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Utopian glimpses, dystopian blitzes

Some months ago we contacted the Moss Vale Community Garden to request a visit having heard from a friend it is well worth investigating. We spoke to Jill Cockram, the facilitator, who invited us to meet up when we came to town.

Jill gave us a tour of this wonderful garden based on permaculture principles and social-ecology,

she told us even daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva) are edible, all parts,

and pointed out hundreds of other edible roots, bulbs, fruits, herbs, leaf veggies and nuts, such as these hazels coming into fruit.

We picked and dug and munched and shared our knowledges,

before Jill put together an enormous bag of goodies for us to take. Thanks Jill and thanks MVCG!

Moss Vale has been good to us. We’ve caught up with family and old friends, we chatted on local radio and problem solved our bike situation…

We decided to take the bikes to Sydney by bus as we felt it was too dangerous to ride into the city. We wanted to have the electrics looked at to see whether they could be repaired. We also had a number of other things to do, such as visit our old friend the Surry Hills Food Forest.

In just three and a half years since we planted out this flat church lawn, incredible things have happened involving free access to the sun, rain and soil; tended by a loving community.

While in Sydney we also stopped in at the Art Gallery of NSW to witness our small part in the earth-sensible show The Yeomans Project, which was produced by artists Ian Millis and Lucas Ihlein.

We visited a small group of gentle folk held in limbo by Dickensian ASIO bureaucracy at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.

We staged our own feed-in outside a restaurant where a few days earlier a mother had been asked to finish breastfeeding her child in the toilets as she was offending customers (our intention was to feed inside but it was closed when we arrived). We took this photo as part of an online campaign.

And, as a novel tourist caper, we rode across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to family digs in the northern burbs.

Near Artarmon we found naturalised bananas growing in a public reserve,

and in Willoughby we killed two unwanted backyard roosters,

which we roasted gratefully, stuffed with homegrown lemons.

We have had a full plate of a time in Sydney, and we are looking forward to returning to the bush where we will have more opportunities to forage, hunt and glean, pedal and camp in air that is clean and practice, once again, a logic that is lean.

4 comments

  1. Mika says:

    You guys Rock! Seriously – not sure what else to say….'cept you are beautifully, gently, and powerfully inspiring! I am so enjoying moving with you on this journey of yours – and especially loving reading about the very generous people you are meeting along the way – so many of them out there it seems. Which is so heartening, and something of a relief…..
    Wishing you a superb 2014.
    Much Love
    Mika

  2. Hey guys,

    Great job making it to Sydney – you look very healthy too. Avoiding the outer suburbs was probably a good decision – when I tried to cycle into Sydney from Campbelltown in 2012 I was nearly killed. But there are decent bike lanes if you know where to look. Pick up a Cycleways map and follow the FB site I Love Sydney Bike Lanes: https://www.facebook.com/ILoveSydneyBikeLanes

    We killed and ate our own chook for Christmas. It was the first time I had killed an animal with my hands (well, a knife) and it was actually quite emotionally difficult to strike the blow.

    Keep up the great work. You are an inspiration to all of us.

    Love from Murundaka co-housing community (our new home),
    Greg & Soph

  3. Hi Mika, thank you so much for your encouragement and loving words. They mean a lot to us. We're so excited to be heading off today, towards the Blue Mountains. We hope you guys are having an excellent 2014 thus far too. Much love, AaF. xx

  4. Hi you guys and thanks so much for your continued support of our family's endeavours. We rode on many of Sydney's Cycleways while in the city, which were great.

    Wow, that's huge news about you killing your own chook for Christmas. We really enjoyed the parts of Greg's book where he explores his vegetarianism and then eats the roadkill. And now a cooked chook.

    Meg did a Kill and Dress Small Livestock course to feel confident about taking an animal's life, after being a vego for 20 years.

    We are off in the direction of the Blue Mountains today. Be good to get out of the city and into them hills again.

    Much love to you guys in Murundaka.

    AaF xxxxx

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