Wednesday, November 17, 2010

busy as a bee...

Whilst I'm a rather ashamed that I have become such a non-blogger this year, the fact is it's because I've been far busier DOING rather than BLOGGING. So inactivity online hasn't meant inactivity in real life. It just makes me a little sad because many people have come to know me through this blog - to the point where there is one regular Permablitzer who calls me "Moo" whenever he sees me! He actually says "Ah, Moo's here!" which I think is rather hilarious.

I suppose it's only natural - now I'm able to do a lot of garden related things in my work life, I haven't really needed this other outlet to express my thoughts and ideas on the subject as I did previously, when I was only just rediscovering this interest. I'll probably end up starting a music blog in a few years haha! Ahhh maybe not. It's the last thing the world needs another one of.

But how funny that I now spend pretty much ALL my time thinking, doing, looking at designs and studying permaculture.
Some days I'm lucky enough to get to spend my time with kids doing this

My Permaculture Design Course is ticking along very nicely. I'm thoroughly enjoying it, there is so much to cover and though I'm learning so much I feel like we're only scraping the tip of it really. It's like an introduction really - just opening the door to a whole new way of looking at EVERYTHING in life. Care of the earth, care of people, fair share... far, far, farrrrrr beyond growing veggies in your backyard which is how I came across permaculture in the first place. It's really, quite literally, blowing my mind.

I'm constantly looking at garden plans, and from what I have learnt in my PDC and just generally all those garden workshops, blogs I've read, Permablitzes I have attended, I am now able to apply all this knowledge I've been gathering and finding I actually know something! It feels quite funny being on this side, finding I know a little something on the topic rather than forever being the student. I am still very much the student though. In some ways, the more I learn, the more I realise I have so much more yet to learn!

For now though I want to share a little something with you I'm secretly very proud of. I was involved in my first Permablitz from BEHIND the scenes. Whilst I don't have the confidence to feel I could do a design just yet, one thing I know I can do is organise so I helped in that way as best I could.

It killed me I wasn't able to attend on the day, I had a very good excuse though - I was attending my PDC, learning all about sustainable house design and how to draw out site plans. So I just turned up at the end to see the realisation of all we had planned. So thrilling!

It was a Braybrook Blitz, and I get so excited by any kind of community activity in the inner west. There are so many amazing people living out this way.

The blitz included the construction of raised garden beds, digging out of a rather boggy-prone area and filling with small pebbles to create a low maintenance area for the family to enjoy, and a magnificent chook house and the chook proofing of the side of the house - including reinforcing of front gate, side of house, and construction of back gate to give the chooks a nice large run at the side of the house.

 A family friendly 'blitz.  Some raised garden beds made of recycled materials and filled using the Esther Dean inspired "lasagne" technique of layers of carbon (straw etc) and nitrogen (compost, manure, greens)

 A low maintenance area for the young family to hang out, amongst their beautiful raised veggie beds, the structure and beds made by Rayna's dad from salvaged decking timber. 

 Me and Mara, one of the two fabulous co-designers. The other amazing designer was the very heavily pregnant Amanda, who facilitated the day. That incredible lady's energy just amazes me - always smiling, she's the embodiment of pure joy! Going straight on my list of inspirational mums-to-be. A list that seems to be ever growing. A and I are finding ourselves increasingly becoming the minority. Certainly pretty much all our cool friends in the 'hood are awesome young parents with no signs of slowing down!

Kids inspecting the coup inside and out. Nice ramp!
The chicken coup design was made up on the spot, by a couple of the very experienced VEG crew who volunteered on the day too. They improvised with all the fantastic salvaged recycled materials the blitz hosts Karl and Rayna have been gleaning. I think it's just brilliant. WANT ONE!

Utilising the little pockets at the bottom of the pallets - creating little trays to plant some chook food in

And water from the roof to flow into it. Brilliant permie thinking! Multiple functions.
 A salvaged cupboard becomes a two door access to the coup to collect the eggs.

Tada! Nesting box. 

 I think I may have a serious case of chook house envy.