PERMIES- how it should be!

Permies are trained on a PDC to be cooperative not competitive, to spread knowledge and make the principles available to all to use.

This can be done in “over the fence chats”, community groups, lectures, courses or any other ways suitable to the situation. Often initial knowledge and skills are usually passed on for free and eventually some have the skills to teach or design for a fee, this is usually offset by some community work and talks which also increases your skills and visibility in the community that may one day pay  for your specialist skills.

Most good Permies would only take a % from the system that sustains it, this is up to the individual. Examples such as Organic Agriculture, where the system should only take no more than about 80% of the nutrients added; the remainder goes to rebuilding a healthy system, over time this increases in resources so therefore the yield can increase as well.

We should be building well planned and executed systems and keeping records so anecdotal evidence can be made available in the future along with public entry to good examples to show how things can work. The best of these will fill the need for sustainability, productivity & multiple yields and still meet our current desire for aesthetics at the same time with examples for all size scales within a local city or country area.

Permaculture Definitions

Bill Mollison's definition: Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human enviroments. Bill Mollison, Introduction to permaculture Tagari press- 1991

Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity , stability  and resilience of natural ecosystems. Permaculture-A Designers manual. Tagari press-1988

David Holmgren’s Definition: "Consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre nad energy for provision of local needs" David Holmgren, Permaculture Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability-2002

This book details a sensible design approach to a declining fossil fuel future.

Peter’s view on Permaculture: is that its about designing self regulating and sustainable systems for food production, materials and other needs of humans and their animals that takes into account and facilitates a net decrease in the earths resources needed to sustain the system and an increase in the yields for humans.

My tiny contribution to Permaculture is to take the learning from 30 odd courses with the  experience Silvia & I have gained on multiple small farms across Victoria and the travels around the world looking at simple agriculture systems and communities and use all this to help some local people on their initial jorney down the Permaculture road to the future.

Instead of being fancy I would rather supply simple useable information and training with practical experience to willing participants, this means simple workshops & short courses and the PDC along with farm tours. 


From recent visits and involvement in local communities my opinion is that you need a firm structure with defined rules that allow individualism and sustainable planned growth for the future, this system needs to include fair dealings all round and respect.

Some of the Communities Silvia & I have been active, traveled or studied in since 1988.

Samoa, NZ Maori, Fiji, Noumea, Cook Islands, Borneo

Cyprus, Findhorn Scotland, 4 of the Island of Hawaii

country Vic towns, Shepparton, Bairndale & Warrnambool and the small local communities we lived in while managing Major businesses in the town.

Local community groups involved  in, some we help set up or managed over the years:

Mountain Districts Permaculture Group,

Permaculture Melbourne,

Heritage Fruits Group (PcM)

Heritage Fruits Society Inc.

Royal Horticultural Society UK

Friends of Brogdale (UK International Fruit collection)

Vic educators group- permaculture PDC & APT

Healesville farmers market,

Olinda and Mt Dandenong tourist markets,

Rare Breeds Australia

Llama society

Scottich Highland Cattle Society

Samoyed club of Vic

Local community houses, Olinda, Monbulk (President), Kallista, Emerald,

Mountain Districts women’s co-op ( FTG)

Windana Society Therapeutic Community,

Coles Myer Ltd.

recent  I was appointed to the "Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority Review  Panel"  for VCE Hort & Agriculture

VFMA -Vic farmers market assn

Slow foods convivium Dandenong Ranges

Slow Food Melbourne

 2010 update- recently I watched a show recommended to me by my students on Earthships and community living, in it they changed US law (after 5 years) to allow a section of the local "shire" thus allowing experimental planning to ocurr, this included new building methods & design, communal living, experimental energy generation & saving methods.

Why can't we do something of this nature here in sections of Australia.

As stated in the show,  planning laws become so restrictive that they stifle innovation and thinking out side the box, just look at new controls we now have since the laughable 5 star rating came about (we need 25 star ratings). Or the new restrictions with building in a fire area, both fail to recognise good design and only focus on simple building "Mainstream" methods and materials that "prop up their Mates" businesses.

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