Posts tagged ‘good life permaculture’

Permaculture Design Course

Join us for two weeks of deep permaculture design learning. You’ll leave this course knowing how to design resilient, robust landscapes & people-scapes in a  beautiful learning environment.

This Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) has been structured so you get to design your own property of choice, plus complete a permaculture design for a real life client and property. This provides you the opportunity to test and practice permaculture designing in a range of contexts with the support of experienced designers and practitioners right at your side to step you through it all.

As a fully catered, residential course you’ll get to immerse yourself in all things permaculture with like-minded folk. Classes run from 8:30am – 5pm each day with some optional (but highly recommended) evening sessions over the two weeks. There is one rest day on January 30th. .

I loved this course. It hasn’t just changed my outlook on life – it’s changed my life (Anita).

This course covers a wide breadth of topics including…

  • Permaculture ethics & principles
  • Design theory and practical application
  • Systems thinking
  • Patterns understanding
  • Water management, in the home and in the land
  • Soil health: How to improve and maintain it
  • Cropping systems: food production, seed saving and integrated pest management
  • Alternative economics
  • Energy systems
  • Social permaculture
  • Food forests
  • Sustainable building design
  • Plus more!

Just wonderfully fun. So well coordinated (always on time, always organised), experience of a lifetime, truly life changing. Thank you so much (Nysha).

Who should do this course?

This PDC is for farmers, perennial renters, community development workers, sustainability officers, university students, students of life, market gardeners and big thinkers. Permaculture is relevant and useful to you whether you’re working in the paddock or in the office, you’ll become equipped with thinking tools to design properties *and* the life you’ve always wanted!

What the PDC is not…

First and foremost, the PDC is a design course. It is not a hands on course where you actively get to grow food, build a house or ferment food… Although we do like to make yoghurt and kimchi with you (plus some other fun things), as it’s simple and powerful stuff. This means that while we will touch on the above topics, we will not focus on teaching you the practical skills for each one. Rather, we’re committed to teaching you foundation knowledge for each topic so you can create designs which are integrated, appropriate and darn clever. If you’d like to learn how to learn some hands-on, practical skills – have a look at some of the exciting short workshops we’ve got coming up.

As part of your course fee you receive…

  • Free camping (BYO all your own camping gear)
  • Delicious and nutritious vegetarian catering for the full course
  • Course resources
  • Field trips to local properties featuring clever design in action
  • A one year membership to Pip Permaculture Magazine
  • A whole bunch of new permaculture friends and networks

The Teaching Team

All key members of our teaching team have completed Permaculture Teaching Training with Rosemary Morrow, meaning you’ll get a learning experience like no other!

Brenna Quinlan is permaculture educator and illustrator who has taught alongside the biggest names in permaculture, including Rosemary Morrow and David Holmgren. She is part of the Formidable Vegetable teaching team for the School Permaculture Tour program run in association with Resource Smart Schools Victoria, and she regularly teaches and collaborates with Milkwood Permaculture on their various projects. After living at Melliodora for the past four years, she’s now embarking on building her own house and garden. You can read more about Brenna here. 

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Nick Towle is a passionate advocate for sustainability and permaculture and brings a diverse set of skills to the course including home-based sustainability practices and community economic systems. He is the Sustainable Project Officer & Senior Lecturer in Medicine at UTAS. One of his key permaculture adventures has involved establishing the RESEED Trust, a two acre urban property in the heart of Penguin, NW Tasmania, which is being developed into a permaculture demonstration site and sustainability education centre.

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Guest teachers will also feature amongst this PDC including Hannah Moloney, Director Good Life Permaculture and Nick Ritar, Director of Milkwood. 

We’ll also take students on a field trip day to look and learn from a range of people and landscapes.
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Thanks for being awesome! Thanks also for the shared life-experiences/knowledge of the teachers. One thing that really stood-out for me was the “people care” of the students, and everyone really, throughout the two weeks. I have never before experienced this in the many workshops, courses and places of learning/study that I have attended. My wish is that such a thing becomes the “normal” way of being – YEAH!

Venue

We’re holding this course at the vibrant Okines Community House and Garden in Dodges Ferry, southern Tasmania. This active community hub features a food co-op, beautiful community garden, a pizza oven and is located near a local surf beach – it’s a rocking place!

Accommodation

We provide free camping (BYO all your own gear) onsite with access to toilets, showers and inside spaces to relax in. If you’re camping (or staying locally), we welcome people to arrive on Sunday 23rd from 3pm to set up camp and have an early welcome dinner.

One Full PDC Scholarship on Offer!

In the spirit of fair share, we’re offering one full scholarship to a lucky someone. The person we give this scholarship to will be someone who:

  • Does not have the financial capacity to attend the PDC, and
  • Is committed to applying their new skills to benefit more than just themselves.

To apply CLICK HERE. Applications close by August 31st.

Catering

We provide nutritious and delicious vegetarian food for the entire course and can cater for a large range of dietary needs with wholesome, locally sourced and organic food where possible.

How to get to the PDC

Dodges Ferry is approximately 45 minutes from Hobart and 30 minutes from the Hobart airport. If you’re thinking about coming from interstate, we strongly recommend you check all Covid-19 guidelines (including for Tasmania) to ensure there are no border restrictions.

  • By Boat: If you’re coming from Melbourne, Victoria – you can catch the boat (a 12 hour journey) from Port Melbourne to Devonport. From Devonport it is a 4 hour drive to Dodges Ferry.  To see the timetable and book your ticket visit the Spirit of Tasmania
  • By car: If you’re driving to the course and have a spare seat you’re willing to offer to another student, please get in touch so we can help connect you. There is easy bike and car parking at the venue in an off street car park.
  • By bus: There are regular buses traveling from Hobart to Dodges Ferry, check out the timetable here.
  • By plane: The closest airports to Dodges Ferry is the Hobart airport. Check out the webjet website to find the most affordable deal. To get to Dodges Ferry from the airport your options are to hire a car, or talk to us about organising a carpooling arrangement with a fellow student or a possible bulk pick up.

Why study with Good Life Permaculture?

We are Tasmania’s expert permaculture education provider, committed to facilitating meaningful and high quality learning processes for our students. We have REALLY applied our heads, hearts and hands to create this course to be one of the best permaculture adult education experiences available.

Our teachers are amongst the most experienced and passionate in Australia. You will always have at least one professional permaculture designer/practitioner on site at all times.

We are committed to ensuring our students are equipped with the best start possible to being competent and effective designers and practitioners.

We feed your mind with a huge array of top quality content. We also feed your body with delicious and nutritious food for the whole course. Where possible we source local and organic foods to support Tasmanian growers and producers.

Upon completion of the course, you’ll be on your way to gaining the skills to being a professional permaculture designer (if this interests you), be able to teach on a permaculture design course and continue studying towards your permaculture diploma, anywhere in the world. Cool hey!

Payment Plan

If you’d like to establish a payment plan so you can pay the course fee over a period of months we’re very happy to work with you to create that. We ask that people set up this plan prior to the course, so that the fee is paid in full by the time the course commences. Please contact us and we can organise details.

Cancellation Policy

We ask that you give us two weeks notice if you choose to step out of the course; we’ll provide a refund, minus the deposit fee. Alternatively you can pass your place onto a friend or family member or choose to use this as credit towards one of our future courses. If we have to cancel the course for whatever reason, we’ll provide a full refund immediately.

COVID-19

Please note, this workshop will be run in accordance to Covid-19 guidelines recommended at the time. If you are unwell with flu like symptoms we ask you to please not attend the workshop – contact us beforehand to discuss options.

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Super Soil Skills For Happy Veggies

LEARN HOW TO BUILD PHENOMENAL SOIL, AND IMPROVE THE QUALITY AND YIELD OF YOUR HOME-GROWN FOOD

You might have heard that “good soil” is essential to a thriving, resilient garden, but what is “good soil” and how do we make it? We’re partnering with Fat Pig Farm to bring you a jam-packed day where we introduce you to Soil Skills for Happy Veggies – Join us to learn how to improve your food-growing, with skills that you’ll have for the rest of your life.

YOU’LL GET TO LEARN ALL ABOUT…

  • Soil: If you want to grow good food, you’re going to need to know about soil – this is the key to nutritious food production. We’ll introduce you to the soil food web and explore a range of soil preparation methods for different contexts.
  • Improving soil fertility: We’ll look at a range of DIY techniques you can create at home to improve your soil and plant health, including compost, worm farms and liquid fertilisers.
  • Preparing a garden bed: Get hands-on experience in preparing your beds and soil for planting.
  • Introduction to veggie growing*: We’ll introduce you to a range of veggie growing techniques (seed raising mix, sowing seeds, transplanting seedlings)*.
  • Garden troubleshooting: living with weeds and insects.

WHO SHOULD COME TO THIS WORKSHOP?

We’ve designed this workshop as an introduction for folks wanting to get started in growing their own food and for people looking for some extra guidance in refining their soils skills. If you’re looking for a more in-depth beginners course, with equal focus on soil AND good growing, check out our 2-day, hands-on Real Skills For Growing Food workshop.

STUDENTS RECEIVE

  • Full catering by Fat Pig Farm – it’s going to be delicious,
  • Recipes for compost, homemade liquid fertilisers and soil remediation to get you growing,
  • A Soil Kit to help you get to know your soil,
  • An invitation to an optional dinner on the Saturday night (additional cost applies),
  • Some solid time in Fat Pig Farm’s market garden where you’ll see strategies you can apply to your small or large garden,
  • Extensive course notes on everything we cover over the weekend, and
  • Skills and knowledge useful for the rest of your life!

“Thank you for an incredible course – the teachers were so generous with their wisdom. It’s really given me the confidence to get into my garden and make great soil – I’ve already started my first hot compost, there’s no stopping me now!”

CATERING

Fat Pig Farm will spoil you with food to fill your belly, warm your hearts and inspire you to grow your own. Think hearty soups filled with fresh veggies from the garden, Fat Pig ham on bread straight from their wood-fired oven, plus cakes and scones inspired by summer’s preserves.

Fat Pig Farm is nestled in Glaziers Bay, 10 minutes from Cygnet and is home to Sadie Chrestman and Gourmet Farmer, Matthew Evans. As a working farm, they run a market garden, mixed fruit and nut orchards, chickens, bees, some milking cows and raise pigs. They also have a delightful restaurant, open for weekly lunches and occasional cooking workshops.

HOW DO I GET THERE?

You’ll be provided with clear directions on how to get there prior to the course.

YOUR TEACHERS

Nadia Danti is head market gardener at Fat Pig Farm and brings years of market gardening experience and has travelled the world working with some of the best growers out there to learn the skills she needed. Nadia is passionate about soil health and understanding the ecosystem under our feet, as well as supporting people to connect to their local food system and empowering them to grow some of their own food in whatever sized space they have!

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Sadie Chrestman:Together with Matthew, she has developed Fat Pig Farm into the diverse, productive landscape it is today. With an enthusiasm that stuns, she has created a market garden overflowing with delicious and nutritious food and healthy soils. Incredibly generous with her time and knowledge, all who learn from her are better off for it!

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ACCOMMODATION

For folks travelling from afar – there are a wealth of local options for you to choose from, CLICK HERE to see a huge range of options put together by our friends at the Cygnet Folk Festival. Please note, due to Covid-19 some of these venues may not be up and running yet.

CANCELLATION POLICY

There is no refund available for this course. If you’re unable to make it we encourage you to pass your place onto friends or family – alternatively you’re welcome to put it towards one of our future courses.

COVID-19

Please note, this workshop will be run in accordance to Covid-19 guidelines recommended at the time. If you are unwell with flu like symptoms we ask you to please not attend the workshop – contact us beforehand to discuss options.

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Real Skills For Growing Food

TWO DAYS OF HANDS-ON LEARNING, EQUIPPING YOU WITH THE SKILLS TO GROW FOOD IN YOUR OWN HOME.

 

We’re partnering with Fat Pig Farm to bring you two days of hands-on Real Skills for Growing Food. Join us to learn the foundations as we take you from soil to seeds, poop (manure!) to propagation and get you growing your own food at home – skills that you’ll have for the rest of your life.

YOU’LL GET TO LEARN ALL ABOUT…

  • Soil: If you want to grow good food, you’re going to need to know about soil – this is the key to nutritious food production. We’ll introduce you to the soil food web and explore a range of soil preparation methods for different contexts.
  • Compost: Learn about a range of compost techniques and help build a big compost pile.
  • Improving soil fertility: We’ll look at a range of DIY techniques you can create at home to improve your soil and plant health, including worm farms and liquid fertilisers.
  • Garden beds and tools: Help prepare a garden bed, and get to know Fat Pig Farm’s favourite tools for weed management and planting.
  • Propagation: Empower yourself to grow food from scratch – we’ll look at everything from making your own seed raising mix, planting seeds, and growing plants from cuttings.
  • Vegetable growing: We’ll introduce you to growing both annual and perennial vegetables so you can create diverse, edible gardens.
  • Planning your veggie patch: We introduce important considerations for planning a garden design and seasonal planting schedules.
  • Garden troubleshooting: Take a look at practical approaches to living with weeds and pests.

WHO SHOULD COME TO THIS WORKSHOP?

We’ve designed this workshop as an introduction for folks wanting to get started in growing their own food and for people looking for some extra guidance in refining their growing skills. We cover the essential skills and knowledge to set you up for success in your garden. 

STUDENTS RECEIVE

  • Full catering by Fat Pig Farm – it’s going to be delicious,
  • An invitation to an optional dinner on the Saturday night (additional cost applies),
  • Some solid time in Fat Pig Farm’s market garden where you’ll see strategies you can apply to your small or large garden,
  • Seasonal vegetable seedlings to get you growing,
  • Extensive course notes on everything we cover over the weekend, and
  • Skills and knowledge useful for the rest of your life!

“The attention to detail was great – this makes everything run smoothly and comfortably. And the gifts were amazing! Not only did I have a wonderful weekend, I came away with so much stuff! Thank you”.

CATERING

Fat Pig Farm will spoil you with food to fill your belly, warm your hearts and inspire you to grow your own. Think hearty soups filled with fresh veggies from the garden, Fat Pig ham on bread straight from their wood fired oven, plus cakes and scones inspired by summer’s preserves.

SATURDAY NIGHT FARM FEAST

All students plus their friends and family are invited to join us for a yarn and a cider over slow roasted farm grown goodness.

Please note, dinner is an optional extra to the daily workshops and costs an additional $90 per person. This is a wonderful chance to bring your family and friends along to soak up the hands-on learning vibes and enjoy the weekend with you.

*And yes, we can easily cater for people with different dietary needs.

Fat Pig Farm is nestled in Glaziers Bay, 10 minutes from Cygnet and is home to Sadie Chrestman and Gourmet Farmer, Matthew Evans. As a working farm, they run a market garden, mixed fruit and nut orchards, chickens, bees, some milking cows and raise pigs. They also have a delightful restaurant, open for weekly lunches and occasional cooking workshops.

HOW DO I GET THERE?

You’ll be provided with clear directions on how to get there prior to the course.

YOUR TEACHERS

Nadia Danti is head market gardener at Fat Pig Farm and brings years of market gardening experience and has travelled the world working with some of the best growers out there to learn the skills she needed. Nadia is passionate about soil health and understanding the ecosystem under our feet, as well as supporting people to connect to their local food system and empowering them to grow some of their own food in whatever sized space they have!

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Sadie Chrestman: Together with Matthew, she has developed Fat Pig Farm into the diverse, productive landscape it is today. With an enthusiasm that stuns, she has created a market garden overflowing with delicious and nutritious food and healthy soils. Incredibly generous with her time and knowledge, all who learn from her are better off for it!

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James DaCosta has worked on a huge range of small farms across Tasmanian including running the Hobart City Farm for 6 years (since closed). Originally from NW Tasmania, he was reared on the rich red soils of that region where he grew large and strong like a Kennebec (potato). He is a gardener, bee keeper, and permaculture designer. A natural teacher, James has a knack for inspiring and equipping people with the skills they need to get growing!

 

Firstly, thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable and educational course. As experienced growers, we were impressed that you covered so many areas so that inexperienced and experienced growers could walk away with something of value. It was a really positive feeling to walk away with a book, seedlings, trays, seeds, cuttings etc – was most generous and will be a great ongoing reminder of where we started (dead or not ;-)). Thank you so much everyone. You are great bunch!

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ACCOMMODATION

For folks travelling from afar – there are a wealth of local options for you to choose from, CLICK HERE to see a huge range of options put together by our friends at the Cygnet Folk Festival. Please note, due to Covid-19 some of these venues may not be up and running yet.

CANCELLATION POLICY

There is no refund available for this course. If you’re unable to make it we encourage you to pass your place onto friends or family – alternatively you’re welcome to put it towards one of our future courses.

Covid-19

Please note, this workshop will be run in accordance to Covid-19 guidelines recommended at the time. If you are unwell with flu like symptoms we ask you to please not attend the workshop – contact us beforehand to discuss options.

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Small Farm Design

Join Nick Ritar and special guest Matthew Evans at Fat Pig Farm for one day of focused learning in how to design a productive small farm – so when you set your own up, you get it right first time round! 

WHO SHOULD COME ALONG?

We’ve designed this workshop for hobby farmers and folks looking to embark on a small-hold commercial venture and are looking to get the foundation design right before they start digging dams and holes for fence posts.

THIS WORKSHOP WILL COVER

  • Design framework – based on permaculture design.
  • Reading the landscape so you put the right thing in the right place.
  • Water systems, including dams, swales and keyline methods.
  • Grazing management
  • Fencing to keep animals in and/or out.
  • Weed control
  • Fire safety
  • Perennial plants including grasses and trees to restore stability.
  • Soil remediation for thriving landscapes.

YOUR TEACHER

Nick Ritar is Milkwood’s primary design and education consultant. Nick is passionate about authentic outcomes for students studying permaculture and life skills, and cultivating community.

He spends his time growing good food, keeping bees, cultivating mushrooms, teaching permaculture design & advocating for community-scale resilience. You can read more about Nick here. 

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CATERING

This workshop includes delicious and nutritious lunch from the Fat Pig Farm kitchen. You’ll feast on seasonal produce straight from their farm. We can’t really describe how good their food is (it’s really good), so you’ll just have to come try it.

VENUE

We’re holding this workshop at Fat Pig Farm in Glaziers Bay. Where is that exactly? The venue address and details of the venue will be shared with students closer to the workshop.

CANCELLATION POLICY

There is no refund available for this course. If you’re unable to make it we encourage you to pass your place onto friends or family.

COVID-19

Please note, this workshop will be run in accordance to Covid-19 guidelines recommended at the time. If you are unwell with flu like symptoms we ask you to please not attend the workshop – contact us beforehand to discuss options.

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Beekeeping for Beginners: Okines #4

HANDS-ON LEARNING, EQUIPPING YOU WITH THE SKILLS TO KEEP BEES AT YOUR PLACE.

We’re partnering with Okines Community Garden in Dodges Ferry to bring you a special 6-part series of hands-on permaculture skills. This is workshop #4, Introduction to Smallscale Beekeeping. A one-day introduction to small-scale beekeeping course designed for the beginner and novice beekeeper keen to have one (or a few) hives in their homes. We’ll guide you through the key foundations of bee theory and action so that by the end of the day you’ll be either ready to start on your bee journey, add to it or refine it.

If you live in the South East coastal region, you might be eligible for a phenomenal subsidy* to access these courses. To access this discount please type your postcode into the “coupon” field at checkout. If your postcode fall subsidised area, your ticket price will be reduced to $150 before you pay.

THIS WORKSHOP WILL

  • Provide the theory you need to get started in beekeeping
  • Discuss the importance of bees in our food systems, key threats to their health and how you can help them out
  • Show you three different types of hives – the langstrothwarre and top bar beehive and how they work so you can make an informed decision for your own place
  • Open a live hive so you can see how to manage and work with bees on a practical level
  • Introduce you to some of the simple and best tools to use as a beginner beekeeper

WHO SHOULD COME TO THIS WORKSHOP?

We’ve designed this workshop as an introduction for folks wanting to get started in growing keeping bees, and for people looking for some extra guidance in refining their beekeeping game. 

STUDENTS RECEIVE

  • Fully catered  – it’s going to be delicious,
  • Some solid time in the Okines’s Community Garden where you’ll see strategies you can apply to your small or large garden,
  • A bee veil,
  • A whole bunch of new bee friends and networks to stay in contact with, and
  • Course notes, jam-packed with information to support you to be a gun beekeeper!

CATERING

Our caterers will spoil you with food to fill your belly, warm your hearts and inspire you to grow your own. And, of course, we can accommodate any dietary requirements.

Nestled in the Southern Beaches community of Dodges Ferry, Okines Community Garden is an inspiring place to learn, share knowledge and contribute directly to the wellbeing of the land and the people it supports. The gardens consist of mature fruit trees, over 30 raised veggie beds, chickens, bees and an outdoor kitchen providing a hub for shared outdoor meals and a workshop space. ‘The Garden’ is connected to Okines Community House – which provides added space for learning and undercover workshop needs.

HOW DO I GET THERE?

You’ll be provided with clear directions on how to get there prior to the course.

YOUR TEACHERS

James DaCosta has worked on a huge range of small farms across Tasmanian including running the Hobart City Farm for 6 years (since closed). Originally from NW Tasmania, he was reared on the rich red soils of that region where he grew large and strong like a Kennebec (potato). He is a gardener, bee keeper, and permaculture designer. A natural teacher, James has a knack for inspiring and equipping people with the skills they need to get growing!

 

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Sonja Ralph comes from a botanical science and outdoor education background with a wealth of lived experience in gardening and permaculture principles. She is the Community Garden Coordinator at Okines Community Garden and is a passionate beekeeper, soap maker, fermenter, preserver, gardener, homeschooler, knitter, sourdough baker, naturalist, renovator, radical homemaker!

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Subsidies and Discounts

We have partnered with Okines to present this series of workshops for their region. Thanks to Okines, if you live in the Lower South East coast of Tasmania, you will qualify for a significant subsidy – each course will cost you just $150. We strongly encourage people living within the region to enrol, but these courses are also accessible to anyone that wants to join us! Areas that qualify for a subsidy extend from Sorell, to Swansea and down the coast to the whole peninsular, incorporating Dodges Ferry, Carlton, Primrose Sands and Dunalley.

*To get the discount, please enter your postcode in the “COUPON” section – if you are in a qualifying area, and it will automatically make your course $150.00.

CANCELLATION POLICY

There is no refund available for this course. If you’re unable to make it we encourage you to pass your place onto friends or family – alternatively you’re welcome to put it towards one of our future courses.

Covid-19

Please note, this workshop will be run in accordance to Covid-19 guidelines recommended at the time. If you are unwell with flu-like symptoms we ask you to please not attend the workshop – contact us beforehand to discuss options.

 

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Deep Litter Composting With Animals

When keeping animals in domestic yards you need to avoid having bare earth, instead you can have a deep litter.

A what?

A deep litter imitates a forest floor which is soft and spongy – made up of deep layers of carbon and nitrogen (fresh and old leaves, sticks, branches, dead animals, rainfall etc). Some folks refer to it as a slow, composting system as the end product can be cycled back into your edible landscapes. Without a deep litter your animals end up living on bare earth which becomes problematic with the build up of their manure. Without any carbon materials (straw, woodchips, hay, mulchy stuff) to absorb and balance out the manure, the whole yard becomes stinky and gross which can compromise the health of the animals. Not cool.

In our home we have a deep litter system for our chook and goat yard – they share this space with the chooks who also access a nearby forage space through a little passage way.

Around two times a year we dig out the run and replace it with fresh woodchips. In between these times I’ll often add a thin layer of woodchips as a little top up – especially during winter when it’s very damp. By the time it’s ready to be dug out it’s already half composted material (see below). It’s beautiful, doesn’t smell gross and is well on its way to becoming invaluable compost for our food systems.

Half composted woodchips, mixed with goat/chook manure and rainfall. 

When we dig it out, the first place we put it is into some compost bays where it’ll sit for quite a few months to finish the composting process. While the finished product will look like stunningly beautiful compost, we learned the hard way that the carbon content is still very high so you’ll most likely still need to add some nitrogen into it so it doesn’t compromise your food crops. Our sad story is that we added some mature compost onto our annual garden beds and then watched in horror as our crops had a major attack of “nitrogen draw down”. This simply means their isn’t enough nitrogen to support healthy plant growth. It was easy to fix (by adding blood and bone), but we lost some time in our precious summer growing season. Won’t be doing that again!

Compost station with THE view

Hot tip

I use large, coarse woodchips as they last longer which means I don’t have to dig out the yard as often. You can source woodchips from your local arborist for free or cheap, so it’s worth calling around. Just make sure you check what trees they’ve mulched so you don’t accidentally import lots of weedy seeds.

The finished product is highly satisfying for everyone. And for those who are wondering, no the goats don’t eat the woodchips. They definitely have a little nibble but spit them straight back out.

Also, I couldn’t get them to pose for this photo below as Jilly (the black one) is on heat and can’t stand still (or be quiet) and Gerty was trying to get a cuddle from me. I love them.

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Introduction to Permaculture: Okines #1

Join us for one day of exploration into permaculture. You’ll gain a solid introduction to permaculture foundations and the framework to design your life in your own home, in the city or out bush.

We’re partnering with Okines Community Garden in Dodges Ferry to bring you a special 6-part series of hands-on permaculture skills. This is workshop #1, Introduction to Permaculture. Immerse yourself in a proactive day of thinking, learning and exploring avenues to respond to some of the biggest social, environmental and economic challenges of our time in a proactive and positive way. Learn the basics in how you can apply permaculture to everything from house design, food production, energy systems and community development, all with a distinct Tasmanian flavour and focus.

If you live in the South-East coastal region, you might be eligible for a phenomenal subsidy* to access these courses. To access this discount please type your postcode into the “coupon” field at checkout. If your postcode fall subsidised area, your ticket price will be reduced to $150 before you pay.

Your permaculture course has completely changed my focus and approach towards my surroundings. I now have a clear vision and outlook of what I want to achieve In my garden and beyond. I have since been describing your course as a springboard. I left feeling inspired to continue learning more about permaculture and to take the first steps to creating a garden for my family to enjoy. 

YOU’LL GET TO LEARN ALL ABOUT…

  • Origins of permaculture and the global context
  • Permaculture ethics and principles
  • The permaculture design framework
  • Exploration of permaculture in action in urban and rural contexts.

STUDENTS RECEIVE

  • Fully catered  – it’s going to be delicious,
  • Some solid time in the Okines’s Community Garden where you’ll see strategies you can apply to your small or large garden,
  • A copy of the Introduction to Permaculture book by Bill Mollison,
  • Extensive course notes on everything we cover over the weekend, and
  • Skills and knowledge, useful for the rest of your life!

OUR TEACHING APPROACH

Just so you know, this is not a hands-on gardening course. This course is an engaging combination of theory and interactive group work. If you’re after a hands-on workshop have a look at what we have coming up here.

Two green thumbs up. Structure of the day, variety of delivery of information, engaging activities, amount of content covered, general warmth and enthusiasm all brilliant .

CATERING

Our caterers will spoil you with food to fill your belly, warm your hearts and inspire you to grow your own. And, of course, we can accommodate any dietary requirements.

Nestled in the Southern Beaches community of Dodges Ferry, Okines Community Garden is an inspiring place to learn, share knowledge and contribute directly to the wellbeing of the land and the people it supports. The gardens consist of mature fruit trees, over 30 raised veggie beds, chickens, bees and an outdoor kitchen providing a hub for shared outdoor meals and a workshop space. ‘The Garden’ is connected to Okines Community House – which provides added space for learning and undercover workshop needs.

HOW DO I GET THERE?

You’ll be provided with clear directions on how to get there prior to the course.

YOUR TEACHERS

Nadia Danti brings years of market gardening experience and has travelled the world working with some of the best growers out there to learn the skills she needed. Nadia is passionate about soil health and understanding the ecosystem under our feet, as well as supporting people to connect to their local food system and empowering them to grow some of their own food in whatever sized space they have!

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James DaCosta has worked on a huge range of small farms across Tasmanian including running the Hobart City Farm for 6 years (since closed). Originally from NW Tasmania, he was reared on the rich red soils of that region where he grew large and strong like a Kennebec (potato). He is a gardener, bee keeper, and permaculture designer. A natural teacher, James has a knack for inspiring and equipping people with the skills they need to get growing!

I found it very inspiring, lovely to spend a weekend with like minded people while learning more about how to live sustainably while still enjoying a comfortable lifestyle.

I enjoyed the delivery of the workshop and particularly the constant interaction/exercises that took place between our small groups. Total involvement. Also liked discovering the principles of Permaculture and the connectivity that comes with it. Was useful for our private plans.

Fantastic , in general I’m not a great learner in a classroom setup but I was engaged and interested throughout the whole day

Brilliant! I had such a great day and left feeling motivated to keep learning.

 

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CANCELLATION POLICY

There is no refund available for this course. If you’re unable to make it we encourage you to pass your place onto friends or family – alternatively you’re welcome to put it towards one of our future courses.

Covid-19

Please note, this workshop will be run in accordance to Covid-19 guidelines recommended at the time. If you are unwell with flu-like symptoms we ask you to please not attend the workshop – contact us beforehand to discuss options.

Subsidies and Discounts

We have partnered with Okines to present this series of workshops for their region. Thanks to Okines, if you live in the Lower South East coast of Tasmania, you will qualify for a significant subsidy – each course will cost you just $150. We strongly encourage people living within the region to enrol, but these courses are also accessible to anyone that wants to join us! Areas that qualify for a subsidy extend from Sorell, to Swansea and down the coast to the whole peninsular, incorporating Dodges Ferry, Carlton, Primrose Sands and Dunalley.

*To get the discount, please enter your postcode in the “COUPON” section – if you are in a qualifying area, and it will automatically make your course $150.00.

**WANT TO LEARN EVERYTHING? Whether you are full-fee-paying or on the subsidised rate, if you purchase all 6 courses (see the full list below), you can get an extra 15% off the second series! To do this, buy the first three, then email us at admin@goodlifepermaculture.com.au and we will give you the special code. Huzzah for accessible learning!

Sign up to the Okines Series and get skills!

Series A: Available to book now

  1. Introduction to Permaculture
  2. Super Soil Skills (take this with #3 to become a gun gardener)
  3. Grow Your Own Food (perfect followup to #2)

Series B: Coming soon – 15% off Series 2 if you purchase all 6 courses**

  1. Beekeeping for Beginners
  2. Eat your Harvest: Ferments and cheese making
  3. Homemade Herbal Remedies and soap

Looking for something else? We run lots of workshops – register your interest here and we’ll let you know what’s coming up.

 

 

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Portable Chicken Tractors

As our property is so steep, integrating animals into our food gardens hasn’t been able to happen as much as the permaculture text books imply it should. For example if I put our chickens into our orchard, they’d scratch all the mulch and top soil down to the bottom of the hill – and I would cry. It just wouldn’t work here. So we have some work arounds including using a chicken tractor to move chooks through out veggie patch strategically.

Chicken tractors are a useful tool to integrate chickens into your veggie garden in a controlled way where they don’t trash all your crops. We made a recent one out of scraps lying behind our shed. While it’s not going to win any prizes for craftsmanship or beauty, it does the job :-).

This past season, we’ve been using the chook tractor to help raise up some chicks we hatched. 

When do you put them in your garden?

The best time to activate the chook tractor in your garden is in between crops. So when one of our crops has been harvested but still has lots of green mater available, we pop the chook tractor on it and the chooks scratch, eat and peck it apart – until it’s blended back into nice looking mulchy soil. They also drop their manure which helps “feed: the soil. For those folks freaking out about fresh chook poo on the garden (usually not recommended as it’s very strong), a little bit is ok, so you can remain calm :-).

Popular chook tractor designs

Look, there’s heeeaaaps of chook tractor variations, such as did you know you can use an old trampoline and a-frame swing set as structures? Below are a couple outlined in more detail which I think are easy to build and are also portable.

The a-frame

One of the easier ones to build, the one you can see below is from an older rental house we lived in while in naarm/Melbourne. This version is built to be on either fresh grass or the veggie garden you can see behind it. Importantly it’s a light weight version and the chooks were put back into their main run and house each evening (which was also fox-proof). But during the day a couple could have a go at being in the tractor as needed.

The chook dome

The chook dome is designed to fit circular beds and popularised by permaculture author Linda Woodrow in her book ‘The Permaculture Home Garden’. It’s good for people with more flat land and interested in the mandala garden framework.

From DMK Permaculture

Purple Pear Farm mandala garden with chook dome peaking out in the corner. 

Key design considerations

While there are many design variations on the chicken tractor the portable versions all share some common design elements. Mainly…

  • They’re nice and light (or have wheels and handles) so one-two people can move them easily.
  • They’re made to fit the size of your veggie beds (or rows) so they’re 100% efficient and compact moving through the food garden. Sure you can just shuffle them around a grassy area, but it’s a wasted opportunity to integrate them into a food-producing system.
  • They all have a weather-proof shelter so the chooks can be protected from rain, the hot sun or predator birds which might want to come and get them.
  • There’s also a small roost for them to jump up and hang out/sleep on – imitate a tree’s branch (chooks are originally jungle birds).

Are they fox proof?

Usually no. We don’t have foxes in lutruwita/Tasmania or other predators in nipaluna/Hobart where I live, so we can be more relaxed about the design.

Do the chooks live there permanently?

Definitely not. They’re not big enough to keep chickens happy all the time. The exception is if you only a have a few in a large’ish tractor and you’re moving them daily (to fresh ground) and checking on them multiple times to make sure they’re happy. But generally the idea is that they’re visitors that come and go – returning to a larger, main yard where they can stretch their legs as desired. If for some reason they can’t be moved daily I make sure I dump lots of greens in there twice a day for them to eat and scratch up – you might also need to pop some straw/carbon in there as well to soak up their manure and make sure they have a healthy surface to be on.

Our chook tractor with a fresh load of comfrey leaves in there for them to eat

The main aim of the game is to build soil health in your food gardens and show the chooks a good time with fresh greens and grubs to eat. Done well, it’s a wonderful, symbiotic system where everyone wins.

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Free Home Composting Workshop: Hobart Feb

Learn how to compost your food waste at home for free!

In collaboration with the City of Hobart, we’re very happy to announce more free composting workshops for YOU to support you to compost your food waste at home and keep it out of landfill where it becomes a stinky, nasty pollutant.

 

BECAUSE….. Did you know that food waste comprises nearly half of the rubbish in an average household rubbish bin and that up to (and over) 40% of landfills across Australia consist of pure food waste. Yuck!  Once in landfill, food waste undergoes anaerobic decomposition (because of the lack of oxygen) and generates methane. When released into the atmosphere, methane is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

So if you compost your food waste you’re diverting it from landfill and transforming it into nutrient-dense compost. Perfect for growing a great veggie patch in your own home or community garden!

THIS WORKSHOP WILL COVER HOW TO COMPOST FOOD WASTE WITH:

  • Chickens,
  • Small compost bins,
  • Large compost bays and piles,
  • Compost worm farms,
  • and more!

YOUR VENUE

This workshop is being held at Mathers House at 108 Bathurst St, Hobart on a Sunday at the same time Farm Gate Market is happening directly out the front. Because of this you will be unable to drive directly to the front door. Instead, park in the Melville St carpark and walk across the road.

YOUR COMPOST TEACHER

Hannah Moloney is director of Good Life Permaculture and their lead educator and designers with *many* years of experience in composting. She’s worked with Cultivating Community and the City of Yarra running innovative community composting programs plus a number of home composting pilot projects with the City of Hobart. Passionate about composting food waste, Hannah educates people how to harness this precious resource and transform this kitchen waste into garden gold!

COVID-19

Please note, this workshop will be run in accordance to Covid-19 guidelines recommended at the time. If you are unwell with flu like symptoms we ask you to please not attend the workshop – please contact us beforehand to notify us if this is the case so we can pass on your place to someone else.

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How To “Un-Cluck” Your Clucky Chook

Each year in or around spring, between 1-6 of our chooks will get clucky. This simply means they’ll stay in the nesting box sitting on any available eggs and try to hatch them. A futile activity at our place as we have no rooster. The reason why this is problematic comes down to two things:

  1. Once they go clucky they’ll stop laying eggs. This is the key reason we have chooks, so it’s not ideal when lots of them are on the cluck.
  2. Their clucky energy and presence in the nesting box freaks out the other chooks (who aren’t clucky) who can then also stop laying eggs. Meaning we’ve gone from having 8 eggs a day to 2. And the two eggs that are laid are laid in strange and hard to get to places every day (like under the goat’s milking stand) because they’re busy avoiding the clucky hen in the nesting box.

The two main ways to break the clucky cycle are to:

(a) Place some fertile eggs beneath them and wait for a few weeks for them to hatch. They’ll then fulfil their parenting dreams and the cycle will be broken. We’ve done this with one of our clucky hens and currently have six fluff balls running around with their mumma. But there’s only so many baby chicks you need.

The other way is…

(b) Manually break their clucky-ness by isolating them in a safe, yet less comfortable space to inspire them abandon the nest. This is how we do it.

Remove them from the main nesting box and house so the other chooks can reclaim that space and remember how to lay eggs again. We moved ours to a seperate space within our goat shed where she want be disturbed (by goats). This area is completely weather and predator proof.

We use a recycled milk crate to contain her on a timber pallet shelf (weighted down with rocks and tied with some twine so she can’t push it over) with lots of airflow and no straw to nest on. You don’t want to give them a cosy bed to keep nesting on as they’ll just happily keep being clucky.

The timber shelf allows maximum airflow

We also make sure there’s easy access to food and water – the milk crates are handy as they have large holes she can poke her head through for this.

Then we leave her there for 2 – 3 days, checking on her regularly morning and night. When you do release her watch to see what happens – if she heads straight back to the main nesting box, then she’s not ready – give her another 24 hours. But if she starts wondering around and re-integrating with the rest of the flock, then the cycle has been broken.

Some folks say this is a bit rough, and I hear you. But what’s even rougher is having all your chooks go clucky, not getting any eggs and then having to buy in eggs from elsewhere with potentially unknown animal-handling practices which may be extremely unethical and sad. I’d much prefer to be able to manage the clucky cycle as outlined above and know where my animals products are coming from – and that they’re being cared for ethically.

This relatively quick process will see your chooks back in the saddle of egg laying and not freaking each other out with strange clucky vibes :-).

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