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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?


The course

A PDC can be a life changing experience. Join us in the unique environment of the Rocklyn Ashram and be taught by a mix of experienced and enthusiastic permaculture tutors including David Holmgren.

This is a fully residential, fully catered course running over 14 days with a short break in the middle. This is a completely immersive experience.

The course will be structured around Holmgren’s 12 permaculture principles (detailed in Permaculture: principles and pathways beyond sustainability) and goes beyond land-based design, bringing permaculture to all aspects of human living.

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The venue

The course will take place at the Rocklyn Ashram, nestled in the Wombat Forest near Daylesford in Central Victoria. Only a two-hour drive from Melbourne, you will feel like you are in another world. Beautiful and quiet, this special space creates an ideal learning environment.

Taking part in the ashram’s daily yoga program can further enhance your learning and enrich your experience. The ashram environment exemplifies and provides an experience of living by permaculture ethics. The serene and spiritual focus of the ashram complements the mindfulness of permaculture practice and reminds us to balance our activity and think with reflection.

Accommodation is gender segregated triple share, or BYO camping equipment.

At times the ashram program and the intensity of the course can seem challenging, however almost all of the participants comment that the benefits continue long after the course ends.

 

The food

Delicious, wholesome and ethical meals will be prepared by Su Dennett and the ashram’s kitchen volunteers. She will make sure that what you eat meets permaculture standards. Items will be sourced from local organic and bio-dynamic growers in a living example of using and maintaining sustainable food supply networks. You will be served vegetarian meals together with the ashram residents.

 

Tutors

You will learn from the co-founder of permaculture, David Holmgren, and a team of excellent permaculture practitioners and educators. Their depth of practical and theoretical knowledge will make this a very special PDC. There will be also be opportunities to socialise with the presenters outside of session times.

 

Prerequisites?

There are no prerequisites for this course, but it is recommended you read the Essence of Permaculture if you have not yet done so. All other titles by David Holmgren are highly recommended for those who have read Essence already. Please have a look through our online store or visit your local library.

 

Course content

This course will equip you with the foundations of permaculture. You will learn permaculture ethics, principles and design, and their application across the domains, so that you can integrate them into all aspects of your life.

Topics include: permaculture ethics and principles; ecology and natural cycles; weather and climates; soils; permaculture food growing; energy literacy; reading the landscape; appropriate technology; built environment; design processes and practices; animals in permaculture; health and spiritual wellbeing; urban retrofitting; finance and economics; and community strategies.

The classroom experience will be complemented by field trips to working permaculture systems including one of the best documented demonstration sites, Melliodora.

You will work on a design project of part of the ashram during the course. You will be guided by experienced tutors and learn the fundamentals of permaculture to design the world you want.

 

How to enrol

The course size is limited to 26 students so you will need to book early. Cost including full board is $2400, but all you need is the $500 deposit to secure your place now.

If you choose the camping option you will receive $150 cash back upon arrival at the Ashram.

Please note: We do not take deposits from outside Australia. If you are applying from outside Australia, we only accept the full amount via direct bank transfer.

Please read the Ashram Lifestyle Information page before enrolling. Choose your payment below and complete the enrolment form.

 

Payment and extra charges

Please see the How Do I Pay? page for more details.

 

Item Fee (AUD$) Due
Non-refundable deposit – Australian participant $500 Upon enrolment
Remaining course fee – Australian participant – earlybird $1700 Friday 2nd December 2016
Remaining course fee – Australian participant – full fee $1900
Course fee – Australian / Overseas participant – earlybird $2200 Upon enrolment, before Friday 2nd December 2016
Course fee – Australian / Overseas participant – full fee $2400 Upon enrolment
Overseas payment / Payment via paypal – bank charge $35 With payment – per transaction
Private accommodation at the Ashram Variable With payment – prior booking is essential

 

Is there concession price?

Yes, we do offer a concession rate on a needs basis via an application process. Please fill in this form before Friday November 18 to be eligible.

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Still have questions? Please read through our FAQ page.

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Pascoe & Holmgren: Land & Culture

Well, what a night! Thank you to everyone who came along to Land Cultures to hear Bruce and David tell stories and share knowledges and experiences. The Daylesford Town Hall was packed with keen punters of all ages. If you weren’t able to make it, we’ll share the podcast and video as soon as they’re available. For now, here are a few photos that capture the wonderful spirit of the night. Thank you Oliver Holmgren for the pics and thank you to the Hepburn Relocalisation Network for organising the event with the support of the Hepburn Shire Council.

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A traditional smoking ceremony

 

Graham Atkinson says Womin-dji-ka (welcome) to Dja Dja Wurrung country

 

Packed to the rafters.

Patrick Jones MCs the proceedings.

 

Pete O’Mara addresses the crowd

 

Bruce and David with their partners Lyn and Su.

 

David responds to Bruce

 

A full house

Thank you to Mike Brown, Cameron Saunders and Anthony Petrucci for recording the talks and Q&A session afterwards. Here is the podcast for those who couldn’t make it on the night, or for those who’d like to relive it:

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Land Cultures: shared knowledges

Bruce Pascoe and David Holmgren to meet and share knowledges

Award-winning Australian writer, editor and anthologist Bruce Pascoe is leading a movement of researchers that is rewriting Aboriginal history in Australia.

On Thursday April 7 2016 Pascoe will visit Daylesford for a series of free events including Land Cultures: Aboriginal economies and permaculture futures at the Daylesford Town Hall at 7.30pm – Bruce Pascoe in conversation with David Holmgren.

LandCultures_jpeg_lThe evening event will commence with a Dja Dja Wurrung smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country. A Hepburn Shire Council representative will present a progress report on the Shire’s recognition and reconciliation projects. Pascoe’s keynote address will be followed by a response from David Holmgren, before opening the discussion to the floor. Supper will be provided by Hepburn Relocalisation Network (for a gold coin donation).

Come and join the discussion and understand how the foods of Australia pre-1788 may become the foods of a climate-altered 21st century economy that acknowledge and celebrate the past. You can join the Facebook event here.

Other free events on the day include:

2pm tour of Dja Dja Wurrung tools at the Daylesford Museum.
3pm reading by Bruce of his young adult fiction at the Daylesford Library.
4pm planting of murnongs (yam daisies) at the Daylesford Library community garden.

All events are presented by the Hepburn Relocalisation Network with the generous assistance and funding of the Hepburn Shire Council.

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Bruce Pascoe has a Bunurong and Tasmanian heritage. In his latest book, Dark Emu: black seeds, Pascoe shows that the Aboriginal history we were taught in school — that indigenous Australians were chancey hunter-gatherer nomads — is a fiction. Using point of contact journals by European explorers, Pascoe demonstrates the extent of the ecologically sensitive agricultural practices that existed in Australia pre-1788, and shows that Aboriginal Australians were possibly the world’s first bread makers, preceding the Egyptians by at least 18,000 years.

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local happiness, global happiness

An enormous event is coming up next weekend. The Local Lives, Global Matters conference is gearing up to a great conference with the range of local and international speakers.

Over three days, at Castlemaine, the conference examines and discusses the way to get happier.

The solution seems local.  Communities all around the world are already doing it. The conference is planning to builds on what is already happening by fostering thriving, local and regional economies and societies, and accelerating the transition to a world without fossil fuels and growth addictions.

39e4213c-7373-4180-b0fe-93c5e9e651c0It is not your usual ‘conference’ though, the program is full of plenaries, workshops, story-telling, arts and music, as well as site visits showcasing local initiatives. Themes include meaningful livelihoods, reducing scale, reclaiming democracy, local interdependence and the strengthening of spiritual values. Speakers to appear include David Holmgren (one of the keynote speakers at the town hall on the first day), Helena Norberg-Hodge, Manish Jain (India), Camila Moreno (Brazil), Rob Hopkins (UK), Raphael Souchier (France), Samuel Alexander, Susan Murphy, Dave Rastovich and Lauren Hill Australia).
In fact, David will be there over three days.

On Friday David will deliver a keynote speech (3.40pm) at the town hall.

On Sat, he will take part in a panel discussion in Manish Jain’s plenary session on “Social and ecological justice” (10am) along with Camilla Moreno who will then give a session on “Reclaiming democracy”.

Then on Sunday, he will be a part of the panel with Ellen Madigan, Latarnie McDonald, Michelle and Chris McColl, Rob Kirby, and Helena Norberg-Hodge to disucss the problem of the centralised food  supply system.  For his final appearance, on Sunday at the town hall David will  be a part of the closing plenary session with Jacques Boulet and Norberg Hodge to sum up the weekend.

It is a choc a block weekend already, but there is another good one on Saturday afternoon, pop over to the Buckley room at St Mary’s Church at 4.15pm. Su Dennett and Maureen Corbett from Hepburn Relocalisation Network will give a workshop called “Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained” to follow up Urban Food Collective/Kym Blechynden (Feed the Future).

More here.

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“Unlikely rock star of the food scene” to workshop in Daylesford

9288376703_44d5d91f74_cWe have all heard about the value of fermented food. At Melliodora, we are big fans of fermented food, making use of all sorts of fermented stuff every day. Naturally, we make our own yoghurt, kefir and miso and so on. Once you find out how they work, you don’t need to be a biochemist or a rocket scientist to enjoy the art of fermentation. So, you could say we are fairly familiar with the process but when we heard that the fermentation champion author, Sandor Katz is coming to town to do a workshop, we coudn’t help being excited.

Sandor Katz is a fermentation revivalist. His 2003 book Wild Fermentation was a buzz. Through the hundreds of fermentation workshops he has taught across North America and beyond, he has ignited the revival of the fermentation arts throughout the world. A self-taught experimentalist who lives in rural Tennessee, the New York Times calls him “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene”. His latest book, The Art of Fermentation, is indeed the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published.

Learn how simple it is to make your own kimchi, kefir, and other fermented delicacies at his workshop in Daylesford on Feb 27. Learn about the healing qualities and nutritional importance of live-culture ferments, as well as their illustrious history and integral role in human cultural evolution. Empower yourself with simple techniques for fermenting these healthful foods in your home. Be part of the fermentation revival.fart

For more details about the workshop and bookings, please contact Hepburn Relocalisation Network, hrn@internode.on.net .

To mark the Sandor Katz’s visit, Holmgren Design have stocked up on The Art of Fermentation, now available from our on-line shop. Check it out before the workshop, or if you cannot attend, reading this book is the next best thing, we reckon.

See more at Sandor Katz’s wild fermentation website.

 

 

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Blooming at the Floraide

In May David was asked to write a letter of support for Permaculture Canberra. Permaculture Canberra, along with Urban Agriculture Australia, Canberra City Farm, Permablitz ACT, Canberra Organic Growers, South Coast Producers and Soils for LIfe. They were putting proposal to display an urban farming and permaculture display in the centennery ACT Floriade show.

David thought it a good idea.

Over the last ten years the growth in interest in producing food at home for food security, health and pleasure has substantially exceeded previous waves of interest in the late 1970’s and the late 1980s-early 1990’s. It is very clear that gardeners are hungry for information and inspiration for growing food as part of their living environment. The ACT Floriade  provides an opportunity to reach a sector of the Australian gardening public that might not have been exposed to all of the creative opportunities to grow food at home.

The perception that permaculture specifically, and garden farming more generally, are antithetical to gardening for aesthetic pleasure, is a common one. This false impression can be overturned by well presented and integrated examples of food, herb and flower growing that are ecologically sound, productive and aesthetically pleasing. The proposal has the potential to make a contribution in this regard.

I am particularly pleased to support a proposal where so many local and regional groups, some with a history going back decades are partnering to bring the best of organics and permaculture generally to the gardening public.  I think the synergies that will come from this partnership could enable greater appreciation, by the public as well as  policy makers, of productive environmentalism.

For Floriade, I think this proposal is an opportunity to expand the environmental credentials of the event by responding the burgeoning public interest in food growing as a natural and normal part of our living environment.

They got the gig, and judging from their facebook entries, it was a resounding success.

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They received a big pat on the shoulder from the event’s organisers as well.

The display delivered by Urban Agriculture Australia was of a very high standard and all those
involved were extremely professional……..

Urban Agriculture Australia had a
large contingent of volunteers who provided an interactive experience for visitors for the full 30 days of Floriade and 5 nights of NightFest.

The display proved to be extremely popular with visitors, with many of them leaving having indicated that they intended to recreate aspects of the display in their own garden.

On top of the display Urban Agriculture Australia volunteers also delivered two talks each day during the full month of Floriade. These talks were well attended and delivered in a very professional manner.

Well done guys.

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Spring Creek community forest tours

Spring Creek Community Forest is the name we give to an informal project by local residents managing a section of public land (part of the Hepburn Regional Park) along Spring Creek between the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve and Breakneck Gorge. For over 25 years we have been active in initiating working bees constructing walking paths, managing naturalised vegetation (so called ‘weeds’), planting trees and building gabions and leaky weirs to slow and manage flood waters along tributary gullies and the main creek. Observation, scientific research and  documenting ecological changes over the last 25 years, particularly in relation to willow ecology makes Spring Creek an important reference site in the debate over management of willows along streams in southern Australia.

A tour down Spring Creek with David Holmgren

A tour down Spring Creek with David Holmgren

Continue Reading →

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Permaculture: A Rhymer’s Manual – David doesn’t cringe

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}“He gave me the best response ever… He got on the blower and said ‘It’s great. I listened to the whole thing…and I didn’t cringe once.'”
Apparently that is how David Holmgren responded upon listening to the album, inspired by and named after the concept he jointly developed some three decades ago, according to the recent ABC radio piece.
You can sample some of the Charlie Mgee‘s Formidable Vegetable Sounds System’s debut album “Permaculture: a Rhymer’s Manual” played live at the launch in Melbourne in April.
PRMLaunchPosterWEB
David will be there not only to give a test drive to his newly acquired dancing shoes to serious ukelele music, but also  to say a few words about what could well be the first ever permaculture “concept” album.
When: 6pm Saturday April 6.

Where: CERES Environmental Park
Cost: (recommended donation $15) BYO drinks and snacks

The album is now available through the HD shop.

Here’s a footage of Formidable Vegetable Sound System in full flight at the Eclipse 2012 Festival in Cairns.

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Su Dennett inducted to the Honour Roll

Su receiving her award

Su Dennett, David Holmgren’s partner in permaculture development and the backbone of the HD, was inducted to the Hepburn Shire’s Women’s Honour Roll.

Su was recognised as a role model for women choosing a home and community based lifestyle as an empowering and effective way to contribute to a better world.

You can read her induction speech written and delivered by Dr Anne Gleeson on this year’s International Women’s Day ceremony.

Su Dennett and friends

Onya Su, we are so privilaged to be sharing life with you.

Two women inducted to Hepburn Shire honour roll (the local Advocate newspaper article).

Continue Reading →

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Dave Jacke in Daylesford

A renowned permaculture pioneer from the US is to give a talk in Daylesford.

Dave Jacke, author of Edible Forest Gardens, has taken the Forest Garden concept beyond its tropical origins and shown it can be adapted to temperate climates.

This talk is a unique opportunity for everyone interested in ecological solutions and especially permaculture practitioners.

When: 7pm, Wednesday March 13
Where: Senior Citizens Room (behind Town Hall) in Daylesford
Cost: $10 per person
Contact: hrn@internode.on.net or 5348 3636
Bookings essential and can be made on line here

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