This article is about the little network that could. A low-key, flexible organisation made up of permaculturalists, community gardeners, teachers and Northern Territory Department of Education staff working together to make growing and cooking organic, local food a key part of daily life in the Top End. Throw in a bit of resilient communities’ action, and sustainable design and practice, and we are really getting somewhere!
When I talk about my lifestyle, people always seem to be fascinated by the fact that I kill and butcher meat at home – I presume because it is so far removed from most people’s experience (and because it is an unpleasant process). They seem even more bemused if they know that I love animals.
Bulldozers are often seen as symbols of destruction, but when they are in the hands of a permaculture designer they bring about a transformation of rural landscapes beyond anything that can be achieved by hand. Yandoit Farm, between Castlemaine and Daylesford in Central Victoria, is undergoing a five-year wholefarm makeover.
Gonâve island, fifteen kilometres wide and sixty kilometres long, lies under the Haitian sun. What once would have been a rich ecology is now as seriously degraded as the mainland. Even in its degraded state 50,000 sought refuge there after the 2010 earthquake.
Description: a fast growing, deep rooted, evergreen leguminous shrub or small tree with prolific white flowers in late winter and early spring.
A regular part of our work at Good Life Permaculture is based around community development and social permaculture principles. We’ve found that when you work with people to improve knowledge, skill, health and wellbeing, other problems are also solved or lessened; and this can ripple into the community and the world beyond. You get the idea: from little things, big things grow.
Part memoir, part manifesto, The Simple Life arose from Hetzel’s passion for sharing and storytelling. Central to her simple life is the role of the home, and how it can have a profound effect on the way we view the world outside it: spending more time at home – cooking, cleaning, growing produce, knitting, mending, creating – made her ‘kinder, calmer, and more patient’.
Saving seeds is magical, economical, political and essential, all at the same time. It projects us into a future of abundance and security by nurturing our local food supply.
Produce swaps are community driven events where growers come together to share excess seeds, plants and produce; they involve no direct exchange, or any form of payment. They are also places to meet and exchange ideas and information and, consequently, encourage and inspire local food growing.
The word permaculture has different flavours for different folk. My favourite flavour is that of design. I see permaculture as an amazing design system helping people and landscapes partner to look after each other, each providing the other with a significant amount of what they need to thrive, now and into the future.