Permaculture in Action

Monday, May 12, 2014

Weekend Wrapup

We had a very busy weekend starting with a couple of workshops for Newcastle Council. we have run the worm farm and composting workshops for the council for the past couple of years. the council is keen to promote the advantages of waste reduction to their residents as a means of prolonging their landfill centres. Each participating resident receives the workshop free of charge as well as either a worm farm or compost barrel.

Mark started the day off with worm farming. He set up one of the worm farms showing how some packaging can be incorporated into the worm farm, with soft plastics taken to Coles, where they are recycled into out door furniture.

Over 70 people turned up for the mornings workshops, where Mark crammed a day and a halfs information into 2 hours. With such enthusiasm from the crowd asking wonderful questions, it was hard to keep a train of thought.

Not to self-- take composting worms to sell at the next worm farming workshop.

 Mark used this small box, as displayed at Newcastle Show earlier in the year, for a demonstration of compost making. It has a perspex front so that the layers of the compost heap is clearly visible.
Mark uses ADAM and EVE  as key words for the composting process.

Aliveness - micro organisms
Diversity - ingredients
Aeration - air for the micro organisms
Moisture - also for the micro organisms

Environment - aspect
Vitality - BD preps
Equilibrium - carbon to nitrogen ratio

Then a mad dash to a nearby school that has a Stephanie Alexander garden and kitchen. Wow I was really impressed.

here we greeted 45 participants for our next workshop on Gardening in small spaces. We chose to concentrate on container gardening. Once again a lot of information condensed into a few hours. And once again a really enthusiastic crowd.

I was chief photographer for the day and I'm sorry to say I failed miserably, but the display looked amazing, truly it did! We had strawberries in a piece of guttering, along with alyssium and yarrow as companion plants which could be attached to a railing or fence..

Here it is attached to the back of a pallet garden, similar to the one I wrote about in my last post.
We constructed a wicking bed in a broccoli box and no-dig in another. And to give them extra motivation a very quick course in propagation. I had some seeds available to buy which was good because I think they left with their heads spinning but pumped ready to get started.

Sunday we were at the first of the Courtyard Markets at our local shopping centre.

The markets are the initiative of a young mum who has a dream of invigorating the local community. I applaud her determination and will support the markets as often as I can.

There's that pallet again! I used it to display the plants I had for sale.

A councilor was invited to open the markets and I was able to spend a little time with him, suggesting that maybe our very own council might like to run some workshops just like Newcastle.  I thought he might like to know about what we do, and that maybe council might like to support some of our community activities. He sounded positive.

I celebrated Mother's Day later that evening with two of my girls and their families and Mark's daughter and her sons. Mark had managed to make us a beautiful curry. Don't know how he did it really. We were flat out. Hope all you mums out there had a lovely Mother's Day!


  1. Happy mother's day Kate. I have been wanting to comment on lots of posts just lately but the farm has been very busy. I just love your pallet idea- I think it is awesome.
    Markets are fun aren't they - I just love the idea that the people who go to your stall will feel inspired to do something wonderful in their garden.

  2. Oh my you are such an inspiration! I would love to go to one of your talks. Your display at the markets looks great, and you certainly had a very busy day.