Monday, November 2, 2009

Two New Blogs

This blog has now been split into two and renamed as follows:

1. The more theoretical blog Permapoesis, which gives air to my poetics, critical writing, art and research.

2. The more pragmatic blog Garden Notes for Relocalisation, notes which began in October 2008.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The end of its digital life

This blog has come to the end of its digital life. It is in decomposition mode, readying itself for a regeneration, somewhere else. 

The themes of this blog have centred around cyclical time, chance, non-hierarchy, composting, self-sufficiency, radical other, permapoesis, excrement, regeneration, future scenarios, heirloom vegetables, distributed gender, distributed populations, cities as stasis, pop-fascism, agents for waste, loving humans, lovers of wild nature, disembodied centrists, the artist as family, and of course permaculture, energy descent and climate change.

Thanks for reading. Please click "next blog" above to find out what the picture means below. 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Growing our own

It will astound most people to realise that a visit to the supermarket to buy food is a greater threat to our environment than all the pollution caused by coal fired power stations. Nearly 30% of the CO2 in our atmosphere is caused by us not growing our own food. Non-renewable energy is used to plough the fields, harvest and process the crop and take it to market. The fertilisers, pesticides and weed killers used to grow the crop are derived from oil. In fact 75% of the energy that is used to grow our food occurs once it has left the farm. The kitchen fridge uses more energy than the farm tractor. In some areas more energy is used to drive to the supermarket than is used on the farm. Up to 25% of the energy is consumed in wasteful packaging. Clive Blazey, Digger's Seeds

This week I planted 8 rhubarb shoots among indigenous grasses along the top of the dry-stone wall. You can't see them, their hiding in the mulch. Rhubarb likes well-drained soil and will grow in full-shade to full-sun conditions. Abundant for breakfasts or desserts for much of the year.

Also planted in aged, thick bush mulch are our broad beans. Frost hardy, their young leaves make a great winter salad. We collected our broad bean seeds from our brilliant crop last year. No money spent, just working within a system of cyclical regeneration, rather than linear death – supermarkets, wage-slavery, et al.

You can never go back to supermarket eggs after caring for your own chooks. They make great family friends. We free-range ours and pen in our vegies. Their shit is as golden as their eggs in a simple system of ecological-economics; circulatory reciprocity. No packaging -much goodness.

Digger's heirloom seeds are sowed tightly in this bed, and will be planted out later when the seedlings are bigger and our new raised beds are built. We typically get about 85-95% success rate with their seeds. A range of seeds including garlic, elephant leek, kale, snap peas, silverbeet, cos lettuce, spinach and broccoli.

The shed of interrelation, SOI (in progress). This will soon become our artist-in-residence shed for budding permies.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A good friend

Every morning at about nine and again at about eleven I call on my friend here. While tea is all the rage I celebrate my old-schoolness, black no sugar.

When I mentioned to a friend a while ago that we will quickly need to cease our reliance on the transportation of goods and resources he agreed, however added that there should be a few exceptions like spices and other things only grown in the tropics. We white people can be so flexible with our ethics. My preferred bean comes from Goroka in Papua New Guinea, owned and operated by locals and is certified organic by NASSA.

Of course the exceptions will soon be determined for us by energy descent and climate change. These luxurious days are numbered.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Kenneth Davidson

Gertrude Stein warned the young and egotistical Ernest Hemingway that "if you keep on doing newspaper work you will never see things, you will only see words". I think this is a brilliant summary of journalists in general, but not so Kenneth Davidson who steps down as a senior columnist with The Age this week. Here's my letter they didn't publish in his honour –

Kenneth Davidson will be truly missed. Over his career he has painfully witnessed and brilliantly critiqued Mussolini's definition of fascism – the merger of state and corporate power – coming into full effect in Victoria under the Kennett, Bracks and Brumby governments. Very few journalists have so doggedly reported on the wasting away of public assets to benefit private interests at the expense of the environment, and therefore our future communities. With pop culture – endless festivals, grand prixs, touring spectacles – our attention is easily drawn away from years of democratic erosion. Thanks Kenneth for helping us remain informed and clear-eyed.

Davidson's last column on water is a cracker. He'll continue to submit articles to The Age and co-edit D!SSENT magazine.

We at the Garden of Self Defence salute you KD!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Seven days of recuperation

Seven days in Blackwood, offline, setting out a new work, dozing in front of the fire, hanging out with my grand girl, reading Val Plumwood, David Holmgren, Derrick Jensen, David Graeber, Gertrude Stein and Joseph Jenkins' Humanure Handbook; seven days of recuperation with fellow, delicious rat-bags; seven oxygenating late-afternoon walks before beer o'clock.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Processes of circularity

I'm in the early stages of writing a work on regenerating community for an RMIT conference later in the year. Here is my first thesis and a quote from Val Plumwood to give an idea where this work is heading.

Thesis One. It is not possible for communities to regenerate when their systems are based upon linear, aggregate-growth economics. Regeneration is embedded in the processes of ecological circularity – the sharing of resources.
In Western thinking, in contrast [to Aboriginal thinking], the human is set apart from nature as radically other. Religions like Christianity must then seek narrative continuity for the individual in the idea of an authentic self that belongs to an imperishable realm above the lower sphere of nature and animal life. The eternal soul is the real, enduring, and identifying part of the human self, while the body is animal and corrupting. But transcending death this way exacts a great price; it treats the earth as a lower, fallen realm, true human identity as outside nature, and it provides narrative continuity for the individual only in isolation from the cultural and ecological community and in opposition to a person's perishable body. Val Plumwood

Saturday, July 4, 2009

We are melancholic since the picture plane invention of prisons. (Graeber, McLuhan)

Play is all we have to treat our progressive pathologies. And so why do our children, who bring so much joy, also make us sad? Perhaps because they make us adults, perpetual servants to reason.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A greenhorn

to be a novice or

amateur at life ;to dip in ,to string along (
sometimes hammering but generally smoothing what soft people call '
personal truth' –

revision ;)

means we can act ,get up and at a given moment after despair
ask? before answering in a straight line

:great" even walk out if we need to some of us have had t.o

after the kill and after the feed and after the shitful shitty ol crap .ew

reclamation )again

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Nick Keys at Collective Wealth

astrid had been talking incessantly about the alpacas, but we were yet to see one. i think she has been in love with them ever since we went to an alpaca farm in tasmania, where a rotund man with a grey bushrangers-beard talked breathlessly as he showed us around, emphasising the parental advantages of alpaca cria over human babies in between an information-stream about the minutiae of alpaca farming. a wide-eyed astrid soaked up every last detail and will recall them at any given opportunity. actually, she was sweet on alpacas before that, but the visit to the farm certainly consecrated the affection. read on.

Thursday, June 25, 2009