Muddy Boots garden re-design, update on 2016 and looking ahead to 2017

Instead of writing a wordy post explaining how the enlarged and re-designed allotment playgroup space worked, I thought I’d post some pictures for 2016 season instead!

 

I asked group members about how they felt about the new space and got a few lovely quotations.

X and I love it! It affords much more space for the little ones to move around and explore, with separate sections/beds that emphasise the growing plants/fruit/veg. ūüôā

So much more space to run around in, my two love it, especially the larger willow den. It will be so magical next year when it’s all green and leafy.¬†

The mud pit and the sandpit are a big hit for M, she doesn’t stop talking about Muddy Boots all week! I love being able to chat with my new MB friends while she is happily occupied. Thanks Emily, its fab.¬†

I have a Facebook page which is updated weekly, you can view it here.¬†Muddy Boots.¬†I also have a website which gets a monthly update. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m enjoying it.¬†Muddy Boots website

2017 planning is in progress. I plan on running 44 sessions across the year at the allotment, 2 sessions each Friday from March till october. I’ve already got a long waiting list of people wanting to book in. Exciting times!

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2017 pathway planning

Happy new year! 2017 has arrived, I’m a few days late blogging here as we’ve all been struck down with the dreaded norovirus and have been flat-out for days. Not the ideal start to a new year. However, despite more than my fair share of illness, I am feeling quite organised and positive heading into the new year and I wanted to share some of the main reason why.

  1. I’ve been working on my permaculture diploma pathway design and have created this image below showing the 6 ares of interest that my diploma focusses on and the 12 designs that I will undertake. I have a meeting with my tutor early in January, so my mind has been re-focussed on the diploma and I’d like to complete it in spring 2018.

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I’ve been considering the remaining designs that I have to complete for my diploma and trying to decide between the seven ideas that I am interested in. I have done a brief overview of each one’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges. I will be coming back to this after my session with my tutor later this month and I will be making a more concrete plan for activity throughout 2017.

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UPDATE I’ve created this design for my pathway.

The six central areas with red and brown writing explain the six areas of interest I chose to base my diploma designs around. The spaces shaded in yellow are designs that I’ve completed. 3 additional yellow spaces will be added to make 10 designs before the end of my diploma journey. ¬†The other design ideas listed are either ideas for the future, or activity that I’ve been involved with around the duration of my diploma but have not written up as a design. There is a key explaining¬†this on the design plus notes of whether a design is land or people based and which of the Permaculture ethics it focusses on.

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I’ve been reading a book called ‘The desire map – creating goals with soul’ by Danielle Laporte. The book helps you to consider what is really important in your life and what you want to achieve. What makes this book different is that you focus on how you want to feel rather than tasks you want to accomplish. You are encouraged to select 3-5 words for your year, that sum up how you want to feel and then you base your yearly aims around how you will create those feelings in your life. I chose;

Balance Balance Pinterest board

Vitality Vitality pinterest board

Thankful Thankful Pinterest board

Clarity Clarity Pinterest board

In tune In tune Pinterest board

I’ve done lots of work around what those words mean to me and how i can use them to steer my year. I’ve created a Pinterest board for each word to look at whenever I am feeling like I need a boost of energy or a reminder. Click the links above to see the Pinterest boards. The flow diagram show the ways in which I intend to use these words throughout 2017 in order to have a successful and enjoyable year.

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3.

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I’ve joined an online forum called ‘The balance club’ all about finding balance in all areas of your life, from work life balance, to a more relaxed attitude to food, to self-care to exercise. One thing this has helped me to do is each month reflect on what I’ve done and learnt and to plan out the coming month. I’ve been using this combined with the permaculture 4 questions reflection activity and have created something that works well for me. This is my most recent reflection, looking back on the whole of 2016 and forward to 2017.

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4. I’ve invested in a business workbook to help me to take Muddy Boots forward this year. After numerous recommendations I decided to buy ‘My shining year Biz planner’ by an Australian called Leonie Dawson. It’s such a bright, fun and feminine workbook that makes business planning feel achievable and enjoyable. I’m hoping to work through it all during January and then make an action plan.

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My health and wellbeing design – DESIGN

IMG_8635Reminder of the aims I initially set myself for this design,

1. To learn about nutrition and health foods for myself and my family

2. To exercise and improve my fitness levels

3. To lose the excess baby weight

4. To take time out for myself without feeling guilty

During the design process, these aims have been revised and tweaked as follows.

1. To plan balanced and health-giving foods for myself and my family. 

2. To fit exercise and me-time into my life regularly

3. To continue expanding my knowledge of health and to set myself regular challenges. 

Ideas for designs I could use to fulfil these aims.

1. To plan balanced and health-giving foods for myself and my family. 

First I looked at a few ideas from other sources for meal planning. IMG_5488IMG_5487

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Then I tried out a number of my own ideas and analysed them using PNI.IMG_5486Post-it notes on a piece of card.

Positive – I used this for about 6 weeks. it worked really well because you can keep the post-it notes week after week and re-use them.

Negative – The post-it notes fall off and get muddled up. I needed to make more space for the ‘ideas’ section or create a place to store meal ideas not being used that week. I also found it unnecessary to plan breakfasts.

Interesting –¬†It is easy to juggle the meals around and it is a flexible way of planning.

IMG_5485 Incorporating it into my existing weekly planner blackboard.

Positive – This works well as it is easy to see at a glance just what else is happening that day and so how much time I will have for preparations.

Negative¬†– The board is too crowded with too much information going on, so it’s not easy to fit all required info in. A larger board would be needed

Interesting – I tried allocating each day of the week a theme for example monday-soup, Tuesday, potatoes, Wednesday, rice etc. This really helped with planning and thinking up ideas. It was great to have a space for a shopping list next to the board, so as I planned I could update my shopping list accordingly and make sure we had the correct ingredients.

2. To fit exercise and me-time into my life regularlyIMG_5570I used McHargs exclusion method to look at my daily and weekly routines and see when I had time to exercise. I found out that most of my available time was early mornings or evenings once the children were in bed. Weekends were also more flexible as my husband is around to help with the children. These times are marked with a ‘P’ for ‘Possible’ on the above planner.

IMG_5571I then created an overlay looking at possible activities that could work well at the available times of day.

IMG_5572I then created a third overlay looking at possible boundaries or challenges to taking on activity at these times. This helped me to be more realistic about what I could fit in as well as planning ways to overcome barriers I may come up against.

IMG_5574Finally I used this planner to set myself a realistic weekly plan incorporating up to 10 miles of running per week in three slots, plus a kettlebell class, a yoga session and quality time with my children and husband.

3. To continue expanding my knowledge of health and to set myself regular challenges. 

IMG_5559I used a yearly planner to keep track of key dates for when related activity happened or I planned to happen. I will keep on updating this throughout 2015.

IMG_5590I created a new¬†monthly planner at the beginning of 2015, looking at one Permaculture principle each month and planning related activity. Also on this planner I set myself one challenge each month; for example January’s challenge was to be Vegan and alcohol free all month. February’s challenge is to try out three new recipes each week. Next month, March, I will be trying out new forms of exercise. I will continue adding to this planner as the years rolls around. Not all challenges will relate to my health and wellbeing design, they will be tailored to fit with whatever diploma design is foremost in my mind at that time.

FINAL DECISIONS ON DESIGNS.

I decided that this diploma project needed a number of designs, all based around a calendar. I have considered ways of joining up some of these designs to create an easy flow of ideas and sensible, time efficient planning. I needed to find a way to plan meals that fitted around our schedules. I needed to carefully plan to allow for quick and easy cook meals on busy days or plan in advance by batch cooking meals and filing the fridge or freezer. So it was important that the meal planner linked with my weekly family diary.

I decided to expand the blackboard in our kitchen where I map out plans for each week. This is updated every Sunday evening to ensure we are organised for the week ahead. ¬†I added a ‘Dinner’ column to this wall planner and added a task of weekly meal planning to my sunday chores list. I now check what ingredients are required for the planned meals and update the shopping list on the blackboard accordingly. This list is then photographed on my i-phone and taken to the shops with me.

The blackboard also allows me to see which days I am most able to fit in exercise sessions. The activity I did detailed above that showed me the best times to exercise was very useful, exercise is now scheduled in early mornings or evenings or quiet parts of the weekend. I added an ‘Exercise’ column to the blackboard and write in 3 runs, one class and 1 quiet/date/one to one time each week. I aim to stick to these commitments.

So the blackboard design photographed below helps me to achieve aims 1 and 2

To plan balanced and health-giving foods for myself and my family

To fit exercise and me-time into my life regularly

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Aim number 3. To continue expanding my knowledge of health and to set myself regular challenges Is more of an ongoing design. I am using the wheel of the year design photographed above and will keep on adding challenges to this as time goes on.