Show #272 – City Living? Permaculture Is Still Possible With Nicole Schauder


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And on this week’s show!

Think you don’t have enough space to grow food? Enter the ever positive and can-do Nicole Schauder who will convince you otherwise – including a step-by-step sprout-growing tutorial for your kitchen table! In this episode, we talk about growing a serious amount of food in a regular home garden or even more restrictive growing space by exploring various zones of permaculture and what you can do where, as well as talking about seed saving, seasons, different climates, setting up garden beds and more. She and her husband Dave came from being sick all the time with two small kids allergic to everything and when they made the changes away from packets and fast food to organics and growing as much of their food as they can, the results were lifechanging with none of their subsequent four children having any allergies at all and sickness in the family being a rarity.

Questions I asked Nicole:

  • Have you always grown food/been interested in the best ways to grow food or did it come later? 
  • The space you have for growing food wasn’t big – how did you go about maximising the space and is that where permaculture came into the mix? 
  • When someone’s excited but a bit terrified of starting to grow their own food given all there is to learn, how do you help them feel they can make a start? What do you feel the most important initial steps are? 
  • How much can permaculture design help us when deciding to grow our own food, in terms of uniting principles able to be applied anywhere in the world? 
  • How do we choose good supplies to get set up at our local hardware store given all we hear about synthetics being used in home ready-to-use soil and compost options, as well as plastics often being found in there and other nasties? 
  • What about seed shopping – people in your country can buy from you but do you have any tips about how to find a good seed supplier? 
  • Any seed saving tips for us as hope in terms of storage/use/seedling care? 
  • Your top ways to design a garden that will minimise pests and encourage biodiversity?
  • You have an app coming up on Kickstarter, tell us more about it.

About Nicole Schauder (and her husband, Dave):

Nicky and her husband Dave are passionate about helping families grow their own food.

Their garden journey began when their kids were diagnosed with “failure to thrive” due to multiple food allergies. Because of these health issues they felt called to grow organic at home and now supply 25% of their fruits and veggies from their tiny townhouse backyard.  

Their mission is to help families grow their own food, medicine and find God through ecological gardening.

They do this primarily through their Permaculture Gardens at, a website filled with garden resources such as free webinars, blogs, and “Grow-It-Yourself/GIY” – a garden membership program that helps simplify and strategize backyard garden success!

Their most recent project is SAGE: A Permaculture Garden Designer coming on Kickstarter soon!

Permaculture Gardens has received the “Most Sustainable Brand” award at the Green Festivals and Nicky & Dave’s work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Permaculture Research Institute – Australia, Mother Earth News Fair, and Green They also volunteered at their local Title 1 school and started a permaculture garden after-school program for the elementary kids there.

Dave and Nicky have been invited to speak at the health expos, university symposia, podcasts, and local gardening clubs about permaculture in small spaces.

Permaculture is best known for maximizing production in large agricultural lands. But because the rules for working with nature are universal, permaculture principles can help you grow your own food even if you have a tiny backyard or garden plot!

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Other helpful links:

Want to make your organic food garden dream a reality? They are generously offering a free preview of their Grow-It-Yourself/GIY Program for the Low Tox Community.🙂

Get or give the gift of a garden in a box with their “Permakits:” A permaculture guild subscription box!

Need seeds? Check out their heirloom/organic Seed Shop







Enjoy the show,






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