What is LLOOFing (Learning Local on Organic Farms)?
Written by Kerry Alspaugh, 2012 LLOOF program: “Urban gardening in the summer of 2012 made me appreciate “Home grown” at a whole new level. I have never tasted tomatoes that were so delicious. I can see why farmers feel proud at the end of the day.
Working outside everyday alone expanded my horizons literally. I felt a sense of purpose, showing up everyday, nurturing new gardens into being. Even though I still don’t know very much, I appreciate now how much fun it can be to work alongside of friends who are working hard right alongside you, to bring new possibilities from the earth in exchange for some sweat. I learned so much just sharing observations with my fellow gardeners.
I learned that sometimes the things you plant; just don’t make it, even though you have the best intentions for those wondrous seeds and plants. (I felt discouraged at times.) I initially thought that because I was working with someone who is experienced that that wouldn’t happen. It’s just the way it is. That doesn’t mean you give up!
Celebrating the things that do grow is the fun part but letting go of what doesn’t work, observing, researching, recording findings and trying new approaches is the process of permaculture. Problem solving is a core activity of permaculture and gardening. It’s an ongoing process where problems highlight opportunity.
Permaculture helps me realize that as we look to solve problems (in the garden or in our lives) we seek ways for things to work together in synchronicity. When using this as a guide, simple, new ideas and processes evolve.
Successful gardening takes a lot of attention. I always knew that but until I actually jumped in with both feet (and the rest of my body), and actually experienced the day-to-day duties, I didn’t understand.”