Thursday, May 26, 2011

Permaculture's David Holmgren comes to Sydney

Something big is coming to my kitchen

Its David Holmren, the co-originator of Permaculture.

And his bright beloved, Su Dennett, who is also my friend, and a delicious gardening-cook.
They are in Sydney for Permacutlure Courses, and a weed debate with Sydney's weed experts.

"I'm Dazzeled" says David, "With this Sydney icon just here, in front of me".
I'm Dazzled too, with this Australian icon at my moring tea.

David notices everything. Nothing is too humble to get him riveted, in detective mode.

While I just see an artistically shaped chopping board, he sees a 44 year old **** pine tree, with a branch growing out to the right.

He also sees the little one-year old sapling, from way back in 1967. He loves talking about the sixties. 

Pine seeding photo DougWW

"See here, these dots... You know how when the trees are really young, the needles come straight out from the trunk? Here is the needlewood'.

On their fact-fining missions - neighborhood stroll - , they discover only 12 people walking the streets. They did a demographic breakdown, theorizing on their reasons for being there. They re-designed a fantasy Balmain where people where home working during the day, and even more people were living in the office buildings across the water, reducing excessive building. 

Homeless possums illustration by Cecilia Macaulay

They came home with hands full of herb tit-bits, and explained Balmain has almost no edible gardens, and that the closest one is, In Fact,  just around the corner from me. It is public, it is in sun, and someone already tends it. Perfect. It was also thirsty. They gave it what was in their drink bottle, and made a small withdrawal for our lunch. 

Later we went to the Balmain shops, where Su got some seeds and seedlings for the 'round-the-corner' garden. 

Balmain shops are cute, classy, but sometimes people yell at you when you try to drive. I will be glad when I can eat from the garden we are planting, so I can shop less and get yelled at less.
Balmain will be glad too, will less appearances from me.

David, Su and I did a deposit, of parsley and corriander, rocket and lettuce seeds.

"Who came trip trapping in MY garden", somebody might be wondering. Wouldn't she be surpised to find it was David Holmgren himself? 
Maybe David's books had put her up to it in the first place.

It had been a lonely weekend. I was so happy to have some mates to share my view with.


Bom said...

I wouldn't mind someone coming in to plant me a surprise. Your post had me smiling. Nice blog.

Matt Gillespie said...

Sounds like a lot of fun with Mr. Holmgren!

Brendan @ Merewether Life said...

Appreciate how your post goes from the immediate materials in the room, sharing some insights, then to the immediate neighbourhood, making observations and measurements for sustainable living.
Talk about thinking sustainably and acting locally in practice!

Cecilia Macaulay said...

Thanks guys. Its amazing how permaculture principles such as 'start at your back door' just seep in, after all these years.

Mr Holmgren is endlessly interesting, endlessly engaged with the world. Its true.