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what garden job did you do today?

When you own a property, there are always at least a few jobs on the "to do" list. Over the past week, I have been working to collect leaf mulch (mostly eucalyptus and brush box). This annual maintenance task is important for several reasons... read more
kids ABC scavenger hunt

kids abc scavenger hunt

We have just completed a kids abc scavenger hunt for our garden. This fun activity takes us on a journey through our zone 1 and 2 (permaculture) garden areas and through all 26 letters of the alphabet! Our goal is to find as many different plants and animals… read more
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winter garden calendar

We have just completed a winter garden calendar and wheel of the year for our zone 1 and 2 (permaculture) garden areas. The calendar outlines what the garden feels like, what's in flower, what's in crop, what the animals are doing, what to plant and what… read more
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garden animal list

We recently completed an inventory of the animals located in zone 1 to 5 of our (permaculture) garden areas. In total, the garden has approximately 180 unique animals (including insects, birds, arachnids, mammals, frogs, molluscs, reptiles and worms)... read more
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garden stats: interactive graphic

You can now take a different look at the plants in our garden (using an interactive data visualisation tool from Tableau Public). The information is from our most recent inventory of the plants in our zone 1 to zone 5 (permaculture) garden areas. We will be… read more
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garden plant list

We recently completed an inventory of the plant varieties located in zone 1 to 5 of our (permaculture) garden areas. In total, the garden has approximately 229 unique plants that each have a different function in the garden. Of these, 108 unique plants are… read more
simple family tree

family tree

If you're looking for a fun family activity over the holidays, why not consider making a family tree? This activity can be a great way to learn more about your family and can be made as simple or as complicated as you would like. read more
rose bush baby

garden zones and areas

After far too many years of using practical (but completely uninspired) names for our various (permaculture) garden areas, we are finally in the process of using our imagination to develop more creative names. A shared family challenge and quick walk around… read more
property diagram: high-level garden zones

garden plan

We have just completed a high-level diagram that outlines the various (permaculture) zones on our property. For those unfamiliar with the concept of (permaculture) zones, the following explanation (taken from Wikipedia) should be helpful... read more
garden bounty

zone 1: part 1

The following photo galleries show how half of our zone 1 (permaculture) garden areas have progressed over time - from 2003 to the present. As with all the photo galleries on the site, please single click on an image to see a larger view and/or a slideshow. read more
kids knitted poncho with crochet flowers

the joy of knitting

Gaining the skills to become more self sufficient can take you in so many different and interesting directions. For example, about 20 years ago, I knitted a scarf. At the time, I didn't value the outcome enough to justify the time and effort required.… read more
bulk food storage containers

bulk food storage

Before living at treetops, we'd never thought about bulk food storage. But, as our family started to think more about self sufficiency, we realised that long term food storage was going to play a major part for us. Long story short, after doing research on… read more
lace monitor on tree

wildlife inventory

We have just finished our first attempt at taking a basic wildlife inventory of the treetops property. At present, our species list is based on the climatewatch species list. You can find out more about this excellent initiative at… read more
120 crochet flower squares for spring blanket

the wonder of crochet

I discovered the wonder of crochet while finishing my first knitting project (kids knitted poncho - the joy of knitting). I decided to try to crochet a few flowers as an embellishment. Now, I am addicted to both crochet and crochet flowers! read more
who we are

who we are

Hello, we're Ben, Elaine and Madison. Our family has recently launched this website to share our slow journey towards a more [[self sufficient]] and [[sustainable]] lifestyle. Our journey so far really has been one step forward, one step back. But, we just… read more
property diagram: high-level garden zones

garden plan

We have just completed a high-level diagram that outlines the various (permaculture) zones on our property. For those unfamiliar with the concept of (permaculture) zones, the following explanation (taken from Wikipedia) should be helpful... read more
homestead silhouette

scenery and weather

Over time, this article will grow to include information on the types of scenery and weather events that we have experienced at treetops. To date, the most notable has been the floods of 2010 brought on by La Nina. Stay tuned for more content... In the… read more
vibrant pink and white cattleya orchid

what is your sustainability or self sufficiency story?

After exploring our website, you should know more about our sustainability and self sufficiency story. Now, it's your turn to share. What is your story? read more
apricot rose

new articles: coming soon...

- mosaic hopscotch, - backyard games. read more
happy Australorp chickens

chooks and eggs

Before living at treetops, we had never kept chickens (or any other livestock). Now, we can't imagine life without them. They are truly lovely creatures that have allowed us to experience the true essence of egg! Over the past 5 years we have had many… read more

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