E-News - March 2016
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Welcome to Enews 2016!

This is our second ENews for 2016.

As Co-Convenor of Permaculture West with Kelly Springer, I am very happy with what a great first Enews we had last month. Well done Kelly Thorburn.

As an almost completely new committee, we are settling in well together – thank-you Charles Otway and Helen Shanks for great guidance and counsel. Thank-you also Kelly Springer for your patience with me. I look forward to working with our dynamic committee over the next year as we promote permaculture in Western Australia.

Permaculture West have an exciting year ahead with a stand at the Perth Garden Festival in May, and at the Eco Living and Sustainability Festival in October just before the APC13. We welcome volunteers and suggestions to make these two events fantastic!

I’ve started teaching on Permaseed's 2016 PDC and have been busy looking after our garden during Bunuru as the ‘beasterlies’ dry the place out. I’ll also be opening up our garden for the second Bunbury Tree Street Art Safari in April. Yep, permaculture is creative, as well as functional!

There are some great events and workshops featured in this ENews and I'm sure there is something for everyone to enjoy. If you have ideas, or information on workshops and events, please lets us know. Our Facebook page has lots of great articles too and we welcome contributors there as well.

Georgina Warden, Co-Convenor

Permaculture West website   |   Permaculture West facebook

In the Noongar seasons of South West WA, Bunuru is the second summer that happens during February and March. It is the season of adolescence.

This is the hottest part of the year, with hot easterly and northerly winds and sparse rainfall. As inland water supplies became scarce, Noongar people traditionally moved towards the coastal areas where large assemblies gathered.

Read more HERE, HERE and HERE
The Permaculture Principles form the foundation for permaculture design. They are valuable tools for thinking about how to re-design our environment and our behaviour.

Permaculture founders Bill Mollison and David Holmgren each have a set of permaculture principles that overlap and are subtly different from the other.

Relative location

Its all about putting things in the right place to make connections for mutual benefit.

Its about setting up relationships and interactions in a design, so that the needs of one element is met by another. And, so that the outputs of something can be used by another.

So, when you’re thinking about where to plant a fruit tree, perhaps you could think about using its leaves in summer to shade a window on your house. Wouldn’t it be great if that tree was also on a path on the way to the letterbox, so you could check its condition each day (and even pick fruit!)? And maybe there could be a chook run under the tree, so the chooks are shaded, they can eat fallen fruit, help fertilise the tree, and even add some ambient clucking sounds for your house?

By placing certain elements together, in relative location to each other, and looking at their characteristics, needs and products, you can get more out of each element and reap the benefits!

Incredible Edible Toodyay

Bringing the Golden Oldies Back  

Toodyay is getting closer to having its own community garden!

The Shire of Toodyay has agreed to a community garden being located at the Youth Park at 13 Clinton Street, Toodyay – opposite the old Gaol Museum.

The next stage involves:

  • Structuring
    (develop organisation structure, policies and procedures)
  • Planning
    (engage a consultant to facilitate a community briefing session, perform site assessment & develop concept drawings)
  • Designing
    (engage a visual artist to develop drawings of planning elements).

The group finds out if their funding application for this next stage are successful in April 2016. If you’re interested in being involved in the Toodyay Community Garden and have skills you’d like to share please let them know.

Contact: Karla Hooper, 0421 288 805,

Sign up to the email list Read the concept plan  |  Facebook

Super in Swanbourne

Reza Vojouhi reports on gardening at the Oldham Residence

“The photos are from the gardens of a 120 years old, heritage listed cottage house which belongs to Jan Oldham, a lady with lots of passion for permaculture, wildlife and environment. We have a large area for making compost out of the leaves of the natives like gum tree, chicken poo and other manures.”

“This year we managed to grow plenty of herbs such as basil, parsley, cress, different varieties of mint, oregano, sage, rosemary, lemon grass, lavender, chives, etc. as well as silverbeet, beet root, chard, tomatoes, cucumber, beans, kale, capsicum and chilli.”

“Fruit trees on the property include; mulberry, figs, citrus and passionfruit.”

Beachside Bunbury

Georgina Warden shows us her beachside garden

This is our north facing front garden which we turned ‘permie’ in 2010. Before that it was just couch grass and roses in very sandy soil, with a pH of 8.5 – 9!

The soil is now pH 7.5 – 8 and while it is still hydrophobic, it now grows veg and fruit a lot better.

The garden is in the Tree Street area of inner Bunbury, just four blocks from the beach. Georgina’s garden will be open as part of the Tree Street Art Safari in April.
What’s happening at your place? We'd love to hear! Send us pictures of your garden along with your name and location, plus a few words describing it. You can send it to us via

APC13 Perth Update


13th Australasian Permaculture Convergence

2 – 5 October 2016, Middle Swan

APC13 will showcase sustainable living practices, demonstrate how permaculture can bring positive change to the environment and people’s lives, and offer suggested solutions to the challenges facing the world today.

Perth to grow food for APC13!

APC13 organisers are committed to working with the event caterers to make their job easier in sourcing good, local organic food, and supplying what condiments and other treats they can. Read more

Submissions for presentations. Closes: 31 May 2016
General Information  |  Register to attend  |  Volunteer  |  Facebook page

Eco Living & Sustainability Expo

SAVE THE DATE!!  Sunday 2 Oct 2016, Swanleigh

Permaculture West are organising this FREE EVENT as a lead-in to the 13th Australasian Permaculture Convergence.

The open access education/awareness expo will be all about sustainable living design systems, community resilience, food security, and building viable futures for our children.
There will be markets stalls, entertainment, workshops, demonstrations, presenters promoting urban farming, healthy living, skills sharing and community. Stay tuned!

Other Events

Green Skills Great Southern Sustainable Living Festival, 1 – 31 March 2016, Albany and surrounds

'Polyfaces: The Film' screening, 3 March 2016, Margaret River, $15

Boddington Rural Living Expo 2016, 12 March 2016, Boddington

'Life Off Grid' film screening, 14 March 2016, Fremantle, $20

Delivering Kitchen Garden Classes (with Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation), 17 March 2016, Willetton, $400 | $250 | $195

'Answers & Actions for Healthy Soils in a WA Climate'
17 March - Boyup Brook  |  21 March - York  |  23 March - Dandaragan, $50

Green Skills Sustainable Living Fair & Expo, 19 March 2016, Albany

Margaret River Swap Shuffle Share, 19 March 2016, 10am-12pm, Janny & Pete's, 502 Carters Road, (next door to Fair Harvest Permaculture)

Bedfordale Hills Bush Markets, 26 March 2016, then 4th Saturday each month, 8am-1pm, Bedfordale

Tree Street Art Safari, 2 April 2016, Bunbury

Perth Eco Fair, 3 April 2016, City Farm, East Perth

Envirofest 2016, 10 April 2016, Whiteman Park

Perth Garden Festival, 28 April – 1 May 2016, Victoria Park 

Vegfest 2016, 1 May 2016, Joondalup

Mosman Park Eco Fair, 7 May 2016, Mosman Park

PLUS!!!  Lots of events over at PERTH GREEN EVENTS!

Complete your Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) so you can attend the Australasian Permaculture Convergence in Perth this October.

A PDC gives you life changing skills and the knowledge to help you design and implement permaculture theory in your own home, community and beyond. You will get hands-on experience through practical activities as well as learning through workshops, presentations, and field trips to inspiring permaculture properties. And, at the end you will be a globally recognised, certified Permaculture Designer!

Take control of your future and be the change you want to see in the world today.

There are several options for training coming up over the next few months.

Permaculture Design Certificate

– Fair Harvest Permaculture, Margaret River

1 – 14 May 2016

Full time course. On-site camping available. Three healthy meals provided daily. Access to extensive library of permaculture resources. Course cost: $1850. Read more

Contact: Fair Harvest Permaculture, 426 Carters Road, Margaret River, (08) 9758 8582,

Permaculture Design Course

– Odd Fodder, Fremantle

from 8 May 2016, 9am – 4pm

Part-time course spread over 12 weeks of Sundays. Luscious morning teas provided, plus bring a plate to share for lunch. Volunteer or couples discounts available. Flexible study options. Course cost: $1190, $990, or $790. Read more

Contact: Odd Fodder (Brooke ‘Sparkles’), 0406 449 369,

Permaculture Design Certificate

– Terra Perma Design, Innaloo

11 – 15,  18 – 22 May 2016, 9.30am – 5.30pm

Full time course spread over two, five-day blocks, plus follow-up weekend in June. BYO lunch. Morning and afternoon teas provided. WA-centric PDC design manual included, plus access to seeds and plant cuttings. Course cost: $1200. Read more

Contact: Terra Perma Design, 0466 633 275 (Charles),

Permaculture teacher needed

Members of the Canning Agricultural Horticultural & Recreational Society are seeking a presenter to introduce them to permaculture in a 2.5 hour session. Ideally the evening will be on 2 August or 6 September. If you’re interested, contact Dianne Begg at CAHRS on ph: (08) 9451 1820, or email

CAHRS website  |  CAHRS facebook

Other Courses & Workshops

Earth Carers Training Program, Free, various dates in March 2016, various locations within Mindarie Regional Council

Holistic Management Training Part 1, $2000 + gst, 15-16 March 2016 (other sessions included in fees: 12-13 April, 17-18 May, 14-15 June 2016), Fair Harvest Permaculture, Margaret River

Beginners’ Beekeeping, $95, 12 March 2016, Fair Harvest Permaculture, Margaret River

Introduction to Beekeeping, $60, 12 March 2016, Swan Valley Gourmet, Baskerville

Attracting & Retaining Volunteers, $30, 12 March 2016, Perth NRM, Winthrop

Grow Your Own Superfood, $95, 13 March 2016, Fair Harvest Permaculture, Margaret River

Nourishing Soils Workshop, $350, 8-10 April 2016, Merri Bee Organic Farm, Nannup

Introduction to Permaculture, $170, 16-17 April 2016, Fair Harvest Permaculture, Margaret River

Edible Weeds Walk, $30, 24 April 2016, Odd Fodder, Hilton

Volunteer Guide to Wetland Weeds, $30, 14 May 2016, Perth NRM, Cannington

Edible Weeds Walk, $30, 9 July 2016, Odd Fodder, Hilton

Future Scenarios, $150, 6 October 2016, David Holmgren, TBC WA

Advanced Permaculture Principles, $450, 8-9 October 2016, David Holmgren, TBC WA

Advanced Permaculture Teaching, $700, 10-14 October 2016, Rowe Morrow & Robin Clayfield, TBC WA

Advanced Permaculture Design, $700, 10-14 October 2016, Graham Bell, Ross Mars, David Holmgren, TBC WA

Halloumi Making, $110, with sufficient numbers, Fair Harvest Permaculture, Margaret River

Bushfire could be opportunity for change

Farmers say recent devastating bushfires in south-west of Western Australia could be an opportunity to improve the way they farm.

A group of producers affected by recent devastating Waroona and Uduc bushfires in the south west of the state recently concluded a two-day fire recovery workshop focussed on using fire as an opportunity, not just immediate landscape recovery.

The event was coordinated by Darren Doherty who specialises in rehabilitating land through his business Regrarians. Darren has worked with bushfire affected farmers across Australia, including Jeff Pow of Southampton Homestead near Bailingup.

Read more from ABC Rural   |   Video from Channel 7   |  Audio from ABC Radio

Community Kitchen for Perth City Farm

Perth City Farm is setting up a new community kitchen space and would love to hear from people who could help with recycled or reusable items!

If you can help, please contact Roseanne Scott for a full list of what they are specifically after.

Perth City Farm – Website  |  Facebook

Other News

Dream garden demolition provokes fiery debate on Perth verges

Perth council verges: Native plants? Vegetables? Fake lawn?

Perth heatwave putting city's water supplies under pressure

WA is well placed to take advantage of renewables

Bruce Pascoe on the complex question of Aboriginal agriculture

Squash grown from 800-year-old seeds!

How food waste impacts the world's wildlife

France becomes first country to ban supermarket food waste

Radical Mycology: A Treatise on Seeing & Working with Fungi

This super comprehensive book on mycology – the science of fungi – is jam-packed with information on: fungal biology, ecological roles, accurate identification, fungal medicines, fermenting fungi for food, cultivating mushrooms, natural mushroom farming, cultivating mycorrhizal fungi, and the influences fungi have had on human evolution. It also looks at fungi and lichens as indicators of environmental quality, and using fungi to fix environmental pollution.

This book is written by Peter McCoy who founded Radical Mycology in 2006, to increase awareness of the ways fungi can be used for personal, societal, and ecological health.

Order the book online  |  Radical Mycology website

Inspiring Film!

'Polyfaces: The Film' - WA Premiere

What do you do if you’ve been advising people around the world for twenty years on how to regenerate their land, and you realise that this one on one method isn’t really reaching a lot of people?

Well, if you’re Darren Doherty, fifth generation Victorian farmer and founder of Regrarians, then you and your wife, Lisa Heenan sink your life savings (that were going to be the family home) into making a film. Over a period of four years Darren and Lisa take their three children on repeated visits to a wonderful example of smart, integrated regenerative farming – Polyface Farm in Virginia USA.

Read more from Carole Gorby
Each month we'll be featuring a Permaculture Business from WA. The aim is to let people know what services are available out there, and to provide inspiration for what's possible to achieve with a PDC!

If you have a Permie Business, send us your information for inclusion in a future Enews.

Fair Harvest Permaculture

Located just five kilometres out of Margaret River, Fair Harvest Permaculture aims to inspire people to grow their own produce, and teaches them how to do it.

They have a great selection of permaculture courses and sustainable living workshops, and they welcome visitors to their display farm to see first hand how things are done.

Fair Harvest Permaculture can also help set up an edible garden at your place through their gardening and consultancy business. Plus, there is an old converted farm shed that’s a great venue for workshops, events and weddings, complete with a fully equipped, commercial kitchen.

426 Carters Road, Margaret River, WA 6285  |  ph: (08) 9758 8582

Fair Harvest - Permaculture Website  |  Facebook
Wheatbelt Bushcare Grants – For protecting bushland in the Avon River Catchment. Up to $15,000 available. Closes: 1 April 2016. HERE

Community Development Grants – City of Subicao – Supporting community initiatives that promote wellbeing and a sense of belonging. Grants of $5000 and $1000 available. Closes: Friday 27 May 2016. HERE

Community Capability Grants – Small Projects – Helping groups care for WA's natural resources. Grants up to $10,000 for small projects.Closes: 30 May 2016. HERE

Lotterwest Trail Grants – For planning a trail, constructing or upgrading a trail, or promoting a trail. Grants limited to $100,000. HERE

Lotterywest Heritage & Conservation Grants – For conserving natural habitats and maintaining diversity of animal and plant species. HERE

Let us know what you're up to!

Thanks everyone who sent content in this issue. :D

This is your Enews and we love hearing about any events, courses, workshops, and permablitzes that you know about, as well as funding opportunities, general permie news and other cool permie-related stuff.
We’ll be featuring a different Permaculture group from around WA each month – so let us know what you’ve been up to! We’d also love to see what’s happening in your garden too, or in your kitchen – at your place.

Send your updates to:

NEXT DEADLINE: 19 March 2016,   for the April issue.

Until next month,
Kelly Thorburn - Enews editor
S U B S C R I B E   H E R E !
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