Permaculture pioneer Robyn Francis runs the Djanbung Gardens at Australia’s first eco-development
Certificate IV by Flexible Learning
The new revised Certificate IV in Permaculture is now available through flexible learning.
Flexible Learning combines short course training, mentored distance and self-directed learning and project work to complete the Cert IV in Permaculture. First participants need to complete the foundation training of the standard 72hr Permaculture Design Course (PDC) and Advanced Design Skills/FLOW courses offered in our Summer and Winter School programs. Those who have already completed a PDC simply need to do the Advanced Design Skills/FLOW to get started.
Summer School: PDC Jan 10-23 ADS/FLOW Jan 25-28
Winter School: PDC July 3-16, ADS+FLOW 19-22
Source: Djangbung Gardens
Supplication to Gaia
Source: Robyn Francis
Permaculture guru leads the way
Robyn Francis has a MySpace website under the name ‘Permaculture Guru’. And she is.
The Nimbin resident has been the editor of the Permaculture International Journal, a founding director of Permaculture International Ltd and a permaculture teacher and designer all over the world.
For those who came in late… permaculture is essentially a system of designing sustainable land management systems that work with the earth’s natural cycles. It takes a holistic approach to the design and development of human settlements, taking into account food production, structures, technologies, energy, natural resources, landscape, animal and plant systems as well as social and economic structures. It literally means “permanent agriculture” and the term was first coined by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the mid 1970s.
When The Echo visited Robyn at Djanbung Gardens, the permaculture training centre she has been running since 1994, there were signs on the wall with messages like ‘look for low energy solutions – let the ladybirds eat the bugs in your garden’.
The five-and-a-half acre training centre is next door to Jarlanbah, an eco-village with 43 residential lots that Robyn designed in the early 90s.
“I’d been living up here for about five years looking for my perfect patch to set up a permaculture training centre and this fitted the bill perfectly,” she said.
For Robyn, a sustainable lifestyle wasn’t a choice she made later in life, it was something she grew up with.
“My folks were very resourceful people. They grew up during the Depression on dairy farms here on the North Coast… We had a standard quarter-acre backyard (in Inverell) but it was full of vegie gardens and fruit trees and chickens and ducks and a few hives of bees and a milking goat that we used to tether to mow the neighbours’ lawns. Before we got town water we had a 2000-gallon tank we had to survive on. Water was seriously rationed; half a cup for brushing your teeth. So having a high degree of self reliance was something I grew up with and thought was normal,” she said. “When I finished schooling I spent a few years in Sydney and then went travelling, and that was my real education. What I found particularly fascinating was village culture and the different ways people farmed… I lived for three-and-a-half years in Bavaria not far from Munich. The last of the old traditional farmers were still there farming in their old ways with the rotational crops. The only change was that horses had been replaced with tractors. The only thing they were importing onto their farms was the diesel for their tractors. Their animals provided all the nutrients for the crops.”
Source: Northern Rivers Echo