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Permaculture Transformation - 90 day project
Permaculture Transformation - 90 day project
Last updated:
Duck Creek Mountain Road, Alstonville, NSW, AU
Climate zone:
Sub tropical

Herman van Dulken
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Permaculture Transformation - 90 day project

Project Type

Urban, Residential

Project Summary

Turning a small acreage property from all lawn into an organic food producing area for owner's consumption and to sell to local Farmers Market.

Project Description


Paul Taylor [email protected]


The intention is to reduce lawn and landscaping management by using the space and effort to produce organic food for the owner’s consumption as well as to produce in excess for local Farmers Market.

The system will be developed using specific opportunities for appropriate design to develop select areas over about 5 acres of a 40-acre property. Much of the property on the outer zones is forest, environmental management and grazing.

The first part of the project is to turn lawn and landscape areas immediately around the house into long term productive systems. This will include raised bed areas for vegetables and annual production and multiple mini food forest areas that will include fruit trees, ground covers, in-ground crops, shrubs and support species.

The total project includes a contour dam of about 300 sq mts surface area, approximately 500 sq mts of swales, seedling propagation house, 100 chickens for meat and egg production and we are investigating a larger dam opportunity for fish, habitat and water management. The contour dam will take advantage of highway and hillside run off to collect water in a ‘high dam’ opportunity that can be gravity fed to the ‘front lawn’ vegetable gardens and the food forest areas.

See the photos of the initial stages of transformation of this property during the month of November 2012 and stay tuned to this site for progress reports. 

The original look of the property immediately around the house

The outer zones for habitat and grazing

Preparing the frames for the beds


Filling the frames with earth and high mineral fertiliser

Rows of beds covered with compost and ready for planting

The finished beds, first planing out then mulching spaces designed for ride on mower maintenance until interspacs become consumed by further planting over time.

More garden beds prepared for mini food forest

   Planting 'blueberry patch' and strawberries

Clearing 50 ornamentals to make way for planting of 50 fruit trees

Ornamental shrubs removed to be replaced by food forest

Replacing 50 shrubs with 50 fruit trees 'Transforming high maintenance into high production'

This ends November update.


Now begins December developments with earthworks, swales, berms, contour dam and roads.


Checking topsoil depth and saving for top-dressing dam wall

Setting out the levels and stripping topsoil

Stockpiling topsoil

Stripping topsoil to get to clay layer



Early veggies just 3 weeks after planting - 'fast forward food'


Clay pit on site will provide clay for dam lining

Happy owners excited earthworks have begun

Contour dam takes shape, this will hold more than 100,000 gallons or half a million litres of ridge top water

200M long swale will collect water into contour dam on ridge

12 tack-hoe compacts dam wall


Contour dam 15M long x 8M wide x 4M deep, lined with clay from site


The finished Dam


Here follow pictures for January 2013


Here follows pictures for February 2013

Growth is often accelerated on swales, the diversity of plants supports the diversity of soil microorganisms and promotes fertility

'Food for all', in just a few weeks the front lawn becomes an oganic supermarket

Owners Bev and Tony enjoying their Permaculture paradise

A fabulously full dam

From the start of the project in December 2012 to ……

…… completion of the project in February 2013



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Urban Residential
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