Announcing ‘Reading Landscape with David Holmgren’ Partnership

Permaculture Tasmania is both proud and excited to announce we are a major production partner for the upcoming documentary, Reading Landscape with David Holmgren. You can find out more about the project at its dedicated website.

As a result of this partnership, members of Permaculture Tasmania will have access to

– Many hours of extended footage, including full interviews and site tours.
– Stills and other production material.
– The full version of the film itself, once it is complete.

All of these will be available in the members area at

We also have the honour of hosting the first public screening of the film here in Tasmania. Hobart location and date TBA (the film is still in post-production) but will be in the 2021/22 summer: Some time from November to January. We will, of course, keep you updated when we get precise details.

And coming up next month, we will have a live Q&A with David Holmgren and the filmmakers on Saturday July 10th at 7pm, delivers via Zoom. You can find the link to join at the Reading Landscapes page in the members area. (You need to be logged in to see it.) The replay will be made available after the event. And if you can’t make it but would like to ask a question, simply email PT and we will ask it for you on the call.

Thanks to everyone who helped pull this together. And a special thanks to Dan Palmer from Making Permaculture Stronger!

Permaculture Tasmania 2021 AGM: Save The Date

This year’s AGM will be graciously hosted by The Village at Triabunna. Find out more about this amazing facility at their website:

The date for the meeting will be Saturday, September 11th, beginning at 10:30am. Due to ongoing capacity restrictions, in-person numbers will be limited, and tickets must be purchased in advance at the AGM page in the members area of the website. (You need to be logged in.)

Tickets are $10 and include a locally catered lunch.

As always, there will be additional activities, tours and discussions included on the day, the details of which will follow shortly. But we wanted to get this message out to members as a ‘Save The Date’ because the 11th falls during the Great Eastern Wine Week so there are plenty of other activities to help you make a full weekend of it! (There will be PT members participating in some events on the Friday evening and the Sunday and we will stay in touch on this, too.

On the Saturday afternoon, Marcus Ragnus has offered to give Permaculture Tasmania attendees a private tour of the amazing, nearby Spring Bay Mill project.

This will be a horticultural tour of the market gardens, bee hive, commercial worm farm, nursery and native rehabilitation areas of the 43 hectare site. (It was once the world’ largest wood chip mill!) This event will carry an additional cost, but if you are interested, you can specify when buying your AGM ticket.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Land Share Opportunity

Image source: Lisa Cawthen

1/2 acre of land at Elizabeth Town in northern lutruwita / Tasmania is being offered for a good use to permie minded folks.

The following details have been provided by the current stewards:
– The land is adjacent to [their] home in Elizabeth Town.
– It is about 1/2 acre in size and on a slope (not significant)
– There are a number of outcrops of large partially buried boulders
– It is fenced on all sides but only wallaby fenced on two sides
– It is a cleared block, but some weeds are there
– If our home block is any comparison the soil is fabulous
– Access can be gained through our home entry

An MOU would be agreed on between both parties.

Please email any interest/enquiries to All expressions of interest or enquires will be forwarded to the family offering this opportunity.

Open Day for Earth’s Future (& how to do more with less).

Built in the 1830s, Cleburne Historic Homestead is registered with the National Estate and the National Trust. It sits on four acres of mumirmina land in Risdon, and is considered a jewel of historic architecture. This was the venue for a recent Open Day for the Future.

After attending a Community Climate Expo in 2020, the current stewards of the land at Cleburne were inspired to hold an event that shared with others their appreciation of the past and deep concern for all our children’s future.

Permaculture Tasmania (PT) was one of many groups that filled the verandah. Each stall sharing information for making informed choices, finding strategies and learning practical skills to respond to the climate emergency.

PT chatted to visitors about stacking functions (Mollison’s Principle 2) which is also at the core of Integrate rather than segregate (Holmgren’s Principle 8).

To take greater action on climate change in Australia (and all developed countries), reducing consumption is a no brainer. Doing more with less is a fundamental permaculture principle and a choice everyone can make within their own context. Choosing the “right” inputs and using them wisely – with care for people, the planet, and fair share prioritised; is good permaculture design / living.

[Switching to first person here to give examples. Editors/grammar sticklers, please look away now and take a couple of deep breaths to ease the transition 😉 ]

Image source

Because garden examples demonstrate permaculture principles in action so well, we had borage seedlings on show. Borage stacks functions like a boss and you can read more about that here.

But what does function stacking look like beyond the garden? Simply, when adding to our homes or days, we choose things or arrange tasks (inputs) that provide multiple benefits as a result (outputs).

Leaving the house is a commonly offered example: Listing a number of errands to knock over while out and making a habit of bunching them into one “run” saves time – and money, if driving. So when I go the community garden to water I also function stack with pulling weeds, listening to favourite podcasts, and having time by myself if no one else is around. But having left the house, this will also be the time I pick up books on hold at the nearby library, collect spent coffee grounds from the café next block over. And on my way home I can drop off or hunt for (or both) items at the op shop/tip shop or swing by the local grocer if I need anything.

Another: When I walk my dog, I’m not just making her day. Life at home is calmer with a tuckered out doggo.
I can pick up lemons from a neighbour and again will sometimes listen to podcasts if walking the streets. Regular neighborhood walks with Betsy has flagged foraging opportunities while she takes her time sniffing a pole. Or I spot new plants in season that might be useful for my studies or garden. And when we walk in the bush reserves I get to listen for birds, spot wildlife, pick up litter, and enjoy being surrounded by the the bush. Plus exercise too. One task – multiple benefits.

An example of things: When looking for a rolling pin last year I asked friends what they liked about theirs. My favourite response described a rolling pin (shaped somewhere between a french and a pastry rolling pin) that was also great for using one end to compact cabbage and veg into vessels for fermenting. It was made from a beautiful Tasmanian hardwood which was pleasing to look at and lovely to handle. I think it may also have served as an effective walnut cracker. Always the goal is to find more ways to do more with less.

Getting better at stacking functions in everyday actions and choices can deliver a multitude of benefits. One of those benefits includes reducing the resource consuming habits and clutter of over consumption.

A big thanks to PT member and volunteer Serena King, for buddying up on the PT stall ensuring we could have a full day presence at this event. The Open Day for the Future was a sold out event and despite terrible weather still had almost 300 attendees come through. Congratulations to Grey XR for organising and managing the day so well. We were in good climate minded company with representatives from a number of other climate organisations:

Australian Conservation Foundation
Australian Electric Vehicle Association
Australian Youth Climate Coalition
Clarence Climate Action
Climate Resilience Network
Good Car Company
Grassroots Action Network Tasmania
I Want Energy
Sea Shepherd Tasmania
The Greens
Quaker Earthcare Witness
XR Youth
XR Regenerative Culture
XR Letters to Grandchildren
XR Grey

Let’s talk about borage.

Image source. Contributor: Katie Kristensen.

There are so many reasons to love borage and one of those is that borage stacks functions like a boss.
Its ornamental blue starflower is pretty to look at and its cloak of spiky hairs reminds me why it is good to have some boundaries. Borage is a self seeding annual, hardy, drought tolerant and low maintenance plant; it saves you coin because you can generally find it for free in your friends ór neighbours’ gardens. And once you have one plant in your life you will have subsequent plants for as long as you want them. Forever sounds good.

Use borage as:

  • soil improver
  • living soil protector and water retainer
  • weed suppressor
  • insectary – native, european, and bumble bees love it for food and shelter
    Read more about these uses here.

Known for nutrient mining, invite borage into your garden as a:

  • nutrient rich mulch candidate
  • compost party queen

Borage is regularly touted anecdotally as a:

  • pest deterrent reducing leaf eating caterpillars and tomato hornworm
  • companion plant – increasing resistance to pests and disease especially for tomatoes, strawberries and cucurbits.

And of course there’s the uses for your body, including heart and mind:

  • edible flowers and young leaves. Find suggestions for your belly here.
  • drinkable as tea: To 1/4 lightly packed cup of fresh gently crushed borage leaves, pour 1 cup boiled water, steep for 3- 5 minutes and add honey/lime/lemon to flavour your courage.
  • medicinable too with a multitude of uses covered here.

Finally, when you decide you have too much of it – and that time always comes – it is easy to pull up for uses mentioned above. Just remember to use gloves when handling mature plants or it’ll deliver a boundary reminder in no uncertain terms.

Partial PDC Scholarship available…

Partial Scholarships available to support your permaculture journey.
Up to two partial scholarships of $200 each are available for this upcoming part time Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course in Launceston commencing 13 Feb 2021. 
Available to current financial members (excluding committee and their immediate family). 

To apply, tell us in 2-3 paragraphs why you are a suitable scholarship applicant, and how you will use your new  PDC skills to benefit the community. 

Applications close Tuesday 26 Jan. 
Good luck!

Waste Not Produce

Growing from an idea raised at a local permaculture group event, members Robyn and Andrew started Waste Not Produce.
Waste Not Produce is a stall at the (then) weekly Margate Market selling excess produce from their own and other local gardens. Robyn and ANdrew donate their time and all proceeds from sales go to small local organisations, and so much good food is saved from going to waste in the process.

When their first venue at Margate Market stopped running Robyn and Andrew looked for new options to sell from. It didn’t take long and they continue spend a day harvesting or collecting from donors each week and another to set up and sell from their latest location the following day.

“Gardeners are happy that any excess garden produce will be used and locals love to get fresh produce, particularly if they don’t garden themselves. And community organisations are benefiting from the cash. It’s simple, and lovely. We enjoy it, and have met so many amazing people. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to do this.”

Recently Robyn shared this update:

“I’ve been collating the funds raised by Waste Not Produce/Waste Not Books, raffle and sausage sizzle over the last three markets at Woodbridge Hall and I’m very happy to report that we have donated a total of $1,966.90 to the Woodbridge School Association!
This has been a combined effort, with so many people giving garden produce, time, donations, providing moral support, buying produce and leaving the change…. many thanks to all concerned, up and down our beautiful Channel AND further afield.

We will be taking some fresh produce over to Mez at the Cygnet Community Hub this Friday 4th December to donate to local charities there, so if you have any garden surplus that you’d like to donate for that purpose, please let us know beforehand.
We will also be at the CYGNET CHRISTMAS GARDEN MARKET at THE CANNERY on SATURDAY 12th DECEMBER from 5pm. All funds raised at this market go to the ‘Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative’ – providing comprehensive support to refugees wishing to move to the Huon Valley.

Please contact us if you have garden surplus to contribute to this market. The more we have, the more we sell and the more we donate.
Robyn Payne ph 0400 998037 and Andrew Geddes ph 0419 484010
Email –
‘Waste Not Produce’”

Local Community Digs “Beginning Food Gardening” Workshops

By Alexia Thomson & Karen Hewitt

2020 has been a year of surprises – including a global gardening boom as COVID-19 made visible the fragility of our food supply systems. Many have turned to growing food to provide for our families, reduce our food miles and to boost mental health after far too many online meetings.

But what about those who have little or no topsoil, destructive pets, are renting or less mobile? Raised beds are a great option to make food gardening more accessible, and in order to promote them and begin fostering food security in the region, Transition Tamar (in conjunction with the West Tamar Council and in partnership with Tamar NRM) held two free workshops at the end of October and mid-November down at Windsor Community Gardens in Riverside to demonstrate the process of building raised beds and which easy-care seedlings participants could start their food-growing journey with.

Transition Tamar are part of the global Transition Network and a local group of Permaculture Tasmania, and only began organising early this year to work towards increasing community awareness and resilience in the face of climate change, biodiversity loss and the problems that are associated with them.

The community group will eventually have four showcase teaching beds down at the Windsor Community Gardens – the new beds (collaboratively designed, built and filled in conjunction with the West Tamar Council), are an affordable model for the home gardener to reproduce, whilst also complementing the design of existing pre-fabricated beds onsite.

These first two workshops looked at some of the many value-for-money and simple sleeper-bed designs, what soil mix to fill beds with and which easy-to-grow foods a beginner food gardener was pretty much guaranteed success with. Along with how to take care of plants going forward, the workshops were designed to be “one-stop shops“ to support householders starting on reaping the many benefits of growing their favourite foods and savouring the sweet taste of home-grown gardening success.

Early in the New Year, workshops demonstrating Wicking Bed construction and gardening for the summer months will run, to hopefully be followed up in Autumn with some preserving and/or mushroom growing workshops.

You can follow Transition Tamar’s Facebook page to be kept up to date with all their events, as they begin to realise their Vision for “Launceston and the Tamar Valley region to become a connected & resilient community through sustainable living, localised food production, circular economy and regenerative development.