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Permaculture enthusiasts relish opportunity to share ideas

Over the autumn school holidays a group of Raglan-ites converged with 450+ other permaculture enthusiasts in Turangi to talk about how to have a high quality of life without it costing the earth.

The 11th Australasian Permaculture Convergence, a community gathering of ecological thinkers, was a learning, sharing and networking experience on everything permaculture featuring 4 days of speakers, workshops and openspace offerings.

What is permaculture? A term first coined in the 1970’s by Australian environmentalists Bill Mollison and David Holmgren for a conscious design approach that models itself on natural ecosystems, which has since then grown into a popular worldwide movement for empowering practical localised solutions to global issues.
Embodying a philosophy of earth care, people care and fair share, the culture motivates co-operation and positivity for successful living. It is most well known for its productive organic food growing systems but encompasses everything from resource/waste management, community development, architecture and town planning to economic systems and land access strategies.

Permaculture offers communities, businesses and local authorities a means of engaging positively and realistically with the challenges of the 21st century – the end of cheap oil, the effects of climate change and the loss of community culture and resilience.

Asking what drew her to the convergence, attendee Emily Stanford-May said “ I wanted to hear what current leading thinkers had to say about ‘where we are at’, what is possible and how it can be done. People have been working hard to help steer the human collective onto a regenerative path and I wanted to be filled with hope and motivation. The convergence really did give me this. I find it really exciting to engage with the process of shifting away from current unecological living. Permaculture has embodied the deep inner desires of humans to reconnect with the earth and all living beings in a meaningful way”.

Here in Raglan we have a trailblazing permaculture community, with well-established food producers, home gardeners, business and community initiatives, like Trash Footwear, Oram Park Food Forest and TimeBanking. There have been several Permaculture Design Certificate courses held here over the years and currently Solscape offers P.D.Cs in Spring and Autumn. We have also hosted national Permaculture in New Zealand (PiNZ) Hui’s.

Many local ‘permies’ believe that the Raglan community could experience significant positive outcomes if the design approach was embraced more widely by residents and council decision makers.

This Sunday, May 6th, Raglan is celebrating International Permaculture Day with local activities for everyone interested in learning more and connecting.

9.30am – 11.30am: There will be a tour of Liz Stanway and Rick Thorpe’s land, where they grow all that divine basil which goes into making their famous market pesto.

5pm: Solscape is hosting a Shared Potluck dinner and documentary film screening.
All are Welcome. Bookings essential. Contact Solscape on 8258268 or Koha will be appreciated.

Emily Sandford-May

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