Elemental Permaculture PDC

This week we are speaking to the 2017 Elemental Permaculture PDC group! It’s such a cool thing to be part of – all four of us have at some stage studied with Aaron Sorensen and Dan Deighton, (whether in this course or as part of John Champagne’s Brogo Permaculture PDC) and it’s amazing to meet a new crew of permies as they come through the program each year. Our design process is completely informed by the process that they teach in this program, and while we don’t draw out all the overlaid layers that you do in the proper PDC, the consideration of those factors is right at the top of our minds when we design for a new property.

Some of the 2017 PDC participants working on their designs

If you’ve thought about studying permaculture seriously, DO A PDC! It’s really quite a life changing program, and will affect the way you think about food, landscape, and especially community. This particular PDC runs every year, or if you prefer an online approach there is also a great online program run by local permaculture teacher April Sampson-Kelly at Permaculture Visions. More recently, Milkwood Permaculture have also started delivering a PDC in the area. There’s heaps to choose from!

If you’re not ready for a full Permaculture Design Certificate course, a great way to get started is by coming along to a Permablitz! Our next one is coming up on November 18th – RSVP to permablitzthegong@gmail.com if you’re interested!

Photos in the post are from this year’s PDC group – credit: Elemental Permaculture




Blitz #17 Alexander and Mel

Alexander and Mel’s blitz on Sunday was an excellent experience all round – lots of new faces among the blitz regulars, lots of energy, perfect weather, and of course some delicious lunch!

Thanks to everyone who worked super hard smashing in the swaled vegie beds, clearing and mulching the food forest, removing grass and filling the verge with natives and mulch, putting up the chicken house, and generally clearing and improving the site.

One the mulch dust has settled, we’ll put up some reflections and photos from the day!


Companion planting herbs

How is everyone’s winter gardening going?
Our resident propagation guru, Sheryl, has dug up this excellent list of companion planting herbs to use in the garden

Companion planting herbs


Basil In the garden: Plant with tomatoes. Repels flies and mosquitoes.
In the kitchen: Use in tomato dishes, pesto, sauces, and salad dressings.


In the garden: Plant with carrots.
In the kitchen: Related to the onion, chives enliven vegetable dishes, dressings, casseroles, rice, eggs, cheese dishes, sauces, gravies, and dips.

In the garden: Plant with cabbages. Keep away from carrots.
In the kitchen: Use seed for pickles and also to add aroma and taste to strong vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, and turnips. Use fresh with green beans, potato dishes, cheese, soups, salads, seafood, and sauces.

In the garden: Plant near cabbage and tomatoes. Deters white cabbage moth.
In the kitchen: It is common in Middle Eastern dishes. Use with roast lamb or fish and in salads, jellies, or teas.

In the garden: Good companion to all vegetables.
In the kitchen: Of Italian origin, its taste is zesty and strong, good in any tomato dish. Try oregano with summer squash and potatoes, mushroom dishes, beans, or in a marinade for lamb or game.

In the garden: Plant near asparagus, corn, and tomatoes.
In the kitchen: Use fresh parsley in soups, sauces, and salads. It lessens the need for salt in soups. You can fry parsley and use it as a side dish with meat or fish. It is, of course, the perfect garnish.

In the garden: Plant near cabbage, beans, carrots, and sage. Deters cabbage moth, bean beetles, and carrot fly.
In the kitchen: Use for poultry, lamb, and tomato dishes, stews, soups, and vegetables. Try it finely chopped in breads and custards.

In the garden: Plant near rosemary, cabbage, and carrots; away from cucumbers. Deters cabbage moth and carrot fly.
In the kitchen: Use in cheese dishes, stuffing’s, soups, pickles, with beans and peas, and in salads. Excellent for salt-free cooking.

In the garden: Good companion to most vegetables.
In the kitchen: Great with meat, eggs, poultry, seafood, and in salad dressings, marinades, and sauces.

In the garden: Plant near cabbage. Deters cabbage worm.
In the kitchen: Use in casseroles, stews, soups, ragouts, and with eggs, potatoes, fish, and green vegetables.

More Herbs

In the garden: Plant with coriander, which promotes its germination and growth.
In the kitchen: Use in cookies, cakes, fruit fillings, and breads, or with cottage cheese, shellfish, and spaghetti dishes.

In the garden: Plant with tomatoes, squash, and strawberries. Deters tomato worm.
In the kitchen: Use leaves in salads; flowers in soups and stews.

In the garden: Plant here and there. Loosens soil.
In the kitchen: Use in rye breads, cheese dips and rarebits, soups, applesauce, salads, coleslaw, and over pork or sauerkraut.

In the garden: Plant with radishes.
In the kitchen: Use with soups, salads, sauces, eggs, fish, veal, lamb, and pork.

In the garden: Plant away from other herbs and vegetables.
In the kitchen: Use to flavor pastries, confectionery, sweet pickles, sausages, tomato dishes, soups, and to flavor vinegars and oils. Gives warmth and sweetness to curries.

In the garden: Plant near roses and raspberries. Deters Japanese beetle.
In the kitchen: Use in tomato dishes, garlic bread, soups, dips, sauces, marinades, or with meats, poultry, fish, and vegetables.

In the garden: Plant here and there to improve the health and flavor of other plants.
In the kitchen: It’s a great flavoring for soups, stews, and salad dressings. Goes well with potatoes. The seeds can be used on breads and biscuits.

In the garden: Good companion to all vegetables.
In the kitchen: Excellent in almost any meat, fish, dairy, or vegetable dish that isn’t sweet. Add near the end of cooking.

Summer Savory 
In the garden: Plant with beans and onions to improve growth and flavor.
In the kitchen: Popular in soups, stews, stuffings, and with fish, chicken, green beans, and eggs.


Eating the suburbs, one backyard at a time!