2015 in retrospect 

Just before New Year last December, I told a friend that 2015 was going to be a good year. Yet I didn’t really believe it – in my heart I had a foreboding that things might actually be quite bad.

Now, I am sure that you are only too aware of terrible events that have been happening round the world, so giving a rundown here would serve no purpose. After all, I want this blog to be a message of hope, if nothing else.

I don’t think anything I do is going to mitigate climate change or bring world peace. However, I can make my world more resilient and that’s why I bother to move further away from consumerism, supermarkets and plastic.

For me, the biggest plus of 2015 has been finding my social niche. Permaculture may not be everyone’s cup of tea but through Leeds Permaculture Network and Old Sleningford Farm I have found togetherness and harmony.

Then of course there is the garden. There seems to be as much work as ever to do – it has not yet become the paradise I would like. At the same time, I now know what I am doing with it.

First and foremost, it’s a question of soil fertility. When I compare the beetroot from my local organic farm (how lucky am I to live so close to such an outlet!) with my own,

which might be pretty but the biggest of which is about a third of the size of a small beetroot from the aforementioned, I know it’s not my skill. Well, it could be that as well, going on the state my cauliflowers are in (I’ll leave those to your imagination), but hugel beds and manure are called for in tall order.

I’m trying to operate a closed loop, whereby I create my own compost without resorting to the bought kind. I don’t want to drive my car to a garden centre for something which has travelled from somewhere else and is contained in plastic (‘not currently recyclable’). Easier said than done.

Ah! But the piece de resistance is….. the bokashi bin. I love it, love it, love it. I just need to learn how to make my own probiotics for fermentation. Although at least the stuff I currently use comes from a family firm in recyclable bottles.

And my produce might weigh in at less than I would like right now but even in the heart of winter I’m still eating my own. Chillies, tomatoes, cabbage, garlic, coriander, fennel seeds, and yes cauliflower. That’s just the fresh stuff. 

I’ve also got four bags of phacelia flowers in the airing cupboard. What fun am I going to have with those in 2016?

In just under two weeks, I will embark on the first weekend of the Permaculture Design Course, which I am very excited about. I just hope the flood waters will have gone down by then so I can get there….

Whatever your plans, hopes and dreams for the coming year, I hope it’s a good one. Take care and have fun x

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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25 Responses to 2015 in retrospect 

  1. Kalamain says:

    The best advice I was ever given is ‘Be the change you want to see and show others how you did it’.

    My problem with the press is that they rarely show you the good in the world. Only the bad. This is why I don’t read the news other than the headlines. *shrug*

    Keep trying. For me its the only sure way to learn. B-)

  2. andy1076 says:

    You definitely made a great choice with that interior compost bin, to be able to do composting year round 🙂

  3. Natalia says:

    You’re doing an admirable job, Helen!

  4. Your doing an awesome Job Helen lovely update thank you for sharing


    What’s really amazing is that you guys are flooded and on this end of the world, we’re having a terrible drought. We’re so grateful for every cloud, every drop of rain. Funny old world isn’t it?

  6. Helen says:

    You can have some of our rain. I don’t think my home is at risk but I am fed up of not being able to dry my washing outside 😦

  7. streepie says:

    Change is always little steps that lead the way – and I am convinced that what you do contributes to mitigating climate change.
    Continue what you love to do, spread the word, and others will hopefully follow.

    Have a vey good 2016, with lots of homegrown food!
    Connie xxx

  8. patsquared2 says:

    2016 is going to be a beautiful year for you! And I am so jealous of the permaculture connections you have made and the course you are taking. Keep digging and keep writing babe. You are not alone in your love of gardening and your desire to make a smaller footprint on our spaceship, Earth. Happy New Year!

  9. Anne Wheaton says:

    I think 2016 may be the year I get a bokashi bin. I’m impressed at how much of your fresh fruit and veg you’re still eating – we’re down to leeks, Jerusalem artichokes and some chard.

    • Helen says:

      That sounds good. I think it depends on how much you’re eating (in our case not as much as we could be!).

      Anyway, I would definitely recommend a bokashi bin 🙂

  10. Helen, I enjoyed the overview of your past year.

    I’m learning that sometimes the best we can do is make a difference in our own world, and hope that that carries outward. Congratulations for finding your people in the permaculture world. I’m glad to have found you in the blogging world.

    I hope 2016 is an improvement over this past year in every way.

    • Helen says:

      Thank you, Alys. I am hopeful – and likewise, I am glad to have found you in the blogging world 🙂

      We’re an hour into 2016 here. I couldn’t stay awake till midnight but my daughter woke me up when the fireworks started.

      Our neighbours did some spectacular shows – got me wondering if they are expecting a good year, too.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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