July 11th 2021
On Day 4 of our trip we met Jerome, a witty old man who has dedicated his life to permaculture, internationally and in his own backyard. He lives at CRMPI, the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, where he has created what he calls a “garden of Eden”. We arrived at the Institute in sweltering midday heat and were greeted by a Woofer, Daniela. Woofing is the process by which young, passionate, broke college students gain hands on knowledge in farms around the world. Daniela had arrived a day before us and told us about the legend of Jerome’s eclectic, passionate personality. Soon, Jerome arrived and dove headfirst into teaching us about permaculture and his life. He told us about his one-of-a-kind compost toilet and his run-ins with the “mafia” before walking us around his property. Stepping into his food forest(which seemed more like a jungle), we were amazed at his ability to point out specific plants in a wall of green fauna. Furthermore, Jerome told us how long ago each plant had been added, who had worked on it, its yield history, its value as a part of his little ecosystem, and much more. We walked through dense brush, saw his pond, marveled at his collection of rare plants and trees, and watched him feed his rabbits and doves. It was astonishing to see a person with such intense connection to the land he walked and it was evident that every word he spoke carried sincerity and wisdom. He gave us a tour of his unique greenhouses, one of which shockingly grew tropical plants. He told about the tinctures he made and the natural ways to treat wounds and afflictions. He told us about his run-ins with local authorities and their distaste for his natural approach to medicine and agriculture. The whole way through, the group enjoyed Jerome’s presence, as he cracked jokes and cursed much more than one would expect for an 80 year old. When asked what permaculture meant to him, he left us with a powerful line: “the way it ought to be”.
To Mom and Dad:
Ich liebe und vermisse euch beide sehr. Dieser trip ist richtig geil und die kinder sind super nett. Ich darf mit euch nicht so viel kontakt haben wie wir vorher gedacht haben. Koennt ihr bitte meine Freundin sagen dass alles okay ist und dass ich sie auch sehr vermisse. Danke. Tchuess.