Monday, 12 November 2018

This is permacultural neopeasantry

It has been a very social time of late, guests from many places visiting with much sharing, learning and sleeves-rolled-up labouring. A lovely French couple, Ariane and Thomas, stopped in. They are making a film of transitioning peoples from around the world, and they provided us a very privileged bird's eye view of Tree Elbow University's School of Applied Neopeasantry, AKA our quarter-acre home ecology.


Thomas Dorleans even made this little mash up of the footage he took, which we layered with our mate Charlie's songful magic to make this little vid of the spring garden. (If you are reading this as an email subscription you'll need to click through to our blog to see it).


Thomas also took this lovely pic of us with our second Permaculture Living Course (PLC) participants, the delightful Christy, Moe and Liam. 


A PLC involves many differing skills and knowledges and any given day will include various songs of fermentation, cellaring, composting, sowing, harvesting, soil prepping, building, cooking, repairing tools, community gardening, community forest stewardship and fire prevention work, to list just a few things. Woody has been making a series of videos of late of such labours and learnings and this one shows the work Christy, Moe and Liam carried out to continue the fire prevention and ecology enhancing programme we've initiated on the south-west edge of the town, based on David Holmgren's and the Spring Creek community's volunteer work over the past 25 years in Hepburn.


This work complements and extends the beautiful labours that Cara, Marty and Teeka were doing in the previous PLC. Make and Play bush school kids, Woody, Luna, Fab and Leah, hang out while gently absorbing the volunteer service work of adults taking responsibility for their futures. 


Make and Play has been going for two years now and we have been learning so much about forest biomes, edible weeds and wild foods, and how to make magic, simple tools and build collaborative skills.


Patrick is about to start Feral and Free, a group for older kids, which will be a radical, less formal form of Scouts. If you would like more info please email him. Patrick has also been offering his weedy and feral knowledges at the Daylesford Sunday Farmers' Market, collecting donations for the community gardens in exchange for proclaiming the edible and medicinal properties of numerous weed species. His next weedy appearance will be on Sunday 2 December between 10-12 noon.


While Meg has been sharing her fermenting knowledges at the monthly Daylesford Culture Club meet-ups. In December she will be facilitating a miso-making workshop. Make sure you follow the Hepburn Relocalisation Network for details to come.

Photo: Mara Ripani
Other guests we have hosted recently include Eva Perroni and Eric Holt-Giménez, who came to stay with us on their tour of Australia for the Food for Thought and Action series. With Eva we put together the Land for Life event as part of this series, and it will soon be available as a video on our Youtube channel. Community elder and permie activator, Su Dennett, joined us for a post Land for Life breakfast.


The Land for Life event, featuring Bec Phillips, David Holmgren and Eric, was a remarkable moment in our community, drawing on indigenous, permacultural and post-capital relationships concerning food, land, culture and economy. The night transcended typical heady discussions to become more about trust building and healing the traumas of our imperialist pasts, each as capital subjects and actors of varying degree.


It is always sobering after such a powerful event to return to the stuff of the everyday, using the body for what we call productive yoga – lifting, hauling, cutting, stirring, holding, shaking, walking, mixing, harvesting, digging, sitting, throwing, forking, running, thrusting, hurling, bending, squatting, etc. All these things constitute the biophysical rhythms of the day from stretching the gluten of the spelt dough, to mixing the weed or poultry teas, or sifting the dry potash from the char to make a range of home-brewed fertilisers required for the garden. In combination they call us home to a certain presence of mind, through the body,


like hanging out the family cloth, for example. Each cloth, after being washed, is 'ironed' by the palm of our hand as we prepare them for the drying rack. They dry by the solar of the sun (outside) or by the solar of our hand axed and walked-for wood (inside). Many small, repetitive tasks throughout the day mosaic into a rich order of productions, which together constitute as low an impact life as we can currently achieve. We were once fecaphobes, now we are fecaphiles, as our brightly singing family cloths and humanure soils attest.


And it is this that we aim to impart during each of our PLCs. Below Christy, Moe and Liam plant out our home-raised tomato and basil seedlings into our newly prepped humanure compost annual beds. Closing the poop loop and saving seeds are two very powerful processes that enable us to live off the industrial food grid and therefore divest from that sector of capitalism.


Running these courses has been extremely rewarding and heartwarmingly positive. Building relationships are everything within regenerative-gifting economies, and the social warming that takes place in a PLC is certainly the sympoetic honey on the cake. 

Many thanks for reading. We look forward to responding to your comments and questions. If you are inspired by what we do please subscribe to this blog or Youtube page, and tell a friend or two about the things we're up to. It's your social network that will help to share and expand a culture of households who are in transition from damaging forms of economy to a culture that includes a plethora of regenerative and life-giving household responses to the predicament of our times.


***

Before we go we'd like to tell you about a number of forthcoming events:

A talk
Patrick is giving a talk in Melbourne on Wednesday November 14 at Hawthorn Library (584 Glenferrie Rd). The talk, entitled Here come the neo-peasants, is about how and why we live like we do and what are the social, environmental and climate imperatives of transitioning to low carbon lifeways. Entry is free. More info here.

A tour
We have one more house and garden tour for the year on Sunday November 25 from 1.30pm - 4.30pm. Tickets are $32.74 (incl. booking fee) and includes afternoon tea. You can buy tickets here.

More PLCs
Would you like to do a Permaculture Living Course? Do you understand the permaculture ethics and principles but are not sure what it means to embody them in your everyday life? Are you already on the path away from a pervasive pollution-consumption ideology but want to take it much further? Our next round of applications to do a PLC at Tree Elbow University's School of Applied Neopeasantry are open. Head here for more info about what's involved. And please email us if you'd like an application form. Applications close Friday November 23. The three autumn 2019 PLC dates are:

Feb 25 - March 10
April 1 - 14
April 29 - May 12

PLCs are 100% non-monetary and 100% non-accredited.

9 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I loved getting another look at your garden and am hoping you will leave a link when your visitors finish the film they are making. I so appreciate the effort that goes into the videos you have posted so far, especially the video made with Happen Films. Actually seeing how other people are doing things rather than just reading about it makes a huge difference. Often we don't try something because we don't fully understand it or are afraid of making a mistake. Seeing how others do it is inspiring, and I love sharing the videos with interested friends.

    I would love to see videos in future on things like how you have set your kitchen up, and the nitty gritty of humanure. I am also interested in your daily routines! Currently we have fabulous Spring weather and are spending plenty of time in the orchard and veggie garden - but sometimes we are so tired we then don't want to cook the abundant food we have grown!

    Madeleine

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    1. Thanks Madeleine, we'll put it on to the "to do" list.

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  2. What wonderful video links!

    This makes me super excited about moving to our own farm over Christmas and beginning the long process of working out how to set it up. We will be having a composting toilet too, though we have not worked out what kind exactly yet. No doubt at the beginning it will be super basic.

    Your farm and home is beautiful. Thankyou for allowing us a peak into your world.

    xx

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  3. I'm not subscribed to this blog because I am loving the act of remembering to check if you've posted, and then being delighted when you have - often saving the read for a quiet moment and a cuppa. Such a joy in the weird old internet world - I am appreciating the step away from social media. Love your work as always. Hoping to cruise past your place in the new year, perhaps. xx Cara

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    Replies
    1. PS this is Cara Edwards of the bicycle patch, ha! I see you know a few Cara's with a 'C' :)

      Delete
    2. Hello Cara! Thanks for your comment. We like your logic in not subscribing and leaving things to chance. The algorithm may make less assumptions that way, although that may be wishful thinking...

      Delete

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