Permaculture, an answer to sustaining agriculture and rural communities

May 4, 2013

The Living Classroom (TLC) in Bingara is a development project focused on agriculture, education, tourism and conferencing. Many of the earthworks and the structures for the centre have been completed. It has started to have an impact on people, projects and policies.

One of the first educational courses to be held at TLC will take place on the weekend of May 4 and 5. Bingara Community College will be offering An Introduction to Permaculture. The presenter of the course, Rick Hutton, has a BA Dip Ed in Earth Sciences, Education and Economics and a Permaculture Teaching Certificate and Design Certificate.

Rick has had more than twenty years experience, as a retail business owner and manager in rural NSW. He believes that small rural communities are “on an edge” as far as their future viability and survival are concerned.

“Our rural populations are declining,” Rick said. “While our smaller towns are holding on to their populations, they are not growing, and so rural shires are losing total populations.

We cannot expect this trend to reverse while we continue with our current economic mix,” he said. Rick thinks that Permaculture has answers. “Permanent agriculture or Permaculture requires a review of how we provide for our basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, and a new direction in community systems,” he said. “The process does not have to be harsh or the pathway to sustainability difficult, but we do need to consider options and plan for our future, and be prepared for the rapid changes that are coming our way.”

The Introduction to Permaculture course is being offered through Bingara Community College. For more information about it contact the BCC Coordinator, Sue Craig on 6724 1965 or 0427 543 233 or Rick Hutton directly on 0428 255 380.