John and Sharon Champagne left Melbourne 20 years ago and resettled their young family onto 4 hectares of damaged land in Brogo.
The achievements in this time have made Brogo Permaculture Gardens one of the best examples of utilising permaculture principles in a temperate climate.

Open day — 25 January 2014

To celebrate this milestone and with the support of SCPA-South East Producers, there is an Open Day at the property on Saturday, 25 January 2014.

It was always our intention to showcase the property to the public as a demonstration of sustainable landuse and living. There’s a lot of interest in growing healthy food and raising animals. It’s important that the process is planned to conserve energy during and post development. The design of the house and gardens need to reflect proven understandings of how elements relate to each other to reach any level of sustainability. Ideally planning occurs at the start but you can easily retrofit properties or urban backyards using the same principles.

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Features on display at the Open Day include:

  • a passive solar mudbrick home with a standalone solar system
  • kitchen gardens with fruit orchards of stone, pome, berry, citrus, nuts, semitropical and native foods
  • serious shelterbelts
  • earthwork water harvesting techniques
  • greywater reuse and composting toilet
  • poultry integration into the orchard systems
  • extensive variety of resilient understory support species as well as plants which can be converted into mulch.

John Champagne adds “Its been interesting, the main comment repeated by recent visitors to our place is that it’s beautiful and I guess that’s been a pleasant byproduct of the design. Could you ever imagine though a future sustainable culture without beauty?” 

If you can’t make the tour…

View Transition Bondi’s tour in January 2013…


The property is located at 397 Hawkshead Rd in Brogo and directions can be found at –

open days 1
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Join one of the tours

There will be guided tours starting from the top of the property along Hawkshead Rd at:

  • 9.30am
  • 12 noon
  • 2.30pm.

Entry is by donation with all proceeds going to Permafund, a registered charity able to assist permaculture projects here and overseas.


John Champagne 64 927306 or

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