Hello 1MW readers,
This month 1MW has been especially interested in food following the launch of Love Food Hate Waste from the NSW Government. As the 1MW Events Coordinator, it has been great looking into alternative ideas surrounding food, especially for those of us like myself who are living in urban/city areas. Ideas such as co-op food shopping, community gardens, and also, one that has really taken my fancy, Permaculture.
Haven’t heard of Permaculture? It was actually developed by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren during the 1970s and is one of Australia’s intellectual exports with a now global network of practitioners and teachers.
Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems modeled on the harmonious integration of the landscape and people to provide food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way, often using patterns that occur in nature to maximise effect while minimizing wasted energy.
Simply put, it is sustainable land use design.
Many people are engaging with Permaculture around Australia and the world, and for me it holds many possibilities for urban areas. For example, Melbourne based network Permablitz who bring together gatherings of people and in a day create an edible garden where someone lives, regularly in suburban or city areas. Or how about Sydney city restaurant Tetsuya’s who have turned a concrete courtyard into their own on-site garden providing some of the restaurants produce needs, and also acting as a test site where head chef gets creative with what he grows so he can create inspiring and original dishes.
These are lovely examples of sustainable land use design to transform urban spaces into places that could provide some of our basic living needs such a vegetables, fruit, eggs and much more.
Do you have any unused urban spaces that you could transform? I know I am inspired, and have a new project which involves turning the space in my backyard where the cubby house used to be into an edible garden for my household.
If you are interested to learn more, come to the Sydney book launch of ‘Permaculture Pioneers’ on August 25, 7pm at the Chauval Cinema in Paddington. The stories in this book represent the scope, depth and diversity of Australian permaculture.
This event will also be a premiere for the Australian documentary ‘Anima Mundi’ directed by Peter Charles Downey. Featuring David Holmgren, Stephan Harding, Vandana Shiva, John Seed, Michael C Ruppert, Michael Reynolds, Noam Chomsky, Permablitz and more. This film provides an insight into permaculture, peak oil and climate change, and if you keep an open mind has some interesting ideas on how we interact with and appreciate the earth.
The book launch and screening are a benefit for our lovely friends at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, 100% Renewables Campaign and Beyond Zero Emissions. Tickets $20 and $10 concession from www.animamundi.eventzilla.net or at the door.
So come along! Maybe you will get inspired as I have been to endeavour on your own permaculture project
Applying permaculture principles seems daunting when first learning about it but it can be done in small steps. My husband and I grew herbs and vegies in the gardens of our city homes, until a year ago we decided to throw in city life and get a small farm in rural Tasmania. We grow herbs and vegies, plus fruit and nuts, and we also have chickens and a few cows. Nothing goes to waste – food scraps and prunings are either food supplements for the chickens or composting material – and the compost and chicken & cow manure go back to the soil to feed the plants. And time spent with the animals and in the sunshine is nutrition for the soul!