It started as an idea. The idea was to share a skill set with people that were interested in learning them. Skills from the old ways, when people worked for their food, when times may have seemed tougher and requiring more hard work, but folk were more content and healthier in both mind and spirit.
The wind picked up to 50km per hour gusts today, blowing the fine stable dirt around like a tumble dryer. Dirt has a way of getting into every nook and cranny, and by the end of the day I had a face like a coal miner. My denim on denim get up was coated with this fine dirt and saw dust, making me resemble some portly rodeo rider slash woodcutter. I felt as sore as a rodeo rider by the end of the day, but gee did I feel comforted by the fact that all the beds that we'd been working on over the last few weeks have finally been installed.
Keeping with the daily approach of using and re-using, we fashioned the beds from heat treated transport pellets and the legs from off cuts from tree lined streets and the supports for the legs even came from the bonfire pile! Taking recycling and re-purposing to a new level. But who cares? The beds are functional, sturdy and will keep people comfortable for a few nights whilst visiting the workshops. I'm guessing after a few days of me blabbering on about skinning rabbits, dispatching chooks and walking the forest for mushrooms will have people so tired they'd probably be able to crash on the stable floor!
We've tried as much as possible to set the workshops up with minimal impact but there is always some thing that is unavoidable, like using a petrol chainsaw, a cordless drill etc. But the reality of living in 2013, these things are part of our lives. They're not completely necessary, but useful. I guess after my last post I want to reiterate that I'm not promoting a life lived in a cave eating grubs and dressed in rabbit fur for all of us, in fact far from it. What I do advocate is a life making choices that can have a reduction in negative impact on the environment. The old basics, reduce, recycle, re-use.
I've never announced that my way of living is perfect. Everything I do i.e. grow veg, forage, eat less meat, hunt etc is available to most people, even the city dwellers, as I lived that life quite comfortably living in a city. And where there isn't an opportunity to perform these tasks then there is always an option to be a smart consumer. It's all up to us. Even as confronting, different or uncomfortable it may appear to the normal modern life, at least you'd be contributing to a better world for generations down the track. Instead of throwing hands in the air like you just don't care, maybe the option of looking at positive alternatives is better than doing nothing.
For more details and info regarding the workshops, please visit here. Be quick, they're filling up fast!
All photos thanks to Kate.