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Janta Wheelhouse
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Karuna,Church Stretton, Shropshire., United Kingdom
Climate Zone:
Cool Temperate

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A Spring Awakening at the Karuna Permaculture Project.

Posted by Janta Wheelhouse about 13 years ago

A shortstory by Lucy Langdon.Lucy Wwoofed(Volunteered) at Karuna last summer and has since become a very special personal friend and invaluable supporter of the project.This is her story of 'Karuna sitting' whilst the Karuna family were away.

A Spring Awakening At The Karuna Permaculture Project

I recently spent just over a week at Karuna, an inspiring forest garden Permaculture project hidden in the hills of deepest darkest Shropshire. I was there by myself, tasked with looking after the land while the resident family, good friends of mine, were away.

For five of those eight days, I didn’t see anyone. That’s the longest I’ve ever spent by myself and it led to a kind of awakening that I hadn’t really expected.

Before I get into all that, let me set the scene a little…. Karuna is a beautiful 18-acre haven. At this time of year, spring, it’s teeming with life: over 8,000 young, strong trees burst upwards, a multitude of birds and other wildlife noisily celebrate the warmer weather and innumerable blossoms explode into existence.

There’s plenty to eat. Last year’s leaves are still going strong, and there are potatoes, parsnips, onions and garlic in storage. The herb garden is just starting to perform and the ducks are laying eggs like crazy. Even more enticing, Karuna’s home brewed cider is thirst quenching, tasty and plentiful!

My week of solitude in Karuna was more rejuvenating and invigorating than any health spa retreat or beach holiday I’ve ever been on. I arrived in a rush, having travelled from London via west Wales, my head full of work and train timetables. It took me two whole days to slow down. Two days of sleeping soundly, walking, reading, thinking, singing and quacking at my only company, the ducks.

So, just two days in, eating well, sleeping well, exercising well, I started to connect with what was going on around me. Karuna works. It feels so right and makes so much sense on such a basic level; it’s exciting and enthralling in equal measures.

If you want to know what a working Permaculture project looks, feels, sounds and tastes like, go and visit. 

The thousands of acres of flattened agricultural land that surround Karuna make the success of this project stand out even more. Shropshire used to be carpeted in lush forests. Today, at certain times of the year, all you can hear for miles around are the plaintive cries of sheep and cows, as mothers are separated from their children. Amidst this heart-breaking racket, Karuna sits peacefully; quietly and humbly demonstrating a more sustainable way of life.

005 020 Wwoof%20071

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