After floating off the bliss of seeing HH Dalai Lama discuss with Western Scientists, including Depak Chopra, the scientific benefits of meditation in Vancouver I found myself landing in Eden. Somewhere in the Puget sound on the Island of Orcas were 17 paradisical acres of sooo many earthly delights one could only think it was a dream! Fortunately there is evidence in the form of Photos to remind me that this was not just a dream but a dream manifest on earth after 28 years of human labor, ingenuity and creativity. This was one of the first Permaculture sites located on the great continent of North America which was the vision of the Bullock Brothers, Sam, Joe, & Doug.
Doug was one of the integral players to bring Bill Mollison to the US for the first time, way back in 1980. They brought Bill to Hawaii to teach this new synergy called Permaculture that stood to reshape the planet for all sentient beings. Bill cranked out a handful of enthusiastic Permaculturalists that class that went on to carry this good news to many awaiting souls across the continent & planet. Many are still practicing today, most notably the Bullock’s. After 28 years they have quite the site to show for themselves, one that will continue to produce and regenerate not just food but believers that the vision is possible!
They have more species of useful & edible plants to humans than I’ve ever witnessed anywhere. Many that one may never have heard of, simply because they are not shelf stable for grocery stores and therefore not “worth” propagating. These earthly delights are so magnificent that it begs the question to be answered “why did we leave paradise for a world of corn syrup, artificial flavors & hydrogenated foods only to be left with type 2 diabetes to show for that processed indulgence?!” Well thank God we are waking up before it’s too late and these fabulous foods have gone extinct…. grant it many already have!
Well the story of their 17 acres is; well actually they own only 8 or 9 and lease 8 or nine from the neighbor; the 3 brothers bought it sometime around 1980 and started work. To begin they flooded a 1 or 2 acre field that was used for many years for till agriculture to return it back to its original state…. a wetlands. This was done simplyby removing the drain tiles (this little endeavor has created one of the most diverse bird habitats in Washington State!). After this they continued planting as many different species as they could find on their Permaculture teaching expeditions from around the globe as would grow in their multiple microclimates found on this land. The microclimates vary from warm subtropical southerly exposed rock faces to cool, moist forested understories and literally everything in between. All this is located in the northern reaches of the lower 48, yet is regulated by the oceans warmth surrounding the island. This leaves a very mediterranean climate that rarely sees temps below 20. Similarly they have a very low 17 in. rainfall for the northwest, due to the rain shadow of the Olympic range a little west of them. All this works to create an exceptionally diverse piece of land that allows the creation of one of the top Permaculture sites in the world.
If there is one thing this site should be recognized for it is the diversity residing within these property boundaries. I wish I could recite all the species names I witnessed and experienced at this site but I don’t event think the Bullocks know all of them! Just to recite a few here we go! Pawpaws, Kiwis, Butternut trees, heart nut trees, mulberries, plums, monkey puzzle trees, rasperries, black berries, European & asian Pears…. and let me tell you about those asian Pears…. they’re amazing! And more types of apples than one could imagine! That’s just some of the edible types that I could remember!
Well here are some of the photos, which don’t do it justice….