New book – The Vegan Book of Permaculture

Graham Burnett, friend and coworker, has written a book about Vegan Permaculture. After ten years of hard work it is finally here and looks great!

More about it:

The Vegan Book of Permaculture by Graham BurnettThe Vegan Book of Permaculture gives us the tools and confidence to take responsibility for our lives and actions. Creating a good meal, either for ourselves or to share, taking time to prepare fresh, wholesome home or locally grown ingredients with care and respect can be a deeply liberating experience. It is also a way of taking back some control from the advertising agencies and multinational corporations.In this groundbreaking and original book, Graham demonstrates how understanding universal patterns and principles, and applying these to our own gardens and lives, can make a very real difference to both our personal lives and the health of our planet. This also isn’t so very different from the compassionate concern for ‘Animals, People and Environment’ of the vegan way.

Interspersed with an abundance of delicious, healthy and wholesome exploitation-free recipes, Graham provides solutions-based approaches to nurturing personal effectiveness and health, eco-friendly living, home and garden design, veganic food growing, reafforestation strategies, forest gardening, reconnection with wild nature and community regeneration with plenty of practical ways to be well fed with not an animal dead! This is vegan living at its best.

What I wrote about it:

Graham has pioneered vegan permaculture and this book is testament to his knowledge and passion. Graham integrates a desire for social justice for non-humans with the ethics, principles and practices of permaculture in a beautiful and accessible way. Its applications worldwide for social change are clear and I hope this book inspires a movement to change our landscapes and society to radically change how we interact with animals and each other.

Where to get it:

Want to learn more? Come on our Vegan Permaculture Design Course.
Well done Graham, an amazing achievement.

Slideshow from my Permaculture Diploma Presentation

Here are the slides from my presentation at the National Permaculture Diploma Gathering 2014.

Vegan Permaculture Design Course

Do you seek to live compassionately without the unnecessary exploitation of people, animals and the environment? Are you concerned about climate change, peak oil and future generations? Are you interested in changing how we interact with other species, ecosystems and our human communities?

Then this full permaculture design course is for you.

Course Content

The course will be covering universal permaculture ethics, principles and design methods, however please note the focus will be on non-animal based and stock-free systems & alternatives to animal exploitation.

The broad curriculum introduces all aspects of regenerative design and living in a participatory & enlivening way through group work, design practice, practicals & site visits. Areas of learning include the permaculture design process, surveying skills, soils, kitchen gardening, climate & microclimate, agroforestry & forest gardening, energy, water & sewage management, sustainable economics, bioregionalism, community organising, systems thinking, sustainable building, energy & transport plus much more…

Course Dates & Location

Part one: 28 June – 2 July Part two: 2 – 6 August 2014

Brook End, is a 4 acre smallholding and LAND demonstration centre designed & managed on plant-based permaculture principles 5 miles from Glastonbury in Somerset. Accomodation is camping, with hot showers, wood-fired sauna & beautiful local walks. Local B&Bs can be recommended. All catering will be vegan with as much as possible grown on site & sourced from local growers.

Michele & Nicole will be growing most of the food for the course & Michele will be making delicious vegan meals.


Lead Tutor Graham Burnett has been teaching permaculture since 1998, is a holder of the Diploma in Permaculture Design and author of Permaculture A Beginner’s Guide and the forthcoming Vegan Book of Permaculture. He runs Spiralseed an ethical venture working in partnership with others who share concerns around social and environmental justice.

Supporting Tutor Nicole Vosper is a vegan organic grower, community organiser and permaculture practitioner based in Somerset. She sees land-based struggle & living as an essential step towards animal liberation.


£550 for 10 day course. There are also three 50% subsidised places & three expenses only places. Please enquire for more details.


This is a full Permaculture Design Course accredited by the Permaculture Association GB

How to Book

Email for an application form.

National Permaculture Diploma Gathering November, I made it for the third time to the National Permaculture Diploma Gathering. Held ‘up north’ to me, the gathering took place at the YHA Castleton (apparently where Das Kapital was translated) way up in Derbyshire.

Having been close to accrediting for the last year, the gathering felt like a different experience this time. Having done the Diploma Tutor Training last year, I now had to put it into practice and undertook two Tutorials with apprentices.

The first was with three apprentices, looking at how they can re-design their action learning pathway so that is a useful tool to help them achieve their learning goals. The tutorial was structured around the GaSADIE design cycle, and I made sure that the Goals articulation element came first. When people really start to unravel why they are doing the diploma, their whole pattern of undertaking it changes. If your goal is to have a more resilient life and garden, then your designs will be centred around this, if you are desparate to learn a whole new skill set, then your chosen projects will be chosen to stretch and push you… if your intentions are to do the diploma simply to spend more time with people you love, then again, all your choices change.

We then looked at surveying where we are at, what is working well and what is challenging. In terms of analysis I looked at how people capture and document their learning so that they can make the diploma as low input, maximum output as possible.

Anyhow, thankfully the tutorial went really well and I got some positive feedback, phew! The second tutorial was a one-to-one with Katie Shepard looking at how to make those designs a reality and we looked at things like boundaries and time management tools such as Parkinsons Law (when an task expands to the time available to do it), so I got to totally geek-out and again got some really encouraging feedback.

I also really enjoyed the weekend for being able to get a little drunk and hang out with some lovely folks I only really see once a year.

Without any too bad hangovers, I also learnt alot from others. Tom Henfrey gave a workshop on Succession and Adaptive Cycles, which was super interesting, and I could feel my environmental science brain become enlivened again.

There was also a great workshop on Reflective Learning, which complimented one that I gave on Action learning, really well, and I intend to put some things into practice about how to improve my reflective writing to better capture my own learning.

On the Monday after I stayed for some Tutor CPD, which was a great chance to look at the new accreditation criteria, touch base with other tutors and get some more practice in assessing work.

Overall, a good weekend, which capped a fun northern adventure.

More than 80 people at Good Food For Everyone Forever

Over 80 people attended Good Food For Everyone Forever – an evening of Speakers and Local Food Feast that took place on Friday 13th September 2013.

People from across Somerset and the South West brought food to share, including soups and stuffed marrows, local chutnies, home grown salad and more. Everyone ate together while listening to speakers.

I started the evening by talking about Incredible Edible Somerset and what people are doing all over the county to change the food system in Somerset. See my presentation here.

Louise Brookes from Feed Avalon, then talked about what resilience looks like and how she has created a social enterprise locally to make this vision of a sustainable food system a reality.

Hannah Thorogood, farmer, permaculture designer and teacher from Lincolnshire then talked about Regenerative Agriculture and some of the amazing practices from around the planet that are regenerating soils, farms and communities.

Finally, Colin Tudge, keynote speaker commanded attention as he ripped apart our current industrial agricultural model that is failing and talked about the agrarian renaissance necessary to start feeding people without harming the planet. He also mentioned his projects the Campaign for Real Farming, the College of Enlightened Agriculture and the Oxford Real Farming Conference, which is coming up again next year.

Overall it was an inspiring and moving evening – both bring together people that care, as well as hearing passionate speakers talking about the change they wish to see in how we feed our communities.

All photos were kindly taken by Ingrid Crawford.