I feel like scrambled egg

Or maybe sourdough rye bread with organic local honey? Alternatively a bowl of locally made organic muesli topped with gut friendly greek yoghurt with some organic apples, sapotes and feijoa. Feij… What? Yeah that’s what I feel like, too, at the moment. The last four days at the Permaculture Design Certificate course here in Margaret River have been amazing and insightful and fun and wonderful and heart warming and loaded with so much interesting information and new words and facts and viewpoints and perspectives and and and. The scrambled egg does not only reflect one of the many scrumptious breakfast choices but also reflects the state of my brain right now. Wow. This intake the last few days has been crazy!

I actually can’t believe that I only got here four nights ago. It feels like I’ve been here at least a week and I’m already so familiar with the people and the place, it just feels so nice and good! That might also be influenced by the local organic wine and the home brewed hemp beer.

We are being taken care of so well here – I have not gone hungry for one bit the last few days since we’ve got aforementioned breakfast choices, followed by home made cake a couple of hours later for morning tea, followed by the most amazing lunches (such variety!!), followed by afternoon tea at 3.30pm (leftover cake from the morning, or fruit), followed by the even more amazing dinners, followed by beer and wine. Everything washed down with rainwater. My body doesn’t know what hit it. What’s all this veggie stuff? And the water so free of chlorine and calcium? What to do with all this healthy stuff! I betcha they’re also feeding us so well as to harvest higher quality ‘humanure’ from the compost toilet, hehe.

I love sitting around the long table, eating amazing lunches with everyone

I love sitting around the long table, eating amazing lunches with everyone

Speaking of compost toilet; how come not everyone has a compost-heated shower?! Here’s the idea: run a long pipe in lots of circles through a big wood chip compost heap. Let compost heap break down slowly and generate heat. Let heat warm up water that flows through the many meters of pipe within the heap. Let beautiful 50 degree Celsius water come out of shower head. Have wonderful hot outdoor shower. Enjoy this for months on end. Get nice compost at end. Move pipe to new wood chip compost heap. Repeat and enjoy warm water for another many months. SO simple! So effective! So awesome!

Fair Harvest Compost Shower

Fair Harvest Compost Shower

The heap of wood chip mulch that heats the water in the poly pipe

The heap of wood chip mulch that heats the water in the poly pipe

The shower cubicle, with pretty choko vines

The shower cubicle, with pretty choko vines

The food chain is very real here

The food chain is very real here

I’m quite deliberately talking about the simple stuff like food and compost showers because my brain might fry if I tried to recall everything we did the last few days. But it might actually help, so here we go, without looking at my notes which I conveniently left in the classroom:

  • Soil chemistry
  • Plant chemistry
  • Some plant taxonomy
  • Permaculture Ethics and key design principles
  • Permaculture Zones and Sectors
  • Small animal management
  • Larger animal management
  • Holistic Farm Management
  • Aquaculture
  • Water catchment swales and design systems
  • Salinity causes, effects and problem solving
  • Eating cake
  • Composting
  • Fungi and bacteria
  • Soil web of life
  • Biodynamic applications
  • More cake
  • Soil makeup and structure
  • Worm farms
  • Drinking beer
  • Contours in a landscape
  • Keypoints and Keylines for dams
  • Placement of houses
  • Compost toilets
  • Greywater irrigation
  • Drinking coffee
  • Mycorrhizal fungi
  • Pasture Management

I’m sure there’s a million more things. The cake eating and beer drinking takes up a bit of my time and head space as you can see. Food is important. And because good food is so important to me I think the world would be an awesome place (more awesome than it already is) if everyone knew how to grow good food, and most importantly how to grow good food whilst improving the land that creates it.

I already love Permaculture very much and appreciate its approach to everything. It all just feels ‘right’ to me, and my life so far has taught me that my intuition is always spot on when guiding me through my life’s journey. This just is the perfect fit for me, my ambitions, my goals and my values.

Yesterday (when the most amazing smelling and delicious looking lunch was being served) I had a moment where I was like “Nooo I don’t want to go back to Meeka and live where people still deny climate change and don’t care about the damage we do to the earth and drink too much alcohol and bash each others’ heads in and break into backyards and houses. I just forever want to live in this happy, healthy, positive, peaceful, motivated community with all these organic healthy foods and wonderful people. Pete, pack up the dog and the chickens and let’s move down here.” But of course that was just quoting the worst of one place and comparing it with the best of another.

Today we then learnt about where on a hill a house should be built (i.e. Not right on top as that is not effective weather wise and dangerous bush fire wise) but nestled into the side of the hill instead in order to gravity feed water from above, escape wind and reduce fire hazards. And then the top of the hill with the spectacular views could be used as a special place, say for family picnics or meditation. That way the novelty of the spectacular views doesn’t wear off and the house is in a sensible and effective location.

It then occurred to me today that I, too, live in a sensible and effective location, being my lovely Meekatharra with all its issues and lack of environmental awareness and massive deficiencies in sustainable practices. I realized that coming to Margaret River and living on this farm and doing this course is like meditating on top of the hill with the spectacular views. I can gather strength here and get inspiration and insights and enjoy life and the wonderful moments and views (or tastes more like it. Mmh cake…) but if I was to live down here permanently the novelty would wear off. Eventually the usual day to day routine would set in and I would be oblivious to the magnificent tall trees and the abundance of organic food and healthy people. I would just be another greenie doing her sustainability thing.

Instead I can be down here for these two weeks, soak up all the information, knowledge, inspiration, wisdom and ideas and then take all of that back up to Meeka where it really is needed. Take it to a place where one person can actually make a difference and be very effective. I feel like I’m the messenger who carries all of this information and energy through this vacuum, this gap, from a highly sustainable place to a low sustainability place. Comparable to how wind evens out a high pressure system and a low pressure system. We’ll see by the end of this course if I’m a gentle breeze or more like a whirlwind 🙂 Judging by all the things I’ve got planned (build a wormfarm! Build raised garden beds! Build another compost bay! Put in more seeds!) it feels like I might be a bit of a whirlwind with a loooot of energy to spare and to share.

2 Responses to “I feel like scrambled egg

  • Wow Ot sounds wonderful My daughter does such things Maybe in the future you can host workshops in Meeka! Look into woofing also might be able to get people to help you with your dreams

    • Outback Greenie
      3 years ago

      Never thought of hosting WWOOFers… Thank you for the idea, Robyn! I’m absolutely happy to share the knowledge through workshops or the like in Meeka. I’m very excited to find out where this journey will take me! 🙂

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