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Free Rent in an Ecovillage for a Year? (Documentary project, Victoria, Australia)

Are you a passionate and knowledgeable permaculturalist? Would you like to live in a developing ecovillage for a year ‘rent free’ as part of a documentary project? Do you want to explore a life of frugal abundance? If so, read on!

Over the last 12 months the Simplicity Institute has been involved in the development of an ecovillage permaculture farm out near Moe, Victoria, Australia (about 1 hour 45 mins from Melbourne). To date the communities involved have built a small Earthship, a beautiful cob cabin, and last week we made great progress on an earthbag dome and a pizza oven. There are bees buzzing, beers brewing, water tanks collecting, and communities forming. We’ve also planted 40 odd fruit trees and have established some large vegetable gardens, with more to come. The 20-acre property has a large dam, a large shed, a large greenhouse and chicken coop, as well as a more conventional house.

These are early days, but much has been done over the last year with many more plans and projects in the pipeline. Our primary aim is to explore what ‘one planet’ living looks like, to demonstrate it as far as possible, and to use the property as an education centre and activist hub to promote pathways to a radically ‘simpler way’ to live. We don’t want to escape the system; we want to help transform it. Would you like to be part of this adventure?

The Simplicity Institute has been approached by a documentary filmmaker and we are now conspiring to turn this project into an inspiring educational documentary, which records the evolution of the property in these early stages and demonstrates the nature of a highly localised, sufficiency-based economy. We are currently seeking applications from people interested in living out on the property for one year, starting in January 2015, to be part of this documentary.

We are seeking creative, passionate, good-spirited and knowledgeable permaculturalists, who are prepared to explore a lifestyle of radical simplicity and who are committed to making this property and this documentary project a success. The documentary will be filmed over a one-year period, with the participants being filmed exploring the various aspects of ‘one planet’ living. Among other things, it is hoped that the documentary will demonstrate organic food production, renewable energy production, radically reduced energy consumption, alternative technologies and building methods, composting toilets, low-tech solar hot water, making and mending rather than buying, home production, minimizing waste, building community and local economies, and so forth. We aren’t interested in documenting ‘light green’ living. We are seeking applications from people interested in exploring the ‘deep green’ alternative. If you are ready to challenge yourself and inspire others, be in touch.

If you’re interested in applying, please send a one-page application to entropiaecovillage (at)

Tell us who you are, why you want to be involved, the skills you could bring, and anything else you feel we should know. Applications close 10 November with interviews and decisions soon thereafter. We’re aiming to invite up to 6-8 people onto the property for the year to establish the small community for this project.

Like all documentaries, this one will require funding. For the rest of the year, the Simplicity Institute will be donating all proceeds from the sales of Entropia and Simple Living in History to this project. Please support this important project by buying copies of these books and sharing these links. We can’t do this alone. Christmas is coming up, so perhaps rather than buying junk we could all buy our families and friends copies of these books to spread the important messages of simplicity and permaculture while also supporting this documentary. Thanks for your support.

If you are able to financially support this project in more significant ways, please be in touch at: entropiaecovillage (at)

Samuel Alexander

Dr Samuel Alexander is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Melbourne, Australia, teaching a course called ‘Consumerism and the Growth Economy: Critical Interdisciplinary Perspectives’ as part of the Master of Environment.


  1. Hi there, I am real long interested I taking part in this. How do I find out more/apply to take part? Kind regards, Amelia x

    1. The answer to your question is printed EXACTLY in the article –
      If you’re interested in applying, please send a one-page application to entropiaecovillage (at) Tell us who you are, why you want to be involved, the skills you could bring, and anything else you feel we should know. Applications close 10 November with interviews and decisions soon thereafter. We’re aiming to invite up to 6-8 people onto the property for the year to establish the small community for this project.

  2. Will there be open days to come and visit during the year? Can bring some cuttings and plants :) Or wwoofing weekends perhaps?

  3. hi im 30 yrs of age and have a backround in permaculture and organics. I am currently studying art at uni in cairns but am very interested in what u have to offer. pls email me with more info so i may look into how much of a positive attribute to the team i could be. exited to hear bak from you thanks timothy

  4. Hi ther, when do I find out if I been accepted? I love a good films! Please show me the video, Robin ;)

  5. Hello!
    I’m super excited to help out in any way that i can. Are there part time positions available? Or is it just full time? My partner and i live in Omeo and we are in the beginning stages of buying our own place to implement simple living and permaculture. My mother and i are enrolled in the PDC early Jan next year! My mother already has a property up here and lives off the grid. She is also highly involved in setting her property up in a permaculture way. Is there any chance we can visit? I regularly stay in Churchill and can commit to some arrangement!

    Kind Regards

    1. Hi Megan, send an email to the address in the post as it’ll be easier to discuss things via email. We’re always open to more people be involved, so let’s talk. SA

    1. Hi Benedict, good question. Technically yes, but it would create a few challenges. First of all, applicants would need to have a visa / residency for the year, which would be up to them to organise. We don’t have the capacity to assist. Visas can take some time, meaning that it may not be possible to organise a visa by January.

      Secondly, for a project like this we’ll need to conduct interviews and other group meetings in advance of the project, so international candidates will make that difficult. Skype isn’t quite the same in terms of getting a sense for people.

      At a more philosophical level I’d be encouraging people to make change where they are rather than travelling to other countries.

      Sorry if this isn’t a particularly yes or no type of answer.

  6. The best people for this project would be people who already live this way and know the food and medicinal value of the plants that surround them. They should be people who already successfully farm and understand breeding and care issues of the animals they tend and who know how to problem solve – such as fix broken water supplies and fences. This is how our family already lives however this would not make for sensational tv viewing as there are no fights just hard work

  7. This sounds great! I’m not an experienced permaculturalist as much as I’d love to be. I do have a helpful body and and mind that’s keen to learn! Do you take wwoofa’s? I’m looking for somewhere to wwoof this summer.

    1. Hi Laura, please send an email to the address in the post. It’s easier to discuss things via email. Look forward to hearing from you,

  8. i would really love to do this as i already am but would still love to and can bring lots of skills into the light, my only concern is i have a 3yo female cattle dog and that holds me back from doing this, dog aloud?

  9. Hi Samuel,

    If you are interested in low cost environmentally responsible building on your acreage have a look at our website

    With earth sheltered buildings you can grow a crop on the roof which can make a project even more environmentally sustainable

  10. Hello I am a 23 year old female folj musician. i am currently living in morewell and am wondering you would consider a caravan on the property for nagotion of rent and help in the garden. I am a folk musician also :)

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