Friday, January 9, 2009

Permaculture Tours

Back to the Open Day.

Earlier this year we were asked by Yarra Valley Permaculture Group to hold an open day on our property, as part of celebrations to acknowledge 30 years of permaculture.
So what was there for people to see? As outlined in previous posts, we have gradually been bringing our permaculture design into reality. Our farm is designed with an emphasis on sustainability, energy efficiency, self sufficiency, no use of poisons, re-used and recycled materials, living in harmony with the environment, integration of small animals, taking advantage of the natural topography, nutrient cycling, developing defences against wildfire, multiple functions and zoning.
Other features of the property, include use of plantation timber for the house frame, electrical power from our off-grid solar system, tanks and dams supplying all water needs, heating and cooking through wood fired appliances (there’s plenty of fallen timber), chooks and ducks supplying eggs, bees providing honey and extensive fruit and vegetable gardens.
Apart from guided and self-guided tours of the above, volunteers gave talks about Permaculture and food security, put on a display of rare breed farm animals, ran interactive “composting worms” discovery sessions, a wildlife photograph gallery and stalls sold organic refreshments, books, plants and seeds.

As you can see –there was a very full program of activities for visitors to choose between and judging by the comments in our visitor’s book most people found the day rewarding. In fact the plethora of positive comments inspired us to commence a program of small group tours for people who missed out on the open day or those who wanted to look round without the pressure of crowds and limitations of timetables. We ran three of these during November and intend to continue in 2009 on a monthly basis (or more if demand warrants it).
The open day motivated us to start this blog which provides more detail about our story and how Tenderbreak Permaculture Farm came into existence. It also allows visitors to keep up to date with new developments as they occur. In the next few blog entries we will look at some of the features of our farm in more detail.

The success of the Open Day also motivated us to commence small group tours of the property - especially after positive feedback from many visitors who commented that they were inspired by our house and garden tours. The tours cover everything covered on the open day and more, without the pressure of large crowds. By limiting the size of the groups there is plenty of scope for questions and discussion. Apart from having a look at the many features described above, we also provide some insight into how permaculture has influenced our thinking and helped us develop our farm. If you would like to find out more about our “Permaculture in Action” small group tours please email us at

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