Looking back on the January Permaculture Design Certificate 2017.

Two weeks of living and learning with group of amazing individuals…..


I, like many others feel a sense of doom when I look at the various environmental, social and economic crisis happening on our beautiful planet. The overwhelming emails that pour in every day asking us to help very real and very depressing causes, the stories on the news, the protests to save natural eco systems and the absurd growth in human built environments all point to catastrophe or at least some form of collision.

I am eternally grateful to those who are on the frontline fighting for our planet yet I know from personal experience that it can lead to exhaustion and burnout  or even worse a decision to block out the pain and aim for a life that involves not looking, not engaging and fitting in with “the norm” whatever that may be.

So, how does this relate to Permaculture? Many of our students come to our courses wanting to know more about growing food, creating healthy soils, designing properties and healthy living. Some come to meet people or to try something new, many have an underlying concern about environmental issues and most (actually all so far) have agreed that the issues the planet is facing today are real and impending and are not about to go away.

While this may not be why people enrol in a course there is a general sigh of relief when these issues are brought to the for and students realise that they are with a group of “like minded individuals” all wanting to do something positive. This may be on a personal level, a family level, a community or a global level,  in the end it is all the same and it is the desire to work toward a more positive future that binds the group as it learns ideas, principles and strategies towards a healthier planet.

The three underlying principles of permaculture are Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share and really once we start discussing these it doesn’t matter if you are a gardener, a doctor or an electrician (and we had all of these in our last PDC) there is a place for you in Permaculture. What is special about learning together and living together as a group is that you get the opportunity to live permaculture while you learn and this ultimately means living in community, listening to each other needs, supporting each other, working through disagreements, doing fun things together and celebrating new directions.

I congratulate every person that creates the time in their busy lives to immerse themselves in this course and I love the bonds that are created, the support groups generated and the commitments made (keeping the principle “Small and Slow Solutions” in mind). It is a joy following people’s direction after completing a PDC whether it is growing food in their back yard, working in Developing countries, farming healthier happier animals, designing a healthy home or working with their local community.

Our January 2017 graduates were a special lot, diverse in every way and it was an absolute pleasure having them living learning and laughing here on the farm.

Here’s some pics…….

Between the old barn and the straw bale wall at Fair Harvest

Seed saving with Claire Coleman

Camping for the 2 weeks in a variety of tents, swags, vans and caravans….

In the Fair Harvest classroom

Building a new compost shower


watching the temperature of the compost shower


a popular chill out area at Fair Harvest

Out door class at PB and Swabodhi’s new straw bale home


Brix testing plants with PB


An evening talk with Anthony Smith the “Water Wally” about grey water and composting toilets

The passionate Claire Coleman teaching about plants


Learning about edible plant families

The Asteraceae family


Planting carrot seeds


Holly getting her hands dirty

Tim keeping us reminded of the Principles of Permaculture

Site visit to Jeff Nugent’s extraordinary arboretum


and his beautiful dam

Site visit to the Margaret River Organic Farmer


Sunset visit to a Kirsty’s block

In the plantation with Tim Bibby and Byron Joel

Hand tool collection in the plantation at Fair Harvest

Jeff Nugent…….Jeff’s is always there for people during the course and loves listening to what the young guys are up to (here watching Tim in the plantation)

Franny helping Do in the garden (Do’s always happy for helpers in the mornings)


and most importantly ……celebration! The amazing multitalented Vicky and Tamara

Finishing off with a few words from Tamara

“Waking up this morning my heart yearns and reflects on the space which has been my home these past 2 weeks…

Rooster crows to wake me from my sleep, little wrens and finch like birds playfully dancing around my tent fetching their breakfast ~ my nature alarm. Starting the day refreshed and invigorated after a compost shower at the citrus orchard and a beautiful welcome at breakfast from my new permaculture family with fresh brewed coffee and eggs on toast…
The simple things that we get present to…????

Yes I miss them all…and yet, despite the empty space in me that tricks me to believe that there is an end to special moments in time, I’m gratefully content that I have just connected with one of the most beautiful group of human beings,…and so it begins!

I’m so grateful to Jodie and Do, all of our teachers and my beautiful new friends…So ready to put this new acquired knowledge into positive action and be a weapon of mass creation for the greater good! Look out world!????”

Next PDC is in May 2017…..find out more here


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