Tag Archives | Household economy
Apologies if our phones and emails go unanswered. Apologies if we miss appointments, lunch dates and birthday parties. We are too busy reading the latest addition to the Melliodora Publishing family:
The Art of Frugal Hedonism: A guide to spending less while enjoying everything more
By Annie Raser-Rowland with Adam Grubb, authors of the hugely popular Weed Forager’s Handbook
About the book
A lot of stuff we spend money on actually makes life less enjoyable in the long run. And a lot of cheap and free stuff is very enjoyable indeed. So why choose the stuff that requires us to work all the time and get stressed about bank balances? The stuff that leads to looking in the mirror and seeing your dear face grown all puffy from too many pad Thai takeaways eaten mid-commute, because finding the energy to cook at the end of the day often feels impossible. To gazing at your house full of random possessions that seemed wonderful when you bought them but now seem to demand more care, organising, and storage space than you have the capacity for. To finding yourself at the gym, or maybe on the therapist’s couch, suspecting that you wouldn’t need to be there if you just had the time to sleep in more, or to go out dancing, like you’d love to.
“This is not a good scene!” declares the Frugal Hedonist, and opts for ditching some pricier habits and lifestyle expectations in favour of less stress. They focus their spending where it provides maximum bang per buck, and become connoisseurs of free pleasures. Then they kick back and reap the rewards.
What the heck are we talking about already? Let’s get example-y.
A Frugal Hedonist might often catch up with friends by taking a long walk together and raving about the week’s thoughts, rather than by buying drinks at a bar. They’ve noticed that the passing scenery adds just as much to the conversation as assessing the merits of the latest craft beer. They probably also go to bars now and again, but the simple act of frequently choosing the walk, means that over time layers of saved money and improved butt-tone add up to make the Frugal Hedonist enjoy other aspects of life more. Like being able to afford an extra week of unpaid holiday time over the summer, or wearing tight pants. And their friends associate them as much with the sound of birdsong or having seen a cloud in the shape of a gorilla doing push-ups, as with waking up with a blurry head and an empty wallet.
We could go on. But there’s a book that does that. It’s called… The Art of Frugal Hedonism.
“The freest and most contented people pretty much follow the advice in The Art of Frugal Hedonism.” ~ Clive Hamilton, author of Growth Fetish and co-author of Affluenza.
“The Art of Frugal Hedonism is an absolute joy. It is good-natured not pious, humane not self-righteous and a guide to ethical living that makes the impossible possible. I am happy to make this my bible.” ~ Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap
“An invaluable harvest of tips oozing with hedonistic wit and wonder. Packed with ideas about why and how we are to live with less to ensure we have a hell of a lot more.” ~ Meg Ulman, co-author of The Art of Free Travel
“In an age that is obsessed with consumer trinkets and oblivious to waste, the philosophy of frugal hedonism provides a welcome and necessary antidote. The simplicity of this message is profound. Be frugal and be free.” ~ Samuel Alexander, co-director of the Simplicity Institute
Who is it for?
- For people who want to reshape their spending for maximum pleasure and minimum pain.
- For people who are already challenging cultural consumption assumptions, but would love a little backup now and again.
- For anyone who gets a kick out of reading humorous writing (laced with a lot of nifty science) that inspires thoughts about the braver and better things in life.
You can read sample chapters and buy your copy here.
We have been implementing some big changes around here. So tired are we of the dominant culture, we have decided to build a giant, beautiful stone wall to separate us from the outside world. Yup, we’ve decided to put the cult into permaculture once and for all.
We have hired a gang of young thugs to help protect our perma-paradise.
We have bribed a team of experts from the land of milk(wood) and honey to come and help grow food that will sustain us and nurture our soils.
And to ensure diversity we have friends from afar growing food from our seed stock. Here is Cyrano with a prolific Syrian cucumber. Look closely and you will see that apparently it only needs itself to continue growing!
Here is a photo taken with a spy camera of our top secret lab as we grow more prototypes of even weirder and more human-like hats that will eventually be grafted onto the wearers’ foreheads, for this ever-warming climate.
We have invested thousands of dollars constructing technically complex and elaborate towers to help us protect our boundaries.
To help spread word of our cult’s principles and ethics, we have collected a team of co-conspirators to work on David’s forthcoming book.
We have joined forces with undercover agent Mgee and his formidable task-force as they help spread our message through the means of subterfugal music, to help convert the young and the illiterate.
They are launching their exciting new album Grow Do It this coming Friday at 7pm at the Daylesford Town Hall, if you’d like to come along. You can buy tickets here (or on the door), and the new album here.
If you like what we are about and would like to be part of our collective, please come along on Friday night and join us. If you pass the dance initiation, you’re in. We’re fussy, but not that fussy.
Hello freezing cold weather. It’s 7˚C at the moment but the sun is shining and we’re happy to be busy outside.
Today Mitch pruned the feijoas, while also contemplating pruning his bushman’s beard.
Looks like he’s decided to keep it, to keep his face warm while he works outside. Good idea!
He then chipped his prunings and fed them back to the feijoas for arvo tea.
We were visited last week by Daniel BeeShepherd who cycled over from Castlemaine. (Did you notice that he even has a jar of honey in his drink-bottle holder?)
Here is another great photo of Daniel. As he says: “I’m very keen on human-powered transport and don’t own a car. I usually get around using a pushbike and trailer, including when I service the bees. Permaculture has been a big influencing factor for me and I try to incorporate its principles into every aspect of my life.”
We have been preparing for Kirsten, Nick and Ashar to come and live here.
And we have been taking advantage of the colder weather to go through old things and unearthed this photo of Su from the late 80s. What a glamorous permie babe!
We are helping organise a course at Fryers Forest. If you’d like to learn more about natural building and low impact construction, please come along. Bookings essential.
Richard Telford took the following photo of David, Terry White, Ian Lillington and Carol McDonough at the Permaculture Australia AGM in Castlemaine over the weekend.
The award is not for the best hat, but the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Award given to Castlemaine for being the Community of the Year in 2008. Carol accepted it on behalf of the town in 2008 and has been looking after it ever since. On the weekend she handed it on and presented it to Terry as the most worthy person to be custodian of it. As part of his acceptance speech, Terry gave a talk about the origins of the permaculture journal and permaculture association that he started in Maryborough in 1978, that were the precursor of Permaculture Australia, the only national permaculture body in Australia.
That’s it from us for now. Just a reminder that there are just over three weeks before submissions close for the Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize.
Happy Hibernal Solstice to you all!
With the corn we harvested and shucked in March, we cooked up a delicious feast of tortillas.
and relocated naughty runaway artichokes.
We exhaled deep sighs of relief with the coming of the rain,
and we farewelled Lori, who returned to the US. Lori, pictured here with this season’s latest fashion, the scarf biologique, is our last MIAOW (Melliodora Interns and Other Workers) for a while. Ordinarily we don’t take MIAOWs over the winter, though we do start booking people in to come and stay from September onward. This year we are taking an extended break from our usual MIAOW scheduling as we look forward to settling the Milkwood crew in to their new digs in early July.
We heartily welcomed these gorgeous visitors with their generous box of shroomy delights. Thanks Tess and Oliver!
Last month, the R/1 students from the Yorketown Area School in South Australia created a book of drawings for Charlie Mgee after listening to his music during their Science, Literacy and Music lessons. Charlie received this book at the Food Forest in SA where David was teaching at this year’s PDC.
As we hung up the last of our tomato vines to ripen
we welcomed the onset of citrus season and look forward to rereading Morag Gamble’s great post on Ways to Use Abundant Mandarins (fruit & peel).
Autumn really is the season of giving thanks. Here is Su with the gorgeous Kat Lavers exchanging persimmons for pumpkins. Thanks Kat! You made Su sooooooo happy.
Thanks too for taking this photo of this morning’s frost, the first big one for the season.
Thanks to Hamish and Christian, too, for their work building the stone wall on the east side of the house. It’s looking so good!
OK. That’s enough chit chat. It’s been fun and all but we’d better get back to work. Hope you are working hard and dreaming big, filling your barrows with pleasures accumulated and shared.
If you are considering writing a poem for the Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize, our inbox still has plenty of room. Entries close July 15 so there’s still lots of time.
It’s not much to look at, we know, but we wanted to start this post with a blank canvas: the exciting possibility of the empty page, a timely reminder to observe
There has been much observing these last few weeks, looking around to see what we could use for a retaining wall. Hello willow. Thanks so much to Mitch, the current Melliodora apprentice, for this fantastic series of photos:
This week we welcomed Lori who will be MIAOWing with us for three weeks. Lori did her PDC at Bullock’s Permaculture Homestead in Orcas Island, Washington and has been an active member of the Seattle Permaculture Guild. Lori says that her vision for the future is to infiltrate the mainstream education system and inject it with permaculture. “My goal is to bring this message to young people in a way that inspires them to perpetuate it.” We hope you reach your goal Lori!
With Lori’s help we picked olives
cut and dehydrated feijoas, and scooped out their sherbety flesh to freeze them.
We made kraut,
and fresh goats cheese.
And we looked up. We gave thanks for the rain, the falling leaf mulch, and the kiwi chandeliers.
We are happy to report that feijoa season is officially open here in central Victoria. Hooray! A special big thanks to the rosellas for leaving us some on the ground to harvest. If you live nearby come on down on Wednesday afternoon. We’ll have some to purchase for $4 a kilo.
We’d love to say that we have excess quinoa and cherry guavas to share too, but this season we just have enough for home use.
While we thank the rosellas, the white-winged choughs stand by awaiting their praise for doing such a neat job digging up the garden and everything we’ve just planted.
As a guard against beak and wind, and to later use as stakes, we left half the corn stalks in place and planted the broadbeans alongside them.
We received a copy of a new book just released in Chile – a permaculure book for children.
We spent some time off-site, helping to build a house in the community of Fryers Forest.
We also undertook some earthworks of our own, removing a crumbling stone wall so we can reconstruct another sturdier one.
We also had some larger earthworks done, to dig out the nutrient-rich silt from the goose pond while it’s empty.
We shovelled the thick mud to use for various projects
while some of us embraced one another out of comfort and a deep need to express our abundant love.
It is with much anticipation and excitement that we share with you the news that Kirsten, Nick and Ashar from Milkwood Permaculture in Kiama will be coming to live here at Melliodora.
In mid-Winter this year, they will be farewelling their friends, family and networks and will be heading our way to do a 12-month residency in permaculture living and homesteading. We reckon we all have a lot to share and learn from each other.
As they write so beautifully on their website:
We’ve found that there’s nothing stronger than a collaborative force, whatever the challenge. Our planet is at tipping point and our role is to help in whatever way we can, and to create momentum by helping other organizations do the same.
We look forward to welcoming you, Nick, Kirsten and Ashar – don’t forget to bring your woollies! xx
We woke to the possibilities of a brand new day.
We repaired the small jetty to inspire the rain gods.
We shared food with loved ones.
We cleaned windows.
We harvested amaranth.
We marvelled at the colour and tenacity of self-sown seeds.
We welcomed three new MIAOWs (Melliodora Interns and Other Workers). This is James. James completed a permaculture course at Ceres in Melbourne and says he is passionate about nature, organic/bio-dynamic agriculture and working in harmony with the land.
This is Thierry. Thierry is a Canadian WWOOFing around Australia. He did his PDC at the Noosa Forest Retreat with Geoff Lawton. ‘Lately,’ he says, ‘I have been very interested in landscape designing, like the keyline system. This has brought an increased interest on my part in permaculture and the practices and methods used in this type of agriculture.’
And this is Michele. Michele is from Italy and did his PDC with Saviana Parodi in a lovely Italian eco-village.
We admired the abundance of life and death and how they cohabitate so beautifully this time of year.
We had a PDC teacher training get together with Dave Jacke.
We finished rebuilding the little jetty.
And we cleared our schedule for this Thursday to make room for an exciting day of events:
The quinoa is finally ready so Mitch and Sanami spend a morning harvesting. Mitch has spent much time in Japan since 2002 and is happy to be able to practice his Japanese, impressing all of us.
Sanami is one of the MIAOWs (Melliodora Interns and Other Workers) currently working, learning and sharing with us. She has been in Australia for two months. Before Melliodora she was helping out at Birrith Birrith.
Anna, also a MIAOW, has a PDC and has spent time at the Permaculture Research Institute. Anna used to work in Melbourne as a wind engineer where she designed wind farms and wind monitoring campaigns, but now likes to spend her time immersing herself in the sensuality of soil.
We have been harvesting the last of our corn this week. Drying some for seed and cooking
and blanching some before freezing it for use over the winter months.
We have successfully experimented cooking in a GoSun stove that was gifted to us.
We netted the fig trees, though sadly we lost kilos and kilos as it rained (hooray!) and the water penetrated them causing them to ferment on the trees. Fig chutney anyone?
We encouraged people to boycott shopping at the supermarket by setting up our table of bulk food on the same day as people come by to collect their veggie boxes.
And when we needed some quiet we sat down to the meditative task of separating grains, as a bag of flax seeds had been contaminated with wild oats.
We started work on rebuilding a jetty for the dam.
And before the cooler months start, we harvested the honey from the hives. 117kg so far from 7 hives.
That’s it from us for now. We hope all is deliciously sticky and sweet in your lives too.