Mariefields is the home of Organic Permaculture in Australia. It was formerly Tagari Farm of Tyalgum, NSW where Bill Mollison first developed the Permaculture Concept in Australia.
Mariefields is now under the stewardship and management of Dr John Quayle who has had extensive ecological experience in Asia developing long-term sustainable environmental projects.
The new vision and creative environmental foresight sees these permaculture fields undergoing resurrection with environmental protection and long-term sustainability as the focus of future development.
Mariefield's koala forest, wildlife corridors, , protected bird islands, native tree plantings and watercourse protection will ensure long term environmental sustainability.
Developing low impact organic free-range poultry and pigs, market gardens, tropical fruits, aquaculture, forestry, manuka honey, bamboo products and low intensity breeding of top grade organic grass-fed Angus beef cattle will ensure long-term economic viability.
With community and child education at the forefront, Mariefields will continue to demonstrate long term commercial economic sustainability can be achieved in parallel with environmental protection
Click on the link below to listen to the full ABC Landline story and planting of koala food trees in our Mariefields Koala Forest
Click on the link below to listen to the full story and history of Mariefields
Our team is dedicated to protection of the natural environment while at the same time develop it in a long term sustainable and economic way.
We extend to you a warm and personal welcome to our farm. We hope you make Mariefields Your Farm away from Home
Mariefields is a working cattle and organic farm so watch the daily activities or join in and assist.
The fully operational farm gives an opportunity to experience close-up the day to day activities.
A short walk from the Farmhouse are cattle yards, chickens ,ducks ,bees and dams with fish and wildlife.
Feed the chickens ,collect free-range organic eggs for your breakfast or catch a freshwater yabby in the dam.
Visit our creek early in the morning and see if you can spot our resident platypus.
Take a bike ride around the roads on one of our bikes that are free to use.
There will be many opportunities for you to see daily farm life and personally be involved.
Pick mangoes, olives ,oranges,mandarins,grapefruit ,lemons,coffee and breadfruit when in season .
Mariefields Farm has not used any chemicals for over 30 years.
Chemicals destroy the natural ecosystem of an area killing small plants, fungi and insects. This in turn reduces the viability of the land to support larger species of insects ,wildlife and birds.
The chemicals and insecticides destroy the fragile ecosystem and upset the balance of nature by killing the lower level ecosystem.
You will be amazed at the many different species of native wildlife and birds you can see on the farm as well as the many different species of insects and butterflies.
Mariefields is a true testament to the preservation of nature by non chemical intervention and the damaging and detrimental effect chemicals and insecticides have on our environment.
The History of Mariefields
Mariefields is a unique property that has an equally fascinating history.
In the late 1800’s this area was full of huge cedar trees. The cedar cutters logged these magnificent trees and pulled them across the cauldera by bullock teams. We have been told that the bullock teams always stopped on the Mariefields Outlook with views of Mt Warning and the Pinnacle. It as here the loggers would boil their billy before continuing down the valley
In the early 1900’s the timber loggers were back again. This time they removed all the large turpentine trees that were then shipped to England and used as piles in the London wharves. Fortunately, there remained a few sapling survivors from those early days and today we have several large turpentine trees but only one big cedar tree.
The area was now in a deforested condition and kikuyu pasture was then planted for the next phase as dairy cattle were introduced. The Homestead on the hill was built in 1920 along with the milking shed as the dairy industry developed in this area.
Logging still continued in the 1950’s and 1960’s. This time it was the spotted gums that were cut down and pulled out by a logging truck. The logs were cut up by a tractor driven saw under the awning beside the bee shed to make timber packing crates for the local banana industry. The truck still remains up the back of the property in the gully where it got bogged in the 1960’s on one its last logging trips and remains as a relic of those past logging days.
The dairy cattle were replaced by Hereford beef cattle for several years until the owners retired and put the property up for sale.
It was purchased by Bill Mollison in late 1980’s and renamed Tagari Farm. It was here Bill Mollison developed, demonstrated and taught his permaculture principles. This is the home of first Organic Permaculture Farm in the World. Permaculture is based on finding creative solutions to live a more sustainable life by growing local organic food, reducing energy consumption, recycling waste, and creating habitat for other life around us.
For almost 2 years he created his permaculture ideas with heavy machinery virtually running non-stop. He built over 20 dams, most of which he interconnected with drainage pipes so water would flow from the higher dams to the lower ones and then to large deep interconnected swales to catch and hold water. Almost every hill on the property was cut to follow the contours so water could collect and feed the mango and pomegranate trees planted on the lower site of the contour cut.
Mollison ran his permaculture courses here for several years and taught hundreds of students with hands on experience the principals of permaculture. The straw bale barn he built was his classroom.
A dispute with his partners about the permaculture operation of the farm led Bill to close down all development and he returned to Tasmania. From Tasmania he continued to lecture around the world about Permaculture with Tagari Farm the example of how permaculture operated.
The farm was closed for almost 20 years and nature gradually reinstated itself. The trees were able to grow without human intervention, the wildlife and birds thrived and the interconnected dams became new habitats for wild ducks and migrating birds.
The fact that no chemicals have been used on this property now for over 40 years is true testament to how strong an ecosystem can develop if not subjected to chemicals.
Today we have an ecosystem in total balance from the mycorrhizal fungi, the soil bacteria, insects, abundance of butterflies, dozens of bird species, platypus in our creek, echidnas and dingoes in our wildlife corridor and always close-by is the top apex predictor looking for an easy meal - the wedge tail eagle
In 2017 we were fortunate to be able to purchase the property from the Estate of Bill Mollison and renamed it Mariefields after my mother Marie. We inherited an amazing ecosystem and pristine environment. I am sure Bill did not appreciate the incredible and lasting effect he had on the property by the initial permaculture designs and then locking the property up for 20 years. This long isolation allowed these abandoned permaculture fields to become overgrown and allowed them to be reclaimed by nature and its wildlife inhabitants.
Mariefields continues to develop under new stewardship and new vision with creative environmental foresight.
We now have the permaculture fields undergoing resurrection with environmental protection and sustainability as the focus of future long-term sustainable economic ecosystem development.
We have created wildlife corridors, native bird islands, native tree plantings and watercourse protection that will ensure long term environmental sustainability. We have planted 4000 koala feed trees to help our resident koalas.
The developing of low impact organic free -range poultry, market gardens, tropical fruits, aquaculture, rainforest and manuka honey, bamboo products and low intensity breeding of top grade organic grass-fed Angus beef cattle will ensure economic viability.
The Farmstay provides the location for children and adults to experience first-hand this amazing organic eco environment.
I am sure Mariefields will demonstrate that long term commercial and financial economic sustainability can be achieved in parallel with environmental and ecosystem protection.
A view of Mariefields Organic Farm from the Pinnacle on the Border Ranges National Park