Courses and Farm Tours 2018

Courses, workshops and field days are a very important part of what we do at Purple Pear Farm. It is through these events that we spread the word and share skills in sustainable living. On completion of our courses, students are able and ready to design and implement a better future for their families, backyards, farms and communities.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who made 2017 for us by participating in a course or tour. We are so pleased to start the year 2018 working with APC14 to bring you a Permaculture Design Course, an Internship, an Introduction to Permaculture and a weekend of Mandala Market Gardens.
We will again be doing things a little differently to the past.
We will continue to offer the same great course opportunities that have been popular in the past.
The difference is that there will be no dates assigned for the Skills for Living courses. We will instead offer the workshops to groups of ten or more people. If you have such a group with an interest in any of the workshops below
contact us today and let us know what you are interested in doing with us.
We encourage group bookings so get your group together and let us know what it is you would like from us.
You may make a general inquiry on the home page or specifically after the description of the course below.
To see what courses have been added go to eventbrite page below.

Permaculture Design Course

Permaculture is a whole systems approach to ecological planning and design - a way of thinking, based on positive and creative solution-finding, which provides tools for working towards long term sustainability. It covers all aspects of human life and is grounded in practical real world design and extends into the complex realm of sustainable social design.

The PDC teaches students how to use information, resources and ethics to meet local needs on a limited land base, and teaches how we can utilise today’s tools and technology to shape a more sustainable and equitable world for all species.

Next Course starts 5th March 2018

The PDC is the perfect launching pad for a life of Permaculture, and this course covers the internationally recognised curriculum set in Permaculture - A designer’s manual. For more than 10 years, Kate and Mark have offered the PDC and have seen many go on to do great things around the world.

From consultancy and aid work, to teaching and simply providing for their families, graduates of the PDC at Purple Pear Farm have gained the confidence to live life in a sustainable and regenerative way.

Courses may be attended in conjunction with an internship.

10am - 4pm
  • Camping sites available
  • Meals included (for full-time PDC)
  • Please bring a notebook and colored pencils, boots, hat and gloves

You can register your interest in doing this great course via the contact device below.

When we have sufficient interest we will arrange to conduct the full course in the format that suits the participants.

The PDC may be done in association with an internship for those interested.

You can help by inviting acquaintances to register their interest too.

Contact Us for Permaculture

Holiday Farm Activities

These days are designed for children aged between 7 and 11 years of age who are looking to spend time on the farm interacting with animals, gardening, cooking and crafting. 

10am - 2pm
  • Meals provided and bookings essential.
  • Clothing: Anything your child is happy to get dirty, closed in shoes, preferably boots, hat and raincoat.

Contact Us for Holiday Activities

Introduction to Permaculture

This weekend gives a snapshot of the Permaculture Design Course (PDC) and is a valuable launch pad for family sustainability.

You are introduced to the principles, ethics and techniques of permaculture and sustainable design for gardens, farms, homes and units and waste reuse. We inspect appropriately designed structures and growing systems on Purple Pear Farm and solve some design challenges.

Participants will create a group design and implement it as an element of the food forest at Purple Pear Farm.

10am - 4pm
  • Morning tea provided, please bring lunch.
  • Camping sites are available, please bring a notebook and coloured pencils, boots, hat and gloves

Contact Us for Intro to Permaculture

Preserving the Bounty.

This hands-on workshop will give practical instruction in aspects of canning and preserving techniques. We will look at drying and fermentation as well.

10am - 3pm
  • Tea/coffee and a light lunch provided
  • Please bring a sharp knife, chopping board and a small jar (350ml)

Contact Us for preserving workshop

Farm Tour

If you are interested in food gardening and you enjoy meeting others who do too, then you are going to love the monthly farm tour. We look at permaculture, organic growing, biodynamics, community supported agriculture, farm animals, sustainable energy, holistic farm management, water management, fruit and nut trees, mandala gardening and more.

We do this tour with emphasis on aspects most interesting to the group on the day.

10am - 12pm

Tours can still go ahead if it is raining. Please ensure you have appropriate outdoor clothing, gumboots and raincoats for wet weather and closed toe shoes, sunscreen and sun hats for hot weather.

Contact Us for Farm Tours

Mums and Bubs Farm Tour

Dates:-go to eventbrite
Bookings Essential

The Tuesday morning farm tours are aimed at parents with small children. They are slow paced and feature a chance to feed, pat and cuddle various animals such as guinea pigs, ponies, cows, ducks, geese, pigs and chickens.

Entry is $25 for parent and includes children under 5, each child over 5 years old is $8.

We encourage people to bring snacks for the little ones and themselves, although we do provide tea and coffee. There is the opportunity to enjoy a picnic lunch after the tour (if you bring it).

Contact Us for Mums n Bubs

Mandala Gardens

The weekend course will take participants through setting up and running a Mandala garden. The Purple Pear Farm Mandala garden was inspired by Linda Woodrow and her book The Permaculture Home Garden and serves to produce food for our Community Supported Agriculture scheme. It is adaptable to almost any situation and any scale of production from horticulture to backyard gardens.

10am - 4pm
  • Morning tea provided, please bring lunch.
  • Camping sites are available.
  • Please bring notebook, hat, boots and gloves
Contact Eventbrite to book - button at the top of the page.

Contact Us for Mandala garden weekend

Sourdough Bread

Learn about sourdough starters and processes of establishing the ‘mother’ plant that are crucial to making sourdough and other products using the sourdough method. Take home sourdough bread recipes and practice hands on bread making techniques of mixing, hand moulding and shaping.

10am - 4pm
  • Tea/coffee and a light lunch provided.

Contact Us for Sourdough bread

Cheese and Yoghurt


A practical workshop on making cheese and yoghurt in your kitchen without fancy equipment.

Participants will share in the making of a hard cheese such as a Colby, a simple cheese such as Panir and a whey Ricotta from the whey of the hard cheese. We will talk about other cheeses and make yoghurt.

10am - 4pm
  • Tea/coffee and a light lunch provided

Contact Us for Cheese and Yogurt

Introduction to Biodynamics

A weekend of practical instruction in biodynamics. The farmer and the gardener will benefit from this course that looks at the process of biological enhancement introduced by Rudolf Steiner.

Participants will learn about the Horn Manure preparation (BD500) and Horn Silica preparation (BD501) as well as the compost preparations and practices used in biodynamics. We will build a cow pat pit or ‘Barrel Compost’ and will look at tree paste and fungal control too. Reading the Astro calendar is a popular part of this course.

10am - 4pm
  • Morning tea provided, please bring lunch.
  • Camping sites are available.
  • Please bring a notebook, hat, boots and gloves.

Contact Us for Intro to Biodynamics.

Compost Making

Date:- to be advised

This course will take you back to the Garden of Eden and the creation of life to bring the greatest of soil building practices to our gardens and farms. Successful compost creation relies on the ingredients and the method just as it does in making a cake.

We will give you the recipe for great compost on this full day course that shares a session on theory with practical exercises.

10am - 4pm 
  • Morning tea provided, please bring lunch.
  • Please bring a notebook, hat, boots and gloves.
Contact us to express your interest.

Contact Us


To be advised.

Growing plants from seed is rewarding, but a lack of success can be frustrating.

At Purple Pear Farm we raise our seedlings for the Community Supported Agriculture garden and will show you the things you need to do to successfully raise your own food and flowers from scratch. The course includes an introduction to moon planting.

9am - 12pm
  • Morning tea provided.  
  • Please bring a notebook, hat, boots and gloves.

Contact Us

Worm Farms

Date:- to be advised

This short course aims to give participants the skills to successfully keep compost worms. The ability of worms to recycle household waste into perfect plant food without any real fuss makes this a worthwhile endeavour for any urban setting.

We look at housing and feeding worms, how to use worm castings and worm tea in food production.

1pm - 4pm
  • Afternoon tea provided.
  • Please bring a notebook, hat, boots and gloves.
Contact us to experss your interest.

Contact Us

Urban Food Production


This weekend course looks at many aspects of urban food production from design to pest control. We will cover keeping chickens and propagation as well as no dig gardening and soil building. This weekend is always full of questions from participants about their specific needs and offers an opportunity for a forum on problems in your backyard.

10am - 4pm
  • Morning tea provided, please bring lunch.
  • Camping sites available.
  • Please bring a notebook, hat, boots and gloves.

Contact Us for Urban Food Production


Learn how to develop practical skills in the grafting of fruit trees in this short course.

Experience will be gained in the use of a grafting knife.

If you are keen to participate, please email to check dates.

Group Farm Tours

Date: by appointment

School groups, permaculture groups and TAFE outreach classes are some of the groups that visit regularly for a Farm Tour or for a specific study topic such as 'bees' or 'compost making'.

We welcome and encourage groups to visit, as the farm is intended to be a demonstration site where people of all ages and skills can learn.

Tours can still go ahead if it is raining. Please ensure your guests have appropriate outdoor clothing, gumboots and raincoats for wet weather and closed toe shoes, sunscreen and sun hats for hot weather.

Please remember that Purple Pear Farm is a working farm and education centre and is only open by appointment. Although the farm is close to suburbia, please contact us before visiting or to make a booking.

Contact Us

Purple Pear Farm Policy for Visitors

Purple Pear Farm is a working farm and a place of education. For everyone's comfort and safety we have the following policies which visitors are asked to abide by:
  • Visitors are to ensure they wear appropriate outdoors clothing
  • Gumboots/boots and raincoats for wet weather and closed toe shoes, sunscreen and sun hats for hot weather
  • No pets
  • No alcohol or drugs
  • No inappropriate behaviour (you will be asked to leave the farm)
  • Respect for all on the farm

Gift Vouchers

Wow, imagine being able to give the gift of knowledge... What do you think of our lovely new gift voucher? We love it and want you to love sharing it!

If you can't decide what to give and want to leave the fun of choosing to your recipient, why not buy them a Purple Pear Farm gift voucher?

A gift voucher for a Purple Pear Farm workshop or course is a great gift for anyone with an interest in food, gardening or sustainable living – perfect for birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas presents.

These are the standard prices for our workshops. To give a Gift Voucher of another amount, or for different payment methods, please contact us directly.

Delivery Times

We think our new gift vouchers are so lovely that we hand write the details and post them out!

Please allow 5 working days for normal delivery and 10 days for mail outs prior to Christmas.

Contact Us for gift vouchers

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