Hi, this is Geoff.

We’re right in the middle of our 10-day Permaculture In Action hands-on course (actually, more of an experience than a course). We have one last one that we’re offering this year in December (from the 3rd to the 14th), and spots are filling up. If you’d like to join us on the farm (and enjoy beautiful sunrises!), roll up your sleeves, and take permaculture out of the classroom and into the real world, feel free  to apply for 2018’s final offering.

This week’s Friday Five is absolutely brimming, so let’s jump right in…

Breakfast! Here’s my favorite instagram pic of the week. If you came to the farm, would you dare eat it with me? 🙂 If you like getting quick pics of what our days look like on the farm, during consultations, and on permaculture trips around the world, feel free to follow our Instagram channel.

Outdoor Survival: Here’s a well-done guide about outdoor survival called, “50 Survival Tips and Tricks for the Outdoors.” What I appreciate about this guide is that it goes well beyond the typically brain-numbing “listicles” that just provide a superficial overview. Alex Park, the editor of the site that published the guide, has done a great job of explaining each point and supplementing them with either photos, short videos, or additional links. My one small quibble with this is tip # 15, which I believe works only in the Northern Hemisphere. Fantastic job, Alex!

New Video (and an opportunity): Speaking of outdoor survival…I’m sure that almost all of you remember Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie that hit parts of Australia and New Zealand in late March / early April 2017. Debbie dumped 440 mm of rain in 24 hours, and a total of 580 mm over the course of 36 hours. It absolutely devastated the region, and estimates of the economic impact came in at just under $3 billion USD. Our farm was right in the middle of it all, so how did it impact us? In the 10 minute clip I link to below, I take you with me on a (very wet!) tour to find out the answer.

Before watching it, there are 3 things I’d like to ask that you keep in mind: First, please note that I wanted to keep the recording brief, so I used some terms and concepts that folks new to permaculture might not be familiar with. If that’s you, don’t worry about it: You can pick up the most important bits just by looking at the raw footage in the video. Second, I’m not sharing this to somehow “brag about how well we did.” Not at all. My point here is to help anyone watching this avert any future disasters by learning from what we did right (and wrong). Third, I want you to remember that none of this is magic. All of it can be learned. At one point, I knew NOTHING about any of this. But I studied with those who knew, practiced what I learned, and now I consult for some of the biggest names in disaster-preparedness. Anyone wanting to learn can absolutely do so. And so that I don’t clog up this entry any more, I’ll say more about these training opportunities below in the “PS.”  

So here is the video, freshly posted inside The Permaculture Circle (TPC). As always, if you’re already enrolled in our free TPC learning community, you can view the full presentation here. And if you are not a member of TPC, you can quickly become one for free here), and immediately gain access to the video as well as 100+ other videos and media resources. I would also recommend watching this short animation (also in the TPC free members area) which illustrates some of the concepts I refer to in the 10 minute video. Again, it is dense because it is part of the “Earthworks” chapter in our Permaculture Design Certificate Online course, so if you don’t understand everything…here comes the shameless plug 🙂 … then consider enrolling in our upcoming online PDC 🙂

Wine and Nuclear Disaster: That was one of the longest F5 posts ever, so here is a short one to balance things out: A fascinating piece published in the MIT Technology Review asks, “Is it possible to see the effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in California wines produced at the time?” The answer (and its implications) may surprise you.

In case you missed it: A few pieces of interest this week from our sister site, the non-profit Permaculture Research Institute:

If you enjoy these posts, be sure to bookmark the site as several new articles go up weekly, or check out thousands of other past articles, here.  

That’s it for the Friday Five. As always, if you have any comments / reactions / or a different point of view, please share below.

Cheers, and have a great week,

Your friend,


PS: 3 quick things:

  1. Earthworks Course (and Discount): The Cyclone Debbie post above was really long, so I didn’t want to write any more there. But I would be absolutely remiss if I didn’t mention that most of the seemingly “magical” things we did that helped us avert an absolute disaster, most of these things we teach (and actually DO) in our hands-on “Earthworks” course. I teach this course just ONCE a year with my good friend and expert excavator, Glenn Armstrong, and its starting in one week here on our farm. To enroll, click here and enter “EARTHWORKS-20%OFF” to get a 20% discount on the tuition (that’s a savings of almost $600 AUD, and only available to readers of the Friday Five).
  2. Earthworks Recordings: We plan on recording as much of the Earthworks course as possible and offering that as a paid, stand-alone online course (like we do with the PDC). Anyone enrolling in the face-to-face, at-the-farm course at the end of this month will get lifetime access to the course at no additional cost. It’ll be included as a gift when you enroll. And don’t forget the gorgeous sunrise 🙂
  3. PDC Online 2018 Course Waiting List: If you can’t make it out here to Australia next week, you can still learn all of the CONCEPTS we used to prepare for Cyclone Debbie in the Earthworks module in our PDC 2.0 Online course (the Earthworks module is just 1 out of 14 modules in the course). We’ll be starting very soon, so if you want to get on the early notification list (priority enrollment, tuition discount, etc.), please click here.