Permaculture Crash Course

personalised, flexible, practical


starting at $230

two night accommodation + key concepts


You choose the dates, duration and cost!



Your hosts and tutors Olmec and Melisa

Your hosts and tutors Olmec and Melisa

Details  Since 2009 we have been applying permaculture principals and natural philosophies to our land management and lifestyle. We welcome people looking to reconnect with the rhythms and harmonies of nature through plants, food, animals and activity.
Permaculture key concepts

Permaculture key concepts

Details  This core topic will give you an overview of permaculture as a design system, covering fundamental aspects:
  • Philosophy, ethics and principals
  • Systems and objective orientated design
  • Landscape sector analysis and zone layout
  • Function stacking, patterns, edge
  • and more...
Duration  3 hours
Price  $110.00

Spend your time learning about topics that interest you most

We do up to 3 hours per day of educational activities

Tick the subjects you wish to cover


Plant propagation and care$60
Plant propagation and care

Plant propagation and care

  • Starting annual and perennial plants from seed
  • Propagating / cloning plants from cuttings or by grafting
  • Growing in pots, open ground
  • Pruning and shaping
1 and a half hours
Learn to use a scythe$60

Learn to use a scythe

This workshop covers the details of using and caring for a traditional Austrian scythe. These tools are ideal for keeping smaller areas of grass under control. You will learn about:
  • Safety
  • Correct setup for your body
  • Posture, motion and technique for effective use
  • Different blades for different jobs
  • Sharpening and repairing
1 and a half hours
  scythe  education 
Alternative / low technology$40
Alternative / low technology

Alternative / low technology

  • Solar photovoltaic electric systems
  • Various solar water heating technologies
  • Wood fired cooking
Duration  1 hour
Price  $40.00
Drought proofing with water wise land shaping and rain harvesting strategies$80

Drought proofing with water wise land shaping and rain harvesting strategies

  • Tour the numerous terraces, swales and water other catchment systems and learn how they intercept, redirect and retain water in the landscape
  • Witness how swales and raised beds can be deployed in a food forest setting and how they benefit chickens, ducks and pigs
  • Discuss and demonstrate various tools and techniques
  • Rainwater harvesting, tanks, piping and pumps
  • Utilising grey water and run-off with trees and gardens
  • Digital presentation and discussion covering key concepts and strategies in bad weather
2 hours
  swale  water  education 
Create a simple flax basket$40

Create a simple flax basket

Learn how to weave a traditional Maori square basket. Made from natural flax fibre grown at blockhill, this simple pattern can be used to create baskets of various sizes.
Identify, harvest and prepare flax leaves before weaving a small basket to take away.
1 hour
Foragescaping / Food forest gardening$80
Learn to graft fruit trees$80
Learn to graft fruit trees

Learn to graft fruit trees

Grow your knowledge of fruit tree cloning through the ancient art of grafting. Learn by seeing and doing with hands on examples and one on one tuition and explanation. We will cover:
  • Collecting and storing grafting (scion) wood from desired trees
  • Understanding and propagating rootstocks
  • Grafting tools and techniques
  • View many examples of grafted trees of various types, complexity and age
2 hours
  July   August   September  
Effective fire making$40
Effective fire making

Effective fire making

Details  Master the art of starting and utilising fire, essential for cooking, heating water and much more.
  • Locate, identify and create suitable kindling
  • Work safely with axe and saw
  • Build and light different types of fires
Duration  1 hour
Price  $40.00
Make and take fruit preserve (jam, sauce etc.)$60
Make and take fruit preserve (jam, sauce etc.)

Make and take fruit preserve (jam, sauce etc.)

  • Collect seasonal fruit or berries from the forest garden
  • Process into tasty preserve
  • Take some home
Duration  1 and a half hours
Available    January   February   March  
Price  $60.00

How it works

Experience permaculture through natural living and hands on practical education.

Join us in nature to grow and support a healthy, beautiful ecosystem of abundance.

Personalised experience

Personalised experience

  • Spend up to 3 hours per day in one-on-one activities and education focusing on the topics that interest you most
  • Explore the established and diverse forest gardens
  • Wander the terraces, visit the stream and witness the water harvesting and irrigation features
  • Encounter an assortment of animals and see how they fit into the system
  • Sample fruit and vegetables direct from the food forest
  • Access our collection of educational books and videos
Food and accommodation

Food and accommodation

  • Your choice of accommodation (See options below)
  • Provide your own food, prepare your own meals
  • Make use of Cheviot's local supermarket options Cheviot 4 Square and Harris Meats (25 minute drive)
  • Enjoy supplementary fresh fruit and seasonal vegetables from the forest garden
Need a reason? Here are a few...

Need a reason? Here are a few...

  • Spend time with like minded people.
  • Experience and learn new, useful and exciting things. A self reliant lifestyle means confidently performing a wide range of tasks. Get involved in daily activities
  • Discover joy and value in living simply and lightly. Feel the freedom of low cost, low impact living in harmony with the rhythm of the seasons.
  • Reconnect with the natural world. Realise we must approach from a point of observation and inclusion rather than intervention, exploitation and exclusion.
  • Learn to observe and interact. Recognize patterns in nature and draw off of those when designing. The philosophy of whole systems thinking means letting go of our human centric cultural programming and our tendency to believe humans know best.
  • Turn problems into solutions. Limitations feed creativity and lead to unexpected and beautiful outcomes.
Free time

Free time

  • Continue to explore the forest garden at your own pace if you wish
  • Relax and enjoy your meals
  • Visit nearby beaches and other destinations

Accommodation options (minimum 2 nights)

We currently offer two options for onsite accommodation. Learn more about these options below and select which option you prefer. Each can sleep up to 3 people.
Shipping container tiny house $60 per night

Shipping container tiny house

Self contained modified shipping container house with enclosed outdoor kitchen
Embrace the concept of 'less is more' and experience a simpler, low impact, small footprint way of living. Making extensive use of recycled materials and low-tech solutions, the container house is comfortable with clever use of space. Enjoy lush views out the expansive windows into the forest garden, alive with birds and bees.

The shipping container offers both a double and single bed as well as a couple of hammocks for relaxing in the attached conservatory. A small but well equipped kitchen will allow for simple meal preparation. The kitchen includes a mini fridge, gas cooking, electric jug. You can also make use of the wood fire oven situated in the container space. The wood fire also heats the water for both the kitchen and the outdoor shower. The outdoor toilet is a rustic little outhouse in close proximity.
  • Please enquire for groups larger than 2 people
  • Not suitable for young children
  • No wifi
  • No smoking anywhere on the premises
$60.00Per night
Eco cabin / tiny house accommodation $120 per night

Eco cabin / tiny house accommodation

A peaceful retreat surrounded by organic (permaculture) gardens and native bush. Relax in the hammocks during the sunny days or soak in the fire-bath under the night sky. A cosy cottage on a rainy day with beautiful private views looking out over the beech trees. Get back to nature and unwind while you enjoy the sights and sounds of country-living.
The Eco Cabin is a studio style single room which includes a mezzanine loft bed (queen mattress) with an additional fold-out futon bed downstairs. There is easy access to an outdoor composting toilet and fire-heated/solar-heated shower, as well as a fire-heated/solar-heated outdoor bath.

Cooking facilities include a wood fired cooktop and oven. There is also a toaster, double hotplate and toaster oven for your convenience. The cabin has running water, mini fridge and kitchen bench for preparing meals.

Enjoy the private deck overlooking the native bush, ideal for bird-watching and relaxation.

  • Suitable for up to 2 guests. Additional guests please enquire
  • Not suitable for young children
  • No wifi
  • No smoking anywhere on the premises
$120.00per night, 2 nights minimum

Enquire now

Please complete the details below and we will confirm availability.
How many people in your group. We can sleep up to 3 people in each accommodation  
How many nights would you like to stay (minimum 2)