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The Quarter Acre Farm
The Quarter Acre Farm
Last updated:
Mittagong, NSW, AU
Climate zone:
Cold Temperate

Dennis Argall Fiona Plsek Sam Whitfield
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The Quarter Acre Farm

Project Type

Urban, Demonstration, Educational

Project Summary

Urban Permaculture project designed to meet the food and energy needs of a two-person household. An evolving design and implementation process as resources come to hand. All out war on lawn!

Project Description

This project is my home, office and demonstration space for sustainable living.  Rather than setting out with an over all design and implementing it in defined stages I have chosen to let it evolve over time as energy, and resources (physical and financial) have come to hand.

The property started off with 4 trees in the rear yard and two in the front.  The rest was an overwhelming expanse of lawn.  It now has over 25 different species of fruit and nut trees and shrubs, established vegetable beds, extensive free-range chicken system and two very happy and fat guinea pigs. 

Since purchasing the property in 2005 a number of improvements to the infrastructure have also been made.  New surfacing on the roof has enabled greater rainwater harvesting capability and gutter mesh has eliminated the need for first-flush systems.  Two tanks have been added, although they have not been connected to plumbing, rather, they are exclusively for garden and animal water supplies.  Insulation has been installed in the roof and has reduced internal summer temperatures and reduced the need for heating in winter.  A solar hot water system was installed when the previous unit died.  In December 2012 a 1.52Kw grid-connected solar power system was also installed.  Also in 2012, my fantastic father built a deck out the back that has added to the outdoor utility and recreation space.

'Waste' management is another system that has been implemented.  Very little organic food or garden 'waste' leaves the property.  Whatever is not fed to the guinea pigs, chickens or wrom farm goes into compost or hulgelkultur style raised garden beds.  I don't buy overly packaged goods and recycle everything I can so the bins go out once every 6 to 8 weeks!

As a single parent on a low income my aim has been initially to grow food to supplement my income and enable me to make local and/organic purchases wherever possible.  I am now wanting to demonstrate to others how it's done so that they too can enjoy the benefits of growing their own and reducing their reliance on a monetary system for their survival. 


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Project Badges
Urban Demonstration Educational
Joanne Dodd - Admin
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