Frequently Asked Questions

Farm Visits

How do I arrange a farm visit

Zaytuna Farm, is a living and working family farm and a Permaculture demonstration and education centre, we are always very busy. We are a very small team, as such we are not able to accommodate general farm visits.  We do however, invite you to join us on one of our quarterly Farm Tours. In addition to Farm Tours we also run various courses and events. If you want to get involved and have some serious time/energy and plan to make a commitment to Permaculture than please refer to this section on our website.

I'm taking a course, when should I arrive?

Students are welcome to arrive at any time on the day prior to the commencement of the course. Try to arrive a couple of hours before sunset so that you can easily set up your tent/camper. You can use the communal kitchen to cook your evening meal, or go to the local Tavern which serves dinner between 6pm-8pm.
If for any reason you need to arrive earlier than one day before the course this is only possible through prior arrangement with the Zaytuna Farm Management Team, please contact [email protected]

Permaculture Help & Advice

I have a Permaculture related question, how can Zaytuna Farm help me?

For general Permaculture related questions we encourage you to visit our sister sites, they all offer a wealth of resources:
1. Pop over to Geoff Lawton’s website and join the learning circle. Here you will find an impressive collection of resources and a 24/7 online community full of Permaculture enthusiasts. It’s 100% FREE.
2. Visit the Permaculture Research Institute to post your questions or find your answers in one of the many forums.
3. Grow your Permaculture network and connect with like minded people across the globe.
4. Should you require consultancy services then we recommend Permaculture Sustainable Consulting Pty.

Accommodation

What Accommodation is available at Zaytuna Farm?

Accommodation is in self-provided tents or camper vans/caravans. We can provide a spot for your tent/camper on flat ground in our campsite area which is within close proximity to the Commons.

In this area we also have 10 raised and covered camping platforms that can provide extra shelter for tents that are smaller than 4m x 2.5m. These platforms are on a first-come, first served basis and are not guaranteed for all students. Please liaise with a member of staff/apprentice before setting up camp.

Please refer to the facilities section for a full list of amenities.

I don't have a tent, are there are spare tents at the farm that I can borrow?

Sorry, we don’t provide tents or any camping equipment. You are required to provide all of your own accommodation needs. Please prepare yourself accordingly for the season. We recommend a good waterproof tent, air mattress, sleeping bag, blankets and pillow. If you want to protect yourself from the early morning sun then a tarp is a good idea. These items can be purchased in neighbouring Lismore.

Are there any alternative accommodation options?

At this point in time Zaytuna Farm is only able to offer camping facilities. However, there are several other accommodation options in the area:

  • The Channon Butter Factory Tavern is a 20-30minute walk from Zaytuna Farm and offers single, double and family rooms from $60. It is also the closet place for hot meals.
  • Anna’s Retreat is an 8min drive/5km from Zaytuna Farm and offers self contained cabins from $150 a night for 2.
  • Terania Green Boutique Cottages are 10min drive/6km from Zaytuna Farm. They offer self contained timber cottages from $150.
  • Eternity Springs is15min drive/12km from Zaytuna Farm and offers a peaceful retreat.

Food

What kind of food do you serve at the farm?

Meals are fresh and healthy. We have meat and vegetarian meals at all sittings. We try to get most of our ingredients from our very own gardens but depending on the seasons some foods are sourced from local markets and we choose organic produce when possible.

I am Vegetarian, can you cater for me?

Yes, if you have indicated on your application that you are Vegetarian, then Vegetarian meals will be provided for you. Vegetarian meals will be indicated as such on the serving counter and will be specifically reserved for those who have indicated themselves as having a vegetarian diet. Unfortunately we cannot cater for any further special dietary requirements and if you have special needs then you are expected to provide for yourself.

Where can I buy my own food?

We Recommend that you bring enough supplies with you before arriving at the farm (especially if you don’t have your own mode of transport). The local store does supply most items but it is much more expensive than major stores in the larger towns/cities. The local Tavern also provides meals at lunch and dinner time. The Channon market is held on the second Sunday of the month, which also offers a range of food options.

Facilities & Amenities

Is there a place to park my vehicle?

Yes there is. We ask for all vehicles to be parked in the designated car parking area, please follow the signs.

If you are participating in a course and camping at Zaytuna Farm, then camper-vans may be parked in the designated camping area. If you have a caravan we ask that you return your vehicle back to the main carpark once you have set up your caravan/camper. In wet/muddy weather please try to refrain from bringing your vehicle onto the camping area.

What Facilities are available at the Farm?

We have state of the art modern clean compost toilets and solar heated gas backed up hot showers, a coin operated launderette ($4 a wash), laptop working station & small library plus a communal kitchen with refrigerator.

Is it safe to drink the water?

Filtered rainwater is provided from specially marked taps both in the dining area and communal kitchen in the commons. All other taps in the commons and the bathrooms is unfiltered rainwater. Any taps not attached to a building is dam water used for irrigation DO NOT DRINK.

What are the procedures for cooking my own food on weekends?

There is a common kitchen available, with 6 gas hobs, two fridges, pots, pans and cutlery. Please note, we do not use electric kettles or electric toasters, please refrain from brining such items into the kitchen as they will drain our solar power. Also, please respect that boxes of food on the shelf and items in the fridge are the personal belongings of the long term Apprentices. If you store something in the fridge write your name on it and dispose of unwanted items when you leave or better still give them to another person. Please keep anything that does not need to be refrigerated in your own personal camping space as our kitchen storage area is limited. Every Monday, the fridge is emptied and cleaned. Emptied items are left on the side and each individual must ensure the items that they wish to keep are returned to the fridge. Recycling bins are clearly marked, please follow the instructions carefully. After use, please tidy up after yourself, wash all of your dishes and return pots and pans to their original storage area.

Is there internet and should I bring a laptop?

Yes, wireless internet is available between 6pm to 9pm. This is provided for emails, research, web browsing, and skype (or similar), but it is not to be used for downloading, i.e. movies, music, pictures, and large files (small Word and PDFs are ok) or streaming (i.e. movies, music, videos). No internet assess will be provided for use in the class room or the eating area. Internet access will be provided in the classroom only during an exercise that requires it. It is recommended that you bring your laptop as it will be of great use (file swapping between students is very common). Farm access to an office computer will not be provided unless it is an emergency.

Laptops need to be unplugged after sunset. Please turn your mobile devices onto Aeroplane mode when not in use, we have limited bandwidth and need to ensure that the Apprentices can always access the internet.

Is there a mobile phone reception?

Mobile phone reception is weak or non-existent for most service providers at the farm, but you can usually find reception with many mobile phone service providers just a short distance walk up the road.

Free local phone calls may be made from the common room. A phone card can also be used to make calls from this phone.

The only reliable mobile phone reception on the farm is from Telstra Next G network. You can research purchasing a SIM card or mobile phone on the Telstra Next G network via this link.

Equally, the only reliable mobile wireless internet access is also from Telstra, and specifically you will need a “$99 USB Modem plus 1GB data”, which you can research via this link.

Do you have an onsite store?

Yes we do. Our onsite store sells a variety of books and DVDs. If you think you may like to purchase any of these items please have cash, cheques, credit or bankcards available for your purchase.

Where can I wash my clothes?

A washing machine is located in the Commons area, at the rear of the communal kitchen. It costs $4 per cycle and is cold wash only. You will need to supply your own washing powder and we ask that you use Organic products. Please be considerate when washing and check with a member of staff or an Apprentice before using as the machine runs on rain water and solar power. The washing machine cannot be used on cloudy days or at times of water scarcity.

There is also a laundromat, with washing machines and tumble dryers available at the General Store in The Channon, for $4 per wash.

Packing Advice

What should I pack/bring with me?

We provide a lot of advice on the website at the time of booking your course/event. Please refer to your course/event page for the most relevant information to you.

We ask that you ensure that your toiletries, soaps, etc., are eco-friendly. That means free of any chemicals and labelled as such. Please ensure you bring your own towel.

There is no outside lighting system in the camp ground, so please bring a head-torch/flashlight.

If you are coming to Zaytuna Farm as an Apprentice/Volunteer then we recommend to bring; rubber gumboots, water proof coat, torch, drink bottle, good shade hat, sunglasses, thick long work pants (drill cotton or denim are more scratch and snake bite proof), working gloves (if you have soft hands), and long sleeved cotton work shirts (to avoid sun burn). Work boots must be worn ALL THE TIME WHEN WORKING on the ground on the farm and removed before entering any building on site, as such we recommend you bring elastic sided slip on work boots as lace up boots are going to be very frustrating.

General Conduct

How can I make sure I get on well with the rest of the community at Zaytuna Farm?

When living in a community and on a farm that strives to be as sustainable as possible, the way in which you conduct yourself is very important. Below we have provided some guidelines to help you with your general conduct:

  • Make yourself familiar with the Zaytuna Farm Etiquette and MOU.
  • Take your shoes off before entering any of the buildings.
  • Clean up after yourself and don’t leave personal items laying around.
  • When you have finished at the workstation unplug your laptops/mobile devices and make space for others who may need to use the facilities.
  • Be conscious of the amount of time you spend in the shower, try to conserve water, please use organic toiletries/don’t leave the floor muddy/wet, make sure you leave the toilet seat/cover down. If any of the supplies have ran out or something is broken inform an Apprentice/member of staff.
  • Our electrical systems are solar based, be mindful of your energy consumption. Aim to charge devices during the middle of the day when the sun is at it’s strongest and try to use as little power as possible after dark. Please switch off lights when not in use.
  • Please note, that on weekends you are not permitted at Nadia & Geoff’s house site, for the purposes of rest and privacy, unless they are performing a specific task (like feeding the animals).

Change of Plans

I can no longer make the course/event, what should I do?

We appreciate that circumstances change. Please refer to our refund conditions which are detailed in the terms and conditions section of our website.

Travel Advice

What is the best way to reach Zaytuna Farm?

That all depends on your mode of transport. We have provided lots of information in our detailed directions section. If you are joining us for a course and are interested in car-pooling then please email us so we can let other members of your course know.

Should I take out travel insurance?

Ultimately this is up to you. However, we would recommend our International students and visitors to have comprehensive travel insurance for cancellation, medical expenses, personal accident, personal baggage, money and liability before travelling to Zaytuna Farm. Travel insurance is relatively cheap and can be purchased through a number of channels.

If you are staying at Zaytuna Farm in the capacity of a Volunteer we recommend that you obtain a Wwoofing membership as this will cover you with some form of insurance cover for small accidents. See their website for more details.

Do I need any vaccinations?

We do not provide any advice for vaccinations. Please speak with your Doctor or visit WHO website. Due to the fact that we are an active farm, we do recommend that all visitors have a valid tetanus vaccination.

What Visa should I obtain?

I’m afraid we are unable to offer advice in connection to your visa. Please visit the government website for the most up to date information and to find a visa that is right for your situation.

Lost Property

I think I left something behind at the farm!

Anything left behind on site will be held for a maximum of 4 weeks and will then be disposed of. If you think you have left something behind please contact us and provide a full detailed description of your item and where you think you left it, we will then confirm via email if the item has been found.

The Surrounding Area

What Can I Do on the weekend?

On weekends, most people take the opportunity to explore the local area, which includes the nearby waterfall and national park.

The Channon Craft Market, the oldest in the region, is held every second Sunday of the month in the village, an easy 15 minute walk from the farm. The market has a diverse and interesting range of food options to choose from. For more information, visit the Channon Market website.

Nimbin, the third most visit town in New South Wales is a 20 minute drive away.

Byron Bay, the very popular coastal town and surfers heaven is a 40-50 minute drive away.

Weather

What is the weather like at Zaytuna Farm?

Zaytuna Farm is in a high rainfall area, with a summer rainy season starting in November/December through to April/May. Temperatures around 30ºC/86ºF and high humidity is common. In the cooler months, May to October we can have occasional light frosts on the ground in the early mornings. The days are usually a nice and warm 20º/68ºF.

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