E-News - DECEMBER 2019
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The silly season is here...

This time of the year is generally pretty crazy in that it's a busy time to catch up with everyone and sometimes needing to be in two places at once.  It can be a stressful time too for those feeling obligated to provide gifts who maybe can't afford it and  for others it's about the time shared with love ones and family or perhaps not being able to do so. 

Whatever it is for you, we hope this festive time of the year issue of the PermacultureWest eNews provides you with some inspiration that we can do the silly season on the cheap and it can be a more meaningful one when we do.  So we hope that this issue provides you with some ideas to allow the principles of Permaculture to inspire a locally supported, homemade and handmade approach this Christmas.  

We take this opportunity to thank you for continuing to subscribe to the PermacultureWest eNews and we look forward to bringing you more inspiring content in 2020. 

Tamara Lilly
Editor ~ PermacultureWest eNews

Nyoongar country spans from Leeman in the northwest to beyond Cape Arid in the southeast, in the southwest of Australia. The Nyoongar calendar includes six seasons.

BIRAK - Season of the Young
Mosaic Burning Time
First Summer ~ December - January

The lifestyle for the Nyoongar communities during Birak

Birak season sees the rains ease up and the warm weather really start to take hold. The afternoons are cooled by the sea breezes that abound from the southwest. This was the fire season, a time to burn the country in mosaic patterns.

An almost clockwork style of easterly winds in the morning and sea breezes in the afternoon, meant that traditionally this was the burning time of year for Nyoongar people.

They would burn the country in mosaic patterns for several reasons including fuel reduction, increasing the grazing pastures for some animals, to aid in seed germination for some plants and for ease of mobility across the country.

As for the animals, there are many fledglings now venturing out of nests, though some are still staying close to their parents. Reptiles are looking to shed their old skin for a new one.

With the rising temperatures and the decreasing rainfall, it's also time for the baby frogs to complete their transformation into adulthood.

Read more here

Images above: Aboriginal observing a managed mosaic burn and the commonly known blue-tongued lizard or simply 'blue-tongue' or 'bluey'

Principle #6
Produce No Waste

“A stitch in time saves nine.” “Waste not, want not.”

By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.

The icon of the worm represents one of the most effective recyclers of organic materials, consuming plant and animal ‘waste’ into valuable plant food. The proverb “a stitch in time saves nine” reminds us that timely maintenance prevents waste, while “waste not, want not” reminds us that it’s easy to be wasteful in times of abundance, but this waste can be a cause of hardship later.

This month's very "timely" principle can be summed up in the Formidable Vegetable Sound System groovy tune "There's No Such Thing As Waste" from their Radish Beets album.  

Principle 6: Produce No Waste Ideas

No waste gift wrap decorating idea

This option is beautiful, smells amazing and is also compostable. Simply tie some cinnamon sticks with string — and add a little greenery like pine needles or fresh herbs — to give your gifts an extra dose of holiday cheer.  Star Anise also looks pretty added to the decorative cluster.

Produce No Waste Christmas Decorations

We're certainly not encouraging you to pick an abundance of bottle brush flowers for the Christmas table this year (because the bees certainly need them), but we saw this idea recently on Pinterest and thought what a great idea.  If you pop a little water in the lid they say the flowers should keep for almost 2 weeks.  Who knows, give it a go, something different and they look quite pretty.

Recycled Christmas Tree Decoration Idea

Now we all have an abundance of toilet rolls, well I know I do !  I like to collect them to use as seedling pots and then they can go straight into the compost.  But this idea below could be a fun creative one to do with the kids too. 

(Sourced Information & Photograph): More ideas here 

Gift wrap that gives twice

Avoid using Christmas wrapping paper that only gets thrown into the rubbish bin this year and go to your local Spotlight or fabric shop, or better still have a look through to see if you have any old clothes that you no longer wear that could be cut up and used as wrapping paper alternative.  This young girl has the idea that a piece of material can be repurposed as a bandana or head tie.  Check it out here

How to wrap a gift using no sticky tape (and a DIY wool pom-pom bow)

Master your paper folding using this crafty technique and you won't need to purchase any sticky tape for present wrapping this year.  You could also reuse some old newspapers or paint and decorate some old reusable paper to jazz it up a bit.  Create some stamps and decorate your own wrapping paper design.  Afterwards the paper can be shredded and used in the chook house and later composted.  And how cool is this alternative to curling ribbon - a DIY woolen pompom !!

To see how to wrap a present like a pro without sticky tape - check this out!

Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 9 AM – 11.30 PM
Gift Making Workshop, with the Town of Vincent
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 10 AM – 12 PM
Kids Waste Free Christmas Workshop, with Environment House / Perth Ecoshop & Sustainability Services
Australian Permaculture Convergence 2020

(Organised by Northey Street City Farm on behalf of Permaculture Australia)

Australian Permaculture Convergences (APCs) happen every 2 years, usually in the Autumn. all permaculture practitioners and those interested in regenerative development are welcome to attend.

Attendees typically come from all over Australia, New Zealand and south-east Asia.  They are an opportunity for everyone to share their permaculture journey, their research into resilient and productive systems, and have fruitful discussions about the future directions of permaculture in the world.

They are a chance to showcase best practice in sustainable living and demonstrate how permaculture can bring about positive changes in people’s lives, the environment and offer solutions to the inevitable changes that are taking place in the world right now.

Celebrating Nature’s Abundance

Monday 20 April to Thursday 23 April 2020 at Camp Kindilan, Redland Bay, Queensland.

The Convergence is being organised by Northey Street City Farm on behalf of Permaculture Australia.

Visit the APC 2020 website  or  Purchase tickets

The program will include talks and workshops covering topics relevant to the three ethics of Permaculture, which are Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share. We feel it is important to explore the bigger picture of what true sustainability entails. Earth Care is obviously essential, however without People Care and nurturing healthy, sustainable relating, the task of coming together and working as a community can be greatly hindered. Finally, if attention and conscious intention isn’t given to the economic sustainability of communities, and the distribution of resources isn’t managed equitably, then  communities may struggle to be truly sustainable in the long term.

Keynote speakers confirmed so far include Starhawk  and Robyn Francis.

Are you running a course or training program related to Permaculture in the coming months ahead?  Email Tamara at by the 15th day of the month to be included in our next issue.
TINY HOME INSPIRATION - We have found these inspiring stories and had to share with you to stimulate the possibility of tiny home living!
This tiny house has an incredible story to tell. At only 10m2 (or 108 ft2) this home on wheels has been constructed almost entirely from salvaged materials. Despite it's micro footprint, it's a fully functional home for a family of three.
Peppermint Farm ~ Land Share Opportunity 2020
Peppermint Farm is Nelson Location 8182, Hawke Road, Yeagarup. We are located 15km by road from Pemberton, adjacent to the magnificent Warren National Park. The property is 38 hectares in size, with approximately a third of it being native forest of karri and WA Peppermint. There is approximately 10 hectares of plantation eucalypts, 100 tree macadamia orchard, 500 tree olive grove, 300 tree lime orchard, 40 feijoa trees, 30 pomegranate trees, two dams, two houses and a couple of sheds. We grow various seasonal vegetables and produce marron. There are suitable house sites around the property.

We have two 25% shares available for purchase. We will be getting valuations for the property so that we can offer the shares at realistic prices. We will need to form some sort of legal entity, whether a proprietary limited company, a co-operative or some other structure that is fair, equitable and legally binding on all land partners.
We are looking for like-minded people who appreciate nature, sustainability, equity and respect. We are custodians and stewards of this land that we are so lucky to be able to live on and with, and wish to attract people with similar values.

This offer of two shares has come about as my mother, who was the owner of the property, passed away in January this year. The property was left to me, my sister and my two brothers. My sister and I are the only ones who live on the property. My two brothers now wish to sell their shares.

The process of selling the two shares will not be quick, as we want to make sure we find compatible and like- minded partners in the property as well as ensuring we have an appropriate and acceptable form of legal contract and ownership in place.

If you would like to talk more about this, please contact me by email

Thank you,

The Art of Frugal Hedonism

AUD $24.95 AUD $23.85

A Guide to Spending Less While Enjoying Everything More

It sounds too good to be true. You can save money and the world, inoculate yourself against many of the ills of modern life, and enjoy everything more on both the sensual and profound levels? Preposterous!

Yet here is a toolkit to help you do just that. A tweak here, a twiddle there; every strategy in The Art Of Frugal Hedonism has been designed to help you target the most important habits of mind and action needed for living frugally but hedonistically. Apply a couple, and you’ll definitely have a few extra dollars in your pocket and enjoy more sunsets. Apply the lot, and you’ll wake up one day and realise that you’re happier, wealthier, fitter, and more in lust with life than you’d ever thought possible.

Available at the Permaculture Principles website US webstore, and from Ragmans in the UK, or as an eBook.

Also available as part of bulk orders at


PIP Magazine - PermacultureWest Members OFFER!

Just as a reminder our partner Pip magazine is offering 10% off subscriptions to all Permaculture West members.

Plus for a special offer until Christmas, enjoy FREE delivery on Pip magazine subscriptions and products.   And as an extra-special treat, you’ll also receive a FREE PIP Market Tote bag, when you subscribe for 6 issues, as well as save $8.70. That’s on top of your 10% discount as a Permaculture West member!

The current issue explores how to have a productive garden all year round, growing asparagus, slow flower movement, how to make your own yoghurt, butter and cheese, visible mending tricks, DIY plastic-free bathroom products and much more!
It’s the perfect time to send a loved one a gift that goes on giving this Christmas, or even take advantage of the savings for yourself.

Use the discount code PCWEST10 and claim your discount now

PIP Podcast #26 with Paul West from River Cottage

In this podcast Robyn has a kitchen table conversation with chef, TV presenter, writer and grower Paul West of River Cottage Australia.

Paul West bounded onto our screens with River Cottage Australia in 2013. But his farm and food journey started long before the cameras started rolling.

Pull up a chair and enjoy as Paul and Robyn talk all things food, family, culture and community. In the podcast Paul shares his journey from dish-washer to TV chef. He also talks about his most recent work – his new book the Edible Garden Cookbook & Growing guide .


Wow!  Our readership reaches beyond our great southern land...

In fact we have PermacultureWest eNews subscribers like Marianne pictured here who read about the Retrosuburbia Roadshow and booked flights from her homeland of Germany and attended both Albany & Narrogin events earlier this year!

And we would love to connect you with Marianne who runs and operates her own beekeeping business back in Germany and is returning to WA this December for her annual 3 month trip to expand her Permaculture knowledge.  Marianne is looking for a farm stay - work in exchange for meals and accomodation style arrangement where she can impart her beekeeping, herbal remedy and permaculture knowledge and learn some new things from you at the same time.   If you think you would like to connect with Marianne, please email her at

Know of a great workshop coming up? Or a permablitz near your place? Is your garden looking fabulous or are you’re just bursting to share photos of your community or school garden? Would you like to introduce your Permaculture business? Would you like to connect with local community gardens in your area?  Let us know about it!

And! Your input is what really makes this monthly eNews special and relevant to local readers here in Western Australia. Plus! It helps us showcase all the great stuff we’ve got going on to readers from other parts of the world too. 

So! Don't be shy! Send your updates, sharing or questions today:
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