24 June 2013

Dreams :: {part three} What happened next...

Indulging my inner permaculturalist over the next two weeks at a super ace @milkwood_permaculture Urban PDC. #excited #willmissmyowlets

So I decided to enrol in a PDC. At looooong last. Not online or via distance ed... In real life. We didn't have the money for it, and Huz had to take all his holiday time to look after the owlets. It has been YEARS since we've had a proper holiday. Somewhere away. Not Melbourne with family, but somewhere new and different to explore. We've been waiting and planning and saving up leave days... But Huz gladly threw it aside for me to have my turn... He's pretty amazing like that. Unfortunately, Huz's leave days had already been reduced due to prior time taken off to relieve me from my post, so we needed reinforcements. We called Mum and, to my utter delight (and the owlets'), she agreed to come down and be part of my crazy plan. For two weeks straight, I was away from home, 9am - 5pm. The longest and most sustained period of time I've been away from my owlets in about seven years. This was HUGE for all of us.


What I found myself in was a group of people equally committed to the experience. Some had travelled from far and wide to be there. Wonderful teachers, as well as students, made a two week commitment to step away from regular life and share everything they knew, and everything they didn't. I found myself in a group of people, so respectful and caring and ready to share...

The experience was immersive and so informative. My brain was overloaded with so much information, I crashed hard at night, but found it hard to sleep. Mind blown. It was exciting and nerve wracking and wonderful and hard and exhausting and exhilarating all at once. This introvert had her comfort zone challenged for the first time in a long time. What I discovered was so much more than a gardening philosophy, or a method of agriculture. Permaculture is a philosophy for living, so positive and practical... It makes sense on every level. Combined with unschooling, I reckon I've been handed the keys to the universe...


Seeing permaculture in action and the abundance that it brings... This gentle shift in conscience. It's all about working with your strengths. With what you have. It's about shifting your perception and finding answers elegantly and simply. It's about letting the problem be the solution...


It's about swales and wicking beds and chooks and food forests. It's about comfrey...


And aquaponics...


And using the most local resources in innovative ways.


It's all about abundance.


And local community. I was lucky enough to design a market garden for my local, alpaca grazed, cafe as part of my learning...


And I learnt just as much from my fellow students as I did the teachers. I love this about permaculture. It's all about sharing. Sharing knowledge and time. It's about encouragement. And not at all about ego.

Quinces and comfrey to celebrate the end of the first week of my @milkwood_permaculture urban PDC #harvest #share #community #homegrown

It's about sharing quinces. And comfrey.

Suddenly I know a little bit about preparing an urban permaculture design #gosh #pdc #lookatmelearning

I learnt about how to prepare a design. I learnt that there are no wrong answers. And the design process is an individual one.

Fat hen #urbanpdc #lookatmelearning

I learnt that my garden was already abundant with nourishment after all...

All done. Completely exhausted, emotionally and mentally spent after two weeks with wonderful people... Now to watch The Good Life with pizza and my lovely Huz. Happy Friday night peeps. xx

And I learnt that this little family could survive change and that there is so much more that I have yet to do. So much more to learn... That was just the tip of the iceberg, really. A brilliant summary of all there is yet to learn. In the wise words of unschooling godfather, John Holt, “We learn to do something by doing it. There is no other way." Yep. Now to find time and a way to sustain the support and to make space for the important stuff and learning ahead... That's  where we use Permaculture principle #9: Slow and small steps. The journey begins here. xo


  1. Wow!! Amazing and inspiring post Lauren.
    Good for you for feeding your soul and actually getting out there and doing it. The emotion I felt while reading this made me certain that I need some action and challenge in my life too. Thanks so much for shwring this. I look forward to watching you blossom. xx

  2. I'm intrigued! I hope you share more about it. Sounds like a great course.

  3. Wow sounds amazing !!! From one Lauren to another - jealous!! One day I hope our family has the ability to do this course and make use of the land in such a respectful and positive way!! Eagerly awaiting your follow-up posts on the changes you make :)

  4. So exciting!! You are totally inspiring me to get into the garden and work it a bit more!


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