I am so happy that you are holding this magazine in your hands and reading it. It has been a long time in the making, growing from pip to peach, and here it is present in the world, sitting in your hands.
Many projects start with a champion: someone who believes enough in an idea to take those perilous early risks. In our community that was Natalie Meyer. She was the team leader and able to draw on the resources of the Nimbin Neighbourhood and Information Centre (NNIC), a membership-based not-for-profit organisation that does a lot of community work at all levels.
Wild, abundant, full of wildlife. Some parts neat, lots messy! Always jobs to do – subtropical, so heaps of biomass to turn into compost. Alive. Quiet spots to sit, with garden sculptures and installations. A heaven for people and animals to rest and be in. Paradise.
An attached greenhouse is a great feature in any permaculture design because it serves so many functions and is a great way to integrate zone one and zone zero. Your greenhouse can become not only a growing space but also a living space.
I am a sustainable building designer, with clients Australia wide. In my work I express commitment to simplicity, beauty and sustainability, underpinned by core values of permaculture. With clients, I prioritise passive solar design, use of local and recycled materials, and minimum ecological footprints with maximum function and flexibility.
Grapevines hanging from the ceiling, trees growing inside, passionfruit within an arm’s reach of the bed – Anneke van Tholen’s greenhouse home takes the term living with nature literally.
Shiitake mushrooms are the yummiest variety, in my opinion. They’re also the most expensive in the shops, and it’s virtually impossible to find organic ones, at least where we live. Solution: grow your own.
We live in an old weatherboard, painted pale turquoise. The whole garden is full of fruit trees, edible vines, currants, berries, vegetables and flowers. When we’re in the front yard, people walking by often stop to tell us how much they like it.
Food forests are production systems that try to mimic nature. Rather than growing trees in grass, we aim for a variety of plants of different shapes and sizes among the trees. Like natural forests, food forests include layers from the ground up. By selecting plants relevant to each layer, space can be used efficiently and competition reduced. We also want to replicate the interactions between animals, soil and plants that make a forest ecosystem function.
This year is International Year of the Family Farm, and two recent reports, from United Nations and European constituencies, make the case for a return of support for smallholder farmers.