People often wonder why I am so involved with Permaculture Noosa and the management committee, serving for 4 years, two of them as president, and about to embark on my fifth year. It’s a valid question and one that I’ve actually been forced to ponder myself.

To me, Permaculture Noosa is a means of spreading the work of Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, and all those who have followed in their footsteps.  This may sound evangelical, but it’s not intended to be. Quite simply I believe that Permaculture is just plain common sense, and it is perhaps more relevant today than ever before.  We live in a world where manmade intervention is hailed as the savour to everything. In agriculture (the way we feed our people) we have fertilisers to feed our crops, herbicides to eradicate the weeds that compete with them, pesticides to kill the bugs that eat them, genetically modified strains of plants to better resist all the herbicides, pesticides and fungicides we pour on them. In short, a cocktail of chemicals that get more concentrated every decade as we need to ‘recorrect’ the dosages and turn our backs on the balance of nature. It feels to me like a downward spiral.

But I don’t want to feel helpless and give up because one person cannot make a difference. I joined Permaculture Noosa because of the opportunity to learn more about growing my own organic food, and lessening my footprint on the planet. But more importantly I want my granddaughters to live in a world where they can be healthy and safe and not fearful for the future of the planet.

By working with my fellow committee members we can make a difference to help other people in the community learn more about growing their own food, living more sustainably, and respecting the balance of nature. And I really believe that people are asking for this. Yes, it may seem that we have to worry about mundane things like fundraising and marketing and administration. But I fully believe that once we have built our new pavilion at the community gardens in Cooroy, we can offer so much more to our members and many other people in the Noosa hinterland and beyond, who share similar ideas or just want to know more. We can attract many more educators to run workshops and demonstrations, and we can continue to build our base and share our bounty in the gardens. We can broaden our affiliations with our partners, sister organisations and other like-minded community groups.

So please, if you have some spare time, and want to be part of the solution and not the problem, consider joining the Permaculture Noosa management committee at our AGM next month. Or perhaps consider putting up your hand to volunteer from time to time. Together we can make a difference, and if we have a strong management team, with a balance of ages, gender, experiences and backgrounds, we can start to make a big difference.

Latha Matters

The views expressed above are those of the author and not necessarily shared by Permaculture Noosa.