President's Report
Well spring has sprung, and what a delight it is... the noticable temperature increase, the bursts of colour, the lovely fragerances and budding new life everywhere.
Hopefully you've had a look at the proposed new PSN constitution which has been online for a while now. The deadline for comments is tomorrow, 15th September. The vote will be taken to adopt it at the October monthly meeting at Lindfield (15th October). You'll be able to vote by proxy if you can't attend the meeting. The proxy form will be sent out with the official notice of the Special General meeting.
Congratulations to Selena Griffith from the Northern Beaches Local Group who ran as a Greens candidate in the North Ward in the Pittwater local council elections. The area is traditionally a conservative, Liberal voting area, but Selena and her team bucked the state trend and The Greens ticket received a strong vote of just under 25%. She was well supported by volunteers from Pittwater Community Garden handing out at the polling booths. With a platform of developing sustainability knowledge and capacity at a community level and protecting the environment such a strong vote for The Greens indicates a shift in thinking and a desire for positive change amongst the community.  Well done Selena, and continue the great work you do as an active citizen in your community, at UNSW, in Social Innovation Sydney, and last but not least, as a Mum.
Also congratulations to Grant Mizens, Janna's husband (Janna is a member of the Ryde Local Group and was last year's PSN secretary). Grant and his team, The Rollers, won the Silver Medal at the 2012 London Paralympic Games in the Men's wheelchair basketball. There was only 6 points difference between Australia and Canada who took gold.

PSN Monthly Meeting - Monday 17 Sept 2012 @ 7:30pm
The Answer is in the Room - Q&A Evening
After the success of last month's education stations and World Cafe style discussion, this month will simply be a space for people to ask questions and advice of other members in the room and for us all to learn from our collective, community wisdom.
There are many forums that we're part of, including the many different groups some of our members are subscribed to on Facebook; Permablitzes and community gardens that we may participate in or be members of; Newsletters that we subscribe to; Discussions with friends or other members that we know; But what if you're new to the Permaculture concept / community or not on Facebook? Where do you start?
We're providing this opportunity to bring questions to the floor. You might have something that you're not quite sure about regarding your chooks, or need help identifying a plant, or want to ask advice about planting for spring... Or perhaps you might be in a position to answer questions for others, or share something you've learned and think others might find useful.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
7pm for a 7:30 start.
Please remember to bring your own coffee mug and join us for supper and a chat afterwards.
PSN requests a $5 donation for non-members to attend.
Doors open at 7pm. Lindfield Community Centre, 259 Pacific Hwy, Lindfield. Just a few minutes walk from Lindfield railway station.
Thanks in advance to the Ku-ring-gai Local Group who will be providing supper this month.

Don't Forget to BYO Mug   
Please bring your own reusable mug/cup to all meetings.
PSN Monthly Meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of every month.
Doors open at 7pm. Lindfield Community Centre, 259 Pacific Hwy, Lindfield. Just a few minutes walk from Lindfield railway station.
PSN Fundraising Raffle 
As mentioned last month, PSN is currently running a raffle, and it would be great if members could volunteer to take a raffle book to sell tickets to their colleagues, family and friends. A book consists of 40 tickets, and tickets are 1 for $5 or 3 for $10.
The prize is a Tapas Class and Dining Experience for two at Sydney’s multi award winning sustainable steak house, MUMU Grill, in Crows Nest. Prize is valued at $280 
If you can help do some fundraising for PSN in this way, please let Monique know at
If you'd like to go in the draw, tickes can also be purchased here:
Raffle will be drawn @ Permaculture Sydney North monthly meeting | Monday 15th October
Advocacy Report by Barry Hadaway
National Food Plan
Submissions in response to the commonwealth government’s Green Paper, “Towards a National Food Plan for Australia” close on 30 September 2012.
As indicated in the August PSN Newsletter I am aiming to send off a PSN submission by 15 September 2012. 
What do you want in a National Food Plan?  Remember this is all aspects of food not just growing food.  If you have some ideas for a PSN submission, please send me an email to before 15 September 2012.
At this stage I am planning to make a submission consisting of two components, as follows:
  • A list of things that we, as Permie’s would want in a National Food Plan – a commitment to development of sustainable agriculture, a move towards organic production methods, promotion of integrated pest management, promotion of integrated cropping and animal  systems, poly-cultures instead of monocultures, re-localisation of food production, etc, etc.
  • An argument that Australia should recognise and adopt agro-ecology as the ‘way of the future’ - agro-ecology applies ecological science to agricultural systems to achieve sustainable agricultural production. For example, agro-ecology advocates the use of nitrogen fixing plants to replace artificial fertilisers and avoiding reliance on pesticides by providing habitat for beneficial insects and birds, etc. This argument would build on a submission by the Permaculture Research Institute, which in turn references a United Nations Report to the General Assembly by Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. This UN report provides a detailed argument for the adoption of agro-ecology. Agro-ecology is very closely aligned to permaculture.
Advocacy Team Meetings
This year the Advocacy Team has been meeting on the first Tuesday of odd months. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 6 November 2012.  Meetings will be at 3 Yerong Street, Ryde unless otherwise advised, commencing at 7.30pm.  Just remember Advocacy on Melbourne Cup Day!
If you cannot make it to meetings but you have an issue of concern please drop me an email at
Barry Hadaway - Advocacy Team Leader
PSN Garden Team Event- This Sunday 16 Sept
Karonga School Epping
The PSN Garden Team will be helping Karonga School, Epping prepare for spring.  The school has implemented an amazing permaculture garden for the benefit of its students with special needs. 
As part of the curriculum, the students spend time in the garden and then get involved in harvesting and cooking the produce.  We will be helping out the school with general maintenance - weeding, mulching and planting.

Garden Team days are a great opportunity to learn practical skills on the job, meet passionate and active new people and, above all, have fun. Come along and spend some time in this fabulous permaculture garden with keyhole vegetable beds, chooks, composting and native plantings in zone 5.

If you would like to come along, please register here.
Richard Heinberg Event Reminder - This Tuesday 18 Sept
Is our growth-based economic system leading us to a future of prosperity and plenty for all?
Acclaimed US Author and speaker Richard Heinberg argues that the opposite is true and that perpetual growth in the economy and population is taking humanity toward a future of scarcity, hardship and dangerous environmental decline.

Why are our leaders and media commentators so determined to persist with an economic system that defies the most basic laws of mathematics and physics?
What can we do to wrestle the future direction of humanity onto a more sustainable trajectory?
Come and hear Richard Heinberg explores some of the most profound questions confronting human civilisation.
Venue: Guthrie Theatre, University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
702-730 Harris St, Ultimo (between Broadway and ABC Ultimo Centre)
Date & time: Tuesday, September 18, 6.30pm
Cost: Free, optional donation ($5-10 suggested)
Inquiries: ph. 02 96803245 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 02 96803245 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 02 96803245 end_of_the_skype_highlighting 
PSN Open Garden - Pennant Hills
Sunday 23 September 2012 - 2pm to 4pm
Last month was PSN's first open garden day. Garden days are opportunities for members to visit, enjoy and benefit from the exchange of information and knowledge of other permies. The open garden visits take place on the 4th Sunday of each month.

Next garden in the Open Garden programme is Stephanie's at Pennant Hills. Stephanie had a PSN blitz in July 2011 during which a lot of clearing, swales and some leaky dams to harvest storm water from an easement on the property took place.
This garden, unlike Deb's, is very much a permaculture garden in progress, the main feature of which, for visitors, is the development of a Zone 5 (or wildlife section) by the planting (in October 2011) of a rainforest along permaculture principles. Approximately 30 native rainforest trees , such as 3 types of macadamia, aniseed and lemon myrtles, finger limes, Qld bottle tree, sandpaper figs ,native frangipani etc were planted on the bunds along with nitrogen fixing acacias and pigeon peas. Pest management plants have been added. Keep in mind that this is a mini rainforest (whose fruits and flowers will one day attract native fauna away from other zones) and so far is fairly short!
Other features are a small heritage apple garden, grafted this year with other varieties, and various compost heaps including a hot compost stack to grow colonies of beneficial microbes. A 60L compost tea brewer will be on the go to demonstrate a method of growing these to assist in the development and progress of a healthy garden.

Stephanie will conduct a tour of her garden, providing a short talk about her design and other garden features. 
Please register on our website if you would like to attend. The address will be provided on registration. If you would like to bring along family or friends who are not members, a small $5 donation can be made to PSN on the day. It is important that children be carefully supervised at all times.
If you would like to stay and have a cup of tea and a chat after the tour, please bring along a mug.
Living Skills Workshop - Sourdough Bread Making By Barbara Clark 
The next living skills workshop is coming up on 6 Oct from 2-5pm. 
In this hands-on workshop, you will learn the fundamentals required to make delicious bread that has flavour, texture and character.
You will discover the secrets of sourdough bread baking, including the use of starter cultures, hand mixing, hand-moulding and baking. You'll take home the recipes, knowledge, confidence and skills to practice hands-on bread making techniques 
Numbers are limited. Please contact Barbara Clark for more details.
Hot off the Press - Permaculture Intro Course Feb 2013
Low Cost, High Value Course for PSN Members
The education team has started planning a full-length, low cost Permaculture Introductory course to start in February 2013.
Also planned is a 4 hour session next month called  'A taste of Permaculture' -  you can earn a discount for the intro course by signing up for this one.
Subscribe to the website Noticeboard and Members' Forum to keep up to date.
A consideration for that special occasion/birthday/celebration or anniversary - why not buy your nearest and dearest a PSN course or get them to contribute/ buy you one. 
To share the teaching load ( and share the love ) we are recruiting members with a PDC and/or Permaculture training qualification/experience. If you have any of these and are interested in sharing your knowledge, please forward a brief CV to
The next Education team meeting will be held in October. Details will be published on the web.
Ryde/Hunters Hill Group by Diana Fletcher 
Our group has been very busy lately; it's festival time!

The Moocooboola Festival at Baronia Park, Hunters Hill was the first for the year. The weather was perfect , the crowds were huge, we had plenty of interested inquiries about Permaculture and possible new PSN members.
Jeremy Yau displayed his bicycle trailer that he made from reusable material collected from the Council Pickup. We then had great fun engaging the passers by in a competition to win a packet of seed, if they could identify five reused parts on the trailer. The trailer created a lot of interest. It was a very successful day!

Next was the Ryde Rivers Festival. This festival is very much a family day with fun runs, children's competitions , billy cart and dragon boat races plus stalls of all kinds, in a perfect setting alongside the river in Kissing Point park, Putney.

This is the first time we have entered this festival and it gave us another opportunity to take the Permaculture message to the public. We also sold strawberry plants and some show bags, answered gardening queries and talked enthusiastically about Permaculture. 
Hornsby Local Group by Cecilia Bird 
There's been a few changes of late within the Hornsby Group with Kay Phelan now taking up the Co-ordinator post from next month.
On a beautiful day in September the group had a guided tour of the TLC Community Garden (Turramurra) which began with everyone being seated under a romantic blossom tree to hear their amazing story, before entering the garden proper.  
Later the team was treated to gracious hospitality including afternoon tea with dozens of perfect strawberries.  Hosts Tina (President) and Noel (who has charge of the large shed) did us proud.  We are very grateful to them for such an inspiring tour. 
A big thanks goes out to Kay for organising the outting.

Seed Savers Monthly Meet with Peter Pezzolesi 
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. 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.
We can share our seeds with you and would love for you to share some of your special heirloom seeds with us.
Peter Pezzolesi 
Seed Savers Co-ordinator
Phone 0412 817 60
Fowlty Towers B&B (Bird and Birdies) is open! by Cecilia Bird
Thank you to my permie friends who helped me choose the name; it is not a spelling mistake!

As many of you will know I have been setting up a chook pen with the express purpose of looking after other people's chickens when they go on holiday.
·         This offer is FREE to financial members of PSN.
·         Some (non-onerous) conditions apply to both parties.
·         Bookings are subject to availability (I will not double-book chooks).
·         We're situated in the south of Hornsby Shire.
·         Inspections welcome!
If you’re interested then contact me via the PSN website Members’ Forum
(You will need to be signed in).

Welcome new PSN members
A big welcome to all our new members since our August meeting.
Hornsby: Danielle K, Yvette V;
Ryde/Hunters Hill: Kate S, Marnie J;
Ku-ring-gai: Adrian K, Sally L;
Lane Cove: Tiia M;
North Sydney: Darren T;
Northern Beaches: Meredith D, Mathew S, Greg R, Ruth and David M,
Willoughby: Jamie M, Kari M;
Other: Bev C; 
For details on local group monthly meetings please refer to the noticeboard or email your local group coordinator or check out the new re-occuring events page (PSN diary) here
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. 
Costa frequently posts here as do other well-known people and organisations.
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  
Every day is Earth day

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