PDC, Permaculture courses

2022 Permaculture Design Course (PDC)

Ballarat Permaculture Guild will NOT run its popular Permaculture Design Course in 2022.

We will run the course again in 2023, when we expect the impact of the COVID pandemic to have diminished.  Our 2020 course was cancelled after 3 weekends and the 2021 course had to have weekends rescheduled three times due to lockdowns, which created major logistical headaches!

Our focus on permaculture education remains as strong as ever, though!

In 2022, we will run:

  • Multiple Introduction to Permaculture days (new one day format)
  • Retrosuburbia bookclubs each term (via Zoom, for maximum accessibility)
  • Half and single day events featuring our amazing PDC presenters
  • Half and single day workshops on practical skills

BPG financial members also access the fabulous Milkwood Permaculture Living course at a 25% discount.  The Permaculture Living course is a 12 week practically focussed course accessed online but requiring positive practical actions at home.  It has been thoroughly enjoyed by many BPG members over the last 18 months, especially during COVID lockdowns!

We also look forward to getting together again at social events, permablitzes, produce swaps, film nights, fruit harvests and more.  It’s been great to have online events but some of us are looking forward to real hugs rather than virtual curtsies!

Queensland Fruit Fly

Queensland Fruit Fly Monitoring Project

Queensland Fruit Fly trap

The fruit growing season is nearly upon us and so are the ideal conditions for the Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF). The fly breeds at temperatures of 15°C and relies on the moist conditions of spring that are developing over the next few months. According to the BOM’s climate outlook estimates the Ballarat region will reach stable breeding temperatures into October. Furthermore, the BPG QFF group are launching our monitoring program not long after the recently published IPCC special report which projects a future of ongoing expansion of warmer and wet conditions from southern hemisphere tropical and sub-tropical regions further southward.

Now is an ideal time to join us in our monitoring program to assess how far south the Queensland Fruit fly comes and in what numbers they appear. Great numbers of fruit fly will threaten home and community gardening projects as well as agriculture in any region. We want to investigate the fly’s reach in Ballarat.

The problem facing us is that we do not know how bad the fruit fly problem is. Our Northern friends in the Sunraysia region of the state have been dealing with fruit fly migrations south through community fruit fly monitoring and prevention programs for many years now. This project also recognises the efforts of citizen scientists who have added fruit fly sightings on iNaturalist, with occasional sightings in the past year as well as the ongoing smaller monitoring programs by the state government. We think that we can enhance this already valuable data together by discovering the numbers of flies in monitoring traps with broad community support.

That’s why the BPG is inviting all members and interested citizens to help us find out what’s happening in their own backyards by hosting a trap. It’s a great project that brings us closer with local ecology and the importance of garden hygiene. This monitoring program will increase our collective knowledge of how we live in our region to confront climate change.

To register you interest please see the Queensland Fruit Fly page

PDC, Permaculture courses

2021 Permaculture Design Course (PDC) – finally complete

Congratulations to all our 2021 Permaculture Design Course (PDC) graduates, who finally completed their journey in late August!

Two postponements of the final weekend meant that everyone had plenty of time to polish their presentations, although lockdown in Melbourne meant that two people participated via Zoom rather than in person.

The students showed fabulous patience as we negotiated several sets of rescheduled weekends due to lockdown, so it was a collective sigh of relief as we got over the line!

We're already planning a reunion in early November - hoping for a relaxed day with a garden tour followed by lots of catching up at a pizza party in the evening.BIG thanks to the PDC organising team and special mention to Steve Barnes and Breanna Hodges who filmed many sessions this year (as a backup for future years when we may be "COVID interrupted").

If you're looking for some practical ways to implement permaculture during lockdown, you might like to enrol in the Permaculture Living Course offered by Milkwood Permaculture.  BPG financial members receive a 25% discount on the enrolment for this 12 week course.  We recommend the 'lifetime access' option so you can dip in & out of the course whenever you want.

PDC, Permaculture courses

Cold wet day at the PDC

Dr. Ben Habib kicking off the day on the Permaculture Design Course. Perfect action for a cold wet day!

We're stoked to have Dr Ben Habib joining us again this weekend on the Permaculture Design Course. Ben is a senior lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Latrobe University and talked to us about aspects of social permaculture, including people-centred, localised economics. It's an inspiring day full of exciting ideas! [The PDC has had to run a little longer this year as we 'lost' one weekend during a snap lockdown. Thanks to all our students, site hosts and presenters for their flexibility as we've negotiated new dates.]