Published On: June 6th, 2024
3.5 min read

Want to take a quick video tour through my urban Tarntanya / Adelaide permaculture garden and see what I’ve managed to pack into this small city space so far?

Cool… just hit play on the video above! (Full written transcript is below.)

This summer I welcomed my good mate Guy Furner, founder of The Forward video production company, into my garden for an arvo filming a short documentary-style video.

It was part of Guy’s brilliant Forward Thinkers series, which celebrates folks who’ve built something special out of passion; people who are doing something different and new in their areas of expertise.

I was honoured to be invited to take part and chat about how urban permaculture can play a key role in transforming our barren cityscapes into sustainable and regenerative ecosystems.

Here are a few behind-the-scenes shots from the day.

Guy also flew his drone over my house, capturing video footage and photos of my Tarntanya / Adelaide permaculture garden from above.

I’m thrilled to have these shots to share during sustainability workshops and whatnot, helping show what’s possible in a small space.

A drone shot of my urban Adelaide permaculture garden, showing the annual veggie patch and food forest

I hope you enjoy this snapshot of my little city permaculture garden.

Forward Thinkers video transcript

There’s so many things I love about this garden. I love eating healthy, fresh, organic food. I love interacting with my animals, seeing the biodiversity. But actually, I think the thing I love the most is the fact that it draws me outside every day.

We’re here at my home, in my back garden. It’s just a small space — 478 square metres is the total block size.

When I originally moved here, it was as a rental. So, I did bits and pieces with the garden. It was a shemozzle when I got here and I really enjoyed changing it into a food-producing area.

But I never imagined that I would even be able to own the home, let alone start to implement my own permaculture plan. The idea for it now really is to become a bit of a demonstration site for what urban permaculture can look like in Adelaide.

So I created a permaculture plan for my garden and I’ve been slowly rolling that out.

I’ve put in some annual veggie beds, a food forest curve that has a bunch of different fruit trees. I’ve put in a big sweeping chicken fence for my chickens to live behind. Honey from my beehive. Compost bins where I compost food scraps and garden waste and that sort of thing.

As I’ve gone along, I’ve observed and changed things. I don’t have great building skills, so I’ve had to move slowly and get lots of help.

One of the things that’s been really great about moving slowly like that is every time something is finished, I’ve had the opportunity to really sit back and look and observe and see what that has done, what that’s changed. So I guess it will always be a work in progress, there will always be little tweaks and changes at the edges.

What I’m starting to see now is the younger generation [of permaculture practitioners] coming through. Those of us who can’t afford a huge country home and are staying in the city and starting to think, well, I still want that life. I still want to live sustainably. I still want to grow some of my own food.

And I totally love that. I’m seeing permaculture people pop up in cities all across the country. So really, wherever you are in Australia now, there’s probably someone local to you who is doing permaculture at an urban level, who you can learn from.

Another thing I really like about permaculture is that it’s totally accessible to anyone. You can start with absolutely zero money to invest and still have a crack — you know, by planting just one lettuce seedling that you got from a free seed swap.

You absolutely don’t need a lot of money to get started.

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