The story so far

Tamara left Bunyip in April 2009 seeking what she needed to know for her permaculture future. She spent 9 months at her Aunt Catherine's farm in Arid South Australia, then 9 months at Bill and Lisa Mollison's farm in Tasmania. Now she's off on more adventures starting Moonrise School of Permaculture and teaching Permaculture Design Courses in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne. Ducky is there for the journey...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

PPP Blog day 2

PPP Day 2 blog

Blogging this morning begins with the yellow tail black cockatoos calling and waiting for the breakfast coffee to come out…

Day two started with Geoff, Nadia, Tim and the interns killing an 8 month old calf. I didn’t attend, I’ve seen sheep killed and I always cry. That was in 2007 in Tassie when Geoff and Nadia did a practical fortnight down at Bill and Lisa Mollison’s farm in Tassie. I felt embarrassed that I was crying, as no one else was, but geoff and bill both pulled me aside privately and told me that whenever indigenous people kill an animal they shed a tear of reverence for its life. That made me feel better.  The interns felt much the same as me – that if we eat meat we have a responsibility to know where that meat comes from and to know that it has had an ethical life and the best death we can give it. It was in stark contrast to what was exposed on the Four Corners program earlier this year – where cattle exported to Indonesia watched while the cow in front of them was slaughtered, without stunning before their throats were cut and other horrific violence. The Live Export trade ceased briefly due to the public outcry but it was resumed with new rules that are designed to supposedly protect the cattle from this. I don’t think it goes far enough and want live export banned – something I continue to work on.

Ethical treatment of animals is one of the reasons I practice and teach permaculture. A chicken deserves to be used for its natural labour – scratching, poo-ing, collecting bugs and basically doing the work of the gardener in a chicken tractor vegie bed system. Ethical eggs and potentially ethical meat is better than a short life in battery cages or a barn full of chickens with no access even to sunlight outside.

So – there are things I am against – but permaculture is about positive action – and so I act in a positive way to stop the cruelty of the factory farming of animals of unthinking consumption. 

The Hex - our classroom, made of strawbale and designed for the sub tropics!

Ok, on to the classes! Geoff took us through teaching techniques in the morning – beginning at the end of the PDC with the final night party – where students do a performance for their classmates. It is a raucous occasion, I’ve been to one and I love it. It is an emotional and transformational night but demonstrates that we can still be self sufficient in fun.

Hooray!! Coffee has just arrived!!!!! With pikelets – Yummy. Blog will be getting better directly!

Geoff has “must touch points” on each topic over a 90 minute lecture. He tells 2 stories, 2 analogies, 2 laughs and 2 almost tears moments. He also ran us through some blackboard diagram and timing techniques – and developing a repotoire of symbols for explaining concepts and designs. He reminded us of mapping and sunside depending which hemisphere we are in, and drawing contours and plans. He explained an interactive game he used to do with students using a zone map, plasticine animals and building a design.  

Then! We found out we had to do a 3 minute presentation from one of the chapters in the Designers Manual. I am pretty good at thinking on my feet but I chose a familiar topic – arid strategies - using my childhood home as an example of sites. I went ok, but I had a big pause in the middle – but picked it up again. People did much better at their presentations than yesterday, I had improved too, getting more eye contact in. In the evening we looked over the film with our classmates again. I have to say I felt very supported after what I had considered a bomb! They liked the hook of my stories but would have preferred just one topic in the 3 minutes. This morning Geoff said I was ok, but wanted me to round out the topic more – rather than being site specific. We have a 5 minute presentation today and I'm hoping to make some improvements using the comments from every one.

No comments:

Post a Comment