2021: Same same but different

This design spiral will help you change the world My social media stream is filled with lots of hope for 2021, as if somehow, magically, replacing an old calendar with a new one will bring about the kind of changes we need to alter our trajectory. My friend Adam Snow woke me from new year's … Continue reading 2021: Same same but different

Teaching without money and avoiding traditional hierarchies

Students covering hot compost in front of a fence they constructed using bamboo I have been reflecting lately upon the unexpected benefits of something we call 'Permashare'. The Permashare model was developed as a response to our desire to stay on our property as we age. Following some health challenges, we recognised the need to … Continue reading Teaching without money and avoiding traditional hierarchies

Legacy gardening in rental properties

I see a lot of articles in the permasphere about gardening for renters. They usually suggest removing a rectangle of grass, installing a raised bed and growing some annuals. The bed is removed and the grass replaced when you leave. The other option offered to renters is pot gardening, with the pots either discarded or … Continue reading Legacy gardening in rental properties

Books that change your brain: Lynne Kelly’s The Memory Code

Read this book! I love books. I was shocked to discover, as an adult, that a large percentage of the population never read for pleasure. I read fantasy, science fiction and non-fiction, particularly when it has anything to do with how humans might become better than we are. I have gears for reading. Some books … Continue reading Books that change your brain: Lynne Kelly’s The Memory Code

Principles, strategies, elements and why they are a moveable feast

It's common during permaculture courses for some students to become a bit frustrated with the loose nature of the permaculture model. There are several different sets of principles, hundreds of possible strategies and thousands of tools, techniques and elements. Even the three core ethics are not universally agreed or universally stated. Why can't permaculture make … Continue reading Principles, strategies, elements and why they are a moveable feast

Mandala gardens vs raised beds and wicking beds

Mention mandala gardens in any permaculture forum and you'll get mixed responses. Some will share their stories and photos of highly productive, low maintenance systems that provide them with an abundance of food. Others will condemn them as a waste of time, money and energy. Few design strategies are as polarising. As a designer, I … Continue reading Mandala gardens vs raised beds and wicking beds

Rethinking permaculture zones in suburbia

"Permaculture design is a system of assembling conceptual, material and strategic components in a pattern which functions to benefit life in all its forms." Bill Mollison Permaculture was developed as an alternative to industrial agriculture. The name was a conjunction of 'permanent' and 'agriculture', and the stated goal of the model was to provide a … Continue reading Rethinking permaculture zones in suburbia

Using permaculture to respond to wicked problems

It is becoming increasingly clear that many of the problems facing our species are wicked. Wicked problems can't be easily solved, because you can't see the answer from where you are. They remind me of a story my in-laws tell about travelling overseas and asking directions. "Oh, you can't get to there from here. You have … Continue reading Using permaculture to respond to wicked problems

Surely not another Sourdough recipe!

With Covid-19 restrictions hitting, the most common request I've had from people in our local community has been for sourdough starter, along with instructions for baking bread. Most people wanted to avoid going to the shops every day and that's a great reason to bake your own, but home made bread is also so much … Continue reading Surely not another Sourdough recipe!