2019 Natural Dyeing Workshop

May natural dye course  The Natural Dye course was held in May. We were lucky to have Stephie and Susan, both very talented fibre artists, who were dyeing some hand grown cotton (Steph) and wool for knitting projects (Susan). They are both founding members of the Slow Cloth Club at 7 Sibley Street. These are …

Report from IPC in India 2017

Robyn Francis with Vananda Shiva at IPC India

It was 30 years ago that I accompanied Bill Mollison to India to teach the first full Permaculture Design Course (PDC) there in 1987. This year I returned to India to honour the anniversary as a keynote speaker at the 13th International Permaculture Conference (IPC), held in Hyderabad, and as lead teacher of the IPC-PDC. …

Bill Mollison Memorial Food Forest Garden

One of Bill’s final requests was for us to plant trees in his memory. So we decided to plant a new food forest for Bill. During the November Permaculture Design Course 2016 our class went on an excursion to Daleys Nursery in Kyogle to buy some trees for the new  Bill Mollison Memorial Food Forest …

Making Cassava Flour

grating cassava for drying

Cassava flour is easy to make with basic kitchen equipment. It’s gluten free for those with celiac problems. I use it for making pancakes, slices and cookies, and mix it (half/half) with other flours for making breads or pizza dough. Cassava, also known as Tapioca or Manioc, is an important staple crop for many populations …

China’s First Eco-village Conference

Sunshine Ecovillage in Anji, Huzhou, inland from Shanghai, hosted China’s first major ecovillage conference in October, 2015. I was invited to be a keynote speaker by one of the organising team, Jiang, who participated in the Shenzhen PDC in 2014 and joined us for the final days of the 2015 PDC. He insisted that I …

Permaculture in Shenzhen, China

In early October I made my third journey to the Chinese city of Shenzhen to teach a PDC with my wonderful Taiwanese colleague, Hui-i Chiang. This was the second full design course hosted by Taihua company at Wutong Island, which they intend to make an annual event. It was great to see how the site …

New Life in Shenzhen

The big industrial city life has seeding and flourishing life… Imagine yourself in the thick of smog that limits your vision to only three unit blocks standing at 10 stories high away, humidity pressing onto your shoulders and chest, people absolutely everywhere and every opportunity is taken to stack stuff onto small motorbikes, buzzing and …

Wild Foraging in Iceland

wild harvest in Iceland - Robyn Francis

I’ve just been on a wild forage walk harvesting a salad for dinner tonight. This has become a daily joy since I arrived here in Iceland three days ago. On the bus journey from the airport into Reykjavik I noticed a lot of familiar plants growing on the roadside including Coltsfoot, Meadowsweet and Dandelions and …