Category Archives: Permaculture

The ideas and practices of Permaculture are one foundation of climate action. Permanent agriculture both needs and supports a stable climate.

Community gardens: old skills for a new world

Southern Highlands News, 29 May 2013, Author, Jill Cockram. More articles from the CANWin column.

Upgrading the shade house at Moss Vale Community GardenThink Eat Save That’s the theme for this year’s World Environment Day, next Wednesday 5th June.

It sounds good, but where can you learn how to make it work?

One place is at a community garden. It can give you experience with skills that Nannas and Grandpops learnt as a matter of course, and work out how to combine them with new information and technologies for a better life in the digital age.

The Highlands now has two community gardens, at Moss Vale and Bundanoon. They can be great demonstration sites for:

  • Eating with the seasons for fresher food and to reduce imports
  • Knowing what will grow locally
  • Growing lots of organic food in our own backyards and town green spaces
  • Understanding the cycles of life (saving seed for next season’s crops)
  • Learning how to build structures using renewable materials (strawbale, mudbrick)
  • Strategies to lower your environmental footprint – solar energy, recycling, sustainable transport, chemical-free food production, preserving the harvest

Community gardeners are developing ways to cope well with disruptions to familiar food growing cycles. Plants thrive within their own range of temperatures, as we find out when we try to grow things outside their comfort zone – mangoes in the Highlands?? As our climatic zones change, the staple foods that farmers can grow are also changing. More catastrophic weather events could also cause food shortages. Remember the banana shortage a few years ago?

And at a community garden you can re-learn something extra that Nanna knew: a job like bottling a tree’s worth of apples is fun and efficient with a group of friends, but hard yakka if you’re beavering away for hours alone at home.

The Highlands has two community gardens, at Railway Street, Moss Vale ( and Ellsmore Street, Bundanoon ( Check the websites for opening times, or come and meet people at next week’s events.

Environment week events

Tuesday June 4: CANWin Speaker Night with climatologist Dr Blair Trewin from the Bureau of Meteorology. 7pm at the Council Civic Centre Theatrette in Moss Vale.

Wednesday June 5: Moss Vale Community Garden workshops worm farming. 1.30pm at the Garden

Friday June 7: Open Garden at the Quarter Acre Farm, 18 Hood St, Mittagong

Sunday June 9: Bundanoon Community Garden presents the premiere of “Symphony of Soils”. 3pm at the Council Civic Centre Theatrette.

2013 WED Logo

Recommended: Eco-topia 2012 this week

From Transition Shire Wingecarribee comes a special recommendation for Eco-topia, the 5th National School & Community Garden Gathering, which opens on Wednesday evening 10 October and runs till Sunday 14 October (Click for bookings).

Special guest speaker is Roberto Perez, from Havana, Cuba, who appeared in the popular film, The Power of Community. Other speakers include Costa Georgiadis, host of Gardening Australia on the ABC, and John Brisbin leading a session called Singing Up the Australian Community Gardens Month — sounds entertaining.

Southern Highlanders might particularly like Thursday’s session about the Bundanoon Community Garden. Continue reading

CANWin AGM and Film Afternoon 4 March

Sunday 4 March 2012, 1.30 – 5pm
Board Room, BDCU, 411 Bong Bong Street, Bowral.


1.30pm Registration opens
2.00pm Meeting starts
2.45pm Meeting ends; Light refreshments available
3.00pm Film and discussion.

Film: Design for Life: Permaculture — The Food Forest Story

This quietly inspiring film shows how Graham and Annemarie Brookman built their dream, transforming a bare paddock near Adelaide into a bountiful food forest, using renewable energy, appropriate technology and sustainable farming and living practices. They show that an ordinary family can grow its own food and create a productive and diverse landscape. The Food Forest is not just about sustainable gardening and farming. Energy wise projects at the farm include straw bale buildings, passive solar housing, solar hot water, and solar panels for electricity.

After the film there will be an opportunity to talk about it with a panel of experienced permaculture enthusiasts, including local identity Jill Cockram.

Film cost: Free to CANWin Members. Visitors welcome: $8

Cob Oven Workshop



Saturdays 2nd and 9th October, 2010:  9.00am till 4.00pm

Would you like to be involved with the ancient art of cob construction AND gain cooking skills and strategies using a cob oven?

Thinking of creating a pizza oven at home?

Manuel Alves, an experienced cob oven builder and chef, will be taking us through the process of building a cob pizza oven using as many recycled materials as possible (sourced mainly from the Moss Vale Resource Recovery Centre).  The workshop will run over a series of Saturdays in early October and November.

This will be a FUN, hands-on experience, so please wear your working gear and boots.

Cost: $50 for the WHOLE experience over 4-5 Saturdays in total        OR ….

$20 for just one day.   (Both options inclusive of morning tea and sausage sizzle lunch)


Venue: MV Community Garden – Railway Street, Moss Vale (by the tennis courts)

Numbers strictly limited to 8 people/session so please book before 31st September.

To book:  Email Jill on

Or  phone Sandra at Anglicare on 4868 1780

Sponsored by the New south Wales Environmental Education Trust

Permablitz in Mittagong

Permablitz – Phillips place – Sunday 5th September 2010.
A weekend of carbon cycling alchemy.
On Saturday and Sunday I will be harvesting separating vermicompost.
sieving and building up a high quality container potting mix
for the integrated vermiponic system – tomatoes beans this year,water chestnuts for next year.
I Have a TLUD to cook lunch on (BBQ), bring some food to share.
WE will cover on the day vermiponics, potting soils, composting, biochar, nutrient processing.
I will be home all weekend, please drop in.
Sunday 9:00 till whatever
Saturday by appointment.
email email hidden; JavaScript is required for details


Spring is springing and frozen puddles are a thing of the past. Now is the time to get active in the garden.

If you’re stumped, you can get out to the Moss Vale Community Garden Monday and Friday mornings to help out and get some tips.

Aussie Organic Gardening is a great website, maintained by a very wise woman.

Aussies Living Simply is an online forum with 6600 members. There you’ll find lots of advice and answers to any questions you may have.

Of course, the local libraries have a fabulous range of books to help you get started.

Whatever you grow and however experienced you are, there is nothing like sitting down to a meal from your own garden. It also entitles you to announce it at every such meal. Enjoy it.

BWF Chook Care workshop

Part of the fantastic Bundanoon Winterfest program and back by popular demand, Derek Davies is holding his workshop on the care of chooks. In this two hour workshop he covers many aspects of chook care including breed suitability, feeding, coops, maintenance etc. Numbers strictly limited and booking is essential. Phone Derek on P. 4883 6408. Held at 21 Bindar Cr Bundanoon. Free

Check the website for other events

Propagation Workshop

Propagating new plants from old 24th JULY 10am to 2pm

Sponsored by the NSW Environmental Education Trust

Developing your backyard food garden doesn’t have to be expensive.
This interactive workshop will cover propagation techniques such as:

– seed-raising of vegetable and fruit varieties
– division of herbs and rhubarb crowns
– layering techniques
– vegetative cuttings to produce new fruit trees
– grafting fruit trees for quality fruit

The aim of the workshop is to de-mystify techniques that can be practiced in the backyard by the average person to produce inexpensive perennial food crops. Come along, get your hands dirty and take home some samples of your handiwork.

Cost: $10.00 (includes lunch and refreshments
To book or for further details, email Jill through the Moss Vale Community Garden website.
Bookings close 21st July, 2010