For this post, I feel like the pictures will do the most of the talking. Suffice to say that we love, love, love living in the straw bale house, affectionately known as ‘Little Strawbs’
On the path to a more sustainable future
Before we moved to Les Vignes Basses full time we lived and worked in South Korea teaching in the public school system. Whilst there, we had large chunks of free time, which we used to research, learn, read and discuss what we wanted from our lives in France and exactly what we wanted to do on the land. Through various blogs, Facebook pages, pages shared by friends and oodles of trawling on the internet we stumbled upon permaculture.
Our first experience with it was Geoff Lawton, an awesome permaculture specialist who focuses particularly well on dry and sub-tropical areas of the world. His videos were really inspiring and sparked seriously enthusiastic interest in permaculture.
To cut a long story short, we ended up enrolling on to an online Permaculture Design Course (PDC) with the late Patrick Whitefield. We thought about hiring a permaculture designer first of all, although the cost of doing this versus the cost of training ourselves was negligible, it was a no brainer! And it gives us a qualification we can use forever more.
Our hope was that by taking the course we could try to make more informed decisions about the layout and planning of our land and create a working, sustainable system. We decided we had lots of ideals but no practical knowledge. WWOOFing for five weeks in Japan helped to overcome this somewhat, but the question still remained; where to start with a blank, empty field having never planted a vegetable in your life??
The course took about ten months to complete and was super informative. It gave us clarity about the design for our own land; really making the land work for us. Upfront, it’s quite a bit of work but once the systems are functioning the input from us is minimal. Clever design in tune with nature really is the lynchpin of permaculture.