IPC11 Cuba Report

Robyn Francis and Melian Fertl, representing PCA and Djanbung Gardens, joined over 420 delegates from 47 countries converging in Cuba for the 11th International Permaculture Convention, November-December 2013. Robyn reports on the experience.

Bellamar Gardens, Cuba

Bellamar Gardens is one of the exctiting new major permaculture projects in Cuba, located near Matanzas, just a hundred meters from the famous Bellamar Caves. I was invited to consult on the project when I visited Cuba in 2009 when the land had quite recently been secured by FANJ (Foundation for Nature and Humanity), Cuba’s …

Macro to Micro: Introducing Eco-Social Matrix

The Eco-Social Matrix (ESM) developed by permaculture designer, Robyn Francis, provides a useful tool for bioregional planning, human settlement and ecovillage design, transition initiatives, and for thinking more deeply about the consequences of where we live in terms of accessing our needs and interacting with community

Davidson Plum – Rainforest flavours

Davidson Plum Davidsonia pruriens var. jerseyana  A bombshell of colour and intense clean, tart flavour, Davidson Plum has become one of my favourite bushfood fruits in the kitchen. This tall (3-4m) slender rainforest plant will grow and bear in the tiniest garden space. It prefers a semi-shady location and does well under the canopy of …

Piggies at Work

Photo journal of a pig tractor garden Pigs are amazing biological ploughs – their snout is exceptionally strong and designed for excavating the earth in search of tasty morsels buried underground, especially tubers and roots, and also fungi and insects. In Permaculture there is frequent reference to use of pigs as tractoring animals and I’ve …

Creative Community Facilitation

Learn the art of faciltation—whether  you’re involved in community gardens, Permaculture groups, transition initiatives, teaching or sustainable development work—you need effective facilitation skills and tools to harness community energy. Creative facilitation of participatory process, balancing challenge and conviviality is key to success. Through this short intensive course, Robyn Francis shares 3 decades of experience in …

Advanced Design Skills

Done a PDC?   Want to become a professional designer? This course is for people who are seriously interested in design and consulting, and also recommended for permaculture teachers, to learn the tricks of trade from one of permaculture’s leading designers and educators, Robyn Francis. In 4 intensive days you will learn how to draw up …

Design for the Human Lifecycle

It seems to be a common failing in a society that is so peer-oriented, that people rarely seem to design and plan for the changing needs of the full human life cycle. It is easy to relate to the here and now, and the needs of our immediate, short-term future. As permaculture designers we need …

Harvesting the Suburbs

Robyn Francis, garden forage

Micro Eden Series: Making the most of small spaces to reduce food miles to meters with Robyn Francis Anyone can have a garden. “Small is beautiful” and the discovery of small space sufficiency can yield surprising results, not only as produce for the table, but as a place of beauty and the great sense of …

Going Potty Permaculture Style

Container gardens – making the most of small spaces to reduce food miles to meters Anywhere there is light and space plants will grow  – you don’t need to have a lot of space to create a micro edible landscape.  Robyn Francis explores the productive potential of container gardens and tips for the ‘potty’ gardener.