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PERMACULTURE RESEARCH INSTITUTE (PRI)
The Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) is located on a Permaculture demonstration site in The Channon NSW, and is headed by Geoff & Nadia Lawton. We specialize in education & training worldwide. We also provide daily Permaculture news and information via permaculturenews.org. The Permaculture Research Institute is a not-for-profit organisation, limited by guarantee.
Permaculture founder Bill Mollison established the first Permaculture Institute in 1979 to teach the practical applications of Permaculture design. It was housed on a 147-acre farmstead named Tagari Farm in Northern NSW, Australia. Bill Mollison is the co-founder of permaculture, which was first described in the book ‘Permaculture One’, in 1978. Upon his retirement in October 1997, Bill asked Geoff to establish and direct a new institute on the property. Geoff agreed and continued developing the Farm over a three-year period. During this time, Geoff established the Permaculture Research Institute we all know and love today and after three years he moved it to Zaytuna Farm.
Zaytuna Farm is situated on a sixty-six acre (27 hectares) property that fronts Terania Creek opposite the village of The Channon, Northern NSW. The property contains 800m of creek frontage, numerous swimming holes and abundant wildlife. The landscape is diverse, covering high frost-free hilltops, ridges and valleys with both cleared paddocks and forested areas.
Zaytuna Farm is a working permaculture education and demonstration farm under continuous development and with ever changing and evolving on ground research in practice; work is consistently in progress to develop new more efficient and productive systems. Situated in subtropical Northern New South Wales it offers students the opportunity to learn while experiencing a real life permaculture farming and gardening live in working experience situation. In addition to classroom time, students will train and work on daily farm duties interacting and caring for farm systems which can include animals, crops, trees, nursery, aquatics, irrigation, renewable energy, waste and recycling. Other tasks include looking at design in the landscape, making compost, natural fertilisers, testing soil, basic surveying and completing design exercises.
There is an integrated water harvesting system of multiple dams, ponds, and swales, with gravity irrigation throughout the property. Farm electricity is all stand alone off grid solar with generator back up, all toilets are state of the art composting toilets, all grey waste systems are gravel reed bed natural biological cleaning system all approved by the local government.
The buildings on site include mud rendered lime plastered straw bale, bamboo bale construction home, stylish upcycled shipping containers with passive solar aspect wind vented metal roofs, commercial kitchen, student launderette, internet cafe with student kitchen all enclosing open space classroom and dining area. There are also various sized metal industrial farm sheds from quite large to very small housing the solar power station, main tool room, main farm workshop, machinery storage, farm office, camping shelters, feed stores, dairy preparation area, main crop tools and supplies, nursery tools seeds and nursery stand alone pressure pump solar power station, all approved by the local government.
Zinc-allum metal roofing on all buildings harvests rainwater to water tanks and is pumped to a tank at the top of the property and supplies excellent pressure high quality showering, washing and drinking water to all the built infrastructure on site, all approved by the local government.
The continuous daily food production on the farm includes a large diversity of mixed vegetables and herbs including aquatic crops, fruits in season, chickens for eggs and meat plus ducks, quail, turkey, rabbits and fish, milk and dairy products from a small dairy house cow herd plus a small beef herd. All animals that are processed for food are very carefully, precisely and humanely slaughtered, butchered and prepared for consumption on the farm.
The farm has a large diversity of bamboo production for food and timber plus farm forestry and reforestation including river bank stability projects.
Zaytuna Farm was the first Master Plan site but with The Permaculture Research Institute’s mission, many more have since flourished.
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