Talking Permaculture in the community
This week I was delighted to visit and speak at two venues in the Blue Mountains: KindleHill School at Wentworth Falls, and the Lower Blue Mountains Garden Club.
At the garden club, I talked about general food growing techniques using permaculture principles. I started by explaining the very basics of Permaculture and the zone system of permaculture design. I then explained the benefits of microclimates and how to get the most out of your region.
We then discussed common garden questions such as how to keep possums and birds off vegies. I explained that in most circumstances, the problem can be solved by growing an abundance of vegies so there is enough to share. (Fruit are a separate issue, and often need to be protected when growing on a small scale such as in an average back yard.)
We talked about compost, and the best manures to use. People were very surprised to learn that one of the most nitrogen rich fertiliser is pigeon, while horse manure comes close to bottom of the nitrogen level list of commonly used manures. People were very interested to learn about how to make hot compost. Not many people manage to use this technique successfully but it is actually very easy if you have the right recipe and follow it!
At Kindlehill, I visited with the highschool class as part of a ‘Pathways’ lesson on the theme of Think Global, Act Local. The students were exploring the topic “Food for Thought”, including growing food, saving seeds, eating local produce and community gardens. We discussed the economics and realities of growing food sustainably, as well as energy as the next major economic challenge of our generation. The conversation was robust and stimulating and I had a fantastic time sharing knowledge and ideas with the young people there.
Coming up, I’ll also be speaking at the Blue Mountains and Nepean Herb Group on Friday 24th February at 7:30pm at Lawson Community Centre. Please feel free to contact Jackie Anstis (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in the doings of this group. If you would like to have me speak at a group or event, or book a workshop please get in touch here.