In the current climate, where lots of folks want to downsize, downshift, simplify radically, barter + trade, go no-waste, grow good food, and reconsider where working for years from nine to five in an office actually gets them in terms of health and happiness, this book is both an antidote and an inspiration of sorts.
Bill Mollison – the ‘father of permaculture’ – died on 24 September 2016. To imagine and then create a worldwide movement of remarkable resilience is an incredible feat. Permaculture books are printed in many languages, it’s taught and practised in almost every country of the world, and found on websites in at least 110 languages.
‘There’s dye in everything, really’, says artist Deborah Brearley, as she unpacks oxalis, lichens, rusty nails and an array of other gathered materials onto the kitchen bench: all ingredients for the natural dye pot. Deb has been dyeing textiles using natural pigments for more than three decades, and in the world of natural dyeing that makes her a bit of a master.
After leaving their homeland in France, Claude and Helene Marmoux travelled to Australia where they settled in Sydney. After buying a house there, and running their own business for many years, they left to travel the country where they discovered permaculture through Robyn Francis. ‘Studying the PDC with Robyn Francis in the nineties was exactly what we were looking for, and gave us a new direction in life’, Claude remembers. They knew that a new life, where they provided for themselves, was the best step they could take towards saving the earth: ‘As humans living on a planet with finite resources, our first step is to reduce our impact, which begins with building smaller houses’.
Laura Dalrymple and Grant Hilliard run Feather and Bone, a small Sydney butcher selling pasture-raised livestock sourced directly from sustainably run, mostly local farms. Laura shares her story.
People have been preserving food forever. Before the invention of fridges, knowing how to preserve your harvest by salting and drying meats or fermenting vegetables was an absolute necessity. These days the need for preserving may seem to have disappeared, but we feel it’s as important as ever. We still see preserving your harvest as a fundamental part of living a full life. It’s in our blood: there is a deep satisfaction in preparing a larder so that you can enjoy foods that are out of season all year round.
Australians eat a staggering number of chickens each year. An extreme minority are raised on pasture, with the vast majority confined in sheds. Even if you’re buying ‘free range’ or even organic chicken from a supermarket, chances are you’d be appalled at the conditions in which these chickens live and die.
The Abdallah House project began in May 2008 in suburban Seymour, central Victoria, with the purchase of a three-roomed bungalow, with bathroom/ laundry tacked onto the side, on a 584 m2 block. The project is driven by permaculture practitioner Richard Telford with support from his partner Kunie, and children Kai and Sen.
The winner this issue is Pearl Turnbull aged 4 from Bendigo. Congratulations Pearl you receive an original illustration by Trace Bella and a copy of her book Rockhopping (Allen and Unwin 2016)
Keeping backyard chickens is a joy shared by many – the site of a flock of ladies scratching around your garden warms the soul (as long as it’s not your vegie garden). There are simple ways to keep your chickens healthy naturally: give them fresh water, clean housing and bedding, and high-quality feed. Allowing exercise through free-ranging, and providing a stressfree environment by not overcrowding, will encourage happy birds. Happy, healthy chickens will provide you with delicious eggs, meat and free labour in the garden for many years.