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A series of workshops in Sydney aims to give permaculture students some hands-on rural know-how, SIMON WEBSTER reports.

Moving from city to country and living a self-sufficient life is a dream for a lot of permaculture students, but the reality can often be a rude awakening.

The standard permaculture texts are great in terms of design ideas, but aren’t so heavy on practical details. When you’ve got fences and pumps to fix, irrigation systems to install, and sheep to castrate, you soon realise how little you know (manhandling alpacas, pictured, has been just one of my steep learning curves). 

This is where the Rural Skills Series presented by the Permaculture Sydney Institute comes in. With workshops this year including ‘Selecting your rural property’, ‘Slaughtering and butchering’ and ‘Farm fencing for women’, the series aims to give would-be treechangers some practical skills to help them on their journey. There’s more info here.