This month at PSN: Wrapping up 2016 with parties and Christmas fun.

News & Events
December 2016

Everyone needs a little Christmas treat!

Another year over and many events and activities later ...

What a busy year it's been! We started the year with an 8 week Introduction to Permaculture course, and we finish the year half way though another one. 

Our Monday night monthly meetings have included a wide range of subjects including wild food foraging, soil health, biodynamics, frogs, the Biodiversity Review, microbes and worms and our guest speakers have included some of our very favourite Permie friends - Rosemary Morrow and Les Mulder & Annette Owen-Mulder. 

In our permabees, we built no-dig gardens, a verge garden, frog ponds, wicking beds, a chook run, a chook pen, a banana circle, a kiln (yes!) and more. We also did a heap of garden design, soil improvement, mulching, aquaponics, pruning and helped to prepare gardens for open days. Whew!! No wonder we need a break over January!

Our local group activities this year included seaweed into fertiliser, garden design, tool sharpening, pests & diseases, finding contours, fruit tree pruning ... and we finished the year recently with furoshiki wrapping, orchid potting & herbal vinegar making.

Topics covered by our Living Skills workshops included a great range of practical skills such as olive curing, a wild mushroom hunt, herbal extracts & cream making, backyard chickens, soap making and creating a natural first aid kit. 

And last but not least, we are delighted at the success of the Northside Repair Cafe, which has been operating for almost a year now. 

If you want to see a great range of activities and events like these again in 2017, consider what you could do to help. Do you have a particular skill to share? Or a suggestion for new activities to do? Or even an interesting speaker to invite?

Finally, many thanks to the Management Committee 2016 and to all of you who helped out with PSN activities and events during 2016. And especially big thanks to Margaret as she steps down from being President after 2 years. Her enthusiasm for promoting a sustainable way of life has been truly inspirational!

Sue Patterson
Communications Team

  Events: AGM & Christmas Parties
PSN Annual General Meeting and Christmas Party

7pm Monday 19th December
Lindfield Community Centre

Join us for our final 2016 gathering as we review the year that was, elect the Management Committee for 2017, and share some Christmas treats together.

There'll be a quiz, a 50% off sale on a range of permaculture books and DVDs, and more.

Please consider putting up your hand to help out next year. We really need more help to keep PSN being fun, inspiring, and educational for everyone.

You can find details of the various roles we need to fill and the nomination forms here. Forms need to be submitted by Monday 12th December. You can also volunteer for empty roles on the night.

Please bring a plate to share and wear something festive!

PNB: End of Year Picnic & Seed Circle
1-4 pm, Sun 11th Dec
Collaroy Beach

Join us on the grassy area by the playground. Bring a plate and seeds to share.

More here.

Permaculture Design Certificate
20 March - 1 April 2017

Take your knowledge to the next level with this 2-week course in 2017.

More here.

News & Other Bits

Fermentation skills are just one of the many you can learn at PSN.

Living skills in 2017 - what skills do you want to learn or share?

The Living Skills program for next year is being prepared now, with venue bookings locked in and presenters lined up. We will start 2017 with a workshop about cultured drinks, then learn about plant fibres weaving, go on a mushroom picking trip or two, pick natural fabric dyeing skills (using plants and vegetables), build insect hotels from scrap wood... and many more. Watch the PSN website for details and dates.

I'm staying as the Living Skills program co-ordinator in 2017, I enjoy doing this so much it will be my fifth year in this role. But I need some inspiration and feedback from you, my fellow permies! If there is a particular skill or craft you would like to learn in 2017, or you are willing to share your skills with other PSN members, I would like you to contact me to discuss these ideas.Please email me on the address below.

Have a great, relaxing, healthy summer break, enjoy your life and family and come back in 2017!

Margaret Mossakowska, President & Living Skills Co-ordinator

Garden Clubs of Australia Photography Competitions

If you like photography, and are a member of an affiliated clubs – like PSN - or a subscriber to Our Gardens why not enter the GCA 11th Annual Photography competition. GCA is looking for the following categories of photographs:

  • Garden Scenes (anywhere around the world)
  • Garden Visitors (birds, bees, bugs, animals)
  • Abstract image of flowers or foliage
  • Close-ups of flowers, foliage or floral/flower arrangements
  • Productive Gardens or Edible Plants (fruit, vegetables, herbs)

Winners receive $100 and finalists $50 worth of garden products. The closing date for photographs submission is 6th October 2017. Entry details here.

There is also a competition for photos to be used in the GCA's 2017 calendar. Each photo used in the calendar earns the photographer $100. Closing date is 1st March 2017. Entry details here.

Flowers, Food and Furoshiki

Ku-ring gai Local Group hosted November’s event and Christmas Party, which was a lot of fun. Some of us potted orchards to take home or give away for Christmas, guided by the knowledgeable Judy Major, who valiantly broke up a large matted and overgrown pot of Cymbidiums. Others made highly decorative bottles of herbal vinegars, encouraged enthusiastically by Jill Fisher who knows more about herbs than most people. Most of the 14 people present did both.

Then, having made gifts, Lay Nippita taught us the traditional Japanese method of wrapping presents using decorative cloth or scarves, which often become part of the present or are used again on the next gift-giving occasion. Which is great because most gift wrapping paper is not recyclable.

After all that sustainability, we had earned the abundance of food and wine contributed and Christmas was celebrated in style.

Our thanks to the three presenters, Jill, Judy and Lay who shared their knowledge, and more, so generously, and to everyone who participated.  

A happy Christmas to all and looking forward to a bright New Year.

Di Evans & Diana Watson 

 Kilns & No-dig beds - photo gallery

Thanks to all who came to Chris's kiln building and firing workshop last month, and who helped Cat establish two no-dig raised garden beds and clean up an old overgrown native garden! (Photos: Cat Dorey)

An overgrown, red-back spider infested patch by our backdoor became...

...a no-dig garden which gets full sun all day and has some happy tomatoes growing already (photos in next newsletter).

An old patch of grass full of snails... now a raised no-dig bed ready for planting.

For photos of the kiln building workshop, check out the PSN members Facebook page, or tune into the February newsletter.

This newsletter was brought to you by the Communications Team, Cat Dorey and Sue Patterson.

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