(Clockwise from top left) Adam Kennedy, Kirsten Bradley, Michael Hewins, Ashar Fox, Nick Ritar)
Milkwood is a permaculture enterprise based near Mudgee, NSW Australia. Founded in 2007 by Kirsten Bradley and Nick Ritar with the intention to develop a small farm from scratch that would also be a working, kick-ass permaculture system, Milkwood is now bigger than just our little family.
These days, Milkwood is a thriving Permaculture education hub that delivers courses and workshops at Milkwood Farm, Sydney and beyond. Milkwood Farm is also an emerging social enterprise comprising of dedicated growers managing complimentary enterprises such as market garden, forest garden and animals systems.
Our long term goal for the land we steward is to co-create an awesome small farm permaculture system that provides multiple livelihoods through complimentary enterprises, where we all share resources and momentum, and all gain from each others particular skills and dedication. It seems to be working so far!
Our education goals are to provide world-class essential skills & knowledge for urban and rural folk to design and create resilient, regenerative habitats and communities, bringing together world leading thinkers and doers with students in a best-practice learning environment.
Our approach is based squarely on the principles and ethics of permaculture, along with core concepts of best-practice regenerative agriculture.
Who we all are:
- Nick Ritar: education enterprise manager, farm manager, teacher
- Kirsten Bradley: documentation, blogger, education enterprise manager
- Michael Hewins: market garden enterprise, teacher
- Trev Bamford: student services, enterprise process, OH&S
- Floyd Constable: animal systems enterprises, teacher
- Tim Malfroy: natural beekeeper - consultant + teacher
- Adam Kennedy: urban education manager
- Ashar Fox Bradley Ritar: farm boy, perpetual energy machine
Kirsten, Nick and Ashar live at Milkwood Farm in the tinyhouse. Michael and Floyd are running their full-time enterprises from the farm also. Everyone else is seasonal or intermittent crew, staying at Milkwood Farm during the months we're open for our seasonal education programs, or visiting as needed.
The wider Milkwood network:
Beyond our core crew, we are honored to work with many esteemed educators and practitioners in permaculture and regenerative agriculture on a regular basis both at Milkwood Farm and beyond, as well as the seasonal flow of amazing interns and wwoofers that join us at Milkwood Farm to skill up in permaculture and regenerative agriculture.
See who we work with in our education programs...
The journey so far has been amazing, and we thank and are mindful of all the mentors, strangers, family, friends and students who have helped us collectively get to this point.
There are many (oh so very many) things to figure out in terms of establishing a successful small-farm permaculture system on harsh ground in a changing climate, as well as establishing successful integrated enterprises which actually work for everyone involved.
We're constantly mindful that successful permaculture is actually all about the people involved, all about the relationships. If you can establish and maintain strong, ethical and compassionate connections with those you work with and those who you host and educate, anything is possible.
So ultimately, for us at Milkwood, it's not about the climate, or the soil fertility (which is kinda lucky, as both of those are somewhat non-ideal here)... it's about learning to live, for real, side-by-side, with others we share goals with - sometimes for a week, sometimes for a whole season.
And to create a regenerative system for living, and to help others do the same, as we move forwards into the future.
As part of our structure we invest and contribute to the communities that we work in through donations of time, labor, advice and direct funds. We make sure our students are supported in their endeavors long after they leave our courses, and we offer a sliding scale of pricing for those who need it where we can. Read our fair share policy.