Permaculture adventures in Sector39

Trying to make sense of living in a crazy time

Commentary on permaculture, networking, courses updates, news and related info
Cwm Harry Land Trust, Treflach Farm, Permanent Housing co-operative, S39 work with several different projects, gardens and farms
Links and discussion on wider sustainability issues, news and opinion

Sector39 is a partnership of gardeners, teachers and rural craftsfolk, working in persuit of a saner, more sustainable world.

6 part PDC in Reading from January

Reading International Solidarity Centre  is an ideal place to study permaculture. It has been at the forefront of social change in Reading since its inception and as a venue has brought together a great many like minds. Please do get in  touch if you would like more information about this course. There is lots more info on the Sector39 website.


It’s time we talked, Sector39 2015 Newsletter

There has never been a more important time for permaculture and looking ahead to 2015 it is going to be really interesting year. I have produced a newsletter in a downloadable format looking forward to the coming 12 months and I really want to open up the audience for permaculture design by offering 2 courses, one spread over 6 weekends in Reading from 7th January and one leading up to the Midsummer solstice in Mid Wales which will be 2 week residential course. I have created this newsletter in the hope that it will travel far and wide and help us reach people who are not yet maying attention to these issues.

Clicking on the image will download the Newsletter in PDF form, please circulate widely! Many thanks


Press release for the Reading PDC

Dear Radio Berkshire,

I would love to tell you more about the permaculture design course I am running at RISC in the New year, I believe it will be of great interest to your listeners.

In 2002-5 I was instrumental in building the now fully established roof top forest garden on the RISC centre at 39 London Street Reading. This is a garden system modelled on the principles of ecology and it has created an abundant and beautiful landscape that needs little maintenance and is highly productive. It is a great example of working with permaculture design and this winter I will be returning to run a series of 6 weekends teaching the broader principles of permaculture and showing how to use this powerful design system for yourself.

Permaculture is the fastest growing, most vital and energetic grass roots movement around. Permaculture is a design system which addresses the challenging issues of the day.. resource depletion, climate change, soil loss, financial chaos and the social and economic turmoil that goes with that.

Permaculture design, often taught via a peer to peer learning process is a complete syllabus on sustainability, It shows you how to become an active part of the solution, is empowering and life enhancing. It is the panacea to the gloom and doom of the present day and an important part of the mechanism that will allow us to turn this destructive ship around to build the kind of World system we might all want to be part of.

Globalisation is proving to be a massive failure, finance and banking system have arguably become a massive global fraud, Western economies are suffocating under unmanageable levels of debt and the fragile biosphere of the planet is suffering from collapsing biodiversity, soil erosion, lowering water tables and deforestation. This massive degradation we are inflicting on the physical environment will have potentially disastrous and far reaching consequences. Bizarrely our economic paradigm actually values resource destruction and environmental damage as a measurement of achievement and consequently decision makers, politicians and corporates are wilfully blind to the devastation they are causing. Economic growth at all costs is the mantra, even when it benefits increasingly few and at an ever greater cost to the natural world.

Permaculture is a grass roots, bottom-up design process which attempts to address all of these issues.. it focuses on self-empowering and bypasses many of the blockages to launching projects and initiatives from within the mainstream. Permaculture is about modelling on nature to build resilience, to re-localise and regenerate the social and biological complexity that globalised systems have eroded.

This is a course for anyone with an active interest in our continued survival on this planet. This is an energising, inspirational and uplifting experience with the power to transform and create new possibilities.

Places are limited, prices flexible according to income, and include all core costs, certification, field trips etc. There are two intern places available at cost only, in return for a commitment to volunteer and contribute to sector39 and on this or future courses.

I would be more than happy to make myself available for interview to discuss this or any of the matters it raises.



TSW Jones
Permaculture courses, landscapes and design
Ty Cornel, Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant, Powys
SY10 0JW. 0771 981 8959


June PDC in Mid Wales, with a focus on crafts and community growing

We are bringing together two of the most experienced permaculture tutors in Wales with three of the most experienced crafts folk to offer a unique and special permaculture design course in June 2015.

Set in a stunning location in the mountains of Mid Wales, by the source of the Severn and Wye rivers this will be a very special for 14 participants to take journey beyond sustainability.

Permaculture empowers you to turn your aspirations for a better, saner world into reality. Limited places, so please get in touch, camping, farmhouse or luxury bungalow accommodation options.

permaculture design course june 2015

Permaculture design course June 2015

Alongside the internationally recognised curriculum there will be opportunities to be involved in building from natural materials, charcoal making a retort kiln, green wood work and basic skills. We will also be spinning yarn from raw wool, weaving and using various looms to make carpets, rugs and blankets.

The mix of theory and practical sessions make you through the basics of ecology, food growing, energy systems, water, soils, community and finance. We run compost practicals, ferment foods, whilst exploring the potentials of unleashing the collective power of community to being about positive change.

permaculture course pics

A few shots from the June 2014 course at the same venue

Here is a lovely clip from Graham Bell in the Scottish borders, admiring his 25 year old forest garden at home.


TREWS with Max and Stacey guesting with Alec Baldwin

Maybe there is a bit of a Russell Brand over exposure at present, but his relentless zeal to communicate the core message of sustainability cannot be disregarded. This is valiant stuff, challenging the face of orthodoxy. When it comes to financial analysis no one is better informed or more impassioned than Max Keiser and Stacey Herbert, so they make a great team with Baldwin adding a another important perspective. Baldwin even manages to embarrass Brand and hijack his show although not to the degree that Brand did famously on Morning Joe over in the US  awhile back.

This is great television, fierce, angry, provocative, funny, friendly… this is an A.M. sofa show that the BBC et al would never broadcast in a million years, yet this is the dialogue we all need to be hearing and engaging with. Financial terrorism, climate change, greed, lies and the looming threat of peak oil.

So watching Max and Stacey on their great talk show has excited me to the potential of Bitcoin and the whole idea of Crypto currencies. it took a little while to sink in and understand how it works and just how clever it is but now I am really getting it. This brilinat short video shows it being used to send remittances to Uganda from the United States to great effect.. something that particularly resonates for me as I have jsut returned from there myself and had returned excited by the possibilities myself. So it is thrilling to know it is already taking off.



David Holmgren talking on Permaculture as a diver for wider political change

Co-originator of the permaculture concept, David Holmgren is the deep and introspective one,  set against Mollison’s brashness and bravado, they make a great contrasting pair. Here is a short clip of Holmgren talking about the collective power of individual action.  If permaculture were to catch on widely then there would an unstoppable and seismic shift in the political sphere. 


here’s a really interesting one: Free rent on an ecovillage for a year?

From: “Simplicity Institute” <>
Date: 24 October 2014 09:04:56 BST
Subject: [Simplicity Institute] Free rent on an ecovillage for a year? ( Documentary project)

Hi Richard,

Are you a passionate and knowledgeable permaculturalist? Would you
like to live in a developing ecovillage for a year ‘rent free’ as
part of a documentary project? Do you want to explore a life of
frugal abundance? If so, read on!

Over the last 12 months the Simplicity Institute has been involved
in the development of an ecovillage permaculture farm out near Moe,
Victoria, Australia (about 1 hour 45 mins from Melbourne). To date
the communities involved have built a small Earthship, a beautiful
cob cabin, and last week we made great progress on an earthbag dome
and a pizza oven. There are bees buzzing, beers brewing, water tanks
collecting, and communities forming. We’ve also planted 40 odd fruit
trees and have established some large vegetable gardens, with more
to come. The 20-acre property has a large dam, a large shed, a large
greenhouse and chicken coop, as well as a more conventional house.

These are early days, but much has been done over the last year with
many more plans and projects in the pipeline. Our primary aim is to
explore what ‘one planet’ living looks like, to demonstrate it as far
as possible, and to use the property as an education centre and
activist hub to promote pathways to a radically ‘simpler way’ to
live. We don’t want to escape the system; we want to help transform
it. Would you like to be part of this adventure?

The Simplicity Institute has been approached by a documentary
filmmaker and we are now conspiring to turn this project into an
inspiring educational documentary, which records the evolution of
the property in these early stages and demonstrates the nature of a
highly localised, sufficiency-based economy. We are currently seeking
applications from people interested in living out on the property for
one year, starting in January 2015, to be part of this documentary.

We are seeking creative, passionate, good-spirited and knowledgeable
permaculturalists, who are prepared to explore a lifestyle of radical
simplicity and who are committed to making this property and this
documentary project a success. The documentary will be filmed over a
one-year period, with the participants being filmed exploring the
various aspects of ‘one planet’ living. Among other things, it is
hoped that the documentary will demonstrate organic food production,
renewable energy production, radically reduced energy consumption,
alternative technologies and building methods, composting toilets,
low-tech solar hot water, making and mending rather than buying,
home production, minimizing waste, building community and local
economies, and so forth. We aren’t interested in documenting ‘light
green’ living. We are seeking applications from people interested in
exploring the ‘deep green’ alternative. If you are ready to challenge
yourself and inspire others, be in touch.

If you’re interested in applying, please send a one-page application
to Tell us who youare, why you
want to be involved, the skills you could bring, and anything else
you feel we should know. Applications close 10 November with
interviews and decisions soon thereafter. We’re aiming to invite up
to 6-8 people on the property for the year to establish the small
community for this project.

Like all documentaries, this one will require funding. For the rest
of the year, the Simplicity Institute will be donating all proceeds
from the sales of

Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation


Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future

Please support this important project by buying copies of these
books and sharing these links. We can’t do this alone. Christmas is
coming up, so perhaps rather than buying junk we could all buy our
families and friends copies of these books to spread the important
messages of simplicity and permaculture while also supporting this
documentary. Thanks for your support.

If you are able to financially support this project in more
significant ways, please be in touch at:


Simon Ussher and Samuel Alexander
Directors of the Simplicity Institute

513 Dana Street
Ballarat Victoria 3350


The Soil Solution to climate change

Excellent soil and soil carbon video

Whilst on th e subject of climate change responses, this is als really interesting for all of the possibilitirs it opens up.


Naomi Klein, at the Live Guardian debate

Naomi Klein believes that the most profound threat humanity has ever faced is happening right now; that our economic model is waging war against life on earth.

Last night (6/10/14) she spoke to a packed auditorium on her thoughts on how solving Climate Change, “em>changes everything”and gives us the platform to challenge capitalism and consumerism. It is not working for the planet, is creating wealth inequality on an unprecedented scale and is deeply unsustainable in many ways. The time for profound change is upon us.

This is immense, important, essential watching and frames the way forward for us all. She talks of an 8-10% year o year reduction in carbon emissions and a transformation of economy and value systems. Much food for thought here.


Permaculture, Films for Action