I would like to pay tribute to two men; coincidentally, both named Bill.
The first is a man of quiet and humble ways. A deep thinker who plans things through and minimises his impact on the planet while making a difference.
He opened his home and heart to us while we were building our own home and shared his experience of many things in life. I am a different person today for having spent time with him.
He is Bill Paterson: my children’s Grandad; my friend.
He introduced me to another Bill; Bill Mollison, the father of Permaculture – through his book Introduction to Permaculture.
I read and was inspired, encouraged and provoked
I read and I made plans and dreams
I and Bill planned and dreamed together
I found things in this book that were not only possible, but were me.
I lived at Bill Paterson’s home twice – once as a young nieve adult, once as a parent of two children. Bill had planted his fruit trees and vegetables on sloping land using swales and homemade mulch and compost. We shared our thoughts, dreams and experiences and added the principals of Permaculture. We both grew in knowledge and understanding.
It has become a life-time dream to sit at the feet of the Father of Permaculture or to establish a self-sufficient acreage home. Sadly, finances have not allowed and I have had to bow to other priorities.
In the meantime I have:
- Mulched as I pruned;
- Smoothered manure and compost with paper and mulch (hey, it keeps the smell down in surburbia, too);
- Tried a few ideas out successfully (and learned lessons from my less successful ideas);
- Made bigger gardens then I ever thought I could look after alone;
- Shared my love of the garden with my children – a connection to my own Dad (no longer with us);
- Eaten fresh and even unusual foods grown with love;
- Always known my neighbours and have shared my interests and knowledge with them (hard to not keep up with the neighbours if you are desperate for mulch and compost materials or if you have a bountiful harvest);
- Learned from literally thousands of wonderful people in the Permaculture community mostly via books and the internet.
I have grown gardens that are:
3) easy care
4) edible and useful
5) water efficient
6) low on chemicals.
7) encourage bees and butterflies to visit
8) grow snacks for kids
9) grow trees to climb
10) nurture garden worms, good bacteria and microbes
11) look after themselves if I can’t
AND most importantly for me:
12) are simple and affordable… I can take this as shallow or as far as I like!
I am blown away that it can be so easy to do
And that I would never have known – would still be double-digging and weeding (yuk)
If not for the two Bills that changed my life.
Bill Paterson and Bill Mollison
The world is better for having you in it!!! Bless you both xx