We left cold and gloomy Japan and continued our year long summer trip – next stop: Down Under!
To our surprise, first permaculture experiences with Aussies’ guidance awaited us in Hokkaido, where Lakehouse Manager Julien’s parents introduced us to the marvelous world of self sustainable farming/gardening.
We got hooked on, so Bungan Edible Sanctuary in New South Wales was an obvious choice for the first Australian helpX project.
An hour bus drive from Central Sydney and we’re hopping off on the closest stop to Bungan Beach. Our host’s impressive properties have not just a view but a direct access to the beach loved by local surfers (half of our hosts family among them)! And guess what – from our room we can admire the magnificent sunrise on the ocean. If not for the living creatures such as cockroaches and spiders wondering around the house, we’d be in heaven
Our host, Jayatma is very dedicated to sustainability and supporting native environment is the crucial part of the project – all the gardens with their abundant variety of plants native to Australia or specifically to the area we’re in. The work is occasionally hard, as gardening/farming happens to be, but the working hours are very reasonable – 3 to 4 hours per day plus helping out with simple meals. We even once made (our first :)) Polish sour cabbage as Jayatma is into naturally fermented and unprocessed food.
What we really enjoyed about the project was the feeling of productivity – we were given jobs like preparing the barrels that we turned into amazing planting pots and you go through the whole process till you see the plants happily growing in what was once just an old smelly wine barrel.
We had a unique opportunity to work alongside great professionals – Tim from Holistic Gardens, who was happy to share his knowledge about arranging Australian gardens and effectiveness of irrigation systems and how useful can spaghetti be in one’s garden
The highlight, especially for Arek was a chance to work on the aquaponics with Charlie from Ecolicious. And all this in the stunningly located gardens with a view of distant cliffs and dolphins playing among waves, keeping surfers company.
After all our 5 weeks in Bungan passed pretty fast leaving us with plenty of valuable experiences we hope to put in use in the future.