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RetroSuburbia: out in the world

After four years in the making, RetroSuburbia is finally out there in the world. Weighing in at 1.8kg and 592 full colour pages, she is an absolute beauty, and the whole team here couldn’t be prouder. In fact, we are excited beyond words.

Here are some photos from Saturday’s book launch at the National Sustainable Living Festival at Birrarung Marr in Melbourne.

Thank you to Peter O’Mara for MCing the event, to Costa for launching it, to Formidable Vegetable Sound System for getting us up and dancing, and to Oliver Holmgren for these beautiful photographs:

From L-R Robyn Rosenfeld, Richard Telford, David Holmgren, Costa Georgiadis

An unmistakably beautiful Melbourne scene

Formidable Vegetable Sound System

Costa Georgiadis holding RetroSuburbia while wearing his retro shirt while Peter O’Mara looks on

“Here it is, folks!” says David Holmgren.

MC Peter O’Mara with David Holmgren

David Holmgren + Mariam Issa swap books

Charlie Mgee + Richard Telford

From L-R: Mariam Issa, Charlie Mgee, Mal Webb, Kylie Morrigan

From L-R: Costa Georgiadis, Su Dennett, Charlie Mgee, Mal Webb, Kylie Morrigan, David Holmgren



For those who missed it or want to re-live this momentous event in permie history, here is the full recording which is divided into 3 parts. Thanks to Greg Noy for the footage:

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The day after the launch, David was busy again, this time on a panel entitled Transforming the Suburbs.

The speakers were:
David Holmgren – Permaculture co-originator
Costa Georgiadis – Gardening Australia, ABC TV
Dominique Hes – Melbourne University
Michael Ableman – Sole Food Street Farms, Canada
Kat Lavers – Permaculture practitioner
The event was MC’d by Nick Ritar from Milkwood Permaculture.

The expert panel creatively explored sustainable actions, key strategies and resilience-based concepts for future suburban responses to localised and global ecological challenges. The audience was provided expert analysis and thought-provoking ideas on how suburbia will be a vital place to survive and thrive in challenging futures. The discussion centred on ideas that positively contribute towards low-energy and carbon positive sustainable home and community living and how we can all make a shift towards creatively adapting to a more sustainable way of living.

The panel was recorded by ABC Big Ideas. You can listen here.

Photos by Oliver Holmgren.

From L-R: Nick Ritar, Dominique Hes, Costa Georgiadis, David Holmgren, Kat Lavers, Michael Ableman

From L-R: Dominique Hes, Costa Georgiadis, David Holmgren, Kat Lavers

In the Dome, Birrarung Mar, Melbourne

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Don’t have your copy of the book yet? Head on over to www.retrosuburbia.com to order your copy today!

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2018 Advanced Permaculture Planning + Design Process

Have you completed a PDC but feel there is more you’d like to learn?
Are you interested in design principles and ethics but are not quite sure how to integrate the processes into your thinking, designing and decision making?

On this four-day residential course, tutors David Holmgren and Dan Palmer will take you through various approaches and methods that they implement in their own design processes to help you establish your own framework for designing and living. Here is the rundown of the April 2017 course:

2017 course participants + presenters

After the inaugural Advanced Permaculture Planning and Design Process course, Dan wrote a comprehensive overview of the 4-day residential, which is highly recommended reading.

Participants are encouraged to arrive on the night of April 2 and camp over, ready to begin the course at 9am on the 3rd. Dinner will be provided on the 2nd, and brekky on the 3rd, as well as all subsequent meals for the duration of the course.

The course is limited to 30 participants and bookings are essential. Once you have booked you will be sent more details.

More information + bookings here.

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Persimmons, pumpkins and permie dancing

With the corn we harvested and shucked in March, we cooked up a delicious feast of tortillas.

IMG_5044We dug up potatoes to store for winter,

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and relocated naughty runaway artichokes.

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We exhaled deep sighs of relief with the coming of the rain,

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and we farewelled Lori, who returned to the US. Lori, pictured here with this season’s latest fashion, the scarf biologique, is our last MIAOW (Melliodora Interns and Other Workers) for a while. Ordinarily we don’t take MIAOWs over the winter, though we do start booking people in to come and stay from September onward. This year we are taking an extended break from our usual MIAOW scheduling as we look forward to settling the Milkwood crew in to their new digs in early July.

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We heartily welcomed these gorgeous visitors with their generous box of shroomy delights. Thanks Tess and Oliver!

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Last month, the R/1 students from the Yorketown Area School in South Australia created a book of drawings for Charlie Mgee after listening to his music during their Science, Literacy and Music lessons. Charlie received this book at the Food Forest in SA where David was teaching at this year’s PDC.

Charlie and David

As we hung up the last of our tomato vines to ripen

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we welcomed the onset of citrus season and look forward to rereading Morag Gamble’s great post on Ways to Use Abundant Mandarins (fruit & peel).

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Autumn really is the season of giving thanks. Here is Su with the gorgeous Kat Lavers exchanging persimmons for pumpkins. Thanks Kat! You made Su sooooooo happy.

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We had another visitor join us here in Hepburn. Woody from Artist as Family came and spent the day being the apprentice’s apprentice. Your care and gentleness was much appreciated, Mitch,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAas were your awesome dance moves.

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Thanks too for taking this photo of this morning’s frost, the first big one for the season.

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Thanks to Hamish and Christian, too, for their work building the stone wall on the east side of the house. It’s looking so good!

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OK. That’s enough chit chat. It’s been fun and all but we’d better get back to work. Hope you are working hard and dreaming big, filling your barrows with pleasures accumulated and shared.

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If you are considering writing a poem for the Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize, our inbox still has plenty of room. Entries close July 15 so there’s still lots of time.

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Venie Holmgren passes after colourful and nourishing life

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Wednesday January 27th Venie finished writing her life long poem. An adventure filled with 93 years of words, feisty activism and wry humour. She moves on leaving vivid memories in her brothers Norman and Gordon, her children Jenny (partner Chin) and David (partner Su), grandchildren Oliver, Kimon and Jody as well as many others she touched over many years of wordsmithing and friendship.

 

She will be celebrated at Poets Corner, Melliodora 16 Fourteenth St Hepburn on Tuesday 9th Feb at 10.30am. The burial will follow at Franklinford cemetery.

 

 

 

venie(young) (1 of 1)Venie Holmgren(nee Rich) was the second youngest of 11 children, born to immigrant jewish parents in York, Western Australia. In 1946, Venie Rich married Jack Holmgren a (non-jewish) comrade in peace activism against nuclear weapons and, later Australia’s involvement in Vietnam (documented in her Vietnam memoir – in press 2016). They had three children Jenny, David and Gerald and were active in community affairs from their home in Fremantle suburb of Bicton. Venie and Jack also were business partners in Rellim Booksellers(Perth), one of the best technical bookshops in the country in the 1970s.

 

After Jack’s death in 1975 Venie spent her gypsy years travelling in a campervan (documented in her travel memoir A Sense of Direction. The bush property, at Wyndham on the Far South Coast of NSW, where she settled was designed and established with her son David, the co-originator of the permaculture concept. Venie’s Wyndham property is documented in the case study Permaculture In The Bush.

 

In her late 50’s Venie began to write poetry and her first published anthology, The Sun Collection 1989, became a poetry “best seller”. At the same time, she applied her activist skills and commitment to the campaign to save native forests of the region, being arrested twice for obstructing log trucks. After 16 years of solo self reliant living she moved to the local town of Pambula where she penned her travel memoir, several more books of poetry and travelled widely as a performance poet.

 

After the unexpected death of Gerard (Gerald) in 2010 she left her community of choice to join her son David, daughter-in-law Su Dennett and grandson Oliver at Melliodora, their home and permaculture demonstration site in Hepburn, central Victoria. While waiting for the completion of the second handmade-house built for her by David, she wrote The Tea-house Poems, that has received wide acclaim. See Kevin Child’s article In Praise of Venie Holmgren: at 92 still an activist, adventurer and poet, published in the Guardian March 2015. During the last couple of years of life, her house mate Rick helped her with the publication of The Tea house Poems and, along with other local friends, satisfied Venie’s love of Scrabble. Venie’s last move of her long life, was up the road to Hepburn House where she made an impression on the staff with her sharp mind and tenacity.

 

Venie Holmgren at 2012 Words In Winter, being introduced by Glen Heyne and accompanied by Maureen Corbett on harp

 

Venie Holmgren speaking to Tim Metcalf at the 2007A.C.T. Writing & Publishing Awards

Venie Holmgren speaking to Tim Metcalf at the 2007A.C.T. Writing & Publishing Awards

 

 

Venie in her self sufficiency days (early 80s) on her bush property at Wyndham on South Coast of NSW

Venie in her self sufficiency days (early 1980s) on her bush property at Wyndham on South Coast of NSW

Venie (and David Holmgren 15th months) in the 1956 May Day March Fremantle WA

Venie (and David Holmgren 15th months) in the 1956 May Day March Fremantle WA. Photograph from ASIO file.

 

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Melliodora Studio available for the month of January only.

A unique opportunity to experience Melliodora by staying at the studio for a couple of nights or even a week. The Studio is available for this brief time only. It is a very modest, energy efficient, passive solar home that uses recycled and natural materials surrounded by a small productive home garden and is nestled at the bottom of Melliodora. Enjoy lots of walks to the Blowhole, Hepburn pool and Spring Creek. Enjoy the goats and the geese. Some Melliodora produce will be available and the weekly veggie box scheme (Wednesdays) can feed a family of 4 or 5 for just $35. Some bulk dry goods are also available then.

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2 storey, greenhouse bathroom and compost toilet, solar hot water and grid feedback electricity. Wood stove or small gas cook top, tank water and reed bed grey water

Sleeps 4 upstairs. Maximum 6.

Small garden for you to enjoy and nice views over Melliodora, premiere permaculture home to co founder David Holmgren and family. Get a feel for a a low impact lifestyle and enjoy country living in the heart of Hepburn

 House rules and a bond apply

$560/week or $140/nightIMG_8244

for booking email [email protected] or call Su on 03 5348 3636

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