President's Report
Hi fellow Permies,

Welcome to the October Permibytes newsletter. Hopefully everyone's gardens are enjoying the mixed temperatures with just that little bit of rain we've been experiencing so far in spring, and everyone is enjoying the that extra hour of sunshine we're getting in the evenings. I love spring time, and have started walking to and from work a couple of times a week (about 40-45 minutes each way) in preparation for hopefully one day in the near future, having the confidence and fitness to ride my bike there (Maybe my first attempt should be on Ride To Work Day on Wednesday 17th October).
 
Many people who have Permacultured (did I just make up a new verb?) their front garden or verge comment on how often people stop by and ask questions, and regular passers-by make observations as various species flower, fruit, go to seed, get attacked by the possums/cockatoos, and gradually engage in conversation diversifying from the initial focus of the garden. I find similar encounters happen with people who walk, ride, or catch public transport. Driving between locations doesn't spark, encourage or nourish community relationships.

A few months ago I signed up with GoGet, a car sharing scheme that allows me to book and use a car on demand (providing someone else hasn't booked it at the time I need it). There are 6 pods within 10 minutes walk of where I live, so I've not yet had the experience of not having a car available when I've needed it. I've known about GoGet for years, but despite wanting to give it a go, I never did, because the convenience of having my own car didn't provide any incentive for me to change. However earlier this year my car irretrievably died, so I had to make a decision one way or another.

Before I joined, I did the math and found that based on the number of kilometers I drove last year, it would work out about the same or a bit cheaper to use a shared car. You pay an upfront, refundable deposit, a monthly fee, an hourly rate, a per kilometer charge, and tolls. You don't pay for petrol, car maintenance or services, insurance, registration, cleaning, and all those other hidden extras you incur with car ownership.
In actual fact, what seems to have happened is that I'm driving less -
  1. I plan my big shops - so I tend to make a day of it and go to the farmers markets, followed by the park with my dog, my friend and her dog. So I'm eating fresher, healthier stuff as a consequence;
  2. I take public transport to places I would have otherwise driven - why do I want to pay an hourly rate for a car to sit at a location all day when I really only need it for a 1/2 hour trip each way. Better I should spend just $8 on a train/bus ticket and use the 2 hours of my day on public transport to enjoy catching up on some reading;
  3. I'm walking a lot more. The other weekend my flatmate and I walked from Artarmon to Neutral Bay to catch a bus to the beach.
  4. I feel good about not owning a car.

So for anyone who's entertained the thought of getting rid of their car (or their 2nd family car) and joining a car share scheme, I highly recommend it!

Looking forward to bumping into you on the footpath / cyclepath sometime,
Monique
  

 
PSN Monthly Meeting - Monday 15 Oct 2012 @ 7:30pm
Community Currency and Special General Meeting
On Monday night (15th October), come and join us for a night hearing all about Community Currency. Annette Lourdon will be talking to us about LETS (the Local Energy Trading Scheme - http://www.communityexchange.net.au/  and Karel Boele, manager of Eco-Directory , will share some of the developments happening in the realms of alternatives to the mainstream monetary economy.

We will also be holding a brief Special General Meeting to vote on the Special Resolution to adopt the proposed new PSN constitution. The existing rules and proposed constitution can be found here, as can a proxy form to vote if you're unable to attend the meeting. Note that proxies must be received (either via email or post) by 5pm Friday 12th Oct. Only financial members over the age of 18 are eligible to vote. Remember that this document guides the way the organisation is governed, so we encourage you to exercise your vote.

Finally, we will be drawing the raffle to win a tapas cooking and dining experience for two at MuMu's sustainable steakhouse in Crows Nest, valued at $280. If you haven't yet bought your tickets, you can purchase them on the night (1 = $5 or 3 = $10).
7pm for a 7:30 start.
Please remember to bring your own coffee mug and join us for supper and a chat afterwards.
PSN requests a $5 donation for non-members to attend.
 
Doors open at 7pm. Lindfield Community Centre, 259 Pacific Hwy, Lindfield. Just a few minutes walk from Lindfield railway station.
Thanks in advance to the Willoughby Local Group who will be providing supper this month.

 
Don't Forget to BYO Mug   
Please bring your own reusable mug/cup to all meetings.
PSN Monthly Meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of every month.
Doors open at 7pm. Lindfield Community Centre, 259 Pacific Hwy, Lindfield. Just a few minutes walk from Lindfield railway station.
PSN Fundraising Raffle 
Last chance to enter...
The prize is a Tapas Class and Dining Experience for two at Sydney’s multi award winning sustainable steak house, MUMU Grill, in Crows Nest. Prize is valued at $280 
  
If you'd like to go in the draw, tickes can be purchased here:
Raffle will be drawn @ Permaculture Sydney North monthly meeting | Monday 15th October
  
 
   
  
  
Advocacy Report by Barry Hadaway
There has been a lot happening!
Renowned sustainability author Richard Heinberg commenced a speaking tour of Australia, supported by Sustainable Population Australia, and I have a report on Richard’s presentation at UTS.
The Sydney Food Fairness Alliance and NSW Farmers combined to present a forum titled Sustainable Farming for a Sustainable City, and there is a report on the information presented at this forum.
The PSN submission in response to the National Food Plan Green Paper was submitted on 30 September 2012 and may be read on the PSN Noticeboard.
Finally, PSN joined the Better Planning Network, which is an apolitical affiliation of 20 plus community groups concerned at proposed changes to planning laws in NSW, which will diminish protection of the environment and of heritage and, which will even further erode community consultation and input.
In recent years I have studied numerous State and Commonwealth Government Green Papers, White Papers, Plans, Strategies and Policy Proposals and a clear trend is apparent.  That trend is for government proposals to reflect what corporations want, NOT what ordinary people want.  The National Waste Plan is a prime example.  You might think the National Waste Plan would be a plan to reduce waste and would aspire to a goal of eventually eliminating waste altogether. Not so. The National Waste Plan is primarily a plan for the ‘management of waste’ by the ‘waste industry’.
The overall consequence of corporate domination of the direction of government policy is that governments are wholeheartedly on the ‘produce more, consume more, endless growth bandwagon’ and government policy in almost every aspect is taking us further and further away from Permaculture’s goal of creating a Permanent Culture.
What can we do?  I believe we need to do two things:
  1. Keep doing what we are already doing in PSN - furthering our own knowledge of permaculture and all of the skills that will be needed in a future of energy and resource scarcity, particularly how to grow our own food in serious quantities.
  2. Fight to change the direction of government policy - no one else will do it for us. Corporations dominate government thinking because they have lobbyists that are constantly pleading their case. At the same time the majority of ordinary Australians have no interest in government policy, except when it impacts them directly. Most people do not participate in our democracy at all other than voting once every 3 or 4 years. They do not think about the future of the planet or of their own children and take no active role in politics or in lobbying for beneficial change. Get involved in some way in advocating for a sustainable future.
Richard Heinberg  - "The End of Growth"
On 18 September 2012, Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) hosted a talk by Richard Heinberg at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
The topic was "The End of Growth", which is the title of Richard's latest book. Richard spoke about the history of growth:
  • Across the broad span of human history rapid growth, measured as growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is an abnormal and relatively recent phenomenon.
    Over the past two centuries there has been massive growth in industrial output, in human population and in energy use. Growth in the first two areas has been made possible by abundant cheap fossil fuel energy.
  • The idea that growth could continue indefinitely was first challenged in 1972 in the book "Limits to Growth", Donna Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis Meadows, and William Behrens III. This seminal book presented the results of computer modelling of growth trends in population, resource consumption, food production and pollution.
  • In 2008 Graham Turner of the CSIRO published the findings of a review called, "A comparison of the Limits to Growth with 30 Years of Reality". The conclusion was that the observed historical data for 1970 to 2000 is a good match to the simulated results of the Limits to Growth 'standard run' scenario for almost all of the outputs reported. This scenario results in global collapse before the middle of this century.
 "The End of Growth" examines the linkages between:
  • Debt  - currently levels of government, corporate and personal debt worldwide are at enormous and unprecedented levels with little prospect of repayment,
  • Resource Constraints - Oil, Water, Food, Metals and Other Minerals
  • Ecosystem Collapse - Climate Change, Pollution, Environmental Decline and escalating impacts of Natural Disasters
  • Flawed Economic Theories - why the economic 'rabbits out of the hat', Substitution, Innovation and Productivity cannot rekindle growth
The book presents Richard's reasons for concluding that economic growth, as we have come to know it, cannot return to the world at large.  Individual countries may experience periods of growth, but overall, economic activity worldwide will contract as limits are approached.
Richard suggested our response to this situation should be:
  • To pursue 're-localisation' to sustain our communities.
  • To insist that economics be reformed; through an understanding that the economy is a sub-set of the natural world and continuous growth in human populations and resource consumption is not possible; through an understanding that use of renewable resources must be constrained to a level within what the natural world can renewably provide and through an understanding the use of non-renewable resources will be constrained by what we can recycle but inevitably availability of non-renewable resources will progressively decline.
  • For all of us to 'engage' with the problem and with its solution.
Richard cut through the gloom and doom by pointing out there are many things we value that have not 'peaked', such as:
  • Community
  • Satisfaction from work well done
  • Intergenerational solidarity
  • Co-operation
  • Creation of a healthy environment
  • Happiness
  • Artistry
  • Beauty in the built environment
"What a world we could create if we valued the highest elements of human creativity" 
At the end of the talk Richard Heinberg and Dick Smith took questions.  Following the Q&A session Richard, who is an accomplished violinist and Kris Spark, President of SPA, who is a musician and composer, performed a piece written by Kris titled, "Elegy for a Dying Planet". It was uplifting to see Richard and Kris who advocate valuing the creative side of human endeavour, above material things, living this ideal.
Sustainable Farming for a Sustainable City
On 24 September 2012 the Sydney Food Fairness Alliance (SFFA) and NSW Farmers co-hosted an event at Richmond looking at threats to agriculture in the Sydney Basin.

The speakers were: Julia McKay (representing Peter Andrews), Marten Strapper (former CSIRO researcher and advocate of holistic, low input, biological farming systems), Murray Spicer (Horticultural Industries Manager, Department of Primary Industries) and Lynne Wilkinson (CEO, Ausbuy).

Julia McKay spoke about the barriers to wider acceptance of low input organic systems of agriculture, some of which come from within the various 'movements' themselves. Marten Strapper spoke on the importance of soil health and nutrient recycling and strategies to transition to sustainable, local food production.

Murray Spicer gave an overview of the recent history of agriculture in the Sydney Basin:
  • 1947 'County of Cumberland Consolidation' - 128,125 hectares of agricultural land in the Sydney Basin
  • 1959 Cahill Government scrapped the County of Cumberland Plan to release land for development
  • 1984 Fruit growing industry withdrawing and veggie growing and poultry production falling
  • 1998 10,000 hectares of land left dedicated to market gardening
  • 2005 Iema Government announces 181,000 housing lots in North West & South West growth sectors
  • 2008 Survey reveals only 2025 hectares now used for agriculture in the Sydney Basin, mostly greenhouse or hydroponic operations
The average size of 'farms' in the Sydney Basin is too small to be profitable. Many farmers in the Sydney Basin are approaching retirement age and there is little prospect that a new generation of farmers will follow them. Only 2.5% of the produce sold at the Sydney Markets now comes from the Sydney Basin. The outlook is for agriculture in the Sydney Basin to continue contracting over the next 20 years.

Lynne Wilkinson -  spoke about Ausbuy's work to promote Australian grown food and Australian owned food production. Unfortunately, we have a situation where:
  • Foreign interests have been buying Australia's food businesses and our land and successive commonwealth governments have encouraged this so called 'investment'. For example 75% of the dairy industry is foreign owned and 90% of brewing is foreign owned.
  • Government policies have undermined farmers. For example before dairy deregulation there were 22,000 dairy farms in Australia. Now there are 6,000, with 600 having been wiped out recently by the supermarket milk price war.
  • Of the top 25 supermarket food and grocery brands sold in Australia 21 are now foreign owned. The ones that are still Australian owned are Bega Australia, Bulla Australia, Quilton Tissue and Weetbix/Sanatarium.
  • Labelling laws are such that you do not know where your food is coming from.
A Q&A session followed and some solutions to the sustainable food dilemma were identified:
  • People in general need to be more politically active and insist on integrity in politics and insist that both State and Federal Government take the sustainable food issue seriously
  • Proposed foreign purchases of Australian agricultural land and food businesses should be subject to a 'national interest test' as in New Zealand
  • Zoning - designating high value agricultural land as unavailable for any other use, as in Canada (e.g. the Fraser Valley in British Columbia is protected in this way)
  • Reform Agricultural Teaching towards sustainable farming methods rather than promoting the agendas of the big agribusinesses
  • Revitalise Agricultural Education - currently what was the Hawkesbury Agricultural College (now part of the University of Western Sydney) does not offer any agriculture courses at all!
  • Education - get sustainable food and fibre into the national curriculum
  • Reform labelling laws so there is a focus on 'Region of Origin' as in Britain and France
  • Promote Co-operatives ahead of public companies as a sustainable form of corporate structure
  • Provide incentives for local investment in farming
National Food Plan
PSN made a submission in response to the commonwealth government’s Green Paper, “Towards a National Food Plan for Australia” on 30 September 2012.  The full submission has been posted on the PSN Noticeboard.
Our submission supported the development of a National Food Plan for 5 very important reasons.
  1. Deteriorating Food Independence
  2. Limits to Growth
  3. Peak Oil
  4. Climate Change
  5. Many Australians do not Eat Healthy Food
The stated objective of the National Food Plan is to ensure Australians have: "A sustainable, globally competitive, resilient food supply, supporting access to nutritious and affordable food." We indicated that we support this objective with the proviso that "global competitiveness" must not be at the expense of the environment or any of the other elements of the statement of objectives.
 
Our submission argues that a National Food Plan that addresses the challenges identified above will require a departure from many current policies and from 'business as usual'. Clearly, we cannot respond to these challenges by continuing to pursue the same approaches that created these problems in the first place. In order to guarantee the security of food supply into the future Australia needs to adopt agricultural systems that are not reliant on high levels of external inputs in the form of oil, artificial fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. 
The PSN submission argues that the National Food Plan should encompass a plan to transition Australian agriculture to low input organic production methods and we have included references to research evidencing the fact that organic systems can feed the world.
  
"The People’s National Food Plan"
The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance is putting together a "People’s Food Plan". Have a look at their website at
http://australian.foodsovereigntyalliance.org/blog/2012/09/14/peoples-food-plan-values-principles-and-best-practice-discussion-draft-now-available/
  
Advocacy Team Meetings
This year the Advocacy Team has been meeting on the first Tuesday of odd months. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 6 November 2012.  Meetings will be at 3 Yerong Street, Ryde unless otherwise advised, commencing at 7.30pm.  Just remember Advocacy on Melbourne Cup Day!
If you cannot make it to meetings but you have an issue of concern please drop me an email at advocacy@permaculturenorth.org.au
Barry Hadaway - Advocacy Team Leader
 
  
 
PSN Permabee- Sunday 21 Oct in Carlingford
   
In October the Garden Team will be helping Cecilia put in place the earthworks for her to plant out a fruitful food forest in the backyard of her property at Carlingford. 
Cecilia's backyard is on a slight downward slope and we will be constructing 4 swales to slow water down as it moves through the property and store it in the underlying soil to provide a good supply of water for the new plants to establish. 
We will also focus on building soil using a technique of layering - applying lucerne, manures, trace elements and green manure crops to transform compact clay dug out from the swales into healthy soil.  We will also be planting a banana circle.
This permabee will be a great hands on event to learn about earthworks, water management and soil improvement.

If you are interested in joining us, please register here or email the garden team leader at garden@permaculturenorth.org.au.
 
  
 
Education Update by Craig Duckmanton
It was a great pleasure this month, along with Cecelia Bird and Monika Ball, to attend a superb 7 day Permaculture Teacher Training Course with Rosemary Morrow (what a Legend!) and Nick Ritar from Milkwood.  Personally, it was a revelation in being able to better understand and learn the finer art of teaching as opposed to my traditional presenting! Hope you can notice the difference over the next few months! Was great to have 2 other PSN-ers along to build the skills within our ever growing group.
 
A Taste of Permaculture - Sat 27 Oct. 1:30 -5:30pm
Through the great work of Cecilia Bird and Diana Watson, the educatin team brings you a new and exciting short course as an Introduction to Permaculture.
Your teachers (Diana, Diana, Libby and Cecilia) have a wealth of knowledge, experience and training between them including PDCs (Permaculture Design Certificates), teacher training and permaculture teacher training.
The course is designed for people new to permaculture and as places are are strictly limited please consider allowing those without previous permaculture qualifications an opportunity to register first. (If the course is oversubscribed it will be repeated in the future).
This course is open to members of PSN at a cost of only $20 which includes materials and afternoon tea. The teachers are volunteering their time hence any surplus will go as a fundraiser for PSN.
Participants will be empowered to research and analyse their ow nsite in preparation for designing to permaculture principles. This course will serve as good preparation for the 40 hour 'Introduction to Permaculture' course planned for next year.
Full details will be provided on registration and you can register here
  
Next Education Meeting
Will be in the next week or two and I will send out notifications for anyone interested in any capacity:)
Living Skills Workshop - Sourdough Bread Making By Barbara Clark 
 
Despite the cold weather, we had really good numbers turn up for the sourdough bread making workshop, which was lead by Ralph Kaye - instructor extraordinaire!
He took us through the steps of how to keep our culture alive by feeding it, how to knead bread (the sounds of us air kneading drew quite a number of neighbours out asking what all the noise was about!) and then onto baking and eating it.
We had a marvellous afternoon tea where we tried out the sourdough bread with home made jams, cakes and cheeses,  We even tried some preserved olives which were made earlier in the year.
A couple of comments from participants below:

"I enjoyed the breadmaking workshop very much. Ralph transmitted his expertise, enthusiasm and passion to us and I came away very keen and able to start on the sourdough making road  myself.
Thank you for organising it Barbara  and sending the recipes, and thanks to Ralph for taking the time to transfer his knowledge".
"We had such a fabulous day yesterday - thank you Barbara for organising the event, and you Ralph, for all that valuable information and your time for the afternoon.  It really was fantastic and has filled in the missing link for me about why my sourdough hasn't been up to scratch.  I can't wait to get started.  I have some organic spelt in the cupboard and just need to get some wholemeal". 
Next Workshop
We are combining resources with North Sydney Council for next month's workshop to put together a workshop on 'Making Your Own Bead Jewellery' just in time for Christmas.  Look out for details on the PSN website.
September PSN Open Garden by Stephanie Robertson
This was the second Open Garden in the series following Deb Alderton's highly successful and educational event! The weather was superb. Fifty four visitors came to my garden in Pennant Hills, many of whom enjoyed a cup of tea and a chat after the activities.
The main features were an explanation of my design -  particularly the water harvesting methods which include collection of rain water in tanks and swales, and leaky dams to slow down storm water; the grafted heritage apple trees; the early establishment of the Zone 5 rainforest area with many interesting and useful native trees and shrubs; a hot compost pile; and Deb's explanation and demonstration of compost tea brewing in 50L and 20L bins for promotion of microbes in  our soil. 
I enjoyed the experience very much, despite a bit of work, thanks to the assistance of Deb, Diana Fletcher and my daughter, and the enthusiasm of the visitors.
 
The 2 main ideas behind this new initiative are firstly for newbies to PSN  and permaculture to see a permaculture garden in progress and to see how permaculture design and principles work in practise. 
Secondly, for permie sightsee-ers to check out what other permies are doing. Since every garden is unique and everyone applies the principles to their own place for their own satisfaction, new and old are bound to learn plenty, and get ideas for their own growing area!
It is a low key event which does not require perfection, and anyone else who would like to open their garden can contact Libby Crichton the co-ordinator via garden@permaculturenorth.org.au.
There is plenty of time before there is an empty slot which allows for a bit of preparation if required. Quite an incentive!
 
There will not be an Open Garden in October due to inadvertent commitments of those involved. However, th
e scheme will resume in November.
 
Summer Meetings planning group hard at it
  
 
Hornsby Local Group News by Kay Phelan
The Meetings Planning Group are at it this week.  We look forward to seeing what they come up with for Summer! 
September we enjoyed a private guided tour of the beautiful permaculture-designed Turramurra Community Garden.  A couple of weeks later some of us also visited their seedling sale and found a buzzing community event including provision of umbrellas, picnic blankets, shade, luscious morning tea, seating, sausage sizzle, sale of named organic seedlings, lavender posies, macadamia nuts, jams … the Mayor!  A big success.  We are helping to create something similar in Berowra where the search for land is on. (See pictures)
October we screen 'Growing Change' at Pennant Hills (first PSN screening was at Northern Beaches).  We will also be performing a 30-min permablitz at Lynda's to see just how much we can do in the time.  Details for registering with Co-op Stop bulk buying were distributed with the Hornsby agenda;  let me know if you would like a copy, all welcome to register.
October 21 sees us joining with Deb and the Garden Team transforming Cecilia’s blank slate.  It’s going to be huge.                 
                                                                                                
November we have named ‘Good Health Month’ and we will be demonstrating green smoothies, kefir, sprouting etc.  We are delighted to announce that speaker Ann Taylor will update us about her recent doings on the health front.  
Engineers:  Do we have any engineers in PSN?  If so we would be glad to hear from you.
New Members’ Kit/Website Guide:  A Hornsby  team has been preparing this one-page guide which will be available on the website before the end of October and we think you will find it fascinating – stuff you need and perhaps never knew existed.
Pizza Ovens·        
Cob: The plan is for cob ovens to be built by and for members.  The foundations for the initial oven at Chris’s are under way - viewings welcome by arrangement.  Details of how this plan will work in practice are not yet decided – any suggestions?·    
    
Brick:  Research and original design for the prototype is continuing – Adrian will keep us in the loop.
Invitation: 
A cordial standing invitation to attend Hornsby meetings is extended to all, and especially to those groups who do not have co-ordinators at present.  We look forward to seeing you!
Kay, k_phelan@tpg.com.au, co-ordinator
 
  
Permaculture Northern Beaches – recent PermaTours by Donna Carey
On a wet and wooly Saturday morning in August, 17 adventurous Permaculture Northern Beaches members braved the weather for a special PermaTour at two local gardens in Elanora Heights.
Chris and Lauren Pothof and Selena Griffiths are long-standing local members and tireless Committee veterans. Both of these inspiring gardens were last visited by Permaculture Northern Beaches in October 2010. Since then, much has changed with both gardens so they were certainly worth another look with both gardens undergoing extensive modifications.
Garden 1
The Pothof’s were moving to the central coast, as such, their property had undergone some recent alterations to give it wider appeal to the general public. Its wild Permaculture feel built over a 6-year period had been somewhat tamed. Visiting this garden showed our members how permaculture principles could be incorporated while maintaining a very neat design system.
The west-facing front yard has several fruit trees mixed in with ornamentals and a frog pond. Although they have mulched much of it ready for sale, up until recently they were harvesting many hidden treasures including sweet potatoes, pepinos, pumpkins, tomatoes, celery, strawberries and water chestnuts from what used to be a shady, bare patch of lawn before its extensive Permaculture make-over.
The Pothof’s have a level backyard and have used the contours of existing rock formations to good effect. It has an aquaponics setup made from recycled materials, a three bin composting system, veggies, chooks and a selection of fruit trees, herbs and sub-tropical ornamentals.
Our local group will certainly miss the Pothof’s particular skills and their wonderful contribution to providing ongoing education to our local membership. We wish them well for their next adventure on their new 1.5 acre property. Their Elanora property’s wonderful make-over before its impending sale ensured that it was snapped up in just 6 days! The future owner plans to continue their Permaculture legacy and join our local group, which is overwhelming testament to their achievement.
Garden 2
Two years ago, Selena Griffith’s steep south-east facing block in Elanora was covered in noxious weeds and non-indigenous species including lantana, privet and camphor laurel. After taking three weeks to clear the large block by hand, the garden now boasts a variety of fruit tree clusters, vegetable patches and a herb spiral providing food for Selena and her extended family and friends.
Since our previous visit, the number of fruit trees has increased, and now includes grape vines, and the garden has been partitioned into chook-friendly and chook-free zones. Selena also has free-ranging guinea pigs that happily co-habit with the chickens. These animals provide valuable manure for feeding the garden as well as providing eggs for food. The garden also welcomes a variety of regular visiting native animals including the local Powerful Owl resident. Selena won Pittwater Council’s 2011 award for Sustainability in Landscaping.
 
 
International Seed Freedom Fortnight Oct 1-14
To promote Seed Freedom Fortnight, a seed workshop was held by renowned seed savers Jude and Michel Fanton at Karonga School in Epping through Sydney Permaculture Institute.  This was the first of a series of talks they are doing around Sydney, and the event was opened by the irrepressible Costa, who's enthusiasm and honest-to-goodness truth was well worth the attendance price!
Jude and Michel spoke about the importance of seed saving and shared different methods such as letting plants reseed. There was also plenty of info on keeping weeds at bay and a lot of information was uncovered through the Q&A session.
Peter Pez needs a special mention for his fantastic lunchtime feast!  The nuts in particular were a sensation!
Seeds are such a vital cog in the network of food, and we all need to understand it better from the first seed to the next crop of seeds. The education team will be looking to have the Seed Savers network run a workshop or two at the monthly meetings next year.  

 
Seed Savers Monthly Meet with Peter Pezzolesi 
Seed Savers meet on the 4th Saturday of every month from 9am-12 noon at the Bidjiwong Community Nursery in Baulkham Hills. (Rear of Ted Horwood Reserve carpark, off Renown Rd, opposite the sports club).
All PSN members are welcome. You'll meet great people, learn a lot about cleaning seed, propagating, how to recognise and save seeds, heaps of growing tips and herbal remedies from Robyn and other knowledgeable people.
We can share our seeds with you and would love for you to share some of your special heirloom seeds with us.
Peter Pezzolesi 
Seed Savers Co-ordinator
Phone 0412 817 605
 

 
Permaculture at Sydney's Better Homes and Gardens Show 
Considered the ultimate home and garden destination, this 3 day expo, at Homebush Olympic Park, was visited by thousands.
In amongst the mass consumables, Permaculture Sydney North in conjuction with Permaculture  Sydney Institure,  promoted resilience, small simple solutions, sustainability and reducing consumption. Quite of few from the management committee gave their time to set up and man the stall.
Thanks goes to Penny Pyett for this opportunity. Many people visited the site and were directed to their nearest local group so we should soon see some new memberships filtering in.

Welcome new PSN members
A big welcome to all our new members since our September meeting.
Hornsby: Cath H,  Janet E,  Kay B,  Lincoln M,  Lisa N,  liz f,  Vicki K.
Ryde/Hunters Hill: Rosemary M, Lyn D
Northern Beaches: Raquel N,  Renato F.
Other: Colin A. 
For details on local group monthly meetings please refer to the noticeboard or email your local group coordinator or check out the new re-occuring events page (PSN diary) here
PSN Facebook
Our facebook page is rocking! It's an excellent place for finding out what's going on in and around our area in a broader context. 
Costa frequently posts here as do other well-known people and organisations.
You can interact with like minded permies to share ideas, pose questions, post interesting articles and find out what courses and events are happening in our region and around the world.
If you would like help in setting up a facebook login please email feedback@permaculturenorth.org.au
 
Words of Wisdom  
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

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