Seedlings: Permaculture for Families

This week’s blog has been contributed by Lauren and Oberon Carter – two Hobart legends!

Towards the end of Winter last year, after each completing PDCs (mostly taught by the lovely Hannah from Good Life Permaculture!), we found ourselves to be a pair of passionate, optimistic permaculturalists, looking for ways to get our hands dirty, and not just in our own backyards. Our children saw us gardening and talking and planning and wanted in on it. They wanted to know what we knew and develop some real-world skills of their own. A seed was planted and so we set about finding an inclusive way to pass on permaculture thinking to them.



Over a number of weeks, we picnicked, bush walked, gardened and talked and began with the permaculture ethics, using some fun activities to back up our discussion. Later we moved onto the principles, as outlined by David Holmgren for starters. The kids took to it like ducks to water. We discovered that much of it seemed quite intuitive to them and we followed their lead much of the time, working in partnership where needed. Just a simple walk through the bush could spark an observation and a further exploration. We extended our discussions to Minecraft, one of their preferred play mediums, encouraging them to take charge of their own designs and apply permaculture thinking to a world of their own.

Before long, we heard words and phrases like “fair share” and “obtain a yield” entering our children’s vocabulary. Their confidence and understanding of our own permaculture design begin to make sense to them and we secretly high-fived ourselves, thinking that a new generation of awesome earth stewards was on the rise… But of course, we needed to get more families thinking, talking and living permaculture first. So we decided to share our experience with others and the Spiral Garden Seedlings e-course was born.


Just over six months down the track, putting our combined experience as home educators, an ecologist, a designer, permaculture designer and teacher, writers, gardeners, parents and custodians of the earth to work, we’ve had the pleasure of sharing the Seedlings program with sixty families. We’ve been so excited to inspire some connection and nurturing experiences for others. To help pass on some important life skills and welcome a whole new generation of earth custodians to the fray.

Among our Seedlings groups have been city dwellers who had never really gardened, farmers, keen gardeners, permaculture designers and teachers, home educators and kindergarten teachers. What they’ve all shared is a desire to understand and share permaculture thinking with their families in a way that’s nature based, fun and immersive. We’ve shared many online chats, learning together and sharing our observations, difficulties and triumphs. Our children have played together, and our community has grown. It’s been wonderful to see families apply permaculture thinking to all areas of their lives and see just how broad its application can be.


We’re excited to be working with more families over winter – a perfect time for planning, learning and thinking. We’ll be getting outside and having fun – yes, even in chilly old Tassie! We’ll be making new friends and welcoming past Seedlings, ready to jump aboard and join us for the journey all over again. We’ll be joining in again with our family too – we seem to find something new; a new way of looking at things every time, and that’s really exciting!


Aren’t we lucky to have Lauren and Oberon in our world?! You can see more and sign up to the rather marvelous course here. We like him so much that we’ve snaffled Oberon to teach our our upcoming Permaculture Design Course!

One Response to “Seedlings: Permaculture for Families”

  1. Hayley

    Hi there,

    I too am an Educationalist – albeit a recently resigned ‘real’ teacher, embarking on more natural teachings… You might like the following, if you’ve not seen it already! Has a lovely Herb set for kids too! or looke up Wilderchild if link doesn’t show up!

    Love what you are doing!



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