Monday, November 19, 2012

Soil and Peace Festival 2012: Enchanted Japanese Permaculture life

In a little woodland forest, in the heart of Tokyo's financial district, gathered people who like digging, and people who like peace. 

A few permanent residents just enjoyed their Sunday as usual.
How is this fellow, enjoying the Autumn Sun? His towel-hat getup gives him the privacy of his own room.  Tokyo homeless are resourceful, and lateral-thinking designers.

Pretty Things

Lotus pod with felt 

Tsuji-san, leader of the Sloth Club

Lots of Sloths for hanging around

Her babies

Her business

Entertaining Things

Beautiful Bouncy Bamboo playground for children. 

Yae-san is an originator of this event.
She runs an organic farm Kingdom in Kamogawa.
Her music is captivating,  Irish in spirit, to me.

Natural-powered music: bike energy and whistling

Look mum, no batteries!

Home-made technology: Slingshot 

More Farmers

Watching the Homeless do their thing

The cat is mine

No No No. The cat is mine

Rick Tanaka

With rather amazing Manbag

Organic means Organized: Splendid self-sufficiency
(to be further explored in my next post)

Rick just translated David Holmgren's epic
'Permaculture Pathways and Principles'


Henna Candles

Magic energising circle.
The liquid is hemp-crystal-essence water

Hempy stylish lady

Everything coordinates

Pretty Japanese dog

Timber actually purchased from Japan, not stolen.

Urban Farming Panel. One of us is from Tokyo University

What was my contribution?

There were some stalls from Fukushima there, selling their delicious Rice and Mushrooms. 
'Thank-you for buying our food' they said, when I took some rice and mushrooms. 
Food they worked so hard to grow for me.

We are here for clean organic food.
Most Japanese understandably don't want to eat food from radiation-devastated Fukushima.
Even if its safe.

Who knows what to do?

In my panel discussion, I did some 'advertorial' for my upcoming  'Permaculture communication' workshop on Nov 28th.  
I mentioned how its great to eat poison-free food, but if we follow the meal by getting angry over who will wash the dishes, we are poisoning ourselves 'self-sufficiantly' with brain chemicals, and are back to where we started.

We don't have an environment problem, we have a communication problem.

We don't have all the solutions. But I always feel trust for whatever path non-dogmatic, ever flexible Permaculture opens up for me.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Japanese who just want to have fun

So, I'm walking down the streets of Jiyugaoka, when I see this cool dude hanging out on his bike, watching the chicks go by.

"Can I have my photo taken with you?" I ask him. 
"Sure baby, I've been lonely, waiting for you" he croons to me.
In his own way.

I go home, just one stop to Toritsu Daigaku station, and take a different route. Hey, I always take different routes. I've got googlebot duties, got to see what's around. 

Its not much fun working in a rice warehouse. 
But you can open it up. You can have passers-by popping in for a drink.

The furry bloke on top of the vending machine is a tanuki, or raccoon-dog. 
They are mischievous and convivial, and like to hang out around humans. 
No shyness, no modesty, lots of , um, grit. 

And here is the Bouncer. 

Japan ranks #80 in the World Happiness index. 
Life can seem full of obligation, devoid of choices. 

Even I feel that way on occasion, and I'm the Permaculture Fairy!

As the Japanese with humble professions remind me daily, you can generate it. 
You can generate fun, connection, adventure.
Everything you need is already sitting around nearby, you just have to pick it up and put it in your life. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Orphanage garden of dreams

Are you a designer with any positive, innovative orphanage garden stories?
I'm putting together an article and would love to hear from you, borrow your inspiration

Here is one from my Permie mate John Champagne, of Bega:

"My heart sank when I saw this orphanage for the first time knowing full well that what the place needed was a serious Permaculture design but didnt have the time to do this. true PC speak - the best possible outcome for the least amount of energy used had us fixing up the area they get their water from.

Reusing broken bricks, we paved around it to shed water to plants such as lemon grass and banana."

The things that make life better are so often already around us.

Thank-you John Champagne, for your good work in the world.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Home-Grown Halloween 2012 on the Back Streets of Sydney - Be Afraid

Intrusion Pays
I never would have known this Inner-West garden was edible, had it not been that one day of the year where I was allowed to creep up the stairs and lurch around unaccompanied.


This is my kind of scary - floaty and frilly, pink and green,

With beneficial insects, and..

... one friendly bat, cheerfully keeping pest population under control, without chemicals. 
Well, maybe not this particular species. 

What were they growing? Silverbeet, strawberries, rhubarb, herbs,

Passionfruit is multi-functional: for dapples, flowers, fruit and privacy
Now thats worth the effort of putting it in your ground. 

The nectarines in pots - this is a good idea for managing truly scary pests. You can just pick up the whole thing, take it inside away from the bullies for the weeks they are flying around the neighborhood, or just run the whole thing under the tap.

Unless there is a good reason to be in a pot like this, put everything in the ground. 
A pot plant is not automatically a decoration. Its a frightened little being, separated from its family of other plants and microbes and soil, leading a precarious existence at the mercy of forgetful humans. 

Fragrant rose petals go in Persian salads, creme brûlée, and party drinks.  Most of us are too timid though. 

Home made horrors

I love this home-made decoration, in the fibro shack down the road.  
The house is humble, and the children living in it are beautiful.  I see them playing pirates and superheros with the enthusiasm of children without a television. 
Which they just might be.
Its may be a shack, but the owner recently refused just under a million dollars for it. 
The rent may be high for a shack, but little family knows the value of living in a creative community.

Decoration Diversity goes Beserk

One festival, two neighbours:

Halloween Elegance

Mate, wrong Festival

Moriss the Windscreen wiper was her
Morris the windscreen wiper just put up a new shopfront display today. 
He's not really one for conformity, our Morris. 

Window-cleaner Tableau

He is a pirate, really. 
Wiley, tenacious, a great salesman with a great work ethic. 
Yet's is obviously not work, but one all-day-long game for him, like fishing. 
The other day he got me (and everyone else) to sign a petition to keep on plying his trade there, as this kind of shenanigan is completely illegal.

The fun is where the riskiness is, as Halloween reminds us.

So night falls, and the doorbell rings. 

My elegant brother grabs the foil-wrapped bunnies left over from easter,  and strides towards the door. 

What happens next? 
A perfect, blood-curdling shriek, as he gets properly scared by the monsters at the door.  
He is such a generous man, that brother of mine. 

Public Speaking
Attending Kerwin Rae's $$ Marketing Mastercourse.
Making a sale. 

Scariness is where the big fun resides.