Diane Greenwood

Thinking about…

Permaculture Weekend Away

So, last week end was the relax, retreat and restore. To be honest I feel drained, but not tired and I think that is because I just have so so so much inspiration from the weekend. On a personal level I think that it was a good place for me to start talking about my experience as I have not really been in a place to share some of these thoughts yet.

On reflection one of the biggest bonus’ of the weekend is that I feel that I am going to be able to write more and link more to my story and my teachings. There were many questions that I too did not know and that I will be aiming to get back to everyone with some more direction and answers. One of the most challenging questions for me was: “If our faith is calling us to care for people and live with ethics, fair trade and care for the earth, how can we too live in solidarity with the poor?” Given that ethical and fair trade means are a more expensive option, how does this make us view our choices and options. This question I will explore more as I develop a deeper understanding of the connection of Permaculture and my Christianity.

Friday night we could class as relaxing as we were running a little late and we just ended up sharing a bit about the principles of Permaculture and what it was.

Saturday morning was a nice sleep-in and then shared breakfast of fresh bread and cereal together. We sat around and delved into a very brief session around ethics and fair trade. Particular interest was around the carrying capacity of the earth and the 100 mile food diet.

Working out the carrying capacity of 160km’s around Melbourne for the population of melbourne. I will post on this separately.

Carrying Capacity I = P * A * T

After this discussion we made a few things for our house and our garden. We chose a common all purpose cleaner and also a soap spray for the garden.

Ken and Hannah making all purpose household cleaner

Maria grating the soap for the garden spray

Paul making all purpose household cleaner

Rose stirring the boiling soap

Saturday afternoon was all about relaxing and restoring, we had people sewing, cross stiching, reading, playing games, some went for a walk during the on and off rain, and there was of course a lot of chatter as well.

In the evening, more people arrived and we made a great dinner (great apple crumble!). After dinner there was many a discussion and then a video (The Corporation). Afterwards more chatter and discussion.

Eating wonderful dinner together

Sunday morning started much the same. Great breakfast together, then we packed the house and made our way to Hearonswood Edible Garden. Before we left we spoke a little about peak states of the earth and Bill Mollison and David Holgrens view of the earths peak oil problems. We spoke about care for the earth and how we can live a better for the earth that was loaned to us. 

The Vegetable Parterre – Inspired by the medieval potager gardens, it is an ornamental and a productive garden 

The Mini Plot – Shows how to grow a years supply of vegetables in just 20m2 for two people using the Diggers seeds.

Crazy Pink Echnechea

Sunday lunch we gathered with some great fish and chips on the Dromana Beach front and ate together. Ethical choices of course! Download your free pocket fish guide here.

Sunday afternoon most of us headed back to Glen Waverley, but a few of us ventured onto Michele and Andy’s place where they had the most scrumptious apple and rhubarb tea cake. Yum! Then we visited their big swail and also they spoke about their tea composting system they are using. I am excited to try this out.

After that we headed home to see our little dog. We then headed onto Church for the evening. What a great weekend. Thanks to everyone who came, and asked questions and just had a good time. 

If anyone is up for some more reading this blog seems to post some great words and advice. With lots and lots of links.

Some more post to come about:

  • All purpose household cleaner and garden soap spray
  • Carrying Capacity of Melbourne as we worked out
  • Ethics of living in solidarity with the poor while still living ethically … ??
  • 100 Mile Food Trail Diet – we are going to give it a try in September
  • Apple Pollination
  • The Corporation Discussion Questions
  • Care for the Earth
  • Care for People 
  • Fair Trade and Ethics
  • The Diggers Club and Mini Plot

If there are more questions that people want answered please feel free to contact me and I will add them to my list. 

Hope you enjoy reading.


  • Reply Kim |

    Ooooooh – what a fun time! I’d like to do something like that here. I’m looking forward to reading more about the mini plot. I’m trying my hand at gardening for the very first time this year :)

  • Reply Diane Greenwood |

    Thanks Kim, I will email make the first post about the Diggers and Miniplot then. There are so many places that have concepts like this, but this one is local to our needs here in our location. But there are things that can be adapted I am sure.
    I am sure that with your bees your planting this year will go great.

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