Welcome to Permaculture Traveller: a permaculture-writing symbiosis. This blog is a nursery bed for ideas on integrating permaculture with writing. In these pages you’ll find an eclectic mix of commentary on literature, sewing, growing, seed-saving, writing and travel.

My name is Nina Gartrell. I’m a Doctor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing) candidate with the Faculty of Arts and Business and the Sustainability Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

I will be using this blog to document my research on cultivating permaculture-travel memoir.

The concept for my doctoral research is to write a permaculture-travel memoir about the flightless journey from England to Australia that my partner and I undertook in 2012-2013. The creative artefact will be called Seed: The Art and Mystery of Permatravel.


For me writing the memoir is an opportunity to imaginatively re-inhabit the places I visited during that journey – and reconnect (imaginatively) with the remarkable people whom I met – the many WWOOF, Couch Surfing, WorkX and AirBnB hosts – and the diverse landscapes I inhabited with them: fincas, farms, cottages, islands, mountains, gorges, cities…

I want to learn more about those people and places, supplementing my experiential understanding with book learning on cultural history, natural history, political history, environmental anthropology, ethnoecology…

The innovation of my research is that I’ll be applying permaculture design to the process of researching and writing a permaculture-travel memoir.

What I am attempting to do is develop a blueprint of an integrated permaculture-writing practice: to develop a form, and a process, that works with, and responds creatively to the twelve principles of permaculture design.

These principles are:

Observe and Interact
Catch and Store Energy
Obtain a Yield
Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback
Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services
Produce no Waste
Design from Pattern to Details
Integrate, Rather than Segregate
Use Small and Slow Solutions
Use and Value Diversity
Use Edges and Value the Marginal
Creatively Use and Respond to Change

You’ve heard of people ‘doing’ permaculture on landscapes? Well, I’m ‘doing’ permaculture on a creative arts product – a memoir.

How is it going to turn out?

I’ve no idea.

If you’re keen to find out more come along with me for the journey.

Deviations welcome. Road-blocks expected. Delays inevitable. Arrival: a far-off but enchanting possibility.


5 responses to “About

  1. Hi, Nina! How are you?
    I don’t know where I put your email. I need to tell you and the boys that I will start to do a Permaculture Course in Malawi. YES!!! I was very inspired by you that I decided to find a place to do it.
    Here I am .. Malawi .. Nhkata Bay.

    I hope everything is fine with you all.


    • Nina Gartrell

      Angelina, that’s wonderful news! We’re so excited for you and hope that the course leaves you feeling energised and connected. You’re bound to meet some interesting people. We’re in Thailand at the moment enjoying some time on the beach with friends. Once we’ve had our fill of surf and sun we will head north to explore some of the many permaculture projects that are underway here in Thailand – mostly in the north.

      Looking forward to seeing more of your marvellous photos on your website!

      Warm wishes,
      X Nina and Richie

  2. Hi Nina & Richie,
    We will be in Brisbane next week and it would be lovely to catch up with you guys. Drop us a mail and let us know where you will be.

    nigel@atoxic.gmail.com or info@dimension7bali.org.

    Nigel & Diana
    Dimension 7 Bali


  3. Donelia

    I ‘ve only skimmed some of your writing.Good writing! Original. Beautiful and interesting life you are being gifted with there. Praise the Lord !

    Me too regarding Juliette DBL, amazing lovely life.

  4. Donelia

    Ms Gartrell:

    Don’t know if you have stayed dropped out of school or resumed recently, seeing as it’s a few years since your intro above.

    Anyway I think … cultural history, natural history, political history, environmental anthropology,
    ethnoecology …. formally integrated into your permaculture travel journal (beyond the body of ‘organic’ memoir )
    ., might be a glut to a work already sufficiently varied, perhaps causing a loss of a certain lightness to the work that green growing things can emit.

    Why don’t you consider sequels that speak to the different facets of your travels.

    Bate the readers a touch in each written perspective and leave them wanting more.

    I expect you will continue writing as you should, whether or not you continue with school .

    The lightness of your writing style coupled with the theme of cross -cultural permaculture is why I gladly visit this webby site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s