E-News - February 2018
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Ok Everyone!

You will want to SAVE THE DATE for what is being declared as the biggest community garden gathering to hit Perth.  On the 19-20 May come and join community gardeners from around the WA and Australia to mingle and listen to some amazing sharing about all there is to know about Community Gardens in Western Australia.

There will be something for everyone (even the kids!). Head to the website or Facebook page and get all the details.

For more information!

Media Release:
Expect the unexpected when you join us for the inaugural Community Garden Gathering to be held at Perth City Farm in East Perth WA, on the 19th and 20th May 2018.
The usual event we hear you say?
No…...not this time. You will be joining us for a bit of a difference.
You will be moving around, digging up new experiences and sharing the rewards of your harvest!
It will be a time for fun, engagement and creating of new and sometimes surprising friends. When taking a break from talking and sharing, you may even have the opportunity of ‘diggin’ a boogie with Costa and other gardening celebrities!
As a community gardener in WA, why wouldn’t you join us for this Community Garden Gathering in the heart of the city?
When you enter Perth City Farm for the event on the 19th and 20th of May 2018 you will feel welcome and valued. You will connect with other Western Australian community gardeners with shared interests. We will collaborate, accumulate new knowledge and create a stronger Community Garden community. Our underlying welcome to you is best expressed by the delightful Noongar phrase ‘Wanju, Wanju’ or ‘Welcome Together’.
Still wondering what this event is about?
Our fantastic program is an exciting blend of panel discussions, key note speakers, open space discussions, walking tours and entertainment. Importantly, you will also have plenty of time to mingle with local community gardeners and those from around the country. You will choose what you join in with.
It has been designed with you, the community gardener in mind. Through our conversations and your survey input, the seeds of this conference have been planted. Together we will grow a flourishing network of WA Community Gardens and as Costa says, “we will feed the roots and harvest our knowledge”

Bunuru -
Second Summer (season of the adolescence)

February - March

Bunuru is the hottest time of the year with little to no rain. Hot easterly winds continue with a cooling sea breeze most afternoons if you're close to the coast. Therefore, traditionally this was, and still is, a great time for living and fishing by the coast, rivers and estuaries. Because of this, freshwater foods and seafood made up major parts of the diet during this time of year.

Bunuru is also a time of the white flowers with lots of white flowering gums in full bloom, including Jarrah, Marri and Ghost Gums.

Another striking flower that is hard to go past is the female Zamia (Macrozamia riedlei). Being much larger than that of its male counterpart, the huge cones emerge from the centre of the plant with masses of a cotton wool like substance.

As the hot, dry weather continues the seed upon the cones change from green to bright red, indicating they're ripening and becoming more attractive to animals, particularly the emu, that will eat the toxic fleshy outer.

Read more here

Picture Above: Marri flowers 

Principle #1
Observe & Interact

“Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
By taking the time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.

This icon for this design principle represents a person ‘becoming’ a tree. In observing nature it is important to take different perspectives to help understand what is going on with the various elements in the system. The proverb “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” reminds us that we place our own values on what we observe, yet in nature, there is no right or wrong, only different.

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

Look Around


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.

EnviroFEST - Saturday 24th March 2018 

10am to 3pm at Whiteman Park
Discover ways to become more ‘green’ and sustainable at home at this fun, family-friendly environment and conservation event!

EnviroFEST is Whiteman Park’s flagship public conservation event, aiming to increase the public’s awareness and understanding of the importance of trees, the environment and conservation in the home and wider community.

More information on their Facebook page here

Repair Cafe Perth - March, April, May 

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 17 March 10.30am - 12.30pm
Saturday 21st April 10.30am - 12.30pm
Saurday 19th May 10.30am - 12.30pm

More information on their Facebook page here

APC14 Australasian Permaculture Convergence

15 – 19 Apr 2018, 6 – 9.30 pm, Canberra, ACT.

The four day convergence kicks off with the ACT Permaculture Festival on Sunday 15 April 2018, at Canberra City Farm and then 4 days of connecting and learning at The Greenhills Centre in Cotter. Followed by tours, workshops and courses across South East NSW.  Convergence attendees are expected to have completed a permaculture design course or equivalent, or to be participating in a design course.

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

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

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.

A WA musician who turned his love of gardening into songs about composting and growing vegetables has seen his musical efforts bear fruit, playing the big stage at the Glastonbury Festival and having his music pushed by the United Nations.

South Coast songwriter Charlie Mgee forged a unique musical path, combining ukulele chords with lyrics inspired by the core principles of permaculture.
"I write songs about permaculture — which may be the daggiest musical idea ever," Mr Mgee said.
"Permaculture is about working with the environment to sustain food production, fibre production, basically all of our human needs."
His band, Formidable Vegetable Sound System, plays "permaculture funk" songs on the Australian and global festival circuit and delivers a simple message.
"I just remember the feeling that I got when I first realised that I could grow my own food and recycle all of my nutrients back into the soil — it's just this empowering feeling," he said.
"Seeing people get that is just such a joy and I love inspiring that in other people."

From the ground up
The band has found there is a massive audience for "sustainable music", playing at Glastonbury a number of times and having the song "You are what you eat" pushed by the United Nations during World Soil Day back in 2015.
But the seeds of "perma-funk" were planted years before.
Mr Mgee said his passion for sustainability was sparked while growing up on a permaculture property in the southwest of Western Australia.
"I'm kind of a second-generation hippy," he said.
"We only had a single solar panel running our power to the mud brick shed which was enough to power a single light bulb and a radio.
"My whole life I was surrounded by veggie gardens and chickens and my dad had a composting toilet — which we now have a song about."
Mr Mgee said it was only as an adult when he moved to Perth that he realised his upbringing could be considered an "alternative lifestyle".
"Going from this really simple lifestyle to this place of abundance and energy and power and people and consumerism, it was a bit of a shock," he said.
"For a while I thought, this is great, this is the stuff I didn't have growing up.
"But pretty soon I started realising that it just wasn't sustainable."
Disillusioned with life in the city, Mr Mgee reconnected with his roots.
"I went back and studied permaculture," he said.
"And it kind of justified everything that I suspected was true about scaling back and simplifying and living in line with natural systems."

Read more of this article here


AUTHOR: David Holmgren
Released: February 2018

Are you looking to create a more sustainable life?
Would you like to be more resilient in the face of growing uncertainties?
Would you like to retrofit your house, your community and your life?
Are you interested in downshifting but don’t know where to start?

Whether you’re interested in the big picture of how, as communities, we can downshift our energy use, or the details of how you can grow more food for your family, RetroSuburbia is rich with real world examples and behavioural strategies applied by those already on the downshifting path.

You can purchase your own copy of the book here


The latest offering – issue 10 – is inspired by David Holmgren’s new book hence the gorgeous teapot cover. You’ll find it jam packed with hacks for turning your backyard into a permaculture oasis. The issue is illustrated with gorgeous drawings, thoughtful words and wonderful photos from around Australia.

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! 

Podcast #9  AVAILABLE NOW!

The current issue of Pip Magazine (released in mid-February 2018) – is their “retrosuburbia” issue – dedicated to delving deep into David’s ideas explored in the book.  Their latest Pip Permaculture Podcast is a cracker, featuring permaculture co-originator David Holmgren talking about his latest book Retrosuburbia, which was launched at the Sustainable Living Festival.

Get up close and personal with David Holmgren here

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 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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