Mara of ORTO Farm ~ A Circular and Loving Village

May 24, 2021 Jade Miles & Catie Payne
Mara of ORTO Farm ~ A Circular and Loving Village
Show Notes

Today Jade sits down with one of those luminous beings who’s living like tomorrow matters with deep intention and integrity.

Mara of Village Dreaming and ORTO Farm near Daylesford shares stories from her slow food life and lyrical observations (to the tune of ‘riding a bike to work in the city is like experiencing a musical’) that’ll linger long after this convo wraps up. 

Mara describes her Italian roots and being a waste renegade, the magic of WWOOFing and running a cooking school, wildlife corridors and messages to her 20 year old self. 

It’s better than a big bowl of bolognese with hot-buttered garlic bread and it's yours for the devouring.


  • Sharing our lives on social media
  • Why there should be more shame in waste
  • Building adventure through salvaging waste
  • Diverting waste as a human rights and social issue
  • Being an eco-renegade 
  • Her Italian heritage that provides a foundation for living with heart
  • Being surrounded by love has allowed her to be a lover in return
  • Being 110% herself
  • Naming her farm to reflect a circular and loving village
  • Hand building a home that is the culmination of a 20 year journey in community building/love of food
  • The Magic of WWOOFing; refilling  hearts, rebuilding  skills and recreating rhythms
  • Her desire to be the archetypal mother 
  • Running a cooking school in your own home with heart, song and dance
  • Having a partner who is as warm, delicious and inviting as ricotta
  • Creating ORTO farm: berries, olives, wildlife corridors, orchards and one-day pigs on pasture 
  • Messages to her 20 year old self - well done!
  • Years of searching for like minded individuals
  • Why the music industry interrupted her need to be ‘home for dinner’
  • Discovering permaculture
  • Her pure love of cycling 
  • The privilege of building her own straw bale house using ‘light earth'
  • Adding a greenhouse on the northern side of her house = revolutionary outcome
  • The work needed to retrofit housing stock in this country
  • Why ENOUGH is reflected in the health of relationships
  • Being part of a world that actively manages the impacts of climate change
  • Managing the ‘daunt’ of educating our kids without them experiencing dread and fear 
  • Giving kids rope to make their own decisions
  • Struggling to say “life is going to get harder” (but knowing it’s the truth)
  • The power of bringing disparate groups together to effect real change! We re more alike than not.
  • Removing judgement and expectations from transition
  • Seeing glints in peoples eyes when they consider their homes as life havens
  • The nasty cycle of fiscal domination


Mara + Village Dreaming on Instagram
Village Dreaming + ORTO Farm online
The Red Tent ~ Anita Diamant

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