The Happy Robot

Our mulcher got a workout Sunday afternoon and although noisy, it’s been an important addition to our tool shed. We are simply surrounded by eucalypts and angophoras and intend on making mulch from the endless supply of leaves and twigs. We spent an hour or so shredding a massive pile of green vegetation which we’ll be using for pathways throughout the Permaculture garden.

Fresh eucalypt mulch laid near the little tumbler with 'Digger' the dog

Eucalypt leaves are very slow to break down, and mulching certainly helps the process. Over time, as the mulch is exposed to the elements and our relentless trampling, it will be suitably decomposed enough to become an important part of the composting cycle. Like all elements of our garden making our own mulch from on-site material follows one of the key Permaculture Design Principles in that it provides ‘more than one function’.

Our work was briefly interrupted by a light rain shower and the bush came alive as millions of tiny water droplets glistened in a burst of late afternoon sun. Not long after, a thin fog settled below the skyline and for a moment the valley looked like a scene from ‘Out of Africa’ – one of our all-time favourite flicks.

There was a period in my young life when I was crazy about Africa, particularly African wildlife but mainly the big cats, posters of which I had plastered all over my bedroom walls. Although I’ve never been to Africa, I have travelled to some incredible places and I am forever grateful for the wonderful life, family and opportunities that have so serendipitously come my way. And that includes meeting my wonderful husband Chris.

Chris has embraced our Permaculture project in true partnership spirit. I talk…he listens. I design…he builds. I think….he agrees. No, but really, we do work very well together and I have no doubt that we entertain Uncle Robot and others with our lively discussions along the way.

As I sit in front of the fire typing this post, he’s dozing off in what we call the ‘psychiatrists chair’. He’s just on the verge of snoring – you know that place only men seem to go – and it’s evident he’s exhausted from yet another very productive weekend.  He insists he’s thoroughly enjoying the physical challenge and even more so watching the transformation of our backyard from ‘Ordinary 2 Extraordinary’.

Luke and Roz arrived back safely from their surfing safari to Byron on Saturday. So wonderful to see them again with their tanned faces and scruffy hair and they raved about their trip with some special highlights visiting family and Roz’s close school friend Phil who is studying naturopathy at Lismore. They both love the Byron life style and can see themselves living in such a place one day.

On their return, they presented us with a tray full of wonderful plants for our Permaculture garden: some Australian Finger Limes, a Pomegranate, a couple of black passionfruit (my favourite fruit), a cassava and a beautiful Barbados Cherry.

This Australian Finger Lime should reach about 2m high in Sydney

As Permaculturalists we care for people by providing mutual support through knowledge and experience and sharing excess produce. I’d asked Luke to buy an extra finger lime which we presented to Uncle Robot on Saturday morning as a thank you for all his amazing work for without him, this project would be truly beyond our reach.

I can assure you he was a very happy robot.

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