Category: Permaculture

David Holmgren’s ‘Retrosuburbia’ booklaunch

Last weekend marked the launch of permaculture co-originator’s long-awaited new book, RetroSuburbia: The Downshifter’s Guide to a Resilient Future. It’s a hefty 592 pages of juicy full-colour permaculture gold on how to go about transforming the suburbs into thriving, productive spaces.


We had the honour of performing at the booklaunch at the National Sustainable Living Festival in Federation Square, Melbourne alongside the legendary Costa Georgiadis of Gardening Australia, Robyn Rosenfeldt of PIP Magazine and the man himself, David Holmgren.

Here are a few photos from the event, courtesy of Olly Holmgren. To read more, head to the Holmgren Design Services website.


Costa launches the book

Formidable Vegetable Sound System with Costa, Su Dennett & David Holmgren

The crowd awaits with bated breath

Mal Webb doin’ his thang

Costa Georgiadis: Master of googly eyes

Perma-funk on ABC News

FoVeg made the headlines this week on ABC News online (shortly after the launch of David Holmgren’s book Retrosuburbia – The Downshifter’s Guide to a Resilient Future).  Here’s the chat they had with Charlie Mgee about permaculture, the genesis of the band and where it’s all headed.  Read more here.

New Single ‘Dad’s Dunny’ out on Valentine’s Day

Here’s something different! Our new song ‘Dad’s Dunny’ dedicated to composting toilets and humanure (‘dunny‘ means toilet to those not familiar with Aussie-slang). It’s out on Bandcamp this Feb 14. In the meantime, check out the heaps-fun music video we made with Karl Wilson while we were in Tassie this summer (made possible by all of our wonderful patrons on Patreon)!


Dad’s Dunny is a brave, yet lighthearted jaunt into the world of backyard composting toilets. In a time where water scarcity is such a huge issue we believe that flushing clean drinking water down the toilet is one of the dumbest things you can do.  Composting our own ‘humanure’ not only offers a solution to the water crisis, but also provides valuable nutrients to our gardens if done safely. Download it for just $1 this Valentines Day – for the love of POO!

Tribute to Bill Mollison (1928-2016) – Father of Permaculture

Bill Mollison, co-founder and ‘father’ of permaculture died peacefully in Tasmania on the 24th of September. A few weeks before he died, his daughter Frances got in touch and said that he’d been listening to Formidable Vegetable Sound System and enjoyed it thoroughly. Since he was a fan of my music in his last weeks, I thought his passing deserved a special tribute. Most of the lyrics are Bill’s own quotes – being, in my opinion one of the most quotable humans to have lived. The title of the song came from a scene in the TV series, Global Gardener, where Bill was talking about the roots of a certain species of tree being able to catch and eat nematodes in the soil, at which point he turned the the camera and said with a grin, “They’ll eat you in the end”.

Share and enjoy.

Love, Charlie.

Smellin’ Like Fish & Chips Winter Tour

From April til July, Charlie is embarking on a mostly-solo mission through every state and territory in Australia on his slightly left-field “Smellin’ Like Fish & Chips” tour.


In a bid to reduce waste as well as his carbon footprint, Charlie has decided to take a year off flying and instead has taken to the road in a specially converted van to smash out the 20,000+ kilometre journey powered on waste vegetable oil (WVO). Preferring to fuel up from the deep friers at fast food joints, pubs and restaurants, rather than diesel bowsers, Charlie set out from Perth to Cairns via Alice Springs and down the east coast in an epic S-bend formation around the country.

Earlier this year, Charlie’s determined resolution not to fly gained him media attention on Channel Ten News, when he hitchhiked a 2000km leg of a tour from Adelaide to Perth in under 24 hours. Crazy Thymes!

Here are the tour dates if you feel like coming along to a show:


The UN plays Formidable Veg for World Soil Day

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Last night we were super excited to find out that on World Soil Day, the United Nations held the world debut of our new track “You Are What You Eat” at the closing ceremony of the 2015 International Year of Soils at the UN FAO headquarters in Rome. The news came with a lovely letter of support for our music and an invitation to collaborate with them on future projects! They’ve since shared our new animated music video on their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts! Amazing!!


Check out the clip below from the UN FAO conference:

Kids Permaculture Funk-Electroswing Album!

Well, as if life couldn’t get any more exciting, we’ve just embarked on a mission to produce the RADDEST KIDS’ PERMACULTURE ALBUM EVER MADE! Have a gander and lettuce know what you think:


Ever since the beginning of Formidable Vegetable Sound System, we’ve believed that music is by far the funnest way to learn stuff and that’s why we’ve been touring the world for the past three years singing songs about permaculture in the hope of inspiring people to start growing food everywhere and to take better care of the planet!

After having heaps of fun with grown-ups at festivals, we’ve decided that the people who need to hear about this stuff next are KIDS and so we’ve decided to record a brand new bunch of electroswing/funk ukulele tunes geared around getting ideas about growing good food, good vibes and good fun across to children (and still adults too, of course!)

We’ve started up a crowdfunding campaign to help get the ball rolling, so you can preorder a copy of the album before it’s even been made , which would be an incredible help to us!

To find out more about the project, head to our Pozible project page, or check out the little video we made below:

New “Limits” animation for World Environment Day

We’re stoked to present the latest video clip to our song “Limits”, lovingly animated by the talented Oz Thomas for a special launch on World Environment Day (June 5th). Please it share far and wide and don’t forget to “Apply self-regulation and accept Feedback!”

“Limits” – World Environment Day 2015 from Grow Do It on Vimeo.

Far North Queensland Tour May-June

Formidable Vegetable Sound System will be touring beautiful tropical Far North Queensland for the next month and a half. Whether you’re a local, or thinking of heading up to escape the winter, come and check them out at any of these awesome festivals:

May 28 – Radiant Life Festival, Port Douglas
May 29 – Happy Daze Festival, Whitsunday Coast (with Tijuana Cartel, Hugo & Treats and The Mollusk)
May 31 – Eco Fiesta, Cairns
Jun 6 – Eco Expo, Innisfail
Jun 6 – Palm Creek Folk Festival, Townsville (with Mal Webb, Tinpan Orange and Bullhorn)
Jun 13 – Kuranda Roots Festival (with LubDub, Bullhorn and Hugo & Treats)
Jun 27 – Bushweek Festival 2015, Rossville (with Kingfisha, 8 Foot Felix and Essie Thomas)

More details on the Facebook event page.

FNQ Tour Poster

Permaculture Voices 2015 – San Diego

From mycelium and soil to radical community dynamics, PV2 in sunny southern Californ-I.A. was a jam packed extendo-weekend of mindblowing presentations from some of the most innovative and hope-inspiring thinkers and DO-ers in permaculture. We were a part of the celebrations with Charlie busting out solo shows on the opening and closing nights but also were honoured to be given the opportunity to deliver a talk during the conference on the power of music to spread the ideas of permaculture.

Here’s Charlie being interviewed straight afterwards by Cassie from

Other incredibly inspiring speakers included Paul Stamets, Byron Joel, Pandora Thomas, Starhawk, Maddy Harland, Alan Savory and John Liu.

To check out more of what happened, head to