October was such a big month in the Permaculture world with some of the most amazing thinkers and doers from Australia and New Zealand converging in WA for a month of festivity, sharing ideas, visiting properties, running courses and generally immersing themselves in Permaculture.
Unfortunately for us it is also one of the busiest times on the farm with everything in true spring growth so getting away and immersing ourselves totally was tricky, rather let the convergence come to us, and enjoy meeting old and new friends traveling to WA and to the South West. The convergence for us started with the arrival of Robyn Rosefelt for PIP Permaculture Magazine, it was so lovely to meet this amazing woman who has started up such a great Permaculture Magazine at the same time as starting a young family. We then drove together on one crazy stormy day to Perth ready to set up for the Permafest…..huge congratulations for the massive effort of everyone to make this day happen. The day was truly a feast of Permaculture with informative stalls from education, books and magazines to plants and tools . There was great music from our wonderfull Charlie Mgee and a host of talks.
It was great to spend a day talking to people about what we are passionate about and be reminded that there are
a huge number of people out there wanting to know more, grow more, share more and generally get involved with the goodness.
That night the Convergence was opened with a truly inspiring talk by Chris Ferreira who spoke not so much about Permaculture or environment but about how those of us who are involved should be looking after ourselves and each other “it’s a marathon not a sprint” . Chris was particularly concerned about the young thinkers coming through who had so much weight on their shoulders.
Then the music started, and what an appropriate time for Charlie Mgee to debut his tribute to Permaculture Co-founder Bill Mollison, since then images have been put to this beautiful song …. a perfect celebration of the life of a great man who has brought about so much positive change.
Watch Charlie’s Tribute here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MN_Texj9CD4
The next couple of days were brimming with energy, trying to make choices of who to listen to is always hard at these events as 3 or 4 talks are happening at any one time and really everyone that has spent the time and energy to put a talk together deserves applauding. The talks I saw were all inspiring and many of them included discussions but of course the great stuff happens after hours in small groups having fine conversations over cups of tea or bottles of wine. It was wonderful to see the elders recognised for their life time’s of work and dedication and to see some strong new voices coming through. But the farm was calling and after 2 days I had to head home to harvest and prepare for Thursday Lunch and the South West Tour (part of the convergence) coming to stay. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Burnside Organic Farm , PB and Swabodhi, Wharncliffe Mill, Merri Bee Organic Farm and Southampton Homestead for their time and generosity, putting up with my constant emails and opening their properties for the tour.
Here’s a little about the South West Tour from from one of the participants…….
Once APC13 ended in Perth we headed out to see some permaculture properties of the SW region. The tours are such a highlight in any convergence as they bring the character of the area to life. I loved seeing the domestic and commercial systems at Burnside Farms, walking the land and tasting the capers and wine! We saw a beautiful straw bale home and were privy to a quick compost infusion demo by PB before heading to Fair Harvest for more hospitality, a yummy dinner and campfire!!! The following morning we heard the story of the property and walked through the various growing and animal systems. Its beautiful and still evolving. From there we headed to Bee’s Place to see another established home based permaculture system, swales and more animal systems. Our final destination was Southampton Homestead where we came up close and personal with their commercial chook/broiler business. We walked, we felt, we asked questions and we ate our way through this magnificent region of WA. We met such resilient, genuine permies that welcomed us and shared their stories. It was way too short but a great teaser to come back and explore again!……….Gillian Kozicki
The APC13 brought so many wonderful people to WA that next on the visitors list for us was Richard Telford from Abdallah House who started his Permaculture journey
here with us many years ago.Richard was travelling with David and Oliver Holmgren……back for their second trip (the first being in 1999). It was great to have these guys relaxing around the farm, joining in meals and of course doing plenty of talking!
There’s something deeply important about having people we respect so highly getting excited about our growing systems, giving us feedback and enjoying the place.
As the boys moved out (and we headed off to the local show to be a part of the Transition Margaret River Pavilion) the next shift arrived…the beautiful Permaculture Women
They were followed by an amazing group of locals and visitors who joined them for a”Permaculture in the Community” workshop, Robina’s “SOS Save the Seeds” film and a “Dynamic Decision Making” day………I love these women for their heart and love of people and community, it was a joy to join in with their courses and to know that along side the intellectual and scientific thoughts rides the heartfelt love. The work these women have done around the world in small communities is outstanding. Thanks Robin for your beautiful words about our little farm
“I absolutely loved my time at Fair Harvest and being so ably and delightfully hosted by Jodie, Do and team. The venue is perfect for my needs as a facilitator, Jodie’s food delicious and nutritious and loved by all and my stay in the Circus Truck was the highlight of my working visit to WA. The surrounding gardens and systems make this an idea Permaculture and environmental education venue and by their clever Permaculture Design, inspired activities and processes for our sessions that wouldn’t have normally been possible. Thanks for providing such an outstanding facility.”
Facilitator, Trainer, Author and Permaculture Pioneer
Q’ld, Australia www.dynamicgroups.com.au
And so finished the APC 13 for us…….we grew a lot of food, cooked a lot of meals, welcomed visitors, sat around the campfire, drank beer, ate pizzas, talked about ideas and cooked up future projects.
Thank you to Ross Mars and the many helpers from Permaculture West who put in the hard yards to make it all happen…..you’re amazing and I hope you are all feeling great about the work you did…..congratulations !