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How to save the earth

Permaculture observes how the earth works and works with it...and lets it change your life—-Permaculture-with-Steve-Jones-euqdomChildren don’t do what I did in my twenties with Clare.  Do not hitch hike to France and find yourselves in an isolated house with a hoard of hard drinking male truck drivers. Do not.  We survived unharmed and emerged into the daylight wiser and saved by two nice guys who had stopped the rattling, bashing and lewd jeers and cat calls at our frightened door.

So arriving in the South of France safely felt like a major gift and what followed was heaven.  We met a friend of mine and his friend who was converting an old farm house with land into a permaculture center.  I didn’t know what permaculture was.

The building had only one room with a roof on and this housed a huge wooden table with a make shift kitchen and shelves stacked with enormous tubs of tahini and nuts.  We camped in the woods by night and used a compost toilet for the first time in my life.  By day we worked the old vines along side a pig who would root, turn and compost the soil as we worked.

The only source of water was an old fashioned pump so when the men were not around, Clare and I would take it in turns to work the pump while the other one washed. So picture the scene, a beautiful sunny day, in a French paradise, with Clare pumping the water as I washed naked at just the point when I group of horse riders passed by, and without batting an eye, just saluted and shouted ‘bonjour’ before carry on their way.

By night we cooked the vegetables we were growing, ate the bread collected on foot from the boulangerie and drank the wine and told stories around the fire pit outside.

We peeled plumbs around a huge table with local women under the shade of trees and plunged into the cool water in a wooden barrel after my first home crafted sweat in a tippee.

It felt as magical as a dream.

I don’t really remember how we got home, but it was safely and life carried on.  We both lived in a community which was environmentally conscious, but I moved out and she moved on and we all built careers and had children.

But permaculture has stayed in my awareness, albeit from afar and during my March lockdown, when I was hanging around under trees again and swimming in my river, I got in touch with Steve Jones who is the local guy who runs courses.  He’s been on my radar for years, but the time has never felt right. Now it does.

I’ll leave Steve to explain on my podcast about permaculture, but I will be joining his two week course this year because it is the sensible, sustainable, pragmatic thing to do.  A system which works with nature, for nature for the benefit of all can not be ignored.

Join us as Steve Jones takes on his journey from a small farm, through an economics degree to Africa where he found permaculture which has changed his life and thousands of lives globally.

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Julie Leoni

Julie Leoni

Coach, author, podcaster, facilitator, Yoga and psychology teacher, learner

I have over 30 years of experience and qualification in various therapeutic and meditation/mindfulness based approaches. I work with change. Some changes we chose, others happen to us.  Sometimes we know we want to change but don't know how. Sometimes we don't want to change but external events or people are forcing us to change. The menopause, children leaving home, the end of a relationship or job, becoming a parent, coming out, bereavement are just some of the personal changes I support people with. I also work with people who want to make changes to their life and wider world in response to social issues such as Covid, the climate crisis and racial, sexual and gender inequalities. Times are changing whether we want them to or not and we need to be nimble, agile, curious and open in order to part of the new story emerging. Work with me to get clear on what matters to you, what makes your heart sing and what kind of future you want for yourself and those you love. It is possible to live differently, get in touch to explore how.

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