Friday, February 15, 2013

The Book of Bob

My friend Bob Waldrop is equal parts John the Baptist and John Muir-he is a voice crying out in the wilderness. A voice for wilderness spaces and a voice against the wilderness of conglomerate agrobuisness. He is a burly guy with a bushy beard that hasn't been trimmed in decades and equally likely to say things like "ya all bon appetite ya hear" or to curse under his breath.
The Bob Waldrop

John Muir. Wilderness Warrior. Photo public domain. (Don't you think they could be related?)
When I first moved back to Oklahoma nearly ten years ago he was probably the first person and the most dedicated that I met towards the goals of living a sustainable lifestyle. If you drive by his house it is probably the first one on his street that has no grass in the front lawn (Hurray for the grassless lawn!) but is filled to the brim with edible plants including native elderberries long before front yard gardening was the in vogue thing to do. And I have been quietly watching and learning from him for quite a long time.

Bob is the one who is continually fighting for anti-mowing laws which unnecessarily prevent habitat from being made, wildflowers from being planted, or more native and drought tolerant grasses from being encouraged. While one might be inclined to write him off as an eccentric hippie, he is tremendously wise.

Founder of the, then very new Oklahoma Food Coop he has been a great voice for local farmers, producers, and artists. He understands community and he understands the need for each of us to reduce our global footprint, and for him it is very greatly relevant to his faith. A question I have been plagued with since college is, Why isn't sustainability at the forefront for ALL faith communities? And to those that have choosen to make this a front page issue in their church community, my hat to you. Bob was the first person to ever introduce me to the concept of permaculture. And it is just the kind of holistic thinking we need. To learn more about Bob's wise insights into our diminishing energy and water resources check out his blog, Bobaganda!

If you have never heard of permaculture (and don't be surprised if you haven't) it is a holistic way of thinking, designing, and integrating your environmental ideals across multiple areas of your life and your communities (physical places and personal connections). It is about gardening, energy use, homesteading, simplicity, and interconnectedness. It is about examining waste in every sense of the word. It is about making our yards and our households useful and achieving maximum potential. It is all about reducing our need for fossil fuels and stepping back a little from such a global economy.  You know the one that imports peanuts from Africa to make peanut butter in Minnesota to put labels on it in Canada before it is shipped to Arkansas to be distributed to my simple sandwich...
So I was happy, delighted, ecstatic to start working my way through Bob's new ebook ipermie. For $1.99 this 399,000 (very bite-size) work of words deal that you can not beat. It is a workbook, a guidebook, a focal point,  a series of reflections about what matters in your life and how you can make your space (no matter how small) livable and productive. But more so than many, this one give tools particularly to those who are nearly space-less, the student, the elderly, the apartment dweller. And it is about developing the infrastructures around us to support sustainable communities. It is about starting to change your life, one page at a time. Begin today.

Thank you Bob for being a mentor to so many and for being a strong voice for what is right, for justice for others and for our fellow creatures. I can not wait to see how my life will change as I continue to delve deeper into the permaculture world.

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