When I was about four or five, my parents and I moved out to the country. Dad got to know all the old folks at the feed store, questioned my grandfathers (who were both farmers) constantly, and subscribed to periodicals about farming and gardening, ordering farm equipment and seeds and books from the little ads in the back. Somehow we ended up with a book called The Homesteader's Handbook, by Rich Israel and Reny Slay. It was typewritten, loaded with cute, hippie line drawings and included a wealth of info for the 70's "back to the land" set. I remember learning to read with that book, thumbing through it on visits with my dad, and when I finally moved to a place with a little patch of green, I received that very copy as a gift. It's just as amazing as when I was five.
What brought me here (the immediate "what brought me here" - not the long scenic journey) is my orchard project. After watching my annuals wither and die in the Texas heat year after year, I decided to research permaculture - specifically fruit tree planting and chicken keeping as a way to build and shade the soil (and produce tasty fruit and nuts!). I will install a drip line to keep the trees watered. I've sheet mulched several areas with cardboard, compost, and oak leaves. I'm pre-ordering trees from the Arbor Day Foundation. All systems sort of on the way to go, eventually. I guess if I'm documenting this, I need to replace my dead camera:).