Two weeks to go until the baby emerges into the big wide world and I’m reading a lot about gardening, permaculture and dreaming lots about backyard farming — primarily because even walking is a physical challenge at the moment. Even tending the tomatoes is getting a little tricky but luckily our 3.5 year old eats so many, they don’t stay ripe on the vine for long anyway. : ) There is so much I want to do in the garden, but I’m trying to be happy with planning, reading and dreaming about it.
I found this beautiful site called Adventures in Urban Sustainability which is a very inspiring record of one couple and their attempt to create a food forest in a normal backyard in the suburbs near Wollongong, NSW.
Seeing what you can achieve in a normal block made me really happy and excited. Leaving our 20 acre farm felt like a step backwards in my ideal of living sustainability – but I’m really beginning to see that our ‘normal’ house, the timing of moving here, my time off work with our second baby imminent has really created this massive opportunity that I’m not likely to get again. It’s an opportunity to do some really proper planning and design around creating a garden that’s about living and playing space and growing food.
Our house already has solar panels, rainwater, solar hot water and a blank canvas back garden with lots of food growing potential. Already we have dramatically reduced our energy use and reliance on cars compared to the costs of maintaining our farm on the hill.
So, we’re actually ‘greener’ for having moved nearer to town without much effort on our part. It fascinates me to think of what we can achieve when we ramp things up with proper effort.
I definitely miss being surrounded by trees and wildlife- and the ‘feeling’ of living an alternative lifestyle on the farm on the hill – but in terms of living life in a way that is better for the planet – it should be less about the aesthetics and image of where you live – and more about the practical and efficient use of the space in our immediate environment.
Back to the dreaming and planning for now….