PSN's very own - The new "Introduction to Permaculture " course! 
Yes! Its here, finally and at last! The new "Introduction to Permaculture " course running from October 19th to November 30th 2013.

Book your place for the course being provided by the experienced members of PSN.
After almost 12 months of planning, PSN Education Team is in a position to offer the much requested "Introduction to Permaculture" course this year.
The course will run over 7 consecutive Saturdays, from October 19th to November 30th 2013.
A group of experienced Permaculture exponents who are members of PSN will be presenting the course It will be an exciting mix of the theory of design principles that underpin Permaculture, coupled with practical exercises, and held in a variety of the members working Permaculture gardens.
The course outline will follow the course developed by Permaculture co founder Bill Mollison.
A fee will be charged, with all money raised going to PSN to help promote Permaculture as a "viable sustainable and satisfying way to live" to the wider community. Stay tuned for the announcement of the price.
At the end of this course you will have created a design for your own garden, balcony or community plot.
The units that make up the course will be
1. Introduction to Permaculture Principles - All presenters
 Includes location, energy planning, zone planning, sector planning, biological resources, succession and evolution, diversity, guilds and edge effects.
2.  Broadscale Design - Stephanie Robertson, Diana Evans, Andrea Pape
 Includes mapping, landform, climate and microclimate, water, soils, structures vegetation, tanks, dams, swales  and houses.
3. Structures and Patterns - Celia Bird, Diana Watson, Keelah Lam
 Includes Patterns in nature, patterns in Permaculture design, house and garden integration, designing houses for the climate, plant houses, waste recycling (inc grey water, septics, food scraps, compost toilets).
Also strategies using existing and new technology.
4. Animal Forage and Aquaculture - Margaret Mossakowska
 Includes a range of useful animals that can be integrated into a Permaculture system including rabbits, ducks bees, pigs, goats and poultry, plus pen design, aquaculture, aquaponics and fish
5. Home Garden Design (Zone 1) - Libby Crichton, Lucinda Coates
 Includes climate, aspect, structures, garden layout herb spirals, keyhole beds, mandalla circles,, barrier hedges, vine and trellis crops, tyre ponds, seedling nurseries, greenhouse, sheet mulching, vertical gardens, and small urban spaces.
6. Orchards, Food Forests, Soil and Timber (Zones 2, 3 and 4 ) - Kathleen Hellmann, Chris Grudnoff
 Includes growing, harvesting and maintaining fruit trees, companion planting, soil maintenance strategies, bees, native bees and pollination, stacking, fertilising, espalier, using timber
7. Urban and Community Strategies - Celia Bird, Monique Unger, Keelah Lam
 Includes community recycling, community gardens, co-ops, seed savers, WWOOFing, LETS, ethical investment, free cycle.
This represents a good solid grounding into the ethics and principles of Permaculture.
Don't miss your opportunity to be part of this exciting initiative of PSN
PSN Monthly Meeting - Monday 19 August 2013 @ 7:00pm
Jake Cassar Special Guest - Bush Food, Medicines, Survival
Permaculture Sydney North (PSN) is excited to host a night with Jake Cassar, the Central Coast’s own “Bush tucker man.”

Jake is a passionate conservationist and bushcraft teacher who specializes in edible and medicinal native and introduced plants. Jake has spent most of his life fine-tuning his survival knowledge in what he calls the “University of the Bush.” He has taught himself much of what he knows by living off the land for weeks at a time, and from the extensive resources he has acquired on native and exotic plants and their traditional uses.
In 2007, inspired by Environmental activist and author Tim Flannery, and in gratitude to the Indigenous people of Australia, Jake self-published a book, Widji Widji, about native Australian plants and their uses, as well as his personal experiences. In 2009, Jake produced his first DVD documentary, Bush tucker and the mystery of the Kariong Hieroglyphs.
Jake has spent hundreds of nights in the Australian bush and has been blessed to spend time with much respected Indigenous Elders in NSW, and Central and Western Australia. Jake will display a range of useful and edible native and exotic plants, and show us how to make rope out of tree bark, fire from sticks, soap from wattle leaves, and much, much more!
$5 non-members. Free for PSN members.  Be early! Please join us for super afterwards and bring a mug for tea.

Doors open at 6.30pm. Talk begins at 7.00pm. Supper 8.30pm
Lindfield Community Centre, 259 Pacific Hwy, Lindfield. Just a few minutes walk from Lindfield railway station.
PSN Living Skills - Polypipe Wicking System Demonstration
An opportunity to participate   in a workshop where we learn about another great Permaculture design: a polypipe wicking system.

It is a type of a vertical garden which uses standard plumbing pipes and plastic pots with wicks to create a wicking bed which can be then hung on a wall, fence or mounted on a stand, indoors or outdoors. Because pots sit snugly in holes made in the pipe, there is no evaporation from the pipe and mosquitoes cannot access water to lay eggs there. Plants can be "fertigated" by adding fertiliser to the irrigation water sitting at the bottom of the pipe.

Our instructor Richard Brassil has built many such systems and regularly provides full-day workshops through Permaculture Sydney Institute (the next one is in October). He will demonstrate step-by-step the process of making a polypipe bed ready to be installed. He will go through the whole process of measuring and making a 100mm pipe about 1.5 to 2 metres long. This would be a demonstration only.
Registration here.
If you have problem with registering, please email
PSN Permabee - 18 August 
This months permabee on Sunday the 18th will be a smaller, more intermit days work set in the vary productive garden of Liz and Morris at Gordon. The main jobs on the agenda are converting a pile of brick into a herb spiral, installing two small swales to control the water overflow during heavy rain from a drain. There are two fruit trees that need to be lifted and planted on top of the swales once they are dun as well, and help set up a newly re-cycled chook house in the garden. There are a few other odd jobs if your not feeling up to any heavy lifting on the day.
Morris who is a bit of a chef will be manning the BBQ for lunch, so we should all be well catered for.
In other news the permabee at Karonga school has been cancelled due to ongoing construction work at the school, but we will be back after the Christmas holidays to start off the 2014 school year. This means we have a vacancy in September for anyone wanting some work dun so let me know by filling out the form attached. In fact now would be a good opportunity nominate yourself or a friend for a permabee. Think of it as an early Christmas present.
Register here.
If you're unable to register on line, you can contact the Garden Team Leader at
Highlights from July's Management Committee Meeting
*MC members welcomed observers Shawn, Karen, Kathleen and Chris; up to five observers always welcome.
* All PSN position-holders have been invited to attend a planning day on 24 August.
* Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners to be made at each Lindfield Monthly Meeting. 
* Decision to sell the compost tea brewer – unsuitable for psn use.  Details coming.
* Fact sheets:  being collected and collated by Education Team for adding to website.
* Archiving from 1993:  being undertaken by Education Team for adding to website.
* Any good photos?  Send to Lucinda for photo library.
* PSN study tour – for discussion at planning day 24 August.
* Pre-meeting slideshow to be put on website.
* Radio 2RRR:  Lucinda and Margaret have recorded 10 min Permaculture segments.
* Possible psn community garden – obtain expressions of interest from large blocks of flats in St Ives.

Like What You've Seen? Want Some More? 
 If you have liked what you have seen and experienced the past couple of months at PSN and like what we have on the program - AND want to be a part of it - please help us to help you by ensuring your membership is up to date.  If it is: thank you!  If it is not, or is soon to expire: please consider renewing your membership online to make our hard-working membership secretary's job a little easier. 
If Steph doesn't need to send reminders or try to contact people (who's details may have changed) that means she has more time for some of the more enjoyable aspects of PSN and Permaculture.  Like frolicking about her garden...  And if you haven't visited your online profile for a while, why not check it out and see if it needs updating.  We will be carrying out a little overhaul of the profile soon so that it is as easy as possible for you to fill out, while providing much-needed information for planning and running PSN. 
Please contact Stephanie Robertson if you have any questions relating to membership.  Thank you!
Compost Tea Brewer Anyone?

A while back PSN bought a compost tea brewer and the management committee have decided it is time to sell it on.  We wish to give the first opportunity to PSN members but would then open it to others, if there were no suitable offers. 
This is just a heads up: we are still trying to nut out exactly the best way to go about selling the unit in order to ensure the process is fair, and that it brings the best possible return to PSN (and by that, its members).  So stay tuned to this space!  More information will be forthcoming but in the interim feel free to contact Lucinda Coates with any questions.  She is pretty sure she won't be able to answer them, but you should feel free to ask her anyway!

What's Happening at Hornsby - Bamboo & Seed Saving!
What a terrific afternoon hosted by Heather and Bruce in July. There was no shortage of bamboo on offer and there was no shortage of folk willing to help Heather and Bruce cull the clump or should I say huge screen of bamboo that formed a boundary to their property. The actual cutting and pruning of the bamboo was surprisingly easy and the bamboo was not really heavy to lift. Different modes of transport were used to carry home our bounty and probably the most interesting was our President who transported her bamboo by bicycle. The afternoon tea was relaxed and friendly with excellent conversation.
For those who were unable to join in the fun Heather and Bruce have kindly offered to host another afternoon for more chopping, lopping and pruning of their bamboo. The future date will be posted on the PSN website when scheduled.  Thank you to Heather and Bruce.
Sunday 11 August was celebrated in fine style by a bakers' dozen of permies from the Hornsby local group with some friends from Ku-ring-gai and North Sydney.  Our hostess was Caroline, a very new member to PSN, who has a lovely property in Glenorie.  After tours by admiring attendees and introductions all around (including what we would like to see in our LGA in the future) we settled in for a talk, demonstration and hands-on workshop by Jannine Ord, a very experienced seed saver.  Jannine took us through a simple description of why and how to save our seeds, and the importance of sharing seeds and continuing the cycle, so that we could just get stuck right into it.  After all, the best place to save seeds is in the ground!  Then followed a very exciting time of sieving, cleaning, winnowing, sorting and swapping of seeds.  We all went home much the richer in knowledge, soul and seed!  Our thanks to Jannine for guiding us through the afternoon and for Caroline for hosting the event - and what a garden she has!
Hornsby Bushland Festival - 15 September
The Show must go on!

Hornsby Group will be perma-personing a stall at the main annual fair of Hornsby Shire, the Bushland Festival - Sunday 15 September.  The Shows Team is coming to the party and together we will be setting up a fabulous, engaging display with the aim of enticing people to come and talk to us and join our group.  You are invited to be part of a great opportunity as we set out to engage as many of the 12,000 Festival goers as possible.  There are loads of ways to join in the fun:
*Be on the planning team.  Our first meeting is set for Tuesday 20 August at Lucinda's place.  This is guaranteed to be an inspiring and hilarious evening!
*Grow some seedlings, produce, or nice plants in pots for display (or some little things for giveaways);
*Send some photos you have taken: of your garden, or PSN members having fun at an activity...;
*Loan us some of your handiwork for display: eg preserves, soaps, etc;
*Create some nifty things for giveaways - things that don't cost much/ anything but to which we could attach a small card, with details of the item on one side, and contact details for PSN & Permaculture Hornsby on the other side;
* Help transport, set up or take down the display;
*Be part of the day by doing a shift on the stall ((probably 9:30am-12:30pm, 11:30am-2:30pm & 1:30-4:30pm) or whatever you can manage).
Don't miss this opportunity!  Please contact Lucinda, via, or (W) 9850 6312 or (H) 9869 8256, if you can help with any of the above.  All offers very gratefully received!  Let's all have a lot of fun with this!
Seed Savers - 24 August
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 to Seed Savers. 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.
Find us on Facebook 

Welcome new PSN members
A big welcome to all new members 
New Members’ (and old Members’) guide to the Website now online
It includes
  • a glossary of terms and abbreviations
  • how to find  - the New Members’ Booklet, DIY Information Sheets
  • how to ‘sign in’ to the website and members’ forum
  • how to register for events
  • regular meeting dates and events
  • and important links 
A big thanks to Adrian Kong and his wife Vicki, who are reasonably new members, for putting together this helpful (deceptively simple) guide.


Don't forget to BYO reusable mug / cup to all meetings 
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. 
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

Permaculture Sydney North
PO Box 1145 Chatswood NSW 2067 
Tel:   1300 887 145 

Monthly meetings held at the ‘Ku-ring-gai Centre for Seniors’
259 Pacific Highway Lindfield NSW 2070 on the third Monday
of the month - all welcome

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