Permaculture, my time in Australia, and the start of something awesome :)

I believe that when people start growing their own food in their homes, on the street and on every other available empty space, it will fundamentally change our world.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. It was one of the reasons I wanted to go to Australia as well, to experience how they did the permaculture there. As a matter of fact, when I applied for exchange to the University of Melbourne, I wanted to take a bunch of agriculture and ecology courses in order to learn more. The campus that offered those things was far away from Melbourne however, and I was required to take at least 2 business courses at the Parkville Campus (near the heart of Melbourne). Never mind… I thought I’d explore this in my own time.

I planned other trips such as a campervan trip to Uluru and my month-trip in New Zealand which left me with a little time left to explore the rest of Australia by myself. I made my way to Sydney but didn’t stay long… it wasn’t really my kind of vibe, it feeling very consumerist and over-crowded (although Bondai beach was more like the culture I was looking for). I’m glad I took the time to explore the city though, so I had a better understanding of the city and myself. I came to Sydney with a plan to go to Nimbin and Byron Bay- 2 places I heard about during my stay there that were recommended to me. And I could see why 🙂

Nimbin is known as little Amsterdam of Australia, tucked away behind the hills of sub-tropical forests. It’s like a marijuana free zone which was interesting… but they also had a lot of permaculture and sustainability activities going on. I was meant to go couchsurfing in Nimbin so I would be able to explore this… but my host never showed up. After calling, and waiting, and talking to people he knew, I ended up just meeting other travelers there, and chilling with some cool people. I ended up sleeping in a tent and travelling to Byron Bay the next day. The whole point for me was to meet some local people who were involved in permaculture, so since that didn’t work out and I wasn’t really arsed anymore, I decided to just go surfing in Byron with all the time that I had left.

Byron Bay was amazing. Everyday I was wave surfing and  mingling with hippies, street-artists and other performers. I met a lot of cool people, and went to a lot of cool places. I can see why people who plan to stay there for a week, end up staying for 3 months…if not longer. There were a lot of opportunities in my solo travel left unexploited, but it was my first time travelling like this and some opportunities, I didn’t think about until later. I don’t have any regrets about my experience there- it just showed my novelty to travelling solo. Although I missed out on the permaculture, I haven’t given up on it.

I’m back in Holland now, and I still want to grow edible plants and get involved with communities who are growing these things in their own homes. Urban farming. Homesteading. Survivalism. That kind of stuff. I find it really fascinating to learn about it as well. Not only that, but I think it can fundamentally change the way we develop as a society. I think that growing food will make us much more community orientated than we are now. I believe that there’s something natural about communing with your neighbors to gather your own food, and in essence, ensure each other’s survival. It’s instinctual. It’s primal. Living in big cities has messed with our human instincts for the most part, and reconnecting with that primal part of ourselves doesn’t seem like a bad idea. I see a future in urban farming where every household will be able to grow their own food, maximizing our ability to support an ever increasing global population, making the food systems more efficient, and becoming more independent off the hand that feeds us.

To set myself off in this direction, I’ve begun experimenting with planting a certain type of fungi in my own home… and after exams, me and the Mario brothers are going to plant a whole bunch of other things 🙂 I’m excited to see where this is going to go, and to what extent I can grow my own food, and implement systems into other people’s homes, and expand globally, and create and contribute to a social movement… wouldn’t that be a story 😉

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