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August Newsletter

As I prepare this latest newsletter with information to keep us interconnected, sharing and learning together, I feel proud of the adaptability of our members as we respond to the many unexpected challenges of 2020.  It's been a time of increased interest in gardening and growing food in our own backyards, buoyed by the generous sharing of skills, information, resources and produce.

Our Facebook Group now has more than 650 members asking and answering questions, and we've grown to 79 financial members in just 12 months since our foundation meeting in June 2019.  Thank you for the contributions you each make in growing our individual and collective resilience.

Don't forget to visit our website at to see all our upcoming events and lots of useful information.  Highlights include the regular book reviews by Janine Banks.  Definitely worth a read!

On Sunday 2 August we held our first face-to-face event for many months and what a fabulous way to return to meeting in person!.  Enormous thanks to Justin Russell for teaching us the practical skills of Fruit Tree Grafting.  32 people attended and there are now 100 newly grafted apple trees ready to start growing in backyards across the Toowoomba region.

Please see details below of events in the next few weeks (scroll down for full details).
  • Fermenting - Connect and Learn - Monday evening 31 August
  • Kushla's Garden - Garden Inisghts - Sunday afternnon 6 September
  • Connect and Learn - Monday evening 28 September - details coming soon
  • Debbie and Brodie's Garden - Garden Insights - Sunday afternoon 4 October
Bookings via Eventbrite are essential for all events so that we know who is attending and can ensure number limits required for COVID-safe guiedlines.
Debbie Bassingthwaighte (President)

David Holmgren's Permaculture Design Principles

2. Catch and Store Energy

"By developing systems that collect resources when they are abundant, we can use them in times of need.  The icon associated with this design principle represents energy being stored in a container for use at a later time, while the proverb make hay while the sun shines reminds us that we have a limited time to catch and store energy."

Events - What's Planned?

We hope you can join us for these upcoming events.
Connect and Learn + Share Table

Monday evening 31 August

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

presented by Jenni Pemberton of Wren Herbal
6.30pm to 8.30pm (doors open at 6.30pm and Jenni 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 - Fermenting

Presented by Jenni Pemberton

Jenni is a herbalist at Wren Herbal and will talk to us about the basic health benefits of fermenting to preserve produce.

Almost anything from the garden can be fermented.  It is a quick means of preserving food, from watermelon rind and pickles, to sauerkraut, and as the produce doesn't have to be cooked or heat treated, health benefits are very high regarding beneficial bacteria for gut health.

Fermenting is not a new concept.  It appears to have been intentionally undertaken for thousands of years in the form of liquid beverages and foods.  Our bodies also use the fermenting process in breaking down food we consume.

Jenni became qualified in western herbal medicine 3 years ago as a result of personal health issues that allopathic medicine had no answers for.  This led to studying and incorporating fermented foods and beverages in her diet through spending time with Sandor Katz and other fermenting teachers which enabled Jenni to trust in the old methods of fermentation - both for preservation of food and added health benefits.  Jenni recommends whole food eating wherever possible, but she is also developing a keen interest in quantum healing - thoughts and beliefs affecting our reality.

Jenni runs regular hands on classes making sauerkraut, kimchi, brined onions and fire cider equivalent that you might like to attend.

8.00 pm - Connect - Light Supper and Share Table

A light supper will be served (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.


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

Book Here

See the event for full details.  Website or Facebook

Garden Insights Visit + Share Table

Sunday 6 September

Kushla Gale's Garden

at 37 Gordon Avenue, Newtown near the corner of Bridge and Holberton Streets.
2.00 pm to 4.30 pm

Bookings are Essential

To ensure COVID-safe physical distancing can be maintained, there will be a maximum of 30 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.

What We’ll Do

We’ll start at 2.00pm with a welcome and introductions.

Then we’ll have an opportunity to explore the garden with Kushla.

We’ll be welcomed into this productive, low maintenance, new suburban, edible garden. This is a great opportunity to see what can be achieved in a small backyard.  Kushla’s garden is less than 2 years old and all edible. She has wicking beds, compost, and many less common food plants, plus permanent perennial layers similar to a food forest in no dig garden beds.

Everyone is welcome but bookings are essential to ensure we don’t exceed 30 people attending.

Book Here

Light Afternoon Tea

A light afternoon tea will be served on the verandah (with Gluten Free and Vegan options). 


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

Book Here

See the event for full details.  Website or Facebook

Share Table

Share Table

Do you have surplus?  We’ll set up a share table on the verandah at Kushla's Garden Insights Visit

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, scobies, 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.

Changed Date

Due to new COVID-19 restrictions in the greater Brisbane area including in the Lockyer Valley (only 10 people at an event), we need to change the date of the Garden Insights Visit to Debbie and Brodie's place

This will now be on Sunday 4 October instead of September (as long as COVID restrictions are eased by then).  We'll confirm arrangements in our next newsletter.  Thank you for your flexibility and understanding.

Garden Insights Visit + Share Table

Sunday 6 September

Debbie and Brodie Bassingthwaighte's Garden-Farm

88 Richards Road, Postmans Ridge
2.00 pm to 4.30 pm

What We'll Do

We'll start at 2.00pm 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 ...

See the event for full details.  Website or Facebook

Productive Plant - Rangpur Lime
by Debbie Bassingthwaighte

Botanical Name:  Citrus x limonia ‘Osbeck’

Common Names:  Rangpur Lime, Rangpur, Mandarin Lime, Canton Lemon, Lemandarin

Description:  The Rangpur Lime is an unusual citrus that is often mistaken for a mandarin but is actually a mandarin-lemon cross.  It’s an attractive, fast-growing, broad-leafed, evergreen tree that is more cold tolerant than true limes.  The tree growth is very vigorous and branches are slender and thorny with a drooping habit.  The fruit is bright orange and abundant and looks similar to small mandarins rather than limes.  Each fruit has between 6-18 small cream-green seeds.  They grow best in full sun with some seasonal watering during dry periods.  Fruit is produced from late autumn through to spring.  It can be grown in the ground in well-drained soil with protection from severe frosts and is also suitable for large pots.  It is self-fertile and doesn’t need a pollinator.

Culinary Uses:  Rangpur Limes are prized for their tangy, smoky flavour, and both the zest and juice are used for sweet and savoury dishes.  The peel exudes a fresh lime fragrance and the flesh is tart and juicy and an ideal substitute for limes or lemons.  Small, whole fruits are sometimes candied or pickled, and the leaves are highly-scented and can also be used in cooking. 

Recipe - Spicy Beetroot and Apple Dip

by Debbie Bassingthwaighte

Gluten Free  |  Dairy Free  |  Nut Free  |  Vegan

This fresh and spicy Moroccan-inspired Beetroot and Apple Dip is a delicious, vibrant and healthy option to serve with crudités.  I’ve experimented with the flavours and it’s become an all-time favourite recipe that guests always ask me to share with them.


  • 2 medium Beetroots – baked whole until tender, and then peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup Apple Purée or unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • 1 tin organic Chickpeas or 1 ½ cups cooked Chickpeas – rinsed and drained 
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly zested Lemon Zest or Lime Zest
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice or Lime Juice
  • 2 tablespoons pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Fermented Garlic Paste or 2 cloves of fresh Garlic – peeled
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh Turmeric or 1/2 teaspoon ground Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh Ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mild sweet Curry Powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground Coriander Seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon ground Allspice
  • Sea Salt and cracked Black Pepper to taste
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves to garnish (optional)


  1. Place all ingredients except the sea salt, black pepper and coriander leaves into a food processor and blend for a couple of minutes until the dip is smooth and creamy.  Scrape down the sides of the processor as needed to ensure all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  2. Add a little cold water if the final consistency is too thick.
  3. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  4. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves (optional) and serve with fresh vegetable crudités.
  5. The dip can be stored in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to one week, but in our house, it never lasts that long before it’s eaten.
  6. Enjoy!

Book Review
The downshifter’s guide to a resilient future

by David Holmgren

Book Review by Janine Banks

I have just reread this huge 592 page book and really want to recommend it to everyone who cares about the future of the earth and all life on the earth.  When I first read it, I had just completed a permaculture course with David Holmgren and the book had just been published.  So I don’t think I appreciated how incredibly thorough and all encompassing the book was after being submerged in permaculture principles and practice for a couple of weeks. I am glad I have reread it and really appreciate the incredible detail and broad coverage of this “guide to a resilient future”.  The book certainly reflects David’s deep thinking and ideas and knowledge about the possible future of this planet and our lives upon it.

There are 34 chapters divided into 4 main sections: Setting the Scene; Built Field: Patterns of Human Habitats; Biological Field: Patterns of Life and Growth; and Behavioural Field: Patterns of Decisions and Actions.

Read More

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 if we can assist in any way.


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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