Monday, January 25, 2010

Tenderbreak Permaculture Tours

After a short break over summer we are recommencing tours of Tenderbreak Permaculture Farm. Over 1000 people have attended one of our events. Some have even been twice. Bookings are required for the tour on:-

Sunday, MARCH 7th

It runs from 1:30pm to 4:30pm and includes afternoon tea.
Our tours are suitable for anyone with an interest in permaculture, organic gardening, passive solar house design, tank water, mudbrick building, property design and layout, chooks and ducks, solar power, grey water systems and sustainable living. In fact our tours are a bit like doing a mini Introduction to Permaculture Course.
Part of the tour looks at defensive strategies against bushfires. The fires of Black Saturday burnt most of our 96 acres, but we were able to save our house and most of our infrastructure. We can now give an account of what aspects of our fire plan worked well and what needs to be improved.

Although our property is a large bush block, we provide information and ideas that are suitable for both rural and suburban dwellers. The size of the groups is limited to ensure there is plenty of scope for questions and discussion.
Other dates are available for group bookings.
Contact us for more details or for bookings at

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2009 The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Personally we are glad to see the end of 2009. It started off badly with horrifically dry conditions which put our gardens, the bushland and us, under great stress ....... and then came Black Saturday. Although we came through it relatively unscathed, the damage done to Victoria and Victorians that day, left its scars on us. Even now almost one year on, reflection about what happened can bring on lumps in the throat, tears to the eyes and an overwhelming feeling of sadness. Each summer for quite a while, (if not forever) we are going to be very much on edge during high risk days.

The year continued badly on the personal front, with the deterioration in health of Andrew’s Dad. Just when we thought he had stabilised, he went downhill and passed away on Boxing Day. Although we knew he was at risk, it still came as a shock.

The year has not been all bad though. We have had many enjoyable experiences, met many, many wonderful people and have learnt much about ourselves and aspects of the journey we are on.

On the people front, we have met hundreds of wonderful people on the “Permaculture in Action” tours we run, and at our stall at Healesville Organic Farmer’s Market. We also greatly enjoyed the company of Emily and Tim and Shelly who stayed with us for extended periods during the year. (See earlier posts). The highlight for Andrew was his surprise 60th Birthday party. We also enjoyed setting up and hosting Sally’s Yarra Valley Open Studio in September.

On the gardening front our fruit trees are one year older and bearing more fruit, we expanded several of our veggie growing areas and built our wonderful hothouse. Our animal flocks have increased in number. We searched high and low for a source of Khaki Campbell ducks, and found a breeder (by chance) within 5 minutes of our house. Our drake is very happy with his four wives. We have also added 4 bantams to our collection of chooks.

We are now looking forward to the new year and the positives which will come with it. Hopefully we will get our next construction project moving, do some more work on the house and of course we have plans to plant more fruit trees and bushes.

Roll on 1010 - we are looking forward to carving 10/10/10 in a mudbrick when that date comes around.
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