Last weekend I was part of a family trip to an Amish farmers market in east Tennessee. Had a good time, even picked up some black raspberry plants to add to my growing berry collection. Part of permaculture is observing, and I personally enjoy looking, thinking, wondering and trying to connect the dots.
This Amish community looked to be a step above a lot of other Amish communities I have seen over the years. Step up, may not be right, but it was set up very different than any I have seen. The community had a road that took the customers winding through the community. Sure they had the horse draw plows in the fields and the big cool barns. The crops looked great and no power lines were to be found. The difference was the family plots where smaller and way more diverse. This was not the normal big corn look, it had more of a home stead feel. It was not classic permaculture, but not far off. The plants and trees were planted with an ease to harvest for each home. The homes all had chickens, fruit tree orchards, vegetable gardens and grapes for home use. Some had family green house, some had a lot of green houses. To be blunt, they had it going on and it gave one a calming feeling just to be driving through there community. It was high on the coolness scale and the customers were pointing, smiling, gushing with joy as they drove by each plot.
From my observation, comes confusion.
People seem to enjoy almost love seeing a productive nice looking properties. People flock to see great landscaping, gush over locally grown food, watch shows on TV about landscaping and talk about one day having a garden or living on a little farm in the country. The reality is very different. They live, maintain and work in sterol yards. The have mostly unproductive grass that they slave over. Yards look like they come from a drab factory that looks the same mile after mile. This is very confusing to me.
How can this be, they go on vacations to see beauty and then return home to boring. What is more strange to me is how so many will think it is strange for a yard like mine that is diverse, blooming with color and food. They pay money to see great diversity outside of their everyday life. Then almost fight to keep boring in their own yard. The disconnect is between seeing beauty somewhere else, but it is not for everyday enjoyment.
To be honest, people as a whole confuse me greatly. I’m sure some are confused by me,so everything is equal. I guess. People are individuals, but are very tribal and group acting at the same time. Most people take pride in being an individual, then fall in line with the heard and the normal group society thinking like they are brainwashed and can’t help it. People are people, everyone is different in some way. What I can’t understand is why so many people seem to love a productive lush landscape and own such a boring one the see every day.