A Permaculture teacher’s success is best determined not by the number of graduates but by the number of teachers they create. Even better, the places of learning they help give birth to.
It is easy to see what important role the Permaculture Research Institute Zaytuna Farm has played in bringing permaculture to the world, developing teachers and doers alike. PRI has served as a starting point for many permaculturalist’s journeys through the skills and knowledge they share, networks they facilitate, even the videos they create — all of which has provided a springboard to help inspire us and teach us of better ways to live. The PRI has spawned some great centres of learning from committed graduates over the years, infected with inspiration to do great things. Milkwood Permaculture, Permaculture Exchange and PRI Maungaraeeda, Sunshine Coast, are great examples of these, to name a few. For the newly established Possum Creek just out of Bangalow and only 10 minutes from Byron Bay, not much is different.
This new project brings together a unique group of PRI Alumni who have all gained valuable teachings through Geoff and Nadia Lawton at Zaytuna farm.
Steve Dover, who completed his PDC in 2012, was so inspired by the design principles taught in his course that he felt the need to apply this to his own 100 acre property just outside of Byron Bay.
Steve has brought together the team of Sam Bonello (a PRI Jordan PDC 2010 and PRI Zaytuna Farm Internship graduate of 2011), Andrew Cameron (PDC 2009, PRI Wwoofer in 2012) and James Cutler (PDC graduate 2013), to bring life to a project devoted to demonstrating better ways to grow food and manage land. All with the intention of reconnecting people back to their food source; Possum Creek will become a place of production, demonstration and learning.
Using a mix of permaculture principles and other regenerative agriculture techniques it is all about working with nature not against it. There is a dire need to spread this knowledge and Possum Creek will be a place to help bring that to people. Possum Creek is not your usual property and will bring an element of aesthetics to its design with the goal of reaching into the more “main stream” audience. With an easy to reach location for most city dwellers it will be a great opportunity for permaculture to reach a greater population.
The property is currently undergoing major earthworks, which will involve three dams on the property, and over 1.5km of swale. 170 pastured chickens move freely around the property in their chicken caravan — the eggs will supply local cafes and members of the community. With a couple of zone 1, 2 and 3 gardens in place, Possum Creek is aiming to supply what it can to feed the enthusiastic WWOOFers that come through the property.
Cell grazing plans for the cows will be put in place to help regenerate soils and pasture. Compost teas and bio fertislisers will be in action soon to increase biology throughout to turn the previous wedding venue into a productive sustainable food system.
As a contributor to the local community and its surrounds, Possum Creek is devoted to bringing real food and knowledge to people and is a great tribute to the works of Geoff and Nadia at the Permaculture Research Institute to bring people together that can connect and begin such projects like this.