Fifty five projects supported by PA’s Permafund

Fifty five projects supported by PA’s Permafund

Fifty five! Thanks to a generous donation from Permaculture Sydney North we are thrilled to fund another permaculture project – bringing the grand total of projects supported by PA’s Permafund to fifty five in sixteen countries.

A Permafund grant will support PRM, a grassroots organisation, to assist women farmers in 10 rural villages in India to revitalize their farming with permaculture and organic practices. This will include training, tree planting, promotion of local Indigenous seeds, & improved water harvesting activities.

PRM promotes biodiversity forests using the Miyawaki Forest promotion methods – when diversified tree saplings are planted with limited spacing, they grow straight, fast and tall. The local community was involved when PRM initiated this innovative method at a village named Pappudayanpatti, contributing their time, energy and material resources.

“A cultural change is required in the food habits of the communities, with a renewed focus on traditional foods which were the only source of diet in earlier days when our ancestors lived happily and healthy. Similarly, farmers want to restore and promote Indigenous seeds that are drought tolerant, medicinal and healthy. “

This is what PA’s Permafund is all about – enacting the the three ethics of permaculture (Earth Care, People Care & Fair Share) and supporting grassroots projects around the globe to build stronger communities.

How can I get involved?

Want to make a difference too? Donate to PA’s Permafund today here and help build food security and stronger communities across the globe. Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Fifty five projects supported by PA’s Permafund

Building soil and saving Turtles

The Turtle Survival Alliance – India has a focus on conservation efforts with local communities to safeguard threatened freshwater species in four (of the five) turtle priority areas in India. The project received a 2020 Permafund grant to offer training in vermicomposting and food growing to reduce the reliance on aquatic wildlife for food.

In the three months leading up to February 2021, the project outcomes include the:

  • successful completion of a household-based survey to gather nutrition information of riverine women communities. Preliminary analysis of data suggests the women living in riparian and fishing hamlets bear major responsibility for their families, work harder in the agricultural field and poor economy, and have limited access to a nutritious diet.
  • completion of an awareness and capacity-building program providing training in nutrition, small-scale farming and the benefits of Indigenous crops, and
  • provision of vertical bamboo frames to use for gardening in water logged areas, as well as vegetable seeds and gardening tools.

To reduce the use of chemical fertilizers a large vermicomposting pit has been developed. The lined pit was filled with manure worms, organic materials (such as straw, grass clippings, vegetable peels, manure), and covered with soil.

This is what PA’s Permafund is all about – enacting the the three ethics of permaculture (Earth Care, People Care & Fair Share) and supporting grassroots projects around the globe to build stronger communities.

How can I get involved?

Want to make a difference too? Donate to PA’s Permafund today here and help build food security and stronger communities across the globe. Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

The Great Stretch Jean Challenge

The Great Stretch Jean Challenge

Hands up if you know what this strange looking item is?

These remarkable images are from our PA member Meg McGowan, Permacoach, of her stretch jeans that have been hot composted for one year. Yikes. Photos of the jeans have gone viral being viewed millions of times and featured in online news stories across Australia.

I have been using my composting systems to experiment with some of the things that we ultimately contribute to the waste stream. This pair of stretch jeans would usually have been repurposed but I sacrificed them to the compost to see how much of the fabric was cotton and how much was plastic. Our disposal options are to burn them and release toxic fumes or to not burn them and have them persist in our environment, possibly forever, as micro plastic particles… Our best option is to take good care of the clothing we already have and to refuse to add anything to our wardrobe until we actually need to replace something.” Meg McGowan

To raise awareness of plastic waste, Meg is putting out this challenge:

Instead of buying your next pair of stretch jeans, keep wearing what you already own & donate part/all of that money instead to Permafund – Permaculture International Public Fund. You will have saved money, reduced the load of plastic waste the planet needs to deal with AND helped people learn how to grow healthy food, build resilient communities and cycle energy. Talk about multiple functions!”

And as an added bonus, the person making the largest donation gets to decide what happens to the jeans! Meg will cover postage to anywhere on the planet if the winner chooses to use them as a teaching aid or a work of art for example.

Meg has set up a donation link for the Great Stretch Jean Challenge donations to Permafund here. We look forward to seeing how your challenge progresses.

More information:

This article relates to the three permaculture ethics of People Care, Earth care and Fair Share, as well as the permaculture principles including Produce No Waste, and Apply Self regulation and accept feedback. You can find out more about the ethics and principles here

PA’s Permafund provides grants for permaculture community projects across the globe. Since 2012, 38 projects have been funded in 14 countries with a focus on improving food security, water harvesting, increasing seed diversity and building soil health. Find out including how to donate here.


Permaculture trainee runs Treebog workshop in Kenyan camp

Permaculture trainee runs Treebog workshop in Kenyan camp

With the help of a Permafund grant, Kajulu Hills Eco Village in Kenya has trained a number of residents of the Kakuma refugee camp in permaculture skills. Many people are born and grow up in this vast camp that’s been operating for 30 years and has an estimated 16,500 family compounds each with an average of 20 people.

One of the trainees, Marcelin Munga, is a member of the Farming & Health Education organisation (FHE) in partnership with Biologic Design which successfully applied for a Permafund grant to run a 4-day Treebog construction workshop for camp residents.

The Treebog’s innovative compost toilet design encloses the area below an elevated platform with two layers of wire mesh. Straw is stuffed between the two protective mesh layers to act as a visual screen for the first year’s use plus to allow airflow, soak up excess urine and stop odours. Carbon-rich organic matter is sprinkled on the above-ground pile after each use. The resultant nutrient seepage fertilises food trees planted intensively around the Treebog, e.g. bananas and papayas that fruit two years after construction. A rainwater tank collects runoff from the roof for a hand washing station next to the Treebog.  

Jay Abrahams of Biologic Design UK, who designed, created, and developed the Treebog, hopes that the skills and knowledge required to build one can spread throughout the Kakuma camp and beyond. 

He says “The Treebog is a very good example of permaculture design in action. It shows how by placing the components in mutually beneficial locations the “problem’ of the toilet wastes, becomes the source of the solution: a regenerative, resource creating, tree-growing, sanitation system. The Treebog is a simple, Regenerative Sanitation or ‘W.A.S.H.’ System. It provides sanitary compost toilet facilities, where the human waste and handwash water are considered to be a resource to be used – not a problem to be disposed of!”

“The Treebog is not a long drop toilet” he explains, “as there is no pit required underneath. The Treebog is an aerobic compost pile that simply sits on the soil surface underneath the platform. The compost pile is surrounded by the enclosed base as well as the trees that are planted around the structure, so the liquids soak into the soil underneath the Treebog and into the root zone. As there is no pit underneath, this helps to protect groundwater from pollution.”

It’s estimated there are around 1,500 Treebogs in use in the UK. Other projects have introduced the technology elsewhere in Africa and in Asia.

Support for projects like this by the Permafund grant program is made possible because of the generous donations received from individuals, families, permaculture groups, businesses, and community fundraisers.

Over the past 10 years, Permafund grants have benefited 58 environmental, community-building, and permaculture education projects in Australia and 15 other countries around the world.

Donations and recurring contributions to Permafund can be made  here  through the ‘Give’ portal on the Permaculture Australia website. Donations of $2.00 or more are tax-deductible in Australia. All donations and contributions are warmly welcomed.

For more information please contact permafund@permacultureaustralia.org.au

Farming & Health Education  https://farmhe.org/

Biologic Design  https://www.biologicdesign.co.uk/

Donate link for Permafund  https://permacultureaustralia.org.au/permafund/

PA’s Permafund supports a beekeeping project in Kenya

PA’s Permafund supports a beekeeping project in Kenya


The team from the OTEPIC Peace Project, represented by Coordinator, Philip Odhiambo Munyasia, thanks donors to PA’s Permafund for their support in promoting permaculture in Kitale Kenya.

In 2020, OTEPIC received a $2,000 Permafund grant for a beekeeping project.  This included establishing ten bee hives initially and training a core contingent of 70 local community members in beekeeping. A further 100 community members are being introduced to beekeeping as a means of generating personal incomes and reducing local poverty.  Youth leadership training is ongoing.


As an alternative local farming enterprise, beekeeping is already creating employment at a low level.  Four people are working on the bee project while learning to build bee hives to sell to the local market. Farm yields have also increased due to the availability of bees as pollinators.

OTEPIC’s apiary was established in April ’21 providing ongoing beekeeping business management training and demonstrations for members of the Biddi community.  By December 2021 members of the community will be sharing roles for the collective management of the apiary and the surrounding bee attracting gardens and food forest. 

Honey has been harvested twice already with a beeswax and propolis extraction process to be established by the end of 2021. Hives have been bought collectively and are being managed by OTEPIC project community members as a group demonstration site at the Upendo garden. 

To keep the bees in good health for the long-term sunflowers and nectar rich flowers have been planted, water sources made available and bee feeding stations are set up when required. 

There are many social and economic factors that cause division among communities and bee keeping has helped to bring people together to exchange and share, promoting unity and diminishing the divides of political and resource-based disagreements and conflicts.

The project has its challenges including transportation of materials, bee hives and volunteers to the working site. The unpredictable rainy season has affected the swarming season which helps add colonies for the bee hives. There wasn’t enough shade when the hives were first installed so fast-growing trees are being grown around them. 

A lot has been learned during the project planning process, which has served as a reminder to look at how each element is connected to the others and the importance of looking at whole systems and the complete vision when planning one aspect.

Members of OTEPIC and its neighbours have learned from every step of the installation of the bee keeping project and will be able to replicate the process in future projects. They have been inspired by the experience of collaboration and exchange with other regional projects such as the Garden of Hope project and will continue to look for these opportunities, Monitoring and evaluation of the project is ongoing. 

Donations to Permaculture Australia’s Permafund over $2 are tax deductible in Australia and support environmental and community building projects like the OTEPIC Beekeeping project. Find out more including how to donate here.