Monday, July 5, 2010

My Quest Unfolds

Since learning that we are moving to Tokyo, I've had a whole new filter on how I see space, let alone how I see space in my garden.

This "space" filter was on when I took my last installment of my twelve month permaculture class. The great founders of permaculture, Bill Mollison and Dave Holgram were from Australia and had an entirely different view of space. The wikipedia entry on Bill Mollison is interesting only in that it sucks. A better intro, at least to Bill, is an interview by Scott London. In this interview, Mollison says that permaculture does apply to cities. But the advice he gives, seems extra hard in the city of all cities, Tokyo. He said "Catch the water off your roof. Grow your own food. Make your own energy. It’s insanely easy to do all that. It takes you less time to grow your food than to walk down to the supermarket to buy it." How does this work in a place like Tokyo? When you rent?

As I mentioned, I was a very different learner at my last PDC class. The instructors talked about wind breaks and wind tunnels and I'm thinking, ok, don't get an apartment too high on a building or wind will kill everything. I was trying to file everything in either my "this might apply to Tokyo" folder or my "save this for when I get back to real land." At times it was frustrating so I turned online for inspiration.

I've been exploring some online resources, mostly not hitting the mark.
There is the Urban Permaculture Guild. It's headquartered in Oakland, a town that really has its urban gardening act in gear. Yes, search Tokyo on the site and you get little and I posted to the Yahoo group and I got no replies, sniff sniff.
If you haven't watched this video of a suburban farm in Pasedena, it is very motivational if you are the burbs. Still, that's not quite how urban Tokyo is. If you Google "Tokyo Permaculture" the top response is a great blog of a Canadian who used to live in Japan but has moved back to Toronto. sniff sniff sniff.

But then, a wonderful find: Balcony Garden Dreaming which is written by an Australian woman now living in Tokyo who does permaculture. Yipee! And a sweet story of a bathroom attendant leaving flowers in the ladies room! I'm a sucker for stories like that and it totally turned my mood around, got me back into a "I can't wait to move to Tokyo" mood. Thanks Cecilia!