• APC 10 Australasian Permaculture Conference- initial report

    APC 10, Australasian Permaculture Conference Sept 2010
    (or the Darren J Dougherty show)

    Following the APC9 in Sydney 2-3 years ago when my thoughts were that the permaculture movement and in particular the business minded individuals had come of age, the one I said to watch was Darren Dougherty, this thought has been realized.

    Darren has formed a partnership with 3 other young Permie businesses to create the new RegenAg.com,    this is a non profit collective that virtually dominated this conference bringing Daryl Hannah and many other speakers with them.

    Permaculture needs this type of leadership to bring it into the Aussie farm scene, farmers desperately need more tools to assist in the coming climate change enviroment and this assistance needs to be clean ( no sales pitch for farm inputs, as it has been here since WWII) by making these workshops “FarmReady” they are free to eligible farmers.

    Streams on offer related to the current shift in the Permaculture movement over the last 2 years with

    Transition towns & Urban PC (being very hot topics in communities lately),

    Education / Accredited Permaculture Training (APT)

    and the Soil related topics mostly ran by RegenAg.

    One session showed the introduction of a facebook style site set up for PDC holders, this has been developed and released by PRI- Geoff Lawton, it will create a space for Permies to communicate, promote their wares and courses.
    While its accessible to the public as a guest, to register you must have completed a PDC.

    Technology helped bring the world to APC10 by SKYPE with a lively talk one evening from Gunther Pauli, head of the ZERO emission research in Eastern Europe who gave a presentation on “The Blue Economy” his new book, this showed some of the 100 amazing business ideas that will be available on a website – www.zeri.org. One of the ideas shown was using coffee waste to grow Shitake mushrooms ( just the same as what CERES is doing right now) Gunter says “if all coffee waste in the world was used then it could create 50million jobs with 16million tons of food produced”

    On Sat & Sun we had a visit from Bill Mollison now in his eighties he looked much better than when in Sydney last time and was in high spirits spending most of the weekend on a ring of straw bales talking to anyone who wished to sit in. His speech was so different to every other time I have seen him, he started by praising Ro Morrow and many others (normally by 5 minutes in he has upset or stirred up more precisely 90%+ of the audience) he also thanked all Permies who he said are doing a great job. In my opinion it was such a pleasure to see this side of Bill and a fitting way to address maybe his final APC.

    Once again thanks to SKYPE on the final night we had one of the best addresses I have seen from David Holmgren who used his 12 principles to describe the actions we could take as Permie activists, it was beautifully constructed and I hope we can get a recording off the APC 10 organizers to use at a later date.

    Next conference APC 11 will be autumn 2012 in the Nth Island of New Zealand.