1. Tell me about Tiger Hill Permaculture – how it began, why permaculture
Well, while spending several years doing permaculture consulting work overseas on commercial and aid projects, I was always searching for a hill station where I could set up a project to assist locals with research and development toward permaculture. Getting access to land was no problem but getting funding was. I had studied for some time with other teachers around Australia and completed two PDCs and part of an accredited permaculture training. My father introduced me to permaculture and when I did my first PDC, that feeling of wanting to be part of global change resonated with me. When needing to get experience in the field I packed my bags and headed off overseas as I had a burning desire to work with other cultures and do aid work. Fortunately when I returned to Australia I worked toward finding that special place and started looking nation wide. As my fathers family were from Tasmania, I looked this far afield and found Tiger Hill to fit all my search needs. My dream was always to create an educational community no matter where the location. So I invested in myself and have started setting up Tiger Hill Permaculture as a farm forestry model based on permaculture design. Now I take up to 60 volunteers annually and teach them practical skills towards sustainable living. I am totally self funded from salary.
2. What permaculture principles are in action at THP?
Major large scale water harvesting and storage systems, small scale water harvest and storage, gravity irrigation, capture and store food resources (preserving), companion planting, zoning, edge systems, recycling, organic food production, care for the earth, care for people, windbreak systems and multi-functional systems.
3. What are the greatest successes & challenges with THP?
One of the greatest achievements is that we can grow up to 90% of our food resources here. The biggest challenge is the lack of full time participation as mostly we get people for 1 or 2 weeks which is not sustainable while I am working FIFO (fly in, fly out) from WA.
4. What is your favourite photo(s) of Tiger Hill Permaculture and why?
Ph 1 Tiger Hill Chalet, I just love that landscape up on the hill in the morning sun.
Ph 2 Completed Holzmetre toilet – the only one of its kind in the world and one of my most creative ideas
Ph 3 Volunteers having fun learning -my biggest joy is people being here having fun learning
Ph 4 My first tomato harvest. I learn a lot that year! There are still some of these left in the pantry as my special reserve as they tasted the best.
5. Why did you become a member of PA – and why do you think Permaculture is important for folks to get involved with?
I had been doing so much work alone here and sometimes I forget there is a bigger group of people networking out there. We are finally getting some results here and now is the time to get workshops happening to showcase the results. I think it’s important for people to start making any shift towards more sustainable living. While governments don’t seem to be doing enough for supporting where our food comes from, sometimes we just have to do things ourselves. Change the thinking of one person at a time if it is necessary to start a cultural shift towards this permaculture design science.
6. Anything else you’d like folks to know?
We accept help all year round and have started reaching out for long term interns (practical skills trainees). If people are interested to learn to project manage a project and consider share farming arrangements please get in touch also. www.tigerhillpermaculture.net
We also have several upcoming residential courses here to experience beautiful Tassie during the summer while immersed on Tiger Hill:
- Introduction to Permaculture 11th-12th January 2020
- Permaculture Design Certificate 15th March – 28th March 2020
- Appropriate Technology Workshop with Tim Barker 3-5th April 2020