Welcome to Of The Earth

Of The Earth: Building Permaculture Landscapes offer natural building, horticulture, permaculture design and landscape construction services using ecological principles and sustainable materials.

 

Our Earth-centered services include:

 

  • Building and consultation services on natural building projects including straw bale walls, rammed earth tyre walls, cob, earthen floors and lime & earth renders.

  • Edible landscape services including food forests, whole garden design and raised garden beds.

  • Landscape construction including retaining walls, paving, irrigation and earthworks. 

  • Garden & horticulture services including garden maintenance, design and consultation, soil improvement, tree & shrub pruning.

  • Permaculture design, consultation and implementation. 

  • Natural pizza ovens for home, schools and community centres.

Projects

Water feature restoration | Oakleigh East Victoria

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Straw bale home | Braidwood NSW

Project manager, builder & internship coordinator

Off-grid straw bale home in Braidwood, NSW. Open plan with external natural lime render, internal earth render and earthen floor. Built with the help of interns and sub-contractors, this straw bale home is simple in design and construction, using locally sourced natural materials for the wall and floor systems.

Straw bale home | Wensleydale Victoria

Straw bale builder

Straw bale and natural render job in Wensleydale, Victoria with Creations In Parallel was another great example of how we can use natural marerials, solar passive design, communal building, conventional sub-contracting and owner-builder participation to achieve a high-quality sustainable home. 

 

Many thanks to the owners for their help, Andy for his skills and expertise, and builder Jez for his continual patience and mentoring in the fine arts of conventional building projects.

Earthship home | Marulan NSW

Foreman, workshop facilitator and tyre wall builder

Earthship Marulan is a three bedroom home designed by Daniel Solarsh for owner-builder Mark Van Laarhoven and family. Tyres, mud brick, hemp-crete and glass bottles are used for strucutral and internal walls with an impressive greenhouse that will house an aquaponics system and grey-water planter beds. The majority of the building will be constructed using a traditional workshop format that will teach people about Earthship principles, design and construction methods.

Superadobe dome natural render | Henley Beach SA

Natural renderer

Beautiful organic shapes, a natural colour that compliments existing structures on the property and blends in with the coastal environment. Of The Earth: Building Permaculture Landscapes has spent the last month working very hard rendering this superadobe//earthbag dome in Henley Beach, South Australia. The large gaps between the bags, the unusual shapes around doorways, arches and windows, not to mention the circular nature of every nook, makes this structure one of the hardest to render. Thanks to my partners in plastering, Kelly Rose and Lawson Daly, who both came through time and again. Also to owner-builders Nicole Brammy, Nick and family for being so enthusiastic and patient. It was a hard slog with challenging summer weather the entire way through, but this labour of love for natural building is nearly complete.

Baserange natural render | Melbourne CBD Victoria

Natural renderer

Inspired by the work we did on the superadobe dome in South Australia, we were contacted with the idea of converting several marble tile plinths into soft, organic structures to display clothing and jewellery. This is part of the stores evolution into a warm, nurturing, sacred, womb-like space. 

First, we installed wheels on all the plinths. This would allow for ease of movement and configuration in the store. Renderers lathe (AKA metal lathe, or blood lathe) was then fitted onto the marble tiles in preparation for the base coat of ceramic tile adhesive. These two points of connection would allow the final coat of lime/sand/cement render to grip to the marble tiles. Once our physical and chemical bonding points were installed, we then handmade the final coat render using a touch of beige oxide. After application, a sponge float was used to create an organic finish, bringing out the grains of sand found in the render.

Edible cottage garden | Moonee Ponds Victoria

Design and implementation

The front and backyards of this suburban home which were dominated by grass have been transformed by applying very simple methods of organic garden and landscape construction. 

Permaculture Food Forest | Brahma Lodge SA

Garden design and implementation

Permaculture Food Forest Design, Brahma Lodge, South Australia Of The Earth has been contracted to convert a typical suburban garden into a food forest paradise for chickens and humans. The process will include a complete permaculture design, implementation and management plan.

 

Located in the temperate-arid climate of Adelaide, this design will reflect the need to conserve water while also supplying chickens and people with a multi-layed food forest that can provide for their health and nutrition. Soil remediation will include incorporating mineral and bacteria enriched compost and pH balancing organic matter through the top soil.

 

Upon presenting the permaculture design to the client for comment and refinement, we'll move onto the implementation stage. Features will include perimeter long espaliered fruit trees to conserve space, rotational grazing for chickens and complex companion planting guilds suitable for the Adelaide climate.

Cob pizza oven | Birdsland Victoria

Builder and workshop facilitator

Of The Earth, in cooperation with Birdsland Environmental Education Centre, Yarra Ranges Council and Hillscene LIVE ran a Natural Building Workshop to build a cob pizza oven for the community garden which was used to feed the participants a attendants at this years Hillscene Live Festival. 

The circular base was made using superabobe/earthbag filled with sand made up of 80% sand/20% clay. Scoria, followed by a layer of vermiculite, insulated the centre of the base directly below the hearth. Sand and bricks were then laid, followed by a ring of cob to accurately set out the width of the oven dome. Using a pile of sand to create a form, we then mixed cob (straw, clay, water and sand) which was placed to a width of no less then 120mm to create a dome shape.

This was a massive effort by all involved. I'd like to thank Gavin, Steve and Bee from Yarra Ranges Council and Justine Walsh from Hillscene Live for their on-going inspiration and support. Long-lasting friendships and opportunities have arisen from what was simply a great project. 

Straw bale roundhouse | Adealide SA

Straw bale builder, natural renderer and internship facilitator

Straw Bale Roundhouse in Adelaide, South Australia being built as part of a Natural Building Internship facilitated by Of The Earth: Building Permaculture Landscapes​ and Evergreen Homes Australia​. The features of this 7m diameter roundhouse include bush poles harvested on site, straw bale walls, earthen render and floor, superadobe stem wall, reciprocal roof and all construction to lock up done during workshops and internship. Of The Earth has been leading the straw bale wall building, earthen render and floor construction. Much appreciation and respect to everyone that's been involved with the internship, especially Adam Ben Hickman​ who has put his heart and soul into the project. It's been an incredibly productive, joyous experience working at this beautiful location. We're looking forward to future internships where we can hone quality, educational outcomes and the craft of natural building.

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Contact Kegan Daly

Phone: 0405647009

Email: kegan@oftheearth.net.au

 

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