WISH LIST for Green Acres Neighborhood

Back in the first decade of the 21st century, Ann K. landed in Bloomington Indiana when her husband, Jeffrey Joel, wanted to attend law school at IU in the middle of his life. Four months later, after one semester, he died. That was early January, 2003. Ann was now alone in a boring ranch house in a typical American suburb — a life style she had always detested. (Her own life style had been decidedly unusual; prior to moving, they had lived for over a decade in a 20-foot diameter yurt in the Tetons of Wyoming.)

Two years after Jeff died, while attending an intentional community conference in Yellow Springs Ohio, Ann came to the realization that she would need to live in an intentional community if she wished to survive the coming economic and social turbulence.

But should she join one, or should she start one; and if so, where and how? Needless to say, the latter prospect was daunting. While driving back to Bloomington, fearfully obsessing on this question, a small voice whispered, intently: “Just change perceptions in your neighborhood.”

Huh? What did that mean?

Well, she found out.

In 2006 she took the Permaculture Design Course, and from the first eloquent sentence out of instructor Peter Bane‘s mouth, she knew: permaculture is the wave of the future. THIS is what the world needs if humanity is to survive the coming chaos. 

Why? Because permaculture can be practiced anywhere, can even regenerate dry deserts, crawl up mountain ridges. 

At the end of 2009 she purchased the house next door. In spring 2010, she began to transform its big, sunny side lawn into a neighborhood garden, via permaculture workshops, guided by Peter Bane’s partner, Keith Johnson.

That was the beginning.

Prior to that, for her “practicum” in the 2006 Permaculture Design Course, and at Peter Bane’s suggestion, Ann and two then Green Acres neighbors also in the course, spent five days envisioning a permaculture design for the entire Green Acres Neighborhood (460 homes, mostly student rentals, right next to IU).

That design, later translated into bureaucratic language, is still extant on the bloomington city gov website.

Most of the items on the two WISH LISTS below, were dreamed up for the design created during our practicum. Note that our visions were for the entire neighborhood. Some of them, however, have been realized here, in our tiny three-home Green Acres Permaculture Village. 

Yes. After a number of false starts, Ann decided to just focus her own property, rather than attempt to organize and educate the entire neighborhood all at once. (A task all the more daunting when most homes are owned by realtors, and most student renters move each year.)

Instead of imagining what the neighborhood could be like if its residents (and real estate owners) paid attention to glorious possibilities for the future, she began to demonstrate that future, bit by bit, at home.

This website attempts to document the evolution of that process.