Permaculture Sydney North this month: PSN is joining millions of others at the Climate March on 29 November, Christmas Parties, news from last month's events, and more...
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News & Events

November 2015
Over-consumption. Food waste. Pollution. Climate change. Ocean acidification. All pretty depressing... but Permaculture offers solutions to all these problems, and we should be out there showing others how to take personal action!

At the end of November, millions of people
in many major cities around the world are gathering to send a message to world leaders as they gather at the latest round of climate negotiations in Paris. We don't want more talking, we want action! We want solutions! We want renewable energy, local food, earth care, people care, fair share!

So please consider joining PSN as we join the solutions section of the People's Climate March – let's be bright and bold and positive and show the world what's possible!

Dress in Solutions Yellow, bring your family and friends and neighbours. I hope our photo above from the Mardi Gras last year inspires you.

There's more information below, on our website, and on the official website here:

Cat Dorey, Newsletter Editor

- Upcoming Events -

PSN Monthly: 'Ask the Experts' Panel Q&A

7pm Monday 16th November, Lindfield

Think you've got a Permaculture Problem? Food forest frustrations? Annoying animal antics? Poorly plants? Garden design dramas?

This is your chance to find a solution!

This month a panel of experienced PSN members will share some of their experiences and answer questions from members of the audience.

Email us your questions ASAP and out more here.

Living Skills: Building habitats for beneficial insects

2–4pm Saturday 21nd November, Denistone

Give a Christmas gift to the little garden helpers!

We will waterproof small boxes then pack them tight with various materials to create habitats for native bees: clay blocks with tunnels for blue-banded bees, soft-core twigs for reed bees, and drilled hardwood blocks and hollow bamboo stalks for leafcutter bees. 

What a way to say "Thank you" to all those native bees and wasps tirelessly pollinating your fruit trees and vegetables, and disposing of aphids and caterpillars!

Find out more and register here.

PNB Monthly: The Conscious Consumer Q&A Panel

7.15pm Thursday 26th November, Warriewood

As the consumer season peaks, join us to hear about being a conscious consumer. The panel will inspire us with ideas on how to bring fair trade and sustainability into our lives.  The panel includes:

Lisa Heinze: author, researcher and consultant with expertise in incorporating sustainability into our lifestyles.

Beatrice Kuyumgian Rankin: Founder of the locally based Hemp Gallery.

Linda Gaden: Fair Trade NSW coordinator.

Find out more here.

Peoples Climate March

1pm Sunday 29th November, The Domain

On the eve of world leaders meeting in Paris for the UN Climate Summit, PSN members will join the Sydney People's Climate March and walk alongside millions of people in hundreds of major cities around the world.

Join us at The Domain from 12pm as we stand together for a better, safer, and fairer future for all.

The event starts in the Domain at 1pm with music and entertainment, and the march takes off at 2pm passing some of Sydney's most iconic landmarks.

Find out more and register here.
PNB End of Year and Christmas Party

7.15pm Thursday 17th December, Warriewood

Bring a plate of food to share at our delicious feast and enjoy free live acoustic music to celebrate the end of our year and the beginning of the next.

You can give organic, fair trade PNB t-shirts, calendars, and bags as a thoughtful gift. You can purchase these at our November 26 conscious consumer meeting and our December 17 end of year party.

Find out more here.
PSN AGM & Christmas Party

7pm Monday 21st December, Lindfield

The PSN Management Committee would like to invite you to our 2015 Annual General Meeting.

We'll show highlights from the year, elect a new Management Committee for 2016, and have our much-loved Christmas Auction.

Be sure to bring a plate of festive goodies to share for supper, and bring out those festive hats, reindeer antlers, tinsel scarfs, etc, to get you in the mood!

Find out more here.

More for 2016 coming soon!

Don't forget we have a PSN break over Christmas and January for relaxing, gardening and holidaying. We'll be back in February with many more events.

Check out our events listings on our PSN and PNB websites. There are events planned for February 2016, and more will be added as we finalise the details:

Permaculture Sydney North

Permaculture Northern Beaches
 - News & Fun Stuff -

WANTED: More hands to help run PSN in 2016!

You might be tired of hearing this, but if we want to keep PSN running, we urgently need more people on the Management Committee (MC) next year. Some of our current team are leaving and many of us have a busy 2016 planned for work and travel, so we need help!

There are some special roles to fill but y
ou don't have to take on a specific role – you can try your hand at different things. What counts is more people on the MC to help us spread the workload, and make decisions about what events to organise and how to use membership fees in the best way. We think a team of 12 would be a minimal requirement. These are some of the spaces we need filling just to keep our main events going:

President & Vice President – A dynamic duo to help keep the MC team co-ordinated and informed.
Secretary – We may have someone for this role, but we always need a back-up to help organise meetings, send the agenda and take minutes.
Membership Secretary – Stephanie works tirelessly at this. Why not volunteer to cover for her to welcome new members each month at Lindfield meetings, or when she's away?
Treasurer – Ian would love backup for Tax time especially.
Communications & media – Cat's got the newsletter covered (mostly!) but we need help promoting PSN in print and social media, and maintaining and developing the website.
Gardens – Shawn is staying, but with Jeremy travelling, he needs a team to organise and run Permabees.
Living skills – Margaret needs people to run workshops. She can't do them all.
Library – Melinda is doing this alone. She needs someone to help her at the Lidnfield monthly meetings.
Lindfield meeting – Bring fresh ideas and co-ordinate monthly Lindfield speakers, film nights, etc.
Outreach – Lots of options here! Just some ideas: Organise PSN stalls at 3–4 key fairs or festival each year, organise a road trip or a farm tour, build relationships with councils and other permaculture groups.

Nomination forms for joining the MC are on the website here. If you have any questions, please speak to any of the current team or email us.

Management Committee

Introduction to Permaculture Course, February–March 2016

The dates are confirmed and we are open for bookings!

Please note in your diary the following eight Saturdays: 6th February – 19th March inclusive PLUS 2nd April.

At $250, this is a super bargain available only to PSN members and a gift to you from the presenters. Some of you may wish to put it on your Christmas present wish list for your nearest and dearest.

You can now book through the PSN website here.

Diana Watson, Education Team Leader

Desperately Seeking: 2016 Permabees

To all those unsure how to progress with your Permaculture garden design, the PSN Garden team can assist. The Garden team are happy to visit your garden, and discuss your existing Permaculture plan to help find solutions towards implementing your design.  Remember, there is never a problem, only solutions in Permaculture!

Don’t be shy, our members are more than happy to bring their skills and knowledge, while learning something new from your particular garden.  All they ask in return is be feed and watered on the day, along with the ability to visit 6–9 months in the future to see the wonderful results of their hard work.

During 2016 PSN would like to encourage as many frog ponds in gardens as possible. To assist, PSN will provide and install up to 3m sq of high quality pond liner and make a frog pond free of charge for all Permie gardeners booking a permabee during 2016 (pending successfully purchase of bulk liner shortly).

For the more interesting or difficult projects, requiring more than the usual resources, PSN may be able to assist with a grant to help. Details available in this months newsletter below.

The PSN Garden team would be more than happy to consider school permaculture gardens as well.

Permabees are generally run on the 4th Sunday of the month, though dates are variable.  

To book in or discuss a potential permabee for 2016 please feel free to email Shawn.

Shawn Buchan, Garden Team Leader
 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. A grant application form is now here.

Management Committee

News from the beeswax workshop (24 October)

Experimenting with using beeswax and oils to make useful household products can result in a very sticky mess when 16 people are involved!

During the October workshop we tried to waterproof pieces of cotton fabric to make safe food wraps. The mix of jojoba oil and wax when applied with a paintbrush has created very thick and oily coating – next time we will try spraying the oil on fabric, then sprinkling wax on top and melt it in the oven.
Other uses of beeswax explored on the day were mixing a leather treatment and creating furniture polish. Accidental spill on the wooden floor demonstrated how well a wax and oil mixture can restore wooden surfaces!

Margaret Mossakowska, Living Skills
News from the Mudgee Tour (17–18 October)

Fourteen members joined this successful tour in October, arriving under their own steam at various times from Friday evening to Saturday morning.

On Friday evening Janine, Pete, Deb, Diana Fletcher and Stephanie enjoyed a delicious dinner at The Red Heifer restaurant at the Lawson Park.

On Saturday morning everyone gathered at monthly Fine Food Farmers' Market. After checking out as many stalls as possible and chatting with the producers, the troupe headed off to Lowe's Biodynamic Winery. David Lowe himself gave us a full tour of his vineyards and winery, as well as the biodynamic facilities. He was so interesting and was so keen to answer all the questions that The Honey Haven had to be bypassed!

The next stop was lunch and a tour of The Leaning Oak where goat and sheep cheese was made on the premises. Goats were being milked while we were there.

After lunch we visited a sustainable winery called The Short Sheep Winery. Toni, the vintner, did his Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) with Bill Mollison and David Holgrem in the 1980's and is using all sorts of permaculture practices to produce the wine. We were given a very thorough tour of the vineyard and the micro-winery by Toni and his wife, Sue.

It was a really hot day and everyone was very pleased to get to Rosemary and Barry Hadaway's home at Bungee Bungee for cold drinks and a talk on the process of organising their earth works and water management. We also had a tour of their magnificent and beautiful straw bale house which is nearing completion. A huge amount of work has been accomplished and big plans for their gardens and food forests are in the pipeline. Barry and Rosemary provided a delicious BBQ meal and after much talk, the exhausted tour members departed for their respective abodes!

Sunday was about 10 degrees cooler. We departed on a Farm Walk at 9am which was actually a tag along tour  visiting Karabool Olive Farm ( a world prize winner for their extra virgin olive oil) where we were given the benefit of a talk and tour around the 3000-tree, sustainably-managed olive property. This was followed by an informative and interesting talk by the owner and brewer at Mudgee MicroBrewery.

After a hearty lunch at the architectural award-winning Hi Cube Container Cafe, we headed off  30 km north to the arid-land permaculture property of Rick McGregor, the 80-year-old owner. He has managed to grow many productive fruit trees in corrugated containers above ground, and vegetables in numerous wicking beds, which he doesn't use during summer due to the extreme heat. Despite the problems of heat, poor soil and little rain, Rick has made an artistic, beautiful oasis for himself. Some of his water saving measures include compost toilets, and grey water use for swamp casuarinas. After showing us around and explaining how he works with what he has, we retired inside for his home made lemon cordial with icy water!

Following this, the tired, but satisfied, group headed for home, with a new appreciation for the pretty much unrelenting hard work of 'living the dream' to produce a variety of food sustainably!

Mudgee has a lot to offer so another trip to that area may be organised for the same time next year.

Stephanie Robinson, Tour Organiser (Thankyou from the Mudgee Troupe, Stephanie!)
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 around 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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