I went on an all day permaculture course today so my head is buzzing with ecological philosophy and ideas for our place. This is a good thing because lately, not being able to do manual work around the place has frustrated me a bit. I haven’t picked up a shovel in over 5 weeks, but I’m getting nearer to trying. I’ve also now got my enthusiasm back. I missed it.
So that I don’t forget these grand ideas, I’m listing them here so that next year I can look back and see what we managed to achieved.
List of things to do
– plant legume crops in the chicken sheds
– re-establish compost heap and worm farm
– build second raised vegetable bed
– finish fruit and nut orchard (or start it properly at least)
– get some stinking roger as decoy plant for nematodes
– rip up part of lawn and do something more productive
– divert gray water to lawn
– plant some heirloom apples
– use tagaste prunings as mulch and goat snacks
– save as many seeds and possible and get involved in the local seed bank
– plant living hedge to shelter vegetable patch
– rebuild house in mudbrick or strawbale to face northerly direction
– celebrate 70th birthday (40 years should be ample time for the above surely?)
Ok, so I’ve more ideas than time – what’s new? The good thing about permaculture design is that because it involves proximity zones in terms of the house, it helps you ‘think small’. You can focus on Zone 0 to 2 which are nearest to your house and the rest of system (in theory) should be self-sustaining. Humans don’t mess with the wildlands.
The great thing I learned today is that our property infrastructure – the immediate 1 acre flat yard area – has all the elements of permaculture design, particularly since we moved the vegetable beds near to the house. It’s not perfect, but today has reassured me that the choice of working towards a sustainable lifestyle isn’t just a romantic vision. As long as you ‘keep it real’ you can find ways to manage the interaction of animals, plants and wilderness in an energy efficient way. You can reduce your dependance on supermarket foods and eat fresh organic food without paying a premium price tag. We can’t afford solar power or major energy saving steps like that, but I’m confident that eventually we can put our own energy into making enough to feed ourselves and our animals. Yay!