PERMACULTURE REVISITED

 

Friday was the launch of the world first post-graduate course in permaculture so I was really interested to get there despite the 10am start and having to battle Clipsal extra traffic in the city. To make matters worse I only got one hour of sleep the night before courtesy of my stupid feet having a much more boisterous party than usual (peripheral neuropathy and restless legs). So I almost did not go but I am so glad I pushed through and made the effort as it was great morning. An honorary doctorate was conferred on Bill Mollison, the co-founder of permaculture, and we heard from the other founder, David Holmgren, via Skype. I was delighted to see so many people l knew there from friends from 40 years ago to my fabulous new friends I’ve made through the permaculture groups.

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I am quite astounded at how incomplete my knowledge of this philosophy was and it’s been quite exciting to see that it is a complete plan for living involving much more that gardening. I used to think it was organic gardening carried to a further extreme and as I facetiously remarked in a post a few weeks ago, I had a picture of a lot of hippy ferals scrounging treasures from the hard rubbish collection and then growing vegetables all over their trophies. Like all stereotypes, while there was a tiny bit of truth in that, the big picture was totally obscured. Joe and I joined up officially a few weeks ago and look forward to further connecting with the wonderful “permies” that we have met and now count among our friends.

An email I got a few days ago said the essence of permaculture was 1. Care for the earth 2. Care for each other and 3. Share the surplus. That’s very few words but it sums up perfectly my own personal philosophy of life which has always been to be honest, respectful and generous in my dealings with others and never compromise my integrity no matter how hard it sometimes is. Attempts to fit this “spirituality” into organised forms of religion have failed so I was resigned to going it alone. I used to say, “I am too much of a hippy for mainstream people and too mainstream for the hippies”. I often felt uncomfortably perched with one foot in each camp, able to speak to both types of people with ease but never entirely comfortable about committing to one side. It’s really exciting to find something that is a very good fit without having to compromise my personal philosophy. You have my permission to tell me off if I start sounding too evangelical!

For those of you who might be wondering, the new background is our currently ripe goji berries. I had limes up before but the picture did not work very well.

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