This month at PSN: Action August! Enjoy an interactive Permaculture evening, make a natural 1st Aid kit, repair your shoes, share a recipe, and more!

News & Events
August 2016

Visitors to Margaret's garden on International Permaculture Day in May 2016 (Photo: Margaret Mossakowska)

As you know, Permaculture is defined as a design system which utilizes the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems. I consider permaculture to be the ultimate way of sustainable living, which should be adopted more widely by the society.

To make this happen we need to showcase urban permaculture gardens to educate the public - the Sustainable House Day celebrated across Australia on September 11th provides an opportunity to do that! 

My garden will be open on the day to demonstrate how much food, medicine, and fibres can be produced on an urban block and how to save water and conserve energy by designing your property along the permaculture principles.

I encourage everyone to visit some of the houses and gardens open for Sustainable House Day - details on the website:

Margaret Mossakowska, President

Upcoming Events
PSN Monthly Gathering

7pm Monday 15th August
Lindfield Community Centre

Enjoy an interactive Q & A evening with fellow Permies and discuss how to integrate practical Permaculture principles into your life.

Find out:

- what you can do for the sustainability of the planet
- how to organise a permabee for your own property
- solutions to your garden problems and/or garden design.

You can participate in a variety of informal small group activities led by practising permaculturists including the following topics:

- You and permaculture
- Permabees (permaculture working bees)
- Permaculture garden solutions.

Free for members free, $5 for guests. 

Doors open at 6:30pm - a good time to check out our members library, the swap table, and buy plants and produce from other members. 

Please join us for supper after the main event. Supper will be provided by the Ku-ring-gai group.

PNB Monthly: Diversity of Hemp + Eco-market

7.15pm Thurs 25th August Warriewood

Delving into the diversity of the Hemp plant and its many uses, from textiles to building materials. We will also hold our annual indoor ethical & eco-market. 

More here.

Living Skills Workshop:  Natural 1st Aid Kits

10-4pm, Sat 20th August

Reknowned herbalist & author, Pat Collins, will teach us how to use nature's remedies to make a small 1st Aid Kit, suitable for a car glovebox.

Register here.

August Permabee: Pennant Hills

9.30am-4pm, Sat 28th August Lindfield

Help Sue implement her new Permaculture Design which she developed during the recent Introduction to Permaculture course

Register here.

News & Other Bits

Ready for the public at a local eco-festival. (Photo: Cat Dorey)

Festival Fun - Get Involved!

Being part of festivals is a great way to get to know other PSN members, meet other community groups, as well as for showing the public the wonders of permaculture. We need helpers at the following festivals.

Sustainable House Day - Sunday 11th September

10:00 - 4:00pm at 14 Burmah Road, Denistone

Volunteers are needed to man the PSN stall, plant sales, and cake stall in Margaret's garden on Sustainable House Day on Sep 11th. Contributions of savoury and sweet finger food would be appreciated as well. If people would be willing to do 2 hour shifts, this would be a great help. We usually collect several hundred dollars for PSN on the day!

To help, please contact Margaret Mossakowska: 0431 136 043

Permaculture Northern Beaches Spring Eco-Festival - Sunday 25th September

12:00 - 4:00pm at 1 Wilson Avenue, Ingleside

Please note that this event was postponed from June due to the extreme weather we experienced in the Northern Beaches. The date is yet to be confirmed.

Volunteers for this large event are needed to help with simple tasks such as helping on the welcome desk, promoting PNB/PSN, selling raffles, collecting donations, selling cakes etc.

For information, updates, and date confirmation, check here.

To help, please contact Matt Wilson: 0410 347 794

Granny Smith Festival - Saturday 15th October

9am - 8.30 pm in Eastwood Town Centre

The annual Granny Smith Festival celebrates the life and legacy of one of our district’s most famous citizens, Maria Ann Smith - aka Granny Smith - who, back in 1868, ‘accidentally’ grew the first batch of little green apples that bear her name and are now grown all over the world. 

The Festival began in 1985 and is now regarded as one of Sydney’s largest street festivals, a true community carnival, full of colour and good old fashioned fun. It attracts over 80,000 people each year and is supported by local businesses, sporting and service organisations, schools and the wider community.

More on the festival here

To help, please contact Diana Fletcher: 9888 6197

Don't throw out those shoes - give them a second life at Repair Cafe!

Northside Repair Café - 1st and 2nd Sunday of every month

Small appliances need fixing? And jewellery, clothes, shoes, chairs... come to the Repair Café!

“I had a number of small appliances fixed by Arjen. My coffee bean and spice grinder, toaster and hairdryer are now all working again.” - Sarah Millar.

Yes, Arjen, our repair café volunteer has the special tools and skills of getting into the innards of the appliances and adjusting a switch or cord or cleaning out all the debris. And lo and behold it is fixed! If it can’t be fixed, at least you might get a clearer idea of what to do next…

Re-string that loved necklace, fix the missing button, put in a new zipper, fix the wobbly chair, rescue a favourite shoe, bring broken umbrellas back to life…

So many benefits - reduced costs, continue to use your loved machine, bye-bye landfill, and other wins for the environment! There is much more and many helpful volunteers on hand…

The Northside Repair Café has been in operation since January 2016 under the auspices of the Permapatch Community Garden, the Willoughby Local Group, and the entire organisation of PSN. The use of the hall is made available by the Chatswood South Uniting Church.

True to its name, we repair and we serve organic free trade coffee, tea and herbal tea accompanied by a selection of home-made goodies catering to special diets: gluten free, vegan and sugar free. Come for a cuppa even if you have nothing need fixing!

All free. Donations welcomed.

  • When: Next event August 14 (1st and 2nd Sundays of the month)
  • Where: Chatswood South Uniting Church, corner of Mowbray Road and Pacific Hwy
  • Time: 1 to 3pm

Ample parking at the back or catch a bus or train to Artarmon Station and walk.

For more information, contact Wendy Dwyer on 0410 280 912

A Chance to Visit Les & Annette's Property - October long weekend

What an engaging presentation we had from Les Mulder and Annette Owen-Mulder, who left Sydney in October 2011 to follow their rural permaculture dream. At our July monthly gathering, they gave us graphic details of the ups and downs of their "tree-change."

We are now planning a Labor Day weekend visit to their functioning Permaculture farm near Wingham on the long weekend - 1st to 3rd of October. This will be a working visit - work and fun combined. We will car pool or drive ourselves and camp or make our own accommodation arrangements. There are also good motels hotels nearby.

Are you interested?

If so, please contact Diana Evans so that we can make arrangements.

Diana Evans

The finished frog pond (Photo: Diana Evans)

Permabees & Dumpy Level Workshop went well - Thanks!

My heartfelt thanks go to all the people who joined in the "permabee and a half" at my place in Lindfield on 26th June and 30th July. You all created this beautiful frog pond (see photo above) and this chicken run (below) for safe and happy chickens (soon to arrive.)

On the afternoon of 30th July, Rolf gave us a very thorough grounding on some basics of surveying and how to use a dumpy-level to find contours, which tells you where to dig swales.


Learning how to calibrate a dumpy level
(Photo: Sue Patterson)

Both days were a lot of work and a lot of fun. I am very happy with the results, and would recommend a permabee to anyone who has plans that are greater than their skills and strength.

Diana Evans

The finished chook fence
(Photo: Diana Evans)

Monthly Recipe Sharing - Gluten free kafir lime slice

We'd love to share more great recipes from members as a regular feature in the newsletter. Do you have a favourite? Please send it to the newsletter editor at:

This month we bring you one of Wendy Dwyer's specials - a great favourite at last month's Lindfield gathering.

Recipe for topping:
1 cup raw cashew soaked in boiling water for 1/2 hour and drained
240 ml coconut cream
1/2 packet coconut milk powder
2 tbs gluten-free corn starch
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup kafir lime juice
Zest from all the kafir lime juiced

Crumb recipe:
1 cup gluten-free oats
1 cup almonds or walnuts
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs maple syrup
2 tbs raw sugar
4 tbs grape seed oil

Blend oats and nuts on high speed to get fine meal. Add rest of crumb ingredients. Pour into a lined lamington tray. Level and pat down firmly. Bake at 175 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before adding the filling.

Blend filling mixture on high speed till it is well mixed. Pour on top of crumb base. Sprinkle some zest on top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes on 175 degrees.

Cool in tray. When tray has cool down sufficiently, put into fridge and leave for several hours before slicing.

Eco-Fundraiser - Plant Food

Dear Permie Friends

I'm a Lady Farmer building a global sustainability messaging project and I'm reaching out because I am producing a really beautiful Eco-Fundraiser to help others raise funds for their projects too.

I make beautiful permaculture-based food-growing quality 'Whole Worm Castings' made by my super-happy worms - fed on an all natural, high protein diet - on my Little Permaculture Farm in Sydney's North. As there are so few ‘Eco’ ways to raise funds, I put my thinking cap on and designed a special 3 litre bag of my ‘Black Gold’ produce so I could help others, help me, help the planet!

I keep my farm small so I can produce the best ‘soil food’ on the planet. I have no intention of up-scaling. All I want is to find the best and most loving homes for my produce - in a way that helps others make a a difference to the world, too. That’s the most wonderful outcome I could ever imagine. :-)

My beautiful produce has helped thousands of Sydney garden lovers transform their soil into vital havens of bioactivity - and their purchases, over the last 20 years, have helped us fund our feature documentary films and cultural sustainability projects in the South Pacific.

This eco-fundraiser will go towards our Global Sustainability film-based messaging project, 1Giant Wave. Find out more on my Facebook page here.

If you can help us fundraise by buying some of my ‘Black Gold’ at $25 per 3L bag, please contact me on the email or number below. I can send it anywhere in Australia. Thanks!

Wendy Harper
Phone: 0405 076 856

Thanks for reading to the end! With appreciation from this month's joint newsletter editors: Cat Dorey & Sue Patterson

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