Thursday, November 29, 2012

When Life Agrees With You

this one is short and sweet .... just, well.  because!

we've been on JustEarth for two months now .... since the end of September i have lost 15 kilos and my blood pressure is down to 103/70.  i was shocked .... my doctor was astounded.

when asked what i've been doing i am at a loss to explain.

sure .... i'm doing a bit more (but honestly, in this heat early mornings and late arvo are about my only active times!).
i am drinking heaps more water.
our food has become very simple .... grilled meat and veg .... and yummy to boot!

and yes, i still enjoy decadent cheese and chocolate.

so not really sure what i am doing.  you can't dissect this one .... apart from saying that when you begin living life the way you were called to live it (and that is different for everyone's not about farming, it's about being true to your heart) ... some things become easy.  each day has heaps of stress believe me ... but all i want to say is that for me .... for us, our family .... living this life is making the second half of my century much healthier than the first half!


Friday, November 2, 2012

...bit of a JAM

so, i did it, i've learned how to make jam.  and oh my!  how yum!  this is my share in a batch of peachy unctuousness...  woohoo!

i hear you already saying ... well isn't that wonderful. i'm so glad for you ... i'm sure it's yummy.... but my life is just too busy for that sort of stuff.

well ... i have a few thots on that.  first is .... you are assuming my life isn't busy!&*?  truly???  and the second is the two "r's" ..... reuse and recycle.

  • REUSE.  by making your own food you are reducing your environmental footprint.  most home made jams are made out of the cast off fruit.  that which would be chucked in the garbage and the stuff that most humans look at and go "ugh -- not pretty enuf to eat."  we are using this, and making something delicious and yummy .... and trust me when i say that there were still some we didn't use .... and those went to the cows!  
  • RECYCLE.  jam jars .... huge waste and addition to our garbage!  this lets them be reused in a special way for some jammy goodness!  this one has really been hitting me now that we are on JustEarth.  we have to process all our own garbage ... and that is when you realise how much we make.  our family has been able to reduce our waste down to about one garbage bag a week.... but even that is too much in my mind.  at least jam making helps with a part of that!  <g>
and i reckon the fun of going to a farmer friend's orchard and collecting his waste (and having a mandatory cuppa and anzac) and then the next day getting your hands sticky from chopping and gas bagging with a good friend (also a farmer .... get a theme here?) .... well, that's all about community and appreciating the skills and relationships around us.  and honestly .... that makes it all worthwhile!

nectarines .... oh yum.  these were in the second batch of
jams we made.

yum.  bringing it to a slow rolling boil to get the setting
action going.

my friend jane stiring in her special jam making pot.

yummy unctuous goodness!  

Friday, October 26, 2012


yesterday was a great day

i had two dear long time friends comment on the life that we have embarked on.  one said that i seemed so happy and in my element.  the other said it certainly seemed like i found my "mojo." and you know what?  i reckon they are right.  the life we are embarking on is not for everyone (the looks we have gotten over living in caravan compound with three kids have been amusing!) .... but ... it works for us, especially when we know what waits for us at the end of the day.

now .... don't be fooled.  is life easy?

no.  certainly not.  we've had some horrific weather .... days of blustery annex shaking winds and hot days with no a/c.  getting adjusted to knew patterns and rhythms for the day.  well, they do take their toll.

but the successes far outweigh the the adjustments.  knowing that we are already transforming this place and increasing the fertility is personally satisfying.  words just don't do it justice.

developing relationships that really make a difference and living life with a real sense of community .... those are the sorts of things that make the problems and difficulties easier to handle.

and truly ... in a permaculture / creation care world, problems are not problems at all.  they are opportunities to learn, to explore what works to improve the situation using sustainable and natural resources.  in other words ... it's fun!  it's a challenge to be tackled not something to be overwhelmed by.

and in the meantime, today i will be signing up for a beekeeping course at byron bay tafe and next week i am off to pick heaps of fruit and then turn them into jams and chutney's under the tutelage of a local expert!

i love my life!

Friday, October 19, 2012

We Are HOME!

Whew!  It's done!  we are home living at JustEarth.  hard to believe .... this dream that we have had of moving towards a more sustainable life, with a bit of land and space for the kids is coming true.  how truly blessed we are!  more than i can say in words.

and yes .... i do truly feel that way.

we have had friends help us in ways that we couldn't imagine.  God's call to live in community and walk with each other and help each other has truly blessed our lives.

routines will slowly get back into place and will no doubt make a huge difference in the long run.  new bus for the kids, day light savings, you name it, everything has been turned topsy-turvy ..... so hanging on to the familiar (church, school, relationships) has helped to keep the chaos monsters under a bit of control.

so we have a humanure composting toilet .... working a treat thank you very much!
i have a washing machine that runs like a dream
we have hot and cold running water
and a shower to boot!

.... so as far as the basics go .... can't really complain.

kitchen set up is coming along .... it's all out doors, which is fine, but we need some sort of covering.

and so begins the husband and wife debate of what sort of house to build.  we have to be realistic at the end of the day ....more to come on that one!

humanure hacienda being worked on .... give it a year, and we'll have
lovely compost coming out of this!  that's our neighbors house behind us, btw!

fruits of green manure composting thank you!  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Act Your Age, Wud Ya?

been a while.  life is chaotic and i'm stressing .... so what else is new?  when will i learn to rest (the psalm's do say "be still and know that i am God."    i do know that ..... but i never live it.  me thinks that perhaps God is giving me yet another chance to be at peace in Him .... rather than knowing we are doing the right thing but stressing anyway, because it is just what i do .... 


you see of late .... i'm feeling old.  like ..... really old.

 my hay-fever is acting up like there is no tomorrow so i can't sleep at night so i am buggered most days.  so that ain't fun.  

and get this .... talk about a problem.  i have sprained my RIGHT ankle.  so rest right?  give it a few days and you'll feel better (because i need to pack boxes and they just aren't getting done!).  but in my LEFT knee i have been officially diagnosed with osteoarthritis .... which needs movement to keep it from seizing up.  yeah .... go ahead laugh ... my right ankle needs rest and my left knee needs to move .... how would YOU handle that dilemma?  well, admittedly, i'm not handling it well .... so there you go.

and on top of that i see piles growing around the house that need to be sorted and packed and too, i am leaving in two weeks to go over with our church and school to the Philippines and work at the orphanage the kids come from.  crazy woman!

and as a result i feel like this  ...

yeah, i do ... in fact i reckon she's got a heckuva lot more twinkle in her eye than i do right now.

perhaps part of it is that middle age is starting to hit me for the first time.  i don't see why i need to grow old.  i should still be young and virile .... so instead i let the inevitable middle age thing get the better of me, and i feel much older than i really need to.

see .... this is how i should feel.

i reckon there is nothing wrong with that.  talk about graceful middle age!  

i know once we are on the property and know that this is our place .... our slice of heaven things will be better.  sure there will be rough spots (good grief .... i'm living in a caravan for a year .... i'm not stupid!) ... but being on the land and living the dream that we are called to will be good for the soul.

and in the meantime?  i try to rest the ankle and move the leg any way that i can.  and ... i get a hair cut .... because let's face it .... for us girls .... a hair cut is as good as therapy any day!  

may you have a great day .... act your age .... but don't let it get the best of you.  use all that you have learned to make the rest of today a better day .... and tomorrow even better still.

.... and be at peace .... and rest (cause let's face it, when you get to the other side of 50, i'll take any excuse i can for a nana nap!)

Monday, August 13, 2012

In Which the Piano Exits Stage Left

so .... something you may not know about me.  i have a background in music.  LOVE MUSIC.

Martin Luther once said that "apart from the Word of God, nothing touches a man's heart like music."

i would agree.

so when i married my sweet husband, we didn't have a lot of money .... and to this day my desires are fairly simple.  i said that someday, when it was affordable, i wanted an engagement ring (now family ring, for obvious reasons), and a piano ... and not necessarily in that order.

well a few years ago, a part of that request was fulfilled, and we were able to obtain a piano with glorious tone at a fire sale price.  it is precious to me.  the kids love it too ....

but the practicality of having it in storage or out on the property until we build was ludicrous.  so we needed to find a home for it.  because of my love for it .... it needed to go somewhere that appreciated music and would take good care of it.

enter stage right a husband and wife team of musicians and music teachers who have not been able to afford a piano.  yep .... my baby would have a good place to be and would be appreciated at the same time.

so exit stage left my baby .... my piano.  enjoy your holiday.  i look forward to welcoming you home when our abode is built!

it was a good thing that we were busy and heading straight out to an anti-csg meeting.  i have since looked at the spot in the house where it lived and felt very unsettled .... just an indicator of the days to come i reckon!  best be flexible and role with the punches!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

mary, mary, quite contrary
how does your garden grow?
with silverbells and cockshells
and pretty maids all in a row

an old classic nursery rhyme that i found myself singing yesterday as i was wandering the beginnings of our garden and imagining what could be .... and while we may not have these beautiful cottage flowers yet, we do have the staples and backbone of a good plant infrastructure growing ....

the first potato in our straw pile peaking it's head through .....

 top down view of the pea's coming up at the base of the pea tree structure ....

Comfrey .... it's growing in several places and will be used, along with lavender
and other bushy herbs to create borders around future mandala's ....  where do you start with
expounding the value of comfrey?  with it's deep rooting systems that bring up
all those wonderful nutrients from far down in the soil ... it's truly a great
crop for any number of important sustainable systems!

<sigh>  broad beans in all their glory.  i can't sign the praises enuf of these glorious 
creatures.  i tried something that i saw on a River Cottage episode
the other night and snipped the tops out just as they were starting to bloom ....
he promised that it would dramatically increase the flowers (and as such, the beans!)
.... cam back a few days later and i was amazed at the number of flowers!
woohoo! i have at least three large patches planted!  and have been using them as
green manure as well.

my personal sense of satisfaction is huge, to say the least.  i feel like we are making small, yet significant steps towards a wonderful future .... and these early spring flourishes are fabulous at reminding us to be committed to the adventure ahead!

Monday, July 23, 2012

the way it's meant to be ....

life is a bit chaotic at home.

  • paperwork in to council ... check
  • quote requested from Pooh Solutions for composting toilet that meets council requirements .... check
  • waiting for call back from vendor regarding grey water reed bed system .... ugh
  • power paperwork in for approval .... check
  • shed's for shower/laundry/storage designed (pallets, btw!) .... check
  • maggie still seeking motivation to sort and pack ..... STILL SEEKING!!!!!
  • waiting for resolution to mobile phone dispute .... no data usage if i am not at home using our local wireless network ..... ugh
  • kids starting to feel unsettled ..... BIG CHECK!
we put our paperwork in to council over a week ago.  we were told best case scenario is that we will receive approval in two weeks .... but expect four.  this council isn't all that up to speed with composting toilets .... so we are expecting some issues .... but we did it all by the books .... which means they have no space to reject it.  but ready to fight if we need to.  interesting how we are finding folks who are interested in doing deals with us because if we get this through council, well .... it opens up a whole new set of clients for them!

and in the midst of this we are spending our evenings tooling around the industrial estates looking for pallets ... going to friends farms who have piles of corrugated iron paneling behind their  barns that we can just "take" .... scrounging whatever freebies or cheap alternatives that we can.

but, back to the present .... we are spending our weekends the way expect too for the next few months.  up bright and early with the trailer and x-trail packed to the brim with all the goodies we've sourced to take out to the property.  unpack ..... let the kids play for a while and enjoy being on the land.  we have a new rule for the kids .... they work for 15 minutes and then get to play for 30.  right now the big chore is making piles of mulch from all the grass clippings from the mowing .... we'll have mulch for a long time i reckon!

and there is always a way to play .... even in the midst of chores.  the boys helping daddy lay out the ag pipe we've collected (drip lines in our future) to see how much we have ... and of course you have to test the sound carrying capacity!

so we work hard and then we play hard and then we relax .... cause let's face it ..... and the end of every day, this is the way it's meant to be ....

Monday, July 16, 2012

farm days

i forgot my camera when we were out at the property with friends last week (add four kids to the mix!).  coulda shot myself for that.  if i had had it with me, you would've seen pictures of ....

  • a new colour of green tree frog.  this one was light green with grey and black lines around the eyes.  
  • kids in bare feet running around and having fun
  • kids raking up the grass from the mower into piles for using as mulch
  • ...and then ripping it down and forming it into forts to shoot each other from!
  • playing "red light / green light" and "what's the time mr wolf" across this vast expanse
  • exploring the dam and seeing all the cool life that surrounds a water source.
it was really a treat for me to see these kids running around and having fun.  it made my heart happy is really the only way i can say it.  it's always been about doing the best for our family ... about being a family.  so, because i forgot the camera .... here are a few other shots of times out at the farm where the kids have inspired me and us .... to keep on keeping on!

our friend Trevor with the kids ... he just delivered two large hay bales!
thank you!

the first large green tree frog .... we've seen a fair few smaller ones, but this is
the only one that has sat still long enuf for us to take a picture.

JJ and friend playing in the hay .... 'nuf said!

daddy showing Raymie how to scythe!

too cute .... farmer JJ!

every farm must have it's princess ... and we have one to fit the bill!
perched high atop her throne!

hey mum!  look at me!

planting the pea tree! (a la River Cottage!)

... yes mum .... i put in all the green manure like you asked me too!

Ninja JJ  coming up from behind the compost pile!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

be still ....

i've been emotionally preparing myself to get ramped up for our move to the property.  nervous?  of course! excited?  you bet!  but what an adventure!

so what happens?  i get sick.  and not just a cold or flue (which i have had lingering for weeks now).  i have shingles.


and all those stories you've heard about how painful they are .... they are true.  and mine is a fairly mild case from what i can tell.  i have this constant dull ache up and down my spine and to the side .... along with blisters and the occassional feeling of a knife jab into my side .... truly .... no fun.


i have to sit quietly
i have to find a position where the pain isn't so bad
i have to let others do things for me
and i can't cuddle my kids

it's breaking my heart!

but it is also making me stop and rest ... to allow God to work.  to calm my heart about all the things that need to be done.  to allow others to grow as they do things for me.  pretty humbling really.

so as i heal, i am inclined to remember and ponder on the following Scripture, remembering that it is in the quiet and rest that I find His blessed assurance  ....

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; 

    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:10-11

i kinda feel like God is forcing me to stop.  to bring me to a halt and remind me to look at all that he has done .... that He will continue to guide and lead us on this path that He has chosen for us.  and i should REST in that .... be at peace, because I know who He is and that He will provide us all we need.

oh .... and rest assured.  i might not be doing things .... but as you can tell by this photo ... i am planning and thinking and organizing .....

Thursday, June 14, 2012

niggling little thots

so we on the verge of packing boxes to go into storage .... to begin "our adventure"

i am getting heaps of comments from "you are very brave"  to, "you are crazy." (i don't think folks are trying to be mean .... i just think that people don't understand why we would do this at our age!)

not helping much with the commitment to this "adventure" ... perhaps because the doubts are already there in my head and heart.  those niggling thots are hitting me from all around.

why are you doing this?
think of the kids!
you deserve more!
you should just stay put until you can afford to build a house.
do you realise that the living conditions you are putting your kids in 
are the most difficult they have had since the orphanage?

yup ..... these are the things that are attacking my brain.  let alone the desire to have some comfort and ease .... to, well, quite frankly, have what i deserve at the age of 51!

but we have chosen a different path .... to the tune of a different drummer.  i don't expect others to understand.  but we have chosen to simplify our lives .... to appreciate the natural things in our world that God gave us.

now that's a story that goes back to Adam and Eve!  he made this world because he loves us and he wanted us to enjoy it.

THAT is what i need to keep my eye on.  the prize.  the prize of enjoying this good earth ... this amazing place and time that He has put us in.  keep my eye on the prize .... for what God has called our family, INCLUDING OUR KIDS, to live ... a sustainable life that honors Him above all else.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God
has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14

Monday, June 4, 2012

... join us on the journey ...

check it out ....

my blog will be changing it's view .... slightly.

as JustEarth takes off .... that blog will be about our work to establish the farm.

this blog will become much more personal.  my personal struggles to help our family live day-to-day in a sustainable way.

.... not the least of which will be the stresses and trials of yes .... living in caravan for over a year!  ugh.  but i'll share that personal note soon.

i am looking forward to what this blog will become .... from re-attempting sourdough .... to helping my kids with their homework and striving for balance in our lives as a family.

thanks for supporting us so far ... there is joy in the journey!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

small steps towards ....

it can all be very overwhelming you know ... buying a piece of land in order to create a sustainable life .... not just for you but your children as well ... it is a huge responsibility.

and you have to take the time to slow down and do it right .... getting it right is important at this stage.  there will be lots of experimenting down the track .... but we need to get some basics down first up.

we need trees
lots of trees
to create a food forest
to give us shelter
to feed us and give us fuel

so we are startin' small .... by getting a few pioneer plants on the property.  some to improve the soil, some to become nice big canopies for us.  just a few for the moment .... to get things going.  we have put in an avocado (great canopy trees!), an acacia, casurina and a silky oak .... all these will be great for the landscape.

but wait.  oh geez .... how do we water them???? tend them while we are waiting for them to take?  and at this time of year when we don't get much rain?

enter one very creative husband and an old garbage bin. this particular line of trees is planted on a slope on the fence line .... so we have placed the garbage bin just above them ... lid, which happens to have a small hole in it, turned up to catch any rain (wishful. thinking!) .... and the obligatory brick to weigh it down.

brilliant!  thank you sweetie!

this will allow us to continue to plant up and down that line of trees for a few months yet, and ensure that we have a source of water that we can go out to as we build up our forest.  eventually we will have a rain water tank in with a gravity fed ag line i'm fairly sure .... but in the meantime, every other day i am bringing out 5 x 3 ltr containers of water and a 10 ltr container.  watering the trees and putting the extra in the garbage bin to keep the storage growing.  it seems to be working!

the other thing we need to do is create soil.

it is at the heart of what JustEarth is all about .... acknowledging that soil .... this good earth is what will enable us to create a sustainable way of life that will go on into the future.

so we need to make compost.  it's really a family affair at this point .... and i think the kids enjoyed themselves!

we've placed a thick layer of cardboard down with a trailer load of wood chip and mulch clippings on top.  this has been watered in a bit and the next layer will be some green kitchen scraps and more grass clippings. that should do well.  i expect there will be a number of these piles appearing all over our land.

and on one final note.  we don't have a lot of money and we need to get this property under control with all the tall grass.  can't afford a machine to slash (a waste of money) .... and would hire someone to slash, but even that is a lot.  if we can get this slashed we can start creating straw .... which will create our beds later .... quick answer?  a scythe!

i reckon this is pretty ambitious.  but it also means we can do a section at a time get it under control and then move on from there.  on face value a good plan .... and good for the health too!  we will certainly keep you informed of how this one comes together!

Friday, May 11, 2012

where grow tomato's ....

i was out in our rental properties tiny little veggie patch yesterday and my heart sighed -- tomato's.  and i thot .... where there grow tomato's .... there grows hope.

now .... if you follow me at all you will know that i love all things tomato .... even have a first planting calendar here that was to give me the ability to plant a significantly longer season of tomato's .... and of course, then we moved and it all went out the window.

and here we live in the Northern Rivers now ... heading in to winter that would have to be marked as laughable compared to what we had in the Blue Mountains.  but that's ok!  no frost means a significantly longer growing season in all it's glory.

to be living in an area where you can very literally grow year round OUTSIDE ... is truly amazing.  the world of choice and options that is available for all your planting is fabulous. winter veg becomes a reality and you would be amazed at just how many different types there are!

i was at the markets the other weekend and was talking to a local grower and asked them what the growing season for tomato's was like and they said that in all truth, if you were willing to put up with slow growth in July/August, and potentially cover for a few nights of cold that you could easily grow tomato's all year.  wow .... tomato's as a legitimate crop all year.

who woulda thunk it!

so that has me happy as a pig in mud!  thinking about trying a few new varieties after looking through the Eden Seeds Catalogue that i have.  i already have a a few dozen ready to be planted out.

so i am dreaming of mandala gardens full of tomato's and basil and of a spring passatta making party that will bring friends and neighbors together .... because you see, even in our little rental property veg patch .... we have tomato's growing ...

and where there grow tomato's .... 
there grows hope .... 
and the promise of more scrumptious varieties of harvest yet to come!

Monday, May 7, 2012


International Permaculture Day was celebrated on the 6th of May.  we did what all good permies do who live in this neck of the woods -- travel to Zaytuna Farm, home of Geoff Lawton .... one of the international godfather's of Permaculture to get a farm tour from the man himself.

we got an insiders perspective on the how's and why's and wherefore's for permaculture at Zaytuna.  Seeing the progress of food forests .... 10 years old and 10 weeks old.  a kitchen garden that had our children (and numerous other kidlets that were there) playing their hearts out.  bamboo .... oh my .... again reminded of the uses and benefits!  rabbits ... we'll have to get over the cuteness factor because they are a great and prolific source of protein.  ducks, chooks, goats .... and dairy and meat cows.  and of course the all important aquaponics and soldier fly larvae collecting!  it really was great to see it all in action .... knowing it is achievable and do-able if we apply ourselves.

memorable quote of the day, "we're aren't food farmers, we're soil farmers ... it's about getting the soil healthy ... we are here to tend that."

a picture is worth a thousand words .....

... the beginnings of a food forest

an old trailer converted to a mobile chicken coop.  solar
power is used for the netted fencing so that these
birds can be moved around the property and do
their bit to help with soil fertility.

the kitchen garden.  i was in love .... instantly!

here Geoff is expounding on the value
of bamboo .... did you know it is
a grass/weed inhibitor?
"the man" sharing about the rabbits over ducks and
the chicken enclosure

more discussion on swales, water management
and this amazing creation

tomato's as a ground cover and weed inhibitor
an accident brought on by chicken tractoring
and throwing them tomato scraps ... fabulous!

i never tire of the amazing world of bamboo!

the kids running and playing through the
kitchen garden

jj showing off the size of the rabbit tractor.  these
little guys do an amazing job of fertilizing
and  mowing!  they also love to eat the weeds
that are some of the most noxious and hard
to get rid of!
deep in it .... a swale that is! retaining
water and feeding the soil.
the view at Zaytuna .... glorious!

permaculture is ...

people care
earth care
fair share

Thursday, May 3, 2012

ahhhh .... compost

i am utterly convinced that making compost is good for the soul.

ha!  you don't believe me.  composting is about building up soil, replenishing and returning fabulous nutrients to the soil and using them time and time again.  and well, all i can say is that i am one happy camper as i return to compost making!

when we lived in the grand suburbia of the blue mountains west of Sydney we have a great little composting system ... using all our brown waste and splitting our food scraps between the chooks and the compost.  our garbage / waste collection each week was minimal and we truly knew that we were starting to close the loop and making much more of what we did sustainable.

we started really well when we moved bush.  trying to lay down some brown waste in plant beds and put food scraps on that and then covering with straw and planting in that.... knowing that it would all break down and make a great space for growing things.  and we've had some success with that.

but we live in a rental, and honestly, it's hard to get motivated to care for and build up soil in a place that you know you are gonna leave.  and we went off composting.  putting our food scraps and brown waste in the garbage bins .... and it felt ......


so now that JustEarth is starting to become a reality, we know that there is a lot to be done to build up the soil. the motivation has returned and we have come back to our roots.

building earth for JustEarth.

so it is with great delight that we have returned to composting .... with a new little u-beaut system.  we had to take certain things into consideration .... keeping the size of containers small so that kids can handle them as well as the stability of these containers because in the short term, we will be transporting waste from our rental out to the property (about 10 minutes out of town) is really paramount.

so i found these great food grade buckets .... woohoo!  composting has returned to the Walters household!  these are great!  and as you can see we have one that is the plastics bucket .... these go into the recycle bin. a second is paper waste .... which will get mixed with leaf litter, and the third is our food.  the blue lid is fabulous .... goes on nice and snug and comes off smoothly.

this waste will be used as part of our no back ache ruth stout system of growing (see this great article for more information.)  post on this will be forthcomng ....

and .... it feels so right to be doing this.... like i said .... good for the soul.  i know i am doing the right thing by the land, by our family .... and for JustEarth.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Word on the CSG Debate

ok .... this isn't a long post .... but a direct post.  and it's about


we have been really amazed at the passion of the community stance in the Northern Rivers against CSG .... and that is fabulous.  personally, it is a non-renewable, eco-damaging, money grab by the big business who are pushing the government into doing what they want.

but let's step back ... take that out of it.  take the environment out of the argument completely.  there are those that come down on both sides of that debate.  lets talk about value to the local community.  here is the crux of it then.

any gas that is pulled up from the ground

it is be sent via pipeline
out of NSW
up the QLD coast
to be

how in the world can the Planning Minister have any credibility when he stands up at the Casino RSM and says that we are running out of energy sources and we need to frac.  good grief!  he knows the gas isn't even staying here ..... THE GOVERNMENT IS LYING!  

what is the benefit?  short term i imagine that you would see some additional jobs.  but guess what?  the energy source isn't sustainable and those jobs will die off.  

our Creator God gave it to us
(which means perpetual, never ending, etc. get the point?)
lets invest in research for cost effective systems that families
can buy off the shelf (not govt rebates, thank you!)
to harness that power source!

oh .... but i forgot .... Metgasco and the others
don't want that .... it would mean their profits would go
down and shareholders wouldn't be happy.

so take the environmental debate out of it if you like, so as not to muddy the water.  CSG is not good for anyone in the Northern Rivers.  it isn't renewable and it won't be available for us to use.

the community doesn't want it.  business are rallying against it.  families are concerned about the health impact.  and yet, the government continues down this rabbit hole, with no regard to what the people want.  here is a link for you to read about the meeting with the Planning Minister at the Casino RSM this past week.

Me on the other hand .... i love the following You Tube Video

so as for us .... in a few weeks when we officially own our land we will put up our Lock the Gate sign and we'll be getting to know our neighbors.  it's not a long street, but i reckon we could all come together in a sense of community and purpose to stand up against CSG.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Our Father's World .... Easter Reflections

for me, easter is a time to reflect on the amazing gift that God has given us in His son.  it is this world that He has entrusted to us ... to be wise stewards of.  in my readings i came across the following post about easter .... and truly ... it puts it all in a nutshell for me.  for those who are believers or not .... to understand the call that our family has responded to in Creation Care.

this comes from Ed Brown's blog, Our Father's World .... i take no credit for it, only share what he articulates so very well.  blessings to you this easter time.


Happy Easter!  This is a wonderful weekend of celebration for the entire Christian church.  We’re celebrating the heart of our faith, and reminding ourselves that this “religion” stands on a verifiable historical reality:  Jesus rose from the dead!  But Easter has particular meaning for those of us who are engaged in the ministry of caring for God’s creation.  Here’s why.

It is more than 10 years since I had a memorable conversation while on a business trip to Whidbey Island, near Seattle.  Being there over a weekend, I was visiting a local church for morning worship.  I found myself being greeted by a friendly guy just inside the door.  We got past the “I’m so and so…” and “isn’t this weather great?” and landed on “So, what brings you to our area?”

That is when it got interesting.

“I work for a Christian environmental organization…” I said.  There was a long pause.  “Oh.  …  I didn’t know there was such a thing.”  I can’t remember how the conversation went from there – what stuck in my mind was his reaction to my job and ministry.

I’ve had hundreds of such conversations since then.  The shock-value of such an announcement is pretty much gone:  The idea that evangelical Christians can be active in environmental stewardship (that’s what we called it then) or creation care is now well known if not always widely accepted.  But the remaining question hangs over every such conversation:  “Is ‘environment’ really a legitimate avenue for Christian ministry?”

This weekend – arguably the most important in the Christian year – is an appropriate time to revisit this question:  Why do we do what we do?

And part of the answer is… Easter.

The other key events in the Church year and Christian history are also important to our motivation.  Advent and Christmas celebrate the Incarnation: God entered this creation and became one of us, showing in that act that the physical creation is important and should be cared for.  I gave an entire chapter to this in Our Father’s World.

Good Friday marks a critical, central event in redemptive history:  The God-who-is-one-of-us allowing himself to be executed in love, for our sins, and so removing those sins and their effects.  If Christmas shows the value of caring for and even redeeming creation, Good Friday shows how salvation became available for us, and through us, for the rest of creation.  (See Colossians 1:19-20 and Romans 8:19-23)

Easter is as important, perhaps more so.  Why? Isn’t Easter just a follow-on to Good Friday?  Sort of a visible proof that Good Friday was more than just one more person falling to the Roman sword? It is that – but it is also far more:  Easter is the celebration of Christ’s victory over sin and death, but what is amazingly significant is that by means of a visible, verifiable historical resurrection event, God’s ultimate spiritual victory is brought into our present, physical reality.  Jesus did not die and ascend directly to heaven, departing this physical realm for an unseen spiritual existence:  He died, was buried – and then rose from the dead in this physical world: Real life demonstrated in real time!

A couple of things follow from this:  First, Easter as an historical fact stands as the cornerstone of Christianity.  Remember Paul?  “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (I Cor 15:17)  Our faith stands on a verifiable hypothesis:  Jesus rose from the dead, or he did not.  If he did not, the entire edifice crumbles to nothing. But if he did…

Second, Easter is our motivation for living our faith out now, including our care for God’s creation now:  The resurrection is future salvation breaking into this historical present.  As Bishop N.T. Wright notes:

With the resurrection, a new creation has dawned, and in that new creation new possibilities are open before us. The resurrection is not the end of the story; it’s the beginning of the new one, precisely because Jesus is the first-fruits and the full harvest is yet to come.  NT Wright Feb 2012

Why do we do what we do at Care of Creation?  Because Jesus came (Christmas!) and by his very presence hallowed all of this physical creation; because Jesus died (Good Friday!) and in that great and ultimate sacrifice paid the price to remove and correct the stain of our sin that pervades not only every human soul but every corner of God’s beautiful creation; and because we know from the historical fact of Jesus resurrection (Easter!) that the work that we do now to heal this creation “is not in vain”:

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (I Corinthians 15:58)

Thank you for your partnership with us in this great work!


i commend his blog to you ... it is a worthy read.  Our Father's World.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

it's all about .... them

life has been really busy lately.  consumed with kiddo's.  bustin' with bus-i-ness.  so no time to write ... and honestly, just waiting .... in a holding pattern until this land settles.

waiting ..... it ends up leading to reflection.  reflecting on what JustEarth is going to be all about.

reflection on why we have chosen a sustainable life.  sure .... it's creation care, wise stewardship and following our Creator God.  and it's about instilling those values in these kiddo's.

it does the heart good to reflect on that.  makes the wait worthwhile .... and makes these moments joyful as we anticipate what the future holds.