Farkling and Fun

One of my favourite permaculture books, Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemingway, tells a story about three brothers who create a natural edible space.  They build a pond and it soon becomes productive with edible cattails.  But the wildlife moves in and soon something is eating their beloved cattails.  I forget what rodent they identify as the culprit, but they wait and let nature do its work.  Soon, the cattails come back again and they have a healthy harvest.

Any ideas why?

The cattail eating rodents make a fine feast for otters, limiting their numbers and hence the rise of the cattails anew.  Imagine creating a pond that houses otters.  What a dream!

Here’s one of the brothers giving a tour of their project which gives a flavour of the brothers’ philosophy and approach to farming.

And an update on our dream:

We’re discovering first edition books and other eccentric items in the nooks and crannies of the old life to be added to the ever growing eBay list.  It’s now a full time job.  Less valuable items are creating entertainment and trip funds at car boot sales at the weekend.  A tiring business when you’ve decided not to drink caffeine anymore.  They require wake up calls of 4-5am.

We like the car boot sales.  We attend one in the small town closest to us and there’s a great atmosphere and good sense of community.  The diversity of folk who come to visit – there’s many regulars and die-hard early risers seeking the best pics before they’re gone, passers-by, hagglers, price-accepters, treasure hunters, and those looking for something specific they can’t get on the high street.  People are friendly and amused by this odd couple selling all their stuff for life on a bike.

We’ve drawn a line at the end of the month for whatever is left will go to charity shops.  Being older and wiser, we’ve decided to hold on to the house for an extra month.  This month will be FARKLING month.  Yup, it’s a thing.

I’ve done a bit of farkling.  It involved installing a tank bag, new foot pegs and comfy seat.  I’m quite pleased with my efforts with the tank bag.  Instructional photos were poor.  BMW needs a better photographer.  The seat was bought secondhand, and I think the last rider was heavy, or I’m heavier than the last rider, ‘cos when you sit on it, it pulls away from the surface of the bike.  I’ll have to farkle it in place.   Verd’s more ambitious than me, he’s talking new bike rack and soldering job to fit a Pelican case he wants for the technology.

I’m beginning to worry we’ve run out of space.  So hence June farkling and practice runs to make sure we’re really good to go.

Remember the snuggle sofa?  We’ve tried it out – more on this in a later post!




9 thoughts on “Farkling and Fun

  1. ps: sorry if this was already discussed but have you read “Miles From Nowhere”? It’s a 1980s book about a couples experience of biking around the world. I read it way back then and still remember how interesting it was. Though, given how much the world has changed since then, I don’t know how it would read now.

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  2. Have you read about…. I’m gonna say it’s Yosemite…. National Park where they re-introduced wolves and were stunned at the eco balance that was restored? I recall reading that even rivers changed paths and stopped flooding because the animal balance also created plant balance. All very interesting.

    I hope the best for your adventures. Just reading about your farking make my bottom hurt (bicycle seats = ugh; I LOVE riding but the seats….)

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    1. Isn’t it just. Farkling is a bit of a problem. It’s all to do with fitting a Pelican case to back plate. Luckily it’s not my bike, I only have to fit a mud extension to my side stand so that it doesn’t get buried in a field somewhere. I’ve managed a tank bag all by myself, new foot pegs with a bit of lift and new comfier seat, but that needs a bit of farkling still.

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  3. I thought I’d replied to this – to discover not! Anyway, I think you have a great approach. The biodiversity prevents against drought years, disease years etc that you get with monocultural agriculture. I’m trying to imagine a seasonless climate. I think I like the changes that come with the seasons. Even winter promises the pleasures of woolly jumpers and fires.


  4. I really enjoy hearing of other gardeners that allow nature to take its course. And I’m familiar with Permaculture, though I’m not a strict practitioner. We have particular challenges here in Hawaii, due to the fact that there’s no dormant season, per se. I’ve got a Hong Kong Orchid tree whose leaves keep getting laced by some critter or another, so I pruned it way back to give it a better chance of fending them off; one fig out of three that is doing splendidly while its two companions languish. I had to pull up an unhappy Meyer Lemon awhile ago that I’d planted three years ago. It just wasn’t happy and indeed its taproots were rotten. We have rats and mice, for sure – though I’m not sure what damage they have done or might be doing. Yet my inclination is that most of my planting will live and thrive and some will die. It all seems to work out in the end. Enjoy your Farkling time! 😀

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