Milkwood Permaculture Open Day

On the 8th of December we attended the annual Milkwood Permaculture open day at their farm near Mudgee, NSW. We’ve been following Milkwood Farm’s exploits on the web for years and had decided to sign up for the Milkwood beekeeping course in November. We were really sad something came up and we had to cancel. So it was great to finally get there and see it all in action.

Mudgee and surrounds has some great foodie spots, so it wasn’t a hard decision to make a long weekend of it and enjoy some of the region’s delights. We stayed around 30 minutes away from Milkwood and the drive to the farm provided a perfect example for why permaculture is important. We were shocked as we drove through a barren landscape suffering from intensive overgrazing. It was the typical strip cleared landscape, littered with erosion gullies and any remaining trees were dead or dying. You could see there was nothing but a layer of dust on top of the rocky ground and any water would run straight off. It really got us thinking deeply about the principles of permaculture before we arrived at the farm. Driving in to Milkwood you sensed something was different. Tracts of green highlighted what, elsewhere, was dry, barren landscape.


The day started at the ‘Woolshed’ with a couple of presentations explaining permaculture, what Milkwood is and does and their food philosophy. Around the Woolshed we were shown Milkwood’s rocket stove powered showers, seed ball making, mini forest garden, composting toilets, erosion management, kitchen garden and worm farms. The Woolshed was also host to the amazing eating experience we had throughout the day. Our farm tour started at the market garden where Milkwood aims to grow all their vegetables as well as sell them. We then visited the animal systems where chickens and pigs are used to prepare the landscape for growing food while providing eggs and meat.

The market garden

The market garden

The next stop was the forest garden and apiary. It was amazing to see an established forest garden with all the plants working in unison. It gave me some more motivation to get more done in our fledgling forest garden.

Mini forest garden at the woolshed and the established forest garden

Mini forest garden at the Woolshed and the established forest garden (bottom)

The final part of the tour discussed Milkwood’s water management and experiments in natural building, finishing with a tour of the Tiny House. The Tiny House was a great example of a small but practical sustainable house. It made me think hard about cutting a room or two from our house plans… The day ended back at the Woolshed for afternoon tea and a Q&A session. It is really hard to pick a highlight of the day as it was all amazing. William’s highlight was definitely the fresh honeycomb for afternoon tea, he ate more than his fair share! If at all possible you have to go and see it for yourself next year, we are planning on attending again.

Apiary, pepper the farm foreman and William meeting the 'bok boks'

Apiary, Pepper the farm foreman and William meeting the ‘bok boks’

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3 Responses to “Milkwood Permaculture Open Day”
  1. dixiebelles says:

    Sounds fantastic! Thank you for sharing. Great photos!

  2. I really wanted to attend the open day but by the time I found out about it tickets had sold out! Sounds like it was as good as I imagined it to be and well worth the drive. 🙂

  3. Kirsten says:

    So lovely to meet you guys! Thanks for coming 🙂

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