Fear of the Dark

Fear of the Dark

The Wildwood Farm tales are plentiful by day, with our animal count increasing, the days lengthening and oh so much growing and changing.


The grass at present grows faster than the sheep can eat it, and I do believe that in the subtropics, with so much blessed rain and muggy warmth you can literally watch your garden grow. With that comes much abundance for all creatures great and small. Funny how the smallest creatures can at times cause the most damage!


The Spring grasses seemed to be particularly laden with ticks, and a few found a cosy little spot for a snack on our family’s flesh. The reaction to ticks can be as vast and wild as the weather. Our 6 year old daughter’s recent response to a cattle tick bite on her temple had her eye almost swollen shut for a few days. The flu like symptoms which commonly arise, and potential debilitating illnesses that can be transferred naturally lead to great fear of these mini but mighty Arthropods.


This fear kept me and my girls inside for a few days, but as ticks live on grass, leaf litter and shrubs, on a farm it is near impossible to avoid contact. So to bridge my fear, to accept the persistent presence of this parasite energy, we welcomed some predators to the farm, the incredible Guinea Fowl. This african native with it’s striking spotted feathers and unique sounds has a reputation for hunting ticks and it feels good to have them join our team.


Australia is renowned for our deadly creatures, and while they exist, we have a choice whether we let their threat dictate our lives. A dip in the ocean does not equal death by shark, a wander into a wild meadow will unlikely lead to a deadly snake bite, incy wincy spider is not out to get you, but our fear of nature is perhaps the most demobilising and unfortunate fate of all.

Accepting that ticks are thriving all around us, and finding a way to keep them as far away as possible is a lesson for me in working with what arises, rather than against. The permaculture principle “The Problem is The Solution” applies here, and in nearly every scenario that we shed light and perspective on. The natural world has so much beauty and while danger lurks in the shadows (or in this case the grass) I choose to trust in the chaos of this majestic place we call home.

Winter 2015



Firstly a big thank you for making it out to one (or all) of the
events we held last month with David Holmgren and his partner Su
Dennett. It was a truly inspirational weekend, and we are still
absorbing the wealth of knowledge that was shared.

At present as well as farming, Free Farm is planning its next workshop
series, which will be a Natural Building Earthbag intensive (likely to
take place in November 2015) as well as creating a full Permaculture
Design Plan of our property that we will eventually be sharing as an
online learning tool via our website for free!

For those of you local crew who are interested in supporting our
town's movement towards sustainability you can check out the 100%
Sustainable Mullumbimby facebook page, as there is lots happening that
you can contribute your passion and purpose towards.
https://www.facebook.com/SustainableMullum?fref=ts [2]

We are truly interested in finding out what you want to learn, what
you want us to grow, and any ideas you have for us at Free Farm.
Please keep the dialogue flowing as we want to learn and evolve with
our community. The best way to get hold of us is at

 Hoping this finds you all well.

David Holmgren in Mullumbimby



Mullumbimby Civic Hall, Friday June 12, 7-10pm

$15 Adv $20 Door www.freefarm.com.au  www.trybooking.com/133889 02-66843558



Mullumbimby Community Gardens, Saturday June 13, 9am-1pm

$85 Group Bookings $100 Full www.freefarm.com.au www.trybooking.com/133889  02-66843558


PRINCIPLES IN ACTION - Open Consultancy with David Holmgren

Free Farm, 312 Left Bank Road, Mullumbimby Creek, Sunday June 14, 1pm-5pm

$85 Group Bookings $100 Full www.freefarm.com.au www.trybooking.com/133889 02-66843558


Co-originator of the Permaculture concept, David Holmgren is an innovative environmental design consultant, public speaker and renowned writer. Based in the quaint township of Hepburn Springs in central Victoria, David maintains one of Australia’s best known permaculture demonstration sites, “Melliodora”. As David uses his carbon footprint selectively these days, we are very fortunate to have him visiting us in Mullumbimby for three unique events. Please note that David is available for interviews leading up to the event and can be contacted directly via the email info@holmgren.com.au

For more information on the work and life of David Holmgren please visit his website https://holmgren.com.au/


On Friday June 12 at Mullumbimby Civic Hall from 7-10pm David will be presenting his lecture “Aussie Street - Transforming the Australian Dream” where he investigates the reality of the “suburban dream” in an energy-descent future. There are many inspired ideas that David brings forward as a “refit manual” to move each of us towards more self reliance within our own homes and community. David’s talk will give an explanation of the energy-descent pathway ahead, and offer solutions we can adopt to ensure our own longer-term resource security. Doors open 6.30pm food and tea available ($15 advance, $20 door)


On Saturday June 13 at the Mullumbimby Community Gardens from 10am-1pm David Holmgren and his partner Su Dennett will be leading a “Retrofitting the Suburbs” workshop.  David will explore ideas of future scenarios that could take place in Mullumbimby, as well as inspired solutions that are occurring worldwide within the “Transition movement”. Su will share her personal response to peak oil through the organising of a CSA veggie box program and facilitating the Hepburn Relocalisation Network. A great place for locals wanting to create a sustainable future to connect, collect ideas and direct their energies towards collaborative projects for the Byron Shire community ($85 group bookings, $100 full price. Limited space bookings essential). Following the workshop from 2-5pm will be the 2nd Annual Meeting “100% Sustainable Mullumbimby” where local initiatives new and old can share their ideas and inspire grassroots collaborations towards zero emissions. There will be a community fundraising lunch from 1-2pm made by Mullum S.E.E.D.


On Sunday June 14 at Free Farm in Mullumbimby from 1pm-5pm David will be hosting an open consultancy focusing on Principles in Action. During the consultancy David will share his experience on creating permaculture models that can restore and improve land while providing for residents’ needs. This provides a unique opportunity for participants to gather a deeper understanding of design principles and learn from David’s wealth of knowledge compiled after nearly 30 years of practice at his own homestead “Melliodora” located in Central Victoria.  This workshop provides a rare occasion to learn from David in an intimate setting.  ($85 group bookings, $100 full price. Afternoon tea included. Limited space bookings essential).


These events are being brought to Mullumbimby by Mullum S.E.E.D (the bones behind the Community Gardens) and Free Farm. Free Farm, based on Left Bank Road in Mullumbimby uses permaculture and regenerative agriculture techniques to farm in a way that returns health to the land and was founded by one of David’s long-time students and a fellow permaculture educator and designer, Cyrano Middleton. Cyrano is also available for local consultancy and holistic landscaping services. For more info on Free Farm visit www.freefarm.com.au or Mullum S.E.E.D visit www.mullumbimbycommunitygardens.org