There is a lot of grief in our communities right now. Grief related to so many aspects of the Covid 19 crisis. Grief related to our damaged Earth. Grief relating to people close to us who are dying and who we can't be alongside. Anticipatory grief. Actual grief. Complex grief.
I made this colouring-in page about the web-like pattern and aspects of grief that often form in our lives. Please feel free to print off and colour in/doodle on.
Click here for a PDF version to print from.
If you want to read more about different types of grief and practical, creative ways of living with so much loss then I can recommend the blog at What's Your Grief as a good place to start.
A few months ago I started a new blog series to run alongside a year long design process I had started for the garden at my new home. Then the Coronavirus Pandemic became a very real thing and realising the scale of changes we were urgently going to have to make to our lives, I decided to make an edible garden ASAP. My main reasons for creating this garden at this time rather than continuing with the long term period of observation I was part way through, was to give myself an immediate project which I know from past experience would hugely benefit my holistic health and well-being, at a time of probably prolonged changes, uncertainty and grief. Given my existing health limitations plus the limitations of the pandemic “lockdown”, I designed my new garden to be as simple as possible to implement and to use as few bought in components as possible. In addition, this design aims to be easily changed or adapted for the long term when more time has been spent as planned on the observation and analysis phases of my original project.
Here is a photo journey of my lockdown Edible Garden so far : -
(PS - sign up to get my monthly newsletter to read more instalments about this garden design)
My finished Edible Garden area - the beds are topped with spiky twigs to deter cats and birds. All ready to get planting into now! The shady strip of grass at the right side of the area has had some perennial wild grasses and herbage seeds sown into patches of bare soil, as well as edible flower/pollinator seeds sown into the edge alongside the fence. The function of this small area is to mainly be a space for wildlife habitat.
I've created this A4 colouring in page for anyone to print off and get creative (and relaxed!) with. Here is the PDF Link
I know lots of people are really struggling financially ATM and a lot of charities are desperate for support, but if you do have some spare cash then it would be great if you could donate a couple of £s to Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice.
As well as providing amazing specialist palliative care in the area, Manorlands has also been my place of work for many years and I am passionate about helping to make sure it can continue to thrive through the current pandemic and economic crisis we are in. Creative ways of providing good symptom management, end of life care and bereavement support are desperately needed through these times of Covid 19/Coronavirus and I'm so proud that my amazing Manorlands friends and colleagues are at the forefront of designing this solutions focused care in the hospice, community and hospital.
I know the financial support for charities announced by the government on Thursday will help significantly over the coming weeks, but Manorlands Hospice is going to need as much extra financial help as possible in order to continue to do the invaluable work it does in the near medium to long term.
You can donate directly to Manorlands via this link
Many hospices are in a similar position so, donating to your own local hospice instead if you can, is very much encouraged
If you don't have any spare money to donate then please still feel free to print off as many copies of this colouring in page as you need. Also, feel free to share this post widely with people you think might be interested. Thanks so much
As part of the design for my art room/office in my recently moved to new home, I upcycled this desk and chair I bought from a local charity furniture shop. I used some low toxicity Chalk Paint bought from the fab My Vibrant Home, an interiors design shop, 10 mins walk from my house and then decorated the top of the desk with a collage made from old copies of Permaculture Magazine -Not only does it look pretty lovely, but I now have a constant abundance of inspirational images in front of me for my permaculture illustration work
The second post in a new series of monthly blog posts sharing the journey through the design process in creating an urban permaculture garden at my new home.
Wild Garden - Early Design
About 75% of the area for my new garden is North facing and adjacent to a busy road with congested traffic at certain times of day. Even before I moved into the house 6 months ago, I knew that these limiting factors meant that I would not be able to use this area of garden for food growing or spending prolonged amounts of time relaxing of socialising. Instead I have created an early design for wildlife habitat areas to be the dominant function in this space.
Ideally I would have observed the area for a year before making any design decisions but I have chosen to take advantage of the turf laid for the lawn being very new, (about 9 months old), and so ideal for sowing additional perennial flowers, herbage, legumes and grasses within the existing new turf. Before this happens I have also decided to prune back, (and in one case, remove), some existing mature sycamore and lime trees edging the lawned area and roadside to allow a lot of extra light onto the lawn and prevent the trees from overhanging the house roof. In addition I hope that having the pruning and resulting wood processing done just prior to sowing the new seeds into the lawn, will have the added benefit of creating more bare patches on the grass, enabling easier, successful germination and growth of the new perennial plants. Last week this work on the trees was successfully undertaken by local tree surgeons.
The wood from the pruning work was processed on site into a variety of sizes of logs and then the smaller diameter branches either chipped for paths/mulches or left intact for creating wildlife habitat, all for other aspects of my garden designs.
Wild Garden - Seeds
I ordered perennial flower, grasses, herbage and legume seeds for the lawned/grassed area of the Wild Garden and also some annual cornfield seeds for the borders. The perennial plants won't flower this year but the annual ones should do, creating some 'pop up' pollinator and other wildlife habitat while the longer term design implementation is established. I can highly recommend Emorsgate Seeds, (suggested to me by my good friend and ecologist Jan Martin), for a fantastic range of seeds and advice for ecological restoration in the UK, on any scale. I'm aiming to sow all the mixes of seeds at the end of March is the weather/ground conditions are appropriate
Edible Garden - First Seeds Sown
....and then the first seeds for my Edible Garden got sown. These tomato ('Latah') and chilli ('Pretty in Purple' and 'Nigel's Outdoors' ) varieties from Real Seeds are some of my favourites and ones I had left over from last year. They'll be germinating and growing indoors until the summer.
I've also been researching info and ideas from Alys Fowler and Juliet Kemp for my pop up container garden design. These two books are great for designing gardens in a diverse range of small spaces.
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The beautiful, haunting lyrics and music of "I Killed the Bees" have been crafted in such a powerful way, that since its release last year, this track has been firmly stuck on a loop in my head. Tygermylk's vision is for their song to be part of the catalyst for regenerative planetary change.In my opinion, this track from the band's upcoming EP, is destined to become a core anthem in climate justice activism.
A stunning version of "I Killed the Bees" is also available on Spotify
This mini-review was originally written for the current (No. 103 Spring 2020) edition of Permaculture Magazine
Sacred Earth Celebrations is the revised and updated version of Glennie Kindred’s bestselling book, Sacred Celebrations. Whether you are someone who is new to learning about Earth-based spirituality and living, or whether it’s already fundamental to how you pass through the cycles of our existence and Glennie’s book can truly enhance and deepen your experience of how to meaningfully celebrate and honour the cycles of the Earth.
Sacred Earth Celebrations is divided into three parts: ‘The Wheel of the Year’ introducing the Earth’s year through the solar cycle and the connections with the rhythms of the moon; ‘Celebration, ceremony and ritual’ with lots of ideas for individual or group events; and ‘The eight Celtic festivals’, where each of the quarter and cross quarter festivals are explored in detail. This includes how the festivals were understood and celebrated in the past, the underlying energies they hold, and how we can use this experience and flow to create our own meaningful rituals and celebrations now.
As with all Glennie’s books, Sacred Earth Celebrations is filled with the most beautiful drawings and charts alongside perfectly selected poetry by others. All this gives the reader opportunity to pause, reflect, plan and perhaps meditate at the natural breaks in the text.
Glennie’s book includes an abundance of ideas of how to engage physically, emotionally and spiritually with the cycle of Earth celebrations, including: celebrating on our own, in small groups, in our community, creating Sacred Spaces, activities with children, interacting with our gardens and other land, creativity through song, dance, art, craft... It’s like having the best box of tools. Glennie very much encourages our celebrations, ceremonies and rituals to reflect our own individuality and unique life circumstances. I finished the book feeling empowered by the range of ideas but also in the knowledge that following my own inspiration is incredibly spiritually regenerating and connecting too.
For those who use The Earth Pathways Diary or have read Letting In the Wild Edges, also by Glennie, this is the perfect accompaniment, furthering and enhancing the ritual and celebration elements of both.
I love this book. I’ve just read it from cover to cover, but like Glennie’s other books, it’s going to be one that’s at hand for the year round to read, absorb and utilise the relevant sections, as the Earth turns.
This book review is also published in Permaculture Magazine October 2014
I'm really excited to be starting a permaculture design for an urban garden at my new home. In this new series of monthly posts I will be sharing some of my journey through the design process in creating my garden.
Design Process - Permaculture Design Companion
This will be the first land based permaculture design I have embarked on in several years and I'm really looking forward to using Jasmines Dale's recently published book, Permaculture Design Companion, as my guide for this project. You can read the review I wrote about this great resource, here .
Garden Design pin board
I've been thinking about the design for my garden since I first realised I would be moving into my new home, about a year ago. I have found that using a notice/pin board in my kitchen to collect all my initial thoughts, ideas, visions and wishes about my garden design has been a really effective way of collecting, storing and regularly reviewing all this information, as well as providing a great focal point for discussion and ideas sharing with friends and family who visit my house.
This month I've also started undertaking some focused observations about how different sectors impact on the existing garden. I really like how sectors are explained in the #freepermaculture online course hosted by freepermaculture.com -
"In permaculture, the term sector refers to any natural or uncontrolled influence that moves through your design site. And through sector analysis, you can anticipate and enact design decisions that will mediate, mitigate, and improve how those uncontrolled influences affect your site. Sectors could be wind, water, weather...they can be economic, social, biological, or any combination of the above. Every sector has needs, resources, yields, wastes, and relationships that influence the whole system. "
Next month Im going to be creating a "to scale" base map of the garden as it is at present, in addition making some major decisions about the mature trees already in the garden. Sign up to my monthly newsletter to get further updates about how my garden design is progressing through 2020.
The Climate Change Garden published just last year, is my first complete read of 2020 and part of the research planned for my new garden design.
As well as being an author of a wide range of books, Sally Morgan is also the editor of the Soil Association's Organic Farming magazine. Kim Stoddart runs climate change gardening courses, is a gardening journalist and the editor of The Organic Way magazine. The two authors clearly have a great wealth of knowledge and experience in all matters relating to garden design with our rapidly changing climate in mind.
Overall The Climate Change Garden is a comprehensive and engaging overview of some of the main ways that climate change is, and will continue, to influence how we garden in the UK. The book has lots of inspiring photos to back up the very accessible format text. The key topics each have their own chapter; Too much water; Heat and drought; Wind, frost and snow; A healthy soil; Design Ideas; Working with wildlife; The veg patch; In the orchard; Trees for the future; The flower garden - and there is a useful appendix of extra resources. Each chapter contains relevant background and history alongside many ideas for garden design choices and plans. In my opinion, The Climate Change Garden is a great book for folk new to gardening as well as others who would welcome a reminder about some of the key issues relating to climate challenges in the designs and creations of our growing spaces. While the book isn't an in depth "how to garden" book, it firmly plants many specialist seeds of inspiration to be furthered by accessing additional resources. The Climate Change Garden is a very welcome addition to my land based permaculture tool box and already a central part of the first steps of my new garden design.
In this post I share ten of my current favourite resources for thriving, despite experiencing the overwhelm of planetary/climate grief - This isn't intended to be an exhaustive list, there are many other great resources available out there.
The resources I have chosen are in no particular order -
Overcoming Burnout - book by Nicole Rose
"Organising with others for human, animal and earth liberation can be one of the most empowering experiences alive. Yet frontline resistance comes with risks to our physical and emotional health that can lead many people to burn out and abandon social movements altogether.
This book is about overcoming burnout, linking the author’s journey of recovery with wider systemic forces such as classism, sexism and power dynamics in groups, poverty, chronic illness and ableism, as well as grief and trauma from prison and state repression. It is a call for models of mutual aid and collective care. Simultaneously deeply personal and acutely political, for anyone involved in grassroots organising, it is a must read."
Available to buy in paper and ebook format from Nicole's website Solidarity Apothecary
Mothers of Invention - podcast
"Climate change is a man-made problem - with a feminist solution!
Join former Irish President Mary Robinson and comedian Maeve Higgins in this uplifting new podcast, celebrating amazing women doing remarkable things in pursuit of climate justice.Each episode features the Mothers of Invention driving powerful solutions to climate change – from the grassroots to the court room, the front lines to the board room – all over the world.
A-Z of Climate Anxiety - online article from The Guardian
"With the climate emergency putting our mental health at risk, Emma Beddington presents an everyday guide to eco wellbeing." Read the article here
Healing Justice - podcast
" Our lives depend on our ability to make urgent, dramatic, liberatory change in our society. But many models of activist culture deplete us and replicate patterns of trauma, harm, oppression, and workaholism. We’ve lost too many of our visionary leaders to disillusionment, exhaustion, depression, and infighting... "People power” means that we are our own most precious resource. We cannot afford to burn ourselves and each other out. If we want to welcome enough people to our movements to really transform our world, we have to make the experience of participating sustainable, healing, and irresistible...We are a community supporting each other to integrate self and collective care with powerful action for social justice. We learn from many lineages, and connect and visibilize stories, methodologies, & people to strengthen the capacity for resilience in ourselves and our movements for change.
Since 2017, our podcast has shared conversations and accompanying practices with over 800,000 downloads worldwide. "
Go to the Healing Justice website here
Positive News - print & digital magazine + free content
"Fed up with bad news but want to stay informed? Positive News is the magazine for good journalism about the good things that are happening.
Stories of social and environmental progress
Quality, independent reporting with a focus on solutions
Impactful photography and stunning visual design
Boosts your wellbeing and helps you engage in the world
A carbon neutral publication printed on quality paper
Published four times a year: January, April, July and October"
Craftivist Collective - website & other resources
"If we want a world that is beautiful, kind and fair, shouldn't our activism be beautiful kind and fair?
Founded by award-winning campaigner Sarah Corbett, the Craftivist Collective is more than an alternative use for craft. Our gentle protest approach to craftivism aims to change the world with deliberate, thoughtful actions that provoke reflection and respectful conversation instead of aggression and division.
Craftivism is for everyone from skilled crafters to burnt out activists, and those people who want to challenge injustice in the world but don't know what to do, where to start or how to prioritise their energies and time. "
Permaculture - print & digital magazine + lots of free content
"Permaculture Magazine gets to the heart of permaculture internationally. Enjoy our practical features, videos & solutions every day to enable you to live lightly on the Earth. Features practical thought provoking articles on organic gardening, sustainable agriculture, agroforestry, climate change, peak oil, eco-villages, alternative technology, eco-architecture, personal and community development and much more. Packed with informative articles, readers solutions, DIY designs, news, reviews, book, tool and product reviews, letters, classifieds and details of a wide range of related courses."
52 Climate Actions - website
"You have the power to bring about positive change. Every action makes a difference, so start today with the theme that inspires you most."
52 great everyday actions from a diverse range of subjects that folk can connect with to work towards climate justice - visit the website here
Active Hope - book by Joanna Macey & Chris Johnson
"Active Hope is about finding, and offering, our best response to the crisis of sustainability unfolding in our world. It offers tools that help us face the mess we’re in, as well as find and play our role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, to a life-sustaining society
At the heart of this book is the idea that Active Hope is something we do rather than have. It involves being clear what we hope for and then playing our role in the process of bringing that about. The journey of finding, and offering, our unique contribution to the Great Turning helps us to discover new strengths, open to a wider network of allies and experience a deepening of our aliveness. When our responses are guided by the intention to act for the healing of our world, the mess we’re in not only becomes easier to face, our lives also become more meaningful and satisfying.
The book guides the reader through a transformational process informed by mythic journeys, modern psychology, spirituality and holistic science. This process equips us with tools to face the mess we’re in and play our role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, towards a life-sustaining society."
Learn more here
Climate and Mind - website
Some great resources for individuals and organisations, including Mental Health professionals. Visit Climate and Mind here
Welcome to my new blog, born at the festival of Samhain 2018, the Pagan New Year. Here I aim to share regular everyday examples of how permaculture can provide healing and regeneration for ourselves, our communities and our planet.
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