Nature

Dark matter and stardust

Posted on

I love it when black hollyhocks appear, having self-seeded. It’s like having Edgar Allen Poe or Neil Gaiman popping in for a cup of tea. Sometimes, they cross with other hollyhocks, and appear more of a dark purple. The darkness can be variable each year, so when you get a true deep black emerging, it […]

Growing food

Backyard permaculture – pre-design thinking

Posted on

Now that I’m half way through my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) theory, I’m about to take a really good crack at some intentional design in terms of applying permaculture principles in an average sized garden. Below,  is the layout of the productive backyard that we now have after five-six years of ad-hoc design with permaculture principles in mind, […]

Permaculture

How trees interact with rain

Posted on

I caught a glimpse of something small and magical in the trickle of first rain and how a small fig tree catches and redirects the rain to efficiently distribute such a precious resource. It’s incredible to imagine the full interaction of water on earth, taken up into clouds, and cycled down into the soil, roots and fungi, […]

Permaculture

Ritual as yield

Posted on

It’s easy to fall into a yearning for more space when you have your head in permaculture thinking, yet with just a backyard sized space to play out your zones. When I see field-sized rows of vegetable beds I have to admit, sometimes my thoughts stray to wishing  I had vast fields to lay down beds […]

Permaculture

You can take the girl away from the farm…

Posted on

The beautiful personalities of three Australorp chickens settling into the backyard has been a thoroughly enjoyable part of the Christmas break. I can’t describe how much I love them. I wake up and can’t wait to say good morning to them. Chickpea who turned out to be Chuckpea was swapped for a black pullet, at least…I hope […]

Farm Life

Evolving design: backyard farm with permaculture design ideas

Posted on

It’s fair to say that I’m still learning a lot about the micro-climate of our back garden after five years of growing here.  I’m also still learning a lot about permaculture by revisiting and thinking about the principles a lot. With the chickens now a new part of it, I did a quick messy sketch, […]

Farm Life

Branch by branch: backyard chickens

Posted on

I can hear it. That sound, of happiness and curiosity that I’ve missed so much. Those dark intelligent eyes and witty ways. Absent from my daily life for five years. Three chickens joined the garden yesterday, and my heart is brim full. Still cautious and alert in their new surroundings, so only a quick photograph […]

Growing food

Small and slow: garden to farm

Posted on

Having been here at our house for around five years, after downsizing from a large property, it has felt at times like a slow journey to transform  a garden devoid of anything but a few fruit trees into a backyard farm. Looking back at what I began back then, learning about building soil in the […]

Learning design

Quiet design. Twelve simple design principles.

Posted on

Reposted November 2017, orginally published on my other blog In my purse, stashed in behind two photos of my children, is a scrap of paper with the only design principles that have ever made sense to me. Twelve simple principles as an antithesis, to a sea of educational and instructional design frameworks, some of which […]