Permaculture in Action

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

An Adventure

We arrived home last Thursday from a week away to Melbourne. Our impulse for the visit was the huge amount of activity down there around sustainability. Of particular interest to us were the urban farms.We visited Collingwood Children's Farm and Ceres which are both of similar size to our farm (around 14acres) and situated within 6klms of Melbourne's CBD. Our farm is around 6 klms from the centre of the fastest growing city in NSW. It was our plan to tour these two farms and learn as much as we could that would be suitable for us here in terms of a peri urban, child centred, educational farm experience.
Both of these farms attract a lot of support and funding from local government, local business and the wider community. We also would like to invite support from these areas.We feel there is a need for a similar farm based experience for children in our area and it's something that really excites us.

As the name suggests the Children's Farm caters to children. It was set up in the hope that '' children living in an urban environment, often without backyards, could learn to care for animals and nature and also have fun outside''. It embraces the philosophies of permaculture, Landcare and organic farming.

we learned a lot here about signage,community involvement through allotment gardens and as a drop off point for resources, such as garden waste. We took away some ideas for animal enclosures, especially their pig sty. We are much in need of something similar for our Nutmeg and Cinnamon who have proven to be the escape artists that their species are renowned for.

The pig pens have rotational mud areas for the pigs to wallow in. There is greenpick growing in between pens for continual foraging.

We were really impressed with their setup and are keen to implement so much of what they are doing as more and more we are being contacted by schools, homeschoolers, afterschool care, and parents of young children as an awareness for the need for this sort of experience becomes more evident.

What are your thoughts on this? Next post I'll talk about what we learned at CERES.


  1. I think you are already doing an excellent job, but it is always nice to see what others are doing.

    1. Thank you for that lovely comment. There are people doing it so much better and we can learn a lot from them.They have been doing this sort of thing for 30 odd years and now we can copy what they have learnt along the way. We hope there are others out there who may even learn from what we do.

    2. I agree that you are doing an excellent job, and I also understand how it is to visit others and see how things are done elsewhere. We can always learn something!

      Some co-op people visited those same places and came away very inspired and eager. I'd like to visit too, at some stage, as we plan for the future.

  2. Hi there
    I am only a hour away from these two places and I still havnt visited them. I must make a trip. I really enjoy your posts x

    1. Hi Sharon. I think you'll find it's worth the effort to visit.

  3. I love the idea of a farm for urban children smack bang in the city! They must have heaps of school groups through. Must, must find a free weekend one of these days!

  4. Loads of inspiration by the look of things Kate and I can imagine you are eager to get home and implement some of these ideas.
    We can all learn from each other and share knowledge.
    I don't visit Melbourne often but must put these two places on my list for my next trip.

    Claire :)