I live with my homeschooled ten year old son on a suburban 900m block in an 1950s suburb in Albany that I bought in July 2017. We have chickens, worms, rabbits and guinea pigs, and plan to get ducks, quail and bees. I did my Permaculture Design Course in 2013 and have attended several Permaculture Convergences. I practice permaculture in my gardening, finances and socially in community engagement through my day job as well as personally. We keep a radical low waste household and I teach and write about living plastic free. I have attended many Non Violent Communication workshops and can teach introductory level NVC. I am interested in gift economies and have set up several initiatives in my town.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
You can learn how to make fermented foods, including kimchi, kombucha and sourdough bread. I can share ideas for living with less waste, and explain why we should avoid single use plastic. I can demonstrate and walk you through NVC tools for compassionate communication. I can show you how to make natural beauty products and herbal medicine. My son can teach you how to build a cubby with pallets, fold really good paper planes, shop for groceries plastic-free and build Lego spaceships.
Some of our current backyard projects include sheet-mulching to establish orchard areas, upgrading our pallet chicken house, fencing for chickens and ducks, making a duck pond and integrated apple orchard, building a earth pizza oven, plant propagation and division, seed saving and storage, and preparation works for an earthen walled goddess garden with trellises. Building projects include painting murals and repairs, designing an attached greenhouse, and installing weatherstripping. Other chores might include childminding, cleaning, preserving and making fermented foods, breadmaking, beer and low-sugar baking.
English, beginner Japanese
We have two bedrooms with double/queen beds available to travellers inside the house. We have hosted volunteers since 2014, so we are used to international travellers and have a collection of local maps and brochures for your days off. Volunteers usually join in with the meals, and can bring extra ingredients or help to cook if needed.
The house has a wood fire and a bath. There are spaces to relax outside and an interesting library.
It's 2km from town, and less than 1km from the supermarket. There is a bus 50m from the house, but the bus only runs for Monday to Saturday with limited stops.
There is mobile broadband available for reasonable use. There's no house phone.
It's a shoes-off house.
Smoking is permitted outside the house. No additional pets are allowed. We run a radical zero waste household, but we can show you how to minimise your plastic purchases for common use.
Local food prioritised over distant, organic over conventional. Organic backyard produce is the most valuable! Low sugar kitchen, lots of ferments, vegetables and homegrown food. This is a low meat household, mostly local ethical meat. Vegetarian meals are welcome.
There's no microwave, electric kettle or TV. We watch movies on laptops instead.
Dumpster diving is encouraged; needs at least two people.
I ask guests not to use aerosol deodorants, flyspray or highly scented products like candles. I can suggest natural substitutes for all these. Dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent and unscented toilet paper is bought in bulk. Soap is handmade, once or twice a year. Cleaning products are mostly bicarb and vinegar.
Albany is home to many attractions, including National Parks with magnificent hiking trails, the Porongurups and Stirling Ranges, beautiful beaches for surfing and fishing, good coffee shops, the oldest farm in WA and the National ANZAC Centre. I recommend Mt Romance for an indulgent gong session at the world's largest sandalwood distillery. You can find local beer, wine, cheese, milk, fruit and vegetables at local shops, farm-gate sales or markets. We have a great Farmer's Market run by local growers on Saturdays, and lots of live music around on weekends especially in summer. Festivals include Green Fair in early November, Food for Thought in October, Denmark Markets from December-April and Sustainable Living Fair & Expo in March.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week