E-News - April 2016
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Welcome to Enews 2016!

Hello all,
The Permaculture West Committee is full steam ahead this month! We’re planning a joint stall with Community Gardens WA for the Perth Garden Festival, we’re moving forward with Seed Savers Network WA, and International Permaculture Day is coming up quickly on Sunday 1 May. Plus, we’re organising some great stuff for the Permaculture Festival as part of the Australasian Permaculture Convergence in Perth this October.

This month I was welcomed into two active and passionate Perth Permie gardens. One was part of Northern Permies’ monthly meet up, and the other was Kath Moller’s where she fed us homemade ricotta and gave a lesson on cooking with a solar oven. See the Your Place section for the pictures below.

Thanks to the Permaculture West Committee who've been putting in so much time behind the scenes to push, move forward and make shared visions a reality!

Kelly Springer, Co-Convenor

Permaculture West website   |   Permaculture West facebook

[Thanks to Sandy McKay from Toodyay for this month's header image of an insect hotel in action.]

In the Noongar Seasons of South West WA, Djeran is the autumn that happens during April and May. It was the season of adulthood.

At this time of the year, the weather is becoming cooler, with winds from the south-west. For Noongar people, this was traditionally the time for collecting bulbs and seeds for food.

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.

Obtain a Yield

You can’t work on an empty stomach

Make sure that the work you are doing will give you a useful or valuable ‘yield’ in return.

Whether that be meat or vegetables, fresh water or firewood, shelter or medicines. It could be a product or service that we can then sell or trade. It can also be less tangible things like knowledge, contentedness, and connection with community.

Read more  |  Sing about it (with the Formidable Vegetable Sound System)

Rainbow Coast Community Garden

The good folk at Rainbow Coast Neighbourhood Centre down in Albany will be moving their current community garden to bigger and better premises in Lockyer this May. If you’ve got some spare time and energy they’d love to hear from you to help make the move as smooth as possible.

Contact Ryan Denniss on (08) 9841 8254 or via

RCNC Community Garden Facebook  |  RCNC website

Margaret River Organic Garden Trail

The Margaret River Organic Garden Trail gives tourists and locals alike the chance to visit and learn about organic gardens in the region. The gardens are a mix of biodynamic, organic and permaculture styles. Entry is free and some offer specialised guided tours by arrangement. Future plans may include expanding the organic garden trail into other regions, depending upon demand and interest. Featured gardens include:
Cullen Wines  |  Fair Harvest Permaculture  |  Margaret River Primary School  |  Tingrith  |  Margaret River Organic Garden  |  Margaret River Community Resource Centre  |  Margaret River Library

For more details, contact: 0402 944 729, or click HERE and HERE

Growing vegies in Toodyay

Sandy McKay’s productive food garden in Toodyay is based on organic permaculture principles and includes several insect hotels which native bees love.

Sandy shades her vegie garden in summer to protect it from the harsh Wheatbelt sun. She has constructed a special frame that she attaches shade cloth to which can be removed in winter.

Sandy also runs ‘U Grow Vegies’ with workshops on successfully growing fruit and vegetables. See Courses & Training for more information.

Click the image above to view all the pictures.

Kath's wild about water

Kath Moller is passionate about using water carefully.

The green oasis that is Kath’s back garden is a direct result of her catching, storing and wisely reusing the rainwater that falls on her roof.

Kath’s house has low-flow shower heads, dual flush toilets, and a front loading washing machine. She also has installed five rainwater tanks, including two 5000 litre ones. She even has fresh, filtered rainwater on tap in her Perth house!

The back lawn is now a thriving vegetable garden that’s watered via greywater and her five water tanks have seen her to the end of summer with plenty of rainwater to drink and water for the vegies.

Kath is also passionate about harvesting sunshine for cooking and has constructed her own solar oven from recycled goods. Wow!

Click the image above for more pictures.

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.

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

Keynote speakers announced!

Anni Macbeth and Rob Hopkins have been announced as the keynote speakers for APC13.

Anni Macbeth is an international futurist and trend forecaster who works with individuals and communities towards creating a socially and environmentally sustainable world.

Rob Hopkins founded the Transition Movement and is one of the UK’s top 100 environmentalists, with a doctorate for his work on localisation and local level resilience. Rob will deliver his presentation via Skype and answer several questions from the audience.

To have your question for Rob considered, submit it to APC13 Convenor Ross Mars via

Questions need to be received by 31 July 2016. Read more

Wanted! APC support team

Want to be part of the crew of innovators creating this year’s APC13?

APC13 is a chance to develop skills and networks that will turbo-charge your permaculture life, and help you towards a happy and well connected life.

Ross Mars is currently putting together a team to help with a range of tasks including bus drivers (‘F’ class) for tours during the event.

If you’re interested in volunteering your time please contact Ross Mars via

Balingup Small Farm Field Day

Saturday 23 April 2016

Permaculture West will be sharing a tent as part of the Regenerative Farms and Communities display and discussion. Pop in and say, ‘Hi’!

The field day covers sustainable small scale farming and a wide range of cottage industry products. Plus, there is heaps going on locally with the South West Regrarians and Bridgetown Permaculture groups.

Facebook  |  Website

Perth Garden Festival

Thursday 28 April Sunday 1 May 2016

Permaculture West and Community Gardens WA will also be sharing a stall at this year's Perth Garden Festival where we'll be spreading the word and sharing permaculture tips with newcomers to get their gardens singing, and hopefully whetting their appetites for more indepth information.

We are in need of some wonderful people to come down with a friendly face and a willingness to engage the general public and start a conversation. We'll be holding a workshop for interested volunteers on Saturday 16 April 2016, at 9am.

Please contact Kelly at or 0422 526 192 if you are available and keen!

Facebook  |  Website

International Permaculture Day @ Perth City Farm!

It sure is a busy time at Permaculture West as we'll ALSO be having super duper interactive day down at Perth City Farm for International Permaculture Day.

Stay tuned for more details really, really soon! :D

Other Events

Tree Street Art Safari, 2 April 2016, Bunbury

Perth Hills Permies meetup, 2 April 2016, Kinfolk Cafe, Mundaring

WA Frack Free Conference, 2 April 2016, West Perth

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

Great Cocky Count, 3 April 2016, Western Australia

Twilight Series Food Market, 6 April 2016, Perth City Farm, Perth

Food & Farm Fest, 9 April 2016, Beef Natural Farm, Serpentine Jarrahdale

Envirofest 2016, 10 April 2016, Whiteman Park

Love the Earth Food Festival, 13 April 2016, Perth City Farm, Perth

What does it mean to live in a Biodiversity Hotspot?, 14 April 2016, Mundaring

Twilight Series Artisan Market, 20 April 2016, Perth City Farm, Perth

Balingup Small Farm Field Day, 23 April 2016, Balingup

Merredin Bat Night, 23 April 2016, Merredin

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

International Permaculture Day, 1 May 2016, Earth

Vegfest 2016, 1 May 2016, Joondalup

Mosman Park Eco Fair, 7 May 2016, Mosman Park

PLUS! Heaps of great events listed with PERTH GREEN EVENTS!

Graduate Certificate in Permaculture Design

The first university-accredited permaculture program in Australia is here!

You can now study a Graduate Certificate in Permaculture Design with Central Queensland University (CQU) via distance education over six months or a year.

The course will equip you with the skills and knowledge to live and work more sustainably and give you the potential to become a consultant, designer or educator in permaculture.

The course was launched in Adelaide in March 2016. The event also recognised the work of permaculture co-creator Bill Mollison, with CQUniversity bestowing on him an Honorary Doctorate of Science.

Geoff Lawton is pictured here with Dr Keri Chiveralls who is the Discipline Leader on the Permaculture Design and Sustainability Program at CQUniversity and a senior lecturer in permaculture. Geoff is holding Mollison’s Honorary Doctorate which he collected on his behalf.

Read more  |  Register your interest

Permaculture Design Certificate

Remember, if you're planning on attending APC13 this October, you will need a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) under your belt.

Thankfully there are a whole compost heap of courses coming up this May 2016! :D

PDC, 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,

PDC, Odd Fodder, Fremantle

from 8 May 2016, 9am – 4pm

Part-time course spread over 12 weeks of Sundays, with Brooke 'Sparkles' Murphy. Luscious morning teas provided, BYO plate to share for lunch. Flexible study options. Course cost: $1190, $990, or $790. Read more

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

PDC, 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),

Other Courses & Workshops

Natural Gardening for Food & Ecology, Free, 6 April 2016, Terra Perma Design, City of Nedlands

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

Healthy Garden Haven Workshop, Free, 9 April 2016, Terra Perma Design, Joondanna Community Garden

Sustainable Gardens Seminar, Free, 14 April 2016, Terra Perma Design, City of Joondalup

Compost Toilets & Greywater, $15, 15 April 2016, Fair Harvest Permaculture, Margaret River

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

Mycorrhizas in Agricultural & Natural Ecosystems, $120, 21-22 April 2016, UWA, Perth

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

Shitake Mushroom Workshop with Julian Sharp, $45, 30 April 2016, Merri Bee Organic Farm, Nannup

Beginner's Beekeeping Workshop, $95, 30 April 2016, Fair Harvest Permaculture, Margaret River

How to Grow Vegetables Workshop, $55, on demand, U Grow Vegies, Toodyay or your place

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

Perth City Farm Education Program

Perth City Farm is looking to set up an educational program to run alongside its other activities. It is a logical and exciting addition to its nursery, organic gardens, food growing-harvesting-marketing, urban waste management, social enterprise, rural farmer connections, tree nurseries and other general operations.
The PCF team have been chatting with the education team from Northey Street City Farm who’ve been in town recently and have been sharing their experiences in running a successful permaculture and horticulture education program in Queensland.

PCF are currently looking into potential partnerships, enterprise, and existing education programs. Stay tuned for more exciting developments, or contact the farm directly.
Perth City FarmFacebook  |  Website
Northey Street City FarmFacebook  |  Website

Perth Urban Farming Project

The Perth Urban Farming Project aims to build healthy, safe and vibrant communities through the growing and sharing of food. They do this by advocating and assisting councils, community groups, organisations, businesses, families and individuals to convert under-utilised urban spaces into productive food gardens.

The group are currently looking for a large space around Mundaring to start a small commercial farm. Proceeds from food grown on the site will used to help fund community projects in Perth that give fresh, homegrown produce to those in need.

To help or get involved, contact James McDonald on 0490 059 880.

Read more  |  Perth Urban Farming Project Facebook

Permaculture writers wanted

PIP magazine’s monthy Enews Editor – Maude Farrugia – is seeking guest bloggers from WA to write timely blog posts on interesting topics with a WA twist.

She is also after someone to write a monthly gardening guide from a subtropical or temperate zone perspective.

Could this be YOU? Do you know someone who it would be perfect for?

Drop Maude a line via

PIP magazine:  Facebook  |  Website

Escape to the wild with Kevin McCloud

‘Escape To The Wild’ is a TV series about British people who have quit the rat race in the UK and are now living in remote locations around the world, living off the land and going back to basics. The research team for is currently seeking British off-gridders who’d like to be featured in the show. Maybe you're wwoofing around Australia, running an organic farm, or working in wildlife conservation. Find out more

Other News

New Australian climate developing – seasonal rainfall zones shift ...

WA organic farmer loses GM legal battle ...

Farmer supplies Perth restaurants with saltbush & samphire ...

Perth & Peel Green Growth Plan ...

New Jandakot facility to convert organic waste into electricity ...

Bike-share plan rolls into Perth ...

Tiny home in Perth Hills ...

Wideopen Agriculture in the Wheatbelt ...

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.

Oak Tree Designs

Edible landscaping and regenerative design systems

Oak Tree Designs provides environmentally aware design and education for the Mediterranean climate regions of Australia and beyond.

The business aims to help clients create their next step towards self sufficiency and nourishment. From the smallest herb garden to full scale, rural homestead design or broad scale land rehabilitation.

Oak Trees Designs is based Margaret River and run by Byron Joel who is experienced in permaculture, land re-vegetation, horticulture, organic food production, and landscaping.

Byron has also spoken about permaculture in several online podcasts.

The Permaculture Podcast: Episode 1459: The Power of Permaculture
The Permaculture Podcast: Episode 1605: A Lesson in Identity
The Survival Podcast: Episode 1305: Humanity's Future with Permaculture

Oak Tree Designs:  Website  |  0424 744 387  |  (08) 9758 8289
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

Permaculture house for rent, Denmark WA

One or two people wanted to rent 62 Inlet Drive, Denmark opposite the Denmark Waterfront Hotel. Charming one bedroom fisherman's shack, with character. Located 1.5kms from town, bike paths all the way. Big garden with lots of fruit trees on 0.5 acres. Has a 5.5kW array of rooftop solar, greywater re-use system, productive veggie garden, pedal powered washing machine, and outdoor solar hot water bath system. Suit someone with caring and practical hands, who likes gardening with background in arboriculture or horticulture. Kids welcome. No smokers or pets, but chooks an exception. Available after 8th April, 2016. References good. $280/week. + bond. CALL TIM: 0437 617 292

Are you a local expert?

We’d love to hear from local specialists in botany, ethnobotany, permaculture plants, ethnic plants, entomologists, native ecologists, water plants/systems, aquaponics, various animals and more. Let’s share our skills and get connected.
We welcome contributions. Free feel to send us info on local events, courses, workshops, permablitzes, funding opportunities, general permie news and other permie-related stuff. Plus, photos of your gardens, kitchen and permie adventures. :D

Send your updates to:

NEXT DEADLINE: 23 April 2016,   for the May issue.

Hope you're getting some rain at your place!
Kelly Thorburn - Enews editor

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