David Holmgren’s House Tour

It’s the biggest hectare I have ever seen!

David Holmgren describes his passive solar house design
David Holmgren describes his passive solar house design

David Holmgren’s farm “Melliodora” is located in Daylesford, VIC. It covers mere 2.5 acres, yet it took us 5 hours (!) to briefly discuss its design and features. David’s house is open for tours once a month, and is well worth it. The tour can be booked on his website, come and see for yourself, if you like. Or check out some photos and facts below :)
Continue reading David Holmgren’s House Tour

Why Delve in Permaculture?

The most significant problem we face in our society is a cultural one. Our society does not value wisdom. Fortunately, Permaculture has the potential to provide it. It is important to focus on this cultural issue, as the best water, energy, housing, gardening, you-name-it type of system will only have limited impact without solving people/cultural systems.

We live in a culture where our heroes are measured by their short-term actions, from flying to save damsels in distress, to battling evil-doers with brawn and metal. Unfortunately, these heroes are primarily defined by their physical abilities rather than their capacity to make wise choices. I always wonder what happens to these heroes after their amazing deeds are done. Do they live a happy life? Do they live in harmony with their day-to-day environment? Do they eat healthy? Do they lead sustainable lives? Do they set a behaviour we can all emulate? From the recent strain of heroes coming out of Hollywood the answer is most definite: No.

Long ago, we used to revere wisdom. Many societies used to have elders that were respected and sought after for their wise council. In contrast, in our current society people grow old in age, but not in wisdom. We lock our elderly in nursing homes and we certainly don’t seek their advice. They seem to be more lost than children, who have unlimited ability to absorb new electronic technology.

In fact, our society has replaced wisdom with technology. The current belief in the media is that technology will save us in every aspect. We have been convinced that somehow technology will help us grow more food, technology will clean after all of our waste, technology will teach us how to be better people, technology will allow us to have better societies. We have this unhealthy idea that we will be improved by some technology that has not even been invented yet. We have forgotten that technology is just a tool we wield with our hands, we still need to use it wisely.

That is why permaculture is so important. It seeks to incorporate the wisdom gained over the years with a sustainable culture in mind.

jump“Man Cliff Jumping” by Stacey Swinehart

Why delve in Permaculture?

It was not always like this, there used to be a time when we only had to “work” a few hours of the day for “subsistence”.

There used to be a time when we  would spend most of our time with our children and teach them how to be full human beings:
how to deal with death, how to comfort our fellow men, how to court a woman, how to dream and create, what plants to eat, which plants heal, how to live in harmony with nature, in essence, how to be happy. Continue reading Why Delve in Permaculture?

Song translation, lyrics and guitar cords for a Russian bard song ‘Swamp and River’

Oles iz Luboistoka

I have recently come across this inspiring artist, Oles iz Luboistoka. As you’ve probably gathered, he is not an English performer. He is a Russian singer and song writer, who lives in an eco village called Luboistok. The village is comprised of family domains, who strive to be in harmony with nature, improve the space they live in and be happy (please see the Ringing Cedars series for details on family domains).

I am so moved by his music that I’ve decided I must share it with the English-speaking world. I’ve picked one of the songs called “Swamp and River” and tackled its translation in the most accurate manner. You can listen to the song below (as well as download it). It’s completely legal, Oles offers ALL of his music for download on his website!

Болото и Река (Swamp and River) Continue reading Song translation, lyrics and guitar cords for a Russian bard song ‘Swamp and River’

Aquaponics – our evolution so far…

Guest post by Yvonne Lee of www.bargainhunter.com.au

I first came across the concept of Aquaponics a few years ago. I think it was from reading some discussion forums on Aussies Living Simply, but it could have been from a number of places. I even bought the Murray Hallam DVD and made my husband and a couple of friends watch it with me. At the time we had a pond with a few koi and so we rigged up a simple system to cycle some water into a laundry bucket which had some holes punched into it and some blue metal. I managed to grow a few vegies in there quite well and the water did become a lot clearer. I can’t find a picture of the very first laundry bucket system but here is a picture of the pond we had:

Continue reading Aquaponics – our evolution so far…

The taste of Sydney

Guest post by Sharon Lee of FlavourCrusader

honey

Urban honey has grown in popularity worldwide, particularly in Europe. I note that Melbourne city has picked up the trend, but what of Sydney?

“Sydney also has many city beekeepers who’ve been producing rooftop and backyard honey for many years,” said Lyndon Fenlon of Melbourne’s Urban Honey Co.

Meet Richard Foote. His bees reside in suburban Sydney. His method of production is to simply cut the caps then divide the honeycomb into sellable portions. He sells his honey online, and also through Flemington and Penrith markets. Continue reading The taste of Sydney