Working Permaculture: The Tao of the Turtle

Working Permaculture: The Tao of the Turtle

Turtle symbolizes independence and being at home everywhere. The turtle can travel all about with its residence on its back, thus the turtle can journey far and experience many chances. Turtle values the earth, the water, and the heavens, symbolizing the emotions of the water, the grounding quality of the earth, and the magic Regenerative Leadership Institute of the mystical. Turtle energy can be helpful in achieving balance, and freedom. This totem is a symbol of a connection with the non violent self defense, navigation skills, patience, developing new ideas, self reliance, tenacity, and centre.

Deep in the jungles of Costa Rica, unbound my country nor farm, she has been cultivating gardens, digging swales, and implementing creative permaculture designs. Tropical torrential downpours push her to design systems that withstand the waters, and protect her plants, so she might spread their seeds. A permaculture pilgrim equipped with her turtle pack, a bag of seeds and cuttings, a wisdom of permaculture enactment, a profound understanding of plants, a collection of books, and her PDC and teacher's training, she sets out to bless each farm with her work. For over a decade Desiree Wells has been traveling throughout Costa Rica touchdown on farm upon farm, implementing designs, planting, and maintaining. In search of new learning opportunities and pushed by the perpetual 3 month edge hops, she traveled. Learning the means of survival in simplicity and attractiveness. This pilgrim has found a place to call her own, now.

Throughout the last year Desiree has been creating a "classroom" where she can share the things she's learned inside her adventures. Where cob comes in many types, and recycling is a thing of beauty. Workshop participants come from the community to experience hands on learning about watershed maintenance, cultivating seeds and cuttings, composting, introductions to permaculture, natural building, and more. Slow and sure, like the turtle, she believes that with careful observation and well thought out designs, many issues which could appear in Permaculture's feedback loop can be averted. Desiree single handedly provides food for your community she belongs to, Finca Fruicion, and where plants come together in 3 dimensional artwork, her gardens are like bewitching fairy lands.

I met Desiree about 2 years before, when my family and I first came to Costa Rica, with the aim to live our vision. She was such a glowing light and I recall walking among her gardens at one of the many farms she serves in awe of the beauty that it held. Some time later, her horse and she came to our farm and decided to make a home here. I am unable to express the delight that I felt, when she shared that she wanted to be a piece of our community. Having been through a Permaculture Design Certification class and a teacher's training, I still didn't believe that I was prepared to actually share what I had learned with others. I had been seeking a mentor, someone who could show me the course in this climate, and like an angel she came in to our lives. Since then I've learned a lot more than I can express here and greatly appreciate her wisdom. Although, my want to perform side by side with Desiree is strong, fate has blessed us with an infant and slowed that course for the moment. Even still, I have learned so much. A few of which I'll share in this article.

When I first came here, I used to be in a hurry to design and implement. I wanted goats, chickens, gardens, and more. We focused largely on infrastructure for the family of 5, but soon my bunny like speed manifested a chicken coop, swale gardens, along with a goat house. We had tons of plants, chickens and a couple of goats. But alas, my speed caught up on me and that I was in for a fantastic lesson. Desiree kept telling me to slow down and focus on my own zone 1, but I was an ambitious youth and I didn't listen. The rest was ended up killing most of the chickens and my ignorance by our dog. Although, the goats are thriving, I have morned the decline of our chickens and plants and have taken in the lesson. Slow and certain, the turtle wins the race.

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