Permaculture Workshops : South Coast Permaculture Convergence


The Art of Permaculture by April Sampson-Kelly

Art is the most powerful form of communication. It focuses, enables and empowers the delivery of the complex ideas in Permaculture. How can we use art to stimulate thinking, inspire change and explain tricky permaculture ideas? This workshop is for artists, communicators, designers and educators. It matters not if you have artistic flair or skills because you can develop a collaboration with a skilled artist. What matters most is getting a good grip on your message and building an appreciation of how powerful Art can be to help you deliver it with clarity.

In this modern age we are bombarded by the mundane (but valuable) science with its statistics and bulk-data. At the same time, we are overwhelmed by tragedy from far corners of the world. Art has the power to interpret science, entertain, inspire and empower the listener. Permaculture, through art, can offer simple but beautiful solutions.

Knitting For Beginners - Scarves & Socks by Tanya Hobbs

Learn to start your work by casting stitches on (German method) - either onto a single long needle (scarfs) or onto four double ended needles (socks) and end your work by casting off. People knitting scarfs will also learn two stitches - knit and pearl, and how to pick up stitches when you make a mistake. More advanced knitters on socks will learn how to manage knitting with five needles, how to create ribs (so your socks stay up), how to shape the foot and then finish off. Initial 45 minute lesson to get you started and then I'm happy to give you five minute mini-lessons at meal times or if you catch me between workshops if you get stuck. More advanced knitters are welcome to bring a project and give advice or just enjoy the company.

Getting Creative with Permaculture by Rhonda Ayliffe

This open space workshop considers what permaculture has to offer as the basis for a creative life. From food forests as contemporary art to Yeoman’s plough in the AGNSW – the art world is abuzz with projects inspired by permaculture - but can permaculture be utilised beyond farm/garden projects as a philosophical and practical basis for a visual/performing arts practice? Rhonda Ayliffe considered this as part of her recently completed MFA and will be sharing the results of her research to launch an outcomes-based discussion.

Convergence participants are warmly invited to contribute their ideas and experiences in a round-table discussion of how the ethics and principles of permaculture may be used as a foundation for a creative life. The results will be collated to provide an introductory working model and shared freely as a group-credited item.

Integrating Animal Systems On Your Property by Penny Kothe

Planning for animals, selection, housing, welfare needs, processing, marketing and adding value. With a focus on integrating small animal systems for permaculture and organic acreage.

Building a Simple Compost Toilet by Paul McKinnon

Design and overview for building your own compost toilet.

Processing a Chook by John Barlow

How to home kill, pluck & gut a chook - beginners intro.

 Bottling Up by Elizabeth Andalis

Learning strategies and processes for bottling and preserving excess produce using general kitchen equipment. Olive pickling techniques included. Some different preserved fruits and vegetables will be used as examples and participants will be provided with printed materials relating to acidity levels, processes, etc.

Growing Industrial Hemp by Karen Dahl

Details about how industrial hemp is growing successfully in a number of places in Australia eg Bellingen NSW and parts of Tasmania.  It is an easy to grow crop which is naturally resilient to many bugs so that the use of herbicides and pesticides is unnecessary.  Industrial hemp has many uses from making plastic to clothing to health foods.

Sewing Clothes and Nappies for Babies and Toddlers by Kristy Besestri

Making clothes for little ones can be a great way to save money and recycle, as well as a lot of fun and rewarding. This workshop will look at making kids clothes and nappies from adults clothes. We will look at fabrics, free patterns and basic techniques. Trust me making kids clothes is very achievable.

Make a Salad from Weeds by Ben Buggy

Join Ben Buggy on a wander through the common grounds of the Mumbulla School and BEND community, picking edible weeds for a wild picked salad.
Garden weeds have all sorts of good uses - from culinary to medicinal, and others in between. Come along and share your knowledge and learn more.

Parenting and Permaculture by Trish Everett

Let's explore the ethics and principles of permaculture as tools to help us on our parenting journey. Parenting is challenging so what can we gain from permaculture to help us in our family lives? By exploring and sharing our experiences for each of Holmgren’s permaculture principles in the family context we will find new ways to grow a healthy family.

Seed Saving - The Fundamentals by Julie Davies

Seedsaving is not rocket science, but there is some basic information you need to know to be successful. Learn how to successfully plant, select, harvest, dry, process, label and store your own vegetable seeds for use in your own home garden. Also learn how to best contribute to a seedsavers group and how to be confident in the quality and viability of your seeds. This is a practical, hands on workshop with some essential theory.

Site Tour of Bega Valley Public School Permaculture Garden and Worm Farm System by Dan Bakker

A short walk and talk of the BVPS project just a 5min stroll from the convergence.  Come see a well established open plan 'outdoor classroom' and learn-scape in action and bathtub wormfarm system now fully integrated into the schools waste management plan. Experience applied permaculture design as well as a seasoned no-dig gardening model. Time permitting we will renovate one of the bathtubs and discuss trouble-shooting, contingency and alternatives.

Climate Reality & South East Opportunities by Dean Turner

Dean Turner, Project Director for The Crossing Land Education Trust has recently attended training with Al Gore for an update on what Climate Reality will mean for the South East as well as emerging trends and design actions we can take to meet that reality.

Permaculture in Schools by Dan Bakker

Digital presentation on numerous school gardens projects in Bega Valley schools. Powerpoint slideshow on sequenced design & construction lead by students in primary & secondary schools. Models of integrated systems (ie. wormfarms, verges, polyhoop hothouses) their construction and maintenance and reflection on how to improve their function.  Particular attention paid to 2 schools: Bega Valley PS & Bemboka PS which are both dedicated to longterm planning. Q&A to follow.

Plaiting Yourself A Rag Rug (or at least growing Deb's starter rug!) by Deb Reynolds

Want a handy winter craft project? Do you have lots of colourful old no longer used sheets? Would you like to convert them into a great rag rug? This is your chance to learn one way (of several) to plait your own! All you need is agile fingers, patience, lots of old sheets (or other fabric remnants) and scissors. I'll show you how I'm making mine, adaptive self taught from YouTube! You'll have the opportunity to see & try making strips, joining them, maybe a bit of plaiting and working the coil and adding to my rug! Comments & discussion throughout most welcome!

Seed Saving - Advanced by Liz Worth

Discussion and questions answered on more complex issues of seed saving for vegetable crops. Topics that may be covered, depending on group interests, include: improving quality of seed collected; techniques for more difficult varieties; scaling up production for community sufficiency; testing and selecting strains; breeding vs curating; genetic diversity issues; and techniques for ensuring strain purity.

There will also be an opportunity for participants to ask questions about problems they have encountered or specific varieties they are unsure about.

Natural Beekeeping and Permaculture by Adrian Iodice

We will look at and discuss the difference  between 3 types of hives. The Kenyan top bar, the Warre and the conventional langstroth hive and their uses in permaculture gardens.

 Bega Small Species Abattoir - A one of a kind facility by Annie Werner

An introduction to the workings of the BSSA, a description of our services and processes, and info about raising poultry and/or rabbits for income, local food security and land regeneration on small (or large!) acreage.

Fruit Tree Pruning by Dan Williamson

All aspects of pruning your home fruit trees. Covering topics like: why pruning is important; principles of pruning; tools of the trade; tool maintenance; types of trees and their different pruning approach; reviving old overgrown trees.

Wicking Beds by Jeremy Yau

Explore the workings and possibilities of this resilient gardening technique.

Content will include:

  • What is a wicking garden bed?
  • How does it work?
  • Why should I build one?
  • Advantages and disadvantages
  • Limitations and possibilities

Getting Down to Earth: Converting Food Waste Into Value Added Product by Jody Warren

I will give a talk about the South East Center for Interdisciplinary Research (SECIR) and our project ‘Getting Down to Earth’.  We are a group of researchers attached to the University of Wollongong, Batemans Bay Campus and our aim is to provide support for community development projects.  This support aims to be not only academic but also practical.  The Getting Down to Earth project has implemented a commercial food waste collection service, thus avoiding landfill, and converted this resource into worms and worm castings.  Worms are sold through commercial outlets in Sydney, Canberra and the Southern Highlands whilst castings are sold to local food producers.  The further aim is to close the loop; collecting food waste, converting it into worms and worm castings and producing food to be sold to the food outlets.  It is expected that this project will be expanded so we also have a business plan in the development stages.  It would be great to assess interest in the project and any feedback or experience participants might contribute.

Bioregional Mapping & Planning by John McKenzie

This is a workshop in preparation for a community project planned next year for La Gonave island in Haiti that will use mapping and community participation to produce a plan for the development of the local bioregion. The work on La Gonave is critical as there are little-to-no government services and appalling issues with water, disease and agriculture livelihoods. A Permaculture approach to La Gonave is a significant option for them. This project takes permaculture design beyond how it's usual use in Australia of property design into a 'community design' context.

At Bega the workshop will take the Mumbulla Mountain region and Bega community as a role play practice. The 2 hr program will run through ideas and stages of drafting a community/bioregion plan. The workshop will be a sampling of activities of the project method that is expected the local community will need 6 months to do.

SCPA Organic Certification Scheme by John Champagne

SCPA set up Australia's first PGS - Participatory Guarantee System in a global partnership with IFOAM - International Federation Organic Agriculture Movements. What it means is that people seriously thinking about growing good food for the local market can do so with a group of cooperative like-minded people who are willing to share skills and information. More and more the market is demanding healthy well grown food .....we abide by the Australian Organic Standards to observe 'best practice'. This certification is not for growers that export product or truck goods all over the country, its a local scheme to assist local communities as we also adhere to 'food mile' concerns.

Abundance For 10 Minutes And $2 A Day by Nick van Stekelenberg

I will be demonstrating and explaining a simple low effort system that uses happy animals to do the hardest work in your garden. While supplying you with meat and eggs your furry and feathered friends will mow, plough and fertilize your garden as well as turning pests into poo! All this without having to start a mower, wipa snipa or any other fossil powered machine. In fact with this system you will be constantly sequestering carbon in healthy soil by employing a system of rabbit mowers, chicken tractors, tree/animal enclosures and a broadfork. Hope to see you there!!

The Story of Solutions Creative Forum by Julie Davies

Come along and watch The Story of Solutions - a simple but profound video made by the people who created The Story of Stuff. Then participate in a forum about how we can integrate the ideas from the video in our lives.
'Singing for the garden and culture - "The Second Person In"...' by Damon Davies
Is social singing becoming a long lost art in our culture? Would you like to sing with friends or whilst working in the garden? Learn a song or two; remind yourself how easy it is to sing a song; explore the benefits of song - for the garden and our culture; learn that you are already fully equipped for the pleasure of song - on your own or with family and friends. Will you be the "Second Person In"?

Integrated Farm Design at the National Environment Centre by Rob Fenton

I run an integrated organic/permaculture farm at the National Environment Centre where we grow organic lamb, free range pork, chicken, eggs, olives, figs, honey, vegies, herbs, mushrooms and grain to process into flour. This workshop will examine  how we designed that diverse and integrated farm system, how the whole works together and how we market the produce.

Designing Energy Flows in Food Production Systems by Rob Fenton

Following on from the earlier workshop, this session will examine more closely the design of the energy flows in the integrated organic / permaculture farm at the National Environment Centre. Designing energy flows is about using an understanding of energy flows through ecosystems to design production systems that don’t require industrial energy or lots of physical work.

Deep Ecology ... A Small Taste by Skye Etherington

A small taste of connecting more deeply with the natural world.

Social Permaculture at Bend by Jenny Spinks

Jenny will invite up to 20 people to the Bend Neighbourhood House to share information about how the Bega Eco Neighbourhood Developers Inc. established the neighbourhood and the not for profit rental housing; about the governance of the neighbourhood (including looking at consensus and the Jenny will invite up to 20 people to the Bend Neighbourhood House to share information about how the Bega Eco Neighbourhood Developers Inc. established the neighbourhood and the not for profit rental housing; about the governance of the neighbourhood (including looking at consensus and the Management Statement); and how the tenant Co-operative fits into the neighbourhood.

Introductory Tour of Bend by Daniel Butchers

Dan will take up to 10 people for a quick tour of Bend – the land, the buildings and the services. This will be an opportunity to see how the eco-neighbourhood fits into the landscape and has been designed to minimise the consumption of energy, water and soil.

Tour of the Residential area at Bend by Heidi Brennan

Heidi will take up to 10 people for a tour of the Bend built environment including visiting one (or two) houses and their gardens. This will be an opportunity to see the subdivision design and as well as individual house(s) and garden(s).

Stewardship Of The Shared Land At Bend by Chris Allen

Chris will take up to 10 people for a tour of the shared land at Bend – the reforestation area the conservation area and the agricultural area. This will be an opportunity to learn about the design and land management decisions that have been made and see how this is progressing.

Tour of the services at Bend by Daniel Butchers

Dan will take up to 10 people for a tour of the Bend built environment looking at the management of water, energy and waste. This will include learning about the water sharing arrangement with Casuarina aged care hostel, the internal electricity billing system and seeing the effluent treatment system.