A guest blog by Centehua Sage
Women’s Permaculture Convergence
A gathering of women with the intention to learn and inspire a Permaculture based life began a few years back through Marianne West. Why women? It is not to exclude men, it is simply to bond in sisterhood and because most leaders in the permaculture world happen to be men and so a women’s gathering encourages women to open up and share as well. We need to be more vocal and organized, we have so much to share and there are so many knowledgable sisters that have gifts and wisdom to pass on.
Marianne organized the event and we showed up to her beautiful home and garden. I was deeply moved by the genuine love and desire to shift things in our communities and in our world. If I remember correctly it was around 25 of us, mothers, teachers, grandmothers, gardeners, designers, yoginis, business women of all kinds…. All there to share our skills and support each other.
Marianne sent out invitations to meet again for a second gathering. We gathered in San Diego’s World Beat Center and we had doubled in numbers. Over 50 women of all walks and ages showed up. We gathered in circle and introduced ourselves. I immediately felt a deep sense of connection, there is such magic that happens when we gather and share openly.
There were a few presenters sharing skills and lectures, it was a tremendous amount of information so the integration piece is important. We are making connections to support the growth and expansion as individuals and as a collective. It is amazing how these gatherings potentiate the meeting of specific individual needs that create community and sustainability. People often get intimidated and overwhelmed with the word permaculture and so it is important to bring it back to very basic practical needs and realistic changes we can all make.
I was so honored to teach ways to connect to the plant allies and make medicine. I harvested nettles and shared how to eat them raw and how to work with them since they are growing everywhere right now. We made a wild nettle elixir with adaptogen herbs and raw honey.
Growing medicine does’t have to be complicated, you don’t need a big plot of land, all you need is a sunny window sill or a patio. I have a container garden and a few pots in my kitchen with herbs, thyme, mint, sage, rosemary. These are plants I work with everyday, its easy to incorporate in every meal or drinks and cultivate a relationship with our plant friends. Permaculture is not just isolated methods and techniques, its a way of living that is relational to your specific environment. Identifying our very basic needs as humans is a great place to start. How can we clothe, house and feed ourselves more sustainably, in ways that we can all benefit? Food and water are obviously of utmost importance and growing herbs is an easy way we can begin a relationship to our sustenance that does not require much space or maintenance.
My journey began with many questions. How can I mimic nature and reduce waste wherever I am? How can I live connected to the natural world and walk gently on earth? Is there such a thing as self sufficiency? self care? Or is the answer to our problems rooted in community care? How can we support each other and create a local economy? These are the questions that are the precursors to right action and positive shifts.
Grateful to be supported by a growing community interested in shifting the course of our culture on this planet. It all begins with self responsibility, taking our health back, growing food and medicine, community care, sharing resources…etc. These gatherings inspire and promote our creativity and apply it in ways that are of benefit to our families, communities and future generations.
Thankful for the permaculture sisterhood, thank you for showing up so authentically. I am most inspired.
To listen to the podcast with Centi, click here.