Permaculture in Action

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Around The Farm

2014 has been declared International Year of Family Farming and so to celebrate I would like to share snippets of our family farm. So once a week for the rest of the year you can join us here for a slow tour of the farm.

The 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas

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Apart from growing food in our mandala market garden we aim to educate and provide a model of sustainable agriculture in a peri urban location. We are just 5 mins by car from the local shopping centre and we are quickly being surrounded by development. And so we have become a city farm. As a demonstration site we are including more examples of less intensive ways to keep livestock thus enabling us to educate visitors on choosing how their food is farmed.

So today I bring you photos of our finished pig pen. And let me tell you Cinnamon and Nutmeg are well pleased with their new digs.I did try to get photos of the two of them but they are so very fast. Worse than trying to take photos of toddlers I tell you.

 A lovely house filled with nice clean straw. The house was built with second hand building materials. The weather boards are from an old shed we dismantled a couple of years ago. Don't they look great. The silky oak was already growing there and it will provide much needed shade in the future.

 A little window to the north for some winter warmth.

 And doesn't every pig want a pond to wallow in? You won't see one of those in an intensive piggery!

 Their main yard opens up into another yard where they have free access during the day. When that space needs a rest (as surely it will with the work those pigs put into every day) there is another on this side where I am taking the photo from.

The pig house collects it's own water from the roof and it is stored in this tank. The pigs drinking water comes from here via a nipple attached to the wall. The little bit of orange is shade cloth we have erected until the rest of the trees grow.

There is still more to do. Waste water will be channeled into a banana circle, some more fencing to be completed and a few more trees to be planted. We also want to grow some more fodder for the pigs. In a few weeks time some electronetting will arrive and the pigs will have access to some more spaces, in particular, areas that we want to cultivate, as they are very, very good at that.

In the mean time they are doing a great job of taking care of our over sized zucchinis and cucumbers and any other waste produce we have.


  1. Yes, you have indeed become a city farm!

    Love the pig house and I'll bet Cinnamon and Nutmeg do too.

    Looking forward to the farm updates throughout the year.

  2. Looks fabulous. I want to get some pigs so will be watching! cheers Annette