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Arts Factory Backpackers – Photo Update

I was visiting Byron Bay on my last Sunday off in conditions where we have had a large amount of rain and some very unsettled weather with lots of storms. With the winds from the north, the surf conditions where very messy and unfavorable, as also were the fishing conditions, the sea was really unsettled and a lot of fresh water was flowing into the ocean.

So, I instead took the opportunity to visit some of our project work and was fortunate to visit the Arts Factory Backpackers’ garden. This was installed during a permaculture urban landscape course, reference the links below:

I was most pleasantly surprised — the garden was well maintained and absolutely brimming with food. There were all kinds of vegetables in all of the beds and a complete succession of crops, new plants and seedlings, all recently planted.

The bush turkey netting system erected to prevent the destructive action of the local bush turkeys was working perfectly. All the footpaths were well weeded, the herb spiral was full of plants and working well and everybody I spoke to in the backpackers was so pleased with the garden. In their words it was one of the nicest assets in the backpacker centre and people were so pleased that they were given the opportunity to work and volunteer and harvest free food from the garden.

It is with great pleasure that I can bring you these photographs and show you the success of some of our work which is bringing people more healthy food, good experiences and extending the knowledge of sustainability. This knowledge extension is not just with a local community, but with so many international backpackers coming through the site it has been a very worthwhile job, as for a very small amount of educational energy input there is a huge extension and educational output.

Geoff Lawton

Geoff Lawton is a world renowned Permaculture consultant, designer and teacher. He first took his Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course in 1983 with Bill Mollison the founder of Permaculture. Geoff has undertaken thousands of jobs teaching, consulting, designing, administering and implementing, in 6 continents and close to 50 countries around the world. Clients have included private individuals, groups, communities, governments, aid organizations, non-government organisations and multinational companies under the not-for-profit organisation. In 1996 Geoff was accredited with the Permaculture Community Services Award by the Permaculture movement for services in Australia and around the world. Geoff's official website is Geoff's Facebook profile can be found here.


  1. I love it and it inspires me to think of a plan for a good piece of land I have just cleared (in the north of Italy).
    Immediately I had cleared it of the massive brambles the snow fell and we are now snowed in.
    This means that the land underfoot will have had a good soaking and this is especially good as rainfall has been down by 75 per cent over the last year.

  2. Awww, I stayed at The Arts Factory way back in the ’94, such great memories! I drove their mini bus and lived in a tipi, right about where that garden now stands! Happy days ;o)

  3. After a visit to your farm last year Geoff you recommended I go and check out the installation at the Arts Factory…….this I did and was very impressed and it certainly is flourishing now. Thanks for sharing the update.

  4. Great post Geoff. I noticed there were no photos of the food forest we installed behind all the fecund garden beds. How did the trees do? If you have any photos of that it would be great to see. Thanks for the post, I hope all is well at Zaytuna, still recovering from such and incredible 10 weeks;) Blessings!

  5. As these pictures were very inspiring, I want to inspire even more. I want to inform Geoff, the PRI-Institute and others that one of the greatest permaculture designers of Northern Europe, if not the greatest, now has finished his new permaculture design book. If you order before February 14 you get a discount. See:

    – Aranya’s Permaculture Design “Step-by-Step” – Book is Soon Out:

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