Saturday, 3 November 2018

Alternative Lifestyles

APW - Auckland Permaculture Workshop had it's 10th anniversary on Saturday. Caught up with past students and teachers, and was inspired by various projects that have been happening, or ongoing. One of the twelve permaculture principles that comes to mind so far has been number 9  'use small and slow solutions' with the emphasis on SLOW. There is no 'quick fix' and we commiserated on just how long our projects were taking to get off the ground. Especially when faced with the older generation resistant to change. Things that might seem simple like perhaps, composting food scraps at the market, become huge enterprises requiring all manner of resource consent, government red tape and regulations, and bureaucracy to wade through. Oh and endless meetings.

Permaculturist Sepp Holzer 'the rebel farmer' was often faced with this and I tend to subscribe to my own principle of do first, explain and ask for forgiveness later. Although a lot of the time one's observing and interacting is strictly from a natural point of view. There's no point in asking permission from people who have no understanding of the environment to ever see things your way. People sold out to mammon/consumer culture way of life will just mock your efforts and tell you it can't be done. However I have learned that if God wills it, nothing is impossible.

My garden tutor Buffie has been everywhere lately, she's featured in this month's Kiwi Gardener,  highlighting the Ranui Community Garden and also this week's New Zealand Women's Weekly showcasing her 'funk up my junk' enterprise. Upcycling is Permaculture's principle number 6 produce no waste. Korero Cafe was refurbished using materials totally recycled from the demolition of other cast offs - even the signs are made of old nails and the planters from old paint cans. Am in awe of Buffie's endless creativity and inspiration, making tables and chairs out of old pallets, cute tote purses from old jeans, she could turn a sows ear into a silk purse that lady!  Not only that, her artistic vision extends to catering spreads, at APW's party the drinks and nibbles were so gorgeous to look at everyone was taking photos of the food before daring to grab a bite to eat.

Some other inspiring projects that were shared included bringing the  local community together with bicycle workshops, creating pollinator paths along bare spaces of ground next to walkways for bees, a couple who decided to grow their own fruit trees on their quarter acre section and make ciders and jams while holding pruning workshops, bartering everything else including food, creating repair and mend hub for machines and tools...

I had a bout of inspiration today and think for my next job will be totally local in my own street by the creek and new playground upgrade. Riverpark Garden Co. But first I need to find out if there is any use for privet. Because we have heaps of it by the creek, could we harvest this resource instead of seeing it as a nuisance weed that causes us to sneeze? Or maybe its actually desperately needed as shelter for birds? I don't know...but in permaculture anything is possible. If it cured cancer maybe??