Mark O’Connel showed Mark, Rachel and myself round Huxhams Cross Farm on November 3rd, showing us the chickens, two cows, new barn and the market garden’s polytunnels. The transformation of soil quality from a barkley/maize desert to good soil through biodynamic and permacultural activation by Bob Mayhew and Marina O’Connel was dramatic. Marina showed me her samples of the original soil. I also held up the two soil samples to the Social Renewal : Beyond Crisis Conference at Dartington on Saturday 4th to demonstrate what change is possible when we care for the earth, build a regenerative circular economy, secure rights to affordable land through the Biodynamic Land Trust and co-create a new food culture. This was a good example of social threefolding in action, adding earthcare of course..
Peter Garlick of Motueka School writes that, ‘ Martin is a publisher, community land trust enabler for housing and farms, and founder of Hawthorn Press. Martin is in New Zealand on a lecture and study tour from Britain. He gave a public talk in Nelson and visited the Motueka Rudolf Steiner School and learned about the new farm school project. ‘
Martin’s talk in Nelson was titled “Shock Capitalism or Commonwealth”. He spoke about commercialism and the economic sphere and how it had captured the political and cultural spheres of society. Education, government and cultural life needed independence to flourish. Martin cataloged many problems in the cultural and political spheres that arose after neo-liberalism and market forces gained dominance.
Martin stated that the Market State has proved good for the few and bad for the many, and asked how do we transition to something better. “These are burning questions we all must face, if are to leave a more equal, free, prosperous, and earth caring world for those who come after us.” Martin’s next book, Free, Equal and Mutual is due out in December 2017.
Martin advocates for people to take back power and put strategic assets such as productive land into community ownership. He promotes Land Trusts, organic farming, co-housing and social business. He engaged the audience in his talk and identified local issues and encouraged other people in the room to get involved and help.
Sarah Smuts Kennedy, an inspiring social artist, introduced me at a breathtaking pace to the ‘For The Love of Bees’, a bee social sculptural project that is animating bee life in Auckland. We went to the Bee School at the historic Campbell Free kindergarten at Victoria Park. This is a carbon reducing, biological and community art project to strengthen inner city living conditions for humans and our long suffering bee population.