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September Newsletter


Spring is such a celebration and promise of abundance!  In my sunny, warm garden I'm delighted by the gentle hum of insects, baby birds chirping in tangled nests, the heady scent of fruit tree blossoms and the fresh green growth that affirms the gentle nurturing during the colder winter months. 

I'm inspired by the adaptability of our members as we respond to the many unexpected surprises of 2020.    It's a time of increased interest in gardening and growing food in our own backyards, sustained by the generous sharing of skills, information, resources and produce as we stay interconnected and learning together.   Thank you for the contributions you each make in growing our individual and collective resilience.


Don't forget to visit our website at www.permaculturetoowoomba.com.au to see all our upcoming events and lots of useful information.  Highlights include the regular book reviews by Janine Banks, plus recipes, plant profiles, Permaculture Ethics, Principles and practical applications, and more.  Definitely worth a read!

If you have anything you'd like to share in our newsletters or on our Website, we welcome all contributions!

With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions we re-commenced face-to-face events in August and September (with appropriate physical distancing and sanitising).  Thank you to Jenni Pemberton for presenting our Fermenting Connect and Learn on Monday evening 31 August, and to Kushla Gale for welcoming us for our Garden Insights visit on Sunday afternoon 6 September.

Please see details below of events in the next few weeks (scroll down for full details).
  • Connect and Learn - Monday evening 28 September - Keeping Quail presented by Adam Gould
  • Garden Insights - Sunday 4 October - Debbie and Brodie's Garden-Farm (3 groups of 10 people at 11.00am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm)
  • Connect and Learn - Monday 26 October - Grow your own Aromatic Apothecary Garden presented by Debbie Bassingthwaighte
Date Claimers
  • Garden Insights - Sunday 1 November
  • Connect and Learn - Monday evening 30 November
  • End of Year Celebration - Sunday afternoon 6 December
Bookings via Eventbrite are essential for all events so that we know who is attending and can ensure number limits required for COVID-safe guidelines.
 
Debbie Bassingthwaighte (President)
 

David Holmgren's Permaculture Design Principles

3. Obtain a Yield

"Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.  The icon of this design principle, a vegetable with a bite out of it, shows us that there is an element of competition in obtaining a yield.  The associated proverb you can’t work on an empty stomach reminds us that we must get immediate rewards to sustain us."

https://permacultureprinciples.com/principles/_3/

Survey - Please Share Your Ideas

We’re very keen to support everyone in our community who is interested in Permaculture, so we’d like to know a little about how we can best do this and the topics and events of particular relevance or interest to you.

Thank you for sparing a few minutes to share your thoughts and ideas.  This survey is anonymous unless you choose to provide your name and details, and your responses are very important to us.   It will only take a couple of minutes.

Thank you!   Complete Survey Here

Events - What's Planned?

We hope you can join us for these upcoming events.
 

Connect and Learn + Share Table

Monday evening 28 September

Face-to-face Event
at Mercy Community Lucia Room, 104 South Street, Toowoomba


Keeping Quail presented by Adam Gould
6.30pm to 8.30pm (doors open at 6.30pm and Adam will present from 6.45pm)

Bookings are Essential

To ensure COVID-safe physical distancing can be maintained, there will be a maximum of 24 people able to attend this event.  Please book your place at Eventbrite.

Book Here

We will offer a wait list, so if you book and are then unable to attend, please let us know immediately so we can offer your place to someone else.

6.30 pm - Connect - Doors Open

Please bring your surplus produce, plants, seeds, books, craft supplies, tools etc. to share with others on the Share Table.  Place your donations on the table when you arrive, and then sharing will open at 8.00pm after the LEARN session.  Browse, ask questions and chat together.

6.45 pm - Learn - Keeping Quail presented by Adam Gould

Adam is a hobby farmer and engineer at a local government.  His passions involve many peculiar interests that include breeding quail and poultry. 
 
Adam has been breeding quails for about 3-4 years and has focused on a dual-purpose variety which produces loads of eggs and a good yield of meat.  The emphasis has been about producing a good quality living environment and generally spoiling them with lots of insects and leafy greens.
 
We’ll learn about the life of a quail, raising quail, Adam’s learnings and just how remarkable the quail is.
 
Bonus Material: For those interested in producing their own protein, Adam will also provide information on a particular variety of heritage chicken that are a great addition to the flock.

8.00 pm - Connect - Light Supper and Share Table

A light supper will be served (with Gluten Free and Vegan options).  Sharing of produce opens at 8.00pm to allow plenty of time for everyone to place their donations on the Share Table, and then give you the opportunity to browse, connect and make your selections during supper.

Cost

  • Financial Members of Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. - Free
  • First-time Visitors to a Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. Event - Free
  • Non-Members - $10 per person

Book Here

See the event for full details.  Website or Facebook

Share Table

Do you have surplus?  We’ll set up a share table at all events - Connect and Learn evenings and Garden Insights Visits.

We encourage you to bring your surplus produce, plants, seeds, books, craft supplies and resources to share with others.

Some ideas of what you could bring include – fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, honey, milk, jams, pickles, preserves, jars, ferments, starters, SCOBYs, seeds, plants, seedlings, cuttings, tubers, pots, tools, gardening magazines, permaculture books, recipes, patterns, manure, coffee grounds, compost additives, worms, meal worms, wool, fabric, craft supplies, soap, natural cleaning products, plastic alternatives, produce bags – the list is extensive.

Please bring whatever you can and then take home whatever you need within our culture of generosity and free sharing.


Garden Insights Visit + Share Table

Sunday 4 October

Debbie and Brodie Bassingthwaighte's Garden-Farm

88 Richards Road, Postmans Ridge
 
Due to COVID-19 restrictions on numbers in private homes in the Lockyer Valley, we'll have 3 groups of 10 people for this Garden Insights visit.
Bookings are Essential

To ensure COVID-safe physical distancing can be maintained, there will be a maximum of 10 people in each group.  We will offer a wait list, so if you book and are then unable to attend, please let us know immediately so we can offer your place to someone else.

What We'll Do

We'll start with a welcome and introduction.  Debbie will share her ever-evolving Permaculture Design for their property and will discuss what has been implemented in real life and their many future plans.

You'll be able to see and explore the:
  • kitchen garden
  • holistic fruit orchard
  • Asian plucking garden
  • aromatic apothecary garden
  • wildlife habitat garden
  • native bushfoods garden
  • integrated poultry systems
  • native bee hives
  • black soldier fly farm
  • nursery and propagation area
  • compost tea aerator
  • rocket oven
  • small swales to capture water from the road
  • and more ...
A light morning tea or afternoon tea will be served (with Gluten Free and Vegan options).   We'll also set up a Share Table so please bring your surplus produce, plants, seeds, books, craft supplies, tools etc. to share with others.
 

Cost

  • Financial Members of Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. - Free
  • First-time Visitors to a Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. Event - Free
  • Non-Members - $10 per person
See the event for full details.  Website or Facebook

Connect and Learn + Share Table

Monday evening 26 October

Face-to-face Event
at Mercy Community Lucia Room, 104 South Street, Toowoomba


Grow your own Aromatic Apothecary Garden
presented by Debbie Bassingthwaighte

6.30pm to 8.30pm (doors open at 6.30pm and Debbie will present from 6.45pm)

Bookings are Essential

To ensure COVID-safe physical distancing can be maintained, there will be a maximum of 24 people able to attend this event.  Please book your place at Eventbrite.

Book Here

We will offer a wait list, so if you book and are then unable to attend, please let us know immediately so we can offer your place to someone else.

6.30 pm - Connect - Doors Open

Please bring your surplus produce, plants, seeds, books, craft supplies, tools etc. to share with others on the Share Table.  Place your donations on the table when you arrive, and then sharing will open at 8.00pm after the LEARN session.  Browse, ask questions and chat together.

6.45 pm - Learn - Grow your own Aromatic Apothecary Garden
Presented by Debbie Bassingthwaighte

Are you intrigued by the idea of growing your own aromatic apothecary garden filled with beautiful scents and plants that heal and nurture?  Perhaps you’ve been motivated by the many new challenges of 2020 to see fresh possibilities for your garden to enhance wellbeing.  Would you like to grow a natural first aid kit?  But what plants can you grow and how do you use them?
 
Debbie will tell us about some of her favourite aromatic and healing plants that you can easily grow in your own backyard.  Learn about:

  • Medicinal herbs that grow well in our bioregion (including the well-known aloe vera, calendula, chamomile and lavender, but also a few more unusual plants).
  • Some simple recipes and ideas for using plants to enhance wellbeing (including making teas, infused oils, salves and balms, honeys and syrups, natural remedies, and household products.
  • Ideas for scenting and purifying your home using fresh botanicals (including potpourri, smudge sticks, natural cleaners, insect deterrents, and more).

Cost

  • Financial Members of Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. - Free
  • First-time Visitors to a Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. Event - Free
  • Non-Members - $10 per person
See the event for full details.  Website or Facebook


Productive Plant - Orris Root
by Debbie Bassingthwaighte

Botanical Name:  Iris germanica var. florentina

Common Names:  Orris Root, Florentine Iris, White Iris

Description:  Orris Root is a hardy, rhizomatous perennial with stiff, veined, blue-green, sword-like leaves that grow in a fan shape.  It grows to a height of approximately 50 cm and in a clump up to 40 cm wide.  The large, white, attractive flowers appear in spring and early summer and are tinged with pale lavender with a yellow centre.   Flowers have the typical iris appearance with three drooping petals and three outer sepals.  Apart from the display of flowers, the plant is grown primarily for its bulbous rhizome which is creamy white beneath the wrinkled brown skin.

Orris Root requires full sun and deep, rich, neutral to alkaline, very well-drained soil.  It prefers cooler conditions and doesn’t like to be excessively hot, humid or over-watered during summer.  The plant takes at least 2 to 3 years to mature and rhizomes can be harvested from this stage onwards.  Individual plants will live for 10 years if undisturbed but thrive if divided to prevent over-crowding.

Culinary Uses:  Orris Root is often included as one of the many ingredients of Ras el hanout, a complex and distinctive mix of more than 20 herbs and spices which is associated with Moroccan cuisine.  The roots also provide a bitter flavouring used in liqueurs and Orris is an ingredient that adds depth of flavour in many brands of gin.


Other Uses:  Orris Root powder is pale cream-white with a very fine-texture like talcum powder and a distinctive aroma similar to violets.  It’s invaluable for its ability to impart a violet scent to other dried plant material where it acts as a preservative, fixative and stabiliser.  When used in potpourris and scented pillows or satchels, it intensifies, enhances and binds the scents of the other. 


Recipe - Strawberry Chilli Sauce

by Debbie Bassingthwaighte

Gluten Free  |  Dairy Free  |  Nut Free  |  Vegan

Strawberries are in abundance at the moment, so this is a delicious sauce to preserve your bounty and enjoy all year.  It pairs particularly well with seafood or whenever you would use sweet chilli sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg strawberries - hulled and roughly chopped
  • 400g long red chillies - finely chopped (remove seeds for a milder sauce)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh ginger - finely grated
  • 20 cloves garlic - finely chopped or crushed using a garlic press
  • 2 litres apple cider vinegar
  • 2 kg organic raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot (optional if you prefer a thicker sauce) - mixed to a paste with 3 tablespoons extra apple cider vinegar
Method
  1. Place the strawberries, chillies, ginger, garlic, apple cider vinegar, raw sugar and salt in a saucepan.  Stir to combine and bring to the boil. 
  2. Simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached.
  3. If you prefer a slightly thicker sauce, stir in the arrowroot paste before you take it off the heat and stir well.
  4. Pour into warm, sterilised glass bottles or jars and seal immediately.
  5. The sauce will keep for 12 months if stored in a cool, dry, dark place.
  6. Refrigerate after opening.
  7. Enjoy!

Our Rhythm of Events


First Sunday afternoon of each month - 2.00pm - 4.30pm
Last Monday evening of each month - 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Financial Members - Free
First time visitors to one of our events - Free
Non-members - $10
Children - Free
 
Full details of our events are advertised on Facebook and on our Website, plus see below for the things we have planned.
 

Management Committee

  • President - Debbie Bassingthwaighte (0407 374 883)
  • Vice President - Sam Rogers
  • Secretary - Tim Nash
  • Treasurer - Maryanne Genrich
  • Events Coordinator -
  • Welcoming Officer - Janet Dennison
  • Committee Members - Janine Brown, Shirley Dunsdon, Carly Middap, Ingrid Tatow
Contact us at info@permaculturetoowoomba.com.au if we can assist in any way.
 

Membership


Read about the many benefits of becoming a financial member of Permaculture Toowoomba Inc.  Membership

Annual Membership Fees is due by 31 December each year.

  • Individual Membership is $40.00 per year
  • Second (or subsequent) members living in the same family household are $30.00 per year

However, if you pay now, membership is pro rata (1/2 price for 1/2 a year until 31 December 2020).  Membership forms are available here for download.
 

Family and Friends


If you have family or friends who might also like to be involved, please forward this email to them.
 
Or they might like to join our Facebook group
as an online destination for
regular updates, information sharing and support.

Or see our Website.

Or Subscribe to this monthly e-Newsletter.

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