Sustainable Food Revolution

Living in a time when the cost of food is rising day on day, it might be time to re-think the lawn! This is what Bill Mollison, one of the founders of the Permaculture movement has to say on the subject:

Bill Mollison

“. . . every society that grows extensive lawns could produce all its food on the same area, using the same resources, and . . . world famine could be totally relieved if we devoted the same resources of lawn culture to food culture in poor areas. These facts are before us. Thus, we can look at lawns, like double garages and large guard dogs, [and Humvees and SUVs] as a badge of willful waste, conspicuous consumption, and lack of care for the earth or its people.Most lawns are purely cosmetic in function. Thus, affluent societies have, all unnoticed, developed an agriculture which produces a polluted waste product, in the presence of famine and erosion elsewhere, and the threat of water shortages at home.

The lawn has become the curse of modern town landscapes as sugar cane is the curse of the lowland coastal tropics, and cattle the curse of the semi-arid and arid rangelands…

www.bealtainecottage.comOver the past few days I have been busy converting this little shed into a new hen house and run…food to swap and share…fresh eggs! it is going to be a simple enough barter, swapping a sack of logs for nine eggs. Most logs are traded at 3.50 a sack, so that’s a fair swap!

www.bealtainecottage.comThat makes a good swap as eggs are getting more expensive by the day and the logs will be delivered to my door! I just have to ensure that the hen house and run are secure against Mr ans Mrs Fox and family!

As Spring moves across the land, a drying wind is working its magic on the earth. The greening is under-way.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe view from the sitting room window is being filled in like a ‘Painting By Numbers,’ canvas. Ash trees are the last to get their leaves and so stand proud in all their silver glory against temperamental Spring skies.

www.bealtainecottage.comThis is the beautiful Field Maple to the front of the cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.comContinuing my lifelong passion for trees…this is a wall tile I made from clay…complete with tree, a fairy tree.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe lone Fairy Thorn one often sees growing in the middle of fields here in Ireland served as my inspiration. They are often windswept and leaning away from the west.

www.bealtainecottage.comThis sits upon the dresser in the kitchen…a time when preserves were sold in stoneware jars. All containers were re-cycled, in that they were re-used…even milk bottles! Lemonade bottles had a money deposit attached to them and children would collect them up to return to the shop, as a way of earning pocket money!

www.bealtainecottage.comEven cream came in little stoneware jars like this, as it kept cool in the pantry in the days before every home had a fridge!

“A sacred way of life connects us to the people and places around us. That means that a sacred economy must be in large part a local economy, in which we have multidimensional, personal relationships with the land and people who meet our needs, and whose needs are met in turn.”
― Juliana Birnbaum FoxSustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms, and Communities Worldwide


  1. Only recently a Tasmanian (the home of Bill Mollison 🙂 ) started circulating milk in glass bottles again with a cash deposit return for the empties and as Tasmania is such a small state that is completely invested in the tourism market our government is considering a return to the old payment for return of cans and bottles scheme that I remember from my childhood. They never stopped doing it in South Australia and it makes perfect sense!

  2. Many have lost the art of growing plants for food. However it is also true that many are working, raising children and haven’t a minute to themselves. Suburban dwellers look in vain, for LOCAL organic vegetable shops. it is frustrating and why should one have to order organic food online? Local growers and shop keepers need to think local, organic. The east coast has Lidl for some organic vegetables, but that’s it. Would love to source true, organic vegetables grown with Spring water.

  3. Hello Colette,
    I don’t have a lawn, decided to get rid of it the year after I moved in. Its filled with flowers, shrubs and right now garlic and spring bulbs are coming up. I grow string beans in the front yard with pumpkins and herbs. I love not spending money on a lawn mower and gas and all that time. I use all the manure from all the animals and cover my yard with it each winter.
    I love your bartering plan, I am going to see if there is a group nearby..
    I am glad you are getting hens again and love the shed and yard.
    Cheers to you

    • It does make a lot more sense when one thinks of the immense waste there is worldwide on lawns. I’m looking forward to the hens!
      Blessings to you, Carole XXX

  4. In the space of a couple of weeks I have watched my garden changing from brown and barren to green and blossom. Yesterday I caught the bus to Chichester, rather than drive. I couldn’t justify driving twenty miles or so for one ball of wool needed to finish off a grandson’s pullover. The round trip took about five hours, with having to wait for a connection. Whilst waiting at the bus stop, I noticed a Lilac in flower!

    • My word…that sounds like a pilgrimage…but seeing a Lilac in flower was a compensation. For myself, if I ever travel to London I travel by coach, about a 16 hour one way trip, but I love to see the passing landscape. Once every few years usually, but the cheapest way to travel too.
      Blessings…and hope you managed to get the wool!

Your comments are welcome!