Our First Birthday

Today Good Life Permaculture turns one – yay! Why today? Well that was the day we officially went public, but it really started around 6 months before that, 6 months of dreaming, scheming, refining and early mornings (my preference over of late nights).

This past year has been pretty full-on actually with a lot of work involving our heads, hearts and hands. We’ve designed gardens, taught hundreds of people various skills in living sustainable and abundant lives. Poured our hearts into shaping our home and creating a meaningful livelihood. Dug so many holes, built a ridiculous amount of retaining walls and ended many a day with bodies so weary all we can manage is to lie down and not talk.

Here’s a little photo journey of the last 1.5 years of Good Life’s work at home and in our community.

1What we inherited in Dec 2012 – the back garden

2  And in January 2013 we started doing this – shaping terraces, defining growing spaces, water harvesting and everything

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The only reason we could afford to buy our place (with the bank) is because there’s no legal driveway to our place, just a 90m staircase (seriously). However we have some ace neighbours with a driveway and they let us use it to bring in the big stuff. It still means we have to double/triple handle all our materials and make crazy slippery dips like above to move materials around our property. But the job gets done, the trick it to just not think about it too much – otherwise you’ll do your head in.

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September 2013, gardens in place and things growing

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The back garden (from a different angle) this wintery morning (July 2014) – complete with two very neurotic and hilarious ducks

The back garden has now ‘settled’ into itself. The edible forest garden is slowly maturing, the annual vegetable crops are mostly working and the herb garden is super pretty and productive. The swale pathways are one of my favourite elements in the whole place and the chook house continues to be a work of art (and a good home to the ladies).

front garden panaramaOur front garden before we’ve started serious work on it 

We’ve now just started to tackle our front garden, the excavator’s been through to shape the terraces, dig the rain tank overflow/greywater trench. The main bank’s planted with hardy natives (and covered with jute mat to help stabilise it), the rain tank pad (bottom right) is almost ready for the rain tank to arrive and geese – there’s still truckloads more work to do with fencing, planting, tree chopping and wood chipping. But we’ve started. Front garden Jul 2014

We’ve also painted the house, re-roofed it and installed solar panels

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It’s kind of scary to realise how shabby the house looked when we got here. We prioritised painting the house pretty much straight away as the original paint was heavily contaminated with lead and was flaking off into the surrounding soil. Dealing with it straight away means we could focus on then developing productive gardens around the house without additional lead paint flaking into them.  

DSC02951  We understand this colour scheme isn’t to everyone’s taste – but to us, it’s the most beautiful thing we’ve ever seen. The unpainted latice area is ‘soon’ to be built in for a proper workshop and spare bedroom area.

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Re-roofing the house with the incredible help of Anton’s folks – one week of crazy power. Our roof had started rusting through and had been painted with lead paint so had to replace it before we could catch rain water or install solar panels.

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Anton built a sweet-as top bar beehive and someone gave us a small swarm of bees – this coming season we’ll get a few more hives under way as well.

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We’ve built pretty much every type of cheap and resourceful retaining wall you can imagine under the sun. This one’s an earthship wall in process which we’ve since rendered, but not quite finished.

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Me on our 90m staircase (our only access to our house) digging in a new water pipe as the old pipes made the water brown and had incredibly low water pressure. We’ve dug a lots of holes this past year.

Throughout all this we’ve also been teaching permaculture skills to hundreds of folk across Tasmania to support them to live fantastic, sustainable and abundant lives. We’ve met some truly fantastic people in this time and are loving helping to foster a strong permaculture community throughout Tasmania. This has included partnering with Sustainable Living Tasmania to roll out two projects, Live and Learn (working with refugees teaching them how to grow food in a cold climate) and the Permablitz Project (transforming 5 urban gardens in productive permaculture inspired landscapes across Tassie) which we’re loving. Here’s a bit of a snapshot of it all.

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The Live and Learn project working with a family from Thailand to build a small kitchen garden in their rental property.

DSC03161  The Live and Learn project strikes again, this time creating a possum proof garden for a Sudanese family. We had a lot of fun with this garden due to some seriously great attitude with the participants.

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A recent Permablitz we ran in Glenorchy

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Our first Permaculture Design Course Dec 2013 held in Penguin, NW Tasmania.

DSC07664  Our second and current part-time Permaculture Design Course happening right now in Hobart – featuring special guest David Holmgren

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Edible forest gardening workshop participants in the South Hobart community garden

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Students from a recent Introduction to Permaculture Course, building a no-dig garden at the South Hobart co-housing residence

We’ve also helped run the national Food 4 Thought gathering, had some bumper harvests, done heaps of preserving of our garden produce and planted lots of garlic.

And in other news we’re also about to start a little family – with a new person arriving into the Good Life world some time late December. So our second year is taking a turn for crazy land as we balance work, family and continuously striving for that good life.

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A massive, gigantic thank you to everyone for supporting us in all types of ways – whether that’s been through helping us in our garden, reading this blog, attending our courses, providing invaluable advice, being our friends or just sending through encouraging feedback every now and then. We can’t thank you enough. You warm our hearts and keep us on our toes – two critically important things.

So how are we celebrating our first birthday?  Well Anton’s in town working on energy efficiency projects with Sustainable Living Tasmania and I’m at home, digging trenches for the rain tank pipes and prepping the overflow/grey water trench. Happy birthday to us :-).

*Your blogger is Hannah Moloney, co-directer of Good Life Permaculture and lover of all things fun and garden-esk.

17 Responses to “Our First Birthday”

  1. Christine Marshall

    Happy birthday and congratulations. What an extraordinary achievement over the last year.

    Reply
  2. Chris J

    Happy Birthday guys and thanks for being an inspiration. Our garden is gradually getting there – hopefully having a permablitz soon!
    PS – Love the paint colour of your house – looks like a giant lolly!

    Reply
  3. Cathy Maloney

    Happy 1st birthday! What an incredible year. Your generosity in sharing and doing so much with the community is wonderful. Thank you 🙂

    Reply
  4. Elias Polymeropoulos

    Happy birthday Good Life and congrats to your soon to be larger family!
    You are awesome and thanks for all your great work!

    Reply
  5. Sue

    What fabulous things you have achieved in 12 months. You are to be congratulated and I for one LOVE your house colours!

    Reply
  6. Vivian

    Hannah and Anton, you don’t know me but its been great to visit your website and see your achievements – and all in just one year! Congratulations on your birthday and growing family. One day I’d love to see it all in the flesh – I need inspiring to get my place moving!

    Reply
  7. jim

    Those are my Thai neighbours! Hope my dogs weren’t too badly behaved on the day. Happy birthday!

    Reply
  8. Cass

    Hannah and Anton – what fantastic energy you bring to Hobart and all of us. And now another little ppermie person. Congratulations and than you for being a voice and gathering point for so many. xx

    Reply
  9. Blake Harder

    Big happy cheery-faced congratulations!
    You are both such an inspiration – unique, gutsy and always smiling.
    Luv ya work Hannah & Anton!

    Reply
  10. Sulyn Lam

    Rob & I love pointing out your orchid exotic castle up in paradise to each other as we wind our way up the Cascades Valley towards home. With you guys in the neighbourhood even the winters seem warmer. xx

    Reply
  11. Anna

    Congratulations on a fantastic year’s work you two – and congrats on expanding 😉

    Can I recommend attempting to have a ‘buy nothing babe’ and doing ‘elimination communication’ as excellent ways to reduce the impact of having a babe in the planet – and very cool, entertaining ways of building / utilising community at the same time 🙂 Happy to elaborate / resource share if you’d like.

    Go you good thangs!

    Anna

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      Thanks Anna,

      Yep we’re aware of all those approaches to baby rearing. At the end of the day we’ll take it as it comes and do what works for us….. As everyone should. Cheers 🙂

      Reply
  12. Dave

    hey guys
    we’ve never met but I’ve been following your blog from up here on the nsw central coast.
    you guys are tops – congrats on the one year mark and the exciting baby news. it’s definitely a life changer – challenging, scary beautiful, fun, hard etc all at the same time.
    taking it as it comes is a great attitude to go in with.
    keep truckin!
    Dave

    Reply

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