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Permaculture: ‘A Rhymer’s Manual’

From earthworms to "earworms" (songs that just won’t get out of your head), Charlie Jones is taking pattern learning a step further towards a dynamic, brave new approach to communicating and teaching concepts of permaculture with the creation of ‘Permaculture: A Rhymer’s Manual’.

The ‘manual’ is a collection of songs covering the twelve permaculture principles from David Holmgren’s book Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability. By combining humour, hip-hop rhyme and a variety of interesting facial expressions, Charlie is primarily targeting a younger crowd with the hope of ‘permie-ating’ the realms of mainstream popular culture as well as creating an entertaining and memorable learning tool.

With pattern learning and systems thinking at the core of Permaculture design, music is one of the most powerful tools we have with which to ‘reprogram’ our way of thinking and looking at the world.

Although some may shrug it off as merely aesthetic or trivial, the creation of song, dance, art and myth is an essential element in the culture of permaculture and ultimately the most efficient (and enjoyable) way that we can encode and pass on complex systems and design information as well as the core ethics and principles on which it is built.

We, in the present age, Bill Mollison believes, are the world’s most ignorant people and society, whereas former societies were well informed through song and pattern. This is the inspiration for ‘Permaculture: A Rhymer’s Manual’ (not to mention the wisecrack reference to Mollison’s legendary book itself) and already, listeners have who have admitted to not being able to memorise every principle of permaculture have reported on the other hand that they cannot get the songs out of their head!

The ‘manual’ is currently in the process of being recorded and made into a 12 track CD and DVD of animated clips that will hopefully become a valuable teaching resource in the toolbox of many permaculture teachers and facilitators around the world. The project has so far gained a huge amount of support from the global permaculture community, who have been funding the production of the songs through the new We The Trees Permaculture Crowdfunding website (

The DVD is scheduled for release mid 2013 and all going well, will be launched at the International Permaculture Convergence in Cuba. In the meantime, to get more of an idea of where the project is headed, a few of the songs (in rough form) can be listened to at


  1. great song. but as for picking up old matresses and couches in urban areas, you may want to watch out for bedbugs. the infestations suck. same with old kitchen appliances as they could be hideouts for cockroaches from the previous owner.

  2. Loving the tunes, I’d love to play your song about there’s no such thing as waste at the course I’m teaching through our local council – gardening for sustainability….which is of course permaculture in disguise!!!

  3. Hi, we are a trio of ECU students completing a unit in sustainability as part of our Primary Teaching degrees. We were wondering if we would be able to play your ‘No such thing as waste” song in the background of our video clip about food waste and how to rethink food before it becomes waste.
    Is there somewhere that we can purchase a copy of your songs as well?
    Neeshia, Natalie, Mathew

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