Last week a strong, swirling local wind destroyed the main Peace Valley camp area. Unbelievably little real damage was done apart from some bent poles. So this has been taken as an opportunity to rebuild better, more beautiful and in a more robust fashion. The deconstruction and clean up following the storm is now mostly complete and the new is starting to grow. Similarly Peace Valley itself is currently being redefined as four new people come onboard to bring their passion and talents to the project.
Chantal and I took a weekend away from the bush, we enjoyed 5 Rhythms dance and visited the Farmers Market at Mullumbimby, also Blue Knob Market, the sea at Brunswick Heads, the Weave and Mend Festival at Nimbin and then finished with a look around the Lismore Car Boot Market before heading back to Peace Valley. It was a colourful weekend with inputs for all senses!
Over the weekend of September 7th to 9th the first ever dedicated TreeSisters in person gathering was held at Peace Valley. It was a weekend of magic and wonder as over 20 TreeSisters enjoyed building deep friendship and weaving connection both literally and metaphorically during a workshop held by Nina. We also dived deep into grief and other often unexpressed emotion around our lives and the current state of the planet, we planted trees, sang and drummed together, ate wonderful food, shared deeply and laughed a lot.
This week a series of workshops are being held to educate about the techniques of indigenous land management using fire as the tool. I was able to attend one of these at the property of Ivan Davison at the top end of the gorge towards the Head. It was a great day with a group of people as diverse as government environment officers, indigenous ranger groups from the local Githabul and also from the Bunya mountains, a senior fire officer and his wife, local landowners and other interested parties. All were there to learn.
We did it, a forest garden is in the ground, growing for future generations! It was a great event, lots of laughter and time to just be together. When we got down to the work of planting though it went so smoothly and easily it was amazing. It's stage one of the planting and mostly there are big rainforest trees in place, e.g. figs, lilly pillys etc with space for mid and lower story plantings later. We planted in a spiral and on the outside of this put in a circle of common acacia as a protective ring.
This month we replanted a small area of rainforest after some Lantana had been removed. It was a purposefully intensive planting to mimic what would be likely to happen naturally. As always Bushcare events are very sociable, include a little enjoyable work and finish with the knowledge that we've done something worthwhile! It's fun to spend time with fellow tree huggers!
This week I visited and joined the Bulk Buyers at Turnstyle Community Hub in Brisbane. How cool to meet so many motivated people doing their bit for the environment. They engage local organic farmers and suppliers and meet every Wednesday to share out the food. It's totally volunteer run and non profit.
Thanks to the Parson's at Maryvale for putting on another Bunya Festival. I was able to attend for the entire event. Over the weekend I learnt about some bush tucker, gained a preliminary knowledge of use of fire for land management, met some wonderful people and had the pleasure and honour of being able to attend a forum discussion held by indigenous elders. To experience their deep respect for each other, the earth and all life and hear their heartfelt wish towards a healthy Australia for all it's peoples was humbling.
After several attempts, I'm finally living in the Yurt. The first stage was to create a flat surface which involved tree stumps, pallets and ply, the erecting the frame and putting up the tarp cover. It transpired the floor I'd constructed was slightly too large and the canvas not quite large enough. So back to getting a couple of adjustments and extras sewn to overcome the issue and hey presto, a new home is born! There is something special in a circular living space, it's very nurturing and relaxing: maybe it's just not 'edgy'!