work. Well I think that pretty much sums it up.
Again, hello and I hope to learn a lot!
Welcome to the forum, your garden sounds wonderful.
'Master Gardener'-ing sounds like a great scheme. What a great way to meet people and help out in your community.
It is indeed a great way to get out in the community and to meet with people who want to know more about gardening. Extension.org will probably be the best place to start learning more about it. Canada has Master Gardeners too, and the term MG was taken from German(gartenmeister?). I believe Prince Charles started a similar program in the UK too.
Originally Posted by eco4560
My training did take a look at many of the facets of permaculture, but doesn't take the big picture into consideration (yet). Permaculture does seem to be becoming more mainstream these days, maybe it's the bad economy. At least something good has come out of it.