This month at PSN: Special events: A seed saving evening with Michel & Jude Fanton, a Repair Cafe evening, and a combined kiln workshop & permabee!

News & Events
November 2016

Best. Seedpod. Ever.  (Photo: Cat Dorey)

November! Yes, it's nearly the end of the year again, and the Management Committee has already started planning for next year. But we need help.

PSN is run entirely by people volunteering their time to make sure the day to day business of paying our bills, signing up new members, and organising our regular monthly events continues. And then there are all those special events!

Some of the committee members will step down from their roles at the end of the year, either because work commitments are too great, or because they’ve been in their roles a while and need a break. Others would be happy to take on new roles if need be. We really need some more of you to put up your hands to help.

We can be flexible – while some of the positions, such as Treasurer and Secretary, have fairly fixed responsibilities, others can be adapted to suit your skills, experience and/or interests, and available time. If there’s something you’d like to do, but are less confident about, we can train you and support you. Talk to one of the team or send us an email (see below) if you have any questions.

The new committee will be elected at our Annual General Meeting and Christmas Party, which will be held in Lindfield Community Centre at 7pm on Monday 19th December. Nominations for MC positions need to be made on the offical form and submitted by 12th December. Instructions are on the Nomination form here.

Will you find it in your heart to help us? Go on, you know you want to!

MC Committee 2016

Upcoming Regular Events
PSN Monthly Gathering:
Repair Cafe!

7pm Monday 21st November
Lindfield Community Centre

The Repair Café is coming to us!
Find out how the café was set up, bring something to be repaired, and enjoy the refreshments and music.

Register on the night for items you would like to have repaired. Repairs are completed for a donation. The following are on offer:

  • repair of small appliances
  • sewing
  • jewellery
  • shoes
  • tools/knives sharpening
  • advice on use of smartphone/ computer Internet

Even if you do not have an item to repair, come along to feel the vibe, watch and learn, socialise, and enjoy the other activities taking place.

Seed-savers, the library and Sell, Swap & Share will also be running with plenty of time to make good use of these opportunities - something for everyone.

Wendy’s coffee machine will be in full flow before 7:30pm – you can choose decaf or full strength and of course there will be a selection of goodies including Wendy’s gluten-free delights using produce from her garden along with contributions from members of the Willoughby local group. Donations for coffee welcome.

Workshop: Building & firing a small wood kiln

10am-5pm, Sat 19th Nov

Artist Chris Suttie will show us how to build & fire a small woodfired kiln using common house bricks. We will also have a permabee in Chris & Cat's garden at the same time.


PNB & Kimbriki: Special Seed Saving Event!

7-9pm Thurs 24th Nov
Dee Why RSL

An evening with Australia's leading seed experts Michel and Jude Fanton, who founded The Seed Savers’ Network in 1986. Special host: celebrity & local Wendy Harmer.

Bookings here.

Local groups: Christmas Party and gift making

2-5pm, Sun 27th Nov

Take home orchids in a pot or a bottle of vinegar or oil delicately flavoured with fresh herbs. Learn to wrap presents the Furoshiki way. And have a Christmas drink with friends!

More here.

News & Special Events

A clever kookaburra waits for hardworking permies to uncover lunch. (Photo: Cat Dorey)

Just in time for Christmas: Wholeprice permaculture books!

Richard Telford and Oliver Holmgren have recently launched a new website with Melliodora Publishing with books available for wholesale prices. They want to help permaculture people access suitable titles at the best available prices when purchased in quantity.

There is a minimum order of $150 to access wholesale pricing, and $250 will get you free delivery as well. There’s a reasonable range of titles available, so why not check out the website, draw up your Christmas list and talk to other permies to see who else wants some new books or the new
2017 Permaculture Calendar.

One recommendation is the recently released book by Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grub The Art of Frugal Hedonism that is being very well received. They are about to do a 2nd printing, only a couple months after the first run!

The Art of Frugal Hedonism is an absolute joy. It is good-natured not pious, humane not self-righteous, and a guide to ethical living that makes the impossible possible. I am happy to make this my bible.” Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap

For more info contact:
Richard Telford
, Melliodora Publishing
0402 503 763

This is not a photo of the new IPC students. They were having too much fun to take a photo!

Introduction to Permaculture Certificate begins – Still time to join us!

The Education Team was really looking forward to meeting the new group of students for the course. This time, truly, as always, we were not disappointed. There is something about permaculture that brings out the very best in people and we had a mega good day.

The presenters are immensely proud of the course that we have put together and are always rewarded when we meet the new students for the first time. Each presenter remembers the joy of discovering this life-changing course and give their time for the benefit of PSN members wishing to start their permaculture journey.

Of course, there is always room for improvement in any educational enterprise, but we do pride ourselves in providing a course that shows the students real permaculture gardens. We show permaculture gardens to students as 'works in progress' and identify success stories and projects that need some more work. The Ed team presenters know that we all learn from our mistakes and that we should be brave enough to share our unfortunate learning experiences for the benefit of others.

We enjoyed ourselves so much that we forgot to take a photograph of the new students! As one more student will be joining us next week we resolve to take a picture.

Wish you'd signed up? Good news! There are places vacant until this Saturday!
As one more student will be joining us next week, we thought that would invite three more of you to occupy the remaining spaces. Support will be provided to catch up on the 1st class. 

Dates: Saturday mornings, 9am - 1pm on November (12), 19, 26 in 2016 and February 4, 11, 18, 25 in 2017.

Cost: $250.

Please contact Diana Watson or Di Evans for more information:

Judy hard at work on one of many permabees, which we like to document with before and after photos.

Can you help the Education team on a project?

Education team documentation programme - sharing our legacy
At APC9, Australian Permaculture Convergence 9 in 2008, Bill Mollison told us that we had to document everything. Such a simple profound statement from a mighty man is really important because without documentation our footsteps in the sand will be blown away.

As part of Bill’s legacy, and part of the PSN tribute to Bill, the Ed Team would like to document our achievements. Please think about it, if we do good stuff and nobody knows about it – how can this help our cause? If new people go to the website, would we like them to know what we do and what we have done?

Please explore what you have to offer. Photographs are a really important. Of course, as a start, we would like to compile reports without putting them in the public arena. We would like to tell members what we have done as we are really proud of our achievements and think that other members would learn from our achievements and 'works in progress'.

We would like to support other teams and document and make available to PSN members information relating to:

  • Garden team – plans, photos, reports on permabee completed
  • Garden tours – photos – items of interest
  • PSN tours – photos, places visited – I have itineraries, but would like several people to collate and create a PSN resource.

PSN Mini-Ed
Have you had a permabee at your house – would you like to tell us about your experience? A five minute segment at the monthly meeting will help share your knowledge and experience.

PSN educational talks
Do you have an idea about a topic that you would like to hear a talk about at a monthly meeting? Please let us know.

The Education Team is at your service – please let us know how we can help you on your permaculture journey. If there is a book or resource that you would like us to consider purchasing for the PSN Library, please let us know.

Diana Watson & Di Evans, Education Team Leaders
DW: 9416 2929

DE:  9416 1896

Permaculture Design Certificate - March & April 2017

Have you been dreaming about having a permaculture property or teaching permaculture? Well, we have just the course for you: PSN and PNB are running a Permaculture Design Course (PDC).

John Champagne will be the lead teacher. John has many stories to tell of his experiences developing his own property from scratch, including how he made all the mud bricks for his house, which you can see on his biography web page.

The 72‑hour residential course uses Bill Mollison’s Permaculture: A Designers Manual as the text book. It is an excellent book with outstanding diagrams and tables to make the learning experience easier and would make an excellent Christmas present.

This course is for all permies who have completed an Introduction to Permaculture certificate. It is particularly good for permies who would like to teach permaculture or dream of having a larger property.

What you learn in the course will help you to:

  • choose the property most suitable for your needs
  • create a design that helps you take advantage of the excellent features of your land
  • remediate any degraded parts of the property
  • create solutions for the problem parts of the property.

When: 20 March to 1 April 2017

Where: Glengarry - Girl Guides NSW & ACT’s State Training & Outdoor Centre, North Turramurra

Booking: Places are limited to 22 people. Contact:

Photo gallery: Granny Smith Festival

PSN arrived early to unleash our stall at the Granny Smith Festival that took over Eastwood Town Centre on Saturday 15th October. (Photo: Alice Scott)

It was beautiful sunny day with many, many people. (Photo: Alice Scott)

There were pipers in kilts. (Photo: Alice Scott)

There were costumes and stilts! (Photo: Alice Scott)

And a band of committed PSN members! (Photo: Cathy Batt)

Peter's chook attracted plenty of attention to us despite all the colour and crowds. We had a lot of queries, mainly about growing plants and vegetables, but quite a few people were familiar with permaculture concept and inquired about PSN itself. Overall it was a lovely and productive day, spent promoting permaculture in great company. Many thanks to everyone who helped!

Thanks for reading to the end! With appreciation from all this month's contributors and editor, Cat Dorey. Your prize this month: Christmas tunas!

MISSED SOMETHING? There are many more upcoming events listed on our website and lots more news & fun things on our Facebook group page. Sign up for the Northern Beaches newsletter here.