Hi folks I'm in Auckland, New Zealand. I have gardens and chickens and fruit trees and such, but it's a rental property so there's a limit to what I can do here. I still produce a lot of my own food. The section here was the worst I've encountered in many years gardening various soils. It was so bad after two years trying I gave up and built a greenhouse and put an aquaponic system in. But in NZ with high rainfall, and no decent fish species to cultivate legally - aquaponics is a bit silly in this context. I had access to land, but it was rubbish to grow on. Shelves of poisons and potions were found in the basement. By some dates I could see the section had been chemically dependant for decades. When I moved in and cut the plants off, weedy tree privet took over the shade, couch grass the sun. Compost did not fix it. If there was a pathogen or pest to be found, it was here. The aquaponics greenhouse was DIY, self taught. I scoured the web. My favorite to learn from was The Skeptical Aquarist, who wasn't into aquaponics at all, but knew way deeper stuff than anyone else online was into, stuff about how fish systems really work. This introduced me to microbiology and ecology - I was hooked. I'd started growing plants in pots and became interested in soil microbiology. The soil food web cropped up as a new catchphrase, and over 12 years later, I still study it. A few years later permaculture came to my attention via youtube, but by that time, this dropout had chosen to go back to school. But I have devoured permaculture video and literature since, wherever I got my hands on some. I spent 5 years at university as i'd hit a wall with what I could glean from the web - I was having a lot of trouble discerning fact from fiction, and needed formal training. University was everything I desired, except I couldn't fit enough classes in. I can now teach all manner of biological stuff and direct my own learning. And I love learning, more than anything. Putting the pieces of jigsaws together is how I see it. And it's all one big picture. So excited when I make new connections. Today I am writing a book. It's called Heavy Metal Detox: the Holistic Treatment of Undesirable Elements. It may take another six months to complete. This is the culmination of so many things I've been learning over the years it is an absolute pleasure to be writing, albeit, hard work. I am trying to make the science palatable to laymen, so as to empower people to not only detox soils, but bring them to life. In writing the book, methodically piecing together the components of an integrative system, I have come to realize more and more it is a permaculture book. The theme is a component of a much larger design - detoxing the planet. I joined this community as I believe we have much to offer one another. I'm sorry I can't give you a short article on metal detox now, I tried, I really did. I started out writing the article to send to this website. But it was nowhere near as simple as I'd thought... That is how I wound up writing a book, and finally realizing what I want to be when I grow up. A gardener, theoretically. Dean.