In the previous weeks we implemented our designs and planted a Zone 2 Garden, which encompasses a food forest, indigenous windbreak and staple crop production. The next step in this system was to install the water management systems and to construct a berry cage.
The berry cage has been placed in the south eastern side of the garden where the center of the cage was used to create the concentric circle pattern of the garden. This brings together the staple crops with fruit systems. In this process the students have learnt about the importance of their designs creating aesthetically pleasing educational and productive permaculture designs.
The berry cage is a gum pole structure in a hexagonal and covered with shade cloth to protect the plants from harsh weather and birds. Wire has been used to create trellis systems on the interior to support the climbing fruit in the cage with accompaning fruit trees that will be espaliered as they mature. Espaliering demonstrates the effective use of small vertical spaces with both beauty and production in mind. As we a have been setting up educational examples of resource management and production for urban spaces, we included four planting containers along an implied line on the border of the homestead and Zone 2. The boxes will provide growing space for potentially invasive productive plants, like Jerusalem Artichokes, in order to produce whilst limiting their spread and growth. Jerusalem Artichokes are extremely productive and provide an excellent starch crop which also assists with managing insulin reactions, so it is both a food and medicine.
During the berry cage installation the participants rotated between Zone 1 and 2. The Zone 1 received its spring plant up and the introduction of a new medicinal plant system. As we have spent time in these spaces over the last two seasons our students have been able to observe and interact with the spaces, allowing them to receive constructive feedback in order to tweak systems for resilience and effeciency.
During Week 13 our students were given the opportunity again to work with SEED’s Mitchell’s plain Food Freedom Project run by Micky. Our teams were sent out to the home of Wilwena, to assist in retrofitting her household according to a design created by the students and assessed by the Program Managers. The intention of the design is to create a resource center that will provide basic permaculture support to other community members, through the delivery of resources and training. It has been a blessing to work with a responsible human being who has even made the effort to collect over 150 2l bottles, two baths and numerous other containers full of rain water to be utilized within her house and garden. Viva Wilwena, Viva!
We have had the the privilege of having two guest speakers, Andrew and Alene Johnson, speak to us on leadership and self-transformation. We were taken briefly through the roles of intent and thought patterns in order to illuminate ones own patterns of behaviour and resulting consequences. Our group is now very much aware of the role of their thoughts and intentions, and the appropriate action required to create and manifest the desired outcome. To achieve this one’s old or ‘unserving’ intentions and behaviours, once identified, need to be consciously reshaped through new eyes. This re-working of our perception of ourselves and our reality helps to create a new pattern of action. This was all extremely useful input as our group of students will be becoming leaders in their fields, and it is really important that we work on beliefs and behaviours that may limit our ability to be effective leaders.