Sustainable Living Weekend Autumn 2017

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Another Sustainable Living Weekend is behind us. As usual, we finished it exhausted, yet energised and inspired. When you get a group of people together who share similar philosophies and dreams, the result is spectacular. Energy, friendship, creativity, industriousness, curiosity, adventurous spirits, and a whole heap of fun and laughter. For those few days, we are community, and for more and more of us, this community extends beyond the boundaries of the farm and the Workshop days to become part of our lives.

Farming Activities

This was the first time that we’ve had Adon with us, and his input was tireless. He showed people how to make hot composts, even included a road kill kangaroo in the heap. He, Will and Will’s mum, Ann, marked out the swales for Donny and Queenie to plough. And that was the illustrious beginning of our water harvesting program!

We have never seen a more natural group of scythers, all beginners, but they took to scything like a duck takes to water. Finally, they have a sustainable way of mowing their lawns!

Ed teaching Miriam and Jacquie to scythe
Ed teaching Miriam and Jacquie to scythe

Dan took great pleasure in showing people our new wicking bed, and walking them around the productive vegetable gardens and orchards, showing people how much has been achieved since Adon arrived.

Craft Activities

The blacksmiths, Pete and Brett, as usual beavered away from dawn to dusk. At least they’ve learned to come out when I ring the dinner bell, which they can hear even above the hammering at the forge. For the last couple of Workshops, they have been modifying my little old forge to make it a lot more functional. They are even happy to use it now so they have one less piece of equipment to bring with them.

Roy and his green woodworking had folks fascinated. Rarely did he not have an audience. Even better, there were always people learning to make something themselves using the pole lathe and the shaving horse. And Julie went home with the nicest wooden spoon I’ve ever seen.

Marianne learning to turn wood and Roy making a tool handle
Marianne learning to turn wood and Roy making a tool handle

I took a few moments to show people the winnowing basket I’m weaving. Just as well Adon hasn’t yet planted the grain that is to grow into a crop. Gives me lots of time to slowly weave the basket.

Kitchen Activities

Adon showed people how you can forage for your lunch. What could be more sustainable than going out into your gardens and paddocks and foraging for food? For most, it was the first time they had tried Stinging Nettle Pesto. And he showed people how to make sourdough bread, first by grinding the flour. It was almost, but not quite a gluten free bread as it was made of rye, buckwheat and potato flour. I try to keep away from gluten, but it is very hard to pass up on bread that both smells and tastes delicious.

Adon showing people how to forage for their lunch
Adon showing people how to forage for their lunch

Chris showed people how to make sauerkraut and we also had large pots of sauerkraut to be able to serve it at both lunches.

Martyn had people making sausages from some free range pork we’d bought from a local farmer.

As usual I made a fresh cheese from our beautiful goats milk. Julie brought milk from her Jersey cows and Miriam took the first steps in turning it into a hard cheese, Gruyère. That won’t be ready for at least 9 months.

2 thoughts on “Sustainable Living Weekend Autumn 2017

  1. Hi there. I came to one of your Autumn workshops about 2-4 years ago. I would LOVE to come again for the September Spring one. MEGAWEEKEND is what you said to point in to the email. Looking forward to hearing back from you that there is enough room for me to attend. Kind regards Karen Steenbuck ( formerly from Broke but now briefly living in Sydney).

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