Skills for real life

We are a small family; Kirsten, Nick and Ashar. We are also a larger crew of educators, facilitators and doers. Together we teach and share skills for growing, designing + living like it matters.

We do this by providing free online resources & offering world-class training in home gardening, beekeeping, natural building, permaculture and regenerative agriculture – skills that give you the confidence to create permanently sustainable systems.

Students leave our courses ready and able to design & implement a better future for their families, farms and communities. our courses are run across Victoria and NSW.

Our Teachers

Nick Ritar

Milkwood director, permaculture design, mushroom cultivation


Nick is Milkwood Permaculture’s primary educator and consultant. Nick is passionate about authentic outcomes for students studying permaculture and life skills, and cultivating community. He divides his time between extensive permaculture teaching, permaculture consultancy, home mushroom cultivation and growing good food for his family. Intro to Permaculture / Permaculture Design Course / Gourmet Mushroom Cultivation

David Holmgren

designer, co-originator of permaculture

David Holmgren is an ecologist, ecological design engineer and writer. He is perhaps most well known as co-originator of the permaculture concept with Bill Mollison. Through the spread of permaculture around the world, his environmental principles have exerted a global influence. He is the author of several significant permaculture texts, the best known being Permaculture: principles and pathways beyond sustainability.

Hannah Moloney

Community Cultivator

Goodlife Permaculture

Hannah is a change-maker, permaculture designer and facilitator who has designed and delivered many community-scale programs on local and state levels around food growing, composting and cultivating community. Her extensive project portfolio includes working locally with Cultivating Community and overseas with Action Aid. She now runs a cityfarm in Hobart as Goodlife Permaculture.

Rosemary Morrow

Permaculture teacher training

Earth User's Guide to Permaculture Book

Rosemary Morrow is known and revered world-wide for her pragmatic and effective approach to creating Permaculture systems across an incredibly broad range of environments. Rosemary has successfully implemented community-scale Permaculture systems in such diverse bioshperes as Uganda, Somalia, Thailand, the Middle East, Bhutan, Australia and northern Europe, to name but a few. Her knowledge on how to create abundance, food security and successful sustainable farming models, no matter what the country, is perhaps unparallelled in permaculture education today. She is the author of Earth Users Guide to Permaculture.

Olivier Sofo

Market Gardener

Living Earth Farm

Olivier is a professional market gardener with experience in many climates and soils. Olivier farms with his partner Falani at Living Earth Farm in the southern highlands of NSW. Olivier has a passion for dynamic adult learning environments, and has a strong focus upon sharing his knowledge to help inspire and guide positive change in the community.

Tim Malfroy

Natural Beekeeper

Malfroys Gold

Tim is a second-generation beekeeper, growing up on a large apiary in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Along with his wife Emma, he is the founder of the award-winning Malfroy’s Gold honey label, and has been practicing organic and biodynamic beekeeping since he started keeping his own bees in 2006. In 2008 he was the first beekeeper in Australia to build and trial a Warré hive, and traveled to the Apimondia in France 2009 to take part in the first conference session on Warré and top-bar beekeeping.

Michael Hewins

Market Gardener

Michael is an organic market gardener with a background in permaculture, organic agriculture and horticulture and has a wide knowledge of how to grow high quality, healthy food. He’s run his own Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) scheme in the northern rivers of NSW and has a great working knowledge of organic vegetable growing in both temperate and subtropical environments. [links] Serious Backyard Veggies / Intro to Organic Market Gardening

Sam Vivers

natural builder

Sam Vivers is director of Viva Eco Homes with his wife Simone. They began building and renovating homes over a decade ago. It was right at the beginning of starting the business when they discovered straw bale building and building with natural materials. Sam couldn’t build with toxic chemical based building products anymore so then decided to build his own dream home from natural materials. It evolved to a point where he thought these homes need to be made available to everyone – Australian homes with style, which were actually good for the world, made from the earth and were smart in every way possible. Sam is a licensed builder, building supervisor and carpenter. He is a member of the Master Builders Association, the Australasian Straw Bale Association (Ausbale) and the Earth Building Association of Australia

Joel Salatin


Joel Salatin of PolyFace Farms is a world-leading example of how a small family farm can become an extremely diverse and profitable Local Food producer, and how the benefits of Local Food Systems can create resilence, stability and abundance for both local farmers and the wider community. Featured in Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and in the films FRESH and FOOD, Inc., Joel and his family at Polyface Farms exemplify successful small-scale farming and the growing relocalization movement.

Sandor Katz


Based in Tennessee, Sandor Ellix Katz is the author of multiple books on fermentation including The Art of Fermentation (2012) and Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods (2003). With a cult following across the world, Sandor has given taught hundreds of workshops demystifying fermentation and empowering people to reclaim this important transformational process in their kitchens.

Floyd Constable

Aquaponics, Permaculture Designer

Floyd is an experienced permaculture designer and teacher who has worked worked in many parts of Australia with indigenous and local communities to design and actualise resilient food systems,. He’s also worked as a permaculturalist-in-residence at Soneva Kiri by Six Senses in Thailand, which included establishing tropical market gardens and extensive aquaponics systems, and as Milkwood’s farm manager, designing and establishing integrated animal systems in an organic small-farm context.