E-News - May 2018
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Event of the Year! 

Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 May 2018!
@ Perth City Farm
Western Australian Community Gardens are as diverse as the communities and the soils they grow out of. They bring people together in a shared space to learn, listen and laugh as well as grow food. 
We extend an invitation to anyone who is involved in or interested in learning about community gardens to attend the 2018 WA Community Garden Gathering this Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 May 2018 at Perth City Farm.

This Gathering will provide a place to share both your knowledge and experiences, as well as connect with others and share highlights and stories from your gardens.
The Gathering focuses on forums and sessions that support the participation of all attendees. Attendees will come from a range of positions (community, government, and business) and together will work towards developing actions to develop the community garden sector in Western Australia and beyond.
The evidence is unequivocal; community gardens have a very important role to play in all communities across the world. They are spaces where people can act local, think global, and are also sites for local collective activities including waste management, soil health, social inclusion, education for sustainability and food security.
Check out the website for the most comprehensive list of gardening identities from not only WA but around this great country.
This is truly not an event to be missed!
Tickets are available here

More information about the weekend, guest speakers and activities here

Djeran -
Autumn (Season of the Adulthood)

April - May 

Ant Season - Time to repair housing and shelter

The lifestyle for the Nyoongar communities during Djeran

Djeran season at last sees a break in the really hot weather. A key indicator of the change of season is the cool nights that once again bring a dewy presence for us to discover in the early mornings.

The winds have also changed, especially in their intensity, with light breezes being the go and generally swinging from southerly directions (i.e. southeast to southwest). Many flying ants can be seen cruising around in the light winds.

Djeran is a time of red flowers especially from the Red flowering gum (Corimbia ficifolia), as well as the smaller and more petite flowers of the Summer Flame (Beaufortia aestiva). As you travel around the Perth area, you may also notice the red 'rust' and seed cones forming on the male and female Sheoaks (Allocasuarina fraseriana). Banksias start to display their flowers, ensuring that there are nectar food sources for the many small mammals and birds that rely upon them.

Traditionally, foods at this time of year included the seeds that had been collected and stored for treatment from the Zamia last season along with the root bulbs of the Yanget (Bullrushes), fresh water fish, frogs and turtles.

As the season progresses, the nights will become cooler and damper along with some cool and rainy days which also means that traditionally mia mias (houses or shelters) were now repaired and updated to make sure they were waterproofed and facing in the right direction in readiness for the deep wintery months to come.

Read more here

Picture Above: The photo was captured by C.Miller in the South West (May 2018) - who mentioned this is the most insulated ant nest they had seen on their Kaloorup property in over a decade which they think is a sign of the impending cold winter coming. 

Principle #3
Obtain a Yield

“You Can't Work On An Empty Stomach

Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.

The icon of this design principle, a vegetable with a bite out of it, shows us that there is an element of competition in obtaining a yield, whilst the proverb “You can’t work on an empty stomach” reminds us that we must get immediate rewards to sustain us.

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


Image Above:
From a Wasteland to High Production. 
This Patchwork Farm market garden near the centre of London previously contained more than 30 tonnes of brambles, rubble and concrete and was replaced with 30 tonnes of organic compost, raised beds and fruit trees. Volunteers and trainees join the Growing Communities team to learn skills in growing high quality produce with a guaranteed market through their organic fruit and vegetable scheme. All part of developing practical, long lasting alternatives to the current food system.

Source: ‘From a wasteland to high production’ photo by Shyamantha Asokan and features in the 2017 Permaculture Calendar -

TOODYAY FIBRE FESTIVAL - Sunday 3rd June 2018 

10am to 3.30pm in Toodyay
An annual event celebrating all natural fibre incorporating animal, earth, and plant. Preserving tradition, craft techniques and artisanship and expanding boundaries through new skills and ideas.

More information on their Facebook page here.

Repair Cafe Perth - May & Beyond!

10.30am - 12.30pm at The Mezz, 1/148 Scarb. Beach Rd Perth
Oh no! It's broken! Toss it away!?! NO WAY!  Bring your broken items along to one of these events and work collaboratively to fix them. Repair Cafe Perth will be fixing broken items on the following dates:
Saturday 19 May - Saturday 16 June - Saturday 21 July - Saturday 18 August - Saturday 15 September 

More information on their Facebook page here

Cert III & Diploma Courses - Permaculture

Candlelight Farm
Candlelight Farm, in conjunction with Skills Strategies International, are offering Cert III and Diploma Permaculture courses starting in February 2018.

Cert III Permaculture is ideally suited to those who have undertaken a PDC and wish to broaden their knowledge, skills and understanding. The course is very practical-orientated and students learn about propagation, pest control, irrigation, construction, soils, site assessment, impacts of weather, organic crops, permaculture products and integrated plant and animals systems. Fifteen units are undertaken over one year.

The Diploma Permaculture is a course for those who wish to become designers and consultants. Twelve units are undertaken over a year or so, and include both rural and urban designs, managing projects, strategic planning, field research, managing soils and erosion, advising clients and using particular species in design work.

Both courses are undertaken on weekends, typically once a month at Candlelight Farm in Mundaring.
For information please contact Ross Mars on 0439971213 or email

Candlelight Farm & Australian Farmland Conservancy Quairading
Permaculture Earthworks Course
Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 May 2018
Join Ross Mars and Don Woodcock for two days of teaching and learning about water harvesting strategies for rural properties in this Advanced Permaculture Course. While some knowledge about permaculture is ideal, it is not essential for participation. Cost $200 per person.
For information please contact Ross Mars on 0439971213 or email

Permaculture Design Certificates & Other Courses

Introduction to Permaculture Design
Fair Harvest Permaculture

26 May & 27 May 2018, Fair Harvest, Margaret River

A two day Introduction to Permaculture course with the team at Fair Harvest. This is a great place to start your permaculture journey – they use their established systems to demonstrate permaculture in action and incorporate small hands-on exercises to make it a fun and interactive weekend that will leave you with the basic skills you need to design and set up our own permaculture system.

$170 for the weekend workshop –

$ 300 if you come with  a friend – (contact them by email to arrange payment )

This intensive course will cover:

  • the principles and ethics of permaculture
  • using zones and sectors
  • weeds and herbs (their uses in the  nutrient cycle)
  • animal systems
  • nutrient cycling with composting systems and worms
  • zones 1 and 2 veggie and fruit tree systems
  • permaculture in the community 

For more information visit here

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Growing Communities is a community-led organisation based in Hackney, North London, which is providing a real, practical alternative to the current damaging food system - changing what we eat, how we eat and how it's farmed.

Growing Communities from Ellie King on Vimeo.

Over the past 20 years or so, we have worked to harness the collective buying power and skills of our community to reshape the food and farming systems that feed us. Our organic fruit and vegetable bag scheme and the Growing Communities Farmers' Market aim to provide more secure and fairer markets for the farmers, growers and producers who we believe should be the foundation of a sustainable agriculture system.

To read our latest annual reports, please click on the link.

If we are to create the sustainable re-localised food systems that will see us through the challenges ahead, we need to work together with communities and farmers to take our food system back from the supermarkets and agribusiness.

Our pioneering and award-winning urban farms in Hackney and Dagenham produce fantastic local salad, fruit, veg, jams and sauces, while also training local residents, including children and lone parents, in food growing and production.

We also consider the bigger picture and work to create wider change: articulating our vision, advocating in support of our aims and replicating our projects.

We have helped other groups around the UK to set up similar veg schemes to ours. Together we are the Better Food Traders.

We monitor and meaure everything we do against our key principles to track our impact on the food system and to ensure our activities and practices are fair and transparent.

Growing Communities is a not-for-profit company with a constitution and a voluntary board.

Growing Communities is a company registered in England and Wales, number 03438761. The Old Fire Station, 61 Leswin Road, London N16 7NX


The Biochar Revolution

AUTHOR: Paul Taylor
Released: December 2010  (An oldie but a goodie!)

The Biochar Revolution
Transforming Agriculture & Environment

A friendly, informative, inspiring and break-through reference guide for anyone interested in biochar or concerned about environmental issues.

This book has contributions from 18 biochar experts and authors

You'll Discover

  • Ancient Solutions to Modern Problems
  • How to Produce Biochar
  • How to Test and Use Biochar
  • How to Change the World with Biochar
  • The Financial Benefits of Biochar
  • How to Garden and Farm with Biochar

Who should read this book?
Gardeners, biochar enthusiasts, small property owners, community gardeners, small and large farmers, sugar cane farmers
People who want to do something about climate change
Waste management districts, foresters, councils, government agencies
Policy makers in Australia, NZ, US, UK, and other developed and undeveloped countries

You can purchase your own copy of the book here


This conversation with Mariam Issa on Healing Gardens will inspire you!

First of all Mariam shares her refugee journey fleeing war in Somalia and resettling in Australia. While the experience of fleeing war was traumatic, Mariam found settling in Australia to be trying too. Mariam shares her journey from despair to connection with her community in this conversation. Rather than just getting angry at the system Mariam has worked proactively to create community through her RAW project.

The project has included (probably most noteworthy for permies) a thriving garden. But it also includes a shared kitchen and meeting place where women from all walks of life come to share their stories.

Finally Mariam shares her conclusions that if we don’t heal women, we can’t heal society.

We hope you enjoy this inspiring conversation as much as we did!

To read Mariam’s interview in issue 10 that inspired this podcast, subscribe to Pip Permaculture Magazine. To find out more about Mariam, visit her website here or follow her on instagram @mariamissaofficial.


Most of all, Pip Issue 10 is sure to get you inspired to start living like it matters!

Take a sneaky peek inside the pages of Pip issue 10 with this digital sampler!

Remember that you can still get a 10% discount on new subscriptions.
Just use the voucher PCWEST10 at checkout! 

Do you have an abundance of items you wish to share? 

Are you in need of donated items for your community project?
Do you need some willing workers for your project or community garden?
Well! Get in touch so we can connect you! 

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? Well we would LOVE to hear from you!
Your input is what really makes this bimonthly 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!

So send your updates and sharing today to:
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