The hub for growing, producing, harvesting, cooking and eating food for health and wellbeing

Do It Yourself Food and Health Hub

Do It Yourself Food and Health Hub

As frequent visitors to our site have noticed, we have changed our site into a Do It Yourself Food and Health Hub. We were told several times that what we do here goes “beyond permaculture” and that we do not market what we do well enough. We have attempted to achieve that with this new “hub” of websites. To give you an idea of what we offer here, I will try to encapsulate it in this article. Some things are not quite there yet, but we are always working towards achieving a minimal footprint, self sufficiency and true sustainability, which translates into a healthy life and lifestyle.

Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course September 2014 at PRI Sunshine Coast
Full moon dam (safe for swimming)

On our demonstration site “Maungaraeeda”, nestled in the hills of the Noosa Hinterland village of Kin Kin on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, we have a lush kitchen garden, ever expanding, with lots of greens, root crops, legumes, scattered fruit trees and all things food that can be grown in a sub-tropical environment. The food forest is still expanding, with a chook tractor preparing a small patch for planting out every 4 – 6 weeks. Swales wind their way on contour through the kitchen garden and the food forest, and larger swales are home to their own food forest and perform the function of dam overflow further uphill.

Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course September 2014 at PRI Sunshine Coast
Choko, a dairy cow

We have goats, cows, chickens, ducks and working dogs. We grow our own meat, vegetables, fruit and make our own dairy products from fresh milk (hand milked): yoghurt, cream, butter and cheese. We cook only whole food on the property, and try to only use food that we can grow here ourselves. The menu for today (Monday) is for example:

Breakfast: Pumpkin and salmon bake with steamed greens and baked tomato and zucchini, with homemade mayonnaise

Morning tea: Pineapple and bunya nut cake

Lunch: Cauliflower rice with curried pumpkin and butter chicken and a green salad with herb dressing

Dinner: Roast potatoes and chokos, with a meat stew (a bean stew for vegetarians)

Dessert: Pineapple with cashew cream and coconut chips

DSC_0536 DSC_0608

Volunteers and long term students on the property all get to have a go at cooking meals throughout the week, from recipes that are provided. Everyone really enjoys in being so fully involved in everything, from composting and mulching, to growing and planting, weeding, harvesting, food preparation and eating!

Some of the systems we have in place or are in the process of being in place are:

  • making energy through solar, wood burning and biogas from cow manure (which we cook on!)
  • food forestry
  • swales, dams and other water management practices
  • dairy production and preparation
  • humanure systems
  • composting systems
  • building with local and recycled materials (eg local river rock, pulled apart buildings etc)
  • nursery systems for propagation and cultivation
  • community systems: communal jobs and activities, regular meetings etc
  • communal gardening times
  • rotational cooking schedules
  • food preservation and storage
  • water management systems
  • water heating systems
  • animal routines with cell grazing/holistic management practices
  • aquaculture

Featured Image -- 2707These systems are all in various stages of readiness and we constantly work to improve on the systems already in place. To learn about these systems in theory or in practice, please have a look at our site, which is all about learning sustainability, self sufficiency and permaculture. Courses are still run by the growsmlPermaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast and the PDC (Foundation) course and the PRI Practical Certificate and Diploma programs are accredited by PRI Australia for global recognition.To visit this site from anywhere in the hub, please click on the grow! icon.

livesmlFor people who are in need of advice for their own property and would like Tom to come and advise them on a design for their property, is the site to go to. From this site you can decide whether you would like to learn the knowledge yourself, or whether you would like a more in depth consultation about your own property. Tom is amazing in his ability to read the landscape, is very solution orientated and will prepare your property to be able to cope with disasters. He will design systems to improve the quality of your soil, to hold water and nutrient on the property and can advise on building and access locations and much more! This site is also part of the diyfoodandhealth hub and can be accessed by clicking on its live! icon.

The site, waiting to become an Urban Permaculture Demonstration Site
The site for the new Permaculture Urban project on the Sunshine Coast

Tom and Zaia are planning to move into what used to be the teaching space on the property by the end of the year. This then means that the house becomes the main center of the property. It will house the kitchen, the office, a library and the eating space, as well as a TV for students to watch educational videos etc. What is now the student space will become the teaching space as well as a quiet space for students and volunteers to be, with its own camp kitchen for use on weekends.

Harvest bounty
Harvest bounty

As the kitchen will be in the house next year, Zaia will be offering cooking classes as part of every PDC (foundation) and Practical Life Skills courses, and of course all Practical Certificate and Diploma students can participate as well. It will also be open to anyone else interested in participating. The cooking classes will run on a Sunday morning most months and will include a little “garden picking tour”, getting some food from the garden to include in the meals. Meals cooksmlcooked will be morning tea, lunch and dinner. For more information and dates for cooking classes, please have a look at, part of our new diyfoodandhealth hub and accessed by clicking on the cook! icon.

Zaia is also working on being a qualified FDN practitioner and CHEK holistic lifestyle coach sometime in 2016. With her knowledge about and existing qualification in nutrition, and her continual interest and research in that area, she would like to offer holistic food and lifestyle coaching. She would like to empower people to take charge of their own eatsmlhealth and wellbeing by putting better food and lifestyle practices in place. To find out more about this side of the hub, please go to, accessible by clicking on the eat! icon.

Zaia playing her malletkat, her favourite instrument which helped her healAnd last but not least, as the arts are and have been such an enjoyable part of Zaia’s life, with her painting and drawing in the past and her passion for music, she is putting together a lifestyle integration program which she hopes to launch in 2016. This program will include gentle exercise on weekday mornings before the day starts and regular music workshops. It will also encourage more play in afternoon free time, with volleyball and badminton nets, table tennis and soccer balls all made available to volunteers and students. This area will probably experience the most growth and change in the future playsmland is accessible by clicking the play! button on the site, or by going to

I hope this gives you an idea of what our new hub is about. We really hope you like it and that you will follow us for updates. We would love to see you at one of our courses! If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know via the comment section below. We are very excited about this next stage of our journey and we hope you are too!

©2015 Zaia; Do It Yourself Food and Health Hub, incorporating Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast, Tom and Zaia Kendall, growing food, cooking food, health and nutrition and sustainability.


  1. Well done Zaia! A beautifully, clearly laid out article explaining what you and Tom do and offer. The icons are a great idea but don’t do what I did and click on them in the article as it doesn’t work. The icons are at the top right-hand side of the page!

    1. Thanks Maria, I am glad you like it! Indeed, the icons in the article itself have not been activated, but the icons at the top right hand of the page should go to the respective sites. Thanks again for having a look at the new site and a play around with it!

  2. It’s so exciting to watch you both grow your dream!

  3. Wow! to both of you! The excitement of moving ahead with such a project, I know, fills you with an amazing sense of empowerment, fulfillment, and wonder. I bet you pinch yourselves occasionally at what you have and can, achieve.
    Best of sustainability to you and your volunteers, and students.
    Wendy Strathearn

    1. Thanks so much for your support Wendy!

  4. This is great to see. After doing my PDC with the both of, I know I learned a great deal about what to do with the food I planned to grow as well how to get it growing.

    1. Thanks Scott! This is what we are trying to convey with our new website, that we tie everything in together. A holistic approach to sustainability so to speak 😉

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