People and Permaculture: A Book Review

I recently finished a book that I borrowed from the library called People and Permaculture by Looby Macnamara. I had read good things about it somewhere and I thought I would check it out. It is about the people aspect of permaculture and how it can relate to individuals, groups and the world.

As someone who is a very logical person and struggles with managing my relationships and feelings this book brought it all back to permaculture principles which was exactly what I needed to read. I read the odd 'self help' book but this one really spoke to me.

She goes through the first few chapters defining permaculture and how it applies to people, such as the ethics and patterns. A third of the book is how permaculture can apply to yourself and your life and relationships. As I find permaculture a logical way of thinking I found this very useful to apply the same knowledge to my life and see what is and isn't working. I enjoyed working through the activities that were suggested.

The next part of the book is written for groups and how permaculture principles can apply to them to allow for harmonious relationships. As I feel I am still working on myself at this stage it wasn't really relevant to me but I could see that it could be useful to community groups or families. I think a good place to apply these principles would be a shared permaculture household, like David Holmgren explains in his book Retrosuburbia (another fantastic book).

The last part of the book is written on a global scale and how we could more forward as a planet. This involves learning from other cultures in a sensitive way and thinking about the future generations. There are a lot of interesting concepts in this part that is hard to visualise on a day to day basis but when explained in the book it makes a lot of sense. One good example was if the world was represented by 100 people; 1 would be dying of starvation, 17 would be undernourished and 15 would be overweight. Very striking statistics.

The book is essentially a guide to live our lives in a more permacultural way. I got a lot out of the book and will buying a copy for myself in the future and revise it often. Although the group part isn't relevant to me right now I would like to have it as a reference in the future.

Until next time,


The Big Wet

Over the last few weeks we have had some uncharacteristic but welcome heavy spring rains. They have broken the dry spell in our area and we have received probably over 300mL so far. All of our trees and plants are looking a lot happier. This is front little garden, it has our old dwarf citrus trees and some veges inbetween.

After being cooped up for a few weeks we decided to get into the garden on Sunday and get some jobs done. Brodie spread out some mushroom compost around the front yard a few weeks ago so I decided to top up the beds with a bit more mulch. These beds should be good for a while now. This is along the boundary fence. There are pigeon peas, QLD arrowroot and some small trees in here to try and create a living fence.

This is along the other boundary. I planted some volunteer pumpkin plants in here too. That spindly plant is a bamboo that we hope to use to cover the ugly shed next door and use the sticks for building trellises.

We dug up most of Brodie's leftover market garden that was at our place. We want to grow more of our own food over the summer. It is a good period here as we usually have pretty good rainfall and everything grows very quickly. The bits of timber in these photos were given to us by a friend and will form slightly raised beds. We figured this is the best way to go as it is a little slopey here. The reason they aren't assembled is because we ran out of screws!

With all the leftover green material I made a big compost pile in our old bays. We finally got to set them up, 2 years after we have moved in.

A week ago I also made a batch of sauerkraut from cabbage from our garden. It should be ready this weekend. It is satisfying to use our own produce again, lets hope we can get some real productivity over summer.

While it has been so wet we have been catching up on jobs inside like installing ceiling fans and lights. We also got our old leaky concrete tank fixed, now we have 15,000 gal of storage or 57,000L. Feels good to have our water capacity increased again before the summer rains.

Until next time,


Front Yard Landscaping

G'Day everyone,

Unfortunately I have been completely unaware of all the changes that Blogger has been making and I have missed everyone comments since May! I just assumed no one was reading which is a bit sad! I am glad to find everyone's comments finally and I will respond a bit quicker from now, promise!

Usually we have a big push to do something when we get fed up of looking at it. This time it was the bank between the pool and the house. This is an old photo that I found from back in April. I left the plants there because they apparently produce edible roots. We found that they were little knobbly hairy things, not worth the plant space! There was also a heap of cobblers pegs and other weedy plants.

I had tried to previously plant some perennial greens in the area. We suspect that most of the pile is subsoil from when the pool was dug out so they didn't go very well. We decided instead to grow some natives there as the soil is so poor it wasn't worth growing anything edible. It is also very steep so I didn't want to grow something that would make us trek up and down the slope and cause damage. We went to our local Landcare native nursery and bought some small shrubs and groundcovers.

First we pulled all of the plants out.

By the way that is our new house external colour. The blue hasn't been painted yet. It will be the same grey as the trim. Those logs are holding up some of the slope as there is a flat pad up the top. This is part of Benny's racetrack.

Then we spent a bit of time cleaning up the small rock wall at the bottom. This is something we have around a lot of around our gardens. We have a lot of rocks!

We laid a thick layer of newspaper and topped it with mulch. We went with newspaper here because we thought cardboard might slide down the slope.

After we finished the area, we put our new plants straight in and watered them.

A day well spent! Hopefully the plants can get established this summer.

In other news, Brodie's small farm, The Cottage Farm, has been going great guns. Here is a photo I have of Benny and I sitting on the ute while Brodie waters his crops. There is a lot more in the ground already from when I took this photo.

He is getting great yields out of his beds so far and has new chefs coming on board. Now we just have to wait for everything to grow. It should pick up now that it is a bit warmer.

Until next time,


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