Thursday, July 3, 2008

First permaculture groups

Yesterday a group of students from Crystal Waters visited our gardens to take a look through our food production systems and to talk Transition Towns.

They have been at CW for 4 months as part of a residential eco-village course with Max Lindegger.

It was great to catch up with Max and to talk about permaculture and how it has developed over since the 70's.

In 1976 an article was published in a Tasmanian organic gardening and farming magazine which included an interview with Bill Mollison about this new idea "permaculture".

It was probably the very first mention of the concept, this is two years before Permaculture One was published.

Max was in Queensland at the time and contact Bill to invite him up here to do a talk. Max then started Permaculture Nambour - which is most likely the first ever permaculture group.

Max placed an ad in the local paper and held meetings in his home. Geoff Lawton was there (he went on to start Permaculture Noosa which is still going strong - and Geoff continues to promote the formation of pc groups around the world). The idea was to have a permaculture group in every council shire.

The Sunshine Coast has Permaculture Noosa, Permaculture Maroochy and I believe there used to be a Permaculture Caloundra. These reflected the three coast councils - they have now amalgamated into the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, so it's time to look at the formation of Permaculture Sunshine Coast too.

But back to Permaculture Nambour - Nambour is the nearest 'big' town to where I live and I'm planning on relaunching it this spring (sounds like a fashion collection doesn't it?).

Whether its Permaculture Nambour or Transition Town Nambour, I don't know yet. There are a group of people who are interested in being part of it.

It doesn't reflect the council boundaries, but Nambour is set to become somewhat of a sustainability hub in the future, so permaculture certainly has a place there.

I heading up to Crystal Waters in the next week or so to take a look around (haven't been there for a while) and to talk more about permaculture with Max and his group of international students.

It will be interesting to see how this new manifestation of permaculture - in the form of energy descent action planning and transition towns - will unfold for all our futures.

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