Pruning & Striking Workshop

On a cold winter Sunday, a group of motivated permaculturists gathered at Bob & Helen’s place to learn how to prune fruit trees and how to propagate them from cuttings. Steve, who has been trained in horticulture, was our main instructor for the day.

I’ve summarised here what we’ve done. This is by no mean a horticulture treaty, just notes from this workshop.


Each tree (grandmother) should have 2 suckers at most:

  • 1 large sucker (daughter) to replace the tree once it has produced a bunch and has been cut.
  • 1 younger sucker (grand-daughter) for the following generation.

Pruning and striking workshop 1

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Local Permaculture Education

Local Permaculture Design Course

Rosemary Morrow
Rosemary Morrow

A profit-sharing part-time Permaculture Design Course starting September 2014 is being organised by two of our members and the eminent Rosemary Morrow will be on the teaching team!

The course will take place in Kariong and Jilliby every Saturdays starting September 5.

All profits generated by the course will be returned to the community in the form of scholarships, donations to Permafund, memberships, and support to a local permaculture project.

This course covers all aspects of permaculture (over 90 hours) and will include site visits, mentoring and design exercises. It is a guaranteed interactive course, comprehensive, fun and last but not least, affordable.

Click here for course details


Other local options

There are also many other local options to gain access to permaculture education. We’ve listed some below:

1. Free Members Activities

Every month, our Activities Team organises free workshops, visits, tours, social gathering and interactive permaculture education sessions.

Check out the Events Calendar and the News blog for updates.

If you’re not yet a member, check out our Join Us page or come to our monthly Information Evening (2nd Tuesday of the month at the Tuggerah Hall).


2. TAFE Outreach courses

TAFE Outreach offers a vast array of free courses in sustainability available at our local TAFE campuses.


“Towards Self–Sufficiency”

This free introductory permaculture course is run through TAFE Outreach at Wyong, during school hours.  The facilitator is Kerrie Anderson.  Classes commence on 24 July 2014 and will be held each Thursday from 9.30am to 2pm for 7 weeks in the lovely organic permaculture garden and classroom at K Block.  The course includes theory and practical experiences of permaculture, a design system for living more sustainably.  The focus will be on organic gardening according to permaculture ethics, principles and practices, and includes creation of a no dig garden, learning about soil, compost, natural pest control and companion planting.  We will also be taking a field trip to a thriving permaculture garden.  Come and be inspired, and meet other like minded people who are striving to care for the planet and their families.

“Sustainable Eating”

This free course is run through TAFE Outreach at Wyong, during school hours.  The facilitator is Kerrie Anderson.  Classes commence on 9 October 2014 and will be held each Thursday from 9.30am to 2pm for 8 weeks in the lovely organic permaculture garden and classroom at K Block.  The course includes theory and practical experiences in how to make sustainable choices for eating and feeding the family.  The focus will be on relocalisation of food systems, understanding the differences between products labelled organic, natural, ethical and fair trade, gaining confidence reading food labels and learning how to preserve food and reduce food waste.  We will be taking a field trip to the supermarket and a local organic store and enjoying practical experiences such as bread and cheese making.

If you require further information, please call Outreach on 4350 2370 or 4350 2227, or email  to secure a place.  Numbers are limited.


3. Other Permaculture Design Courses

Some of our members are professional permaculture educators who provide permaculture education on the Central Coast, Lower Hunter and Upper Sydney Basin.  Check out their website for details.

Purple Pear Farm

Permaculture Sydney Institute

Terra Permaculture


4. Online options

Permaculture Visions

This blog post is not intended to list all course providers in NSW or Australia. Please contact us if other local permaculture education options need to be added.


Permaculture and Climate Change

Guest speaker: Jill Finnane

Jill Finnane is the Eco Justice Coordinator for the Edmund Rice Centre, which includes. coordinating the Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP), an initiative of the Centre, which aims build networks to work in partnership with Pacific Island countries impacted by the effects of climate change.  PCP raises awareness in community and schools about the impact of climate change on Pacific Island nations, and builds coalitions for advocacy and action nationally and internationally. She has been part of delegations to the UN Climate change conferences in Copenhagen and Cancun.

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David Holmgren to open inaugural Permaculture Gathering at Narara Ecovillage

David Holmgren
David Holmgren

Dear Friends,

This is a quick post to remind you about the Narara Ecovillage site visit this coming Sunday (29 June).

David Holmgren and Nicole Foss will open our inaugural Permaculture Gathering with a talk for which you need to purchase a ticket. Please see details on this flyer: Narara Ecovillage Permaculture Gathering June 29


  • Talk by David Holmgren and Nicole Foss : $15 / $10 concession & NELN members
  • The site visit: free

Nicole Foss
Nicole Foss


  • 8:45am for 9:15am start Talks by Nicole and David
  • 10:30am Site tour
  • 12:15pm Lunch (pizza supplied, plus bring lunch to share)
  • 1pm Developing the local Permaculture network
  • 2:30pm Close


25 Research Rd, Narara (near Gosford)

RSVP by Thursday, 26 June: Linda Scott at or 0400 546 323


Guest speaker: Sandra Norman

We live on a property at Dooralong where we have our own small mixed orchard, vegetable garden, chickens, ducks, horses and some cattle.

I have been interested in organics for over 30 years, applying organic practices in our garden  and had an interest in biodynamics but did not begin using biodynamic principles on our property until 1999.  I attended a beginners course, run by the Hunter Biodynamic Group, in the late 90’s and I thought this is the direction I will now take.  For me, it was a natural step to move from organic practices to biodynamics.  I have been interested in gardening organically since the 70’s when I joined the Henry Doubleday organization. I  have always had some sort of vegetable garden. Continue reading

Edges are everywhere. It’s flabbergasting!

Today’s workshop certainly helped us see edges in a different light. We explored many examples where they are naturally occurring, either in the physical landscape, the social realm or even within the Self. Fabulous discussions sprung up which made our minds stop and think, share and absorb. Very positive energy in the group, fabulous sharing (oh and the food, you’re all PerMaster-Chefs!).


We carefully observed various landscapes at our host, Valley’s End Farm, and trained our eyes at identifying naturally occurring edges, why they’re there and how we can replicate them in a cultivated ecology system or in intangible permaculture applications. We’ve also seen some easy man-made edges which functions are to accumulate biodiversity in one particular spot and let nature do the work – in the case of these photos, restoring degraded landscapes.

manmade edge - logs on contour  Logs on contour - manmade edge

Heartfelt thanks to all of you who came and brought some scrumptious meals.

Next Monthly Event is at the Narara Ecovillage – don’t forget to register your attendance with Linda– Please RSVP by Thursday, 26th June to Linda Scott: or text 0400 546 323.

Go well,


Permaculture Chat – May 2014

By Shirley James, PCC Secretary

Another successful Gosford Show is over and now we can start to think about the next one.  Robyn did well with this year’s event.  It was great to see the Love Food Hate Waste team preparing delicious snacks and seeing people enjoying them—that was a new initiative and a very successful one.  Tasting different fruits was popular too and Eddie Lim did a great job introducing Monsterio, Pomegranate, Tamarillo and Guava to anyone who happened along. It was interesting to see how many people had seen Monsterio growing but didn’t realise it was delicious to eat; there were many surprised faces. Another new idea was the display of craft that the Craft Group set up  Well done Pauline, indefatigable leader of the group. We are indebted to the wonderful volunteers who set up, manned the stand, provided the display and packed up at the end of the day. I hope you all enjoyed your time at The Show as much as I did.

2014 Gosford Show 1 2014 Gosford Show 2 2014 Gosford Show 3

Heinz First Prize

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Guest Speaker: Darius Dunn from Made in Hemp

Darius Dunn is the Owner/Manager of the Hemp Store at Long Jetty

The talk will focus on the history of hemp, why it is such a valuable sustainable product, the multiple uses of hemp and the  current status of growing hemp in Australia.  Darius will bring a number of hemp products to show us on the night. Continue reading