Monthly meetings held at the ‘Ku-ring-gai Centre for Seniors'
259 Pacific Highway Lindfield NSW 2070 on the third Monday
of the month (except Jan)  - all welcome
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President's Report - Cat Dorey

I can’t believe it’s mid-October already – it’s been a very busy ‘spring’ (or did we go straight to summer?) so far, with lots of our members preparing for and setting up PSN stands at local festivals, making last minute preparations for our upcoming Introduction to Permaculture course, and helping with Permabees. My personal favourite event was meeting one of my heroes, the eco-warrior and scientist David Suzuki, at the recent Eco-Expo.

There were a couple of small, but significant, moments this past week that really highlight to me why we do what we do.

On Saturday 12th members from Northern Beaches and Hornsby groups went on the “No Monsanto” march to unite with other groups and communities who are resisting the Agro-chemical giant that wants to control (and pollute) our food supplies. We had a PSN stand at the rally in Martin Place afterwards, and many of our visitors thanked us for providingpositive solutions to the problems we are fighting – simple steps that individuals and communities can take to rebuild our connections to each other and to nature. Our free seeds were very popular, and many are heading to community gardens!

The key second moment was yesterday at the Hornsby group meeting, when Janine Ord told me excitedly that she had heard Graham Ross on 2GB talking about seed libraries that morning. Janine sent off a quick email to Graham about the launch of the new Hornsby Seed Library and it reached him in time to be read out on his programme. Now many more people know about the importance of seed libraries and how PSN is part of this solution!

If you read last month’s newsletter you might remember my challenge to everyone:  will you set yourself a personal goal to help promote permaculture in the community? Inspire others by sharing your goals and update us your achievements on the notice board on the PSN website or Facebook page, or email them to me at:

Janine Ord gets my Permaculture Crusader award this month for getting our name out over the radio waves.

PSN Intro Course Reserve List

If you have missed out on registration but want to attend the PSN intro course (17 Oct - 30 Nov) then register for this event and you will be invited to join should a place become available - strictly in order of registration.

Please only register if you are willing and able to attend.

19 Oct: Granny Smith Festival Eastwood Ryde-Hunters Hill Monthly Get Together - Our Permaculture Stand 

Ryde/Hunters Hill Local Group with support from PSN Shows Team will have their stand at the famous Granny Smith Festival. Everyone is welcome there!

19 Oct: Living Skills: Introduction to Fermenting Workshop

Provided by Gillian Kozicki, Permaculturalist and Passionate Fermenter, the October's living skills workshop will take an introductory look at fermenting.

21 Oct: PSN Monthly Meeting 

Special Guest Martyn Robinson, Australian Museum Naturalist Martyn Robinson

Frogs and Bees, or Biological Control and Enhanced Biodiversity in the Permaculture Garden!

Martin has worked at the museum in a number of different sections including education, arachnology, entomology, birds, palaeontology, library, terrestrial invertebrate ecology, worms, science communication, Visitor services, and search & discover.

For further details click here.


26 Oct: PSN Willoughby Local Group Meeting

The October Willoughby Local Group Meeting will be held at the home of Jill and Ralph on Oct 26 from 2 to 4pm.

For registration click here.

October Permabee is Heating Up!

Last months permabee at John Colet Primary School was I think one of the most enjoyable ones I've been involved in. The enthusiasm and hospitality from the parents and teachers of the school was really refreshing, and all the hard work everyone put in transformed a vary nondescript space into a focal point for some very keen young gardeners.

I would like to say a massive thanks and express my appreciation to Alexandra for inviting us in to help with this project and to all the PSN volunteers who have been doing such a stellar job through out the year. It’s been a real joy.

And so on to our next, and what a next it is!

27 Oct: PSN Permabee

Ku-ring-gai Council are giving PSN the opportunity to establish a “purpose built” Permaculture display/community garden at the St Ives Wildflower Garden.

This site has an established organic vegetable garden with several beds, two native beehives, three ponds, a small worm farm, tool shed, compost site, out door seating under shade cloth and a larger area of land to expand into as the community garden develops.

PSN will be teaming up with other local community groups with assistance from Ku-ring-gai Council. The hope is to add the display garden to the list on show for International Permaculture Day next year. This is a big project that will go a long way to raise the profile of Permaculture in the public eye & PSN along with it. We would love you to get involved.

To register please click here.

Management Committee Highlights

There was no formal meeting in September due to lack of a quorum, but a few decisions were made by email. These will be ratified at the October meeting.

Minutes of MC meetings, once accepted, are placed on the website under ‘Member Only’.

What's Happening at Hornsby Local Group - October

Farewell and Welcome

Many thanks to Kay for her work as Co-ordinator of the Hornsby Group for the past year, and welcome to new Co-ordinator Jenny. We wish you both well.

Hornsby Bushland Festival (15 Sep): the Hornsby local group put in a massive team effort and created an eyecatching, colourful and engaging display. With some new backdrops and posters, a new stand for the vertical garden display (and a third polypipe), borrowed chooks and quails, the team attracted lots of interest and were kept busy telling residents about different aspects of Permaculture. the newly fledged Hornsby Seed Savers created packets of organic home grown seeds for giveaways; and some lucky residents also got seedlings and learnt how to make pots from newspaper! Thanks go to all those who helped before and on the day.

We met at Jenny’s to hear about native bees and were treated to a huge amount of interesting info – written, spoken and practical. I think we feel quite at home with the idea of native bees now. The notes will be forwarded to you under separate cover. Thank you Jenny for the excellent info and delightful hospitality.

We will be having our monthly meet-up one week earlier than usual ie Sunday 3 November, so that we can do a mini-permabee at the EcoGarden. This is a lovely area and something of a hidden treasure in the northern part of the Hornsby Shire. We will start at the normal time from 2pm BUT we will meet at ~1pm for those interested - bring some lunch to share. Hopefully the council Waste Education staff will be able to give us a brief tour. [There is also a free compost tea brewing workshop with Peter Rutherford in the morning that some members are attending: you would need to contact Council to see if any spaces remain. The rumour is that Peter will also be the guest speaker at November's Lindfield meeting... stay tuned to this space!...] 

If anyone is interested in nutting out details of the Permabee beforehand, please contact Lucinda and we will get a project team going. The Permabee would most probably be a citrus tree espalier in front of a rainwater tank with attendant companion plants. So please join us on this hands-on learning experience, and help out the EcoGarden at the same time!


Permaculture Hornsby Launch of new Seed Library

We launched the new Seed Library for Permaculture Hornsby at the local group meeting.

Seed Saving is a vital function to conserve biodiversity at the local level. We have lost over 75% of food crops in the last century. As our climate changes we need to be constantly planting local food crops in our gardens to adapt to the changing climatic conditions. It is becoming harder to source a variety of open pollinated seed as there are fewer seed companies controlling more of the market. 5 vegetable seed multi-corporations control 40% + of the market that develops, breeds and markets chemically dependent hybrids and genetically manipulated seeds.

So that our Hornsby members have access to open pollinated, locally gown seed we have developed a new Seed Library to encourage local self-reliance and provide access to fresh garden produce. Seed Saving is raising awareness of the full cycle of gardening from seed to seed.
At the launch of the new Seed Library, Hornsby permies were asked to become Seed Guardians to expand and rejuvenate the new seed library. Seed Guardians agree to raise seed of a chosen variety so they remain pure and true to type. Guardians grow and save this seed and return it to the Seed Library for us to ensure we have seed that is alive and available for the future. There was a good response from members to this call and much seed has been taken to be grown and returned to the Permaculture Hornsby Seed Library.
Our initiative has been registered internationally with Seed Freedom and we hope that other local permaculture groups might take this lead.
We hope in the future when our Seed Library has excess healthy seed we will be able to share and swap seed with the rest of PSN and the wider community.
My thanks go to the team who have worked together over the last couple of months to develop the Permaculture Hornsby Seed Library.
Jannine Ord
Permaculture Hornsby Seed Library Convenor

 Gardens for International Permaculture Day 2014

Do you have a Permaculture garden that you think is almost ready to display to the public?  Would you like some help in getting it there?  PSN wishes to get involved in International Permaculture Day next year (the first Sunday in May).  This is a celebration and a demonstration of Permaculture and should be a big event in our annual calendar.  We are looking for members who have opened their garden in the past, either for that event or for Sustainable House Day, and for members who are just venturing into showing people what they have done in their garden.  So please, if you think you might be interested, contact Shows Team leader Lucinda.  We have several lines of support, from advertising to Permabees, to help you show the public what Permaculture can do for them.  If you have any other ideas you would like to investigate, such as running a workshop on some aspect of Permaculture, or putting on a film night, having a Permablitz on a street verge - anything - why not see if together we can make it happen!


Building Community       

One of the requests from members is to create a spirit of community among fellow permies.  One way we can do this is to get to know a bit more about each other.  Each member has a profile on the website.  We have recently updated the profile to include some questions to help us learn more about our members: eg what sort of things you would like from PSN.  Our request to you is: please update your profile to help that process!

Now here’s a bit of encouragement: the best 3 answers to the following question in your profile will each win a bottle of organic wine:

“Do you have ideas on how PSN can best recruit and encourage members in their Permaculture journey?"


Re-Use Roundabout Table

Re-Use Roundabout table: if you have Things you no longer need, or Stuff you think may be of use to others, please bring it along to the next PSN meeting at Lindfield, to the Re-Use Roundabout!  There are only two rules: if yo think you got a bargain (by taking useful Stuff from the table), please consider a small donation.  And if any Stuff you brought along has not gone by the time you pleave, please take it with you.  I have a request: could those people who scored a seedling in a black plastic tube at the least meeting, leftover from the Bushland Festival, please bring back the black tube pots?  I need to return the pots to the Council Nursery!  Thank you, Lucinda.



Ed's Corner!

PSN welcomes all submissions for inclusion in your monthly newsletter. Please send them to at least 10 days prior to the regular PSN Monthly meeting at Lindfield. 

Looking forward to hearing from you all!

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