2012 Case studies

View case studies at ISSUU…

You can download the pdf version from ISSUU—follow the link below…

A series of case studies making up part of the FAO project under the EU AAACP program

Farmer organisations and the market in Melanesia—March 2012

Authors: Tony Jansen—TerraCircle consultant
Design/editing: Russ Grayson—TerraCircle consultant
Photographs: Tony Jansen

Value Chain Mapping for Sweet Potato and Taro in Busurata, Masilana and Takwa, Malaita Province

A case study making up part of the FAO project under the EU AAACP program

Farmer organisations and the market in Melanesia—January 2012

This study and report was supported by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) through the EU funded AAACP program. The objective of the program is to improve the livelihoods of producers in commodity dependent ACP countries. The focus of the FAO component was to enhance the capacity of farmers organizations to participate effectively in rapidly changing markets and provide quality services to their members. KGA receives core funding from AusAID and this supported the time of the KGA staff who carried out the value chain study.

Authors: Ronstard Gapu, Miki Funakoshi, Tony Jansen—TerraCircle consultant
Design/editing: Russ Grayson—TerraCircle consultant
Photographs: Tony Jansen

The Forest Foods of Lauru

In the drought of the late 1990s, people in the Solomon Islands and PNG turned to their traditional bush foods to supplement their diets.

Now, the population of Central Choiseul, Solomon Islands, has traditional knowledge of its forest foods documented, thanks to an AusAID-funded research and publication project carried out by TerraCircle.

The Forest Foods of Lauru is the title of the book. It documents not only the foods, their processing, and cooking but also the traditional land classification system that is based on ecological zones from coastal mangrove swamp to the mountain top. The zoning forms part of the traditional forest food knowledge set.

View the flipping book sample of—The Forest Foods of Lauru:

Permaculture Pioneers to include stories of three TerraCircle consultants

Three TerraCircle consultants will feature in a new book documenting people responsible for developing the permaculture design system.

Adult education specialist and TerraCircle associate, Caroline Smith, has been working with Kerry Dawborn to edit the substantial volume of capsule autobiographies. The book is to be published by Holmgren Design Services, the consultancy started by one of the initiators of the permaculture design system.

The book will be launched later this year in different Australian cities, including two locations in Sydney.

A design syatem for sustainable living

Permaculture is a design system for sustainable living. Developed by Tasmanian academic and polymath, Dr Bill Mollison and landscape designer, David Holmgren in the late 1970s, it is broad in application and includes food systems, water and energy efficient building design, community development and much more.

Permaculture has been described as applied systems thinking and counts a great many influences, including the systems ecology work of Howard Odum, Fritz Schumacher’s writings on appropriate technology  Schumacher’s (Intermediate Technology Development Group, which has developed technologies for application in developing countries) and Robert de Hart’s forest food gardens ideas.

In the 1990s the design system made a move into international development, with permaculture-trained practitioners involved in projects in Nepal, Africa, the former Yugoslavia, Vietnam, Cambodia, South America and in providing training in urban agriculture in Havana, Cuba. Permaculture-trained people, then working with APACE (Appropriate Technology for Community and Environment) started their work, now continued through TerraCircle Inc, in the Solomon Islands.

Permaculture has met with enthusiastic acceptance in civil society and now, thanks in part to the nationally accredited certificate and diploma level vocational training in the design system, permaculture is starting to infiltrate professional and even local government areas as its reputation for credibility and utility increases.

Permaculture Pioneers a timely work

Stuart Hill provided inspiration for the Permaculture Pioneers

The initial inspiration for the book came from University of Western Sydney academic and developer of the University’s Social Ecology course, Dr Stuart Hill. His interest was in the motivational and psychological drivers of those who initially developed the design system.

Entitled Permaculture Pioneers, the book will contribute to an outstanding need-documenting the history of the permaculture design system, especially over its first two decades.

TerraCircle recognised

Since their days at APACE, TerraCircle consultants have been involved in food and livelihood projects in the Solomon Islands and PNG that are fully compliant with permaculture design principles although the projects, frequently AusAID funded, were not branded permaculture. In permaculture, it is the use of the principles rather than branding which makes them authentic permaculture.

Those appearing in Permaculture Pioneers:

[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

  • Tony Jansen
  • Fiona Campbell
  • Russ Grayson


all have qualifications in permaculture and considerable experience in designing, implementing and managing permaculture projects.

Australian work demonstrates our committment to SW Pacific region

TerraCircle works with Coffs Harbour residents on the development of a community garden

If the broad goals of international development are similar across all nations, and with the knowledge that the participatory, people-centred approach it takes in working with communities is applicable in developed as well as developing countries, then it’s only natural that TerraCircle has become involved in community development in Australia just as it has in the Solomon Islands.

Believing that a good place to start developing practical, achievable and desirable solutions to sustainable living is where you live-as well as believing that by sharing our skills and resources we can help others achieve sufficiency in their basic and higher-level needs (a ‘distribution of surplus’, ‘fairshare’ principle), the volume of Australia-based work engaging TerraCircle consultants has steadily increased in recent times.

Projects undertaken by TerraCircle in Australia include:

  • writing the Living Smart manual for the Living Smart course offered by local government
  • development of a policy on community food gardening for Randwick City Council
  • production of policy directions on community gardening for Marrickville Council
  • community garden consultation for Coffs Harbour City Council, meeting with the Coffs Coast Local Food Alliance and a participatory site planning workshop for a new community garden
  • a public workshop on a permaculture design for Waverley Council
  • workshop at Charles Kernan Reserve Food Garden for the City of Sydney
  • community engagement crew for the Live Green House exhibition for the City of Sydney
  • participatory development of a governance and site management plan with the Denison Street Community Garden crew and Marrickville Council staff, in collaboration with the Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network (communitygarden.org.au)
  • planning consultation for the James Street Reserve Community Garden team on behalf of the City of Sydney
  • authoring of a column for the Reduceyourfootprint blog for the three Eastern Suburbs council project
  • compost-making workshop for Ku-ring-gai Council.

TerraCircle acts on the dictum of Bill Mollison and David Holmgren (developers of the permaculture design system in which a number of TerraCircle people are qualified as practitioners) to work where it counts and to work with those who want to learn.

To enact this, TerraCircle takes a collaborative approach to its work in Australia, cooperating with community organisations and local government to help them develop solutions that meet the needs of both, that improves neighbourhood environments, increase local opportunity and contributes to liveable, sustainable cities.