My Home in the Jarlanbah Permaculture Village 2002-2016

5 May 2012

Our new house is finished, housewarmed and occupied with great gratitude.

Here are some recent photos by brother-in-law and brilliant photographer, Ron Terry:

A fully accessible house!
The Gratitude House
Bathroom with Dual-Chamber Composting Toilet
The Kitchen
Living Room
Our living room at night

 2 March 2011

Following our 2006 move to a Permaculture community, Jarlanbah, near Nimbin in northern New South Wales, we have been planning and building our ecological sub-tropical home and office.

Our design intent embodies many social and ecological housing design principles I have valued in my career   in housing and planning.

Our new home and office are currently under construction and we are coming to the end of a five-year building program. Initially we lived in a tent, then in a shed and now in the partly built house.

We have made great progress with an ambitious project: foundations poured, sub-floor constructed, roof on, a huge 4-metre wide verandah built, two gigantic rainwater tanks and water management tank installed, on-site waster management almost complete, composting toilet built.

All walls are now clad and insulated inside and out, decking completed, sub-flooring down in all rooms and all windows and doors installed.

Karl, fortunately an experienced welder-boilermaker, welded the under-floor bracing and brackets for the box gutter.

We have been helped by many generous friends and skilled local tradespeople.

As I write, Rainbow and Trout, our local plumbers, are putting in the on-site water management system and all the plumbing, Mark is finishing the electrics, Laurie and Gerald, the bobcat drivers, are making the driveway and digging the pond for outside the front entry, Giles is working with Karl on designing the landscaping, Bill and Sebastian are taking out the dead trees and mulching them, Toni (a local Permaculture student) is creating a herb and vegetable garden, George and Ken (now in their nineteenth month on this job!)   are building the bathroom, Shane and Jason are tiling it, the laundry and the kitchen, Karl is painting bookcases, I am choosing colours and Toni and I are painting doors, windowsills and walls in the hall… the bamboo flooring is stacked ready to be laid…

Postscript, 10 March 2013

Returning home after a month in Boston in Feburary (brrr!) teaching planning students at Harvard and offering classes at MIT and Tufts, I marveled at the beauty of the Northern Rivers.

The stunning, sunny sub-tropical landscape.

A Vancouver colleague asked why I didn’t return to Canada to live permanently.

Enough said!

House and Garden September 2013
House and Garden September 2013

More Delights: August 2013: Karl’s winter garden!

Front garden from front deck August 2013
Front garden from front deck August 2013






A drink for the birds...
A drink for the birds…
Can't remember their name!
Can’t remember their name!






A Cycad Fern
A Cycad Fern






Our Winter Garden August 2013
Our Winter Garden August 2013