The big island of Australia has been my home for the last thirty years and although I never lived on a farm we always had space for the important things in life, veggies and chickens.
I never really took care of a garden myself but was always in the presence of them and without trying I assumed I had picked up a wee bit of know how. However, now under the thumb of Permaculture Expert, Patricia at Songaia I see how over the years we have fantastically learnt how to garden ineffectively. The basics of permaculture are simple.... Get outta the way! Nature was doing it brilliantly for thousands of years so stop making up 'solutions' to problems that nature can solve.
The other major experience that can not go without mention is the community at Songaia. I had never lived in a conscious community before and I can honestly say, I won't live anywhere else now. As a young adult the price for land these days is too high for me and I'm not prepared to dedicate 70hrs a week to pay off a house I'm never bloody in coz I'm always at work!!!
This community livin ain't half bad I tell ya.
I have to admit that at first I was scared that I would just be eating lettuce leaves and snails. But what I've found is an abundance of life. In and outside the garden. I can't remember the last time I watched tv or checked Facebook. There are always real people to connect with and a food forest to go sit in. Plus, I'm getting used to lettuce and the snails...
What are my favourite gardening discoveries??
Easy. Nitrogen fixers is top of the list for sure. So there are certain plants that rejuvenate the soil through their absorption of nitrogen in the air.
Then there are dynamic accumulators. These guys have deep roots which access nutrients in the soil and bring it up to the surface for other plants.
And lastly, my favourite, do less gardening. Whoohoo!! Even though I love being in the garden it's a great idea that if we plant the right kind of plants together we end up with less work because the plants have got it sorted.
So, what's a young one to do???
I don't believe that communal living is the only solution but it's the one for this girl!
We share gardening duties which is perfect for me as I have a lot to learn and I'm not interested in studying books to learn about gardens.
This hands on experience is great for elders of the community also as they are able to set the heavy tasks to the youngsters while passing on their know how.
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Garden bloggers are community members, volunteers and interns at Songaia.