Saturday, January 19, 2013

We’ve hit a century!

Our first open day. The crowd "blew us away".
Not in age, but in the number of posts we have done on this blog! We actually passed this milestone without even realising it, but now we know, it is a good time to reflect over the four and half years of our history that is recorded in our blog. More detail about the events below can be found by clicking on the links or using the blog index on the right hand side.

What a beautiful day it was.

2008 posts started with a report about our first public open day on 21 September. It was held in conjunction with Permaculture Yarra Valley as part of a project to celebrate 30 years of permaculture in Australia. As it was an “open” event we had no idea of the number of people who would turn up and were blown away (stunned!) when over 500 people came to do a tour. Apart from the wonderful day, this event was the primary motivation for starting the blog.
The garden looking towards the dam

The next three posts went back in time and told about our background and how Tenderbreak Permaculture Farm came into existence (our vision and permaculture design, our owner builder experience and setting up our gardens. See building related posts.
The frame went up fairly quickly

2009 started off really well with posts about the start of our regular small group tours (which we still run from time to time) and about the wonderful wildlife that shares this property with us. Then things turned ugly with the devastating Black Saturday bushfires that burned much of Victoria as well as 90% of our bushland.
Our beautiful forest became a changed landscape

After several posts about our experience in the fires, we tried to get back to normal with posts about other topics. They included a post on our first “WOOFER” a lovely French girl named Emilie, several posts about the design and building of our passive solar mud brick house and how we turned our garage into a temporary art gallery for our photographer daughter.
The garden with burnt forest in the background

2010 was fairly light on for posts. One reason was because this was the year our experience with the fires caught up with us. We made a trip to Europe to catch up with family members that we hadn’t seen for many years, but when we returned to our still blackened landscape, many deep emotions came to the surface. For several months we were feeling low and it took quite some time before we could get on top of it. Even today the sight of wild fires on the news brings a lump to our throats. Amazingly, not long after that, we went through what we call “The big wet” where for weeks on end we were getting really good rains- so much so, there was flooding through much of the Yarra River including across our access road.
The "Big Wet"

2011 in retrospect was a really good year. There were lots of posts about our developing gardens, visiting helpers, new infrastructure and our future dreams (including our plans to use steam to generate electricity).
Our new verandah

2012 was largely summarised in the last post. As for 2013, well that is a story we cannot tell yet, but we will tell it as soon as it reveals itself to us. If the past is anything to go by, there will be surprises (some good and some bad), there will be many, many things to learn, much to do and many wonderful people to meet (in person and over the web). Life is certainly a rich tapestry!

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