The real sustainability means growing your own food. It saves millions of litres of water used to grow crops and reduces the use of fossil fuels, which otherwise power the farming machinery, transport and cold storage of food.
Located on a steep hill the Moss House garden is an example of a seven-years-old vibrant, sustainable permaculture property, designed with the primary goal to provide the owners with food and medicinal plants.
(Only the garden is open to the general public).
Annual vegetables are grown in raised beds (some of them are self-watering wicking beds) and the produce is either eaten fresh or preserved in various ways for storage. Nearly 30 fruit trees and many perennial vegetables are mixed with flowering plants attracting beneficial insects, creating a rich and colourful ecosystem, which includes also two beehives of native stingless bees and a flock of seven egg-laying hens.
Rainwater is harvested from the roof of the house and two other structures in the garden (total storage 15,000 litres) with main tanks feeding garden taps, laundry and the second toilet. Surface water runoff is captured using swales, mulch and a composting pit.
Nothing ever leaves the garden; all non-edible materials collected from it are composted (in bays, bins and worm farms), mulched or used to build plant supports.
During the day there will be talks and several guided tours through the garden (see the Day Events below). You will have an opportunity to see elements of permaculture garden design in action and to taste some of the produce grown on the site. To learn about food growing and sustainable design check out the Permaculture Sydney North stall, plant sale table or Crop Swap Sydney stall (you are welcome to bring your garden crops to swap!).
The 1938 double-brick house (not open to the public) is partially retrofitted.
Electricity is provided by the grid and by 1.5 kW solar panels. Eaves, window awnings and shutters protect interiors from the sun in summer. In winter the house is heated by two slow combustion wood-heaters (firewood is foraged locally).
- 10:00 – garden opens
- 10:00 -11:00 – produce swap by Crop Swap Sydney
- 10:40-11:10 – guided garden tour
- 11:30-12:00 – “Medicine from Your Garden” – talk and demo on herbal preparations
- 12:30-13:00 – guided garden tour
- 13:30-14:00 – “Fermenting Basics” – talk and demo on vegetable ferments
- 14:30-15:00 – guided garden tour
- 15:30-16:00 – guided garden tour
- 16:00 – garden closes