A mile in the shoes of a permaculturist
Modern wellbeing guru, author and TV presenter Hannah Moloney is the ultimate multi-hyphenate living the good life.
Waking up to Tasmania‘s crisp air, gardenfresh scents and the soundtrack of chickens clucking away is what permaculturist Hannah Moloney considers the good life. She lives off the land with husband Anton and daughter Frida Maria in a hilltop property that overlooks the city and the Derwent River. Their home is a 1925-built Barbie-pink hardwood timber house on muwinina country in Hobart.
The unusual choice of colour was intentional. “It’s an expression of who we are and what we want to put into the world, which is joy, hope and lots of goodness,” says Hannah, author of The Good Life. Hannah’s passion for sustainability and community is reflected in everything she does, including her version of a daily workout.
“I spend at least two hours in the garden every morning with animals and plants, watering, feeding, checking if all is okay.
“I’ll milk our two goats, Gerty and Gilly, which gives us around three litres of milk every day and then I’ll feed our chickens, ducks and rabbits.”
The almost one-acre inner-city farm is also home to three beehives and a garden full of edible and native plants carefully selected for their resourcefulness.
“All the things we grow have multiple functions,” Hannah says. “For example, our beautiful evergreen native hop bush screens the car park. It‘s also an amazing windbreak as a hedge, and goats love to eat its pruned bits.”
Growing up on an urban herb nursery in Kurilpa, Brisbane’s West End, and being involved with her parents’ work with First Nations communities, instilled Hannah‘s commitment to making positive contributions.
“Someone told me, ‘do what you love and make that useful’. I had a natural inclination towards farming, gardening and working with people around community development, and that helped shape everything from there.”
Over the past two decades, Hannah has juggled various roles to support her values: permaculturist, author, TV presenter, landscape designer and community worker, as well as an advocate for climate action and First Nations justice. She admits it has sometimes been overwhelming.
“I’m a naturally organised person, so I have to do a lot of planning as every day is very different,” Hannah says. “Some days or weeks, I’ll be doing landscape-design projects with different farms around Tassie, filming with Gardening Australia or running community projects in our local region. So it’s important to prioritise what I think is most impactful for the work that I can do.”
Her guiding ethos is giving things a crack, especially in the face of climate change.
“The saying‚ ‘the antidote to anxiety is action’ is something I very much embrace, and I like to take meaningful actions towards rectifying some of these challenges.”
Those actions include grassroots initiatives such as teaching regenerative agriculture practices. “I do a lot of community composting workshops with councils, with an educational focus. I teach people how to compost food scraps instead of putting them into landfill,” she explains.
Not one to sit around twiddling her thumbs, Hannah is now looking to create more projects surrounding climate resilience, like her partnership with the City of Hobart for its annual edible garden tours. The self-guided ‘open house day’ event allows people to visit a range of gardens in different landscapes to see how food can grow in various spaces.
When all good deeds are done for the day, Hannah loves to unwind with backyard ukulele sessions and running.
“I love exercising, so you’ll often see me trail running in bush around our place,” Hannah says.
And it’s easy to spot Hannah on the go, since her hair shade mirrors her house. Of the bold colour choice, Hannah says, “It makes me happy, and I think the more joy we can bring to ourselves, we can bring to the world, and that’s super important.”