Category Archives: permaculture

Scale Model

Squabble – Word of the Day

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Innocent little things, not so long ago they were in the incubator, now they’re happily fosicking around the yard together, but soon they’ll squabble and fight over scraps, worms, seeds and more. Like any young, they learn to play and fight, and they learn to negotiate life’s maze. Squabbling is petty, but part of living, and as we mature we have opportunity to learn from such behaviour, what is important and what we can let go. If we don’t we may sadly remain petulant, enmeshed in anger, jealousy, or bitterness and miss out on the joys of life and relationship. Squabbles are an opportunity for children to learn to work it out rather than escalating into something intractable.

Pity there isn’t much in the way of leadership at national and international level by way of example. We seem to have a gaggle of immature, petulant politicians. But the same could be said for some in the celebrity circus (although the line is now blurred between civic and celebrity), or the sporting world. Sad how the back yard or the school yard squabble has found a place on the international stage.

But then that is not so strange, if the model at home is no better then why should we be surprised by public displays of such behaviour by adults? Unless I take steps to resolve or even prevent squabbles in my own life then what right do I have to whinge about the behaviour of politicians and celebrities? None. As Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” He also said: “Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him/her with love.” And of course, love invokes forgiveness, the serum, the antidote to squabbles of any kind.

More serum in the world please!

ivy chokes the tree
the cherry blossom smiles
the pink heart of love

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under life, mindfulness, nature, permaculture, quote

My Personal Ecology

Flourish – Word of the Day

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Moon’s Crossing, Pemberton, a place where nature flourishes. Here the winter creek flows and sings over the rocks. I flourish here too, the smells, sounds, sights, sensations and feelings that arise here are all part of my living.

One of the earliest thoughts about flourishing came from the great philosopher Aristotle, he thought that flourishing was the highest good of human endeavours, and that flourishing was the aim of all our actions. Somewhere that got derailed. Just as the Greek culture showed potential to pursue its own thinking, the Romans happened with their civic culture focussed on empire. And, as they do, empires come and go, not unlike plagues.

Happiness became the human endeavour, a purely hedonic pursuit according to Martin Seligman. Seligman prefers to talk about Authentic Happiness and he has pinned his career on Positive Psychology, and its ideal of human flourishing. Seligman based flourishing on “Perma” which is:- positive emotion (happiness, pleasure, gratitude, joy), engagement (a state of flow), relationships (feelings of support, familiarity and security), meaning (belonging to and serving something other than self) and accomplishment (having goals no matter the size).

In the mid 70s David Holmgren and Bill Mollinson developed permaculture, a relations or ecology system of farming and gardening. Permaculture’s three main principles are:- care for the earth, care for the people, setting limits to populations and consumption. Permaculture is more wholisitc whereas Aristotle was focussed on the benefit to the community, and Seligman’s Perma is focussed on psychology, but the three work together, they are not mutually exclusive.

For me flourishing is having a personal ecology that consists of  mutually suportive relationships, a positive relationship with nature, a spirituality, creative expression, learning, and reflection. These are the things that sustain me, give me pleasure and enable me to flourish and be creative. This is my manifesto, my mantra if you like, it has taken some time to learn the health of it, but it is a gift of life for me now.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

 

 

 

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Go Minimal – Simplify

via Daily Prompt: Simplify

By way of mindful living, simplicity and minimalism have become bywords of a groundswell across the world to downsize and jettison clutter and unused material things. It seems to me that we are creatures of acquisition, we have to have stuff, but in the end it becomes dissatisfying, and we feel an urge to get rid of stuff, to downsize, simplify, minimalise.

In the 1970s came the BBC TV series ‘The Good Life’ a rollicking comedy, but with a serious undertone, that captivated many, and has inspired several generations to attempt a little of what they modelled. It’s a great story about Tom and Babara Good – Tom quits what he experiences as a meaningless job, and they put their middle class life behind them to live self sufficiently. It fed into permaculture, backyard farming and whole range of styles.

In the 90s Sarah Ban Breathnach published the beginning of a series of books called simple abundance. It was part of a worldwide movement at the time to downsize and take time. It wasn’t so much about self sufficiency as simplifying life. The movement was criticised as being popular among the wealthy who could afford to buy land in rural areas and drop out part time. For some, ironically,  it proved to be expensive to live simply.

In more recent years there has been a plethora of movements and leaders in the art of simplifying life.

The Minimalist Guys (https://www.theminimalists.com/game/ )  would be well known I’m sure. Their trademark is the the 30 Day Challenge. It’s game of throwing out (well giving away, donating, selling, etc.) what you are not using. The number items you throw out corresponds to the numerical value of the days in the month. So, Day one, throw out one item, Day two, throw out two items. By the time you get to Day thirty – thirty items (some friends of mine chose make that the day to toss out old mugs and cups), so a real challenge. There are many others now advocating the simple life, and with refreshing ideas on how to do it, like Lorilee Lippincott at https://lovingsimpleliving.com or the collective at www.anunclutteredlife.com .

Another way is the Small or Tiny House movement across several nations.

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It is very slowly catching on in some shires in Australia, but some shires are resisting or refusing to engage with this. Ironically, one of the issues is the cost in scaling down products for a small home. Some are on wheels, which gets around some regulations in various shires, as these are deemed moveable and impermanent. Local government can be weird about progress (but I’ll leave that for a rant later).

For many, these movements can be about gaining perspective, order, peace, and a mindful lifestyle. To undertake any of these simplifying ways helps the environment by reducing our carbon footprint, and the sheer materiality of our lives. Simplifying is a body, mind, soul, nature experience. I can’t argue with it, I believe we’re over-sized on every level as it is. It’s very hard to let go of stuff, but let go we must for the sake of ourselves, each other, and nature too.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under environment, life, mindfulness, minimalism, nature, permaculture, Spirituality

Together – Brilliant!

via Daily Prompt: Brilliant

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Another permaculture garden being constructed, using the same brilliant principle as the Keyhole Garden, with the compost in the center. Newspapers form the compost retention area, straw and waste fills the void, while scraps continue to be added to the compost bin over time, and then, joy of joy, the worms come and do theri bit too. It all breaks down at different rates and contributes to the garden. So all round – win/win. This one worked a treat (though if you notice, there neeeded to be more inner space) and was also a great fun community day. Together we work, together we grow, together we reap, together. Just brilliant.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Keyhole Garden Theory

via Daily Prompt: Theory

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Our son Jon and his wife Anna began a keyhole garden some two years ago, note the angle of teh bricks, the photo is just a segment of this vast permaculture process. I have done raised garden beds, but not in this style. The graphic below (from: davesgarden.com) explains the simplicity and theory well in visual form

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This photo (api.ning.com) shows what it looks like early on, this one is laid with bricks flat. People have made them out of metal sheeting, plastic liners, cardboard, etc. In this photo you can see the central compost tower which receives your scraps daily and which feeds the garden daily. The raised bed is moisture retaining and ergonomic in that it is ideal for waist height gardening. It is drought resistant too, and water wise. It is a no dig garden, and permaculture is the theory behind it. It works well by every testimony online, and Jon has said before it has worked well for them. What a great theory!

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under food, Gardening, nature, permaculture