Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Permaculture Noosa

Image Source
I have never really been involved in community groups. I think it's because I have always worked full time and was a single mum juggling kids for several years. I just couldn't afford the time to devote to outside groups and, I think deep down...I'd rather be at home than socialising and getting involved with people. By the end of the day, I am so over talking and making conversation with people I don't know :)

In the past six months this has begun to change. For example, I joined a writers group and we meet once a month to share our writing projects and learn our craft from the incredibly talented Karen Foxlee. I have completed the paperwork to become a volunteer for the Army Cadets every second Sunday and am looking forward to that commencing. Just last week I discovered that Permaculture Noosa meet once a month in Cooroy, which is half an hour from home, so I decided to go to their meeting. Paul, who usually has band practice, came with me...even though the topic of the night, Insects in the Garden, was not something he was the slightest bit interested in :)

Image Source

There was quite a large turnout at the town hall in Cooroy, I would guess at approximately 50 people. I was hoping to get there for 7pm as they have a 'swap' with members bringing extra produce to trade...something I have always wanted to participate in. There were plants, seeds (locally sourced and saved by members), books, honey and preserves, available for swapping and purchase. The meeting opened with people coming forward to talk about upcoming events they were having, and one gentleman was looking for land for his cattle as they were starving due to the drought.

Image Source
We then enjoyed a series of talks for the next hour on insects in the garden, and the importance of attracting beneficial insects to maintain the eco-balance of the garden. For example, wasps may be seen as a predator but they actually control some of the pests such as grasshoppers. I learnt about creating habitats for these insects such as a pond or an 'insect hotel' to encourage insects to inhabit my garden:

Insect Hotel
I don't think I need to go this far but I can see the benefit of attracting insects such as bees to pollinate my pumpkins and squash, and beetles to prey on leaf eating bugs. I made a start by buying a packet of Good Bug Mix, recommended by the members. It is produced by Green Harvest in Maleny who have a great range of gardening produce and products.

Vegie Mama
I see that Vegie Mama (link on image caption) also mentioned this mix (via a guest post by Cooker and a Looker), so I am in good company here :)

Image Source
I also bought a copy of the Permaculture Noosa Newsletter which includes a Sunshine Coast Planting Guide for April which is very handy. There are some different ideas than those I have planned, such as planting cucumbers in the shade for the best result if planting in March, so I will tailor my Autumn Vegie Patch to include this local knowledge. Even though I am not technically on the coast, the guide does incorporate the hinterland.

Another item of great interest to me in the newsletter is an upcoming workshop by Elisabeth Felkonia from Permaculture Produce. It is in May and is called "Sourdough, Sauerkraut and Kimchi". You even learn how to make a fruit wine, so I have already registered to participate in this one :)

Image Source

So, it turns out that getting involved in some community groups is actually beneficial for me as there is so much I want to learn (and help out with), and even though I did not hang around to have supper and make conversation, I really enjoyed my evening (and the awkwardness of my husband sitting through an hour of bug talks). I look forward to seeing what they will be presenting next month...and will probably join up as a member. I am also investigating whether Gympie has a group too.

Later in the week I will share another experience I had last week that opened my mind to new possibilities.

I'd love to know if you are involved in any community groups and whether its just me that has shied away from them.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...