Functional analyses

posted 8 Mar 2018, 02:57 by D Graves   [ updated 8 Mar 2018, 02:58 ]

Evita is teaching quite a few days of a PDC while in Taiwan. A PDC with 27 or 29 students or something, so under pressure to perform!!  Anyhow, she said the first time was a bit nerve racking, but otherwise it sounds like she has settled into it well. She is aiming, with my encouragement, not to just talk to the students each session and instead make it as interactive as possible. This gives more students the chance to learn (not everyone learns by sitting and listening!) and also for students to share what they know and learn from each other.

I have been helping Evita when I can, both before she left, and between the teaching days (3 day weekends). We have both searched the internet for function analysis of an element examples and found very few. The purpose of teaching this is that any element in a design (eg greenhouse, swale, donkey, tank) has needs, behaviours and products, and intrinsic characters. The design needs to try and match the placement of elements so that their needs are met by other elements' products so that there are mutually beneficial interconnections happening all over the place!

Here is one internet example I found for a lotus pond on one of my favourite PDC websites:, but nothing else besides the ubiquitous chicken from Mollison's manual. Evita wanted some 'answers' for a selection of animals, so I thought I would share them here too:
Function analysis of a goat

Function analysis of a rabbit

Function analysis of a pig

Function analysis of a duck

Function analysis of geese

Terrace progress

posted 19 Feb 2018, 19:24 by D Graves   [ updated 19 Feb 2018, 19:26 ]

Great to have Jade and Cherie come and help and learn for 2 weeks. They left on their van travels yesterday. We got stuck into work on one of the terraces, trying to do 2 or 3 hours a day and then doing other tasks for variety and less physical exertion in the heat. It was slow going but we got out some pretty large rocks. Some had to stay in a few places, but the plant roots will grow around and between them hopefully. Other tasks; a little irrigation install, planting out plants, tidying up the carport, verandah, and old chicken house (Jade made quite a few useful shelves), de-shelling bunya nuts, preserving tomatoes, cooking fat, and installing a sleeping platform and storage in an old van:

January progress

posted 31 Jan 2018, 21:24 by D Graves

1st of Feb and didn't manage a post in Jan, so here is what we were up to:

Dec 2017 video update

posted 22 Dec 2017, 15:24 by D Graves   [ updated 22 Dec 2017, 15:24 ]

Our Summer solstice quarterly video update - apologies for the length:

November cruised by

posted 3 Dec 2017, 03:55 by D Graves   [ updated 3 Dec 2017, 04:01 ]

Well, it's December already and nearly 6 weeks since the last post. We had Lou a French helper for 4 weeks, a week break, and then another French couple help for 10 days. Decided on a slideshow of photos to show some of what we have been doing:

SPG - Intro to Permaculture Talk +

posted 22 Oct 2017, 04:31 by D Graves   [ updated 22 Oct 2017, 04:32 ]

Decided to give the Talk again and happy to have 11 attendees come along to learn about the basics of Permaculture Design:

At the homestead we have been taking advantage of all the wetness and sheet mulching the rows in the new food forest:
sheet mulching in food forest

Everything is looking very green and lush:
lush homestead

Jag visits the dragon:
jag and dragon

SPG - Repair Cafe No. 3

posted 7 Oct 2017, 03:48 by D Graves   [ updated 7 Oct 2017, 03:54 ]

After more lovely rain recently; 40mm in Oct so far, we were excited to quickly visit Gardenfest to buy some plants before getting to the Repair Cafe.

It was great to have 4 general repairs; Chris, Dylan, Gary (+ helper), and Steve and 2 sewers; Patty and Gabby. Many items of clothing were repaired, 2 vacuum cleaners, a bedside table, an electric drill, and even a smoking pipe (which we advised to add some beeswax to help seal where the 2 parts join) was brought along. Overall, an interesting and satisfying morning. Thanks to Feast & Farmin' for hosting us and to the new Saturday Music organised by Feraliza.

sewers repairing clothes

repairing vacuum


posted 2 Oct 2017, 04:49 by D Graves   [ updated 2 Oct 2017, 04:52 ]

The rain has come yesterday and broken our dry spell of just 68mm in 5 months. After 15mm of rain, Evita wanted to get out today and loosen up some beds to allow even more water to infiltrate tonight and tomorrow, so here she is using the broadfork for the first time:

We had some helpers for 5 days last week. Of course they got to dig up more rocks in the new Food Forest, dig out some of the chicken house, go and collect cow and sheep manure, use the chipper to mulch branches and breakup manures, process dried herbs, bottle olives, dig out a bit of the duck pond, net fruit trees, and a few other useful tasks. They learnt a lot I think:

Spring equinox

posted 23 Sep 2017, 05:31 by D Graves   [ updated 23 Sep 2017, 05:32 ]

Another quarter has gone by - here is a video of the new food forest we are working on and an update on a few other things:

SPG - Chainsaw Maintenance Workshop

posted 9 Sep 2017, 04:55 by D Graves   [ updated 9 Sep 2017, 04:56 ]

Evita and I went to the Monster Market (supporting the Wildlife Carers Group) in the morning to set up another Permaculture Group stall to promote the group. We sold some kombucha mothers this time and the small amount of duck eggs we took. Bought a couple of nicely grown apricot seedlings as well as some more acacias for the new Food Forest.

Dylan left half way through the market to meet Howard who had volunteered to share his knowledge about chainsaw maintenance in a short workshop. Learnt a few more tips and serviced a couple of chainsaws, as did the other 2 attendees. Much appreciated! Lesson of the Day - well maintained machines last a lot longer, use less fuel, and are safer!

chainsaw maintenance workshop

Evita had a gift to bring home from a good friend:
Evita and the new dragon

This Malakin Fae creation now sits on and protects the 'obby 'ole:

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