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Creatures of Place is an insight into the wonderful world of Artist as Family: Meg Ulman, Patrick Jones, and their youngest son, Woody. Living on an urban 1/4-acre section in a small Australian town, Meg and Patrick have designed their property using permaculture principals.

They grow most of their own food, don’t own cars – riding their bikes instead – use very little electricity, and forage food and materials from their local forest. We found their story super inspiring and we think you will too!

Read more about the adventures of Artist as Family on their blog.

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  • “The bin-liner moment”: when you realise that most of your waste goes to compost, worm farms, chooks and the dog – no more need for a plastic bag in your bin!
  • “Going without is saying yes to other things.” This family gave up their cars (it costs about $30,000 a year to run and maintain two cars in Australia) in order to be able to work mostly from home.
  • The household income is under $30,000 – below the Australian poverty line – but they consider themselves rich.
  • “Money is not wealth.” Wealth is time-richness, family time, community time, and knowledge.
  • Aim for “community sufficiency” rather self-sufficiency.
  • Historical privilege brings with it important responsibilities: to pay respect to the first peoples of the land, to live responsibly, and to look after the world, including planting for the next generations.
Permaculture property
Family riding their bikes
Permaculture vegetable garden

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  • Tammy says:

    This is my absolute favorite film about the Great Transition, into which all of us who live by way of “industrial society,” are urgently being called. This film should be seen by everyone who lives in industrial America! My favorite part is at the end when Meg asks her five year-old son, Woody:

    “So what was it like being You today, what was it like living your Life?” To which he replies, “Mom, it was Beautiful!”

    I think these might be the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken. For the awareness of the miraculous yet simple beauty that is the gift of each Life, is all but lost by those of us who were born into a society that perceives our Mother Earth as nothing more than a marketplace.

    To Meg, Patrick, Woody, Zero and the lovely bit of Land you nurture and belong to, you are all Shining Stars! I am humbled and forever grateful for your gift of this vital film and your ongoing contribution through your blog!

  • Susan M says:

    I totally loved this & think it was captured so nicely & so good that Meg, Patrick & Woody shared with us their little paradise. Very inspiring, thank you!

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