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Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City

Paradise Lot by Eric Toesnmeier and Jonathan Bates

Paradise Lot by Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates

I’m very happy I started my diploma process off by reading Paradise Lot. I had been struggling with forming a vision for my process and this book really helped me clarify that vision. It was spiritual educational more than facts, tips, and theory. Although there was a good amount of that as well.

The main thing that I’ll take away from Eric and Jonathan’s story is how, by living and doing what they love, it just naturally began to support them. By producing items for themselves that they would have had to pay for otherwise, they were also creating value for other people. Instead of throwing away the useful “weeds”, they potted them up and sold them. As people became interested in what they’d created on their lot, they started giving educational tours. That’s permaculture design at its best, in my opinion.

I’m very lucky because, starting this week, I am reducing my day-job hours, voluntarily, in order to focus more on my permaculture education and training. In a moment of anxiety about it, I said to Ed, “Well, at least I can work more hours again, at any time, if we need me to.” His response: “I’d rather you start selling duck eggs to bakers.” And that’s the vision, right there. To start selling ducks eggs…and plants, and mushrooms, and whatever else. But to be able to support myself by creating value, doing the things I enjoy.