What is permaculture?
- I really like this definition of permaculture:
- “Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of the landscape with people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.” –Graham Bell, The Permaculture Way
Permaculture is a lot to learn and we are definitely in learning stages on our farm. It can be a very overwhelming process and we suggest doing some readying.
A few great books to get your started are:
Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway
Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture
and the big daddy of them all, Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual by: Bill Mollison
Do you sell your produce and eggs?
Not currently. We only have a few pet chickens which lay sporadically and we are in the beginning stages of gardening, but in the summer and fall we do plan to sell our produce. We want to have a road stand at the end of our driveway and also get involved with the local CSA.
Do you do farm tours?
Since we are in the beginning stages, we don’t. We hope to do this in the future when the farm has grown.
Are you hiring?
Not currently, but we are a WWOOFING host. You can read more about that here.
We decided that we have a LOT of work to do on the farm and well, it’s overwhelming. Our biggest priority this year is to get the food coming in, so the garden area is a must. We have hired a certified permaculture friend to help us come up with a plan for the property. I have always wanted to practice permaculture, but…
1.) we didn’t have the space to do it in nor did we own our property until recently.
2.) It’s a long term kinda thing. There are some immediate benefits, but you mostly see a permaculture landscape coming together after a few years.
3.) Permaculture is huge! Meaning….there is A LOT of information on it and although I’ve read some books, I am nowhere near ready to plot out a 10 acre plan.
Here is the definition of Permaculture:
The development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.
That’s a pretty short definition, but if you don’t know much about it, just know that it’s amazing! You create micro-climates with different plants and landscaping techniques. You plant bushes that attract a certain bug that eats aphids. You companion plant. You follow contour lines and build hugelkultur beds (don’t I sound smart?) You design beautiful mandala gardens.
Example of a mandala garden
You incorporate your entire system into the goal of becoming as self-sufficient as you can. As time goes on, I know I’ll be posting more and uploading videos about our farm and what we are doing and it’s progress, so stay tuned.
With that being said, we’ve decided to get help.
My mini helper- Before we cleaned out the kitchen garden area.
Years ago, when we lived in Hawaii, I learned about Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms or WWOOF. If we hadn’t owned 4 dogs at the time, I would have jumped on the opportunity to work on a farm in Hawaii in trade for lodging and food. I mean, what else do you need when you live in Hawaii? Ever since then, I’ve been intrigued with WWOOFING and although I’ve never been a working WWOOFER, I’m so excited to be registered as a Farm Host through them. You can read more about it on their website.
Here is the little tidbit about our farm that I published on WWOOF:
“We are a 10 acre farm on the Key Peninsula in Washington. We bought the farm last year and are in the beginning stages of a permaculture garden, food forest and paddock system. We have multiple projects in the works. An example of jobs would be gardening (planting stars, weeding etc) building chicken housing, helping with animals, fence building, stall mucking, small construction projects like helping add a gutter to a shop building. Mostly it will have to do with getting our garden set up. We aren’t sure exactly how long the stay will be, but we imagine at least a few months…possibly up to 6 months. We currently have one spare bedroom to offer, but are in the works of getting a small camper trailer, so a family is welcome. Pets are also welcome as long as they get along with our menagerie. We have 5 dogs and 1 cat that are inside/outside. Our house is vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free and high raw. We have chickens, so we have fresh eggs. Some members eat local fish occasionally. We have 2 young children. A 3 year old and a 5 month old. Gig Harbor is 30 minutes away. Tacoma is 40 minutes and Seattle is 1 1/2 hours. There are multiple ferries available in the area and unlimited activities. There are two state parks very close by that offer beaches and camping. Whale watching season happens in the summer and is close by. Puget Sound is a beautiful area with so much to offer!”
After we cleaned out the kitchen garden area
So, if you are interested in coming to stay with us and help, fill out the contact page form.
What is a raw food vegan diet?
A raw food vegan diet is made up of unrefined, whole plant based food. It is not cooked above 115 degrees so the nutrients are in tact and still “living.” Fruits, vegetables, greens, seeds and nuts are the usual ingredients on a raw food diet.
What did you eat during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
While pregnant, I continued to eat plant based and vegetarian. For a while I was eating an occasional egg from our pasture-raised pet chickens, but I personally tend to feel better when I stay 100% vegan.
Now I follow a high carbohydrate, low fat, plant based lifestyle. I am tandem feeding my toddler and baby and make an abundance of milk. Both of my children are vibrant and healthy. They rarely get sick and when they do, the recovery time is fast. Their skin glows and they have even, pleasant temperaments that I equate to the lack of processed foods and chemicals.
So, what do you feed your children?
My 3 year old eats very similarly to me. He eats a higher content of fat than I do, but other than that, he usually has a green smoothie every day and eats a lot of fruit. He loves bananas and strawberries the most and gets excited when he can help me juice and make our meals. He isn’t a fan of salad, and tends to eat more cooked foods that I do, but I don’t worry too much. He loves fermented veggies like sauerkraut and gets lots of greens through smoothies. Since he also still gets breast milk, I know he’s getting the nutrients that he needs.
My baby is still strictly breast fed. We practice child-led eating, so he will dictate when he wants to start eating. When he shows interest, I will start him on fruit smoothies, juices and whole fruits. Fruit is the easiest to digest and naturally also the most appealing for babies.
Do you take supplements?
We live in Washington where the sun is scarce in the winter, so we supplement with vitamin D. If we lived in a tropical location, where we had lots of sunny days, I certainly wouldn’t supplement for this.
I also take b-12 sub-lingual supplement off and on through the year.
What does high carb, low fat mean?
I follow the advice of Dr. Douglas Graham and eat a diet full of fruit based carbohydrates. He suggests a diet to consist of 80% carbohydrates, 10% fat and 10% protein. The carbohydrates come from fruits, vegetables and greens. Since vegetables and greens are low in calories, most of the calories come from fruit. 10% of the diet comes from fatty foods like avocados, nuts and seeds. 10% of the diet consists of protein. Believe it or not, both fruits and vegetables contain protein, along with seeds and nuts. For more information read the book, The 80/10/10 diet. You can find it here.
Do you eat cooked foods?
Yes. Especially during the winter. I find that my body still craves warming foods during the cold days and I allow that for myself. Once again, if I lived some place tropical and warm and had an abundance of fruit to choose from all year around, I imagine I wouldn’t crave the cooked foods. I still make sure that the cooked meals are high carbohydrate and low fat.
What is a health coach?
Go to my page on health coaching for more information.
What is a health coach?
A health coach is a mentor who cheers you on and walks you through healthy lifestyle changes. Being healthy requires more than a healthy diet. One must be happy with all aspects of their life. Jobs, living situations, people and activity levels all affect the nature of a healthy body.
When I was sick (read my story here) and in the beginning stages of changing my diet, I detoxed a tremendous amount. It was scary. Although I was moving forward by trusting my intuition and knowing that my body was extremely toxic and needing to detox, I still would have cherished time spent with someone who I could talk to and who could comfort me and support me. During that time in my life, I would have given anything to not feel alone and to know that I was on the right path.
Support is a huge aspect of any BIG life change. It’s not that you can’t change without support, but to know that you aren’t alone and that you are loved, makes all the difference in healing.
Making healthy life changes doesn’t have to be scary and you don’t have to be alone during these times. As a health coach, I will evaluate your entire life situation. We will look at diet, self-love, relationships, fitness, passions and career choices and the spiritual connection to your mind, body and soul so that you can be truly happy, feel fulfilled and thrive.
If you are ready to take charge of your life and make the next step, check out my programs on my health programs page and schedule an appointment for an initial consultation.
Beautiful photo by: Wildflower’s Photography
My name is Nicole and this is me…super happy and healthy. The handsome fella is my hubby. I live on the southern end of Puget Sound in Washington, with my hubby, two children and our menagerie of animals on our farm.
This is my story of how sick I was and how I brought my body back to life.
As a young child, I remember feeling full of life and energy. I was always moving, always outside and rarely sick. When I hit my pre-teen years, that stopped. I was still very active, but I would have times where I would be exhausted and drained and would have to rest for days at a time. I started to live on antacids for the chronic stomach pain I was having. At 11, I got chronic migraines which were written off as stress induced. At 13, I started to catch every virus, bacteria and bug that came around. I got pneumonia twice in two years. During cold and flu season, I would spend more time at home sick than I spent at school. Our family ate a SAD (Standard American Diet) and we didn’t know any better. I went to the doctor more than I should have, took too many antibiotics and choked loads of vitamins down every day to try and make my immune system “stronger.” In my teen years I lived on fast food and junk. My health continued to decline. By the time I hit my 20’s, I felt sick more often than not and was scared. When I was 25, my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer and it rocked my world. She was my best friend and I was devastated. She refused to take the traditional route to cancer treatment and was the first to introduce me to a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately her research didn’t lead her to the right areas and her stubbornness refused her body the right to heal. She died a few years later. Watching her battle her illness and loose was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but it did drive me to take control of my life and my sickness and for that, I thank her. I love you mom!
In my 27th year, I was fatigued constantly and felt nauseous every waking minute. I knew something was wrong, but every doctors visit left me frustrated and with no answers. They would tell me that I was a, “vision of health” and to move on. At this point I really started to evaluate my diet more. I was no longer eating a SAD diet and had become vegan after reading, Eat to Live by: Dr. Fuhrman. My life long battle with stomach pain was gone instantly the day I quit drinking dairy and eating cheese. I also had started to incorporate green smoothies into my diet after reading, Green for Life, by: Victoria Boutenko. Still, almost every joint hurt. It hurt to sit, walk and lie still. When I woke up in the mornings, I would have to give myself pep-talks to get out of bed. My hands became so sore and cramped that I could barely open them to hold a pencil. The fatigue was the worse. It was completely debilitating, leaving me in bed to cry on many days. I wanted to get out and do things, but it took everything I had to brush my teeth in the morning. I also was in a permanent state of brain fog. One day, enough was enough. I read and read and read and absorbed as much as I could. I threw out everything in my kitchen and started over. I did a short juice feast to jump start my eating changes. I then went “high-raw” and ate foods that were vibrant and full of life. I detoxed a lot and it was scary, but I started to feel better quickly, so I kept going. Within a few months, I felt like a new person. My joint pain was 100% gone. My stomach issues were completely resolved and the fatigue had lifted. I felt happier, lighter and better than I had since my childhood. I started running again and doing yoga and I rode my bike to work.
I have now birthed two children, naturally, at home. I had two high-raw incredibly healthy pregnancies. I practice extended breastfeeding, baby-wearing and practice natural parenting. I have an amazing amount of energy which says a lot for having two children under the age of 4. Anyone who has kids at this age knows that sleep is elusive and something of a fantasy, yet I have energy that keeps me going all day without any sluggish afternoon dips. AND I drink no stimulants. No coffee. No soda. I thrive off of living, plant based foods. My oldest eats a similar diet to me and still nurses from time to time. The youngest is still on breast milk. I plan to feed them the best way that I know how….with vibrant, healthy foods that nourish their body.
So how do I eat?
I eat plant-based and high-raw; meaning, I eat 80% raw food and fill the other 20% with some cooked items usually at dinner time. I tend to follow the Raw till’ 4 diet 90% of the time, which is a vegan lifestyle that is high carbohydrate and low fat. It usually consists of fruit until 4pm and then after that I tend to have a huge salad with some cooked items. My diet consists of fruits, veggies, greens, wild edibles, sprouted seeds and nuts and fermented veggies and drinks. I drink green juices and green smoothies daily, along with fresh fruit juices. Some days, I make dehydrated goodies like crackers, kale chips or fruit leather, but most of the time I keep it simple. I eat a large amount of fruit, all varieties, and lots and lots of beautiful salads. My diet is always gluten free, dairy free and meat free.
The most important thing is that I feel amazing and my lifestyle is good for others, the animals and the planet.
Now, I’m obsessed! I feel so good that I want to help others change their health, especially other parents with kids. I want others to know that they are in control of their health and that they can make a difference. YOU can feel better and you can raise a healthy family!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. All information given comes from personal experience and research and should not be exchanged for medical advice and health treatment.