Rusty and Gitte's Permaculture Haven

This was the start of a Permaculture experiment to show the world what can happen if we were to take cow pasture and turn it into
Permaculture Gardens.

In 1990 we bought 16 acres of cleared cow pasture in sub-tropical Northern N.S.W. on the top of an East facing Ridge.

For the first 7 years we had a drought.

We started by pegging out the contours of the land to make swales.

Swales are  small ridges made along the contours to harvest the water
and preserve the soil.

Here you can see the swales, and piles of slashed and raked grass to be used as mulch. We would have preferred to use hemp mulch matts but as hemp is outlawed we used newspaper with mulch on top to kill the weeds and keep the moisture in the soil.

The first things we grew were buckwheat and sunflowers for groundcover.
With lemongrass and comfrey, along the bottom of the swales to hold the soil and stop grass encroaching.

We planted fruit trees on the top of the swales every 3/4 meters. The wallabies liked the buckwheat so they left the young fruit trees alone.

Every 6 or so meters we planted ice cream beans, which is food for birds native animals and humans and a nitrogen fixing legume.

They are very fast growing and provide a canopy and loads of mulch when you cut them back each year. 

This is the site of the Dam and Vegie gardens, we placed a number of ponds for frogs around the house and gardens, we are aiming to bring all the animals and birds back in and create an oasis of bio-diversity.

Here are the results 7 years later!!

One of our many friendly neighbours.

We could never have done this amazing work without sharing the place with others. We have W.O.O.F.ers (willing workers on organic farms) from all over the world come and stay and work with us on this amazing project.
Thanx to all!!

(Our W.O.O.F.ers work for 4 hours a day in exchange for food and accommodation.)

Gitte in the Garden

We, my partner Gitte and I with our two children live in our handbuilt solar powered house built from local rocks and recycled goods, including sawdust, sand and cement. We collect rainwater for domestic and agricultural purposes and have a policy of no tobacco, no alcohol or hard drugs. We are vegetarian living mainly from A grade certified organic fruit and vegies mostly grown in our own garden.

We have 14 chickens which we rotate round the farm that provide us with eggs, and two horses which we ride for pleasure.
We use their manure, and worms for compost and have a composting toilet.

For more info or if you'd like to come and stay with us please
email rusty@nimbinaustralia.com