Waking to the sound of bellbirds, I squeeze some citrus juice and wander in my PJs out to the orchard, opening doors to a flurry of flapping wings as the poultry seize the sunshine. A walk in the park with the dogs and it's into the art studio for the day. Lunch is picked fresh from the garden, followed by a break from painting to sow seeds, mulch, harvest, compost, weed or fill my up on dripping juicy berries. A wander in the bush out the back for fresh dye material. When the sun spits it's last rays through the trees it's bedtime chirps and the birds are away. Snatching handfulls of greens for dinner on my short walk into the kitchen, where we cook and preserve our produce, a dog at our feet to catch the drips!

Permaculture is more than a design system based on observation of natural ecosystems. It provides a frame work for considering how we live and how we can live better. It considers how everything interacts in our home, our community, what we eat, how we grow it, where we work and how we contribute to our community. When we become aware how each of these areas of our lives interact, and the potential to improve them to make everything work together in a sustainable way, life feels good!

Bellbird Urban Permaculture Farm lies on the rich creek flats of Lake Macquarie just out of Newcastle, Australia. All on our third of an acre we grow a range of herbs & vegetables, perennial & bush food plants, and produce eggs from our call ducks & heritage chickens. Our produce is for sale at our farm gate stall and local farmers markets. 

Get creative and join us for a workshop in the art studio. We run half & full day courses in Natural Textile Dyeing & Natural Cosmetics using the plants & herbs in our garden & locality. Upcoming courses can be found at www.michelleleilani.com

How can you grow so much in so little space? Starting in 2018 we will be offering urban farm tours and short day & weekend courses in permaculture and sustainable food production for the backyard grower. Join us to learn more about efficient design for urban spaces and how to grow your own beautiful nutrient rich food.

Michelle is the current President of the Hunter Organic Growers Society. Join us at one of our monthly field days to learn more about growing healthy sustainable food: www.hunterorganicgrowerssociety.org.au 

Michelle is a writer & artist, interested in ways of living better in tune with nature and ourselves, and lives with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, with associated fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivity.

Some of the articles on Bellbirds and Pea Shoots have been published in Grass Roots and Australasian Poultry magazines.

Contact : bellbirdsnpeashoots@outlook.com

All photographs and content is produced by Michelle Teear unless otherwise attributed.

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