I live in Australia, for 36 years in rural Northern NSW, and for the last year in suburban Coffs Harbour.
I’ve lived, experimented with, and written about permaculture for most of my adult life.
We moved to Coffs partly to grandparent – we have the joy of a six year old grandson and two year old granddaughter
and having them “help” pick “fat peas” out of the garden is the best fun thing I know.,
but also inspired by David Holmgren’s Retrosuburbia, to take on a new challenge. To play with permaculture in suburbia.
Because that is where little changes can have big effects, and finding that leverage point is a basic permaculture concept.
We are gradually, (and on a minimal budget), transforming a 1950’s fibro cottage on a 500㎡ block, seeing how resilient we can make it.
Until the move to Coffs, we lived in a home built house, and I hammered in a good percentage – in fact probably most – of the nails in it.
I have lived for nearly 40 years with solar power which makes energy frugality come easy.
Nowadays we have town water to back up our house tank, but the habits of water frugality stick too.
I have had a kitchen garden, or a market garden, for about 45 years now.
I’m interested to find out whether we can keep getting most of our food from the garden, in suburbia.
I’m a pretty good gardener
and a good cook
but a very bad housekeeper.
I like mending and making things and making things last.
I like the challenge and elegance in being frugal.
And I hate waste.
I’m happiest in the kitchen or the garden,
and I hang out in the kitchen at parties.
I think perfect is the enemy of good and being purist is dangerous, which is just as well because otherwise I’d have to totally disown myself.
I love the internet – information and ideas – such treasure.
Though not the hijacking of it for propaganda
or the conspiracy theories that proliferate on it.
I think if we forget and lose the skills of living as a community, including trusting and relying on each other and each other’s expertise, we are going to be in big trouble as we negotiate the challenges ahead.
I’m not at all sure that mobile phones are a necessary invention though,
or any music system since vinyl.
I live with my partner of nearly 40 years, Lewie, who is the smartest, funniest, most creative, honest, and sexiest man I know, and also the laziest.
I have two grown up kids, a son and a daughter, who are both people anyone would choose in their “survive the zombocalypse” crew.
I’m a Virgo, but I don’t believe in astrology.
But co-incidentally, I’m a pretty good Virgo.
I do believe in science. I love the scientific method for observing and understanding reality.
And thus I find it hard to believe that anyone doesn’t believe that climate change requires us all to seriously change our addictive consumerism, now, yesterday,
when they believe in electricity and aeroplanes?
In fact the only way I can make any sense of it is that they mustn’t like life – their own life, other peoples’ lives, human species life, biodiversity, life in general – and this is shocking.
Because I believe what is sacred is the miracle that this blue green planet circling a small outlying star put together the right conditions for the marvel of evolution to happen. How unlikely is that?
I feel very lucky to be the beneficiary of this miracle because life is good.
And to honour its goodness, I plan to live long and enjoy it, in solidarity with all the other lives – human and other- doing the same thing.
I am basically very shy and don’t like talking about myself, so this is hard.
But I figure it’s not ok to let shyness stop me when we need all hands on deck to create the cultural shift that will let my grandkids, and their grandkids, know how good life can be.