A little bit of news from us – we are moving to Tasmania! Off to the southern wilds…
We have been at Melliodora in central Victoria for three years now, and we have learned so much from this beautiful place, and its people.
Three years of milking goats, growing veggies, frosty fingers and farm chores. Alongside a whole lot of learning from the co-originator of Permaculture, David Holmgren – and also Su Dennett – two awesome permaculture pioneers that we’ve been lucky enough to get to know and grow alongside. Thank you Dave and Su for sharing your home with us, and for teaching us so much during our time here.
In this past three years, a lot has happened at this unique permaculture demonstration site. David and Su published their book Retrosuburbia and we published our first book Milkwood. We buried Bet, the Matriarch of Goats, and readied the property for the bushfire that licked the edges of our gully last Summer.
We have grown the best vegetables of our lives, and the best mushrooms, too. There was the feijoa avalanche of 2018, and the Successful Fixing of the Solar Pump saga. There have been summer solstice parties, and many meals shared at the long table up at ’the big house’, where Dave + Su reside – as well as many campfire cook-ups, and cosy meals shared down at our little cottage.
There was the coming of Brenna Quinlan, a farm helper who transformed into a dear friend and Melliodora resident, as well as being the illustrator of both Retrosuburbia and Milkwood (and so much more!). There were many other awesome farm helpers and visitors who flowed through this place in the summertime – Jacq, Flo, Brigette, Sylvain and many others – and Mick, who came for summer but who is now here through winter, too, with his big smile and tendency to wear shorts in all weathers.
The Hepburn/Daylesford community is like no other that we have experienced – wild, and welcoming, multi-faceted, and full (so full) of great projects and initiatives – rising and falling with the seasons and people’s energy.
The landscapes and many walking tracks around here are paths that we have trodden muchly, in all weathers, and all seasons.
The wet mossy rocks and green winter weeds, that give way to brambles and spring wattles – and then to the summer dry and brown of eucalypts and shrinking waterholes, the gullies dotted with red hawthorn berries and the soft ‘creeak’ of gang gang cockatoos. And then back around the seasons, to vibrant greens, pine forests full of mushrooms ripe for the foraging, puddles along the pathways, and frost, and mist, and moss.
We feel thankful to have experienced this amazing place and community as a family. Honoured to have set down here for a few years and received such gifts, and to learn all that we have learned.
And now… on to the next adventure. Southern Tasmania – home of the Melukerdee nation, these last 40,000+ years. A land of wild forests and calm, saltwater bays. Of many seaweeds dancing in the rockpools, and oysters, fresh off the rocks. Valleys of feral apples, native pepperberries, good soil, and a dream of maybe putting down some roots, on a small patch of land.
From a Milkwood perspective, this new adventure is a chance to explore new landscapes and wild foods, meet new farmers and share their inspiring stories, and to investigate regenerative and climate positive projects across Tasmania.
We’ll also be focussing on building online courses and resources, to help an even wider set of folks get the skills and knowledge they need, to start living like it matters.
We can’t wait, and we invite you to explore with us, as we go. Onward!
Map drawn + photographed especially for us by Tasmanian artist Lady Jo – maker of maps & collector of sticks. Thanks Jo x