This is a photo of the paddock we are working with. As you can see, it’s mostly an open field sheltered by the surrounding buildings and a tiny amount of slope.
We did some homework and found an aerial view of the property on Google Maps and a campus map, which accurately outlines the surrounding structures.
Equipped with these tools, we set to work.
We set outside at the highest point of the paddock with a blackboard and a box of chalk, trying to fit in all the elements, but it was obvious that our design process was not very efficient…too many drivers and not enough focus…
Today Bill and Geoff shared information about what may be the main questions we all have. How do we fund all these wonderful ideas we’ve learned. How do we navigate community and government structures; how do we organize people for action. It was not a topic we expected from a Permaculture course, but it’s a very important one. It stirred up questions and lengthy discussions, skeptical gazes and hopeful eyes.
There are two types of community economies: formal economy and informal economy.
Water has to perform 3 main duties before it runs off to the sea. If rain water lands (of flows) straight into the river and is carried out to the sea, it hasn’t performed its duties, and thus it hasn’t been most beneficial to the Earth and its inhabitants.
Pro-create life (human included)
Energy (deliver and carry out)
It is to our benefit and benefit of the system to re-cycle water was mush as possible before allowing it to leave the system.
House sewage water can be completely cleaned up and become suitable for putting back into house by using a long trench filled with gravel and Typha reeds. The roots of the reeds have little trap doors that catch any organisms that pass next to them and digest them. Typhas can even take out E. coli bacteria to safe levels.
14% is deep ground water (below 800ft) – this is fossil water that took thousands of years to travel from the surface. It cannot be renewed in our lifetime, and it can only be accessed using heavy-duty pumps. This is the water that modern monoculture farming is sucking up…
11% is shallow ground water (less than 800ft deep)
74% trapped in snow and ice caps
ONE PERCENT is lakes/ponds, forests, living systems, soils, rivers and atmosphere
There is a constant amount of water in the Earth system. Like energy, it doesn’t come from anywhere and it doesn’t go anywhere; it only changes its position and state. Hence, the water in my body right now could’ve in a dinosaur at some stage :).
It’s Saturday, and I was trekking through the empty streets to class. Most of the usual cafes were closed, but that didn’t mean I had to sacrifice the quality of my morning cup. In fact, it made me look at surroundings more carefully, and I came upon this brilliant man.
Michael and his super cheerful Kombi like to hang out on St. Kilda street, just outside the National Gallery of Victoria. They listen to music, greet passerby’s and make some really great coffee. Made me smile.
When I got to class, it was obvious that everyone’s head was flat out. Even the most upright people began to slouch in their chairs. I suppose 6 straight days of contemplating world problems would do that to you :).
Bill and Geoff were away in Brisbane giving a talk, so the lectures were lead by Greg, who is assisting with the course. We began discussions about different climatic zones, but the conversation soon diverged to the topic of land availability, funding and government regulations. I must say, those are my top concerns as well, and I was glad to discuss it with a group. Best advice I heard was that if you want to find out about local land, go to a pub and have a beer with the locals. Makes sense.