ENOUGH! The story of a peace community in Kabul

The Afghan Peace Volunteers (APVs) organized a Permaculture Design Course in Kabul from February to March 2016 and invited Rowe Morrow to facilitate it.

Here is her report on that PDC as well as a follow-up visit to Mahboba’s Promise.

Click on this link to read the report:

ENOUGH_A Peace_Community_Living_Under_War_FINAL_20160626_Email 2

A PDC for people living on the top of the world

In 2016, Rowe Morrow was invited to teach a permaculture course to students from Bhutan, Ladakh, Taiwan, and the Tibetan High School at the Dehradun monastery in India.  Find out what she learnt in her report: “Melting glaciers, sheer slopes, flash floods and permaculture.”

“The focus of permaculture on countries and districts in the Himalayas is critically important even if only to stay or buffer the worst of global warming and the worst of climate change outcomes.

Bhutan is an excellent model for the region with its commitment to the environment and 72% of natural forests in tact. The organic farmers were knowledgeable and supportive in sharing their experiences which could stand for the other countries and provinces. It was invaluable to have their participation. They were confirmed in the positive directions their government has taken when they heard stories from other regions. 

Ladakhis were pleased to tell their government has committed to a clean, green district although it is not fully functioning yet.

The PDC curriculum is challenged by melting glaciers and rising temperatures in these vulnerable and finely tuned ecosystems.   It also continues to be valuable in giving people knowledge to act appropriately and effectively to save lives and landscapes.

  • Where temperatures are not too low, many solutions lie in ‘restoring forests’ of relevant types from low scrubby to taller coniferous.
  • The permaculture approach of water harvesting in a multitude of small catchments and working with watersheds will be critical in the short term and yet has a large labour and cost component. Without these,  people need to start leaving the regions now.
  • Incomes are naturally a major preoccupation and new sources, or greater stability of older ones, needs thoughtful consideration. Meeting human needs within the region is traditional and could be widened and reinforced.
  • Integrated design for colonies and urban suburbs is a permaculture focus which is increasingly required because cities are more congested and polluted. 

Read the full report here

Permaculture Design Course: 17 March – 13 May, 2017

The Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute will be running a Permaculture Design Course on Friday evenings and Saturdays, weekly from Friday 17 March to Saturday 13 May (excluding Easter). This is a great opportunity for those who would like to take the time to fully absorb and integrate permaculture ethics, principles and design strategies, and offers a pathway to completing the internationally recognised course around other work or family commitments. (see curriculum below)

The course includes a WEEKEND IN CANOWINDRA: 28-30 April

Over this weekend we’ll be exploring rural permaculture and visiting Rivers Road Organic Farms – a unique example of a multiple-occupancy certified organic farm specialising in organic grazing, grapes, olives, figs and wine. We will look at Permaculture and Landcare and visit the Canowindra Community Garden.




For this weekend we’ll be staying at Eddy’s of Canowindra, close to the cafes/shops on the main street of Canowindra.



Teachers will include Rosemary Morrow, Lis Bastian, Margie Crowther and others.

This is an opportunity to work with teachers who have a diverse experience in urban, rural and international settings, as well as social permaculture, permaculture in business, and permaculture strategies for growing regional resilience at government level.


Screen shot 2016-05-05 at 6.06.32 PMRosemary Morrow:

Rowe originally studied Agricultural Science at the Sorbonne, in Paris, but then developed a passion for learner-centred teaching in the community. She walked away from formal education and has been teaching permaculture for 30 years. To this day she is still fascinated by adult non-formal education and the respect it demands from the teacher for students’ prior knowledge and skills. She regards teaching and learning as generous reciprocal acts and has taught permaculture in many unusual and challenging places off the beaten track.


Screen shot 2016-05-05 at 2.48.49 PMLis Bastian:

Lis is the co-founder of the Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute and has been teaching with Rowe for the last decade. She has been an Al Gore trained Climate Ambassador, Climate Adaptation Officer for 17 Councils in Central NSW, lecturer in Environmental Management, and is the founder of The Big Fix, a NFP organisation focused on growing a collaborative solutions-focused culture, supported by a Solutions Media Service. After a long and varied career in arts and cultural development,  it is the ‘design’ elements and the systems thinking approach of permaculture that appeals to her.


dsc_0208Margie Crowther:

Margie was introduced to Permaculture by her parents who had watched a TV program on it in the early 1980’s featuring a permaculture farm called “Tread Softly On My Dreams”.  They were, however, very conventional farmers in the Darling Downs district of QLD.  Clearing trees, repeated tilling of the soil, the chemicals and the disconnection from their customers didn’t resonate with Margie.  She kept an interest in Agriculture through school and Uni but found home when she attend Permaculture events.  She did her PDC with Bill Mollison in 1997 at Tyalgum.  She then worked mostly in Landcare roles in NSW and ended up focusing on group dynamics and facilitation.  She then set up her own business, “Permaculture Patches”, in 2003.  She kept feeling that one needs to get one’s own patch right first and then help others who want to do the same.  She is currently the Coordinator of the Canowindra Community Garden and runs a certified organic sheep business with her partner Andrew Wooldridge and daughter Annie.



Fridays : 6.00 – 9.30 pm (17 March, 24 March, 7 April, 21 April, 28 April, 5 May, 12 May

Saturdays : 9am – 5pm (18 March, 25 March, 8 April, 22 April, 29 April, 6 May, 13 May

Sunday : 9am – 4pm (30 April)



Course fee: $1200

Early Bird fee: $1100 if paid before 31st January

Deposit: $100

The course fee covers:

  • Accommodation and meals for weekend in Canowindra
  • Partial catering for the rest of the course; we provide coffee, tea and local vegetarian produce, although participants are encouraged to contribute to a ‘shared table’
  • All tuition as well as class notes and resources

Numbers are strictly limited. To secure your place email Lis or ring +61 407 437 553 or +61 2 47877533

NB. Over the Easter long weekend we’ll be running a Permaculture in Precarious Places Course which is open to all PDC participants. Find out more here



The course includes site visits so classes will be held in a range of venues, but we will be based at the Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute – a short walk from Blackheath Station – at 101 Wentworth St Blackheath. NSW. Australia.



There will be a limited number of billeting and camping options so contact Lis on +61 407 437 553 or +61 2 47877533 or email Lis if you are interested in taking these up.

Otherwise there are well priced camping and cabin sites at Blackheath Glen Tourist Park which is a short walk from where classes are being held. It is opposite the picturesque Blackheath Pool, so bring your swimmers!

Blackheath is also a well-known tourist destination so a range of other accommodation options are also available.



The Permaculture Design Course is a combination of permaculture theory and hands-on practice, as well as a number of site visits.

Watch a short video here that interviews numerous leading permaculturalists and takes a stab at defining permaculture.

The internationally recognised curriculum covers the following topics:

• Global challenges – environmental, social and economic

• Systems thinking

• Ecology basics

• Ethics and principles

• Design methods and site analysis

• Map reading

• Water – domestic, rural, urban

• Climate and microclimates

• Patterns in nature

• Soils

• Seedsaving

• Forests

• Windbreaks

• Biozones

• Aquaculture

• Zones

• Buildings and structures


• Home gardens


• Orchards and animals in orchards (bees, chickens etc)

• Farming/agriculture

• Harvest forests

• Natural forests

• Integrated Pest Management

• Wildlife

• Weeds


• Practical design work: a personal permaculture design and a group permaculture design


• How to do a ‘permablitz’




• Design for Disaster

• Permaculture Incomes

• Permaculture in business, government and NGOs

• Financial Permaculture

• Land access and ethics

• Village and community design

• Suburban and urban permaculture








Permaculture in Precarious Places: 13-19 April 2017, Blue Mountains

A 6 day workshop for permaculturalists wishing to work in challenging environments such as refugee camps, remote communities, disaster zones, low income countries and areas of conflict. Read More

Permaculture Teacher Training: Blue Mountains, 20-26 January 2017

Join Rowe Morrow and Lis Bastian for an intensive Permaculture Teacher Training Course in the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains. Read More


Alfred Decker’s  Merit Diploma for Education and Community Development was awarded for establishing a permaculture website and a teaching team, as well as community outreach from Barcelona. His work is a model for others working from cities. Read More

Tina Lymberis: Permaculture Diploma

Tina Lymberis, a Greek woman who’s spent years in Australia, decided to take permaculture to Greek communities. Her Merit Diploma was awarded for pioneering Permaculture Education, Community Development and Media in Greece. Read More

New Bioregionalism Course in Italy

Traditional House – still occupied

In August 2016 Rowe Morrow led a workshop on Bioregionalism in northern Italy. Here she brings that experience to life: Read More

Permaculture Design Course 13 May – 27 August, Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute will be running a Permaculture Design Course on Friday evenings and Saturdays, fortnightly from Friday 13 May to Saturday 27 August (excluding the long weekend). This is a great opportunity for those who would like to take the time to fully absorb and integrate permaculture ethics, principles and design strategies, and offers a pathway to completing the internationally recognised course around other work or family commitments. Read More

New book: Permaculture Teaching Matters

We are happy to announce the release of the NEW book: Permaculture Teaching Matters, written by Rosemary Morrow and designed by Alba Teixidor.

This book was funded by a crowdfunding campaign early in 2015. It is a step by step guide to assist holders of a PDC to become effective and inspiring teachers. We look forward to them training the next generation of permaculture practitioners. Read More

Permaculture Teacher Training at Applewood, UK

“Change can come from anywhere and happen very fast,
come be part of the solution on the side of life.”
– Rosemary Morrow

It was a historic day in the beautiful British countryside surrounding by endless rolling grassy hills dotted with old barns, stone cottages and flocks of sheep. Converging from all across the planet was a unique community of learners, teachers and activists. Read More

Launch of Advanced Permaculture Course in Community Disaster Mitigation

“Preparedness is always better than Response.”

A course for disaster mitigation for communities has been developed at an IPC 12 Edge Event at the Sustainability Centre at Petersfield in the United Kingdom. Read More

Solomons Report

Video: Tide of Change by Aimie Batalibasi (view at )

In February 2015, a crowdfunding campaign to create Permaculture Teacher Training Resources based on Rowe Morrow’s teacher training courses, successfully raised US$20,426 dollars (more than US$5,000 over its original goal), thanks to 145 generous contributors from around the world. The additional money raised is now funding a project in the Solomon Islands to assist communities affected by rising seas and climate disasters. Read More

A water design for every farm

 From Australian Geographic 2008:The 140-m high Gordon Dam in Tasmania  (Photo: Matthew Newton)


The Federal Agriculture Minister recently  released a green paper on agricultural competitiveness which listed 27 dams and irrigation projects across the country that could warrant possible Commonwealth involvement. Read More

Permaculture Outcomes

Diploma Recipient: Lachlan McKenzie.

In 2010, Lachlan McKenzie was awarded his Permaculture Diploma at the Australian Permaculture Convergence in Kuranda, North Queensland, for his substantial body of work in East Timor and Indonesia. Lachlan worked in a team to bring written materials to equatorial  ecosystems where the country had been devastated, and where many farmers were illiterate. Here, he minutely documents the work with its ups and downs. He explains what it took to produce a manual, posters and other materials.    If you are considering producing materials from budget to editing, then there is much to learn from Lachie’s report for his diploma.  Read on …

Read More


When the Old becomes New: An 800 year old Food Forest.

Rosemary Morrow’s Case Study of her work in Tenganan, Eastern Bali.

 This project demonstrates the importance for permaculturists to apply themselves thoroughly to the history and conditions preceding the project design and implementation. This project had a surprising outcome. The article is somewhat of a model for designing projects and being ready for unusual outcomes.

Read More


Guide on the Side, or the Sage on the Stage?  Which teaching method has proven results?  

In this research article, university professors from prestigious universities in USA (Maryland, Harvard and Arizona) looked at the effectiveness of students’ understanding of physics concepts when the information was conveyed by  lectures, or, with more student involvement. Read More