About us

Our building journey can be followed through the following posts.


Rita and I

Rita and I

Egg collecting Artemisia


















In a double storey terrace house on Lygon St, Melbourne, I met a girl called Tammy who introduced me to a fantastic Environment course at RMIT. Over the following 17 years I worked with a variety of environmental organisations, and from each I learned a little more about myself and the community I share beautiful Melbourne with.

Incrementally and without knowing it, my time in Melbourne would lead me to a great passion for greening cities, growing food, permaculture, preserving and baking bread, sowing seeds, and a desire to study horticulture.

In a single storey home in Westgarth, a German boy called Ralf knocked on the door of my share home with a delivery of sourdough bread and from there my new life began. Now with Artemisia and Ahlia we are creating our new home in Blampied, just outside of Daylesford, in Victoria, Australia.

A little more about us…
I inherited my food culture from my parents, and they from their country Italy. My family is from the city. Rita ran a hairdressing salon, and Mario cut leather patterns for shoes. My grandmother did all the cooking in Civitanova, as mum styled and permed and counselled women on marriage and children. It was not until they migrated in the 80’s that Rita, having brought with her books with variations on the title, Cucina Regionale or Tradizionale, began teaching herself the dishes that Italy is famous for.

Ralf grew up in Baden-Württemberg in the south of Germany and migrated to Australia when he was 9. He has been back to Germany several times to visit family and was inspired to set up a small mixed farm in Australia after visiting various family orchards, extensive fruit, berry and vegetable kitchen gardens. Over the past 15 years he has worked as a Water Sensitive Urban Design Officer for a progressive City Council and as a Wetlands Projects Manager for Australian Ecosystems.

My desire to grow food was inspired by Michael Ableman, who authored a very beautiful book called “From the Good Earth”, (a photo essay of organic farming practices around the world) and by local Permaculturalist David Holmgren.

My desire to cook comes from my family, but also from the wonderful delicious friends I have made in Melbourne. Lise taught me to make quince paste and sour dough bread.

For the past eight years I have searched for alley way quinces in May and then planted my own tree to harvest from. At a permaculture course in Hepburn, I tasted fresh pickled mustard on ripe bloody tomatoes and discovered a movement of people passionate about growing healthy food and cultivating community. I fell in love with community centers like CERES and the Collingwood Children’s Farm and displayed my pasta making skills at Harvest Festivals.

At our new home in Daylesford (Blampied to be exact) we are starting a new permaculture garden on 15 acres, it is a really exciting time and I can’t wait to have all the fruit trees and habitat trees planted.

I also can’t wait to share it with you…but wait I must!

Arrivederci, Mara.




Ahlia and I

Ahlia and I

Ralf and Artemisia

Ralf and Artemisia



6 Responses

  1. Alexia
    Alexia at ·

    Thanks so much for sharing. It’ so wonderful to Read and see your beautiful blog project. I ‘ ll try to write soon.

  2. Kym MAXWELL
    Kym MAXWELL at ·


    its so wonderful to see your fufilling your dreams what a beautiful blog- I had no idea you took such lovely photos incredible xxxxx Kym, Noah, Pascal and Dirk

  3. Juliette
    Juliette at ·

    Hello, we met in ‘le cafe Flo’ on High street last Monday, but only now I’ve been able to have a look at your blog and say hello. I haven’t read it all yet but I’ve subscribed, so I’ll keep in touch. I hope to come and visit your place sometimes soon. Keep up the good work. Juliette

  4. alia p form 5/6P
    alia p form 5/6P at ·

    hi mum nice about us page. love you.

  5. Michelle Hanslow
    Michelle Hanslow at ·

    Hi Mara
    Just stumbled across your page, whilst researching fruit tree pruning.
    We go back to Cuddlefish days!!
    Your new life looks amazing and lush – and totally inspiring!
    I will be following your adventures 🙂
    Michelle (a music-enviro old friend)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.