Eco's Lodge

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by eco4560, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    37.5 cents a litre tax Plus 10% GST on Oz petrol helps make it (and everything else that needs transporting) dearer
     
  2. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Don't start riding a motorbike until they severely lower the speed limits, unless you want to die early or end up disabled because you have a very good chance. I"ve hardly spent any time on a motorbike but even i have been in a motorbike accident. Luckily i was only grazed.

    I don't agree with you that animals are for eating. They are for living a life just as we are cause we are not the centre of the universe. You can eat them if you want but that is not what they are for. ... Just thought i'd get on my buddhist high horse.

    That said, i'm going to have to kill a rooster soon as my sister is coming home and she would rather eat it than have it disturb her sleep. I've stopped killing the ducks.
     
  3. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Hi sunburn - that was one of the odd things that I noticed. Cambodia is deeply Buddhist - but there is no concept of vegetarianism. Every animal there IS for eating. There were no 'pets' as we know them. Dogs were guard animals, cats kept the rice store free of rodents. Every meal had some form of meat. When my mate Tania asked for vegetarian noodles or rice - she got exactly the same as me - with meat in it!

    But you are correct - the western Buddhist view has animals having a right to exist just that same as I do.
     
  4. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    That's very interesting eco. I hadn't considered that. Its probable that the ordinary cambodian doesn't know the detail of buddhism as a monk or a western buddhist would. They probably haven't taken the 5 precepts which includes no killing. Aside from that, there is perhaps an economic reason for the continued eating of meat since buddhism was introduced. But i don't know. It would be interesting to discuss this on my buddhist forum and see what they say. I think the thais who are also largely buddhist eat quite a bit of meat too. I think the reasons are the same. So when you consider these countries as buddhist, it would be intersting to know how the ordinary thai or cambodian understands their religion. I bet it has a lot to do with gods and worship and all the usual baggage of any theistic religions. I think its a shame that they never benefited from the more detailed teachings. But at hte same time, perhaps we have the same thing in christian cultures. Perhaps what the priests learn is in far great depth than what ordinary chrisitains know and learn so i wonder if there is a schism here between practice. I hadn't thought so but it could be intersting to ask someone about that too.
     
  5. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Eco are you still going to be around in January. My retreat will be over on about the 19th. which part of the sunshine coast do you live?
     
  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Yes I'll be here. Nambour is home. The main train line comes through town if you are doing it by train.
     
  7. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    That could work out well though i am bringing my bike with me. I will only take the train if its raining too much. I"m just figuring out what to do with myself during the week between the end of the retreat and the weekend. I may end up staying at Chenrezig Tibetan Centre or i might go camping in a nat park. I think nambour is not far off the track on route southwards.
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    PM me your mobile number closer to time. If I remember right the retreat is in Pomona, right? That's on the train line too, so you could pop your bike and yourself on the train. The train also goes through Eudlo, which is the closest stop to Chenrezig. There's plenty to see and do around the Coast, and lots of National Parks- either on the Coast or in the Hinterland.
     
  9. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    PDC day 1

    Yesterday was the first day of my PDC. I'm doing it with Tom Kendall at Kin Kin Souls.

    There is a very intimate group of 3 of us doing the 12 weekend course. We sat under the recycled iron roofed area beside the WWOOFers accommodation, with the rainforest just outside, birds singing, and 3 dogs under foot - while Tom did his stuff on the white board.

    The day was split up into 4 x 1.5 hour sessions - and every time we approached a break I started thinking 'but surely we've only been going for 30 mins so far!'. We covered the definition of permaculture, the ethics, and the principles from the Introduction of Permaculture book (different to David Holmgren's 12 principles). Zone and sector analysis was in there too.

    Tom's white board skills are pretty good - you can tell which ones are chooks and which ones are geese!

    Looking forward to Sunday rolling around again for the next instalment.
     
  10. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    PDC day 2

    Dog tired today! We covered the design principles from chapter 2 today, and finished early. We took a vote and decided that a walk around Tom's property was the best use of the remaining time. So we got to meet the 4 cows, 4 goats, 6 geese and too many chooks for me to count. The cows are very used to being handled and were happy to be hugged and patted. And we inspected the dam and the swales. It now makes more sense when Tom talks about putting something in the food forest, or on the top swale because I know where they are!

    It has reinforced my belief that a smaller urban block really is a great way for me to walk my permaculture journey. Looking after a property of that size is a serious time commitment. My place is too small for a milking cow or goat, but I'm flat out keeping the weeds down on a 1/3 acre block!

    Next week we are going to go a bit early so we can have a go at making an 18 day compost pile.
     
  11. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Wish i could do a 3 day course... I gave up looking for classes, as most wanted groups of people and would cancell the course if insuficiant people apply...

    Three is a great number,it more initmate and learning is much easier ,for all concered......

    Tezza
     
  12. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    your course sounds great Eco - I would love to visit Kin Kin. We do not cancel courses here anymore as they often fill in the week after you cancel. But we have had some with three or five and they have been great. It depends on who is in the group and what dynamic develops. They would be lucky to have someone like Eco to keep things bouncing. Tom would not be making anything either. Smaller courses tend to cost you money.
    I trust you will have a great time Eco and give as much as you get.
     
  13. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    We have a landscaper, a massage therapist and me. So it really is diverse even with the small numbers. I think Tom is a little intimidated by me as he keeps asking me if he has made spelling mistakes! At what he is charging he isn't making a profit out of it, but I wasn't going to tell him it was too cheap until the end of the course.....

    Walking the property was interesting at very many levels. Tom kept making the same sort of noises that I make when I'm looking at part of my garden that doesn't look like the image I have in my head of how I want it to look. But with 32 acres he made that noise a lot more often than I do! It was a good reminder that we need to know our limitations and not take on more than you can maintain.

    He is using a rectangular chicken tractor in the areas that are begin converted to food forest. It has a 9 m2 footprint. As the chooks move on each area is planted up with the "apex" species - a fruit tree - and then a really dense planting of guild plants. Much denser than I would have contemplated. He reckons there are 80 - 100 plants in the 9 m2! The one that was last planted out had a border of galangal and arrowroot, with crotolaria, pigeon pea, and some others I can't put a name too, and then was seeded with clover, lucerne and daikon. The finished ones that were a few months old were already at head height with lush growth ready for chop and drop. Just up hill from it is his final swale - that collects run off from the yard where the cows are kept over night and the chooks and the geese are close by - so it is a veritable poo soup when the water hits that swale.

    Mark, next time you come up the coast I'd love to take you out to visit. I've already told him your story about the mother with the child who thought he would be poisoned by the little berries on the tree, that turned out to be olives....
     
  14. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    I may have to stop telling lies since I do not remember the story about the olives. I would love to visit and to go to see Tom. I hope I can do it soon.
     
  15. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Hmmm maybe it wasn't you... It was very funny at the time though.
     
  16. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Day 3

    It was touch and go to see if we were having a class this week - flooding had cut the road through Pomona, but there was still a road open from closer to Gympie via Cooran. It was a bit interesting at one point over a low creek crossing - the water had stopped off the asphalt and removed it exposing bare dirt underneath. The water had dropped so it was safe to cross at low speed.

    It was patterns this week - I really like fractals and stuff but couldn't imagine how you could apply them in a design, but there were lots of Aha! moments through the day where it fell into place. The most memorable teaching point for me was that if you see the same thing in nature 3 times in a row then it is a pattern - and you should work out if it is useful in your design.

    After discussing the unlimited potential for yield last week, I made a shared lunch for the group out of a 'wasted' resource - banana flower salad! The flowers aren't really wasted at Tom's place though - they would otherwise go back into the banana circle. (This way they end up in the composting toilet, into the compost and back into the soil via a slightly longer route!) I found a Thai style recipe on the internet. It was really yummy.

    There was only light rain through the day and the sun even managed an appearance by the end of the day, so we didn't have any troubles staying dry in the teaching shed.

    We had enough time at the end of the day to watch the Introduction to Permaculture DVD. Tom is hoping to put a trip to The Channon together at the end of the PDC so we can go and see Geoff Lawton's place in person. That will be sooooo coooool (now I just have to figure out where to park my kids for the night...).
     
  17. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    PDC Day 4

    Today we covered Climate. Which was appropriate as it rained for much of the day! Talking through the different approaches to tropical, temperate and arid was really useful. It is easy to assume that the way it works here is the way it works everywhere.

    The Kin Kin markets were on, so we nipped back into town at lunchtime for a quick poke around. There's a chap who is a chemist and used to make stuff for the people who make OMO, who now makes his own 'green' cleaning products. Not everyday you get dishwasher powder that smells nice enough that you could put it in your bathtub and for only $7 (enough for 30 washes).

    Someone was selling innocent looking loofah seedlings for $2 a pop. I wanted to stick a warning label on the side - be careful - will take over!

    In the afternoon we watched the Greening the Desert video and one on the Loess Plateau in China. We were hoping the rain would stop for a while, but it didn't. To end the day we watched poor Tom make the first turn on the now 4 day old 18 day compost heap (in the pouring rain - we had umbrellas, he just got wet). The thermometer said it was a toasty 64 degrees C in the middle of the pile and it was warm enough to feel the heat coming off it standing close by. Fungal hyphae were starting to make an appearance. By the time we get to the Soils chapter it'll be well and truly ready for use.

    I'm getting used to spending every Sunday in the shed chatting with my fellow PDC'ers and Tom. It'll be a pity to have it come to an end eventually.
     
  18. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Can't wait until your unleashed on the world.
     
  19. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Week 5

    I've been unleashed for a while now.... This is just like finishing school!

    This week was trees. We looked at how trees cycle water and nutrients, and how to put together a tree guild for a food forest. To round out the day we watched Geoff Lawton's Food Forest DVD - including the extra bit about the 300 year old food forest in Vietnam - AMAZING!

    I realise now why digging a hole and whacking a fruit tree in wasn't really working for me. I have spent the past year 'retrofitting' support species around my trees. Some have responded well and are taking off, others.... well it may be too late!

    And we turned our compost pile. It didn't get turned during the week, so it isn't going to be 18 day compost, but it is coming along nicely. The thermometer said it was a pleasant 56 deg C in the centre, and it is full of white fungal hyphae and getting harder to see what is what as it all mixes together.

    It rained and rained and rained at Tom's place earlier this week, so at lunch we headed up to the dam and the top swale to see how it had performed and where the water spilled out (where it was supposed to!). The top swale still has water in it. The second last swale had a small blow out, but there was still water above this level flowing out from the soil and along the swale. We also went and had a look at where the creek has cut away the banks - except for the bit held in place by some tough looking lomandra grasses.

    The lessons learned in between the lessons are just as interesting as the ones in the lessons!

    Tom has a WWOOFer at present who was planting out vetiver along the top edge of a new swale. I just paid almost $20 for 5 slips of the stuff, and here he was up to his armpits in it! Money really is a theoretical concept....
     
  20. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Week 6

    Water - which was appropriate because it is STILL raining up here. Tom's swales are full, the paths in the kitchen garden are eroding down the hill, and the freshly planted vetiver has put up 10 cm of new growth! The water was about a foot under the bridge near Pomona on the way home - where it went under 2 weeks ago.

    We covered the Keyline concepts of deep ripping, and using interconnected dams and swales; how to prevent slumping below a swale (plant trees); how to clean water (with a nifty plan for how to make a worm powered grease trap) and so on. We caught some rain water and tested the pH - 5.5!!! It was straight from the sky not run off from the roof. I thought acid rain was only a problem in cities....

    We turned 'our' compost again - it's all brown now, no green to the grass, still warm but not as hot, and still smells good and is light and fluffy. A few fungi were fruiting out the side of it as we uncovered it (and a family of cane toads had set up residence under the tarp too...).

    We had a look at the food forest bed that was planted 2 weeks ago and everything is taking off nicely. Tom's poor WWOOFer was out working in the rain planting out a new bed as the chooks have just moved on again. Grumichama was the 'apex' plant this time.

    It's going to be sad to stop turning up every Sunday at the end of the course. I still want to move in to the bus and stay forever...
     

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