Polly Update #2 Justice not vengeance

Much has happened over the past few days. Polly has been steadily improving, though today she suffered a relapse – more on this later. We are heartened to see her faith in human kindness being restored with all the love and caring attention she’s been receiving. The Summer Solstice on the evening of Wednesday 21st …

Bill Mollison – a giant tree has fallen in the forest of humanity

Robyn Francis reflects on her memories of Bill Mollison, teacher, mentor, friend… Bill Mollison, co-creator of the permaculture concept and founder of the movement, passed away in Hobart, Tasmania on the evening of September 24, 2016. For many it felt like a giant old growth tree in the forest had fallen. Since then tributes have …

Farmers of Hong Kong

More than a concrete jungle, Hong Kong boasts almost 550 organic farms: traditional family farms, small enterprise farms and over 300 educational and leisure farms. Leisure farms are a variation on community gardens that rent out garden plots to urban dwellers, known as ‘weekend farmers’, and are operated as small social enterprises rather than as …

Bamboo in Permaculture with Robyn Francis

Robyn Francis in Buddha-belly bamboo clump

I love Bamboo; growing, eating, crafting, building, and listening to the sounds of creaking culms and rustling leaves in the wind. It provides me with microclimates, windbreaks, privacy screens, animal fodder, wildlife habitat, an endless supply of mulch, delicious tender eating shoots, an abundance of materials for the garden and building small structures, and sequesters …

Permaculture Open Day 2016 – Growing our Future

The Djanbung team preparing for Open Day

Djanbung Gardens Permaculture Open Day, Saturday June 11, 2016, 10am-4pm A fun filled day of food, tours, presentations and workshops and the opportunity to explore the gardens of the world-class Permaculture centre, Djanbung Gardens, will be held Saturday June 11, 10am-4pm. This year’s theme ‘Growing Our Future’ is focused on sharing practical skills and solutions …

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 …

Courses in Hong Kong – Robyn Francis 2016

Robyn Francis in Hong Kong 2016

Robyn Francis will be teaching a PDC, Permaculture Aid course and Urban Permaculture seminar in Hong Kong, March-April 2016. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn with one of permaculture’s leading practitioners and trainers. The training series is being organised by Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Sustainable Living and Agriculture Department. The PDC and Permaculture …

Treasure Trove of the Meadows

a meadow bursting with life and biodiversity

Meadows – a treasure trove of biodiversity The herb meadows were once an essential component of traditional farming systems in Bavaria and other parts of Europe. I lived in rural Bavaria (Southern Germany) for three years in the mid 1970s, and was fascinated by the sheer biodiversity of herbs, grasses, insects and fungi of the …

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 …