While visiting Melbourne, we had the fortune of wwoofing with Marianne and Cameron, who live an hour south in Beaconsfield. They haven’t studied permaculture, but sure do seem to be practicing it. Marianne and Cameron raise goats for meat, milk and breeding stock, grow nearly all their own produce, raise chickens, grow their plants from seed, harvest their animals’ fertility to improve the soil, and have developed efficient systems for virtually everything they do. All while creating a modicum of waste and repurposing/recycling what they can on site. They practice organic principles, (don’t use synthetic chemicals), have a thriving worm farm right outside their door that get whatever food scraps are beneath the goats and chickens, have solar panels to heat water and did I mention they are terrific chefs?
We helped clear sticks and fallen winter wood to prepare for fire season, turned in 2 beds of cover crop, transplanted 1 bed of strawberries, milked the goat (though we were incredibly slow!) and helped put up a huge net over half of the entire garden/orchard area, in spite of the rain. Still, we got the better end of the exchange!
Please see the slide show to get a flavor for the place.