Monday, October 10, 2011

a moment's pause in the mayhem

i wanted to take a few moments to write about this great little place in the Hunter Valley that we took respite in on our trip to the Northern Rivers.  i can't speak highly enough of Kate and Mark at Purple Pear Organics.  if i don't write about it now ... it will get lost in the madness of settling in casino.

if you follow my blog at all, you know that i am avid fans of the guys at Milkwood.  but i think seeing what Kate and Mark do at Purple Pear really showed me the true beauty of what permaculture is.  it is a methodology that works  in whatever place you are ... doing the best in the circumstances we find ourselves.

where as Kirsten and Nick are on this apparent barren land in the middle of sheep country out the back of mudgee doing regenerative ag and pasture cropping (whoohoo!) .... Kate and Mark are literally on the edge of suburbia.  they are on the grid and have chosen to be so .... to ensure that they stay in the middle of what is going on and are tied to it.  i have a heap of respect for that way of thinking!  i learned about transition towns from them and something called LETS (i can't remember what it stands for .... but it's a way to barter your offerings and skills -- kate, if you read this can you write a comment and remind us all of what it is please!).  the networking that happens amongst organic farmers and growing enthusiasts is pretty amazing

and in the midst of an absolutely yummy homemade vegetarian pasta dinner ... here i am ruminating over my inability to do anything until i've completed a PDC (permaculture design certificate) and understand contour and keyline better.  and mark, bless his heart, says .... trust yourself.  yeah, a PDC is great to get and important to do .... but you don't need that to do the right thing by the land and to get started.  trust your gut .... look inside and you've already got the knowledge you need inside of you.  thank you mark.  taken to heart!

i suppose what i would really like to say after all that is that we should take the time to learn from those who have gone before us.  i want to visit as many different properties as i can to see how folks are doing it differently (haven't even touched the mandalah concept that PP does!).  we can learn so much from how others are doing it who are already on the land and applying a variety of different concepts methodologies to what we are trying to do.

Relevant Links

Purple Pear Organics -- the official web site
Purple Pear Organics Blog -- kate's blog on the day to day happenings at the farm


  1. I agree - Kate is wonderful! She often posts lovely and insightful comments on my blog.

    I hope you are settling in well.


  2. Thanks Maggie for that wonderful endorsement. We loved meeting you and your husband and beautiful children. We hope that all is going well for you and that your settling in well in your community.LETS stands for Local Energy Trading System.I would imagine you would find one up there where you are or at least at Lismore.
    All the best, Kate