1. Tell me about Tiger Hill Permaculture – how it began, why permaculture
Well, while spending several years doing permaculture consulting work overseas on commercial and aid projects, I was always searching for a hill station where I could set up a project to assist locals with research and development toward permaculture. Getting access to land was no problem but getting funding was. I had studied for some time with other teachers around Australia and completed two PDCs and part of an accredited permaculture training. My father introduced me to permaculture and when I did my first PDC, that feeling of wanting to be part of global change resonated with me. When needing to get experience in the field I packed my bags and headed off overseas as I had a burning desire to work with other cultures and do aid work. Fortunately when I returned to Australia I worked toward finding that special place and started looking nation wide. As my fathers family were from Tasmania, I looked this far afield and found Tiger Hill to fit all my search needs. My dream was always to create an educational community no matter where the location. So I invested in myself and have started setting up Tiger Hill Permaculture as a farm forestry model based on permaculture design. Now I take up to 60 volunteers annually and teach them practical skills towards sustainable living. I am totally self funded from salary.
Goshen is a Professional Member of PA and is fully immersed in the Permaculture way of living. He lives in the suburbs in Geelong, a city in the state of Victoria, southwest of Melbourne. He gives to his local community by being the editor of the Geelong Organic Gardeners newsletter, and secretary of the local Transition Group (Transition South Barwon). Organic gardening is often a route into Permaculture… especially when Permaculturalists invite their local group to come and see their way of gardening! In the photo below, Goshen on the far right is showing the group his backyard micro-market garden:
Goshen’s property is featured in RetroSuburbia (David Holmgren’s book released in 2018) as an example of a food producing polyculture of mixed species on a small urban backyard using Permaculture Design and Principles. Read the case study online. Below, Goshen talking about the importance of nutrient cycling and fertility:
To learn more about Goshen’s Permaculture life, see his website. I met Goshen and his family in November 2018 – article by Dylan Graves
CERES are excited to host some powerhouses of Permaculture in Spring 2018. Robin Clayfield will be visiting over two days in November to share her skills and experience in facilitation and group dynamics. Robin has pioneered social Permaculture and dynamic decision-making around the world and brings her passion for creating deep change through effective, dynamic group work and co-operation between groups. More info and to book: Social Permaculture and Dynamic Group Decision Making Rosemary Morrow is one of Permaculture’s pioneering women. For almost 40 years Morrow has worked extensively with farmers and villagers in Africa, Central and South East Asia, and Eastern Europe. She has especially dedicated much work to the people of war-torn nations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Bosnia and Afghanistan. This two-day workshop on 8th & 9th of December focuses more on personal and group skills than growing plants, however the natural environment is always considered: Challenges & New Frontiers in Permaculture
Besides lots of other short courses in between, CERES’ 26th Permaculture Design Course starts on Wed 6th Feb 2019. The course is a mix of classroom presentations, workshops, design exercises, practical exercises and visits to properties to see Permaculture in action as well as a catered weekend away. The course content and approaches to teaching and learning is directed by a group of leading PDC teachers and practitioners. This 100 hour course is delivered by a range of professional, practicing permaculturists including David Holmgren, Joel Meadows, Kat Lavers, Donna Livermore, Peta Christensen and Earthcare Permaculture’s Graeme George. Payment plans can be arranged. More info and to book your: Permaculture Design Course
Ostii lives in a sharehouse in Brunswick in Melbourne, Victoria. I have been privileged to stay in a spare room for 3 days in exchange for helping in the garden. Ostii is a sharewaste host i.e. he has compost systems and accepts others’ food waste. He has around 25 people who come and drop off their waste. He decided to hold a working bee to both get a heap of work done in the garden and to teach sharewasters how to grow food. They got to see a finished compost pile made with sharewaste food scraps:
Once sieved on an old metal ironing board with a metal mesh, the result was a beautiful soil amendment we added liberally to the weeded, forked, and wetted garden beds. We mulched and then planted vegetable seedlings purchased from Ceres:In one bed we added dripper pipe on top of the mulch to help ensure adequate moisture through the hot summer:
We had a lovely shared meal afterwards to cement new friendships. It’s great to see this sharewaste concept forging new community. Ostii has been into the Permaculture way of living for about 10 years and applies this to his own business. His passion is “Web and digital strategy mentoring for health, earth, and heart focussed entrepreneurs and enterprise.” He has been working with David Holmgren for the past 3 years or so. Check out his website for more info; https://www.flowji.com/ Ostii works mostly from home where he regularly dashes out into the garden for screen breaks.
Candlelight Farm, in conjunction with Skills Strategies International, are now offering Cert I, Cert II, Cert III and Diploma Permaculture courses, as well as the Permaculture Demonstrator Skills Set for those who wish to teach CI and CII in schools or community organisations.
CI and CII have been developed with VET in schools as the focus. Bold Park School in WA is currently delivering CII, and there have been three workshops for teachers this year, explaining the courses and outlining the benefits for schoolchildren. Interest is growing so it is only a matter of time before other schools offer these too.
School teachers who have done a PDC are able to deliver CI and CII, but there is also the Demonstrator Skills Set which involves 4 units from CIII to provide some good background knowledge and skills for VET delivery.
CIII 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 animal systems. Fifteen units are typically 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.
We can also provide Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessment for those practitioners who have a wealth of knowledge and experience but have not been able to undertake a course so far. You can RPL for CIII, Demonstrator Skills Set or Diploma.
For more information, RPL application forms, or details about buying particular units or whole courses so they can be offered in other states please contact Ross Mars on email@example.com
Robyn Francis celebrated the teaching of her 150th Permaculture Design Course (PDC) that happened on July 7-21, 2018 at Djanbung Gardens in Nimbin. Permaculture Australia would like to add its congratulations.
Robyn has taught 150 PDCs in 15 different countries, plus as many advanced courses in diverse areas of professional permaculture practices including Teacher Training; Community Facilitation; Ecovillage Design; Sustainable Aid and Development; Social Permaculture; Design for Food Security, and Year-round Food Production. She was one of the key instigators of the Accredited Permaculture Training and has spent 11 years providing full-time accredited vocational training in Permaculture Certificates III, IV and the Diploma of Permaculture. Now thousands of her graduates are doing important work in all continents and climates. Robyn was mentored by Bill Mollison and co-taught with him in the 1980’s.
Robyn has been on the Board of Permaculture Australia for many years and contributed countless hours of her time to the organisation. Thank you!
Here is a video describing Robyn’s work and some thoughts about permaculture: