Zaytouna farm: when permaculture becomes a business

The Zaytouna farm, also hosting the Permaculture Research Institute, is managed by Geoff Lawton, a student of Bill Molisson, the “pope” of permaculture. So I was very excited to arrive there and learn many things. But the deception was as big as my expectations !!

When I arrived, nobody welcomed me, I had the impression that I was discovering a ghost farm: no buildings, a few tents and broken tippis…   I finaly found the other 6 volunteers in the kitchen, next to Geoff Lawton’s house. Most of the staff is on holiday, because the permaculture internship just finished. The farm is then on “low maintenance” mode until the next session; which means long working hours for the volunteers, without any gratitude from the owners in Jordan, a wast of eggs and milk, and garden too big to harvest veggies on time. Fortunately, the few available staff and the other volunteers are very nice.

I am amazed there are no library and almost no infrastructure to welcome the volunteers. Just a messy hard drive gathers many documents on permaculture, so instead of learning by doing, I start to dig information there… 

I enjoyed the 10 days I spent there anyway, cooking breakfast, milking the cows and helping in the garden and the nursery. I even learn how to make butter and some cheese! I also discovered the city of Nimbin, its crazy museum, its hemp ice cream and jam sessions. I also discovered The Channon handcraft market attracting all the hippies of the region…

Here are the pictures:

Our team with a nice zuchini harvest !


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