What next?

Hi everyone,

I'm gathering all the pieces of myself back into order after the earthquake and am wondering what next? I'm aware of a growing pessimism haunting me as I consider the possibilities that might be over looked in the re-imagining of Christchurch. I want to release this by talking and learning more about transition town initatives around our planet that could inspire us, by hearing what others are thinking and feeling, and by continuing to learn more permaculture design and self reliant practicalities in my own back yard. I'd like some help with design ideas for my families new home.

Here are some of the factors that I'm considering. I 'm renting. I want a pond, I'm going to get bees, I've got some chickens, I have a glasshouse, I want grass for the kids and dog, I want to grow more food. I want to better use resources, I'm willing to do more work at the moment having a predominantly annual based vege crop because I'm unsure of the duration of our tenancy. We do have a pear tree, 3 1/2 apple trees, and raspberries. We live near railway track and a stream. There are some of the elements. I would love to have a designing blitz for my house or equally anybody elses place or for a public place. Would anyone like to get together 

Thursday 7th April 6.30 or else on Sunday 10th at 5.30pm. You would be welcome to meet here at my place. 

Look forward to hearing from you.



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  • Hey Niki, just joined and gutted I missed this :) Thought of doing the same this Saturday at mine - a potluck lunch to talk ideas and thoughts on our garden. Keen?
  • kia ora folk,

    good news, there's a meeting taking place next thursday 31st in brighton on a topic that will definitely interest you- world cafe style, questions and discussion based on transition towns... as soon as a venue has been confirmed i'll post back and you are welcome- especially so if you're from the eastern suburbs.

    it is the chance now, for the folk with the permaculture knowledge, to really share that with others and demonstrate how we can really, positively rebuild our city. grey water recycling systems, solar water pasturisation, compost toilets... 

    i'll keep you posted.



    ps, biosolids, a nice name for human manure, has a national accepted guideline for use. check out http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/hazardous/contaminated/biosolids.html 

    personally, i thought i was well prepared- i have studied and practised permaculture for years- but i wasn't prepared for the cubic metres of liquifaction that turned up in my garden, nor the sewerage mains that burst outside my home and flooded my property...

  • Please take this reply as not being "I'm alright Jack" (if that means the same in NZ as it does in the UK) sort of post.

    But the earthquake did not make us feel frightened in terms of "do we have enough to survive?"

    Yes we had damage; minor compared to many and our house is still livable in. But even if it wasnt I would not be too worried. There is a tent. After the usual stored food ran out, there would be eggs from the chickens, then we could eat the 3 geese and finally the goats. Not to mention the green veggies growing and the fruit trees. So no it was not that bad, but because I know we could happily survive a few months without shops, mains water (we don't have it), mains sewage (we don't have that either) etc.

    This is not possible for everyone, but some of it is. The point is that I fully understand why people now want this for themselves. It is a great target, just a bit sad that it took a disaster for people to go back to their roots.


    One thing that came out of the quake for us is that it sloshed the contents of the septic tank back and forwards and sloshed it back up the pipes and blocked them. We had no plans of the system and had to randomly dig and find the 4 manholes/inspection hatches and find a new use of a chimney sweeping brush to unblock the system. It really made me think there has to be a better system of waste disposal. The tank gets emptied out and disposed of offsite. Our land is exceptionally poor, surely we should made better use of it. We are allowed to use animal manure in permaculture, why not human?


    I am not an expert a permaculture, we sort of adopted it here as the only option as our land is so poor. But the only advice I can say - waste not want not. Follow that and you can't got wrong.


    What suburb is your place Niki. it might make people more or less likely to turn up.



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