Who We Are
Dani and Nelson Lebo are leaders in New Zealand’s permaculture movement. They have a shared passion for building community, education, and sustainability.
At Kaitiaki Farm, a 5 hectare property in Whanganui, New Zealand, the Lebo family run a mixed-use farm and encourage learning for folks of all ages. Their learning farm is a premier example of permaculture design in action.
Their suburban permaculture project – Eco-Thrifty Renovation – is recognised as one of Australasia’s best examples of suburban permaculture and is featured in David Holmgren's book Retrosuburbia.
Originally from the U.S., Dani and Nelson met while teaching in New Hampshire, and have been in New Zealand since 2008.
"I am Verti and I am 5. I like to play outside in our backyard. I like our goats, and I help milk them. I like to eat broccoli and strawberries and blueberries."
"I am Suleiman Manu Lebo. I like dubba doo doos (trains). I like dumping (jumping). I eat yogurt and baberries (strawberries). Boy is my dog. Him says woof woof woof."
Nelson is a lover of old tools and wayward animals. His favourites are scythes and muscvovy ducks. He holds an M.A. from Lesley College in Environmental Teaching and Learning and a PhD from Waikato University in Science Education.
For the past two decades Nelson has been eco-thrifty farming and renovating. He is recognised as an expert in eco home design and renovation in New Zealand and is regularly consulted by the media on these issues.
Dani is passionate about equality, creativity, and fun. She is a crafty nature-playing mama, trying to raise resilient, gentle, and generous kids. She holds an M.A. in International Education from The School for International Training, speaks fluent Spanish, and studies Te Reo Maori.
Currently, Dani runs The ECO School's Nature Play programs, and has spent her career as a classroom teacher and outdoor educator.