Designing the Warré honeybee apiary at Milkwood Farm has taken some protracted thought and planning. As well as designing for bee health, we’re also designing for educational access and best-practice Warré beekeeping, on a slightly tricky site. The site selected … Continued
The latest batch of Milkwood permaculture design students are currently hard at it in Sydney, taking their Permaculture Design Certificate part-time with the fabulous Alexia Martinez. I thought I’d share some of their latest permaculture designs… These designs are all … Continued
It’s something we and others have joked about: what if we had a truck full of goats and just went around offering their weed-eating services? How cool would that be? At one of our recent Permaculture Design Certificates some of … Continued
On occasion, our two big water tanks at the very top of Milkwood Farm overflow. What to do with the intermittent extra water? It’s too precious to just drain away. Time to design a water catchment and planting plan to … Continued
We’ve all been a bit in love with bees around here, ever since we met Tim Malfroy. Actually I liked bees before that, but Tim got us seriously hooked. We’re now aiming to create a truly fabulous Warré apiary at … Continued
Over the last couple of months, we’ve been cooking up a re-design of our top food forest with Harris. Once we move into our tinyhouse, this food forest will be right outside our back door. So we want to get … Continued
So Winter is ending and Spring is on its way. We spent this winter just gone traveling to Sydney every weekend to teach Permaculture, which made us feel like short-range nomads very quickly. And the end result is now out there; 40 accomplished urban permaculture designers, who will go on to do amazing things. Not bad for one winter’s work.
Quirindi School Garden Permaculture Design by Milkwod Permaculture – larger image here
Here's a design we did a while back for Quirindi Public School Community Garden. Quirindi Public School is the centre of a diverse farming community in a small town in Central West NSW. Their climate is temperate and not dissimilar to Milkwood – heavy frosts in Winter, quite hot in Summer, and rainfall once predictable and now erratic. Quirindi, like much for the Central West, has also been in and out of drought for the past 7 years.
Late last year Quirindi Public School invited Nick along to do a consultancy and design a permaculture community garden and outdoor classroom. Nick took along Milkwood Permaculture interns Stephen Couling and Ko Oishii, this is what they collectively came up with – a design incorporating current and future use, active learning areas, butterfly garden, vegetable beds, rainwater harvesting, community composting and multiple opportunities for a growing community involvement.
We look forward to seeing Quirindi Public School's garden grow, blossom and fruit with many good things.
The studio dam, the one halfway up the ridge and in the middle of our system, was the first one we all sunk our teeth into. And boy oh boy…earthworks are something else… it’s like having your skin torn off in large slabs, while someone tells you it’s not skin, it’s just butter. No problem…
Having grand plans is all very fine, but there comes a time when one must make the first, single, decisive gesture towards action.
For us, this meant placing a small wooden peg, painted white, at the southern boundary of Milkwood. And then surveying a contour which continued aaaallllll the way around the hillside at the same height as that first peg, right around to the other boundary of Milkwood on the western side of the ridge.
Aerial photo of Kirwin, with Milkwood top left-ish. Taken in about 2002, we think.
Standing on a bare hilltop, with the creek below and a small creekflat to the left, it all seemed so easy when we first got here… all we had to do was figure out where to put some structures, avoid the big trees, and build a bridge over the creek to get in. Grow something on the creekflat, put in a vegie garden, and get water from the sky… and the rest of it all, all those complex ideas and fiddly bits, could just wait till we were nicely set up.