Available courses

Intro Permaculture

Intro Permaculture

This Course introduces you to the ethics, design theory (Natural Sy...

Vital Elements

Vital Elements

Understanding Forests, Water, Soils, Buildings, Aquaculture, Maricu...

Design Skills

Design Skills

This is the final module of the full Traditional Permacultuer Desig...

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Latest Post - Post-Pandemic Paradise Needs Resilience

by April Sampson-kelly -


Many of us are dreaming of a post-pandemic paradise. Now is a good time to reflect and act. Now is the call to build our resilience.

We sit in isolation with an air of uncertainty, wringing our hands after washing them often. The call of nature is muffled with indecision. There is smoke in the air again and seawater rises further. The environment quietly suffers in her sickly crisis.

We mourn the last era and wonder what a new normal will be. Although it is a good time to practice mindfulness, it is also an opportunity to picture a better future.

A great way to ‘live in the now’ is to work on our observation skills. But, when you’re done with being in the now, become one of those who actively created the new era. Start building resilience by developing practical skills and system thinking.

Permaculture prepping is all about providing options, flexibility and skills to respond and adapt. Skills, know-how, healthy minds and strong relationships along a good dose of optimism keeps people healthy. Both Now, and in the future.

Linda Woodrow is famous for her how-to books on growing food and her invention of the chicken dome. But, recently she explored the future living with the effects of the climate crisis, beyond pandemics and the destruction of ‘life as normal’. The novel is engaging and the characters loving. There is much to learn along the futuristic journey.

Look Forward, Step Back and Plan

Permaculture envisions the future of the whole community, not just an individual space. By asking “what does success look like?” The Permaculture design has a clear goal and adapts to changes as it works to meet the goal.

In a similar way, Transition engineers apply the science of climate change to envisage a variety of future scenarios, then they step back and work out ways to get to best future.

Building resilience starts within individuals and then radiates throughout a community through healthy networks. Indivudals become empowered, skilled and supportive. The first step is questioning and checking – Is our existence threatened? Is this how I want to live? Sparked by awareness, we build skills and confidence. Eventually, we develop experience that supports others.

Systems Thinking – Learning From Nature

A vital part of Permaculture is systems thinking. Systems thinking is essential for understanding the complex, interrelated crises now unfolding and what they mean for our similarly complex communities.


A community that adapts to builds resilience. Beyond the circular plan-do-check-act, Permaculture response has the power to spiral. It can grow into something bigger. Fuelled by living systems, our efforts can support a revolution. The Permaculture Design process cycles then spirals. First, we Check what we have. Then we Yearn for something better. Next we Create a design. Then, Learn how to implement the plan. Then the plan can Evolve.


Todays challenges are global and complex. Adaptation is only part of a healthy response. The adaption needs to be transformative and sustainable.

Chef Florence builds her rocket stove Fagao. She can boil six big pots with only twigs and fallen branches.

Permaculture seeks a sustainable culture. Transformed cultural practices allow a new normal to evolve. In the same way that hygiene practices were developed, cultural habits need to become sustainable. Simple practices then become accepted as the new normal. Enduring, simple practices include composting, growing food, harvesting rain-water. More highly-skilled practices include the art of conflict resolution.

Dream of a better future. Step back to see what is working and what is not. But best of all, get skilled to be a valuable part of the next era.

Another Cracker! Video Interview with Permaculture Leader Linda Woodrow

by April Sampson-kelly -

Here's our new video with Permaculture Leader Linda Woodrow

It is a great addition to the ethics chapter.


Enjoy :>

Preview of upcoming post connected to our recent video with Prf Stuart Hill

by April Sampson-kelly -

Inner Landscape - On Being Totally Grapefruit


Permaculture Your Inner Landscape

Spontaneity Nurtures Inner Worlds

Professor Stuart Hill, ecologist, social-ecologist, and transformative leader challenges us all to explore and refine our inner landscape. Stuart reminds us of our formative years. At first, we live with open eyes and a passion to live from the ‘inside-out’. But with cultural conditioning, we live from the ‘outside-in’. He challenges us to regain our spontaneity, curiosity, and honesty. We become ourselves and get comfortable with being different. This healthy diversity enriches us, our relationships, and the world.

Drawing of a young bearded Banana gazing at his own navel, wondering "who am I".

We start life with spontaneity, and our curiosity enables us to appreciate context and environment. And so, we begin to conform. Bit by bit, we learn to live from the outside-in. Over time, our inner child learns to please other people and conform to society.

Tom, a wide-eyed boy, paints his face with mulberry juice

This conditioning, however, prevents our awareness. And it blocks our ability to be ‘present in the moment’, and gives away our power. Ultimately, we risk accepting compromises to our ethics and values. ‘Most people will be in denial of this’. states Stuart.

When we recover our spontaneity and curiousity, we are freed.

Painting of big moon floating over clouds and rolling hills with a curly ladder and spiral slide. Two ladies floating in front of the moon with a teapot, tea cups, a bouquet of flowers, wisps of scented clouds of tea, blue birds and falling petals

Becoming Different Enriches the World

Children around the world are conditioned. They learn to conform. In earnest, the adults aim to keep them safe and well, and help them develop skills. But, it is damaging to their inner landscape. Slowly, the child’s inner landscape becomes patterned. Eventually, their responses become habitual. The child begins to seek to please the teacher rather than seek the truth.

However, by staying curious, we develop skills that align with our passions. Openness allows us to be different. And it is these differences that create a wondrous tapestry of cultures and people.

Understanding and utilising the differences in people helps us to create better teamwork and better designs. Teamwork and a diversity of approaches and ideas enrich permaculture design, teaching, and practice.

Collaboration brings people together, shares the workload and opens possibilities.

Power of Collaboration

Stuart urges the Permaculture designers to collaborate more. Designers, clients, and members of the community need to work together for a design to be effective and valued. He encourages us to find out what is close to the client’s heart. Kindling the client’s passion, the permaculture design starts to evolve. With joy, the users engage and build competence.

Focus On The Exceptional

Stuart also explores the idea of systems thinking. He notes that anything that is happening in one place in the world is also happening all over. You will find 20% nasty, evil stuff, 10% really good stuff and the rest is compensatory. He challenges Permaculture to focus on the 10% really good stuff in order to keep thriving. All of us have to be awake, attentive, thinking, reflective, and avoid being judgemental. Don’t let the errors of Guru’s turn you away from their gems of insights.

Why Not Worship Gurus

Furthermore, when we searching for the top 10% of leaders, we may inadvertently create them into gurus. But the problem (according to Stuart Hill), with worshiping ‘gurus’ is that people try to imitate the high level of competence of the guru. Instead, what we really need is to uncover the learning journey taken by the guru. Then, we might discover how they focused on their own 10%. Best of all, we may learn how they resisted compromising their values.

Learning about the stages of development of great thinkers, through listening to their background stories, leads us to develop our own story. Nurturing our curiosity, we discover what is interesting to us. We find our own ‘exceptional’.

Work to your own agenda

About Stuart B. Hill

Professor Stuart B. Hill is Foundation Chair of Social Ecology at the University of Western Sydney. At UWS he taught units on Qualitative Research Methodology, Social Ecology Research, Transformative Learning, Leadership and Change, and Sustainability, Leadership and Change (he retired in 2009 and is now an Emeritus Professor in their School of Education).

Keywords for Permaculture Internet Searching

by April Sampson-kelly -

Some students have asked about what keywords are good to help them in general internet searches for Permaculture related topics. 

Keywords for internet searches on topics related to Permaculture

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