Monday, September 26, 2011

Permaculture South to North

Since my last Blog which has been some time I have been back Down under and as far North as Waterford in Ireland.

Irish coast line with fertilizer 

Australia was annual leave after 9 months living and working in the Maldives

Home amoungst the gum trees

In JulyI was promoted to Regional Permaculturist – Maldives which means I spend my time between three Six Senses Resorts based in the Maldives. Besides Soneva Fushi I now go to Soneva Gili in the North Male Atoll and Six Senses Laamu in the south on Olhuveli Island in the Laamu Atoll.
 I have previously assessed these resorts as shown in earlier blog’s. Now I am to visit monthly to push forward Permaculture systems for waste management and sustainable food production. For both I have developed strategies including the design of Eco Centro’s “Waste To wealth” which we are looking forward to building in the near future.

Being a Permaculturist you are never not observing nature or making contact with other Permies. I Melbourne I went to a great friends Birthday party … Happy 40 Nic !!! where there were several people in the progress of doing there Permaculture Design Course (including Nic) at Ceres an award winning, not-for-profit, environment and education centre and urban farm located by the Merri Creek in East Brunswick, Melbourne and Bill Mollison was a founding member

All were envious of my job and wanting to come and do the same. I don’t blame them as it was FU-King cold!!  

Brother feeding the chooks

In Sydney I was surprised by the PC systems my brother Craig and family had introduced into there life living on the northern beaches. Craig has no experience or training though he credits the times he has spent at my homes over the years as his inspiration. Goes to show you don’t need a book just an open mind.

Happy Chook house

While in Sydney I also had the pleasure to spend time with Cecilia Macaulay The Permaculture Fairy” as Bill Mollison calls her. We sat looking at the harbor bridge talking on many issues surrounding Permaculture today.

Cecilia's view
 On a second occasion we had breakfast in the Rocks and saw amazing vertical gardens and continued to discuss Permaculture as a solution the family violence and how if I could turn it into a Spa therapy I would have more visitors at the Eco Centro.

Fairy in the Garden

I then headed home to Queensland to see my own 2 acre Permaculture designed property in the Mary Valley on the Sunshine coast.

First stopping on the Gold Coast at very good friends Marc and Leanne who also have taken to growing some of their own food in beachside Miami and with out book but the use of my knowledge from past stays.  As I say "The hard part is thinking like a Permaculturist, the rest is easy"

Leanne Avery Gold Coast

The people renting my property are not permies so it would be interesting to see how the systems were standing up especially as there had been major flooding earlier in the year.

All was great the swales had harvested all the rain the subtropical food forest was growing, my girls the chickens were all alive and tending the orchard with care and providing organic eggs. All proof that once a system is set up you can travel and spread the word and all you will come back to is abundance.

Chooks at work

Feeling secure all was in the hands of nature I then flew back to the Maldives for only 3 days, which was very very different to say the least. In the 2 days the Permaculture continued as before I left for holidays we had started a project to build an Adams Retort for the making of charcoal and Bio Char. Now it was time to fire it up!!!

The Adams Retort ready to go 
As it took longer to do than first thought I was unable to see the results, we were up till 1am then I flew to London the next morning for work, on my way to Ireland to speak on Permaculture at  3rd Grow It Yourself Ireland Conference

Thank you for the opportunity to talk Permaculture

I was invited by a visiting Chef Darina Allen from Ballymaloe Cookery School
Shanagarry, Co. Cork Ireland Telephone: (00353) 21 4646785Fax: (00353) 21 4646909

Darina and her husband Tim were brilliant hosts and have the most amazing 100ac organic farm and cookery school (the only one like it in the world) they recently have been awarded a José Navarro Foundation award which will be presented at the Premios Verdes Awards 2011 (The Green Awards) in Valencia on 17th November 2011. They deserve it. I will do a more detailed blog on the stay in Ireland and GIY soon.

Darina having fun cooking 

London was also consumed with work attending the Six Senses Repeaters Party at the Physic Gardens in Chelsea… Incredible garden.   

Last but not least I also spent time with Tony Turner
The owner and designer of award wining shredder and mulching machines ideal for the tropical biomass we encounter daily here which is essential for soil rehabilitation via compost and mulching.

Tony and his Chipper

So as you can see there are people from the north to the south of the world focused on living cleaner and healthier lives incorporating Permaculture into their daily lives which gives me great confidence in the Maldives staying high and dry.  

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