The Property

At Brogo Permaculture Gardens we believe that more sustainable living is achievable for everyone through an understanding of permaculture gained through permaculture courses.

Through sharing our journey, of establishing our property and lifestyle, we want to inspire others  to move towards developing that understanding of permacuture and towards amore sustainable living as well as empowering themselves and their community to embrace changing times creatively.

Our journey in sustainable living started two years after John had completed a permaculture course with. We sold our Melbourne home and purchased 11 acres of land,from a beef farmer who was subdividing, in Brogo, south coast NSW in 1994. We became custodians of a regenerative, steep, weedy parcel of land.

We began the massive task of property development with no infrastructure on site, no services to the property and four young children under our care.Two years later number 5 arrived! We rented an old farmhouse about 2 km up Hawkshead Rd so had a good bed and a hot bath to go home to after a building day.

The video and photos tell our journey.


Zone 0 – The Home

4,000 hydraulic- pressed mudbricks with no cement. Passive solar house design with features including an earth floor, cool-cupboard, homemade composting toilet, gravel filtered greywater system, photovoltaic panels, solar hot water and a slow combustion stove.

Zone 1 – The Kitchen Garden

Situated directly north of the living areas for maximum sunlight and closeness to the kitchen. Annual and perennial vegetables grown and area includes a composting site, a wormfarm and carbon storage bay, a pond and entertainment space.

Zone 2 – The Food Forests

Covered and caged anti-aviary for stone and pome fruit with poultry integration. Subsurface greywater recharge irrigation. Also a sub-tropical and citrus orchard with legume intercrops and herbaceous perennial understory. Subsurface water recharge with swales for irrigation.

Zone 3 – Cash Crops

Food Forest gully with 3 swales harvesting stormwater and providing easy access. Cash crops include avocado, tamarilo, mandarine, macadamia. Ponds above and below these swales allow for flood irrigation.

Zone 4 – Buffers of Edge

Shelterbelts for strong wind and fire protection planted to the west and south east of the house. Smaller windbreaks planted mid slope for wind control and frost mitigation. Managed woodlot for firewood with eucalypt species that coppice.

Zone 5 – Native Wilderness

Large areas of natural regrowth of native species and exotic plants. Habitat and wildlife corridors for many native animals and bird species. Natural succession taking place with bellbird and bowerbird activity purposely evolving the regrowth toward rainforest.