After 5 years of teaching students and volunteers, and another 5 years before that of hosting and teaching volunteers and wwoofers here at Maungaraeeda, we have decided to step back and regroup.
As we were training people and looking after their needs constantly, we lost focus on our objectives and the lifestyle that we wanted to create for ourselves. We decided earlier this year to step back, regroup and re-focus.
We started out with permaculture on this property to live a simple and fulfilling lifestyle, growing and processing our own food, slowing the pace and being less dependent on fossil fuel. As we started educating and training more people, we found ourselves managing people, running an office and a training centre and losing the objectives that made us love our lifestyle. People are an incredibly needy bunch, and we spent a lot of time trying to please everyone apart from ourselves. I found myself constantly in the office to try and market ourselves so we could get more paying students to pay for the ever expanding costs of running an educational centre with volunteers and scholarship students. Tom found himself managing people rather than managing the property, which resulted in systems getting into disarray and improvements not being made. Financially we were having trouble to make ends meet. We are unsure where we fell down there and hopefully we will find out why in the future, but we are very aware that we are not good at marketing ourselves and our project. When financial stress was added to being responsible for people, we found we were no longer able to cope and were increasingly unhappy.
We are incredibly grateful for the time all our volunteers and scholarship students have spent with us, it has been an amazing learning experience for us as well. But as we would like to live in the slow lane, we now have to step back.
We are moving forward aiming to become more and more self reliant. I have started to make long ferment sour dough breads, yoghurts, saurkrauts and other ferments again and am moving forward on my journey of food growing, processing and consuming.
Tom is moving to improve the property further, putting more systems in place to make life easier and to be able to grow more food. Fertility of our property has increased significantly over the past years, so we will now be able to grow more food than we can eat.
We are also ever diversifying and are looking at other species to grow on the property. All our processes, systems, hints, tips, struggles and experiences will be made available on this website through regular articles and videos. Newsletters will also be sent again on a regular basis.
Our aim is still to inspire, empower and motivate people, which we feel is our purpose on this planet. We would like to do this through this website, as we can reach a lot more people online and it is cheaper for people to stay home and experience what we do. We also still offer consultations and coaching, and the occasional course and class. Please follow our website or sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch with future developments, and to benefit from our experience in your own journey towards sustainability.
©2016 Zaia; Do It Yourself Food and Health Hub, incorporating Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast, going back to simplicity, self reliance and homesteading