Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

The Planetary Permaculture Pilgrimage — teacher training with some of the world’s greatest teachers — has been a collaborative effort between these amazing teachers, Delvin Solkinson and myself. The courses will run back to back in November across NSW, QLD and Victoria.

The courses with Geoff Lawton and David Holmgren have been filled but we still have places for students at Robin Clayfield’s creative permaculture teaching 6-day course and her 1-day community decision making and governance. I have done both of these courses and they are amazing, equipping me with many teaching skills and inspiration to work with student needs strengths, and facilitation methods I have used with groups. They were so good I’m doing them again!

We also have places in Rosemary Morrow’s course the following week — with her take on how to teach PDCs to students around the world. I simply can’t wait, it’s going to be spectacular.

We would love to have you join this adventure with us and become part of the next generation of permaculture teachers!

Please check out the folio (7mb PDF) and book directly with Robin Clayfield: robin (at)

For extra info you can contact me: Tamara (at)

Posted by & filed under Education, Society.

In the 1990s the Bachelor of Agricultural Science course I studied had one lecture on organic farming and a tour of a permaculture property. For one subject I delivered a presentation on biodynamics, for which I received an award for ‘bravery’. Sustainable agriculture at that time was presented as little more than the stubble retention and direct drilling technologies of conservation farming. Disheartened by this lack of consideration of ecology-based systems my path strayed from ‘conventional’ Agriculture. That was until I decided to undertake formal teaching qualifications after working as a biodynamic gardener at a Steiner school. I was disappointed to find that little had changed in terms of representing ‘alternative’ systems (organic, biodynamic, permaculture, agroforestry, etc.) in mainstream education. There are no explicit references to any of these systems in any of the syllabi that cover agricultural education in NSW high schools.

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Posted by & filed under Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Trees, Water Conservation.

We’re all familiar with the concept of forests — lush, abundant expanses of pristine wilderness, teeming with life, a richness of biodiversity and awe-inspiring to behold. Trees and plants intertwined, filling every possible space, the very well-spring of life itself!

Forests exist fine on their own. There’s no mowing, weeding, spraying, or digging required. No pesticides, fertilisers, herbicides or nasty chemicals. No work and no people either. They somehow do very well, thank you.

Now, imagine if everything in this lush, abundant, spectacular forest was edible!

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Economics, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

I’ve been a fan of Maarten Stapper’s work for a while now. In fact, further below you’ll find an article I wrote, way back in 2007, about his experiences at the hands of his former employer — Australia’s publicly funded CSIRO agricultural research body. I’d recommend you read the article before watching Maarten’s IPC10 Convergence presentation, as it’ll give you a good backgrounder on his valuable work and his commendable ethics. I say ethics because instead of compromising his principles so as to retain favour with those putting bread on his table, he stood his ground… and got sacked instead.

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Posted by & filed under Building, Society, Village Development.

Photo by داود on Flickr

We highlight a little-understood cognitive phenomenon that may play a key role in the maladaptive failures of the modern human environment. There are implications for our future ability to integrate built environments into sustainable ecosystems. By discussing vision we mean how architects interpret what they see in front of them, not the brave new world they envision populated with their own designs.

By Michael Mehaffy and Nikos A. Salingaros (originally published on

1. Seeing the World Differently.

Have you ever looked at a bizarre building design and wondered, “what were the architects thinking?” Have you looked at a supposedly “ecological” industrial-looking building, and questioned how it could be truly ecological? Or have you simply felt frustrated by a building that made you uncomfortable, or felt anger when a beautiful old building was razed and replaced with a contemporary eyesore? You might be forgiven for thinking “these architects must be blind!” New research shows that in a real sense, you might actually be right.

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Village Development.

Original artwork, by Miraji Muganda
Editor’s note: Many of the IPC attendees purchased artwork from Miraji — to
support his efforts in Tanzania, but also just because he makes excellent drawings!

My name is Miraji Muganda. I am a 19-year old Tanzanian boy doing permaculture in Tanzania, which suffers greatly from poverty and environmental exploitation. I need to learn more and I want to help people to do what I learn. I have been practicing and teaching permaculture myself ever since my first course in 2007. That course was taught by Geoff Lawton from Australia, who is my good friend. I am working seriously and with determination for a sustainable future — not only for myself, but I want to help the people in my country even more. I am among those who have the potential to reach people’s hearts with enthusiasm for change.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Education Centres, Networking Sites, News, Village Development.

Short Version

If you’ve been waiting to apply to be a PRI PDC Teacher, we are now ready to receive your application (English only at this point — but read the rest of the post below to find out more about other languages). To apply, simply log into the Worldwide Permaculture Network, ensure you’ve clicked on the ‘Click if you are a PDC Teacher‘ link on the right side of your profile, and then click on the ‘Apply to be a PRI PDC Teacher‘ link.

Long Version

In March 2010 Bill and Lisa Mollison’s Permaculture Institute (PI) ceased taking applications for their long-running permaculture teachers’ registry. As many immediately recognised, this left a gaping hole in the permaculture garment — one which needs to be filled if the movement is to maintain a reasonable standard of recognised education.

Accordingly, when the registry ceased, the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) was suddenly flooded with "What now?" emails, and requests that we step in and take over the role of processing and verifying applications from permaculture teachers. This call came because existing teachers, and prospective teachers, all want to ensure that their students have confidence in the courses they’re committing their fees to.

Before I share what we’ve sought to do to fill this void, I will try to expand a little more on the above about why we believe having a globally recognised teachers’ registry is important and why we’ve been working hard to answer the many calls to facilitate this need.

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Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Economics, People Systems, Society.

We have a democratic right to know who is funding public advocacy.

by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.

Since the late 19th Century, the very rich have been paying people to demand less government. The work of Herbert Spencer, for example, was sponsored by Andrew Carnegie, John D Rockefeller and Thomas Edison(1). Spencer believed that society changed according to evolutionary laws. Humans were evolving towards perfection, but this process was inhibited by interference from the state. By protecting people from the consequences of their own actions (or their own bad luck), it stopped the winnowing process which would otherwise result in the survival of the fittest.

Social security, publicly-funded education, compulsory vaccination, laws enforcing safety at work all interrupted social evolution. But a self-regulated free market would swiftly ensure that those who were best-adapted would survive and triumph. It’s not hard to see why the millionaires loved him. They saw themselves as winners of the evolutionary race, taking their rightful place at the pinnacle of the social order. Any attempt to limit their freedoms would prevent society from achieving perfection.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Material, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Urban Projects, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling.

The creation of soil biology and composting and the generation of soil health and fertility as the foundation of regenerative agriculture is a major part of any organic or permaculture design gardening process. It is no different at the Gold Coast Permaculture site at 270 Ferry Road where the creation of soil is a major priority for the group as we expand our operations to include a large community garden and double the size of our urban agriculture demonstration block.

In order to achieve this, Gold Coast Permaculture has decided it really should walk the talk. So, some of our members with both the organisational and “do” capability have been out connecting with different businesses in the community and tapping into waste streams. As a result, over 40 cubic metres of compost has progressively been started over the last three months with the first five metres being ready for use by mid-October. This is no mean accomplishment given that the only inputs outside of the composting materials are minimal numbers of bodies and compost forks.

Two of the four compost windrows built solely from local waste streams

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops, DVDs/Books, Social Gatherings.

Attention people who are interested in Permaculture, sustainable living and being a positive change in our world.

Come along to our garden for our first showing of the Urban Permaculture DVD by Geoff Lawton, the director and educator of the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia!

The movie will be shown in the 5 year old Permaculture Organic garden called Urban Eden along with a talk and questions and answers by Geoff Lawton. Urban Eden was built by volunteers with materials kindly donated from local businesses! Gold Coast City Council Organic gardening workshops and events have been held in the garden.

When: Friday, November 4th at 6pm
Where: Mandala Organic Arts Cafe and Organic Permaculture Garden, 2558 Gold Coast Highway , Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast
Cost: $12 each at the door

All Welcome, including kids!

This event is brought to you by Gold Coast Permablitz and Mandala Arts and supported by Life Changing Doco’s.

There is an organic dinner, drinks and delicious desserts available on the night. Mandala Organic Arts Cafe is run by Vlady and his family who support local farmers where possible….

Contact: Leah 0406 897 195 or leg30 (at) or

For more info about the movie and Permaculture see And for Gold Coast Permablitz see our Facebook page.