Bellbunya is a young community (5 yrs old) that has the intention of producing much of our own food. We have hens and over 100sqm of veggie gardens, plus fruit and nut trees (banana, some young red papaya, black sapote, jaboticaba, etc), compost piles, worm farm. We are on 40 acres, with a creek and spring fed dam and a lot of reforestation underway.
In early 2012 six of us completed a Permaculture Design Certificate course, run here at Bellbunya by Dick Copeman, Bunya, Gav Hardy, Tim Lang and Tim Auld from Northey Street City Farm. We created permaculture designs for a small part of the property, some of which have been implemented with others still pending.
We host numerous international and Australian volunteers who are enthusiastic and very interesting. Some are skilled and experienced whilst many are new to organic gardening and permaculture – but very willing. In 2012 and again in 2013, a revegetation project with International Student Volunteers planted lots of native trees, including many bush tucker species.
We describe ourselves as an intentional community and you might wonder what that intention is? Perhaps we can use a garden metaphor to help describe how we are, and what we aspire to be. We know that in gardening we can use companion planting to enrich the garden. The capacity of individual plants to flower into their fullness is enriched by those around them. And so it is with our community that each of us can grow and flower more fully when those around us are well matched.
As you know from a garden, being well matched does not mean being the same. From companion planting we know that a monoculture is not resilient against pests and that there is value and strength in diversity. A gardener will chose the plants to add to the garden not only to suit the season we are in now, but with an eye how the the seasons are unfolding and how the garden is growing. So it is with our community that we are discerning about who we invite into the community and that the energy that we invite in enriches the community.
As a gardener nurturing your garden you will sometimes just stand and feel the breeze, you will run your fingers through the soil, feeling how it is, and you just know how your plants are growing by being with them. Much of your decision-making will be by feel.
And so with our community we make some important decisions by feeling. A measure that we use when new people come into the community is energetic fit, an intuitive discernment. How you fit into the community is important to us and to you. Just as in a garden, when you introduce plants that fit the garden community, the garden and that plant are uplifted. Likewise if you introduce an inappropriate plant into the garden, it may not grow well and may even wither and die. Not because it is a bad plant, but because it is not the right season, or not the right plant to match the other plants that are already there.
But you know, both us and you can’t really know ahead of time about energetic fit. We need to live together for a while, to get to feel how we are. So why not come and spend a few days or a few weeks with us so you can get to know us, and so we can get to know you. There is no homework or preparation to do. Just enjoy being you.
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