In celebration (and anticipation) of hosting the insightful and awesome David Holmgren for an Advanced Permaculture Principles and planning tools course in Sydney this July, here’s a pack of fabulous resources we’d like to give to someone…
Permaculture Ethics & Design Principles – DVD
Following a brief but insightful coverage of the three ethics, Care of the Earth, Care of People and Fair Share, David focuses our attention in turn on each of twelve design principles that underpin the diversity of permaculture systems and solutions. Using simple yet powerful icons, proverbs and examples, David makes the link between the traditional wisdom of the elders and the power of systems thinking.
For those just getting involved in the practise of permaculture, this presentation gives you an inspiring overview of permaculture ethics and design principles that can be applied to every aspect of life.
For those who have completed a Permaculture Design Course this presentation, deepens your understanding to help you innovate rather than just copy proven permaculture systems and solutions.
For those involved in social change activism, this presentation provides a framework for positive contributions in helping our communities survive and thrive into the energy descent future.
Relocalisation: How peak oil can lead to Permaculture – DVD
In part I of this DVD, David outlines the history of permaculture as a design concept and a global environmental movement in the context of the emerging energy descent. Relocalisation of our economies and communities is highlighted as the central organising strategy for creative grass roots adaptive response to the energy descent future, both to build resilience and capacity in the face of unprecedented threats, and grasp the creative opportunities from energy descent.
In part II, David uses his photos of examples of the diversity of permaculture design solutions from his own property Melliodora as well as the wider world of permaculture to show the scope and depth of permaculture design in the home, garden, farm, forest, community and economy.
Collected Writings and Presentations: David Holmgren 1978-2006
Together these writings and presentations provide deeper insight into the thinking behind the Permaculture concept and an historical record of the work of one of Australia’s most influential environmental thinkers.
They will be of particular interest to permaculture teachers and practitioners and provide background material referenced in Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability, David Holmgren’s major work on permaculture ethics and design principles.
Wow. Well those should keep someone out of trouble for a while. Some extremely timely and important information in there…
TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY:
Comment below and let us know what your favourite weed is. Keeping in mind that the term ‘weed’ is highly relative to things like location, worldview and how you categorise the meaning of terms like nature, native and wilderness.
Also, incase you missed it, David Holmgren is guest teaching on our Urban Permaculture Design Certificate in Sydney this July, headed by Hannah Moloney (urban permaculture maven) with Nick Ritar and Floyd Constable from Milkwood. I think at last count there were 3 spots left. We’d love to see you there.
And straight after that course, we’re diving into the Advanced Permaculture Principles and planning tools course with David which will be a rare treat – 2 full days of Holmgrenation. Highly recommended for all permaculturalists.
Entries for this giveaway will close Friday morning, 21st June. At that point, I’ll use my funky random number generator to pick a comment, get in touch with the lucky weed lover, and we’ll send out the resource pack.
If you just can’t wait (or want to buy David Holmgren’s book for your Mum), go straight to the shop at Holmgren Design…
Hard to pick a favorite weed! My current is Japanese Knotweed. Yes, it’s invasive, but it also make great resveratrol in its roots, which we ALL need in our toxic world . . .
P.S. I wish I were closer so I could take your workshop!
Terry, Massacusetts & North Carolina, USA
Herb Robert is my favourite weed for a number of reasons: it has a lacey leaves and delicate flowers so looks good in the ground but is easy to pull out if it’s not where I want it. Its also edible with health benefits. PS I love the photobombing puppy who has recently appeared (everywhere) on your blog
The blackberry, a weed at home that was the backbone of my Mothers jam cupboard, our morning juice and a festival namesake in my hometown to bring in tourism.
A farmer once remarked to me that he was fed up with a weed that constantly returned whatever he did. In the end I believe the farmer gave way and allowed the weed some freedom. Upon asking what the weed was I confess surprise at his answer – a rose! I have long since that date admired the fact that a rose could be a weed. And then discovered that the weed Rose is many faceted. I never did find out what rose the farmer was talking about…. I was surprised to discover though that a rose has an enormous… Read more »
The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
That the apple’s a rose,
And the pear is, and so’s
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose –
But were always a rose.
– Robert Frost
Hi guys, Scotch thistle would have to be my favourite weed at the moment, I can be guaranteed to have a few come up somewhere on the property and now that I don’t have any goats I use them for compost. They have these lovely thick juicy stems that I chop up with a spade and they are great.
Years ago I collected a couple of ute loads from a really bad patch on a roadside and made a massive amount by hand with a couple of ute loads of stable bedding.
Fiddlehead Fern: I think it is beautiful when fully grown, and it taste great when picked before unfolding in the spring.
I love the nettle – dense nutrient accumulator, delicious greens, and awesome compost addition. As well as having a badass bite.
stinging nettle is my favourite; powerful tea; ok cooked; compost stimulator; host for red and yellow admiral butterflies; a sting in winter will keep you warm; said to be a great fibre…
Daun Pido ( I live in Bali) It is a wonderfully versatile medicinal herb and can ( could) be found everywhere
stinging nettle, the second one is dandelion and someday comfrey will be considered a weed here, trying to propagate comfrey under all trees 🙂
I love the little lemony wonder called creeping sorrel. When I show others they have this little gem cropping up their backyards, they’re usually so surprised!
Tamara! You’re our random winner. Can you email me with your address and we’ll send you the pack of Holmgren resources? 🙂
Thank you so much, Milkweed Permaculture! I just completed a permaculture design course here in Phoenix, Arizona at the Valley Permaculture Alliance, and a group of us are considering starting our own company. Our guest teachers included Toby Hemenway, Brad Lancaster and Larry Santoyo. Wish I could come and participate with your courses, too, you seem to have an awesome group going. Thank you again, I’m very grateful and will be sure these resources are put to very good use!
Indian mustard weed –the bane of cropping farmers but it appears here under and around Box trees, so I slash it down as mulch, or gather it and compost it, and as it’s so vigorous I get plenty of biomass to recycle , and yes, it’s finally decreasing , all without resorting to Monsanto horrors !
Chickweed is my current favourite, it loves my place, looks after the bits your not paying attention to, and it’s a fight between me and the chooks for whether it goes over into their yard or inside for my salad. I love the corn silk flavour.
I love dandelion, it is very tasty! Reminds me of my childhood when I would dig them up and cook them with my dad.
Has to be the Willow. Salix genus… Holds waterways together, stock love to eat it, its a magnesium accumulator, you can make baskets and nets from it, it make hi quality bio-char and artist charcoal and they are beautiful. Take a note from Mr Peter Andrews and plant a willow!!!
Favorite??? What season? Singing nettle is taken….(I rub it on my arthritic hands until they numb) amongst all the other things. So….I guess Poke Weed. It is a great spring veggie (comes the same time as asparagus and Egyptian onions makes a great trio). Is beautiful in the landscape, great cut flowers and berries for exotic bouquets, accumulator and I suck the berries (spit out the seeds) as a tonic for arthritis. Oh, pollinator….I know there must be more but my senior mind says, ‘that’s all folks, for now’. Peace
My favorite weed is stinging nettle. I am only just discovering its uses.
How on Earth can promoting weeds be part of CARE FOR EARTH!!!? The first suggestion of Japanese Knotweed is listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the world’s worst 100 weeds! Permaculture has some really great ideas but weed promotion is letting us down. We have been trying for 4 years now to get a community garden going in our local park which is next to some weed invested bushland. The Council has approved it but the kind people doing all the back-breaking and poison spreading work of removing the weeds and restoring the natural ecology in that… Read more »
Maree we do not advocate introducing invasive species. At all. However, *weeds are part of the human landscape* and should probably be used as usefully as they can be or biologically removed, rather than being poisoned, which adversely affects the wider ecosystem. You could also argue the biggest weeds of our generation are things like wheat and soy and palm – responsible for far more environmental degradation and ecosystem collapse than any ‘invasive species’. My point is, it’s a complex issue, not a ‘this plant good, that plant bad’ type situation. Which doesn’t make us pro-weed, but it does make… Read more »
I’m disappointed with your reply to Maree and your approach to what we should be growing. So many good intentions go bad and yet today we have the ability to research the potential issues of introducing a foreign body to our environment. Very disappointed in this approach
What are you disappointed by, Collis? By the attitude that we should deal with invasive weeds biologically (ie grazing them out or chopping them out and re-planting) rather than with glyphosate? Really, please let me know, as I’m not sure. I think we should be growing nutrient dense food. In an as intensive, organic manner as possible. And using all the other plants around us as usefully as possible, rather than poisoning or burning them outright… and that’s it really. Not sure what’s disappointing about that? I think you’re assuming a bunch of stuff that we don’t do or agree… Read more »
I agree that planting an invasive species is ludicrous but harvesting some that is already there is very sustainable. I didn’t get that anyone was planting it. They were harvesting it. Make yourself some mock rhubarb pie with it and you may be singing another tune. Learning to love all of nature when it annoys us is a very pleasant way to live. I bless my most noxious weeds…..it makes me feel better and less helpless. Peace
I’d like to think kudzu is my favorite,but i’ve not had to put up with it.
I’d never considered a “favorite weed” but Kudzu interests me. Its “invasion” of the south-eastern states of the USA presents a challenge that I believe permaculture principles can solve. Its aggressive nature and its resistance to attempts to destroy it via artificial means clearly illustrates that round-up is not always the answer. Kudzu is a great livestock forage in Asia, but in the USA it runs wild in open fields and along the freeways. Maybe they should make use of it and fence in some cows along the freeways. Kudzu also makes good paper :-).
Clivers (Galium aparine) is a fabulous cleanser for the body’s lymphatic system! Great to add to juice!
My favourite ‘weed’ at the moment is black nightshade. I always thought it was a useless weed with poisonous berries, but have since discovered they’re edible (and not too bad!).
The name conjures up images of ancient potions and poisonous curses, although it’s a completely different plant from deadly nightshade.
I’m looking forward to the next season, and making jam from it.
More info here: http://foragersharvest.com/black-nightshade-2/
My new fave is Solanum nigrum, deadly nightshade, I love the purple/black berries, so gorgeous to look at and tasty too. I love that it’s ‘deadly’ in a good way
nettle is my favourite weed- tending towards iron deficiency nettle tea is a wonderful way of restoring iron to my body
Concrete and rebar are my favorite weeds at the moment in my location. Concrete pops up in random urban lots that should be urban farm plots, but alas, our paradigm selects for this invasive. Anytime I walk, rake, or turn around in the large junk yard that I’m converting to a permaculture demonstration site, there’s some rebar poking out of the ground! Very useful stuff! Can be stakes to hold in retaining walls and steps, hold up hoops for row covers, said to reverse energy vortexes and even useful in dousing!
I would have to say dandelion
My favorite “weed” is mullein. We’ve got it springing up everywhere and dried and steeped into tea it makes a fantastic tonic for respiratory and sinus issues.
I love sorrel, I love dandelions, I love stinging nettle –
but currently my favourite is purslane. I think the many uses of weeds makes them a wonderful part of a biodiverse permaculture system.
dainty. delicious. dancing. delectable. dandelion.
My favourite weed on our organic farm is stinging nettle – I can’t grow enough of it now for compost teas! And makes the best soup too!
My favorite weed would have to be nettle. It’s tasty as a food plant, a staple medicinal, and awesome with nutrient sequestration!
Flax is my fave weed. Flax. That’s the one.
Irish strawberry is a beautiful weedy tree around here, I wouldn’t encourage planting it, and would infact encourage removing it, but making the most of its wild berries by having a forest snack is certainly a happy affair. Almost a tangy nectarine in flavour.
“Maree we do not advocate introducing invasive species. At all.” Do you not consider Japanese Knotweed to be an invasive weed? even though it is listed as one of the world’s worst invasive weeds! As well as Kudzu. Do you not see any need to discuss this? How can a plant be ‘aggressive’? A plant called a ‘significant invasive weed’ is just an organism with no effective control in Nature. It is our culture (not necessarily us as a human animal) that does not recognise the importance of natural control. Humans had a culture of living sustainably in Australia for… Read more »
Maree, I appreciate your views and as a member of various landcare teams I have participated in plenty of weed removal since i was little. I’m not advocating japanese knotweed. I did however ask people to tell us what weed they like best. Because weeds are a fact of life. So we might as well use them where we can, rather than ignore their usefulness. Also, our local landcare (Watershed Landcare in Mudgee) is doing some great work looking at effective biological alternatives to glyphosate for weed removal. While I do appreciate and have participated in the ‘a little poison… Read more »
We have so many “weeds” I find it very hard to limit my choice to one! I am trying to use my new permaculture eyes and only see the positive things about weeds. The “weed” that has given us the most problems are blackberries. They adore Tassie conditions and like the Eveready bunny they keep on keeping on… and on…and on! And for someone trying to live organically and sustainably who doesn’t want to use poison they are a plant that you certainly need to make your peace with because they aren’t going away quickly ;).
Blackberry – which I have on my property and I am torn between getting rid of it as a noxious weed and the fact that it provides a very safe habitat for the highly endangered Yellow Spotted Bell Frog which I am working with a number of environmental scientists to protect from extinction – also makes wonderful jam 😎
The Stinging Nettle is my all time favorite weed. She has nourished and healed my body in many ways, replaces a daily vitamin when I drink a daily infusinon of her, and she is used in many Biodynamic practices. I appreciate making and applying a nettle slurry to my garden and adding nettle to my compost!
Here on the Westcoast of Canada both broom and blackberry are very invasive, and I’ve done my fair share of ripping out both…but I do love them from afar, having just flown over great expanses of yellow clearcuts, and delighting in the blackberry jam picked from blackberries on someone else’s property.
When we got a new puppy, she started munching on the dandelions in our backyard. I quickly googled to check that they were okay for dogs, and discovered that they are in fact very healthy for both dogs and humans! Now we throw them into a salad, with a few leftover for the puppy to graze on.
Land cress (Barbarea verna). A deliciously edible and rampant grower which I find all over the place in surrounding Melbourne suburbs during my evening strolls down the narrow alley ways and gorgeous tree lined streets. A lovely feeling being able to go for a wander and gather some leafage for a salad or sandwich in an urban setting. Brings me excitement for future days on the farm.
Bill Gammage’s very excellent book, The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia, tells, amongst other things, of the allegiance between people, fire and eucalypts in this country in 1788. In many places people had replaced rainforest with sparsely wooded eucalypt forest (in some cases, land that was described by early colonial invaders as “parkland” has since, deprived of aboriginal management, reverted to rainforest). Reading this book has helped me re-see gum trees as among the most successful “weeds” on this continent, beautifully adapted to use fire against their competition.
Great book, that.
I must admit i have little knowledge of weeds or the world of permaculture, so i am writing this as a surprise for my wife who is just embarking on her Permaculture design course. My wife now has something in her life apart from our daughter that she is passionate about. I see her every night studying going above and beyond what is expected of this course because she believes that permaculture is the way of the future and can help to solve most if not all of the worlds problems. I am inspired by her efforts and her vision.… Read more »
At the moment, it would have to be dandelion. I found some under the clothes line recently and added it to my greens that night for dinner. Also, enjoyed a dandelion latte last week. Great weed.
Mine favourite would have to be dandelion, but a close second would be stinging nettle as we have heaps of them on our property!!
Incredible number of medicinal, nutritional and industrial uses. Cures cancer (and nearly everything else it seems), healthy food source, durable paper and clothing, sturdy plastics, renewable source of fuel, etc…
And because of the crazy social taboos, by supporting cannabis/hemp the association with it lets you explore your inner pirate nature!
Serrated tussock is my favourite weed. It provides plenty of opportunity for exercise in pulling or chipping it out, the opportunity to spread a little ‘good’ grass seed in the hole, and it makes happy neighbours when they see me removing it!
I love the common weed that we would walk past everyday and take little notice of like dandelion, ribwort and yarrow . It’s these little unassuming plants that live side by side with people that fascinate me. They are often wonderful medicines, edible and fantastically useful in repairing disturbed ground. Quite a great little symbiotic relationship!!
Invasive weeds are organisms with no effective control. Some of us have studied invasive weeds and animals and noted that they can destroy ecosystem structure (food webs). Take the rabbit introduction into Australia. It is very useful for our culture – good meat, breeds well, very adaptable, soft useful fur and cute pets. In 1859 it was written in a journal, “The introduction of a few rabbits could do little harm and might provide a touch of home, in addition to a spot of hunting.” It took about 50yrs but we learnt that it is not a good idea to… Read more »
Again, I agree with everything you’re saying Maree but no-one is talking about pro-actively introducing weeds or any other species in this conversation… we’re talking about utilizing what’s already there… and those are two very, very different conversations… Permaculture as a set of principles doesn’t promote any particular species, it promotes a design framework based on natural patterning. Anyone telling you that this or that is a permaculture-promoted species per se is off track, in my opinion. It’s like saying all architects must and do promote bricks, just because it is possible to make a building out of bricks, and… Read more »
Favourite weed? Comfrey! Helps heal sprained joints as a compress, our garden loves a cup of comfrey tea and our super charged compost improves with a few leaves too. A very useful weed!