STEVE BURNS: Permaculture design direct from Down Under!

STEVE BURNS: Permaculture design direct from Down Under!

STEVE BURNS: Permaculture design direct from Down Under!
Sunday, May 18 at THE SHED
$25 per class or $40 for both
1355 Lincoln Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103

Power up your community group! 12-3pm
Do you want both a clear strategy for increasing the effectiveness of your group, plus specific strategies you can apply immediately?  We’ll use one case study to show how to apply the permaculture design principles to community groups, and the lessons apply to all groups!  This session will be highly interactive, so please come along with your own questions and examples.  Grab some inspiration, plus practical ideas for your group and tips on how to avoid common problems.

Steve Burns began Ballarat Permaculture Guild (BPG) in 2008.  It now has over 170 financial members and 600 on its FaceBook group.  BPG runs Permaculture Design Courses, Introductory weekends, monthly practical skill workshops, permablitzes (single day working bees where 20-50 people establish permaculture gardens at private homes) and many social events, including pot luck dinners, produce swaps and “Permies at the Pub” (once a month drinks at a local bar).  They also bulk-buy tools, food and supplies (e.g. apple root stock for grafting days).  Apart from one grant in 2011, growth has otherwise been entirely on self-funding and volunteer input.  

Steve has been involved with many other community groups and seen them rise and fall: what makes the difference?  Why does one group continue to thrive while another has a burst of activity then fades?  He will talk about governance structures, social connection, stages of group growth, avoiding & handling conflict and managing the different personalities that always show up in community groups.

Sustainable Children’s Gardens 4-6pm
Are you a parent, teacher or someone involved with kids and gardens?  This session has a particular emphasis on strategies for schools and kindergardens, but all of the suggestions apply equally well at home.   Steve will introduce teachers, parents and school gardeners to four diverse strategies for increasing the sustainability of school vegetable gardens. The topics introduced are:

  • Permaculture design principles. Using a design approach that is inherently more sustainable because it follows natural principles observable in the wild.
  • Wicking beds. Create reservoirs within raised garden beds to save water and solve the dilemma of summer watering when schools are closed. 
  • Natural Playscapes (Rusty Keeler). Increase sustainability by making the garden a place children want to be in.  Rusty’s fantastic original ideas are expanded to include edible components.
  • Creative use of perennial plants. Get more bang for your buck.  Annual plants are less resilient than perennials, and unsuitable for some functions within the garden.  Perennial plants give different yields, create permanent structure for the garden, assist with integrated pest management and reduce the high labor needed for annual planting and harvesting.

Steve Burns practices permaculture on Chestnut Farm, an 8 acre property in Victoria, Australia. Burns has collaborated and co-delivered with trainers including David Holmgren and Dave Jacke, delivering PDC sessions, introductory workshops and specific skills workshops.  He is founder & convenor of a very active local group: Ballarat Permaculture Guild. He’s particularly excited about heirloom fruit trees, espalier, potager gardens, alternative building and community building strategies.  Steve practices what he preaches by growing a lot of his own food, producing grafted fruit trees for sale, designing permaculture and forest gardens and working as a permaculture trainer.  He spends most of his time on his farm, where he hosts WWOOFers and interns from across the world.


Event Time: 
05/18/2014 - 12:00pm