Today Good Life Permaculture turns one – yay! Why today? Well that was the day we officially went public, but it really started around 6 months before that, 6 months of dreaming, scheming, refining and early mornings (my preference over of late nights).
This past year has been pretty full-on actually with a lot of work involving our heads, hearts and hands. We’ve designed gardens, taught hundreds of people various skills in living sustainable and abundant lives. Poured our hearts into shaping our home and creating a meaningful livelihood. Dug so many holes, built a ridiculous amount of retaining walls and ended many a day with bodies so weary all we can manage is to lie down and not talk.
Here’s a little photo journey of the last 1.5 years of Good Life’s work at home and in our community.
The only reason we could afford to buy our place (with the bank) is because there’s no legal driveway to our place, just a 90m staircase (seriously). However we have some ace neighbours with a driveway and they let us use it to bring in the big stuff. It still means we have to double/triple handle all our materials and make crazy slippery dips like above to move materials around our property. But the job gets done, the trick it to just not think about it too much – otherwise you’ll do your head in.
September 2013, gardens in place and things growing
The back garden (from a different angle) this wintery morning (July 2014) – complete with two very neurotic and hilarious ducks
The back garden has now ‘settled’ into itself. The edible forest garden is slowly maturing, the annual vegetable crops are mostly working and the herb garden is super pretty and productive. The swale pathways are one of my favourite elements in the whole place and the chook house continues to be a work of art (and a good home to the ladies).
We’ve now just started to tackle our front garden, the excavator’s been through to shape the terraces, dig the rain tank overflow/greywater trench. The main bank’s planted with hardy natives (and covered with jute mat to help stabilise it), the rain tank pad (bottom right) is almost ready for the rain tank to arrive and geese – there’s still truckloads more work to do with fencing, planting, tree chopping and wood chipping. But we’ve started.
We’ve also painted the house, re-roofed it and installed solar panels
It’s kind of scary to realise how shabby the house looked when we got here. We prioritised painting the house pretty much straight away as the original paint was heavily contaminated with lead and was flaking off into the surrounding soil. Dealing with it straight away means we could focus on then developing productive gardens around the house without additional lead paint flaking into them.
We understand this colour scheme isn’t to everyone’s taste – but to us, it’s the most beautiful thing we’ve ever seen. The unpainted latice area is ‘soon’ to be built in for a proper workshop and spare bedroom area.
Re-roofing the house with the incredible help of Anton’s folks – one week of crazy power. Our roof had started rusting through and had been painted with lead paint so had to replace it before we could catch rain water or install solar panels.
Anton built a sweet-as top bar beehive and someone gave us a small swarm of bees – this coming season we’ll get a few more hives under way as well.
We’ve built pretty much every type of cheap and resourceful retaining wall you can imagine under the sun. This one’s an earthship wall in process which we’ve since rendered, but not quite finished.
Me on our 90m staircase (our only access to our house) digging in a new water pipe as the old pipes made the water brown and had incredibly low water pressure. We’ve dug a lots of holes this past year.
Throughout all this we’ve also been teaching permaculture skills to hundreds of folk across Tasmania to support them to live fantastic, sustainable and abundant lives. We’ve met some truly fantastic people in this time and are loving helping to foster a strong permaculture community throughout Tasmania. This has included partnering with Sustainable Living Tasmania to roll out two projects, Live and Learn (working with refugees teaching them how to grow food in a cold climate) and the Permablitz Project (transforming 5 urban gardens in productive permaculture inspired landscapes across Tassie) which we’re loving. Here’s a bit of a snapshot of it all.
The Live and Learn project working with a family from Thailand to build a small kitchen garden in their rental property.
The Live and Learn project strikes again, this time creating a possum proof garden for a Sudanese family. We had a lot of fun with this garden due to some seriously great attitude with the participants.
A recent Permablitz we ran in Glenorchy
Our first Permaculture Design Course Dec 2013 held in Penguin, NW Tasmania.
Edible forest gardening workshop participants in the South Hobart community garden
Students from a recent Introduction to Permaculture Course, building a no-dig garden at the South Hobart co-housing residence
And in other news we’re also about to start a little family – with a new person arriving into the Good Life world some time late December. So our second year is taking a turn for crazy land as we balance work, family and continuously striving for that good life.
A massive, gigantic thank you to everyone for supporting us in all types of ways – whether that’s been through helping us in our garden, reading this blog, attending our courses, providing invaluable advice, being our friends or just sending through encouraging feedback every now and then. We can’t thank you enough. You warm our hearts and keep us on our toes – two critically important things.
So how are we celebrating our first birthday? Well Anton’s in town working on energy efficiency projects with Sustainable Living Tasmania and I’m at home, digging trenches for the rain tank pipes and prepping the overflow/grey water trench. Happy birthday to us :-).
*Your blogger is Hannah Moloney, co-directer of Good Life Permaculture and lover of all things fun and garden-esk.