Posts Tagged ‘permaculture’

Change the World Wednesday – 16th May

Coffee Take Out Container – another useless waste of resources

Running on coffee…

I was looking for a suitable image to use with my opening line. I didn’t find one, but look what I did find…

What’s wrong with taking a reusable thermos flask.

We really must take stock of ourselves with these ‘use once and throwaway’ items.

Just another nail in the global coffin.

How many trees were sacrificed to make these?

Even if they are made of recycled paper, the industrial processes and chemicals involved in manufacturing must have an adverse impact on the planet.

Report: My parsley seedlings have all sprouted, not a failure. But, I am still worried about the spindly nature of the shoots. Time will tell.

On with the game.

This weeks Change the World Wednesday challenge:

Now that we’ve observed the area around us, let’s use that knowledge to plant something. Choosing a location which considers rain fall, sunlight, “pests”, etc., plant something using sustainable methods such as double digging, companion planting and natural pest control. Use natural compost instead of fertilizer. And then … come back and tell us all about it.
Or …

If you’ve already planted, tell us all about the process … did you choose the garden’s location based on natural elements? Did you prepare the garden using double digging? Did you make use of natural compost and companion planting? How do you control pests? And, knowing what you now know about Permaculture, will you make any changes next year? We want to know everything.

Hmmm… a continuation of last weeks.

I didn’t really play the game last week, because I always watch nature. I also discovered that while I wasn’t aware of it, I was already somewhat of a permaculturalist simply by being me and doing what seems right. Then I went off on my tangent and rooted for a need for permaculture to be an integral part of our lives.

Nezara viridula

Okay, tomatoes. The last lot of tomatoes that I planted were invaded by these…

I had no idea what they were, but recognised by the plethora of the little beasties that they were a pest.

Rather a little cutie. I had seen the odd one before and simply thought ‘pretty green bug.’

Now it was more a case of ‘damned green nuisance.’

Under the onslaught of these, my plants didn’t fare well and bearing tomatoes was a remote possibility, so I said farewell to them and yanked them all out. More compost.

It took some weeks before they decided there wasn’t much left and they left, or died maybe.

Today, in writing, I searched ‘green bug tomatoes’ in Google and discovered they were in fact Nezara viridula, or known as stinkbugs.

See, even at 60+ I learn something everyday.

Now that the stinkbugs have gone, I have some new tomato seedlings sprouting my compost heap and some are ready for transplanting. So I will try again and hopefully the stinkbugs won’t return. I will chose a different spot this time, hopefully one that doesn’t appeal to the little green beasties.

There is absolutely nothing different in this case that that I would have done anyway, so I’m not trying to be a permaculturalist, so it almost doesn’t qualify for the challenge, because I have changed nothing.

I am going to try an experiment.

I use oodles of coffee (oodles for our American cousins signifies a  lot) and as a result I have have coffee grounds up to my ears. They all go on the compost heap and get mixed up with the cat turds (Lixo does his part), potato peelings, etc and weeds; makes a grand outdoor potting mix. I am going to try straight coffee grounds as a growing medium as one would do with say sand or sawdust. It may well respond sort of like hydroponics. The medium doesn’t matter it’s the water that does the trick. I’ll keep you posted.

That’s it for this week.

Need more coffee!



Change the World Wednesday – 9th May


Coffee No. 2

About to get coffee No. 3

Coffee No. 3 and marmalade on toast becomes a transient moment of bliss at this hour of the morning.

I have an early class at 7, so I doubt that I’ll get this completed before I go off into the wild blue yonder and face the rigours of the world. I’ll be back early because the second class has been canceled…

Report: My parsley has sprouted CTWW 25th April. Only 2 of the 12 haven’t shown any signs of life yet. The shoots are pretty spindly, I am worried, because I have never seen such spindly shoots before.

This week’s Change the World Wednesday. on Reduce Footprints is a biggie!

Looking at the issue of permaculture.

So this week, let’s start by observing nature. Take some time, step outside and observe everything around you. Look at sunlight patterns and the direction of plant growth. Are the plants in your area native and how does that affect their growth and care? Make note of where water collects on your property and where it comes from. Observe the phases of the moon and consider how that affects the natural world. Pay attention to insects and birds … observe how their interaction with plants, animals and each other affects the environment. Then, come back here and report your findings. Were you surprised at anything you discovered? Will you make any changes based on your observations? We want to hear it all!

*Takes a deep breath*

Permaculture is one of these words that gets bandied about a lot these days; especially if you haunt the halls of the environment. But if you’re like me, you probably haven’t stopped to think about it, or even look further. I certainly didn’t. But I found that I am already a permaculturalist.

“Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. It is about designing households and communities that are productive, sustaining and largely self reliant and have minimal impact on the environment.”Little Green Blog

My passionfruit vines grew wild up my neighbour’s second story, he was okay with this, he got the fruit (literally) of my labour.

Not at the moment, because my current rental situation limits what I can do to the property. I have already taken liberties in making my little gardens along the fence lines. I can do no more.

My previous situation was much more amenable and successful.

So while I can’t take on the idea wholesale, I do do little bits. I collect my rain water for the garden. I allow my plants to grow as nature intended. I do watch the insects, damned butterflies whose caterpillars destroy my passionfruit vines, the big black bees that successfully pollinate the same vines and the hummingbirds that frequent my yard.

But, I am going off on my tangent again.

The biggest enemy to permaculture is urbanisation.

We hit the ‘destry’ button with everything we touch

In an urban setting every thing has to be neat and tidy, lawns cut, hedges trimmed, weeds pulled and pretty flowers everywhere. You cannot hang your clothes out to dry because it might offend the neighbours. You cannot collect rainwater in some places because it’s against the law. Vege gardens are outlawed. Just imagine if you decided to keep chicken or ducks… Our urbanisation is full of bullshit.

We have this preoccupation with ‘neat & tidy’. But being neat and tidy destroys the very essence of nature and goes against the grain of permaculture.

Personally, I hate this neat and tidy. Orderly and useful is much better. My neighbour has chickens, a bit noisy once the rooster discovered he could crow, but I would much rather that than have him complain when my passionfruit grew up his house.

Most neighbours no longer have tolerance, a wonderful trait that we could all benefit from.

Orderly and useful

Councils who currently legislate against the grain of permaculture should be voted out and the people should be voting for more local politicians who are concerned with urban renewal that is in line with permaculture.

But the current attitude of many people who are happy with the ‘neat and green’ needs to change. We have come too far from our origins, so far that we have become completely derailed.

The idea of permaculture is also linked to the new idea of nature deficit disorder which, while not currently recognised as a clinical deficiency, exists. Remember the ‘cow poo’ I wrote about, permaculture goes some way to rectifying the problem.

Centralisation and big cities with apartment buildings and housing estates are just so wrong on every level. They go against nature, they are the cause of so many of today’s social maladies and evils. I have said it here before, and I’ll say it again. The only way to improve our lives is to abandon and dismantle the cities and go back to the country; go back to our roots. It may become necessary for our very survival if the current economic situation gets any worse.

Think about how you can shuck the ‘neat and tidy’ and embrace permaculture…


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