REBUILDING – Creating a small and sustainable home as a female owner-builder

One owner-builder’s story of creating a small sustainable home for herself using her experience and love of permaculture.

Megan Cooke spent 17 years building her dream home and permaculture garden with her husband-at-the-time. Then they separated, and she had to leave it all behind. She took everything she’d learned in the first build, and in her many years as a horticulturist, and started again.

She has now built a solar-passive rammed-earth studio home, with a vintage caravan called Frankie for her teenage daughter, on a smart block inland from the Mid North Coast of New South Wales.

‘When I met my ex-husband it was our dream to build an earth house with permaculture gardens. For 17 years I had put my heart and soul into building the three-bedroom, one-bathroom home with ensuite, plus a studio downstairs that I rented out as an Airbnb and taught my permaculture workshops from.