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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Permaculture Course in December in Egypt .



 Permaculture practitioner Geoff Lawton has shown on a 10 acre site near Jordan how to green the desert with food. Want to be part of another project greening the desert in nearby South Sinai desert this December?  Tap in  to a real world adventure of vital importance!



#permaculture course #Nuweiba#habibacommunity

Join us at the very special  Habiba Organic Farm,  Nuweiba for a 10  day Permaculture Design Certificate  course with a dynamic team  from Western Australia: 
What is Permaculture ?
Genius originator  of the Permaculture concept, Bill Mollison, said “it is about designing sustainable human settlements. It is a philosophy and an approach to land use which weaves together microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animals , soils , water management and human needs into intricately connect productive communities.”
Your teachers will be from Western Australia. The  wonderful Mr Olly Watkins ( drummer, exuberant facilitator, primary school teacher , permaculture consultant who makes learning  fun ); Mrs Nada Watkins ( electrical engineer with a passion for waste reduction at source and renewable energy systems); and Ms Bee Winfield  (owner operator Merri Bee Organic farm for 30 years, permaculture teacher, soil life coach and author of “Nourishing soil – a growers  guide to regenerating fertile soil”) . Olly, Nada and Bee will incorporate hands-on exercises to make  a fun and interactive course that will leave you with the basic skills you need to design and set up our own permaculture system.
This intensive course will cover:
  • The principles and ethics of permaculture
  • Using zones, sectors, and elevational planning to save energy and resources
  • Techniques to harvest and hold water in the arid landscape ( soil regeneration, wicking beds, swales, covered water impoundments and grey water systems)
  • Weeds and herbs (their uses in the  nutrient cycle)
  • Integrating a diversity of animals such as poultry, rabbits and goats into your growing systems.
  • Nutrient cycling with hot composting and worm farming, multi species cover crops and pasture cropping with perrenials.
  • Designing low- energy -use human settlements in the desert
  • zones 1 and 2 : Influencing microclimate around the house and veggie garden in arid lands
  • Orchards and woodlots from seed collection through to propagation and establishment
Course Times

The course runs from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day .
Fantastic accommodation and 3 meals a day is all included in the ridiculous early bird price of a mere $600.00 Get in quick! 

Secure your spot on this exciting adventure in the birthplace of civilization by visiting http://www.habibaorganicfarm.com/contact 


Permaculture Course in December in Egypt .



 Permaculture has a lot to offer in Earth repair and care of people. 

Join us at the very special  Habiba Organic Farm,  Nuweiba for a 10  day Introduction to Permaculture course with a dynamic team  from Western Australia: the wonderful Mr Olly Watkins ( drummer, exuberant facilitator, primary school teacher , permaculture consultant who makes learning  fun ); Mrs Nada Watkins ( electrical engineer with a passion for waste reduction at source and renewable energy systems); and Ms Bee Winfield  (owner operator Merri Bee Organic farm for 30 years, permaculture teacher, soil life coach and author of “Nourishing soil – a growers  guide to regenerating fertile soil”)
What is Permaculture ?
Genius originator  of the Permaculture concept, Bill Mollison, said “it is about designing sustainable human settlements. It is a philosophy and an approach to land use which weaves together microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animals , soils , water management and human needs into intricately connect productive communities.”
Olly, Nada and Bee will incorporate hands-on exercises to make  a fun and interactive course that will leave you with the basic skills you need to design and set up our own permaculture system.
This intensive course will cover:
  • The principles and ethics of permaculture
  • Using zones, sectors, and elevational planning to save energy and resources
  • Techniques to harvest and hold water in the arid landscape ( soil regeneration, wicking beds, swales, covered water impoundments and grey water systems)
  • Weeds and herbs (their uses in the  nutrient cycle)
  • Integrating a diversity of animals such as poultry, rabbits and goats into your growing systems.
  • Nutrient cycling with hot composting and worm farming, multi species cover crops and pasture cropping with perrenials.
  • Designing low- energy -use human settlements in the desert
  • zones 1 and 2 : Influencing microclimate around the house and veggie garden in arid lands
  • Orchards and woodlots from seed collection through to propagation and establishment
Course Times

The course runs from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day .
Accommodation and 3 meals a day is all included in the early bird price of a mere $600.00 Get in quick! 

Secure your spot on this exciting adventure in the birthplace of civilization by visiting http://www.habibaorganicfarm.com/contact 


Friday, March 18, 2016

LOG GROWN SHIITAKE WORKSHOP




Have you ever wanted to grow your own shiitake mushrooms?
Shiitake are high in proteins, vitamins and minerals and low in fat. They are used around the world to help improve the immune system, improve circulation and reduce cholesterol. There is evidence that shiitake may help in inhibiting the growth of cancer tumours.
Growing shiitake on logs is the traditional method of production. Research carried out in Australia in recent years suggests that the log grown method produces superior fresh shiitake.
Shiitake are traditionally grown on oak logs. The word ‘shiitake’ literally means ‘oak-mushroom’. Australian research has proven that shiitake can be successfully grown on many types of eucalypt
logs and other species such as some acacias and poplars.
Come along to this workshop to learn the method of inoculating logs and growing these versatile mushrooms for nutrition, fun or even commercial use. 
Date:   Sunday May 1st       

Time:  GAther at 9 for a  9.30 am start. Goes till  1 pm. 

Cost:   $45.00  includes morning tea 

Teacher: Mr Julian Sharp 

   Julian is a great native forest defender, having gone to court recently to successfully stop bauxite mining exploration in our beautiful Karri forests.   He brings his expertise in growing shiitake from both Victoria and Pemberton, and sees this workshop as a  great opportunity to get a cooperative style log grown shiitake industry happening in the south west, for people to get involved in at whatever scale or level they wish. Julian will  supply a range of suitable farm grown eucalypts for host logs, shiitake plug spawn, beeswax......and inform us  on log grown shiitake research history, growing methods and conditions, marketing etc.




Venue:  Merri Bee Organic Farmacy    
    
Contact  for enquires and to book  (before April 22nd please)  to  

    beewinfield@westnet.com   08 97561408 after dark



Have you ever wanted to grow your own shiitake mushrooms?
Shiitake are high in proteins, vitamins and minerals and low in fat. They are used around the world to help improve the immune system, improve circulation and reduce cholesterol. There is evidence that shiitake may help in inhibiting the growth of cancer tumours.
Growing shiitake on logs is the traditional method of production. Research carried out in Australia in recent years suggests that the log grown method produces superior fresh shiitake.
Shiitake are traditionally grown on oak logs. The word ‘shiitake’ literally means ‘oak-mushroom’. Australian research has proven that shiitake can be successfully grown on many types of eucalypt
logs and other species such as some acacias and poplars.
Come along to this workshop to learn the method of inoculating logs and growing these versatile mushrooms for nutrition, fun or even commercial use.
Date:   Sunday April 30th       Time:   9.30 am till  1 pm. Cost:   $45.00
Venue:  Merri Bee Organic Farmacy        

Contact  for enquires or booking      beewinfield@westnet.com

Thursday, February 4, 2016

 I  was kicked out of home at 16 for building compost heaps in our backyard in the Melbourne suburb of Mt Waverley. Earlier, Dad had taken me to a psychiatrist in an attempt to rid me of what he thought was a rare personality disorder, but the composting obsession proved incurable. Now I’m 57,  and a steaming hot compost heap still enthralls me: the way it takes stinky waste products and turns them into black gold ( humus).  I love that  a mass of red wriggler worms can demolish a cow pat in half a day and that a throng of soldier fly larvae can devour a sheep’s  hide and guts just 48 hours, and be themselves returned to the soil (via some chooks  )soon after.  And that out of all this decay comes another generation of healthy plants, and another joy of my  life, food!   I wanted to be an organic farmer from the age of 10.
I arrived in Nannup  as a very young,  mung bean- eating hippie in the early 80’s and after a foray in a commune  which promised cheap land upon which  to follow my dream ( but delivered lots of hassles) ,  me and my first husband  moved on to  27 acres in Nannup, inspired by  Bill Mollison to start a Permaculture.  I am still here, having raised a family of 5 children. That, and  working for a living , meant Permaculture was on the back burner for many years. Near the end of that  17 year marriage I constructed   a passive solar mudbrick house out of recycled materials. The house is still standing and the  permaculture surrounding it  has grown upwards and outwards: magnificent now with towering bamboos and pine nut trees, spreading oaks, chestnuts and hundreds of other species of fruit, nut , timber and native  plant.  I met  my darling Stewart 12 years ago and  we suddenly became  full time organic farmers, ditching our outside jobs pronto,  thanks to   the rise and rise  of farmers markets.   Our Permaculture yields  building materials , all our food and an income year ‘round.
We would be living the dream by now, but no man is an island and   climate change hit us in about 2007. Terrible climate change.  Our usual winter efforts to extend the  food forest were now beset by failure due to drought and heat . Things just died even though we spent 8 hours a day hand watering over prolonged summers. It is so hard to watch this formerly lush district turning to desert.
It became clear we needed to work on our soil.  In 2013 we  invested heavily in learning the latest in soil science from  Dr Elaine Ingham ( eminent soil microbiologist) In 2014 we re-named the farm “Merri Bee Organic Farmacy” because whole food grown biologically is the best  preventative medicine. Like canaries in the coal mine our children are reflecting our impoverished  and  toxic environment  and have a lower life expectancy than ours.  This is obviously unprecedented and tragic and the  cause is  diet .  Teaming with local Naturopaths we’ve been joyed to supply parents with good food to help their ailing children, but really we want to feed people organic food exclusively 2 years before conception to prevent problems.
With a degree of compost tea success so far,  we now run courses in  Permaculture , water harvesting , and soil creation , and our  focus is farmers.  In the South West of WA, just a few thousand farmers control 55% of the land area, and thus our local climate! Green plants are the original and still the  best carbon capture and storage mechanism on Earth. They  pump carbon underground whenever the sun is shining, but surprisingly, this only happens in natural systems where the soil microbes are intact. But 99% of farmers clear most of these carbon -sequestering microbes  from their land with chemicals . Peer reviewed and published science shows GM crops use 15 times more chemical than usual!
Dr Christine Jones makes a staggering claim that  if all farmers in Australia raised their soil carbon by just 1 per cent, the entire globe’s legacy load of carbon in the air would cleared away into the soil, and a safe climate would return. 
So good soil is powerful. It is key to our health, wealth, happiness, energy and intelligence for generations of our family to come, it  can uniquely  solve not only the environmental emergency but the health crisis (which is really an agricultural crisis) .Only good living soil can stem  the pandemic of mental and physical disorders which threatens to bankrupt the richest nations .
Bill Mollison said it beautifully : “All our problems can be solved in a garden”.
Permaculture people know trees make rain and know how to repair ecosystems, we know that you don’t need fertilizer and pesticides to grow food, (forests show us that)…. but our voices are not heard above the din of chemical company myths. Farmers have been subjected to the lies of the 5 companies controlling food and health since the Green Revolution.  Monsanto (‘feeding the world, one lie at a time”) has been in control of the media, regulators and  governments for 6 decades now.  We are proud to follow Dr Elaine Ingham who courageously  “de- programmes”  brainwashed farmers the world over.
We are in the middle of “6 X” (the sixth mass extinction event on Earth) with species from beneficial soil microbes to the large animals becoming extinct, many we suspect  even before discovery . Cloistered in the city or even on the coast, most people have no idea of how close to extinction WE are.   The cause is toxics, and GM crops use even more chemicals than conventional.


Perhaps  you are  one  of the people who already sees the need to cook organic, not the planet? If not, I hope my story will be food for thought for you and yours.