Accredited Permaculture Designers

September 1, 2014

staff_kate_1Staff member Kate Heron has recently joined Yan Zhao in being two of the only 115 Accredited Permaculture Designers in Victoria. Trained by world renowned permaculture expert Geoff Lawton and Ceres respectively, both are passionate about the positive approach that permaculture offers.

Kate says: “For me, Permaculture is a happy nexus, bringing together my interests in landscape, horticulture, design and food. It’s gardening for pleasure, but also for sustainable food production. It’s a joy to be able to share food.”


Firmly based on scientific principles and observations, Permaculture differs from traditional gardening in several ways.staff_yan_1

–  Soil, at such risk of degradation in urban environments, is key to the health of the environment.
–  A focus on perennial, rather than annual crops.
–  Closing the waste loop: utilising waste streams in positive ways, not just on the constant extraction of resources.
–  A system of ethics, which embraces Earth Care, People Care and Return of Surplus.

This approach is of particular value to any clients wishing to develop food production at any scale, from the micro (such as low maintenance herb beds) to large scale (such as food forests). As we transition into a time of decreased food security and climate variability, it’s a positive, practical step that communities and individuals can take to make a difference, when many people are feeling like the environmental challenges we face are insurmountable.

The principles orchard-in-may-f5893eb9-ec80-43b8-9d7c-efe42dd36d29of permaculture are equally applicable to non-productive landscapes, although as Kate says, it will take a different approach than the traditional practice of Landscape Architecture.

“It takes time, and patience. Starting from the soil up, it’s a way of designing that needs initial investment of both time and resources, but pays off many times over. Permaculture offers a more resilient plant and food growing system but we need to reconnect people with lost skills and knowledge.”


At Urban Initiatives, we are happy to provide you with the skills, design sensibility and knowledge to create beautiful, viable and productive spaces.



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