Silk Farm 2019

Silk Farm
Mount Kembla NSW 2526
Booking required – see link below
12pm – 4pm
House Open Style
Guided Tours – Booking essential (address will not be listed on website)
Entry fee or Donation
Pre-Booked tickets
Donations supporting
Sustainable House Day 2020
Housing Type
Project Type
Garden Only
Permaculture Visions
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms
Open with support of
Permaculture Wollongong Institute

Book your tickets here to visit Silk Farm. All profits from these tickets will go to Renew to assist with Sustainable House Day 2020
This home is open for pre-booked tours only, the address will not be displayed. 

 $5 tickets (children under 12 free) profits go to Renew supporting SHD

In 1993, we began with an acre of lawn in an arty village community close to the university city of Wollongong. We wanted to build a rich permaculture lifestyle. Our children were babies and it took six hours to mow the acre of Kikuyu. There were large tracts of woody weeds and we didn’t know how to catch a chicken, graft a seedling, manage snails or pickle a chilli.

We were the first in our bio-region to grow jackfruit, Peruvian custard apple, lychee, longan, sapodilla, jabuticaba and much, much more. We didn’t realise how many firsts we had achieved at the time. We were curious, adventurous and having fun. Since raising our sons on this site, we are proud that our eldest is now also a first. He has established an eco hair salon on our site.

We are just ordinary people having fun trying extra-ordinary things! After 25 years, the lawn has been replaced by an abundant food forest.

As the family grew, we renovated the home using recycled components, created an environmentally friendly office, and have become an active part of the community. Our site is most famous for its rare fruits, chicken mansion, and potted worm farms. We are also proud of our new rocket stove..


Years Open
Universal design accessability
Disability access
Wheelchair access
Roofing materials
Metal (Colorbond)
Wall materials (external and internal)
Corrugated iron
Window and door types
Recycled timber, reglassed
Window and door shading
Awnings (external)
Deciduous tree/vegetation
Shade Sails
Recycled and reused
Bathroom cabinets
Kitchen cabinets
Light fixtures
Roofing material
Windows and internal beams
Sustainable materials
Recycled flooring, beams, recycled windows, doors and fixtures internal walls clad in timber increases thermal retention
Insulation - Under roof
Type: Non-coupled double reflective foil
Rating: R4.0
Insulation - External walls
Type: wool and reflective insulation
Rating: R4.0
Insulation - Internal walls
Type: Recycled foam mattresses
Rating: R2.0
Healthy home
Chemical free cleaning products used
Cross flow ventilation
Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
Natural fibre furnishings
Natural light and ventilation
Natural oil sealer/finishes
No carpets
Wax based sealer/finish
All electric home
Renewable energy
Solar PV grid connect
Solar hydraulic heating system - hot water is generated on roof using evacuated tubes at low water pressure, this heats an internal hot water tank which feeds hot water into the house into radiators. We also display a number of solar cookers and our large hybrid rocket stove/BBQ. We also have a range of tools retrofitted to run on solar charged old car batteries
Size of PV system
Water heating
Solar hot water (evacuated tube)
Solar hot water (flat panel)
Passive heating cooling
Cross ventilation
Thermal mass
Active heating cooling
Ceiling fans
Solar hydronic
Our main heat sources are: 1. the solar hot water radiators 2. slow combustion stove (we grow our own fuel)
Energy efficiency
Draught proofing
Efficient lighting
Energy monitoring
Water harvesting and saving
Above ground rainwater storage
Type: Polymer-lined colorbond
Size: 30,000L
Grey water system
Stormwater management
Low flow shower heads
Low flow taps
Hot water recirculation
Garden is designed to harvest, slow, use and reuse water. It is also Zoned to be energy efficient for users. The plantings also follow a sector analysis to reduce risk of fire, harvest beneficial breezes, optimise natural light and reduce glare from western summer sun.
Garden / Outdoors
Bee hotels/friendly
Edible garden
Native plants
Water wise plants
Wicking systems (water on demand), swales to harvest water, keyline to slow and direct water
Waste Reduction
Compost all food scraps
Plastic free household
Swap with friends and neighbours
Worm-farm systems for indoors and outdoors, fruit-fly safe composting systems. All food scraps are 'recycled' rather than traditionally composted because of fruit fly risk, composting of lawn clippings from commercial mowing company