Friday, April 4, 2008

Permaculture Goes (More) Mainstream

As usual, we went to the Sydney Royal Easter Show as a family last weekend, which meant no gardening that day. As always, we were keen to see the District Exhibits: large artistic arrangements of the produce of a particular District into a scene, often topical.

The times are a-changin' -- one of the District Exhibits was promoting... permaculture! There was a food forest and a mandala for all to see, and the words "PERMAnent agriCULTURE" in natural coloured wools on the back-drop. The surface of the permie duck-pond was of wool, and the mandala paths were of wheat. When I commented to one of the attendants, she said that there was a big movement in that direction. She was from the Young area, centre of the cherry industry, so I suppose she knows what she's talking about. Fascinating! I wish I could find a photo, of it to show you.

Oh, and The Sprig got to milk a cow! He was thrilled. The Twig found the cows intimidating, but they both loved the Farmyard Nursery, which has benefited from some lateral thinking. No longer do we have to queue up with our increasingly-antsy kiddies to pat the lambs in a confined area -- they are letting the lambs roam over the whole floor, so the children can walk straight in and touch them. Congratulations to the Royal Agricultural Society on this advancement. It's a far cry from the heaving mass of children I remember from my own childhood.

Congratulations to the RAS, too, on dropping the silly 'Great Australian Muster' slogan. We all know what mustering is, and it doesn't happen at the Show!

1 comment:

ourfriendben said...

Great news!!! And of course, the animals are always the best part. Looking forward to our own fairs (in Pennsylvania, USA) this summer! It would be great to see some permaculture awareness there, too. (I'll definitely get to see some great permaculture-related exhibits at the Sustainable Energy Fair this fall, a really wonderful event.)