Sunday, June 24, 2012

everthing i want to do is illegal!

ha!  got your attention!  and you probably know where the title of this post comes from ....

a man i respect and admire .... not just for his perspective on regenerative agriculture .... but because He is a Christian and gets our command in Scripture to be stewards of this planet.  Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms.  the blog title is the title of his book, "everything i want to do is illegal!" .... which outlines his struggle to do the right thing against a beaurocracy and government that is so over run by rules that it can't see straight.

which is where we find ourselves at the moment.

Scott went down to the local council office to discuss plans for our shed .... which will include a shower and composting toilet .... to allow us to get on the property and start caring for the land.  he had done all his research .... understood what we could and couldn't do and had a plan.

and they shut him down.  he was persistent and they budged a bit.  but not much!  basically, if we want to do anything sustainable we have to get a certified planner to sign off on it .... which could cost way more than we are able to manage at this point.

that was frustrating.  in talking to folks who live in neighboring councils that aren't having these problems, it is easy to say that Richmond Valley Council is just behind the times.  they aren't thinking sustainably or planning for a green future. ... it is just the same old same old.  as a friend said, we are pioneers in this neck of the woods with what we are doing.  which is great .... but it's a hassle too!

so we are biting the bullet.  more research is being done ... we will not be deterred in achieving this goal of reusing manure of all kinds and recycling the water .... these commodities are too precious to us to waste just because council is unwilling to move forward.  well .... we're gonna help them think differently.  being polite, direct and having all our i's dotted and t's crossed.  there is something to be said for a husband who has worked in the public service for over 10 years .... he knows how to work the system.

and meanwhile .... here sits clarabell (her name until our kids come up with something better!) -- our home on the land for the next year.  she'll go on the land in a week or so ... but her being camped in our side yard represents to me our battle to move forward.  i have no doubt we will get it all worked out .... we have the research and the data to back it up!

doing the right thing shouldn't be this hard ... but if our doing this makes it easier for the next person .... then huzzah!  it was worth it.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Drum Roll Please!

and here you have it .... the broad acre plan for what JustEarth will look like, from a permaculture design perspective.  we are overjoyed and inspired .... thank you Bob (the man at Terra Sancta Permaculture) for working with us and creating something that we find easy to commit ourselves to!

with this of course is an almost 100 page manual outlining the different aspects of development and lots of great ideas for trees and system management that is sub tropically based.  we'll be reading and digesting for days!  it includes everything we want .... including a bamboo encircled tropical micro climate that will provide us a great area to grow heaps of Filipino yumminess!

but it gives us a way forward and something we can work on!  

next steps are towards ground preparation and approval to move out on to the land.  the decision for us was easy ... to move on to the land in cramped quarters, but have the cash and ability to do something with it, or strap ourselves with a mortgage and house and no cash -- watching this gorgeous land and not being able to fully utilise it.  a no brainer really for us.

next week:  Scott goes to council to get in the application for a temporary dwelling.  humanure composting isn't really a problem ... grey water disposal is.  go figure!  but Scott has a plan, and we reckon it can work.

target:  living on the property in a caravan and shed/living compound.

remember:  there is joy in the journey!  <g>

Friday, June 1, 2012


thank you for taking the time to visit the chronicle that is


many of you have followed me on my Choosing Simplicity blog.  that was a bit of my personal journey towards a life that was about sustainability in every way .... from living, eating and even in relationships.  and you can still follow snippets of my personal journey there.

this web site though is dedicated to the purpose and vision of our farmstead.  what we do, where our dreams are taking us.

our successes
our failures
our challenges
our families embracing of a life that is more attached to the land

our start will be slow.  we don't even have a house to live in!

but we have a plan ... and with much thanks to our fantastic permaculture consultant, Bob, from Terra Sancta Permaculture.  and we'll be using that to create a place that is not only sustainable, but beautiful and functional as well.

i can tell you now that mandala gardens are on our horizon
that we will have a milk cow
heritage pigs and chooks are a must
aquaponics will find its way into the mix
i am expecting beautiful flowers (our daughters contribution and idea)
we will have an area that is prolific with typical foods found in the tropics
of the Philippines (to honour our kids roots)

i hope you'll visit often.  i'm not a tech head so i don't twitter (yet) ... but i can take pictures and i can write ... so i hope that you can share in our journey ... and encourage us along the way!

blessings to you and yours!

Psalm 24:1
The earth is the Lords and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.