Tag Archives | Charlie Mgee

Putting the cult in permaculture

We have been implementing some big changes around here. So tired are we of the dominant culture, we have decided to build a giant, beautiful stone wall to separate us from the outside world. Yup, we’ve decided to put the cult into permaculture once and for all.

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We have hired a gang of young thugs to help protect our perma-paradise.

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We have bribed a team of experts from the land of milk(wood) and honey to come and help grow food that will sustain us and nurture our soils.

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And to ensure diversity we have friends from afar growing food from our seed stock. Here is Cyrano with a prolific Syrian cucumber. Look closely and you will see that apparently it only needs itself to continue growing!

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We have spent thousands of hours hosting focus groups so we could come up with the perfect design for our new range of summer hats. We call it perma-couture.

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Here is a photo taken with a spy camera of our top secret lab as we grow more prototypes of even weirder and more human-like hats that will eventually be grafted onto the wearers’ foreheads, for this ever-warming climate.

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We have invested thousands of dollars constructing technically complex and elaborate towers to help us protect our boundaries.

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We have taken advantage of the most advanced technology known to humanity to develop a fierce beast that will gobble all intruders, and their foliage.

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To help spread word of our cult’s principles and ethics, we have collected a team of co-conspirators to work on David’s forthcoming book.

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We have joined forces with undercover agent Mgee and his formidable task-force as they help spread our message through the means of subterfugal music, to help convert the young and the illiterate.

Grow Do It - Formidable Vegetable Sound SystemThey are launching their exciting new album Grow Do It this coming Friday at 7pm at the Daylesford Town Hall, if you’d like to come along. You can buy tickets here (or on the door), and the new album here.

 

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If you like what we are about and would like to be part of our collective, please come along on Friday night and join us. If you pass the dance initiation, you’re in. We’re fussy, but not that fussy.

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Persimmons, pumpkins and permie dancing

With the corn we harvested and shucked in March, we cooked up a delicious feast of tortillas.

IMG_5044We dug up potatoes to store for winter,

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and relocated naughty runaway artichokes.

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We exhaled deep sighs of relief with the coming of the rain,

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and we farewelled Lori, who returned to the US. Lori, pictured here with this season’s latest fashion, the scarf biologique, is our last MIAOW (Melliodora Interns and Other Workers) for a while. Ordinarily we don’t take MIAOWs over the winter, though we do start booking people in to come and stay from September onward. This year we are taking an extended break from our usual MIAOW scheduling as we look forward to settling the Milkwood crew in to their new digs in early July.

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We heartily welcomed these gorgeous visitors with their generous box of shroomy delights. Thanks Tess and Oliver!

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Last month, the R/1 students from the Yorketown Area School in South Australia created a book of drawings for Charlie Mgee after listening to his music during their Science, Literacy and Music lessons. Charlie received this book at the Food Forest in SA where David was teaching at this year’s PDC.

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As we hung up the last of our tomato vines to ripen

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we welcomed the onset of citrus season and look forward to rereading Morag Gamble’s great post on Ways to Use Abundant Mandarins (fruit & peel).

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Autumn really is the season of giving thanks. Here is Su with the gorgeous Kat Lavers exchanging persimmons for pumpkins. Thanks Kat! You made Su sooooooo happy.

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We had another visitor join us here in Hepburn. Woody from Artist as Family came and spent the day being the apprentice’s apprentice. Your care and gentleness was much appreciated, Mitch,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAas were your awesome dance moves.

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Thanks too for taking this photo of this morning’s frost, the first big one for the season.

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Thanks to Hamish and Christian, too, for their work building the stone wall on the east side of the house. It’s looking so good!

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OK. That’s enough chit chat. It’s been fun and all but we’d better get back to work. Hope you are working hard and dreaming big, filling your barrows with pleasures accumulated and shared.

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If you are considering writing a poem for the Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize, our inbox still has plenty of room. Entries close July 15 so there’s still lots of time.

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Formidable Veg to hit the northern hemisphere

photographed by David Maclean in Oamaru, the world’s steampunk capital.

People in the UK and Europe, be prepared, as the prodigal sons of permaculture, Charlie Mgee and Mal Webb embark on another festival and concert tour during your northern summer.

You know they globe trotted across both hemispheres at every festival from Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party and Latitude to Shambhala (Canada), Symbiosis (USA) and Woodford (Australia), you know their single “Yield” won the 2013 best blues music video/best edited video title from Australian Independent Music Video Award, while “No such thing as waste” was chosen as the best folk song in their native WestAustMusic Song of the Year awards. If you thought 2013 was a very big year for them,  2014 is going to be even bigger.

From its humble beginnings as a fun sustainability-based educational resource Formidable Vegetable Sound System has evolved to become the world’s most successful experiment in “ecological edutainment”, mashing together speakeasy-electroswing beats and ukulele with songs about principles of permaculture and regenerative design that offer solutions to some of the greatest problems facing the human race and the planet.

If you are out there, planning (or dreaming?) what to do in the coming months, you better come and see ukulele-strumming troubadour Charlie Mgee, beatboxing multi-instrumentalist, Mal Webb and two DJs dropping fresh Beets.

As we go to press, the dates include the following incredible shows. Be there or be square. Here’s their new single, “oil”.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h__qCy4GhSM&w=560&h=315]
2014 tour dates

JUN 26 – 30   GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL, UK

JULY 6 – 7  CITY OF LONDON FESTIVAL, UK

JULY 18 – 20  RHYTHMTREE FESTIVAL, UK

AUG 1  GREEN GATHERING, UK

AUG 2 – 3   BIMBLE BANDADA FESTIVAL, UK

AUG 4 – 6   BOOM FESTIVAL, PORTUGAL

AUG 7 – 10   BOOMTOWN FAIR, UK

AUG 14 – 17  NORDIC PC FESTIVAL, DENMARK

AUG 21 – 24   SMALL WORLD FESTIVAL, UK

(more dates to follow).

Here are  some high lights from last year.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz94dkm9Vgo&w=560&h=315]
(live at Glastonbury 2013)

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(live at Woodford 2013)

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(the interview on the Fairfax media)

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Welcome home, Charlie

We have a lot of visitors at Melliodora.

Last week, it was the ‘Inimitable Vegetable Sound Machine’ Charlie Mgee himself, turning up at our doorsteps with his tool-of-trade ukelele in hand.

He spent a few days here, before appearing at the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve sound shell during the Swiss Italian Festa last Saturday, and left promising to come back in January (stay tuned).

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After six months on the road, of gruelling tours in northern hemisphere, Charlie was instantly in his element at Melliodora. Though this is his first visit to permaculture central Melliodora, he looked quite at home and on arrival jumped into all sorts of activities around the property. He blended in, as if he had been here before, and he looked sparkling best when he was working in the garden with David. Charlie’s like that, as you can guess from his music. He was also sighted on Saturday at Maldon Folk Festival busking hard…. he sure gets around. He even took  time off to play a game of scrabble with the Melliodora elders (though he came up with some nice words, sadly, he was soundly beaten by the elders, we were told, not just once, but thrice).

We are all looking forward to his January visit (and some more games of scrabble, of course). Charlie (and David) is appearing also in the Rainbow Serpent Festival.

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2 great reasons 2 go Rainbow Serpent 2014

mastheads_artgalleryaPlanning to get away for the Australia Day weekend next year? Thought about  going to Lexton near Ballarat  for the 2014 Rainbow Serpent Festival?

The Age  summed it up  as “an alternative lifestyle festival” where the punters “come for the electronic music, healing workshops and mind-bending art”. Being a big fan of the ambient electro dub house music, one worker at Melliodora is more than keen to check out the Orb who will headline the stage. The rest of the lineup of musicians and DJs is good too. But, no, they are not  the only reasons we are looking forward to attending this world renowned festival held in a small local town (pop.200) in central Victoria.

One of the reasons is that David will give a presentation in the “Lifestyle Village”,  a “space for the Rainbow Serpent family to come together in a time of celebration and community”.  At the time of writing we don’t know when he will appear, or what he is going to talk about,  but we will let you know as more details come in hand.

Also sending a strong message of permaculture at the festival along with David, is the uke troubadour Charlie Mgee,  back home from his globe trotting in the northern hemisphere for six months of this year. The trip culminated in his appearance at the legendary Glastonbury Festival in July. He will hit the stage at around 4.30pm on Jan 25. Be there and ready for the mighty Vegman in action.

So, here are two (three?) good reasons to spend your January long weekend in Lexton. The festival tickets are apparently selling fast, so book early, and avoid disappointment.

Rainbow Serpent Festival website

 

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Formidable Vegman to uke Hepburn Swiss Italian Festival

PosterHepburnLadies and gentleman would you please welcome, back from six months of touring around the northern hemisphere, gruelling hardship and ridiculous fun, Australia’s one and only Permaculture ukulele rad-ish beets merchant, Charlie Mgee! performing in person, a very special “End-of-tour, homecoming show” in Hepburn.

Mgee has recently returned from an international tour where he performed songs from his album, “Permaculture: a Rhymer’s Manual”, to sell-out shows. We’ve heard about Charlie’s heroics in England. We’ve heard about the many reviews. Now it’s time to see for ourselves this permaculture influenced dance music sensation.

Charismatic Perth-based singer songwriter Charlie Mgee will be in Hepburn for one show only  to perform his songs based on the 12 principles of permaculture in various musical styles ranging from ‘climate-change reggae’ to ‘peak-oil polka’, so don’t miss it.

It is more than apt to welcome Charlie in Hepburn, as it was David Holmgren, Hepburn’s resident environmental pioneer who inspired Charlie’s concept album. No doubt David will be there, grooving along as well.

This is an all-ages event open to the public. Donations appreciated. Get down to the Sound Shell at the Hepburn Springs Reserve on Sat Nov 2nd between 1 and 3 pm. A fun filled afternoon guaranteed. Great family entertainment. A rare act that kids and big people alike can enjoy.

More details please see our event page.

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A permaculture principle on Qantas flight

fvssWe are just informed that “the Edge” from Permaculture, the album is included in the playlist of one of the Qantas premier inflight entertainment channels “Global Beat”.

That’s right, the song inspired by David Holmgren’s permaculture principles, penned and performed by Charlie Mgee and co., now an integral part in our Permaculture teaching kit, will now be heard loud and clear, thousands of feet up there, on the Australia’s national flag carrier. How exciting is that! Almost good enough to choose Qantas, if we must fly. At least between September and November when the show’s host, Annette Shun Wah spins the song. Looking at her playlist, Charlie has got a good company with the likes of Bob Brozman and Mandawuy Yunupingu. Onya Charlie, and thanks Annette.

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Veg Sound System on the wireless

Last Saturday the interview with Charlie Mgee from Formidable Vegetable Sound System was broadcast on the Australia’s ABC Radio National’s Off Track program.  

You can listen to the program from their website  :

His album Permaculture: A rhymer’s manual is available from our online shop.

chuckie

 

 

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Teaching Kit upgrade includes “A rhymer’s manual”

fvssSince Permaculture: A Rhymer’s Manual was released earlier this year, lots of people have commented this is an ideal tool to teach Permaculture principles. Like the cards and magnets in our popular Teaching Kit, Charlie Mgee’s blend of clever and serious lyrics accompanied by catchy Ukelele music, is the perfect way to reinforce learning of the principles. Permaculture: A Rhymer’s Manual  is an ideal addition to our teaching tool box like the icons, proverbs, fridge magnets and other materials. The power of music helps Permaculture principles stick in the mind.
So much so, we have decided to integrate the musical CD in our new batch of the Teacher’s Kit. A new eco synthesis in true permaculture fashion. The new kit with the Formidable Vegetable Sound System album Permaculture: A Rhymer’s Manual sells for $100. Check it out here.
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Permaculture swings the ‘Bury

Permaculture in full swing.

Permaculture in full swing.

If we happened to be in London now (and if we could afford a ticket), we would be getting down to the Worthy Farm and check out our permaculture stablemates from Australia performing at one of the world’s largest music festivals. You know how much we love Charlie Mgee’s music here.

So, for us to see a newspaper article, on page 10 in the “news” section, as big as 1/4 page, with a big colour picture, about Charlie playing in Glastonbury  (with an estimated attendance of 170,000) was nothing but a delightful way to wake up on a chilly old winter morning. Onya Charlie.

Peter Vincent’s piece titled “Eco-minstrels take groovy beets to Glastonbury” is also printed in the WA TimesCanberra Timesthe AgeSydney Morning Herald Brisbane Times and other Fairfax media in Australia. Get hold of a paper copy if you can, because it looks much more impressive on paper than online we must admit. There is also an online video report on the Fairfax news sites as well.

Charlie’s album, Permaculture: a rhymer’s manual is available here.

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