Episode 54: Djanbung Gardens Permaculture

Djanbung Gardens is an international permaculture centre in the Nimbin valley of northern NSW, Australia. It was designed and founded by permaculture pioneer, Robyn Francis, who teaches permaculture, earth stewardship and sustainable practices.

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Nimbin town, sits Djanbung Gardens. Of course, Nimbin is famous for hosting the ground-breaking Aquarius Festival - the Woodstock of seventies Australia. The remnants of this hippy explosion are all over Nimbin, but the hippies were never only about free love. Underpinning that revolution was a strong environmental ethos and so it is fitting that this internationally renowned school of permaculture should be situated in this area.

Robyn Francis is busy, that much is clear, and she flits around the lush green site. I watch her teaching volunteers and students how to harvest bamboo for building, oversee the current permaculture course and liaise with her daughter, who has recently moved from Melbourne to cook for the centre.

But Robyn still makes time to give me a guided tour, a lengthy interview on principles of community building and she also takes me around the neighbouring intentional community - Jarlanbah Permaculture Hamlet

She tells me about the development of Djanbung Gardens, which is named for the spirit of platypus - one of Australia's most intriguing and elusive creatures. Robyn is also knowledgeable about community building, collaborative decision making and conflict resolution, which was useful research for the new Living in the Future documentary about how we live together in community.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of a vibrant, holistic garden, which demonstrates the full circle of nature conservation on one small plot in Northern New South Wales.