solarpanelssmlDjanbung News Update

May-June 2009

The long-awaited solar panels for the grid feed solar system were installed by Rainbow Power Company on the roof over the railway carriages on May 22. Djanbung Gardens participated in the Nimbin collective solar purchase group coordinated by Nimbin Neighbourhood Centre.

A big welcome to the new members of Permaculture, its great to have you join our dynamic e-community and network of people caring for the earth and creating positive change.

I am writing this update from Bolinas, California, just north of San Francisco,  where I’ve just met the 50 participants who’ll be journeying the PDC with Penny Livingston and myself over the coming 2 weeks. Check out the USA tour itinerary.

Back at Djanbung Gardens things are nearing the end of semester 1, and the current APT class is busy preparing for the annual Open Day, June 13. The gardens survived the big rains last week, which caused widespread flooding on the NSW North Coast. At Djanbung the swales were running like little creeks, it was interesting to see how the water systems functioned with such an extreme weather event.  The weather did slow down a lot of activities for a few days, however in between the downpours we enjoyed one almost fine day and the crew from Rainbow Power Company rolled up to install the solar panel for our grid feed solar system. Soon the rest of the system will be installed, and a substantial part of our electricity will be harvested from the sun.

The Erda team is looking forward to working with the dynamic New Zealand permaculture teacher and activist, Lisa Talbot for the June-July PDC. Another New Zealand dynamo, Robina McCurdy, will also be spending some in the area and giving an evening presentation on communities June 25 at Djanbung Gardens and will be guest tutor for the sustainable settlements and urban section of the annual Winter School PDC. The course will be opening up for a 1-off single day registration for those who would like to catch Robina in action on Friday July 10.

Semester 2 intakes for the Cert III and IV program will need to have completed a PDC, so make sure you register for the July PDC. Semester 2 highlights will include the inspiring and informative Bushfoods and Restoration Ecology with Peter Hardwick, presented this year as an intensive  4-day block, August 3-6, followed by short courses on Seed Saving, Appropriate Technology and Natural Building, and Part 2 of the Integrated Pest & Weed Management course.

I’ll be returning from my USA trip to prepare for the Sustainable Aid program: Facilitating Resilient Community Development in Areas of Need – Permaculture for 2/3rds World, Indigenous and Culturally Diverse Communities, Sept 7-18.  This year we will be joined by Petra Schneider, founder of IDEP, sharing the experience and insights from the exceptional work she and the IDEP team have been initiating in Indonesia over the past 10 years. Petra will also be conducting a special one-day seminar on Community Disaster Management Sat Sept 9th.

The Advanced Design Skills and FLOW (Flexible Learning Orientation Workshop) will be offered again Oct 5-8, followed by the Sustainable Settlements, Community and Ecovillage Design Course Oct 12-22. This course will include valuable information and tools for transition planning and provides foundation training for a cluster of units in the APT Diploma of Permaculture. This course will conclude the formal training program for 2009 apart from the final presentations and assessment of the full-time Cert III and Cert IV students at semester end. We are waiting confirmation of another PDC in Taiwan late Oct-early November – do check out what the participants of last year’s PDC have been getting up to with guerilla action in Taipei.

What an amazing year and I’m sure the best is to come. Do keep checking the site and forum for updates, reports and news and please post news of your own Permaculture adventures to share with the rest of our e-community
Robyn Francis, May 30, 2009

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