Permaculture Sydney North, one of our sponsors, have donated towards packets of edible seeds to be distributed to the first 40 visitors to each of the gardens on the 2020 trail. Want to know more about Permaculture? Read on from the president of PSN……

There’s a joke that goes “If you ask a dozen permaculture practitioners ‘what is permaculture?’ you’ll get a dozen answers – all of them different.

However, I like the definition that permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals and society in all their functions, rather than treating anything as a single product system. This is movement founder Bill Mollison’s definition of permaculture, marginally modified to include social systems and structures, which are part of the whole-world perspective that modern versions of permaculture also seek to include.

At its core, Permaculture Sydney North is a group of people committed at various levels to living out their lives in urban and suburban Northern Sydney using permaculture ethics and design principles.

Since the word ‘permaculture’ comes from the terms ‘permanent agriculture’ (which has since been changed to simply ‘permanent culture’), it’s most common to find permaculture practised through the development and maintainance of an edible and medicinal garden. This has been the focus of PSN for many years, and will continue to be the primary focus in the future. However gardening isn’t the only way to manifest permaculture principles.

The core ethics of permaculture as developed by David Holmgren and the late Bill Mollison are: earth care, people care, and fair share. From these spring a variety of design principles that are not only useful in developing a productive household garden, but in informing the way that we live out our everyday lives.

From bushfire management to household water management, from regenerative and sustainable agriculture to backyard worm farms and composts, from commercial food production to transitioning our society to fossil fuel independence, there are many different aspects at every level of society in which the principles of permaculture can be applied.

Permaculture Sydney North seeks to bring together people who are willing to think and act in resilient, resourceful, flexible ways about the problems our society and country and world are facing at this point in time, in this place, cognisant of the history that we must acknowledge and stand upon. We are a community that intends to be both social and educational in nature, developing friendships spanning age and location, sharing knowledge that can then be further passed on to others, and implementing practical solutions on a micro and macro scale to change our society from mentality of consumption to a mentality of resilience.

There are regular monthly meetings at Lindfield, local area workshops on everything from natural skin care products to making sourdough bread, and Seed Saving workshops held in the Marsfield area once a month.  And while initiatives such as Sydney Crop Swap and the Lane Cove Repair Cafe are not directly linked with PSN, they are frequently run, organised, and managed by PSN members who are acting on permaculture principles.

The Sydney Edible Garden Trail is a fantastic opportunity to share gardening experience, show practical examples of working gardens in suburbia, and make community connections in the broader local community. Quite a few of the private gardens belong to PSN members and many of the community gardens opening to the public have PSN members involved with their management and organisation, so PSN is well-represented by the Trail.

Our meetings are on the third Monday of the month, at Lindfield Community Hall from 7pm until 9pm. Doors are open at 6:30pm, and there’s usually a talk of some kind, various announcements, and supper is provided afterwards. The meetings are free for members, but visitors pay a $5 fee for the night.

We hope to see you at our meeting sometime, and at the Sydney Edible Garden Trail 2020!