Has this year been a big one for you? It has for us. So much digging, doing, designing, moving, re-settling, replanting and re-thinking.
Thank goodness for the inaugural backyard gherkin, which appeared on our back fence trellis the other day, to calm me down.
In the spirit of building on what’s gone before, or incase you’ve only joined us here recently (hello!), here’s our past year in a nutshell…
A beautiful, hands-on, all-in day of tomatoes, squishing, bottling, boiling, waiting, playing dominoes, eating, drinking, learning and community…
This home is a tribute to early-stage urban permaculture – so many little touches that point towards living lightly in the everyday.
We kept our shiitake logs in our shade house, where we propogated our perennial seedlings and cuttings. This is the only part of our farm that gets misted with water on a daily basis – a necessary thing, in a dry climate like ours.
In a backyard shed set in a lush vegetable garden in Mudgee is Spencer Cocoa, a single origin chocolate company with the best bean-to-bar story you’re ever likely to chew on.
So we have a little bit of news. After 7 amazing years of growing, building, designing, digging, planting, watering, re-planting, driving to and from town (a lot), laying pipes, fixing pumps, teaching, harvesting, sharing and learning… we’re ready for the next phase.
More and more folk are exploring beekeeping, whether it’s for the honey harvest, the extra pollination of our food thanks to those bees working busily on all things pollen, or purely for the fascination of these brilliant insects.
All moved in to our little rental house. The pantry is full of Mudgee passata, large baskets of last seasons’ potatoes, and the remains of the garlic harvest.
Recently I was at a friend’s beautiful little off-grid house, and it was wash-up time. Time to boil the kettle, get the big bowl and stand out at the table in the evening air, watching the sun set over the valley. That’s wash up time, at Autumn Farm.
The 107 Rooftop Garden build is underway! And we’ve just finished the gabions that will form all the veggie bed surrounds, thanks to the hard and cheerful work of an awesome crew of pros and volunteers.
We did it! All of us! There’s nothing quite so awesome as when folks come together with a common goal. It’s the essence of people power.
Last Saturday, with the help of over 40 beautiful, hard working humans, we lifted 12 cubic meters of soil from the ground floor up to the 107 Rooftop Garden – with buckets, shovels, sweat and community.
One of the most delightful things that comes out of our courses is when we hear stories months, or sometimes years, later about students heading off to start their own enterprises based on what they’ve learnt.
You know it’s going to be a good day when you jump out of bed, pull on overalls and work boots, and head for the door with your big straw hat, garden gloves in your pocket.
If I’m honest, as we head towards the end of the year and the regular gift giving period…well, I start to get a little bit nervous.
Here’s a few stellar Australian farm projects we know who took Joel’s knowledge to heart, and added it to their farming futures.
Ok so 12 faves + a sneaky extra 2… like I said, it has been a HUGE year at Milkwood town.
We’d like to thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for travelling beside us on this journey.
Especially the relocation bit – we weren’t sure if everyone would throw things at us for leaving the farm, even though we knew there wasn’t really any way around that decision.
But as it turned out, all we got was support, understanding and encouragement. Apart from that one troll guy, but hey, that’s the internet for you.
So. We’re looking forward to 2015 being a big and beautiful year of city permaculture projects + learning, as well as country ones too.
We’ve got lots of plans for regular Sydney meet-ups at the 107 Rooftop Garden, plus a bunch of new course streams and teachers to introduce to you soon.
And in the meantime, we’re going to take a week to do some serious reading, cooking, hanging out, cardboard dragon making, and close inspection of small rock pools.
May the remainder of your 2014 contain good conversations, clean food, simple pleasures and plans for meaningful futures. Happy holidays from us xxx