Zaytuna Farm is a highly active Permaculture demonstration site.

It is at the forefront of Permaculture Design, displays many permaculture principles and produces an abundance of food and various yields from within its living environment. Zaytuna is a family friendly farm, situated on a sixty-six acre (27 hectares) property that fronts Terania Creek opposite the village of The Channon, Northern NSW. The property contains 800m of creek frontage, numerous swimming holes and abundant wildlife. The landscape is diverse, covering high frost-free hilltops, ridges and valleys containing both cleared paddock and forested areas. The farm is under continuous development and with ever changing and evolving on ground research in practice; work is consistently in progress to develop more efficient and productive systems.

WHAT WE DO

PERMACULTURE
COURSES & EVENTS

Zaytuna Farm hosts courses & events throughout the year.  Regardless of background or experience you’ll find a course that’s right for you.

PERMACULTURE
HANDS ON EXPERIENCE

Want to start practicing Permaculture but lacking experience?  Then why not Volunteer for us or join our year long Apprenticeship Programme?

PERMACULTURE
DESIGN & CONSULTING

As leading permaculture designers, we offer a professional Permaculture consultancy, backed up by design, implementation and maintenance.

OUR MAIN PERMACULTURE ELEMENTS

NATURAL
& ECO FRIENDLY
BUILDING DESIGN

 

The buildings on site include mud rendered and lime plastered straw bale and bamboo bale housing. Stylish, up-cycled, shipping containers with passive solar aspect wind vented metal roofs which house a commercial kitchen, student launderette, internet cafe, student kitchen and an open space classroom with dinning area.

There are also various sized metal industrial farm sheds from quite large to very small. These house the solar power station, nursery seeds and tools, the stand alone pressure pump solar power station, main crop tools and supplies. They provide storage for machinery and animal feed and have created a farm office, dairy preparation area and camping shelters. All of which have been approved by the local government.

zaytunafarm waterharvesting dams

WATER HARVESTING
SWALES, DAMS &
AQUACULTURE SYSTEMS

 

Zaytuna farms is designed to hold and capture as much water as possible. As we all know, water is life. An integrated water harvesting system of multiple roofs, tanks, dams, ponds, and swales are incorporated in the mainframe design of the property.

These elements have all been placed out in a harmonious way following the contours and patterns of the landscape. Every single rain drop that falls on the property is now stored in either the dams or the landscape itself. This design has made the farm drought and flood proof.

Gravity irrigation is accessible throughout the property and can be used at any time of the year even during hosepipe bans as we are not connected to the mains. The irrigation water is enriched with natural nutrients provided by our fish, duck ponds and animal systems.

GREY WATER RECYCLING Even though we have an abundance of water we make sure to recycle and clean our waste shower and kitchen water and put it to good use, through our gravel reed bed and natural biological cleaning system.
COMPOSTING TOILETS We only use state of the art composting toilets that saves on average 36L of water per person per day and closes the nutrient loop on the farm.
OUR DRINKING WATER Is collected on our roofs and is stored in large tanks which is passed through a filter to make perfectly clean drinking water that is naturally free from toxic chemicals.

BEYOND
SUSTAINABLE
ANIMAL SYSTEMS

 

Animals play a key role in any ecosystem. We use them to cycle nutrients, fast track the succession of degraded land in to forest, sequester carbon to the soil and to provide services that they naturally enjoy doing and is a part of their intrinsic characteristics.

This means that we can rely on our animals to mow, weed, prune, fertilize, scratch, remove pests, lightly aerate soil and help build new top soil. All at the same time as providing us with ethically produced, healthy and clean, fish, meat, milk, eggs, hides, feathers and other animal products.

We treat our animals with care, compassion and respect throughout their lives and limit any stress or suffering as much as possible at the time of slaughter. Currently we have chickens, ducks, quails, turkey, rabbits, fish. Plus cows for milk and beef production.

Chicken tractor and cel grazing cattle
permaculture harvest

SURPASSING
ORGANIC FARMING

 

We are in partnership with the most powerful force on the planet, Mother Nature. By avoiding destructive farming methods such as using chemicals or tilling the soil, we have stopped soil erosion and allowed life to return to the soil. We see a never ending increase in fertility that is constantly being recycled with the help of trillions of micro organisms, earthworms and other soil life.

This forms the basis of our food production and makes for very nutritious food and healthy plants. We major in perennial tree crops and agro forestry systems, we call these Food Forests. They are designed to mimmic natural forests with seven layers of plant life. There are many synergistic combinations of timber, nitrogen fixing, medicinal and food producing trees, shrubs vines and herbs, that together support each other.

We also have more traditional style gardens with annual food crops. These have also been designed to use the power of natural systems. Our kitchen garden and main crop systems are continuously producing vast amounts of food on the farm that includes a large diversity of mixed vegetables and herbs including aquatic crops, fruits and nuts.

WE ARE A FAMILY FRIENDLY FARM 

and welcome all families to visit or participate in our programmes.
Come to Zaytuna Farm and embrace a highly ethical way of life, surrounded by nature in a supportive community.

MEET THE TEAM
dez-grace-farm-manager-zaytuna-farm

Des Grace

FARM MANAGER

From Lismore in New South Wales, Des started working at Zaytuna farm in 2010. As the Farm Manager, Des’ days are…

ben-cains-zaytuna-farm

Ben Cains

APPRENTICESHIP MANAGER

Ben Cains moved to Australia from New Zealand in 2006. He’s now an active member in the Permaculture world.

Gary-walker

Gary Walker

HEAD CHEF

Originally from Brisbane, Gary joined the team at Zaytuna Farm in May 2016. As head chef, Gary is responsible for…

EDUCATION & ENTERTAINMENT
  • Amatullah Dunlam

    EDUCATION COORDINATOR Amatullah has worked on organic farms in Australia and Spain. Her passion lies in saving seeds…

  • Latifa Lawton

    Latifa has grown up on Zaytuna Farm and has been immersed into Permaculture pretty much since day one.

CURRENT AND GRADUATED APPRENTICES
Come meet the rest of the apprentice team current and graduated.

GEOFF & NADIA
LAWTON

 

Nadia Lawton was born in the Dead Sea Valley in Jordan where she learnt traditional ways of land use from her father, an expert farmer and herbal healer. After completing her PDC in the Dead Sea Valley in 1999 she proceeded to work on the “Greening the Desert” project, established permaculture women’s groups and school projects. Nadia has a Permaculture Diploma in design, education and site development and is a registered permaculture teacher in the English and Arabic languages. Nadia dedicates much of here time to the Permaculture movement as an international permaculture teacher, consultant and aid worker.

 

Geoff Lawton is a world renowned permaculture consultant, designer and teacher. He took his PDC in 1983 with Bill Mollison, widely considered the “father of permaculture. Geoff has specialized in permaculture education, design, implementation, system establishment, administration and community development since 1985. Working in over 50 countries, Geoff has taught more than 15,000 students, he established the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia and Zaytuna Farm which is Geoff and Nadia’s family home. As an award winning Permaculture Designer, Geoff’s main aim is to drive the establishment of self-replicating educational demonstration sites across the globe.

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