President's Report
Thank you for the kind welcomes I've had already since joining the PSN management team.
It was great to see so many of you on World Permaculture Day. A huge thank you to Lucinda Coates's and everyone who helped get her garden ready for the Open Day – I was truly amazed to see how a few small dull patches of ground can be turned into such a stunning, productive and inspiring garden. I had a beautiful quiet moment, before the visitors arrived, watching a tiny Eastern spinebill its long beak into the flowers of Lucinda’s thriving pineapple sage (aka Salvia elegans). A big thanks to Peter Wright for organising our small, but bold, team at the St Ives Festival on the Green to run our PSN stall and assist the council in dealing with the recycling and waste that inevitably piles up at these events. I think it’s great to be able to help our communities this way.
My partner, Chris Suttie, and I are relatively new to the art of creating a permaculture garden, so we have lots to learn from all of you. I hope in return that we can share the skills we've learned in over 12 years of volunteering and working with Greenpeace and other environmental groups to help us drive the goals and vision of PSN. Our combined skills include: developing campaign strategies; telling stories in traditional and new media; public, corporate and political engagement; working with and training volunteers; events organising; group facilitation and public speaking; fundraising; and props and banner-making. Of course if you ever want to hang a banner off a building, stop a fishing boat, or invade the head office of a leading retailer while dressed as a cow, we can help with that too!
I hope to see many of you at the next PSN meeting in Lindfield where I will be talking about my work with Greenpeace to protect ocean life. I’ll be the one in the bright red t-shirt that says “How sustainable is your seafood?”
I am looking forward to working with you all. Here's to changing the world one heart, garden, and community at a time!
NEWSFLASH - Management Commitee Changes
A few changes have recently taken place on the management committee, so we'd like to express a warm welcome to Cat Dorey, our new President, Kay Phelan - Vice President and Rolf Cambridge - Secretary. We also welcome our new web master Karen Benhar, and new newsletter editor Shawn Buchan.
A big thanks goes to Monique Unger for her contribution as Secretary, Craig Duckmanton for his contribution as President, Helen Hill, Fundraising, for putting together the recent film night at the Coal Loader and Peter Pezzolesi for all his efforts with co-ordinating the seed savers monthly gatherings at the Bidgiwong Community Centre. We also farewell Barry and Rosemary Hadaway and wish everyone the very best with their new endeavors.
NEWSFLASH - Earlier meeting times at Lindfield
By popular demand of attendees, Lindfield meetings will commence at 7pm and finish by 8.30 pm for supper. Doors will open at 6.30 pm.
These timings are suggested for a trial period of four months. Any feedback will be gratefully received - please place any feedback in the suggestion box provided.
Look forward to seeing you on Monday  
PSN Monthly Meeting - Monday 20 May 2013 @ 7:00pm - new time
PSN's new President, Dr Cat Dorey, will be talking about her work with Greenpeace and protecting ocean life.
Cat is a long time Hornsby resident and environmental campaigner. She has 12 years of experience promoting sustainability through her work with Greenpeace and a  variety of other activist and community groups.
Cat is currently the International Co-ordinator of Greenpeace's Sustainable Seafood Programme and she'll be wearing a bright red t'shirt that says "how sustainable is your seafood?"
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.

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

Hornsby Local Group
Our group had a fantastic tour to the lovely Permapatch Community Garden in South Chatswood in April and we also had a most successful trial of moving our meeting from Saturday to Sunday.  Everything was set for another great Sunday meeting in May, our speaker not being available on the Saturday, when it was realised that, of course, the Sunday was Mothers’ Day.  Oops!  We decided to postpone our Seed Saving workshop, run by experienced Seed Saver Jannine Ord, to August.   
The good news is that we are looking forward to joining with Ryde on their May excursion to Cumberland State Forest, in West Pennant Hills, on the Saturday instead.  Thank you Ryde!  Cumberland SF is a bit of an urban secret.  There is an arboretum section as well as some native forest, with short walks through magnificent stands of trees from all over the world.  There is a nursery where you can buy native plants (the tubestock is very good value!) and an information centre.  There are several picnic areas and I think the Ryde group is heading for the one near where I, a few years ago, helped upkeep a bush tucker garden, in my brief former life as a ranger. 
Our June meeting will be at my place, for those who missed out on seeing it on International Permaculture Day (at 8/ 6-8 Donald Avenue, Epping).  The topic is a seasonal planting calendar, and we will be tying together the intricacies of planting what plants how in which month with crop rotation (does it have anything to do with crop circles?!), myth-busting companion planting, and revealing the secrets of successful planning for a productive year in your garden.
Come join us!  We are a very friendly bunch, we don't bite (except into yummy afternoon teas) and are always open to suggestion;  tell us what you would like and we will make it happen! 
Lucinda, on behalf of Hornsby meeting planners Jenny, Kerry, Lucinda and Heather;  and co-ordinator Kay.Enquiries to
International Permaculture Day at Lucinda’s open garden, Epping
Permaculture Day started four years ago around the Sydney area, the brainchild of Penny Pyett, whose idea was to both celebrate Permaculture and to promote it to the general public.  Two years ago it went International and this year there were many and varied events held all across the world!  It was a little quieter than usual around PSN's area of operations, but in one quiet little area of Epping, a team effort on the part of both Hornsby and Ryde local group members, and help from PSN's Garden Team and some former and future members of the Management Committee resulted in a very successful day. 

My townhouse garden has been featured on a couple of Geoff Lawton's videos as an example of urban Permaculture - food production in small urban and peri-urban areas - and a modest amount of visitors came to see what all the fuss was about.  Reports from the Welcome/ Info table, set up with Hornsby local group brochures, PSN T-shirts etc for sale, fact sheets about just about everything and willing and knowledgable Permies were that some people entered The Garden looking a bit unsure but walked out of it ready for a Permaculture journey. 

I certainly enjoyed chatting to the locals about what I have managed to do in my sun- and space-challenged area and it seemed to me that the pure practicalities and common- and earth-sense of Permaculture rang true to them.  I even got to wax lyrical to a Hornsby councillor, who took some photos; there is video that is being compiled with interview notes for sending to Sri Lanka by another group of visitors... one never knows just where these things could lead. 

It would not have been possible without the help and support of fellow Permies and my thanks to everyone, especially to Monique for setting all of those wonderful PSN signs in very strategic places - I felt like I was in the middle of a giant PSN display for the Gardening Australia Show!  And this time, I am definitely taking notes of a forward plan so I know the best time to put in place publicity for next year.  Hopefully a few more gardens will be open, and other exciting IPD events will happen in 2014! 
PSN Living Skills -
18 May Curing Fresh Olives
Olive season starts in May, so not is the time to learn how to get olives from the tree to the table. In this hands-on workshop, Barbara Clark will demonstrate how to brine and cure olives.
Numbers strictly limited to 5 participants so be quick.
Registration here.
21 May Secateur and knife sharpening workshop

Winter pruning time is coming - time to get your tools ready!

Learn how to sharpen secateurs by demonstration and knives by doing. If bringing the former please bring suitable tools for dismantling.

A small fee is to be worked out depending on numbers interested and on what is to be sharpened. Please indicate your interest in either or both. An empty plastic liquid dishwashing bottle with a push/pull lid would be required for knife sharpening.

Register here.
If you have problem with registering, please email
PSN Permabee- Swales for Chook Food Forest in Denistone Sunday 19 May
The next permabee will be at Margaret and Chris's.
Want to learn how to build swales properly? Do you know what a chicken guild is? We will build one (or two) swales, fill them with water holding mulch, and prepare the bunds for planting a chook-friendly food forest. Once completed, this chicken guild will include fruit trees (apple, mulberry and elderberry), a raspberry patch, medicinal chook herbs (nettles, wormwood, rue, comfrey) and a beehive.
You will not only have an opportunity to participate in creating one of permaculture’s iconic designs, but also to see existing swales planted with trees and vegetables, a worm farm in an old bathtub, an urban-sized banana circle and large composting bays. You will be welcome to take cuttings from the garden and to share your food scraps with a friendly flock of chooks.

Please bring personal protection gear such as a hat, gloves, boots, sunscreen, a water bottle and your own mug.
Vegetarian lunch, tea and coffee will be provided. If you are able to bring along a little something to share for morning tea it would be much appreciated.
Register here  
If you're unable to register on line, you can contact the Garden Team Leader at
Seed Savers - "March Against Monsanto" day 25 May
Organising against Monsanto & their collaborators like Dow, Bayer, Pioneer, Syngenta, Seminis etc.) appears to be working at least in the US.

Come Celebrate on "March Against Monsanto" day 25 May everywhere. Join with us at Bidjiwong Community Nursery and permaculture garden, bring your containers for taking home plants, cuttings and seeds. 

Helen Pollard and Robyn Williamson will be giving a talk late morning.
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.
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 email
Words of Wisdom

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