Tag Archives: education

Urban Permaculture Designers ahoy

One of our students' amazing designs: a re-design for a suburban small holding

So Winter is ending and Spring is on its way.  We spent this winter just gone traveling to Sydney every weekend to teach Permaculture, which made us feel like short-range nomads very quickly. And the end result is now out there; 36 accomplished urban permaculture designers, who will go on to do amazing things. Not bad for one winter’s work. Continue reading

Abundance in Drylands

ampersand project
Drylands greywater kitchen garden at Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center, Arizona

In the course of researching for our upcoming Permaculture Design Course in Alice Springs this April, I’ve come across quite a few great new resources for food security and regeneration for desert environments.

And it would seem to me, as is usually the case, the main blockage between most modern drylands habitats becoming abundant places to inhabit is the time-worn problem of access to appropriate knowledge.

Fortunately, and somewhat mysteriously, our species has a very long history of living in seemingly inhospitable environments the world over. Traditional techniques that served previous generations with food and housing are not always possible in todays world, and so much knowledge has been lost in the last century with the arrival of industrialized (and colonial) everything. Continue reading

Autumn adventures

students planting trees on the swale

Our Permaculture Design Certificate students planting trees on the main swale

‘Twas an autumn of harvesting apples, and to a degree, reaping what we had sowed… we may not have brought a crop in at Milkwood, so to speak, but we sure did our Autumn toil.

To summarise the last period of time, Milkwood was awash in farmers, tractors, students, caravans and Keyline Plows. There was much planting of trees and eating of stews, and many, many pots of tea were drunk… a wood-fired shower materialized, a bigger (quite deluxe, really) Milkwood HQ caravan arrived. Landscapes were charted, courses were convened, hillsides were surveyed and many cakes baked… Continue reading

Earthworks, water and other fantastic fun

lily pags in Geoff's dam

Water is precious. And hard to find, around here. The process of designing hydrology into a site so that whatever water is available is used intelligently and for multiple purposes before it is allowed to seep out of the soil and into the creek is a tricky task. We have spend nigh on a year now, just watching the rainfall and the landscape and thinking and planning how we would best design Milkwood to make the most of our limited rainwater catchment.

How we could harvest that water and divert it across the landscape so that it seeps in gently and slowly, creating places for things to grow, rather than have the water pelting down the cleared gullies on either side of Milkwood, to swell the eroded creek and rush off downstream before the land and the soil has had a chance to benefit from it. Continue reading

Sydney Permaculture course all done…

entrance to Angel St garden

Last weekend we were down in Sydney teaching an Introduction to Permaculture course, which went really well. Two days of intensive learning, discussing, eating and exploring. Lots of new friends made. It was especially great to see students make connections between each other – that old story of new friends you hadn’t met yet, just around the corner from your house. Continue reading

Back from the Brink by Peter Andrews

'back from the brink' book coverOut in the rural areas of NSW (and probably in other states of Australia as well) this book has been causing a minor furore. Country town bookstores were selling out of all their copies in a day, everyone was talking about it, everyone wanted to read it, everyone was ordering in a copy for their father/wife/husband/themselves because the word on the street was that it contained mighty important information about how to drought-proof your land. Continue reading

Upcoming: ITP courses are go!

urban community garden, vancouverJust a note that we  are rip-roaring ready to go on our ‘Introduction to Permaculture’ courses, which will be held in Sydney, Mudgee and Kiama before Christmas 2007.

We’re both really looking forward to cutting our teeth on teaching sustainable system design and getting  whoever wants to learn worded up on the basics of Permaculture as it applies to the Australian environment.

The course also includes two days of great food and the inevitable sharing of information, making of connections, and the beginning of many conversations – all the good things in life, really…

The first course is in Sydney at the end of October, followed by Mudgee in November, and Kiama in December. It’s basically two days of information, techniques and principles of designing systems for human habitation which result in the absolute minimum impact on the surrounding biosphere, by use of techniques that make things easier for everyone to live, eat and work sustainably (and are totally funky and not arcadian in the least)… Continue reading


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