About forty minutes out of Mudgee is Milkwood, a tiny 17-acre pocket of land named for Dylan Thomas and fast becoming a world-leader in permaculture education. Milkwood, both a farm and teaching centre, is home to Kirsten Bradley (above), Nick Ritar and their son Ashar Fox. Kirsten and Nick both have an artistic background but now focus on teaching. This place is all about healthy soils, healthy people, energy sources and attitudes. We visited last week and fell in love with the place; Alice interviewed everyone she could (above), Tom terrorised the scare crow and I wandered around in awe of what these dudes (and they are dudes) are doing.
When asked why she lives here and loves it so, Kirsten replies, "the clean air, clean food, getting up every morning with a clear purpose, and knowing that the work we're engaged in isn't hurting anyone or sending our planet backwards, and is helping to regenerate our stewarded patch of earth." What a fantastic way to describe your work and home.
And why permaculture? "Permaculture and small-sacle farming is very attractive to artists," Kirsten says, "it's full of problem solving to achieve something that's (hopefully) more than the sum of the parts." I can't recommend a visit (by appointment) to Milkwood highly enough, and their upcoming class schedule looks just fantastic. Contact Kirsten for more information. And if you can't make it there in person, Kirsten's blog is the next best thing.
Rose’s chocolate, almond and rye cookies
250g rye flour
100g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
250g raw sugar
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chocolate pieces
Preheat oven to 160C and line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.
Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile combine the flours, sugar and baking powder, fold through the butter, eggs, almonds and chocolate until just combined. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.