Primarily this blog is focussed on our journey into and through organic gardening, into biodynamics and permaculture, into hobby and urban farming, and from there into healthy sustainable holistic living. It covers our experiences, lessons learnt, highlights, low points, setbacks, recoveries, plans, schemes, dreams and of course implementations in a way that it is like a garden/hobby farming/sustainable living type of travelogue.
Fundamentally, the story weaves through our lives too – well, a recent portion of our life story – moving to Australia, getting established in Victoria, life in Lara, kids, animals, fruits and vegetables, soil, sun, rain, water, herbs, medicinal plants, growth, a hint of our Faith here and there, and so on. So it’s not just a boring organic, biodynamic, permaculture blog – there’s a whole deeper thread too – it’s all part of our “family journeylog”.
In this blog we will primarily talk about two properties, namely our residential property which we call “Homeland”, and a newer exciting investment property called “Dreamland”. Both are 1 acre properties, lying back-to-back amongst the acreages in Lara, Victoria, Australia. Although we follow the same underlying principles on both properties, they are extremely different. Homeland was grown organically (and still is) over a number of years, bumping toes, heads and learning as we go. In essence, it is a “conventional” productive organic residential property, which we are busy “permaculturifying.” Dreamland, on the other hand, is being developed almost from scratch as an edible food forest using permaculture principles and approaches. It has a house on it (which the original owners still rent from us), and it came with a few really nice established fruit trees, but there’s a full 3/4 acre that we are re-sculpting to our hearts’ desires, within our budget and time limitations obviously.
Very few people have such an opportunity, unless you move to a larger acreage, or a small farm. However, our goal is to “make it work” on this smaller scale (whatever that means exactly we’ll find out throughout this journey) . We are really blessed to have this opportunity and therefore we feel compelled to share it, the same as we feel we need to share what we’re developing with our community too. Earth care, people care, fair share.
My name is Martin Rennhackkamp. I was born in 1960 in South Africa and now live happily in Lara, Victoria, Australia with my wife Patricia, two children Markus and Micaela, three dogs, Jazzie, Jack and Timmy.
Originally trained in Information Technology at the University of Stellenbosch (M.Sc 1985), I now hold the following:
- Permaculture Teachers Certificate (Nov 2018) from Rosemary Morrow and Brenna Quinlan (organised through Ballarat Permaculture Guild)
- Permaculture Design Certificate (Jan 2018) from Hallah Maloney and Nick Towle (through Good Life Permaculture in Tasmania)
- Introduction to Organic Market Gardening certificate (mid 2018) from Olivier Sofo from Living Earth Farm (through Milkwood)
I have also attended the following:
- Citrus masterclass by Ian Tolley through Diggers Club (2017)
- Apple growing by Pete the Permie in Monbulk (2016)
- Biodynamics (hosted at Diggers Club)
- Organic Gardening (hosted at Diggers Club)
My interests, apart from the obvious Organic, Biodynamic and Permaculture Gardening and Urban Farming, include sustainable living, surfing (which I still actively pursue around the Bells area of the Surf Coast), playing guitar, horse riding, rollerblading with the kids, a wide variety of music (including jazz, Latin, salsa), dancing, nature, birds, reading and a few other things which I never get to. I am fluent in English and Afrikaans, speak and write enough French to hold a basic discussion and enough Spanish to survive on the street.
I’m a dedicated Christian, doing the social media ministry for Lifeway Christian Church in Lara.