E-News - January 2018
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January 2018


Meet a Local

Be inspired by other West Australians who are up to all things Permaculture around our state! We would love to hear from you!  

The below article extracted from
11 January 2018 

Mundaring’s Giving Greens charity gets green light

JAMES McDonald’s commitment to growing food for the most vulnerable is about to expand through a buy one, give one pledge he hopes will catch on.  The Mundaring grower will donate the same quantity of microgreens he sells at farmers’ markets to a charity that makes meals for the homeless.  Giving Greens is the next step in his model to provide food to those most in need by having those able to buy the microgreens help fund the project.  “When I first started the Perth Urban Farm Project in 2014, the whole idea was based around being able to provide quality fresh produce in unused spaces for those less able to buy it,” he said.  “It’s estimated about 5 per cent of Australians experience food insecurity, but Australia reportedly produces enough food to feed 60 million. These statistics suggest we don’t have a supply problem, just a distribution problem – I’m hoping to help change that.”  The 30-year-old philanthropist realised after a few months of growing and selling microgreens that he could support himself well enough to give away supplies of the nutrient-dense vegies.  He launched his buy one, give one initiative at the Perth City Farm and Stirling farmers’ markets last week and set aside the same amount of baby greens for the charity Manna Inc in Victoria Park.

“Manna will be using them in the meals they distribute to those in need,” he said.

“Given these microgreens are incredibly nutrient-dense and organically grown, those experiencing challenging times can still have access to quality food.”

He grows the microgreens in a potting mix in an open environment in less than a month on unused land given free of cost.

Red cabbage microgreens reportedly contain six times more vitamin C, 40 times more vitamin E and 69 times more vitamin K than mature cabbage, as well as other valuable nutrients.  Mr McDonald was a finalist in the WA Young Australian of the Year in 2016 before he completed his Bachelor of Sustainability at ECU the next year.  “The idea for my projects came to me when I was travelling; I would sit with people on the street and talk with them,” he said.  “They had little access to food and because I had worked on a farm growing food, I saw the potential for land to be better used.”  In between projects, he runs a permaculture orchard in Sawyers Valley and manages production of bush tucker at a farm in Mundaring.  His Facebook page asks the question: could we feed Perth’s entire population from within the greater Perth region?  He believes ultra-local food production would reduce the energy taken to produce food and through a combination of community projects and home gardens, combined with technology and under-utilised urban spaces, it may be possible.

“In general, microgreens are more nutrient-dense than mature vegetables per gram,” he said.

For more, visit

If you would like to have your story featured in our February issue, please email us some photos and a brief summary on what you love about your garden, what it means to be able to grow your own food and any pitfalls or success stories worth sharing to contribute to the community.
Don't be shy! We would LOVE to hear from you!


Birak -
First Summer (season of the young)

December - January

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 Nyoongars.

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

Picture Above: Moodjar trees flower with a bright yellow blossom in long grass in the south west.

Principle #12
Creatively Use & Respond to Change

Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be”

We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.

The butterfly is a positive symbol of transformative change in nature, from its previous life as a caterpillar. The proverb “vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be” reminds us that understanding change is much more than a linear projection.

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.

Repair Café Perth

The Maker Movement Perth, 58 Angove Street, North Perth

Oh no! It's broken! Toss it you say? No way!!
Bring your items along to one of these next events with Repair Cafe Perth!

Repair Cafe Perth at The Maker Movement, 58 Angove St, North Perth will be fixing broken items on the following dates;-

THIS Saturday 20th January 10.30am - 12.30pm

Find out more here

APC14 Australasian Permaculture Convergence

15 – 19 Apr 2018, 6 – 9.30 pm, Canberra, ACT. Early-bird tickets are now for sale for APC14 in Canberra.
For more information
click 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

Permaculture Design Certificates

Fair Harvest Permaculture

22 April – 6 May 2018, Fair Harvest, Margaret River

Fair Harvest is ready to offer it’s 11th South West Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC). Facilitated by a range of highly experienced and dedicated permaculture practitioners, you will gain knowledge, experience and relationships that will last a lifetime. Find out more information here.

Other Courses & Workshops

Zone 0 Permaculture

11 February 2018 – Earthwise Community, Subiaco 

Introduction to Permaculture Design

Dip your toe into the world of permaculture by coming along to this one day Introduction to Permaculture course. You’ll discover what permaculture is, the foundational ethics and principles of permaculture, and some basic design tools you can start applying to your own life straight away.

You’ll have fun with the interactive facilitation styles and never look at your home the same way again!

If you’ve been thinking about taking a Permaculture Design Certificate course (PDC) and not sure about taking that leap, the Introduction to Permaculture is a good taster and may help you decide whether a PDC is for you. Note: if you undertake a PDC in Perth within the next 18 months after this course then the cost of this course will be deducted from your PDC fee.

This course will be facilitated by Zone 0 Permaculture’s Renee McKie. Renee, is an experienced permaculturalists and has run various permaculture related workshops.


Location: Earthwise Community, Subiaco

Date: 11 February 2018

Time: 9am – 3pm

Course Cost: $80 per person


Click here to register or see more information about the facilitator.

Fair Harvest Permaculture

Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th February 2018 –  Fair Harvest, Margaret River

Introduction to Permaculture

Join us on the farm for a two day Introduction to permaculture course with the team at Fair Harvest. This is a great place to start your permaculture journey – we use our 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 us 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

Find out more information here.

13th International Permaculture Convergence India 2017 Hyderabad  

From 25th November - 2nd December 2017 I had the opportunity to attend the 13th International Permaculture Convergence held in India.  The 25th – 26nd November was the conference, this was held at the Agriculture University Hyderabad, Telangana.


These days were jam packed with:

  • Presentations held in several locations; talks by Dr Vandana Shiva - environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, and anti-globalization author ,  Dr. Sultan Ahmed Ismail – India soil biologist, Robyn Francis
  • Live displays; traditional pottery making, natural dyes, soil sampling, clay watering pots
  • Outstanding children’s program,
  • A market area, with local, natural products, handicrafts and fabrics as well as stalls from different permaculture projects and publications
  • Cultural performances and amazing Indian food. 

Most of the attendees then moved from the university to Polam farm, Medak district Telangana,  the location for the convergence, held from November 27th – December 2nd.

Polam farm is a permaculture design project of Narsanna Koppula, the founder of Aranya Agricultural Alternatives and this years IPC host. On the first days introduction Narsanna said “why would we host an IPC in a convention centre? We should be out here on the land, in a permaculture project.” The farm was great we did do some kilometres walking as the spaces were pretty far apart, but this was also a good opportunity to meet new people.

Once again the days were jam pack with presentations, workshops, networking, displays and yummy food.

I met so many amazing people doing amazing projects around the world, it was very inspiring. The lunch time and spare time we had were spent networking and such good conversations were held. Obviously, the Aussie’s were well represented so was great to meet more of them and hear what projects they are doing.

I would highly recommend attending an IPC. The next one is in November 2020 Argentina.

I’d love to talk to anyone in more detail about what I experienced and what the IPC’s and the International Permaculture movement has to offer.


I've provided some links for you below:

IPC 2017 India 

Aranya Agricultural Alternatives 

Agricultural TV videos 


India IPC Summary provided by:
Renee McKie – PermacultureWest Convenor

Essence of Permaculture Booklet

AUTHOR: David Holmgren

This is a MUST HAVE book for any new student to Permaculture and it's affordable for any budget with either hard copy, e-book or PDF versions available!

A summary of permaculture concept and principles taken from Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren.

A popular text for permaculture teachers for their students before they begin their course, to introduce them to the design principles.

Available here as a 22 page A5 booklet on 100% recycled paper. Also available as an eBook or in the original PDF version (with the PDF version available in 15 languages!)

OR! You can purchase your own copy of the book here


Take a sneak peak read of the latest issue of PIP Magazine here!

This latest issue features include:
- Aquaponics
- Seaweed Solutions
- Build Your Own Natural Swimming Pool

Remember that you can still get a 10% discount on new subscriptions.
Just use the voucher PCWEST9 at checkout! #winning!

Do you have an abundance of items you wish to share?
Do you need some willing workers for your project or community garden?

Well! Get in touch with us so we can help 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 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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