“FVSS is spearheading a new and exciting form of musical activism and becoming one of the most important voices in a global cultural movement
that began right here in Australia.”
- Harry Angus, The Cat Empire
Permaculture: A Rhymer’s Manual from WA’s Formidable Vegetable is the first of its kind. An album of ethical, ecological edu-tainment designed to spread the word of sustainability without making you want to tie-dye your shirt or go out and buy a djembe.
Permaculture is basically a way to get ourselves out of habits of self-destruction and into one of abundance and prosperity.
After recognising a desperate need for people to stop talking about sustainability and start getting off their asses, Western Australian permaculture troubadour Charlie Mgee of Grow Do It grabbed his ukulele and came up with 12 songs covering each of the principles of permaculture from David Holmgren’s book, Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability.
With an all-star cast of Australian musicians including Mal Webb, Alex Burkoy (Tinpan Orange/Juila Stone), Michael Boase (Nicky Bomba’s Bustamento), Loren, Freya Hanly, prodigious 19-year old Harry Jakamarra from Broome on banjo and WA’s own 10 piece live electro-swing band Ensemble Formidable, the album is filled to the brim with tracks of truly grooveworthy proportions with styles ranging from ‘energy-descent electro-swing’ and ‘climate-change reggae’ to ‘peak-oil polka’.
In just three short months, Formidable Vegetable has already busted out live shows of permaculture songs at internationally acclaimed festivals including Woodford Folk Festival (QLD), Eclipse 2012 (Cairns), Folk, Rhythm & Life and Rainbow Serpent (VIC) and has shared the stage with class-acts such as Nicky Bomba’s Butamento, Spoonbill and Fat Freddy’s Drop.
After a massive turnout to a follow-up permaculture workshop resulting from an especially cranking gig at Eclipse 2012 Festival, Charlie reflects on his ultimate goal for the project:
“Right now, music is one of the most effective tools we have to communicate ideas on a mass scale and I think I’m really just starting to recognize the power that that can have with regards to introducing people to ideas on how to live more sustainably. I’ve had people that I wouldn’t have thought would be into sustainability in a million years come up to me going: “Man, this sounds awesome! I’m gonna check out this permaculture stuff!” It’s really reaffirming for what I’ve set out to do.”
The album has been designed to achieve everything from permaculture teaching resource to ukulele lesson to general morning dance routine. In a world gone hectic, now really is the time to start growing abundance everywhere, starting at the front door. While we’re at it, you might as well Lettuce Turnip the Radish Beets and Rocket!