E-News - JANUARY 2020
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A new decade begins...

We trust you had a restful holiday season and we apologise for the delay in this eNews getting out to you all - unfortunately our Permaculture West eNews Editor was stranded in South Australia with the only road back to WA closed due to bushfires on the Nullabor and without a laptop to ensure some true R & R. 

Despite the devastating condition of most of Australia at this time, we do intend that we can all take this as a very timely and perfect opportunity to review and plan to create a new decade that is totally focussed upon sustainable lifestyles, low impact environments, progressive agricultural ways forward, together with a personal responsibility reality check - in that we truly are in this together and it is up to each and every one of us to be pioneers for the future of this planet.  

Absolutely anything is possible so let's remember the ability that we all have to make a difference in our own way and ask ourselves this question for 2020...
What legacy will I leave for the future?

Wishing you the happiest of new years, new decades with an abundance of new possibilities,

Permaculture West 

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 #7
Design From Patterns To Details

“Can't see the forest for the trees.”

By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.

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.
This month's very perfect principle to kick start the new decade can be summed up in the Formidable Vegetable Sound System groovy tune "Patterns" from their Radish Beets album.  

Web designer

A spider weaves a web, working from the main structural components toward the finer insect catching details. First the strongest strands take advantage of major supports that are available in the area. Then the radial arms can be woven followed by the finessed details. The pattern of the web is still clear despite its adaption to place. Like the spider, design your landscape and life to best integrate with and accommodate the major forces and opportunities. The details naturally follow.

(Sourced Information & Photograph): Photo taken in Brogo, New South Wales, Australia by Richard Telford

Principle 7: Design From Patterns To Details Ideas

Permablitzing the urban environment

Starting with a group of people wanting action, positive change and local food, the permablitz moves to the design stage where the family and the designer get together and look at the patterns of movement, eating and working habits. We then look at environmental patterns and where their home is situated in the community and landscape. Once the design is complete we get down to specifics, even to the details of how many of each seedling will be planted.

(Sourced Information & PhotographPhoto contributed by Dorothee Perez.

Transforming a monoculture into a polyculture

“I wanted to build a lifestyle that balanced my working life with my family life. Using two acres of our family walnut orchard we gradually transformed it into a highly productive organic market garden that also produces hazelnuts and raspberries. We use highly detailed planting and harvesting schedules, crop rotation, green manures and heaps of compost to produce an abundance of healthy food for local ‘vegie box scheme’ families, good restaurants and farmers’ market.” – Steve Oke

(Sourced Information & PhotographPhoto contributed by Richard Telford.

Creating a picturesque garden

Mark Garrett designed this attractive food garden on a small steep sloping block at the world renowned Green Village, part of the Green School in Bali. The garden complements the organic form and aesthetics of the buildings that surround it. The keyhole beds allow for all plants to be within easy reach, while the winding path meanders across a series of terraces to access the river crossing below. Beauty and function blend to create an inviting space to work and relax.

(Sourced Information & PhotographPhoto taken in Bali by Mark Garrett.

Bringing back skills of old

At the Festival of Forgotten Skills rhythmic patterns are common, with rope making, spranging (predates knitting), scything, and candle making among others. The art of weaving with plants reproduces patterns found in nature to create useful and beautiful mats, baskets and decorations. The basic patterns of each craft are easily learned. The detail of the work is an expression of individual skill and creativity. The event brings young and old together for a day of sharing.

(Sourced Information & PhotographPhoto taken at Fair Harvest Permaculture in Western Australia by Michelle Troop

7 sessions from 3rd FEB to 9th MAR, 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Sustainable Living, with Duncraig Edible Garden

Connect with people in your community who also want to live more Sustainably. Learn practical ways to make a healthier lifestyle with a lighter ecological footprint.

Join the 2020 Sustainable Living Course in Kingsley for a journey to learn more about regenerative living in your world, community, garden, and household.

This interactive, down-to-earth course runs over
7 sessions on Monday evenings: 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm
starting 3
rd February finishing 9th March,
with an outing (at a time decided in the first session)
Cost: per session $10 ($5 unwaged)  total $70 ($35 unwaged)
Click here for more information
Friday, March 6 - Saturday March 7, 2020 
Changing Your World Conference & Fair, with City of Canning

Where aspiration, innovation and inspiration come together for a sustainable future!

Calling all social enterprises and businesses! Do you have skills and experience in sustainable technology or are you an emerging innovator in the sustainability space? Expressions of Interest are now open for hosting an information stall, food stall or a pop-up event; workshop or activity and being part of the conference sessions.

Click here for more information 
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 ultra modern tiny house on wheels is truly something to behold. With it's jet black exterior, super clever design and incredibly high quality of craftsmanship, this tiny home is sure to blow your mind.

To follow Matt and Lisa and to find out even more about the construction of this home, be sure to check out their Instagram:

The Flywire House - A case study in design against bushfire

In 1983 permaculture co-originator David Holmgren responded to the tragic Ash Wednesday fires with a project called The Flywire House. The case study design property had been burnt out in the catastrophic fires in the Dandenong Ranges of Victoria. The ideas are applicable to all fire prone regions.

It was an opportunity to showcase permaculture as a wholistic, integrated approach that went well beyond simple house design and construction. Teaming up with architect Maggie Fooke, the book covers; Fire Behaviour, How A House Burns, Choosing The Site, Site Layout, Broadscale Plantings, Water & Fire, Plantings & Services, House Design, Construction and Management.

It was used by the Department of Planning in a travelling display of information that toured the bushfire affected regions of Victoria. The design also informed much of David Holmgren’s design work including his own property Melliodora, documented in an extensive case study.

Originally published in 1991, this classic book has been reprinted and is still compatible with latest understandings, providing a unique case study approach.

A new foreword reviews the material in the context of the devastating 2009 ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires in Victoria, Australia.

Available as a download from

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.

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 #28: Damon Gameau

It’s Pip podcast time! Robyn is in conversation with Damon Gameau – actor, filmmaker and director of the film 2040.

The film is a hopeful vision for the future. A future in which humanity comes together to solve the crisis of climate change.

Damon Gameau is an eloquent and inspiring advocate in a world that so desperately needs change.

Aimed at families, Damon’s film offers up a range of solutions that people can support and implement at the local level. It also shows exciting projects working at higher levels in the science and technology fields. In the podcast, we explore the story behind the film and Damon’s inspiration to pursue this story.

Damon describes the film as a “letter to [his] daughter” drawing a picture of what the future could look like. He spent many years researching, and describes climate change as just one symptom of a system that is broken.

So, in the podcast we unpack the idea that all the things we need to do to combat climate change are things we should just do any way. Things like educating girls, so that they have better life outcomes. This results in better control over their fertility, which statistically reduces population growth. And things like protecting soil fertility and growing better food, because, well, it’s just better for us!

Damon also describes his connection to nature and the importance of daily time with the environment. He describes our broken system as one which we shut nature out to our detriment. We are one with nature, and if it suffers, ultimately we will too.

For more information about the 2040 film and Damon’s work visit


Know of a great workshop coming up? Or a permablitz near your place? Is your garden looking fabulous or are you 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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