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Rural Skills Series – Developing & Making an Income from your Property

April 19, 2015 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


“Setting you up for Life”- For those embarking on their tree change and wanting to develop their property the right way and making their rural property financially sustainable

About the Workshop
Ok, so you have bought your property now you just need to develop it.  What are you going to do? Where do you start? And how are you going to do it?  Before you do anything you need a plan. You need to design it first and work out what’s got to be done, when, where and how.  There are many things to consider and a good plan, observation and a few hours of thought can often save many hours of effort in mistakes and changes. It is best to get it right the first time round – do it once and not have to undo or redo again later.

There are hundreds of ways to make an income from your property and sustaining your dream into the future. Its critical to make sure your property is financially sustainable into the future and not draining your resources. It’s critical to be able to stay on the land rather than get sucked back into the city to earn a dollar, removing you from your dream and taking energy from you and your community.  It’s important to work out the best ways for you to make an income. Ways that suit your skills, knowledge, income requirements, physical capabilities, market demand and life balance.

During this workshop we explore the many variables and considerations for income generation from your property and resources.  Whether you have already selected your property, living on your property or not yet started looking for a property this workshop is invaluable in providing you with some fundamental considerations, ideas and methods to ensure you maintain a right livelihood so your dream lifestyle will keep you on the land and sustain you into the future.

Workshop Outcomes
This workshop will make you aware of how important a plan and/or a design is – whether structured as in permaculture, or intuitive as with many farmers; it will help you develop your plan from big picture pattern to detail.  It will provide you with a list of considerations and processes behind the implementation of your plan and you will acquire awareness about creating a system that is personally, socially and environmentally sustainable. It will assist you to improve your property and regenerate your life and your landscape. The workshop will underscore the importance of generating an income by illustrating a variety of income streams and by enhancing awareness of the skill set and personal attributes required to make an income in a rural environment. At the end of the day, you will have new ideas about making an income; a greater understanding of possibilities and limitations for enterprise income streams; and the inspiration and confidence to get them going – planning for and future-proofing your property.

During the workshop you will consider:
Site Analysis & Assessments
Overall site analysis and assessment; energy flows, zoning, microclimates, placement of structures etc
Legal considerations, easements/rights of way, planning earthwork – water & access;  infrastructure; structures; house sites; fencing options; windbreaks & shelter breaks; water management; natural resource management; flora and fauna; preparing for natural disasters; and so on
Budgeting, managing works, timings, skills, arranging contractors, equipments, what to look for, how to manage potential situations, social aspects etc.

This practical workshop will ease and empower you to move forward and put your dream into reality.

Workshop Program

  • The importance of income on a rural property, how much income you will need
  • Ideas for enterprises and ways to generate income sustainably from the land
  • Utilising the resources on the land
  • Skills and attributes you need, where and how to get them
  • Capitalizing on your equipment, skills and knowledge base
  • Possible threats and challenges of your activities
  • Legal and tax considerations
  • Networking
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Community enterprises and co-operatives
  • Alternatives to the cash economy
  • Sourcing labor in and outside the community
  • Equipment, resources, sourcing labour, funding grants;
  • Business set up

The Trainers
Sherri McMahon and Ingrid Cullen

Sherri and Ingrid PhotoSherri and Ingrid are farmers in the historic valley of St Albans. They manage their own farm business “She-Ing Farm” from which they make a livelihood and sustain themselves financially. Since purchasing their rural property in 1997, Sherri and Ingrid have subsequently regenerated the land from scratch turning it from a sandy, degenerated unproductive site to a highly productive, diverse, and sustainable property. Sherri and Ingrid built their own house, and have self developed their property into an excellent demonstration site for a productive working farm. They grow their own produce; sell produce; farm and slaughter their own livestock (including cattle, sheep and poultry); log and mill their own timber; and farm in a humane and sustainable way. They also have a successful farm maintenance business. “The Girls” as they are known in the valley are highly respected in their community with active roles  in the Rural Fire Brigade, the St Albans Common Trust and a range of other community activities. They are both extremely capable and highly skilled rural women who have extensive and in depth knowledge of all aspects of rural property management and who provide excellent leadership examples of sustainable, self-reliant and resilient living. The girls are passionate to extend and improve their property using a range of principles and techniques drawn from permaculture, organic and sustainable farming practices.   They are also passionate to share the knowledge they have gained to help others find and develop sustainable farm practices.

Sherri McMahon
Sherri provides a no nonsense insight into the workings of a rural property and will help all participants understand what they need to know to run a successful rural property in a sustainable way. Sherri has a certificate 2 and 3 in Agriculture from the Hunter Institute as well a several other awards and agricultural training certificates. Sherri grew up on her family’s traditional 1500 acre mixed production farm, running 200 sheep, cattle and crops in the Snowy Mountains area and was very much part of the farm team.    She left the family farm to undertake a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Canberra University, and after graduation joined the Federal Police as a photographer, rising to become a senior investigator.  She then travelled extensively through her work, including heading the Vulnerable Persons Unit in the UN peace-keeping mission in East Timor in 2001. She was an Australian champion in athletics and power lifting.

Ingrid Cullen
Ingrid has organic gardening genes in her DNA. She comes from a family of organic gardeners and farmers from Lorne in Northern NSW and her enormous repertoire of rural skills and knowledge are largely a product of her upbringing on the family’s diverse 100 acre farm. Ingrid went on to a Visual Arts Degree at Sydney College of the Arts and has a Certificate 2 and 3 in Agriculture as well as accreditation in the area of fitness, wellness, and massage. She too was a serial competitor and Australian champion in power lifting and rowing.  For many years Ingrid worked as a personal fitness and wellness trainer in community gyms and not for profit organizations. She specialised in working with people with HIV-AIDS and was awarded the World AIDS Day award for her work.

The Program
The workshop will include an on-site walk and talk tour where examples of property development can be demonstrated. Example designs and situations will be provided throughout the day.

Some LETS accepted. 10% discount for PSI members (if you have completed a PSI workshop in the last 12 months) 


April 19, 2015
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Bandusia Country Retreat
1056 Upper Macdonald Rd
Upper MacDonald (St Albans), NSW Australia
+ Google Map
(02) 4568 2036


Bring photos of your property, property plans and surveys and any other property info. Camera; note book and pen
Click here for details
Workshop, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, course materials and a beautiful setting to learn in !