He flew from the island to Baltimore last week. From there, he caught a flight to Tennessee. He is now in California. He left Tennessee with a job! He will be working in an ER in a small town in the Volunteer State. He'll work 10-12 twelve hour shifts a month to support our family.
And while he does his medicine with his whole heart and does it well, his whole heart is actually somewhere else.
(Besides his family of course.)
John is PASSIONATE and, well, basically OBSESSED with Permaculture.
So what is Permaculture?
John actually maintains a very popular blog on just this topic. You can check it out by clicking here. He defines Permaculture as: "The basic idea, and it is indeed basic, is to create a system of agriculture that is self sufficient, requires little to no work (by humans) to maintain, improves the land, and produces a product (food, wood, fiber, animals) that humans can use. When I first heard of this concept, I pictured a Garden of Eden. I thought it was a bit too ambitious. Raising food = work, and hard work at that. But the more I read and learned, I realized that this ideal was very attainable."
Aside from his Blog, John and three other leaders in this community have just launched a website called Agritrue. "The mission of AgriTrue is simple. We want to know where our food comes from and how it was raised. We want truth and transparency in the process and production of the food we eat. We want to connect food producers and food consumers. To do this, we need to rebuild a community where growers, farmers, and ranchers are talking directly with their patrons. AgriTrue wants to help start this conversation."
JB is truly becoming one of the LEADERS of this community of people. Our plan is to rent a place in Tennessee for a year or so. During this time, we will be carefully looking to find the perfect patch of land to launch our own Permaculture farm. This will be a place for our family, but we also hope it will one day be an educational center where missionaries and other people can come to learn about how to make this practice work for them. We are very open to discover how God plans to use us and permaculture and this land we will soon own.
Proof of JB getting his "niche" in this field? Well, here is a podcast recording of a talk he did with Scott Mann of The Permaculture Podcast.
A few months before that talk, he spoke with Permaculture Voices on The Myth of The Perfect Job. You can listen to that talk by clicking here.
And actually, while I write this, my husband is speaking at this huge conference in California called The Permaculture Voices. He is speaking on health and permaculture. You can read his speaker's bio here.
Here he is at the Permaculture Voices Conference with Greg Judy (brilliant grassfed beef farmer/rancher), Jack Spirko (podcaster/Permaculturist and John's partner with AgriTrue) and Byron Joel (Mediterranean Permaculture expert from Perth, Australia)
I remember when my cousin Josh, our neighbor for two years when we lived in Franklin, Kentucky once told me that "I knew I had been hanging around John too long when I came into his house, saw a book entitled Swine Science and actually thought I might want to pick it up and read it.
If you glance at his Facebook page, you'll see messages like this from people he both knows and doesn't know that well:
Our compost is steaming!! Just thought you might be interested to know... and Thought you might be interested in this link John: Hand-Build an Earth sheltered House For $5,000.
Our friend Josh put the picture below on JB's page last week:
When this is your Sunday afternoon... You know you've been around John Kitsteiner
Sometimes I think my husband doesn't believe I am very interested in Permaculture. That is, party true. I still don't quite understand it all, and quite honestly, my passion right now is my children simply because there are four of them and they demand more of my time. But, I am so proud of my husband. I love that he has something he is so incredibly passionate about and something he wants to spend the rest of his life doing. He is so incredibly excited to homeschool our boys and raise them on a farm and teach them this new way of life. And I look forward to doing this with him and learning as I go.