The House of Jam

I recently completed my diploma in Applied Permaculture, and presented my ten permaculture designs in Lewes. In each design, I used the principles and ethics of permaculture to carefully plan the most efficient, and sustainable way to go about a particular project. My projects ranged from organising an event to give away locally grown surplus food, to a visioning project which highlighted the potential that my local park has, to meet the food and energy needs of the community.

A really important aspect of my diploma is that I share my work, in the hope that my designs can inspire and be used by other people. I hope they can teach how permaculture can be applied to land and non-land based projects alike, and how permaculture is a philosophy which can be used in every aspect of one’s life, in an effort to work towards creating a positive permanent culture.

My friend and mentor, Peter, came round for dinner recently. I had asked him to give me some feedback on my diploma, and if he would introduce me to WordPress, so that I could create somewhere to make my designs public. I also wanted him to give me some guitar playing tips. I’d found a beautiful guitar in a charity shop, and had subsequently spent weeks trying to teach myself, but failing to understand why it didn’t quite sound right. I grew up playing the flute, and to tune it, I just adjusted its length until the notes sounded right. It hadn’t occurred to me that on a guitar you can make a note sound right, but you could be an entire note too low….

So after Peter showed me how to tune my guitar, we started strumming away (slowly). He gave me two chords to play and started singing. At this point I should explain my tenth diploma design project. I had made a business plan to collect as much wild food and surplus food from local gardens as I could. I bulk bought English sugar and organic cider vinegar, asked all my friends to collect their used jam jars for me, and I spent months dragging dead wood out of the park. I cooked up this wild food in a cauldron over a fire pit I made in the middle of my lawn, and made pickles, chutney, sauces, and jam, with the intention of selling them at a local market.

By the time Peter came for dinner last week, my house was full of preserved food. Every shelf had jars along them, the cupboards were full of jars, the livingroom was full of jars, every cabinet had jars on top of it, there were jars under my daughter’s bed, and up in the attic.

So as I started strumming between the chords of G and C, Peter grinned at me and started singing, “Rebecca lives in a house made of jam…” I felt this would be a good starting point for my blog.


About thehouseofjam

I am a Trustee/Director of the Permaculture Association of Britain, and I make jam with wild food. Lots of it!
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3 Responses to The House of Jam

  1. Peter Cow says:

    Wow, i’m so pleased to have been a part of getting this blog up and running, and to help you get your design work out. And thank you for calling me a mentor, it fills my heart.
    I love your blog posts, keep them coming, and some day you’ll have to tell me how i can do this stuff on wordpress, as you seem to know way more than me already!

  2. seedsoftruth says:

    Thank you for being so awesome. I am on a similar path here in the USA. I hope your future is full of your dreams.

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