The importance of mentors

This site will mostly cover topics revolving around Permaculture, but that is by far not my only hobby.  Other hobbies WILL be discussed, so now is a good time to mention the subject of “mentors.”

No matter what your hobby, profession, or interest, the best thing you can do to improve yourself is to find a mentor.  In HAM Radio, we call our mentors “Elmers.”  Other hobbies don’t necessarily put a label on the name, but they all have them to some degree.

A mentor can be someone you know intimately.  You’ve met them face to face, maybe shared a meal or two with them, and possibly gotten physical (such as on a training mat in martial arts, for example.)  A mentor can also be someone who doesn’t know you from Adam or Eve, and you observe from afar.  People who have taken the time to set themselves out there as mentors for anyone interested in the hobby can be found on social media sites such as FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter, and so on.  They can also be found on personal websites or social blog sites such as,, or

No matter how you feel about a subject, you need a mentor.  There is always someone who knows more than you about a subject, and even students bring learning to their teachers over time.  You will grow in your field or hobby much faster if you don’t try to teach yourself everything.

A few of my mentors are below:

  • Shirley Pratt – Wildcrafting and plant identification.  Also a good friend.
  • Jack Spirko – Owner of  He’s got a small duck based permaculture farm in Texas.
  • Geoff Lawton – My instructor for my Permaculture Design Certification.
  • The members of the Faulkner County Amateur Radio Club (FCARC) – HAM radio related issues, questions, and insights.
  • TheCombat KnifeThrower and Xolette – Two YouTube mentors that have great content for beginners to advance knife throwing topics.

There are many more.  I look for multiple mentors in every discipline I decide to pick up, and you should, too.

Find something you think might be fun.  Go find a mentor or three.  Learn the subject, and enjoy!