Yeeha … it’s Spring. I can’t believe we’ve finally made it. My peas and broadbeans are blossoming and my nasturtiums have sprouted. Though everyone warns me that it’s hard to grow apricots in Blackheath because of late frosts, I’ve decided not to take this lying down. For the first time in my life I’ve started to scour weather reports to find predictions of frost ahead of time. I lost all my lemons this winter and I’m damned if I’m going to lose my apricots too! I’m gathering old glass windows to cover my seedlings and soft gauzy fabric to cover my trees. I’m certainly not letting my dreams of apricots vanish without a fight! The thought of all that luscious orange fruit straight off the tree is enough to motivate me to action.
Actually, I’ve had a number of other firsts in my garden this week too. I’ve begun potting up self sown seedlings to sell at our community markets and took along a few pots of red mustard plants today. Our goal with the market is to have as many people growing food in the area as possible and then bringing plants and produce along to share. I brought along mustard plants, flowers and herbs, but we also had raspberry canes, broccoli plants, scarlet runner bean seeds, eggs and local honey. A small start in our first few months, but with the weather warming up I’m hoping our produce section will grow.
On the topic of reduction rather than growth, however, Shakespeare once said, “We lop away that bearing boughs may live”. Well, I’ve been lopping away all sorts of things in my life in the last week in order to get down to the real priorities, and to “live simply that others may simply live”, but I’ve also done a lot of pruning-type lopping too. I’ve not, though, sent my prunings to the tip this time … instead, I’ve sawed and saved for firewood and put aside long straight lengths to use as stakes or in building. I’ve also mulched the bits I couldn’t find a use for and put the mulch around my newly planted fruit trees. Talk about building up muscles with all that sawing!
Yesterday, too, I started the Permaculture Course with Rosemary Morrow that I’ve been looking forward to all year (see my blog entry for 1st August). There is something exhileratingly anarchic about Permaculture. Grow your own food, collect your own water, make your own electricity, share your surplus and suddenly you’re less vulnerable to corporate control. Go even further and start to develop a passionate love for nature and its patterns and before you know it you’re turning the future of the world around and you might even find yourself feeling rather happy and glad
to be alive.
The first butterfly arrives
In her speech to the Water Rights conference in Mexico City last year, Maude Barlow quoted Eleanor Roosevelt:
â€œThe future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.â€
She then went on to say:
Well I believe in the beauty of this dream: that the global water crisis will become the source of global peace; that humanity will bow before Nature and learn to cooperate with the limits that Nature gives us and with each other; that through our work together, the peoples of the world will declare the sacred waters of life to be the common property of the earth and all species, to be preserved for future generations and time immemorial.
It is difficult to fully comprehend how serious the world’s water crisis is. Maude Barlow, co-author of “Blue Gold, The Fight to Stop Corporate Theft of the World’s Water” certainly knows and yet she can say something as uplifting as this rather than give up in the face of all the destruction she sees.
My political acts in the last few days have been to sign up to The Blue Planet Project (founded by Maude Barlow), to sign on to the Current Get Up Campaign in response to APEC, to sign onto the Climate Protection Bill, to continue to grow my own “grassroots defiance against the Capitalist Diet” and to commit my future to the pursuit of Permaculture. I’ve also attended another Environment Summit planning meeting.
On the personal front I’ve realised that I’ve needed to reduce my water consumption further so I’m only having a bath every second day. I sorted through more of the boys’ old clothes and passed on as many as I could to friends with children and donated the rest to the upcoming school fundraising market. I’ve taken recycled paper bags for packed lunches and I’ve angsted over my watchband.
A few months ago it broke and I was thrilled when I was able to find a secondhand one …. presumably because it WAS secondhand, it’s now already broken too. It’s funny how you can get a bee in your bonnet about something … in the “Big Picture” a watchband is a very small thing but I felt annoyed at having to waste the little metal clasp and buy a new band. I ended up using some cotton thread I had and crocheting a new band.
I went on my first Permablitz (http://www.permablitz.net) on Saturday – and loved it!
Permaculture *is* a beautiful and healthy way t get back in touch with the earth. It’s a way we can learn to listen to the messages between the plants and animals we share this earth with – if only we’re willing to take the time.
I am so impressed. What was the permablitz like … what did you do? what part of Melbourne did you do it in? I would love to start permablitzing in Blackheath ….
We have Permablitz’s here in the Blue Mountains only we just call them working bees. Joing the Blue Mountain’s Permaculture Network and put your name on the list. Third Sunday each month from 10am – 12pm lunch provided by the recipient of the ‘work’. My place this Month- removing Scotch Broom from near my creek line. Maybe you’d like to come…