New Location, new course content, inspiring guest teachers, exciting new design templates and all lead by professional permaculture designer, consultant and teacher, Michael Wardle and his team at Savour Soil Permaculture.
We need to create a vision. We need to change the climate of our minds. We need to rebuild our inner landscapes. We need a positive, solution-focused way of thinking. We need to be inspired, and we have to act. We need to heal ourselves, our landscapes, our relationship with nature and our culture & communities. We need to learn how to reconnect with nature so we can mimic it in the design of our present and our future.
Limited to 15 participants to maximise learning outcomes Cost: Early Bird: $800, Full Price: $1000
"This PDC wasn't the first course I have completed with Michael but definitely the most life-transforming. If there was ever the right time to finally tackle a PDC, it was 2020 in the middle of a global pandemic. Michael is a great teacher and has so much knowledge to share, but his real ability is in bringing people together to share their stories and their ideas, find solutions in problems, and to build capacity for making a difference in our own communities, even if it's as simple as showing our neighbours what a difference healthy soil can make. Michael was the qualified teacher leading the course, but it was the brilliant group of people I built connections with over 16 weeks who taught me just as much about permaculture in practice."
- Dave, 2020
"I commend Michael Wardle on the creation of this brilliant resource, which integrates some of the best thinking in permaculture design with his many years of experience as a professional permaculture designer and educator. I hope that many people benefit from this accessible, step-by-step sequence which provides a robust scaffold for high quality permaculture design"
Dan Palmer (VEG, Making permaculture stronger, Holistic decision making)
(About the template we use for the designs in our course)
Not only do we benefit from Michaels extensive experience as an educator but the wealth of knowledge and passion from the entire Savour Soil design team.
We are also privileged to welcome Permaculture Elder and inspirational educator Robin Clayfield for a day of social permaculture. Tim Barker is a consummate gentleman actually living and breathing what he teaches. He will enlighten us with his rocket stoves and so much more.
Each week we learn a new aspect of permaculture and having these wonderful individuals join our course, bringing their very special insight is an absolute joy.
For those doing our PDC we are offering:
Make your final design stand out with a professional look using INKSCAPE.
For just $50 we will teach you the basics, over 5 zoom sessions as an optional extra. Free for Members of the Ipswich Good Food Group.
For those thinking about taking their design even further we have our professional toolbox available for purchase too.
NEW LOCATION for 2021
PROUDLY PARTNERING TO BRING YOU THIS YEARS PERMACULTURE DESIGN CERTIFICATE
Great new central location, ample parking, awesome facilities.
21 Park Street,
Ipswich, Qld 4305
The longest night. The Winter Solstice
Since prehistory, the winter solstice has been seen as a significant time of year in many cultures. It has been marked by festivals and rituals. It marked the symbolic death and rebirth of the Sun. The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days.
This, for us, means it is time to plan for the spring ahead. Making sure we have the plants and seeds we need. While it is still cool, time to maintain the system and build new infrastructure to expand our plans.
It also means time to plan for new journeys.
It is now time for me to leave the Laidley site after 8 years of working and building a system that ultimately yielded over 3 ton of produce on a quarter of an acre. While some have expressed sadness about this, I will admit that it will not be easy to leave this place after so much time; it is also time for new beginnings.
Having worked and designed more significant acreage, worked, and created a suburban block, it is now time to see and explore what can be done on a rental bringing the permaculture mindset to that space.
This brings with it a new excitement. We will be documenting and showing the what, how and when for a rental space to add to the possibilities.
2021 is definitely a year of new beginnings
What are your new adventures in "Making it Real"?
Read More HERE
By Victoria Holder
As the popularity of gardening increased last year, growing our own food to become more resilient, so did the popularity of growing indoor plants. With so many more people working from home, the importance of plants and their effect on our mental health by simply being in our lives became very evident. Segments on gardening TV shows were dedicated to it, and magazines were writing about it. Customers were flocking to produce stores indoor plant sections and snapping up all the potting mix.
In my own experience caring for plants within city office buildings, I saw firsthand how they can completely change a space, the feel, the look and the productivity. In permaculture, we ask should we do something, not how, and I often struggled with this when trying to keep plants alive. So, what yields were we achieving? Did the value that plant brought to a space warrant putting it there?
I have no scientific backup for this, but I often witnessed the plants in the most stressful, high-pressure offices repeatedly wither and die. Could these plants be absorbing all that tension and creating a better environment by simply being there? Obviously, my job was to keep these plants alive. Still, instead of thinking I had failed, I liked to believe that plant had fulfilled its purpose and that lovely man with such a stressful job was able to breathe a little easier and go home slightly happier simply because that plant was in his office. My boss at the time referred to my KPI's as the killing plant index. Still, he also understood a plant can only survive so much. Therefore, it would stealthily replace sad plants so that the customers could be happy.
My permaculture brain relishes design, and indoor plants deserve the same attention as our productive outdoor plants do. Their yields may be different, but by marrying the plant's needs with our needs and what the site is capable of, we can all thrive.
Starting with a plant analysis:
Where does the plant initially come from? How big will it grow, and how quickly? Does it like to climb and need support? What size leaves does it have, flowers? How much light, water, and nutrient does it enjoy? Does it need humidity to flower like the anthurium? Does it propagate quickly? What pests is it prone to? Is it dangerous to children or dogs?
Next, a site analysis:
Mapping out the microclimates within your home that could potentially provide the ideal environment for plants. This would include light and shade and its strength at different times of the year, reflective surfaces, airflow, temperatures and the variations - consider times of air conditioning and heating. Consider access and your movement patterns through the site as a phase I recently heard comes to mind "what you see survives". If the plant is too high to reach or tucked in a corner you never walk past, will it survive? Also, plants can suffer if constantly being brushed up against in a walkway. Consider your focal points within the site and from different areas to create maximum impact.
Understanding your own needs and limitations:
Consider what time you have to commit to these plants, what skills you have to help care for them and what you need to learn. Do you like lush tropical plants like philodendrons, delicate strappy plants like peace lilies, climbing pothos, tall feature trees like fiddler figs, low maintenance happy plants or Zanzibar gems that can survive on the mere suggestion of water.
Designing with maintenance in mind:
Leave plants in plastic pots and simply slot them in and out of decorative pots; you will be grateful for this when the plant outgrows its pot and needs the next size up. Plus, you can change and move things around quickly, particularly as the angle of the sun changes throughout the year. Consider pots with water reservoirs if plants are ravenous or you are away a lot. Covering the soil with decorative rocks is like adding mulch in the garden. It keeps moisture in and keeps soil temperature constant. It can also help with soil born pests.
Feeding your plants:
In permaculture, we start with soil biology. Having a plant indoors in a pot means we have taken away its ability to draw from the earth what it needs. Responsibility shifts to the intervener! As a professional plant waterer, I would feed my plants every 4 weeks with either liquid blood and bone or a powdered soluble fertilizer. We would joke that I was the plant's dealer, keeping them in the supply of their coffee or another powdered white substance. But joking aside, these plants would not survive or thrive without giving them the nutrients they need. Plants under stress will also suffer from pests and disease as they would in the garden, so keeping them happy reduces the need for pest control.
And some glossy, shiny leaves complete the look; there is no point in having healthy soil if the plant is covered in dust and spiders' webs.
I hope this helps integrate plants into your indoor spaces and value the many yields they can bring.
While it's coming to an end, May seems to be the month for fertility. From the roots of the Greek myth, the modern-day workings here as the weather cools, bringing a new sense of vibrancy and colour.
It is a time of new beginnings and a time to celebrate.
With new beginnings comes a new understanding. My eldest recently asked me why people talk about life being unfair. We talked about how it is not the life that is unfair, but our expectations from it. How our biases come into play and how they can affect our perspective. By understanding our context, needs, and what we want to achieve, we can use this to help create a path to the quality of life we want and deserve.
Having recently rewritten my context and quality of life statements, I now have a path for those same new beginnings. while it may not be easy, in the end, it will be well worth it
So how are you going to make it real?
Read more HERE.
This seems to be the word to best describe 2021. Even amid the chaos surrounding us from 2020, it has become a time of renewal and self-reflection as we each take our time to look into the future. And for me, it is no different. Recent events of a complete 2-week program of introduction to permaculture, Co-teaching a Permaculture Teacher Trainer with Meg McGowan and Rosemary Morrow and the APC, interrupted by a brief stint in hospital as my body discovered it really did have limits. Combine this with a serious look at the inner landscape has given rise to a positive change.
Our motto is about Making it Real. Making it real is not going to be easy, but like all things of value, it will definitely be worth it.
So, we ask you. How are you going to make it real?
Read more HERE.
From Victoria Holder
South East Queensland is still seeing some gorgeous days of warmth this early autumn. The last of these little pocket rocket chillies are in and ready to be fermented.
The flavour now develops intrigue, highlighting acidity with depth of heat complexity.
A teaspoon of paste in a tofu stir fry, over chicken wings or a prawn pasta. While the faux Tabasco sauce will escalate a Bloody Mary or pimp an oyster shot...
*250grams fresh ripe red chillies. ( a mix of different varieties will add complexity ) Sliced lengthways, optional to keep seeds or not.
*3 cloves garlic (peeled, sliced in half)
*500ml filtered water, brought to boil then cooled.
*10grams pure sea salt (not iodised)
1) Add 10grams sea salt to cooling 500ml water, stir till dissolved.
2) In fermentation vessel or glass jar add the prepared chillies & garlic.
3) Once salted water is cooled, pour over chillies until just covered. Apply fermenter lid or supplied jar lid.
4) Leave in a cool dry place for upto 2weeks.
This batch only took 7days in our current weather. Look for fermentation bubbles, burp lid daily if required as gas builds. It's ready when you like the smell of freshness vs fermentation.
5) When ready strain through a fine sieve, keeping the liquid aside.
6) Using a food processor whizz up the drained chillies & garlic till consistency of liking, fill sterilised jar/s. Keep in fridge.
7) The reserved liquid can be brought to the boil, simmered for 15min, adjusted with sugar if required, then cooled. This will create a FauxTobasco with bright freshness. Keep in fridge.
Responsibility shifts to that of the intervener. Out of the many different design principles that I have read or been taught over the years, this is the one that resonates most with me.
The idea that if you intervene in a system, you are ultimately responsible for the health and vitality of that system until you can nurture it to a point where that responsibility back to nature.
This is one of the underlying design principles that drive my design process from strategies to tools and techniques.
Chickens are fundamentally an essential part of many people's permaculture systems. They provide a vast number of yields and support a varied number of ecosystem services.
To my understanding, there are no wild chickens left in the world (pleased to be shown to be wrong if anyone knows of anywhere). So it becomes even more critical that we design to their needs. If we look after our animals, chickens included, and give them our best, then they will in return give us their best.
While they are omnivores and require a varied diet, including some grain and seed and green pick, another aspect we need to consider is the chicken's health. It is easy to jump to the idea that we can just purchase what we need to support their health. Still, with a bit of thought, we can set up biological solutions to carry that load for us – Thus, the Chook Apothecary.
Apothecaries were famous between medieval times till the end of the 19th century. In medieval times, if you needed medicine, you had three choices:
Go to the local monastery and hope that they had a physic garden where they were growing medicinal herbs.
So, with this in mind looking at and building a polyculture of plants that can support the health of our chickens is critical. Planting these plants in a fashion that allows the chickens access without destroying the plant (typically planted just on the outside of the fence line)
There are so many different choices of plants available that it can be daunting as to which ones to choose.
One of the processes we use in permaculture is a Niche Analysis. A research process to help filter the different benefits and disadvantages of a plant or animal to determine its suitability for our systems and management.
Using these tools available to us and spending a bit of time in research (80% research, 20% implementation is a good ratio – if you are going to get it wrong, far cheaper to do it on paper first)
After doing a niches analysis and exploring the space I have available, below is the list that was ultimately used and will add to the existing.
We hope that you might find this helpful list for your own systems. To build your own biological self-replicating chook apothecary.
We have attached a free downloadable PDF at the bottom for your convenience.
With April fast approaching we thought it fitting to have a brand-new way of getting our message across. This is a new way for us to facilitate connection and let you know all about our inspirations and aspirations. This newsletter will hopefully inform and inspire you to the possibilities of your inner and physical landscapes.
At Savour Soil Permaculture it is all about 'Making it real'.
In the spirit of the first of David Holmgren's Permaculture flower and tying in the built, biological, and behavioural fields, we are beginning with a look at who we are, what we do and invite you to come be a part of our journey.
In the words of Plato – “The beginning is the most important part of the work”.
Read more HERE.
Rain. Something we have not seen in a while, and it is glorious to see.
We are enjoying every moment as it falls from the sky and watching our systems return to life.
Unfortunately, that also means that with all this rampant growth. We cannot get into our gardens due to water saturation. That brings the question to mind with regards to water and our soils and their water holding capacity.
In short - How do I know if my soils are over-saturated so that once this rain clears, we can get back into our gardens?
It is easy to get over-enthusiastic and plant to maximise our time and space. Still, suppose the soil is holding to much water. In that case, it can squeeze out air and become anaerobic, which can kill off or invite pathogens into our gardens, causing lots of issues.
I was recently introduced to a simple test done in Horticulture to test the air porosity in seed raising mix and potting mix to make sure that it will provide a suitable environment for our seeds or plants.
Asking if it could also be used for our garden soils, I was told that it could be, but people do not, and the numbers to measure would be different.
That was enough for me. There was a possibility. So, diving into some research, I found the figures that we can use. This simple test can also be applied to seed raising mixes and potting mixes but our garden soils as well – Perfect.
First, we need to make the kit we will need to test our soils. Again, simple enough, and I found that I had most of what I needed already in the sheds resource (junk) pile.
First cut 2 pieces of 90 mm PVC pipe, both 12 cms long.
Then, finding a matching cap, drill 4 9mm holes in the bottom
Attach the lid to the base of one of the 90mm pipe sections until it is firm (and not going to fall off)
Heat one end of the second PVC pipe and then gently squeeze it over the top of the other 90mm piece until it is splayed and fits snuggly over the top of the first 90mm piece. The volume of the bottom section should be 680ml total.
8. Once you have finished doing it 3 times, remove the top section of the combined PVC and remove the excess soil above the bottom section
9. Cover the top of the base with either an old stocking or muslin cloth, and secure with a rubber band to hold in place
10. Place the bottom section back into the bucket and slowly fill with water again to a point approx. 30mm above the soil line
11. After 10 minutes, reach done with both hands and remove the bottom PVC section but have your fingers over the holes so that the water does not drain out
12. Place the water-filled section over another bucket or container and raise it and drain the water into the container beneath for approx. 30 minutes
13. Remove the bottom section and measure the volume of water that has drained from the soil
14. The air-filled soil porosity for your now test garden soil
The volume of water (ml) divide by the volume of the bottom section PVC pipe (680ml) x 100%
If this figure is between 10% and 30%, then your soil should be okay for you to plant. If more, then it is holding onto too much water and will cause issues to your plants. If under 10%, then it is not holding enough and needs to be addressed
All up, this test took me about an hour, but I could walk away and get other things done between the soaking and draining times.
It is something simple that can give us a lot of information. We can use it to provide us with the confidence to know if our water, air, soil ratios are good enough to plant and, if not, the knowledge to understand what we can do to improve them.
I have had a lot of questions about the things we do month by month to help not only maintain but add to our system.
While the best time to have ‘planted a tree’ was 20 years ago, the next best time to start is now.
Each little thing we do can and will help increase our ability to build resilient, regenerative and abundant lives.
Let’s Make It Real -
Here is our February garden to-do list. We hope it helps you in your endeavors
Free Downloadable file attached at the bottom
TO DO LIST
•Apply compost to your gardens
•Water plants deeply if dry
•Sow seeds for beneficial insects in grow house for autumn planting
•Check for potential pest issues
•Prune flowering shrubs after they have finished
•Sow tree and shrub seeds
•Water in evening to reduce evaporation
•Foliar spray plants with water/milk to help protect against sunburn
•Foliar feed the orchard and potager
•Take cuttings of perennials
•Side dress vegetables with compost
•Give fallen fruit to the chickens to help control fruit fly
•Maintain fruit fly plan
Check over orchard for pests and possible disease
WHAT TO PLANT
Amaranth, Beans Climbing, Bush beans, Beetroot, Broccoli, Carrot, Cauliflower
Chives, Cucumber, Endive, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard greens
Onion, Oregano, Parsley, Radish, Silverbeet, Shallots, Sunflowers
Sweet corn, Tomatoes