• 27 Oct 2015 4:59 PM | Shawn (Administrator)

    What a great day creating a brand new Zone I Garden space.

    The PSN Gardens Team has visited the site, suggesting the unused  space at the front door would be an ideal place for a new Zone I Garden. 

    Browyn completed a considerable amount of work prior to PSN's team of volunteers arriving yesterday, in preparation for our assistance. 

    The team soon had new gardens walls erected, recycled newspaper down and the various ingredients for the new no dig garden in place.   Due to some great luck, excess tree mulch was available up the road!  Great for the new paths.

    As usual the food provided for the team, was outstanding.  

    Photos are being uploaded as we talk,,,,

  • 06 Nov 2014 8:57 PM | Shawn (Administrator)

    Rachel Potter recently attended the Heaven and Earth Writers Festival Review and came away with a great list of resources, which many of us will find most helpful which we will be sure to work into the PSN website.  Thank you Rachel!


    Ø Russ Grayson; website - (PacificEdge | Tactical urbanism)

    Ø Jane Mowbray; website -

    Ø Lorraine Shannon

     ØIshan Varshnay from Thoughful Food at the University of New South Wales;

    Ø Jill Finnane; book – Lawns into Lunch by Jill Finnane

    Ø Dominic Fitzsimmons

    Ø Alana Mann, University of Sydney - Framing the Global Food Crisis: La Via Campesina and the Politics of Resistance


    Topics Presented and Discussed

    Ø  Community Gardens as ‘Urban Acupuncture’ and ‘Tactical Urbanism”

    Ø  Permaculture enthusiasts are often social change agents

    Ø  Food sovereignty and food control; the idea that food should not be a commodity

    Ø  Growing your own food as a political statement, producing food in accordance with your own beliefs and values

    Ø  Food does not have to be grandiose, just nourishing

    Ø  Interacting with a garden space as spiritual and emotional awareness and comfort

    Ø  The idea of growing/producing food in a gentle and principled way

    Ø  Exploring ‘how La Via Campesina, the world’s largest independent social movement, employs the politics of resistance and reaction in drawing international attention to what it believes are the root causes of the global food crisis’ – Alana Mann

    Ø  The nature of village life in the Pacific Islands in contrast to city life in Australia – Community Vs Singular

    Suggested Interests

    Ø  Alfalfa House – Community Food Cooperative, Enmore; website -

    Ø  The Bower – Reuse & Repair Centre, Marrickville; website – Inner West Seed Savers Club runs out of The Bower. There is a fridge at The Bower that houses the seeds, people can come and swap their seeds for some in the fridge or leave a small donation in the honesty box if they would like to buy some seeds.

    Ø, search for the ‘Peoples’ Food Plan’



    Ø  Dig for Victory ideology

    Ø  Kangaloon Creative Ecologies,

    Ø  Doug Purdie,


    Suggested Reading

    Ø  Eating to Save the Earth: Food Choices for a Healthy Planet, Paperback – September 1, 2004 by Linda Riebel

    Ø  Life in the Soil: A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners, Paperback – October 15, 2007 by James B. Nardi

    Ø  Much Depends on Dinner: The Extraordinary History and Mythology, Allure and Obsessions, Perils and Taboos of an Ordinary Meal, Paperback – June 8, 2010 by Margaret Visser

    Ø  Silent Spring, Paperback – October 22, 2002 by Rachel Carson 

    Ø  Drugs in Pots, Paperback – May 1, 2011 by Anne McIntyre

    Ø  Heirloom Vegetables: A Guide to Their History and Varieties by Simon Rickard

    Ø  Quite a Year for Plums: A Novel, Paperback – April 6, 1999 by Bailey White 

    Ø  Making Animals Happy, Paperback by Temple Grandin

    Ø  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Paperback – April 29, 2008 by Barbara Kingsolver

    Ø  Prodigal Summer: A Novel, Paperback – October 16, 2001 by Barbara Kingsolver 

    Ø  Small Wonder: Essays, Paperback – April 15, 2003 by Barbara Kingsolver

    Ø  The Seed Savers’ Handbook by Michel and Jude Fanton

    Ø  Agroecology: The Science Of Sustainable Agriculture, Second Edition, Paperback – October 13, 1995 by Miguel A Altieri 

    Ø  All books by Michael Pollan

    Ø  The Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World, Hardcover – August 30, 2011 by Emma Marris

    Ø  Resurrection in a Bucket: the Rich and Fertile Story of Compost, Paperback – January 1, 2004 by Margaret Simons

  • 23 Apr 2014 9:26 PM | Deleted user

    Nearly 30 people decided to come on a gloomy autumn day to forage for wild mushrooms in Hampton Forest. The meeting place was a picnic spot in a logged area, not a good look for mushroom picking! 

    For most of the participants it was the first time they went mushroom picking so it was very important that everyone was aware of safety rules and knew what mushrooms to pick! We had a detailed talk about these topics, then drove a short distance to the remaining pine forest, where we stop to see some examples of Saffron Milk Cap. After agreeing on the meeting time, all went their way into the forest. There were plenty of mushrooms around, but majority of them were really soggy and mouldy because of the recent rains. This didn't discourage the foragers and luckily there were many nice, fresh young mushrooms growing around, enough for everyone to have full baskets on the return to the picnic area. The content was thoroughly checked to make sure nobody picked anything poisonous.

    Hunting for mushrooms makes people hungry, but as we were successful with foraging for food, we could cook lunch. Mushrooms were fried with butter and olive oil, and 4 loafs of sourdough bread have disappeared. After lunch we had a talk about the ways mushrooms can be preserved: drying, freezing, pickling and fermenting. 

    Judging by the happy faces, we had another positive Living Skills experience!

  • 03 Apr 2014 7:31 PM | Deleted user
    What can you grow in a permaculture food garden that’s mostly shaded? An important permaculture principle is to plant things where they are going to do their best. Although most vegetables are usually grown in full sun, listen while I find out from permaculturists Lucinda Coates and Margaret Mossakowska about a range of edible plants that will grow in the shade, like leafy vegetables, bush tucker plants and shade-loving herbs like the many types of mint.
  • 02 Apr 2014 7:27 PM | Deleted user

    Our new Team Leader of Shows, Belinda Bean, tried something a bit different to show off Permaculture Sydney North – a float in Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras! Here we chat to Belinda about what dancing bees and pushing wheelbarrows down Oxford St have to do with permaculture.

    What made you think of doing a Mardi Gras float for PSN?

    When I first started as Team Leader of Shows, I did a recon on all the events we traditionally do, and scoured the Internet for other channels through which we can "show" off PSN. What I found was that the shows we've traditionally been involved with have been targeted at the converted, or those on the cusp (eg. sustainability expos, gardening shows etc). I work in strategic engagement and have found that whilst it's very important to up-skill, enable and leverage off your converted crowd, the biggest impact comes from starting conversations in the disengaged crowd - it is through exposure to concepts and discussions with peers that people engage with a topic and create ownership of the issues. Plus, if you want to subvert the dominant paradigm, all you have to do is have more fun somewhere else! With this in mind, I researched Sydney's biggest shows to land at Mardi Gras!


    What were your goals for the event?

    ·         Send the permaculture message to the 300,000+ attendees of the parade

    ·         Make people aware of Permaculture Sydney North - and show that we are fun to join!

    ·         Engage our membership database in a new way. In this last month, so many members have come out of the woods to contribute skills and resources that had previously not been asked of them. From graphic designers to art directors and dancers, we've engaged members in our agenda through the arts.

    ·         Celebrate the connection between permaculture and the LGBTQI community - ie. diversity leads to abundance, permaculture loves diversity, and that PSN welcomes it's LGBTQI members.

    ·         Provide a PR platform. A documentary is being created about permaculture, using our float as the entertaining centrepiece to give the doco the X factor. We are also collecting photos to share and celebrate with members and use in external relations. A bio about PSN was also included in the Mardi Gras app.


    How did the event go?

    Push bikes (one ridden by Cat Dorey, PSN President), tribal drummers, wheelbarrow pushing farmers, PSN banners, and a professional flag twirler all marched in front of our member-built vertical garden float, atop with dancers in fabulous bird, bee, peacock, fish and sunflower costumes. We had a blast! Despite torrential rain before and after the parade, not a drop fell on us. We had a great reaction from the crowds, including the odd “WOO PERMACULTURE!!!” shout-out from a clearly supportive fan of the movement!


    Will 2015 see another PSN float entry in Mardi Gras?

    We were so happy with our entry this year, and it created such a great opportunity to get our members together to promote permaculture in a really fun environment. “If this is what we can pull together in one month, imagine what we can do in one year” was the shared sentiment of the evening. So if you’d like to get involved in a 2015 float, contact, and we’ll see you bigger, better and brighter on Oxford Street!

     Belinda “Bee” Bean is a certified Permaculture Design Consultant, Sustainability Officer for Macquarie University, and Sydney’s Regional Director for the Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability.


  • 17 Feb 2014 7:00 PM | Deleted user

    A packed hall warmly welcomed Mike Mobbs of “the Sustainable House in Chippendale” fame.  Mike is now looking at the big picture which includes the heating up of our cities, how our food is produced and how sustainable are commercial buildings.

    Here is the presentation slides.

    Mike also promoted the 24 hour composter.

  • 15 Feb 2014 10:00 AM | Deleted user

    Twenty PSN members turned up in Kariong on a rainy Saturday morning to enjoy the Bush Tucker Tour experience, despite overcast skies and showers. 

    Our guide, Jake Cassar is a very knowledgeable plantsman, bushman and survival expert and he took us for a walk down Bambara Road at Kariong. He talked about the Aboriginal history and use of this area and pointed at plants which can be harvested for their fruit, leaves or grubs, while many of us took photos and copious notes.

    We ate from bushes and trees (bush currants were clear favourites) and during the bushwalk we collected a few grubs found by Jake inside wattle stalks. Once we reached a great "grandmother angophora" tree, we stopped there for a short break, then went to nearby rocks to barbecue the grubs, which were delicious, rich and nutty-flavoured! We went up these rocks to see the site of the famous Kariong glyphs - Egyptian hieroglyphs carved into rock faces.

    On our way back Jake continued talking about native food plants and checked how much we remembered. We didn't even realise 4 hours went by by the time of our arrival back at the meeting place!

    This Bush Tucker Tour with Jake Cassar was fully booked in 10 days since being advertised and there is a lot of interest from the PSN members, so we may have another tour organised this year.

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