Lorinna

Feb 8, 2016

IMG_5500 Our first stop for the day was Seven Springs Farm, established and run by Wouter and Elise. Wouter is originally from Belgium and has a long history in farming, specifically community supported agriculture. His depth of knowledge is incredibly valuable and his work ethic is out of this world – this guy is cranking it. They have a weekly stall at Launceston’s Harvest Feast market and supply local residents with some of the finest food around. IMG_5514 IMG_5517 IMG_5521 They grow up to 70 different crops and only use heirloom and open-pollinated varieties to ensure high quality produce with great flavour. All their seedlings, potting mixes, solar and micro-hydro electricity are all produced on farm. They save seed and propagate their own vegetable varieties, with particular pride in Wouter’s Belgian cauliflower and leek. IMG_5522 Our second stop was Annie and Bart’s home. These folks moved to Lorinna in the 1970s and some of the key people who make this place what it is. Particular highlights included their kitchen garden which is wrapped around part of their house (specifically their kitchen). It’s a pumping, vibrant little space overflowing with edibles and beautifuls. IMG_5529 IMG_5531 IMG_5533 IMG_5535 IMG_5536 IMG_5541 They also have a small glasshouse where they grow exciting things like ginger, that’s right *ginger*. Need proof? See the photo below with a proud Annie standing next to it. IMG_5543 Bart drives the renewable energy on the property (and throughout the valley). They have solar, micro hydro and timber as their energy sources. By not relying on just one type of energy they ensure they never run out. IMG_5558 Above and below you can see one of their electric quad bikes and golf buggies they use to get around the valley, they’ve retrofitted these themselves to be 100% electric. I want one. IMG_5556

IMG_5555

Bart and Annie’s solar (above) and hydro (below) systems form the backbone to meeting their energy needs

IMG_5561 IMG_5562 We ate our lunch in ‘the studio’, a space in the process of being built (almost finished) by a range of people as a shared space for good things to happen – like a bunch of permaculture students coming over to eat lunch and chew the fat. IMG_5565 We capped off lunch with a short stop at the Mug Wall Cafe – a social permaculture initiative run by Tamas and Linda from their little house once a week on Sundays. This ace little venture is a project which forms part of Tamas’s PhD research, investigating how permaculture principles can also be living art with a key focus of engaging people to build community connections. IMG_5572

12654210_1094926740538652_2656819697448777050_nChat, chat, chat, chat, chatting

IMG_5578 Our final stop for the day was Lance and Olga’s home. I feel pretty confident in saying that Lance is one of the best earth builders in Australia. His attention to detail, passion and skill is renowned throughout the Tasmania and people who want to know about this stuff. IMG_5583 They’ve been building their house for the past 14 years. I realise this sounds like a long time, however in this time, Lance has also built a few other house in the valley, worked on numerous demolition and building projects outside Lorinna and chosen to actually rebuild parts of his house as he learned better ways of earth building over the years. He’s very amazing. 1 IMG_5597 Some particularly interesting and funky things about his building techniques include the fact he ferments his render (often with apples) to make it more resilient and robust – plus it smells sweet, like sourdough bread. IMG_5594 One of his more recent developments is making mud brick tiles for some of their floors instead of solid earth. He was drawn to do these as some of his earth floors were consistently cracking despite trying a range of approaches – the tiles are a great solution for this.

IMG_5584A sample of a mud brick tile

IMG_5606Making a tile in a mold

IMG_5586

A recent installation of tiles in the kitchen which is almost finished

IMG_5611 The section of the house which they’re already living in and is *almost* finished is peaceful, gorgeous and so welcoming that you feel like you’re at home. In fact this is how Lorinna makes me feel, and while I have no plans to move there, I love being able to visit and bring our permaculture students to show another way of life, even if it isn’t the way for them. There are so many lessons to learn here about how to live lightly on the earth whether you end up in the city or bush. Thanks for having us Lorinna – you guys rock.  ]]>

your thoughts:

8 Comments

  1. daniel

    Thanks for coming out Good Life, you’re welcome anytime 😉

    Reply
  2. Annie Willock

    This looks so wonderful, I just want to spend my life there! xx

    Reply
  3. Sarah Rowley

    So idyllic I want to cry…wonderful..thanks for the article 🙂

    Reply
  4. Fereleth Lee

    Im packing my bags as we speak. Put the kettle on Annie!

    Reply
  5. Gavan Duffy

    I spent a couple of weeks in Lorinna during the summer of 1977-8 with my schoolfriend Joe Dallas. We stayed with friends of his older brother. A magical time and the memories still resonate…

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      Wow – that would have been an amazing time to be there! Such a special, glorious place.

      Reply

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