Silk Farm 2019

Location
Mount Kembla NSW 2526
    • Housing Type:
    • Garden
    • Project Type:
    • Garden Only
    • Chosen Charity
    • Sustainable House Day 2020
    • Open with support of
    • Permaculture Wollongong Institute
    • Designer
    • Permaculture Visions



About Silk Farm

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 After 25 years, the lawn has been replaced by an abundant food forest.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..

SUSTAINABLE FEATURES

Years Open
2018
2019
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENT FEATURES
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Energy monitoring
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Shading
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
      Solar hydronic

    • Active heating cooling:
    • Our main heat sources are: 1. the solar hot water radiators 2. slow combustion stove (we grow our own fuel)
    • Water heating:
    • Solar hot water (evacuated tube)
      Solar hot water (flat panel)
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Above ground rainwater storage
      Grey water system
      Stormwater management
      Low flow shower heads
      Low flow taps
      Hot water recirculation

    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Polymer-lined colorbond
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 30,000L
    • Water harvesting and saving
    • 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.
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Window Protection:
    • Awnings (external)
      Deciduous tree/vegetation
      Shade Sails
SUSTAINABLE & RECYCLED MATERIALS
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Windows and internal beams
    • Sustainable materials:
    • Recycled flooring, beams, recycled windows, doors and fixtures internal walls clad in timber increases thermal retention
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Aggregate
      Appliances
      Basins/sinks
      Bathroom cabinets
      Bottles
      Bricks
      Cans
      Concrete
      Doors
      Glass
      Insulation
      Kitchen cabinets
      Light fixtures
      Paving
      Rocks/stone
      Roofing material
      Sleepers
      Timber
      Windows

INSULATION SPECIFICATIONS
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      Internal walls
      External walls
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • Non-coupled double reflective foil
    • Under Roof Insulation Rating:
    • R4.0
    • Internal Walls Insulation Type:
    • Recycled foam mattresses
    • Internal Walls Insulation Rating:
    • R2.0
    • External Walls Rating:
    • R4.0
    • External Walls Type:
    • wool and reflective insulation
RENEWABLE ENERGY SPECIFICATIONS
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV grid connect

    • Size of PV system:
    • 3.4kW
    • Renewable energy
    • 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
HOUSE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
    • Roof
    • Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Corrugated iron
    • Window and Door Types
    • Recycled timber, reglassed
    • Universal design accessability
    • Disability access
      Multi-generational
      Wheelchair access
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 1
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 1
GARDEN AND WASTE REDUCTION
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Wicking systems (water on demand), swales to harvest water, keyline to slow and direct water
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Bee hotels/friendly
      Chickens
      Composting
      Edible garden
      Organic
      Permaculture
      Native plants
      Water wise plants

    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Compost all food scraps
      Plastic free household
      Recycle
      Repair
      Swap with friends and neighbours

    • Other Waste Reduction Practices:
    • 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
HEALTHY HOME FEATURES
    • Healthy home features
    • 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