Blue Mountains Future ASAP 2021



You’re invited to a GLObal:

    PopUp ASAP Party

On and after the newest most exciting date in human history:

    1/1/21/21 aka January 1, 2021


    KIDs ALLS and OLDs


Australia, Ireland and around the world

All talking and listening and DOing ASAP

Let us know if you want to be in it! (email




**Your voice if you want to speak or sing

**Your ASAP photo of:

1] Something you’re proud of


2] Something you need to do better.


For Inspiration Check out AKoVA’s GSC winning song, and also the Chrysalis song

    For our children’s future…

Garden Planning With “Permaculture Rob”


Recently our Mother and Son team of “BagLady and Son” (Shirley & Nick) got a chance to ask for the wise council of an old friend, and excellent permaculturalist – “Rob Lawrence”.  We needed to get advice on a few things regarding the direction of the garden, and what could be planted in certain spots.

Below is a Q&A dialogue between Rob and Nick, including pictures. As a bonus, Rob was kind enough to include some things that he’s doing in his own new-ish garden, along with some great pictures!

(Nick’s questions are in BOLD WHITE, and Rob’s answers are in YELLOW)

Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

1. Space in front of kitchen – what to ideally grow?

The issue here is of course limited light, as the house next door blocks a large amount of the sun. Also the soil quality is questionable?
(not as good as the soil quality out the back) – So far we’ve been trying to grow some herbs, with weak results, apart from some rosemary that’s doing quite well.


Nick, thanks for asking that. One of the big worries that people have about plants is whether they will get enough sunlight to grow.

We want to look at light intensity as well as length of time. A lot of leafy greens do quite well in dappled shade. 

Yes, the house next door presents quite a challenge. At the moment, I would be looking at hardy leafy greens and herbs such as kale, parsley, nettle and rocket. 

However, if you can maximise the light opportunity, you will find a greater variety of plants. One solution I have seen in Katoomba before, is a series of great big mirrors on the southern wall! 

I wonder what would be the effect of painting your water tank a really light colour? A nicely dispersed reflected light and a longer growing season?

Another thing you can do is look at thinning some of the tree canopy shading the tank in the afternoon sun.

As for the soil quality, I would look at bringing in some better quality soil and maybe even making it a raised bed to make the microclimate there a little bit warmer.

2. Spaces above and below retaining wall – what to ideally grow?

? How Toxic Is Our Retaining Wall ?

Now we have to bear in mind here that the wood used for the replacement retaining wall just recently is treated pine. So that rules out anything edible being grown near it (and below I believe mum said?) but maybe anywhere close at all, so please advise on that Rob.

So again, what would be good to grow here? it’s again pretty poor sunlight. Again, soil quality is not great..

Hi Nick, the first question is whether those planks are treated with CCA or ACQ. There is a growing number of studies about ACQ Being much safer.

The questions are not just on what the chemicals are, but whether you get a direct dose of chemicals, what are their long-term effects, are they transmitted through the soil (most probably) and are they systemic in the plant (highly likely).

This blog is a quick synopsis of CSIRO’s position on CCA, the older treatment. Reasonably supportive as you would imagine however one of the comments  is that CCA is being banned in Europe. So theirs is not the only view…

And here is another bit of info from the EPA in the USA, with better information…
The short answer on growing food near the retaining wall is, it depends – on how hungry you are, how close you plant to the wood, how much different plants absorb arsenic and whether you peel any vegetables grown there. Interesting that the article said that beetroot only absorbs Arsenic) into its skin but silver beet (Virtually the same plant) absorbs it into the leaves.
Personally, I prefer not to go there unless I want to grow a crop of foods to give to people I don’t like.
In terms of microclimate, The upper terrace has better sun and drainage, so it  may be suitable for a wide range of herbs and flowers such as pansy, marigold, yarrow and more… The lower Terrace would benefit from a light coloured wall on the house, but in any case plants which can handle more moisture may do well there such as mint or nasturtium. Even ferns, Spring bulbs or shade-tolerant ornamentals.
3. What to grow next to the fence upper back left of the property?
Again issues with sunlight, I’d like to suggest some kind of vine that’s going to create privacy from the neighbours. When we are both in the backyard, we’re able to see each other, and really I don’t want to have to see those bastards (joking), but yeah privacy would be nice.

That fence is a tricky one. It already shades 80% of the northern light in that area. I’m thinking mirrors and paint again, this time on the inground compost bin! Or maybe a white knitted scarf around the cherry…?!

When I think vines, kiwifruit, grape and passionfruit all spring to mind.

One thing to think about is timing. If you get a deciduous vine, it may add to privacy more in the summer, when your neighbours are more likely to be out.

Personally, I would view a vine on that fence as a backup option. What would be really great, is if the neighbour thought it would be a great idea to put some low, deciduous privacy trees on their side of the fence! Especially ones you picked out yourself! 😉

Of course, if you do a bit of nude sunbathing out there you may find some Lilypillys planted along the fence the next day! That would not be ideal as they are Evergreen…

Sorry I can’t be of more help with this one. Privacy is a perennial issue with suburban living and it really comes down to how well you get on with your neighbours and finding win-win solutions.
4. What to do with all this Asian green veg that’s now going to seed?
I think it’s Mizuna? Anyway, there’s heaps of it going to seed all over the backyard. Should we rip most of it out, and leave one section of the garden to let it self seed and hopefully it grows itself from this point forward?
Yes, sounds like a pretty good option, as we are now entering a season where you want to start putting a greater variety of seeds and plants in the garden. Yes, keeping one is a good idea for seed saving. I do that with mustard and actually harvest mustard seeds as well – for curries.
Unless you need the space all at once, one thing you can do is strip the leaves from entire plants for your evening meal and if they are a little too peppery, cook them for a few seconds in hot water. (Obviously, mulch and plant in the space as soon as you can.)
I’m not sure about the flowers. You’d have to do a taste test. Broccoli and kale flowers are sweet and delicate but their other cousin, rocket, has flowers that knock your socks off.

Rob’s Garden Share Bonus

Here’s a couple of things Rob’s doing in his own garden located on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia – including his pictures and comments:

Hi Shirley and Nick, 
I thought I would share what’s happening in my garden. It’s still has a long way to go, but we get about half of our greens from it, and it is slowly developing resilience.. We have about 10 pumpkins sitting up on the shelf.
A selection of herbs and flowers growing in our garden at the moment.
Plants in the pic that would do okay and your area include: Queen Anne’s lace, chrysanthemum, pansy, parsley, chives, lettuce, Yarrow, marigold, snapdragon, comfrey, Chicory, fennel, thyme, sage, calendula, plantain and mother of herb.
The Chicory and plantain below the bath were sown direct into lawn and then the grass was just kept in check until they established.
Water from the bath drops into a ditch and the lower mound is planted with Chicory, sorrel, violet, Basil and a few of the plants mentioned earlier.

Letty’s Painting


The painting was done in 1999 for me, and for all of us, by Letty Scott Napanunga, an Anmatyerra woman from the heart of this land recently known as ‘Australia’. On the death of her father who was, like me, Irish, the family fled but they were caught, and Letty, a small child, was stolen, taken off to some Christian institution for training as a domestic servant.

Years later, Letty’s married with a couple of kids, and her husband Doug, arrested for being drunk, apparently hangs himself in the infamous Berrima jail, in the Northern Territory. But by strange chance, police take not one but 2 sets of photos – I saw them – and in these 2 sets of police photos, the sheets are not the same. So Letty’s mission in life was justice, for her husband. After years of hard and incredibly brilliant work – she spoke at the United Nations in Geneva, she died of cancer, without achieving her aim.

In the lead-up to the Walk, we did many good things. Gatherings at ACRC’s place with songs and food and speeches, ceremony with fire, Aunty Joan Cooper and Aunty Dawn Colless speaking so clearly and kindly to lead us; the Ride for Respect, Aunty Dawn carrying the Olympic torch, Jacinta Tobin and Jonah’s Pride singing, little kids everywhere as in the Wagana dancers with Jo Clancy….. great beginnings. I filmed a lot of this, so I know, it was very good, as far as it went and that was a long way.

But my walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge was with a big question: How deeply do we mean this huge call for reconciliation? And is it reconciliation? Or treaty? What will work?As one friend here said yesterday: ‘We all had such great hopes. We thought it would lead to a treaty. I don’t think we knew really what that would involve.’ I asked: Do you think other things moved into our lives? and we kindof let them get on with it and thought it would be alright? He said, yes. For myself, I went back to N.Ireland for 10yrs, caring for my ageing parents and working for environment and when I came back I felt the sense of community purpose had scattered, dissipated.

But we’re 20 years on, we know so much more now. We’ve had so many world crises. The latest, Australia burning, and now The Virus, impending economic chaos. It tells me that the time has definitely come. I’ll be proud to do anything I can to help our first peoples take the place they so richly deserve, as our leaders, teachers, guides, helpers, friends and some day I hope, family. As Aunty Wadjula Binna told us, in ceremony after the GLObal Greens’ Conference in Canberra in 2001, It’s not going to be easy, we’re going to have to be strong. I think we can do it.

School Strike 4 Climate Australia



Baglady says:

Hello Bundanoon!

You’re one of many places in the world, beginning with B that we’re challenging!

How’re ye going ASAP?

Send us photos, send us headlines, tell your story…

Also here’s a link to Susan Templeman’s great story where she shares what she’s doing that she’s proud of.

What’s Susan Templeman Proud Of?

Susan says:

“I’m really proud of the water recycling that I’m doing. Every morning with a bucket in the shower to help water my pot plants. And in our garden, putting in a drip system that’s using so much less water than we used to.

“What we need to do better in our family is link our solar panels onto a battery, so that we can really store more energy, rather than just relying on it when the sun’s shining.”



Baglady says:

“Good work Susan! So proud to have you as my MP!

Also, THANK YOU for connecting me with Mark Butler MP [Hindmarsh, SA] – Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy – when he spoke at your Climate Change Q&A this week in Wentworth Falls.

We’re waiting for Mark’s photo, which we’ll put up on this website and the Facebook page here with Mark’s answers to our 2Qs: 1 What are you doing that you’re proud of? and 2] What do you NEED to do better?

We have a list of all the WONDERFUL people who’ve supported this crazy visionary worldsaving pledge project. With the help of Blue Mountains Gazette, we’ll get this up ASAP. We promise!

Mark Butler – Shadow Climate Change & Energy Minister – Is joining in ASAP

PLEASE, send us YOUR photo/s of YOU and what what you’re doing that you’re proud of; and/or what you NEED to do better. If you don’t fancy being in a photo, you can send audio [<60sec70max] or 150 written words, with the same story.

Please put your first name, and where you are. And if you feel like it, say g’day/hello/hi in your language. If you’re a school or university student, feel free to put your age too. Help us Olds, to “wake up”.


Living ASAP is a Baglady world project piloted in Northern Ireland [starting Ballymena 2002] and spreading via all media inc. word of mouth, around the world.

For our children’s future. In respect for everyone and everything.

Another Viewpoint On The Corona Virus Pandemic


This is a very interesting video discussion between Sayer Ji of, and Dr Thomas Cowan. Here’s a couple of relevant quotes from the video which can be watched below:

“There’s a moment when the heart stops, and that’s when God enters the Human Being, and that gives the Human Being Spirit”


“Viruses are excretions of a poison cell”

Rudolf Steiner


“Fundamentally we’re more viral than anything else, actually”


“It’s more obviously about control than it is about anything else”