Once again I take the opportunity to add to the blog so bear with me as I relay one of our most awesome adventures thus far but first a little basic information to head us on the right path.
Permaculture by definition is a reproduction of nature’s basic resilience in naturally occurring ecosystems. The area utilised is divided into very specific zones, generally numbered 0 – 5.
(Zone 0) – This is your closest, most intimate and most essential zone. It is you, your life, family and your immediate home and living area, waste, water and items requiring the most attention.
(Zone 1) – The zone just outside your home that needs regular observation, clearing, minding and harvesting eg. plants we can use each day – intensive garden beds with vegetables and herbs.
(Zone 2) – This zone has less intensively managed areas such as fruit trees but with animals that will, and do, need daily attention eg. poultry.
(Zone 3) This area is visited less frequently and will have self feeding live stock and a wider range of seasonal crops such as corn or wheat.
(Zone 4) This is where you would gather wild or naturally occurring food.(eg. nuts, mushrooms, berries). Also wood for heating and or cooking.
(Zone 5) This is the wildest and most natural of all the zones that needs little to no upkeep bar seasonal care to prevent fires etc.
Our latest Workaway project took us to La Creuse, Limousin, France to meet up with a family we had eagerly been waiting to see for over 8 months. We had briefly spoken on WhatsApp shortly after making our initial application for a workaway position and had really hit it off. Wouter AKA Walt, Katleen, Maya and Bo are an unbelievable Belgian family running a permaculture based nursery in the stunning La Creuse area. They are a beautiful family both inside and out – caring, loving, funny, passionate, arty and filled with vision and drive.
Pulling up outside their beautiful home we were greeted by the larger than life Walt and his even bigger smile which was nothing less than AWESOME!! We were ushered inside by Walt and Bo and made to feel at home while we waited for Kate and Maya to come back from school pick up and getting Maya’s new phone. On their return the nine of us headed off to the local lake for the kids to swim and parents to chill with a beer and get to know each other a little better. This was followed by an amazing barbecue with more food than the lot of us could eat. At this point Maya politely informed us that the one thing Kate always did was make way more food than was needed but that we would certainly be eating the left overs in many different ways, shapes and forms until they were all gone. This rang true throughout our stay with every meal tasting better than the last.
Week one -This was to be one of the most exciting weeks as workaways ever. We had Walt and Kate’s 10th wedding anniversary on the Wednesday and Walt’s 40th birthday on the Sunday. We were there to help with prepping for the 2 day long birthday celebration to be held over the Saturday and Sunday. 150 guests were to be expected from both Belgium and France. In preparation we we laid new stone chip on the forecourt, cleared out the basement and helped repair an ancient bread oven for the massive pizza day. We collected tables and sofas, chopped and chainsawed enough wood to spit roast a pig and 20 chickens and run the pizza oven. We collected wood to build a bonfire, hung decorations and prepped desserts and other sweets. Through all of this we grew closer and closer as friends.
Before we knew it the weekend was upon us and the friends and family travelling from far and wide began to arrive. Walt and Kate’s parents, best friends from school and home, family and local friends. Camps were built, fires were lit and music rang out for two days solid. We danced, laughed, drank, ate, celebrated and were absorbed into the family with love and joy second to none. We made friends and memories that will never be forgotten. Jama, Martin, Karl, Kevin to name but a few.
Then as quickly as it came, it was all done. Two days to recover, repair, return to the right place and we were up and running again. The next important task was to start the prep in the nursery for what is almost certain to be a super season for AtmosVert. Here we weeded beds and pruned trees and vines. Trimmed hedges, cleared the pathways and gave it, it’s first bit of love. We also found part of our true purpose for being with Walt and his family. For almost 2 years we had been trying to find a path to a successful adventure with a means of funding itself and Walt was our key. His insight into social media was unbelievable and with his guidance and advice we are sure to have our ‘Golden Caravan’.
The second week drew to an end and having helped everywhere we were able to in the time we had with this beautiful family it was time once again to hit the road. We hitched up the caravan and said our farewells, then drove down the road, Walt, Kate, Maya and Bo in our rear view mirror waving and knowing in our hearts that we were totally and utterly parts of (zone 0)… THANK YOU!
Golden caravan here we come
Blog post by Warren