In our efforts for positive change, while we should be open minded and receptive to opportunities to work with our governments, we cannot leave all responsibilities to the government alone. Rather, the public should take action and represent themselves when their appointed officials do not.
Self-reliance and true sustainability are extremely difficult as an individual or single family. Local permaculture groups have been a very effective tool in local communities for positive change, including influencing local government.
How to start a local permaculture group:
- Gather a group of people
- Name the group with the word Permaculture + name of your local government (example: Permaculture Noosa)
- Establish a Local Non Profit Group Inc.
- Appoint President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Members
- Create a Mission Statement
- Open a bank account
- Get public liability insurance. Tip: Often you can become an affiliate member of another group to receive group insurance benefits
- In Australia a good one is the Gardening Association of Australia
- The newsletter should not take over the group. Keep it simple
- Monthly meetings
- Education, all levels of courses, workshops and other
- On ground work, stay active
- Let the group evolve
- Give birth to new groups with growth in neighboring regions
- Guest speakers
- Plant of the month
- Action of the month, lesson on an activity appropriate to the season
Eventual expansion of the groups activities:
- Cooking workshops. Share recipes for in-season foods from local gardens
- Permaculture Energy Transfer (P.E.T.) events are home based, work bee, potluck, hands on learning experiences. These are great opportunities to invite a spouse or a friend
- Pre-meeting market: an exchange of surplus and goods
- Part time PDC courses taught on weekends for locals
It is important to research how non-profit groups are established in your area. If possible, include people of expertise in non-profit organizations within your permaculture administration.
If there is no permaculture group in your area, start one. Not only is there power in numbers, there is also the added value in surrounding yourself with like minded people, sharing resources and sharing ideas.