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A selection of our writings from 2009 to the present. If you'd like to keep up to date with our latest posts, please subscribe below.

Summer solstice celebrations (with Dirty Trees and the men’s Firechoir)

The community garden beside the library in our home town has been a site of commons reclamation since a small bunch of us occupied this so-called ‘crown’ land, twelve or so years ago. This little patch of non-monetised, unenclosed, available-to-all organic food commons sits as the only ecologically complex environment in the central business district of Daylesford; a town that sells mostly unnecessary things to tourists in service to the dominant economic orthodoxy – hypertechnocivility.

Last night we gathered to celebrate the solstice, re-commoning and Djaara Mother Country at this bright moment – the longest day.

Artist as Family has been playing music with our friend Maya Green for a while now, and we put together a small set of songs to share with our fellow community gardeners at this gathering. At our first gig as Dirty Trees, we featured poems by an anonymous ancestor, William Blake and Martha Postlethwaite that we’ve set to music, sharing some of the wisdom and lyricism we’ve been holding dear this year.

In this video we play an instrumental version of Mairi’s Wedding (also known as Marie’s Wedding, the Lewis Bridal Song, or Scottish Gaelic: Màiri Bhàn AKA ‘Blond Mary’). It is a Scottish folk song originally written in Gaelic by John Roderick Bannerman (1865–1938).

We hope you enjoy this little garden-brewed moment as you slide into the summer’s downtime or into winter’s hibernation, wherever you are.

Thank you to Blackwood Ulman Jones and Anthony Petrucci for your filming craft, and thanks to you, Dear Subscriber, for staying with us in our various forms this year.

A few days earlier we celebrated solstice at David Holmgren and Su Dennett’s permaculture home, Melliodora. The mens’ Firechoir sang at this event six months after they formed, at the winter solstice. Patrick has so enjoyed facilitating this group with Anthony Petrucci as choirmaster and the men look forward to sitting in circle and singing with the women’s group, facilitated by Meg, in 2023.

Much neopeasant love for a festive and heartfelt season of joy,

Magpie, Blackwood, Blue Wren and Zero

Stories from the School of Applied Neopeasantry (podcast) with Coni, Ilenia and Carla

Please join us as we shell broad beans at the kitchen table and listen to stories about the homeplaces, wisdom and wildness of Carla Gallego, Ilenia Theuriclat and Constanza Hidalgo. Here’s the audio-only version:

 

 

These three women are the latest volunteers to visit Tree Elbow University and join our School of Applied Neopeasantry. It was a wild week of story, laughter, dancing and communing as we lived life richly together honouring earth, our food, more-than-humans and each other. Coni is hacking industrial design with permaculture, Ilenia wants to hack social work with permaculture, and Carla sees the potential of permaculture to reintroduce spirit into the arts.

This podcast series is dedicated to listening to those who have made themselves students of life, of permaculture and of neopeasantry, and are seeking their own learning pathways in diverse and dynamic ways. This podcast is slow media so feel free to create some space for the conversation. Make yourself a cuppa and catch some sunlight, or gently work through the piled up dishes while you listen. These women’s gifts, embedded in their stories, are a slow unfolding.

The week with Coni, Ilenia and Carla was magical and we hope you pick up a little of this spirit in our conversation, the spirit of which flowed into many places around home including the community garden working bee on their final day with us.

Wherever you are in your life right now we hope this hour of story calls to you. Your comments are always welcome and feel free to also tell us where you find your wild man or wild woman, and how you make room for this wildness.

Sending solstice greetings from Tree Elbow to your festive table,
Artist as Family

Permaculture & community sufficiency – regenerating ecological culture and economy

In June 2021, a small French film crew came to Australia to interview several people who are, in very diverse ways, responding to the predicaments of our age. Alongside permaculture elders and friends Su Dennett and David Holmgren, we have been featured in what is now published as a French TV series directed by Thierry Robert, starring Cyril Dion as the narrator. The series is in three parts and this short clip is an excerpt from ‘Regeneration | A New World (Part 3)‘ in which David, Su and Artist as Family speak of the cultural and economic shifts we have implemented in our lives.

When Thierry and his crew visited us to film the conversation we had with David, we recorded an audio version of it for our own purposes, which you can listen to in its entirety here. And you can watch all three parts of Thierry and Cyril’s series here: Resistance I A New World (Part 1) I ARTE.tv, Adapting I A New World (Part 2) I ARTE.tv , and Regeneration I A New World (Part 3) I ARTE.tv.

A little while ago we asked our friend, the talented Catie Payne, to illustrate a simple graphic to demonstrate our household’s transition from money to subsistence neopeasantry through applying permacultural community sufficiency principles. We gave Catie a crude sketch representing our 15-year transition of decoupling from a destructive, incarcerating and extractive economy to how we are living now, and she came up with several evocative drawings for us to use as teaching aids.

A transition from money, for us, has been a transition from debt to indebtedness, from gratuitousness to gratitude, from mistrust to ever deepening relationships with the living of the world. Yes, money has played a role in our transition, but step by little step it no longer masters over us and crushes our souls.

Barter is a crude and clumsy form of economy, not one we wish to dwell in for very long. However, it is essential for building trust on the way from money to what we call a flow of gifts economy. Trust is always conditional in order for us to arrive at unconditional love, which is the place our economy now mostly resides within – a deepening love for the living of the world.

This transition from scarcity (indulgence mind, unproductive waste, greed, hoarding and miserliness) to abundance (the continual flow of gifts and the reverence for life as sacred, suffering, dying and renewing) is what we have found after 15 years of setting out into the unknown. Knowing what we were moving away from and what we were longing for was all we needed to begin this journey towards a more beautiful world of connection, relationships and self respect.

Thank you Catie, for the gifts of these drawings, thank you David and Su for your wisdom and continuous collaboration, and thank you Thierry and Cyril and crew for the gift of sharing heterodox stories.

Where are you in your transition, Dear Reader? Are you finding it difficult to begin? Are you unable to begin because you lack support and resources? Are you already a certain way along but feel stuck or limited because you are waiting for your community or family members or neighbourhood to step onboard? Or, are you radically flying with abundance because you come from a cultural or family setting where self-respect, generosity and the flow of gifts have always been your main lifeways?

Stinging nettle for arthritis and allergies: neopeasant medicine food series

Patrick speaks to some of the virtues of Urtica dioica – the common stinging nettle – and how we use this generous and powerful medicinal plant as both food and medicine.

The more we interact with the living earth – the gifts, tonics and salves that come from intimate, walked-for and cultivated biomes, which we are participants of – the more we merge with Grandmother Gaia and Mother Country. This is the gift of true medicine.

How do you use nettle? What common complaints does nettle heal for you? What do you bring to nettle? We’d love to hear your experiences with this oldtimer medicine plant.

Paste ups for the Victorian election (the Vote 1 collection)

We’re feeling pretty despondent about the forthcoming election in the state of Victoria. None of the three major parties have admitted to the harm they helped implement on behalf of the state-pharma nexus. This is unsurprising given the Censorship and Suppression of Covid-19 Heterodoxy.

Yep, many have moved on. The pandemic is over. Except pharmacolonisation hasn’t moved anywhere, it’s digging in and further dragging public institutions and political parties down with it. No Lives Matter is the true creed of the state-pharma nexus.

But out of the despondency comes full moon creativity. Here are three posters you might like to print and paste up in your neighbourhood. While they’ve been crafted with the local state election (here) in mind, feel free to cut and paste to create your own fit-for-purpose paste ups. If you click on each image they’ll take you to a downloadable PDF.

Labor drives the pharmacolonisation program in this state,

Liberals follow along,

and The Greens believe they can grow their influence by rolling out neoliberalism in step with Labor and Liberal.

Written and authorised by Artist as Family in Djaara Mother Country.

What is your message for the politicians and party faithful in the political parties in your area? Accountability? Honesty? Transparency? Apology? What sort of things can we all be doing to ensure that the medical and political tyranny that transpired never occurs again?

Please feel free to post a link to your own creations, messages, letters to editors or pollies, paste ups or notices. As an example, this sign appeared at the entrance of a local restaurant in our town recently…

Humility is a beautiful thing.

Milk Kefir – neopeasant food-medicine in an age of post-industrial subsistence economies

Milk kefir is one of our daily medicines. It is an ancient wild fermenting practice that is able to turn milk – whatever kind of mammalian milk you have on hand – into a delicious food-drink that is rich in diverse beneficial microbes that make our guts sing. Milk kefir grains are happiest fermenting at room temperature, which makes them a perfect energy descent medicine as they don’t need heating or refrigeration.

In this video, Meg takes us through the process of how to care for your milk kefir grains. She makes a delicious milk kefir drink, and talks through some other ways we use this wild ferment in our daily lives.

When we had Covid – that (more than likely) lab engineered pathogen created by gain-of-function research scientists for the vaccine industry (as reported in 2021 by Prof Clive Hamilton and many more in the scientific community) – we took, among other things, milk kefir. It is part of the FLCCC early covid protocol. You can watch a video of us discussing what else we did here.

If you haven’t yet read Charles Eisenstein’s latest missive, Amnesty, Yes—And Here is the Price, we highly recommend it. As always your comments and questions are welcomed and appreciated.