The Patch

A Permaculture Adventure

Permie in the Patch, 2016

When I was a kid, growing up in the 1970s on the outskirts of London, there was a TV sit-com that I adored. A quirky, optimistic show with wit and warmth, in the best tradition of British comedy. It was called The Good Life, with Felicity Kendal and Richard Briers.

It was the story of an irrepressibly resourceful couple in a snooty middle-class suburb of London, who absconded from the rat race in pursuit of self-sufficiency. How I loved that show, and the curiously romantic idea of ploughing up one’s lawn to grow potatoes and keep a brace of pigs …

Australia-bound for the Good Life

When my wife and I moved to Australia in 2002, we finally had the space to pursue our own Good Life (sans porcine companions). We were keen to grow a significant proportion of our own fruit and veg.

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Getting started in beekeeping

My wife and I started beekeeping in 2012. We were interested in permaculture and organic gardening and had been keeping hens for a few years. Keeping bees seemed the obvious next step in creating a productive suburban garden.

At present we have two beehives in our garden. In the past we have also kept bees at our friends’ property. Beekeeping can be labour-intensive or laissez-faire, depending on the beekeeping practices that you adopt.

Here are some of my recommendations for would-be beekeepers, based on our experiences.

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