How did you find out about permaculture?
I grew up on a city herb farm in Brisbane, my dad’s business. While I had heard about permaculture plenty of times, I first understood what it meant when I was eighteen and spent time with the Brookmans at the Food Forest, in South Australia. They made a massive impact on me and I love them to bits as they showed me what a good life really looks and feels like.
In 2008 I finally did a permaculture design course with Rick Coleman from the Southern Cross Permaculture Institute, and it rocked my socks. It joined so many dots in my head, and both humbled and empowered me to commit myself to this thing called ‘permaculture’ in a significant way.
To me, permaculture is an established yet cutting-edge approach to living well. It has nothing to do with having to revert to caveman ways, and everything to do with designing and developing stable systems that offer more security than the bank can ever hope to.
How does permaculture fit into your life?
My main role in permaculture is running Good Life Permaculture in Hobart, Tasmania, with my husband Anton Vikstrom. We’re setting up our 1300 m2 block in Hobart as a demonstration city farm and to create a super-productive home.
Teaching is important to both of us, as it is a great mobiliser for people to develop a meaningful, productive and good life. We teach both within and outside of Tasmania, and offer everything from permaculture design courses to training in fermentation, food production, composting and edible forest gardening, as well as providing design services.
Although it’s only new, our business is already off to a rapid start this year, running a ‘permablitz’ project with Sustainable Living Tasmania (formerly the Tasmanian Environment Centre), and partnering with Natural Resource Management South to provide a series of workshops for landholders on healing damaged landscapes.
What are your plans for the future?
After moving around a lot, twenty-five houses over ten years in every state in Australia, I’m very happy to put some roots down in one place. While I’ll be working predominately in Tassie with Good Life Permaculture, I’ll continue working with fellow permaculturalists around Australia and the world, as I love working alongside talented and passionate folk.