Month March 2015

Turning No-Dig Gardening On Its Head

Low maintenance, low water needs, abundant, resilient: we all want to describe our vegetable gardens like this. I have been preparing no-dig gardens in many different environments for two decades and my no-dig method saves time, replenishes soil and is very productive.


Issue three, here we are. Pip Magazine is now into its second year of publishing and it is growing strong. What began as a crazy, out-there idea is now well and truly a happening thing. As they say, it takes a community to raise a child, well it takes a community, a permaculture community, to raise a Pip Magazine. Yes, there are few key people that pull it together and make it happen but it is the whole permaculture community that support it and help it grow.

Dr Vandana Shiva: Author, Activist, Pioneer, Mother

I see the greatest problem as blindness to the life of the planet; therefore, irresponsible destruction of the planet in every seed, whether it be for food or energy. Food is being produced through a system that is devastating the planet. In fact, what is being produced is not food, it’s not worthy of eating. It’s destroying our health and the health of the planet. Look at energy: why are we relying on coal, when we know there are more efficient alternatives that the earth provides, that won’t harm the planet and don’t violate people’s right in the abusive way that coal does.

The Many Roles For Fungi In Permaculture

Over 90% of plant species have mycorrhizal relationships with fungi, via their roots. Such relationships tend to be symbiotic, to sustain the relationship: fungi obtain sugars and shelter, and help the plants to obtain minerals, nutrients and water. The mycelia are very fine and spread well beyond the root zone, sometimes several hundred metres, increasing plant access to available nutrients. A few mycorrhizal relationships are parasitic.


Permafund is the ‘Permaculture International Public Fund’, for tax deductible gifts (donations), run by Permaculture International Limited trading as Permaculture Australia.

Book Reviews

Claire Dunn, a burnt-out forest campaigner with an ever-growing to-do list, is in danger of becoming a ‘pale-faced greenocrat’ – all media savvy and no soul. To reconnect with nature, she signs up for a year-long wilderness survival program, where she learns to build a shelter, gather bush tucker, trap animals, tan hides and – hence the book’s title – make fire without matches.

Permablitz The Gong

‘Permablitz the Gong’ began as a conversation between three Wollongong women – Jacqui Besgrove, Sheryl Wiffen and Kristy Newton – in 2011 after Jacqui and Kristy completed their Permaculture Design Course (PDC). The women wanted to do something about food and sustainability at a community level, and got together with Rebecca Mayhew soon after; hosting their first permablitz on International Permaculture Day in May 2012.

Constructing Swales

When it comes to growing anything, it’s all about water. You want to catch every drop of it. Moisture in the soil builds organic matter and fertility, which equals naturally healthy plants. Regardless of what you intend to grow, shaping your landscape to harvest the water is step one.

Fraser Bayley: Market Gardener

I am developing a small farming business, with my partner Kirsti, which grows good food for our community. We aim to do that in an environmentally, socially and financially sustainable way. My personal aim is to regenerate this twenty-six hectare property into a farm that will be multigenerational in its viability. Whether I can achieve that or not remains to be seen, but I’m going to give it a good crack.

Emmanuel Bakenga: Refugee and Employee

I have been in Australia for two years. I left the refugee camp in Uganda because it was very crowded, there was a lot of sickness because of poor sanitation; sometimes people had to share beds and drips in hospital because of the lack of medical provision.