E-News - July 2017
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Hi fellow permies,

The mornings have a nice bite and rain is beginning to set in. How does your garden grow? Lots of rocket, lucerne and chia are popping up everywhere in the sandy, alkaline 'soil' in my suburban back yard. In my head, the world away from this scene is an idyllic vision of moving south to the beautifully lush and fertile rural areas of WA with space and fresh air - growing food, restoring the land, hard work and dirt. Yes! My children can be seen (or not seen) roaming through endless 'natural playgrounds.' However, for my family and I, the right choice for us right now is to remain where we are and make do (and better) with what we have in front of us.

I know I am not alone in this vision, however! Do you dream of going rural, are you planning to make the move, or, are you already there? The theme of this month's enews is Different Ways to Go Rural, featuring an article on just that - going rural! Continue scrolling to find this and other fantastic content on biogas, our featured blog - Earth Girl by Karla Hooper and a story about building community when moving rural for Pip Magazine.
Much love,


Meet the Committee

This month:
Carole Gorby - Membership Herder

The advantage of being 60 years old is that I was aware of Permaculture during its emerging stages many decades ago, but not in any great detail. I really got into permaculture properly about four years ago. I went to a gardening workshop run by Terra Perma (Todd and Tash as well as Charles in those days). During the break, Todd talked about permaculture, and I heard a Ting! this was what I was looking for, and it could be applied in suburban settings, not just rural and semi-rural like I had assumed for years!

PermacultureWest's AGM was the next week, so I rocked up and ended up on the committee (that seems to have happened to me a lot over my life!). I did my PDC with Charles' Terra Perma in October 2014, which had my brain leaking out of my ears, even though I've got a strong science background and a lot of the material was somewhat familiar to me.

So now I do what I can within the limits of a sometimes uncooperative body. I'll be moving down to Pemberton some time in the future, and I'm now getting more into regrarian agriculture.

I love permaculture because it makes sense, it's logical and ethical. Mind, body and heart working together with a truly wonderful community of people of all ages and backgrounds. In a world that bellows despair, gloom and helplessness from many sides I love the positive attitude and pragmatic practicality of my permie tribe.

I love being the Membership Herder because I seem to have a knack for linking people together (and given that I have a lousy memory for names and have facial blindness, that's not bad!). So if you ever come and talk to me and I act like I've never met you before, I'm not being rude, I can't recognise faces but I will remember about you!

Grow Well,

Makuru is the coldest and wettest season of the year and lasts from June to July. Gales and storms are more frequent and the rains replenish inland water sources. For the Noongar this is the season of fertility. Read more here and here.

Design from patterns to details

"Can't see the forest for the trees"

Every spider’s web is unique to its situation, yet the general pattern of radial spokes and spiral rings is universal. The proverb “can’t see the forest for the trees” reminds us that the closer we get to something, the more we are distracted from the big picture.

Summed up beautifully by the Formidable Vegetable Sound System's tune



Perth Green Events

For a calendar of sustainable events in Perth and the Southwest, check out Perth Green Events here.

Permaculture West AGM

22 July 2017, 10.30 am – 1.30 pm, Perth City Farm. Each year, PermacultureWest holds its Annual General Meeting (AGM) to elect committee members. Being on the PermacultureWest committee provides a great opportunity to share the surplus and assist in shaping the future of the organisation and Permaculture in Western Australia. Read more here.

Noongar Six Seasons Walks: Makaru - The cold and wet

5 July 2017, Forrestdale Lake. Part of six free community walks, where you can learn about the six Noongar seasons in the Perth Region. The six seasons played an integral role in the yearly cycle of travel and resource collection for Noongar people, each of these walks takes you to where Noongar people would have been during that season and teaches you what resources were used and available at that time including foods, medicines, and materials. Find out more here.

Bush Tucker Tour & Indigenous Astronomy

7 July 2017, GDC Observatory Gingin. To celebrate NAIDOC week, we are proud to invite you to a bush tucker tour with Marisa Verma followed by a bush tucker dinner. Afterwards Shaun Nannup is back to conduct another Indigenous Astronomy evening. Tour starts at 4pm. Dinner is included. Find out more here.

Re-Invention Workshop

12 July 2017, 2 – 3.30 pm, Armadale Library.
During this hands on workshop young inventors will enjoy the challenge to get creative as they learn how to reduce waste. Investigate what's being thrown away and how it can be re-invented to give it another life. Suitable for children aged seven to 12 years. Free event. Find out more here.

Permaculture Design Certificates

Terra Perma

2 – 13 August 2017, Wed – Sun, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, Perth.

Full-time PDC, taught by Charles Otway and Fiona Blackham. Runs Wed to Sun over two weeks, Mon and Tue off. Morning and afternoon tea included, BYO lunch. Course cost: $1400. Find more information here.

Slice of Eden

Starting 4 August 2017, Mandurah/Rockingham area

Part-time PDC on three 3-day-weekends (Fri to Sun) and two days presenting finished designs with Slice of Eden in the Mandurah/Rockingham area. Details and course cost to follow soon. Contact Damien here.

Edge5 Permaculture

14 – 26 October 2017,
Sea Change Eco Retreat, Uoleva, Tonga

Full-time 12-day PDC with Greg Knibbs and Brittany Laidlaw. Learn how to live off-grid on an almost deserted island paradise. Limited to 12 participants. For more information click here.

Other Courses & Workshops

>>>  To check out Perth Green Events and see all of the latest sustainability events around Perth CLICK HERE!

Serpentine Jarrahdale Food & Farm Alliance

Developing Healthy Soils
22 July 2017, 9.30 am – 4.30 pm, Quarry Farm, Whitby

Good soil is the foundation to good food. This interactive round-table event is for people wanting to understand the connection and learn what they can do to develop good, healthy soil. Course cost: $50. Read more here.

University of Tasmania

Science of Gardening
Starting 26 June 2017, online course

Science of Gardening is for everyone, from avid green-thumbs with a lifetime of experience to those planting their first seedling. You’ll learn the science behind traditional and modern gardening techniques, and this will change the way you see your plants, and change the way you garden. Free course. Read more here.


Online Training by Regrarians
Weekly sessions from 26 June 2017, online

Work with Darren Doherty to create a plan for your farm. Held over 10 weeks, with live weekly interactive webinars/Q&A, homework and dialogue through the week, assessment of the homework and another Q&A session to wrap that week up. Cost: TBA. Bookings open now, pre-register here.

Different Ways of Going Rural

Many of us dream of making the move to more rural areas. But not all that many of us have loads of money to spend on the ideal permaculture property we have in mind. Buying the perfect place is by no means the only way to achieve your goal though. Jamie, Carole and Mike have documented their plans and stories for you, to show there are other ways to get to your dream lifestyle.

Read our article on different ways to make the move anyway here.

Follow Mike and Jo's Permaculture Adventure here.
Read more about James and Pippa's business here.

Witchcliffe Ecovillage

For those of us who like the idea of moving to a more rural place but still have the connection and support of a town or city, an ecovillage might be the way to go. Mike Hulme, permaculture teacher and practitioner has co-designed one of the best planned and designed permie suburbs in the world - and it's right here on our doorstep. Find more info under opportunities below or read the attached article here.
Geoff Lawton has put together a guide for what to look for when purchasing a permaculture property.

Property Checklist by Ross Mars

Another checklist to read before deciding on a permaculture property is this one by Ross Mars. It shows you what to look out for and how to set your priorities for choosing a suitable site.

Ross Mars is the owner of Candlelight Farm, where he teaches the only accredited permaculture teaching program in WA. Keep your eyes peeled for the Diploma course starting next year.

Find the checklist here or visit Candlelight Farm online here.

Going Rural and the 12 Permaculture Principles

In addition to the above checklists, Charles Otway has provided us with an article about the decision making process prior to going rural. Is it really for you? Are all people involved on the same page? Work through the 12 principles with Charles before you make any permanent decisions. Read more here.

Find Jolene's blog The Soil Hugger's Journey mentioned in the article here.

So you want to move to Tasmania

Another great resource to read before making the decision to buy a property is this article by former PWest convener Sue Hartley, which was part of a talk she gave on moving to her rural property. Read about all the things she considered before buying here.

Make your own Biogas

Producing your own biogas for cooking, heating or charging your rural batteries is easier than most people think. But what's the best setup? Are you looking for a cheap build or ease of use? Charles Otway has done his research and put together some alternatives with prices and links for us.

Find the full article here.

Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance

The time to defend the growing movement of small-scale food producers has come. AFSA is doing just that by campaigning on behalf of millions of Australians who want a fairer, more sustainable and more resilient food system. Check them out online, read their blog and sign up for their fantastic newsletter.

Earth Girl

Simple Sustainable Solutions

Earth Girl Karla Hooper is a Perth local who lives and breathes sustainability. She is also a great an eco-educator and presenter of workshops. Her blog focuses on simple and cheap solutions that make your life more sustainable.

Find Karla's blog here.

Choosing Eden

by Adrienne Langman

"Our friends thought we had taken leave of our senses. Larry and I had traded Florsheim wingtips and Manolo Blahnik sandals for muddy steel-capped work boots." This book is an oldie but goodie and the reason for more than a few of us to turn to permaculture.

Read more here, get it from your library, or buy the book used here.

Issue 8 has arrived!

Pip Magazine Issue 8 is hot off the press and should have arrived in your letterbox if you have a subscription. It includes features on backyard goats, growing your own raspberries, communal living, growing your own mulch, earthships, bush foods, neo-peasants, a beanie pattern, DIY compost toilet, Permaculture in Afghanistan, Bush Schools, Urban Farms, plus all the usual profiles, growing guides, garden inspiration and more!

Today's article is from last year though. It is called How to move to the country and shares with you Mara Ripani's story of going rural and the things that were important for her. Read the article here.

Check out Pip Magazine on Facebook here.

Don't forget that you can still get a 10% discount on new Pip subscriptions with the voucher PCWEST8.

Witchcliffe Ecovillage

The Witchcliffe Ecovillage, located only 10kms south of Margaret River, is a unique residential development that is set to become one of the world's first fully integrated villages to be self-sufficient in renewable energy, water, and fresh food produce. Stage 1 Subdivision and Construction is scheduled to start in November, so register your interest as soon as possible.

Read more and find all the plans here.

Vincent Neighbourhood Soup

24 July, 6 pm, The Paddington Ale House, Mt Hawthorn. If you've got an amazing idea to improve live for residents the City of Vincent and need the cash to make it happen then pitch it at our Vincent Neighbourhood SOUP micro-granting dinner. For a $10 donation at the door, attendees receive soup, salad, bread and a vote and hear from four presentations ranging from art, urban agriculture, social justice, social entrepreneurs, education, technology and more. The projects with the most votes receives all proceeds. Find out more here and here.

City of Stirling - Get to know your Neighbours

Micro-grant up to $200 to organise a morning tea or barbecue in your street to get to know your neighbours and build community.
Find out more here.

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? We’d love to hear from you!

Our next topics are:
Urban Permaculture
Inclusion in Permaculture
Animals in Permaculture

Your input is what really makes this Enews special and relevant to local readers here in WA. Plus, it helps us showcase all the great stuff we’ve got going on to readers from other parts of the world. Let’s show them what we’re made of!

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