Latest News

Win a permaculture book hamper!

Here’s your chance to go into the draw to win this exciting permaculture book collection.
To enter simply complete one of the following:
Sign up to the Holmgren Design newsletter
Share a Writing, Presentation or Interview from the new Holmgren Design website on social media. (For Facebook tag Melliodora Hepburn Permaculture in your post, for Twitter tag Holmgren Design.)
Buy a copy of this version of Permaculture One

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2021 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize winner

We received nearly 200 entries to the Venie Prize this year – thank you to all the poets who took the time to compose their heartfelt and mindfelt reflections. This year the two judges were Carissa Lee and John Charles Ryan. As John said after reading the poems, ‘Thanks again

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Portrait of David a finalist in The Lester Prize

In 2019 David Holmgren sat very still for a long time, something difficult to do for the indefatigable 60-something year old. While David sat, Eugene von Nagy sketched and painted a portrait of David that has just been made a finalist for The Lester Prize, the third largest portrait prize in Australia, after the Moran and Archibald.

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Happy World Localisation Day!

To celebrate World Localisation Day 2021, Local Futures has gathered an impressive line-up of thoughtsmiths from across the globe to help raise awareness about the urgent need to shift direction – away from dependence on global monopolies towards decentralised, regional economies.

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David and Su on The Eco Show premiere

Channel 31, Victoria’s non-profit, open-access community television station, has just launched their first episode of The Eco Show, which features interviews with David Holmgren and Su Dennett at their home, Melliodora, in Central Victoria.

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For the Wild podcast

In episode 221 of the For the Wild podcast, David Holmgren explores creative reuse, salvage economies, ethical relationships, permaculture, and the intricacies of mass movements that are trying to override a system that is deeply committed to a machination of consumerism and debt.

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When does a book become news?

When does a book become news? When it becomes a bestseller? When its author is famous or influential? When it develops a cult following of readers? When it addresses the circumstances of a large segment of the population? When social media algorithms reinforce awareness of the book? When it addresses critical issues to the future of society and nature, be that through fiction or nonfiction? So why would a book that meets all of these criteria fail to be news?

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Mark Johnson turns 50

Recently we were made aware of Mark Johnson’s creation of a permaculture allotment as a natural haven for people in London struggling with homelessness, addiction and mental health issues. Mark’s best selling autobiography Wasted charts the transformation he has made in his own life and provides an inspiration for times of challenge and change.

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Our Street Launch

Melliodora Publishing and Grow Do It Permaculture invite you to attend the online launch of Our Street and Permaculture Action Cards: Sunday November 29 from 11am – 12pm.

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Facing Fire

This coming Sunday November 22 at 9am (AEDT) , David Holmgren is giving a presentation followed by a Q & A on
‘Fire Resilient Design and Land and Climate Care’.

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The 2020 Venie Prize Winner

Thank you to all the poets who took the time to compose and send in poems to the 2020 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize – we received 262 entries. The content of the poems was beautifully varied: some were engaging, some funny, some sad, delicate, considerate, angry, political, provocative… A

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Introducing 470

Wearing his publishing hat, David Holmgren, permaculture co-originator explains why he and partner Su Dennett decided to publish 470, Linda Woodrow’s novel, at this exact point in history.

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New Melliodora Tour Dates – 2020/2021

You have a small block of land and you’d like to learn how you can live more sustainably. You live on a farm with chickens and an orchard and you’re interested in seeing how you can integrate permaculture design principles. You rent an inner-city apartment and you’re keen to see

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RetroSuburbia Online: Innovation in Digital Publishing

RetroSuburbia Online Permaculture: Innovation in Digital Publishing The behind the scenes thinking Our launch of RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future as a “pay what you feel” online flip-book in response to the COVID-19 health and economic crisis has galvanised enthusiasm in permaculture and kindred circles. However, it

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RetroSuburbia Online Book Launch

Yes, it’s true! Permaculture co-originator David Holmgren is launching an online version of his bestselling book, RetroSuburbia: The Downshifter’s Guide To a Resilient Future. About the launch RetroSuburbia: The Downshifter’s Guide To a Resilient Future is a book for this moment in history. Permaculture co-originator, David Holmgren and the team

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Agriculture and Architecture: Taking the Country’s Side

In November 2019, David gave a video keynote address at Talk, Talk, Talk, which was part of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale in Portugal. The theme for the event was Agriculture and Architecture: Taking the Country’s Side.  The other invited presenters were Carolyn Steel, Colin Moorcraft and Joëlle Zask and the

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David presents ‘Aussie St’ in Morwell

On June 1 2019, David gave his much loved ‘Aussie St’ presentation to a crowd of over 200 people at Kernot Hall in Morwell, in the Latrobe Valley. You can watch the full presentation here: After ‘Aussie St’ there was an hour-long Q&A session, which you can watch here: The

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2020 Permaculture Design Course Rocklyn Ashram

Friday 21 February – Saturday 7 March 2020 Are you looking to: live a more sustainable life? become less dependent on big business and supermarkets? design a resilient system in the face of growing uncertainties? retrofit your house, your community and your life? meet like-minded people? The course A PDC

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The 2019 Venie Prize Winner

Thank you to all the poets who took the time to compose and send in poems to the 2019 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize – we received 192 entries. The content of the poems was beautifully varied: some were engaging, some funny, some sad, delicate, considerate, angry, political, provocative…

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The 2019 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize

Thank you to the 192 poets who submitted their poems to the 2019 Venie Prize. SUBMISSION ARE NOW CLOSED for this year’s Prize. In partnership with Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry we are thrilled to announce the launch of the 2019 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize. The specifics are

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Reclaiming the Urban Commons

We are in the midst of a great shift, a fundamental transformation in our relations with the earth and with each other. This shift poses humanity with a challenge: how to transition from a period of environmental devastation of the planet by humans to one of mutual benefit? How do

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2018 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize Winner

Thank you to all the poets who took the time to compose and send in poems to the 2018 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize – we received 154 entries. The content of the poems was beautifully varied: some were engaging, some funny, some sad, delicate, considerate, angry, political, emotive… A huge

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Holmgren announced as MSSI associate

David Holmgren has just been named an associate of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. MSSI facilitates interdisciplinary sustainability research across faculties and centres at the University of Melbourne, and promotes research in a way that maximises engagement and impact. MSSI emphasises the contribution of the social sciences and humanities to

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New Melliodora Tour Dates – 2018/2019

You have a small block of land and you’d like to learn how you can live more sustainably. You live on a farm with chickens and an orchard and you’re interested in seeing how you can integrate permaculture principles. You live in an inner-city apartment and you’re keen to see

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The 2018 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the 2018 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize. The specifics are as follows: Major prize: AUD$1000 All entries must be received by 11.59 pm EST, Friday July 20 2018. The shortlist and winner will be announced during the Daylesford Words in Winter festival,

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Charles Massy Canberra launch speech

Charles Massy (Call of the Reed Warbler) launched RetroSuburbia in Canberra last week at the 2018 ACT Permaculture Festival. Here is his wonderfully received launch speech: It is both a pleasure & an honour to help launch David Holmgren’s new book here in Canberra: a book by a person I

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The Melbourne Model

The Age recently published an article entitled, Melbourne’s liveability choice: soar like Manhattan or sprawl like LA The article quoted Infrastructure Australia’s three scenarios for Melbourne in 2046. The LA model: More than one million extra people – or 40 per cent of projected population growth to 2046 – will

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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

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RetroSuburbia crowd support campaign

To offset the cost of printing David’s forthcoming book in Australia, we are excited to announce that we have just launched a crowd support campaign. RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future will be self-published by David’s micro-publishing house, Melliodora Publishing, which has published David’s previous books plus a

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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

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The 2017 Venie Prize Winners

Firstly, thank you to the 141 entrants in the 2017 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize. Each and every poem that was entered was a pleasure to read. A big thank you also goes to Fiona Hile + Ross Gillett for judging the Prize and for coming along to Sunday’s Words

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2018 Ashram Permaculture Design Course

Permaculture Design Course Friday 23 February – Saturday 10 March 2018 Are you looking to create a more sustainable lifestyle? Meet like-minded people? Retrofit your house, your community and your life? Become less dependent on big business and supermarkets? Design a resilient system in the face of growing uncertainties? The

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The 2017 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the 2017 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize. The specifics are as follows: Major prize: AUD$1000 All entries must be received by 11.59 pm EST, Friday July 14 2017. The shortlist and winner will be announced during the Daylesford Words in Winter festival,

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Is there a doctor in the house?

QUniversity has awarded an Honorary Doctorate to the co-originator of the permaculture concept, David Holmgren, during the launch of the Graduate Diploma in Permaculture Design. The event at The Joinery in Adelaide, on 19 April, echoed the launch of the Graduate Certificate program (by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill) which

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New Melliodora Tour Dates

You have a small block of land and you’d like to learn how you can live more sustainably. You live on a farm with chickens and an orchard and you’re interested in seeing how you can integrate permaculture principles. You live in an inner-city apartment and you’re keen to see

Read More »

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

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Keith Roby Memorial Lecture

Last month while David was in Perth for the Australasian Permaculture Convergence he gave The Keith Roby Memorial Lecture in Community Science, a free public lecture funded by the Keith Roby Trust, established in memory of Dr Roby. Keith Roby was a foundation member of Murdoch University and a pioneer

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Permaculture Design Course @ Rocklyn Ashram

Permaculture Design Course Friday 10 – Saturday 25 Feb 2017 Rocklyn Ashram Are you looking to: create a more sustainable lifestyle? meet like-minded people? retrofit your house, your community and your life? become less dependent on big business and supermarkets? design a resilient system in the face of growing uncertainties?

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Honouring Bill Mollison

In memory of Bill Mollison, David helped his son Oliver plant dozens of trees at Oliver’s place, near Fryers Forest. They were mostly food producing and included carob and pistachio trees. #plantedforbill Oliver also styled and snapped this photo of his father paying homage to Bill and the photo that

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Out to lunch

Apologies if our phones and emails go unanswered. Apologies if we miss appointments, lunch dates and birthday parties. We are too busy reading the latest addition to the Melliodora Publishing family: The Art of Frugal Hedonism: A guide to spending less while enjoying everything more By Annie Raser-Rowland with Adam

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Bill Mollison passes

With the passing of Bill Mollison, aged 88, in Tasmania on Saturday comes the end of an era for many thousands of people around the world whose lives were transformed by the teaching and writing of one of Australia’s most influential ecological pioneers. My two year student/mentor relationship with Bill from

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Putting the cult in permaculture

We have been implementing some big changes around here. So tired are we of the dominant culture, we have decided to build a giant, beautiful stone wall to separate us from the outside world. Yup, we’ve decided to put the cult into permaculture once and for all. We have hired

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Learning, listening, watching, touring

We have a stack of events planned over the next few months. Have a browse through our Events page to see if there’s anything that takes your fancy. We have listed all the tours for the coming season, which starts next month, so you can visit us here at Melliodora

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The Future of Local Food Conference

What does it take to create a local food system that is healthy, affordable and sustainable for Australia? Our local food industry is being neglected while Australia’s national food and agriculture debate focuses on boosting production and increasing exports. Other countries, such as the US and Canada, that have explicitly

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Jack Monaghan 1924 – 2016

Jack died not long after the winter solstice following a short illness and two bouts of hospitalisation. He was 92. Su Dennett and I and our son Oliver have been neighbours to Jack and Lois Monaghan for 30 years. During the early 1950’s housing shortage, Jack’s grandfather subdivided his 15-acre

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Winter solstice update

Hello freezing cold weather. It’s 7˚C at the moment but the sun is shining and we’re happy to be busy outside. Today Mitch pruned the feijoas, while also contemplating pruning his bushman’s beard. Looks like he’s decided to keep it, to keep his face warm while he works outside. Good

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A History from the Future

We are thrilled to be sharing with you an excerpt from David Holmgren’s A History from the Future – a prelude to his upcoming book RetroSuburbia. A HISTORY FROM THE FUTURE: a prosperous way down Long time central Victorian resident and co-originator of the globally influential permaculture concept, David Holmgren

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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. We dug up potatoes to store for winter, and relocated naughty runaway artichokes. We exhaled deep sighs of relief with the coming of the rain, and we farewelled Lori, who returned to the

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Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the inaugural Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize. The specifics are as follows: Major prize: AUD$1000 All entries must be received by 11.59 pm EST, Friday July 15 2016. The shortlist and winner will be announced during the Daylesford Words in Winter festival, August

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Build it, chop it, grow it, pick it, preserve it

It’s not much to look at, we know, but we wanted to start this post with a blank canvas: the exciting possibility of the empty page, a timely reminder to observe and interact: There has been much observing these last few weeks, looking around to see what we could use

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A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity

In 2015 a small community formed an emerging ecovillage in Gippsland, Victoria, and challenged themselves to explore a radically simpler way of life based on material sufficiency, frugality, permaculture, alternative technology and local economy. Made by Jordan Osmond and Samuel Alexander, A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity is a documentary

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