Before cleaning the world, clean ourselves first

While our world is losing its diversity, Omaha Permaculture Association is actively work with communities in the cities to ensure that abandoned properties being transformed to more productive.

On a sunny day (29 April 2019) in Omaha, Gus von Roenn, Founder and Director of Omaha Permaculture Association, picked up us at the hotel with a 90s mini truck to his office, which located right at the corner of the T-junction of the mid-town. There his team members made their way to the office one by one. We had a quick meeting with the team of 6 people.

We went through the program will be for a month with them. People with casual dress showed us how they care and curious to learn from each other, they are willing to support anything possible to have our days filled learning. We covered from street food to make things cleaner by permaculture. Right there, Joe, a member of the team said “before cleaning the world, we have to clean ourselves first”. This means a lot for us to be serious.

After one hour and half meeting, and the member of the team left. Gus guided to his small permaculture designed backyard. I was overwhelming with how he is knowledgeable about plants, things connected. And there are truly diverse of plants in such a small plot of land, perhaps about 15m*20m. He has at least 50 species, including 2 chicken (he offered us picking up eggs everyday). Gus said “Permaculture is eating fruit and planting tree”. He toured us an hour how he and his team to work on the abandoned properties will be filled with green and productive. This is astonishing.

Just a day of introduction to their work, I have lots of things to be absorbed. In addition, accidently, Gus and I share common interest, soccer. I was a bit surprise with joy. Apart of superb work we will share, we will play soccer once a week. Looking forward a blast weeks ahead.

Thome | Omaha, 30 April 2019.

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