Sustainable Living Weekend

We hold these weekends twice a year, one in Spring and one in Autumn, at Hazelcombe Farm, Mudgee NSW

For bookings, see Courses.

A weekend of relaxed learning where you receive an introduction into lots of different skills that can prepare you for a life of increased self-reliance and sustainability. These include traditional crafts as well as some new technologies. A number of skilled craftsmen and women contribute.

Here is a list of the sort of topics we’ve had at various weekends. The actual list is only finalised in the last week or so before each weekend as it depends on scheduling and availability of the skilled craftsmen and women.

Farming and gardening skills

  • Scything
  • Soil rehabilitation
  • Edible landscaping
  • Horse drawn ploughing
  • Biodynamics
  • Making biochar
  • Holistic orchard management
  • Water harvesting
  • Creek restoration
Working with animals
  • Holistic grazing management
  • Milking cows and/or goats
  • Dressing chickens
Kitchen skills
  • Making sauerkraut and kombucha
  • Sourdough bread making (gluten and gluten free)
  • Making simple cheeses
  • Soap making
Artisan skills
  • Blacksmithing
  • Sharpening the scythe blade and other tools
  • Wood working with traditional tools
  • Leatherwork
  • Basket weaving
Building useful structures
  • Chicken tractors
  • Rocket stoves and ovens
  • Composting toilets and camp showers
  • Root cellars
  • Solar powered cool room

The weekend is structured so there are 4 ways for you to access information:

  • Talks where you can listen to someone with knowledge and experience speak on a specific topic
  • Demonstrations where someone with knowledge and experience of the topic will show how it works and/or show examples
  • Practical sessions where you can get hands on experience in a particular area - ask if you want more information.
  • Descriptions—around the farm we have built things that are of interest for sustainability and self-sufficiency, e.g. composting toilets, root cellar, large wicking beds incorporating worm farms, dairy, honey press, camp showers. We have written descriptions with photos of how we built them, what we find good about them, problems we ran into and things we’d now change. Some are operational. Others are actually works in progress, but all get better with time.

What will I come away with?

That depends on you. You can attend each session and receive an introduction to many different topics or you can shadow one of the experts and get quite a level of proficiency in one topic during the weekend. However, more than anything we hope you come away with the feeling that you’ve established a few deep friendships and that you are not alone in your desire for a better world.

As Dr Bob Rich of the Moora Moora Community put it, “Striving for the survival of humanity and its wonderful life support system is a more satisfying game than seeking power and wealth.”

Included in your fee

Your weekend fee includes all meals from Friday dinner through to Sunday lunch. We grow as much as possible here on the farm in vibrant living soils. We also have our own milk and most of our cheeses, and meat from our own much loved and humanely slaughtered animals. The weekend fee also includes camping at farm, access to all demonstrations, talks and practice sessions.

Booking for the weekend

You can pay for your course now through your Paypal account or with your credit card, using Paypal’s secure gateway, or you can pay via bank deposit.

Please ensure you read our refunds policy and our waiver and contract before booking the weekend.

Testimonials and comments

"Hi Nicki & Dan, Thank you for a Knowledgeable weekend .We have learnt a lot from your workshop , and lovely to have met you both. See you on the next workshop xxx"

"What a weekend!! Thank you so much - it's people what make the world go round, don't you think?"

"Thank you for an inspirational, positive, friendly weekend. It was satisfying for the soul to mix and share and learn from so many like minded people. My scythe and I are getting to know each other. I managed to swing through half a paddock of fireweed before work yesterday and I can see all the possibilities for it. I’m always up early and outside so suits me perfectly"

"I really enjoyed the weekend. I've told everyone I've spoken to since I came home. Many thanks for organising it. I hope you have both recovered!"

"Looking forward to next time."

"Just a quick note to say thank you very much for a wonderful time at Hazelcombe Farm! It was fantastic to learn so much, meet interesting people, and just enjoy the buzz of good vibes!"

"Thanks for the news & recipes. We had a GREAT weekend."

"Thank you so so much for the invigorating weekend workshop 2 weeks ago. I would love to come again. I came away refreshed and with my head buzzing with many ideas to try and install here."

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