This month: Permabees, preserving, upcycling, balcony gardens, 10 things you didn't know you can recycle, and new grants for PSN members!
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News & Events
May 2015
As we head into winter, are you thinking about any permaculture projects you'd like to do in your garden? Now is the time to make plans, and we have many people who can help you make your vision a reality!

Permabees are one of my favourite events at PSN – there is something to learn from every garden, whether it's a well-established permaculture garden, or one that is starting down the path of transformation. I also love the exercise and the social side of working with other permies.

This month Stephanie's garden, which has been one our garden classrooms for our Introduction to Permaculture course, is getting a winter makeover from the Garden Team. Next month it could be your garden!

If you have a project in mind, but don't have the money for it right now, perhaps you should consider applying for one of our new PSN grants! We are looking for projects that can be created, built or installed as part of a permabee and will provide valuable education to our members.

Read more about this, and our many other events below.

Cat Dorey, Newsletter Editor

- Upcoming Events -
PSN May Gathering – Members Inspiring Members

7pm Monday 17th May, Lindfield

This month's gathering is brought to you by some of our star members who have great ideas and skills to share.

In our new 10-minute 'mini-education' series, Stephanie Robinson will tell us how to maintain our water tanks.

Robyn Crosland will demonstrate how she converts other people's 'rubbish' into useful permaculture treasures – upcycling in action.

Where: Lindfield Community Centre, 259 Pacific Highway.

For the full agenda click here.

Living Skills WorkshopPreserving the Harvest

2–4pm Saturday 16th May, Waverton

Margaret Mossakowska will demonstrate how to preserve food by methods such as salting, pickling, drying, boiling with sugar, and canning, to keep the seasonal harvest lasting for long months. 

You will not only learn, but also make a pickle, so you will go home with a jarful of tasty preserve.

For more details & registration click here.

Permabee – Multiple tasks

9am–4pm Sunday 24th May, Pennant Hills

This month we are heading to Stephanie's well-established permaculture garden to give it a bit of a make over. Some of the jobs include installing a new pond, and building a possum barrier to protect the food forest.

There is plenty to learn from this garden and we need many hands. Please help!

For more details & registration click here.
Displaying PNB May Gathering – Fair Share Expert Panel Q and A

7.15pm Thursday 28th May, Narrabeen

The three overarching principals of Permaculture are Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share. Tonight YOU get to ask four leading experts in environmental and social sustainability: how can we ensure the idea of Fair Share is applied locally and globally?

Where: Narrabeen Tramshed Arts and Community Centre, 1395 Pittwater Rd, Narrabeen

For the list of panelists and more details click here.

Hornsby group meeting – Craft Workshop

2–4pm Sunday 7th June

Liz Nakhla, the host for the group's June gathering, has lots of creative ideas to make gardening and propagating easier.

She also has a great permaculture garden and lots of ideas for reusing things that would otherwise go to landfill.

For more details & to register click

PSN June Gathering – Permaculture for balconies & small gardens – Indira Naidoo

7pm Monday 15th June, Lindfield

Indira Naidoo, one of Australia’s most popular broadcasters and author of The Edible Balcony has some great ideas for anyone trying to maximise their available space for growing food, especially for those with balconies and small gardens.

Where: Lindfield Community Centre, 259 Pacific Highway, Lindfield.

Signed copies of The Edible Balcony will be available for $40 cash on the night.

For more details click here.

Still haven't found what you're looking for?

All our events are listed on our websites at:

Permaculture Sydney North

Permaculture Northern Beaches
 - News and Fun Stuff -


International Permaculture Day – Open Garden Success

Despite morning drizzle and an overcast sky, 130 eager visitors (110 adults and about 20 children) came out to explore Chris & Margaret's award winning permaculture garden.

Margaret shows off her composting system and wormery. Photo: Cat Dorey

There were regular guided tours throughout the day, but with information posters at each of the key features, people could wander around the garden at their own pace. And with such a large abundant garden, there was plenty to see! While the adults gazed in awe and took mental notes, children chased chickens, poked around the pond, and fell in love with the bunnies.

Most of the visitors came because they read an advert in the local paper's "What's On" section and for many it was their first experience of Permaculture.

Both talks (on soil fertility and natural fertilisers) were well attended, particularly the first one by Stephanie Robertson

Several helpers, mostly from the local Ryde/Hunters Hill group, and three student volunteers from Macquarie University were kept busy answering questions, selling plants and hot drinks. They helped to pack up and were rewarded with pizza for dinner.  We raised $170 in entry donations and hopefully inspired some new members.

The chickens weren't so sure about all the attention. Photo: Cat Dorey


Have you retrofitted your home?

We'd like to dedicate one of our monthly Lindfield gatherings in July or August for PSN members to share experiences of some of the ways you've transformed your homes to be more sustainable.

The format of the evening will depend upon who shows an interest in telling their stories, and we are open to suggestions – panel discussion, small group workshops, etc.

Please contact Diana if you are interested or have any questions.

Diana Watson, Education Team Leader


Announcing: Small Grants for PSN Members!

Do you have an idea for a permaculture project? We are looking for projects that will showcase Permaculture to our communities or provide a valuable learning opportunity for other PSN members, either through a permabee in a private or community garden, or as part of our education courses.

We have small grants of between $500 and $2000 available to local PSN groups and individual members.

If you have an idea, have a chat with one of the Management Committee or email your idea to us. If it sounds good, we can let you know how to apply with a full proposal.

Management Committee


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – 10 things you CAN recycle!

1. Mobile phones (but not cables) can be left at Sony Centres and Leading Edge Computers for Youth Cancer, or you can post them. Mobile phones are recycled and the money raised will be used to build specialised youth cancer centres. Visit You Can for more details.

2: Domestic batteries. Any brand of AA, AAA, C, D and 9V batteries (both rechargeable and non-rechargeable) can be disposed of sustainably in bins at most Aldi stores. Check it out here.

3. Used stamps. Many charities collect stamps to raise money, such as Guide Dogs Australia. (Guide Dogs, PO Box 82, North Hobart TAS 7002). Other organisations are listed here. 

4: Used prescription glasses & sunglasses. OPSM and many opticians collect used prescription glasses and sunglasses for people in developing countries. You can also send them here. 

5. Unused mini shampoos, soaps and lotions (from hotels) can be given to the Wayside Chapel or women’s refuges.

6. Corks from wine or champagne bottles can be made into floor tiles, horse-float mats, boat decking, kindergarten flooring, and inners for hockey and cricket balls. You can leave them at several locations including Reverse Garbage. Check out the list here. 

7. Used bras  (also swimwear, new underpants) can go to Project Uplift! for women in the developing world where a bra is often unobtainable or unaffordable.  There are various drop-off points in Sydney including Warrawee and St Ives. Check out the list here.

8. Wire clothes hangers can be returned to dry cleaning shops.

9: Joggers (not too worn out) can go to people who have no shoes. The lovely folk of Soles for Souls have a list of collection locations. Northside Runners in Crows Nest and Manly also collect them.

10: Used plastic children’s toys in good condition can be recycled with Second Chance Toys.

Next month: upcycling


This newsletter needs you!

As well as regular events, we need photos, news, reports from events, and ideas for the Fun Stuff section.

We also have a blog on our website that is sadly underused at the moment!

We usually send out the newsletter in the second Monday of the month, but you can send items & ideas to me at anytime.

Cat Dorey, Communications Team Leader

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