Stanthorpe Permaculture Group had a great turn out on the morning of 3rd July with around 22 people coming together to exchange seeds. The variety of seeds available was incredible. We put all the contributions on the table and then people helped themselves to what they wanted to grow.
Explaining how the seed exchange works
Some chokos to keep somewhere dry and dark until the Spring:
For the past two years, myself and a few other fine folk have been busting our guts in our spare time to find (and secure) land to set up a city farm. A city farm is just that – a small farm in the city. It’s not a community or school garden, but a working farm which employs people to grow serious amounts of food. As this process has taken longer than we hoped, Anton and I got on with life, started Good Life Permaculture, bought a house with a 1/4 acre and since then have been setting it up as a demonstration city farm.But we’ve kept the flame burning as it’s something that just want leave us.
And yes, we are setting up our own small urban block and home as a demonstration city farm, but we want to see paddocks of productive landscapes in our cities, paddocks and paddocks. It’s a vision that’s been lodged in my head and heart my whole life and I can’t let it go, not until its real. Cause nothing beats realness.
And so, it is with enormous pleasure, and some relief, that we’ve finally been able to launch the Hobart City Farm project at our local Sustainable Living Festival this weekend. We are a not-for-profit organisation, run like a social enterprise and focused on establishing a vibrant, financially viable and environmentally regenerative small farm that grows a diverse range of food, builds community and provides meaningful employment. We are more than stoked.
So, who are we exactly? We are 5 people, independent of Good Life Permaculture, and go by the names of James Da Costa, Bridget Stewart, Louise Sales, Sam Beattie and yours truly – Hannah. Anton is playing support on this project as he’s concentrating on not spreading himself so thin, smart bloke that one. And where is the land? It’s in New Town, around 3kms north of Hobart city centre, we’ll release the actually address of the site once we’ve finalised formalities – which are almost there.
Currently the site is a patch of lawn, but not for long as we’re running a multifaceted fundraising campaign to get the whole sh-bang off the ground.
Part one is selling a huge amount of tomato seedlings we propagated ourselves at the Sustainable Living Festival this weekend. Pop on down today (Sunday 9th) to get your tom stash and meet some of the team, Good Life Permaculture’s stall is directly next door (we made sure of that) so you can say g’day to us too.
Sam hiding amongst the plethora of tomato plants – excuse the blurry photo
The team (minus Lousie Sales) getting excited at the Sustainable Living Festival yesterday
Part two of the fundraising efforts is our crowd funding campaign, complete with a pretty darn impressive list of gifts in exchange for your contributions. We’ve got beehives, permaculture designs, garden blitzes, seeds, parties, t-shirts, compost workshops and even naming writes to a tractor!
[button_link url=”https://www.chuffed.org/project/hobartcityfarm” target=”blank” style=”blue” title=”” class=”” id=”” onclick=””]Watch the crowd funding film.[/button_link]
So why are we so gung-ho about this city farm thing?
Food: We’re passionate about investing in local and regional food systems to provide reliable access to a nutritious and diverse range of food. We see growing food in the heart of the community as an important way of rebuilding connections to where food comes from and the people who grow it. We’re committed to ensuring that the following generations have an understanding of the important role food plays in creating and maintaining resilient communities.
In addition to producing food, the farm will grow community through facilitating educational opportunities in permaculture, food production and composting (to name a few) – both on and off the farm. The Hobart City Farm will encourage community involvement in the practical operations of the farm and help foster a vibrant community in the immediate surroundings and beyond.
The Hobart City Farm will employ local Tasmanians, creating meaningful livelihoods for individuals. We are also looking and thinking beyond our farm gate and will explore the possibility of partnering with other organisations to provide training in small-hold farming. We hold a deep commitment to helping others gain the skills they need to become farmers.
We’d like to thank you in advance for helping to make our dreams of having a local, robust, ecologically based, kick-arse food system a reality. Cheers.
You can contribute to our crowd funding campaign here
Story by Irma Lachmund, secretary of Permaculture West, December 2014
Do you love chickens?
Have you got some? If not, have you ever thought about rearing chickens?
Mt Hawthorn is a small suburb in the City of Vincent, north of Perth in Western Australia.
There are two kinds of residents in Vincent, the ones allowed to have chickens and the other ones living in the poultry exclusion zone. We are lucky, Mt Hawthorn is outside the exclusion zone. Transition Town Mount Hawthorn is a community group closely aligned with Permaculture West. We received a small grant from the WA Waste Authority to create a community network around chickens in Mt Hawthorn. This network will be linking people who produce food scraps with people who already have chickens. We also hope to inspire more people to raise their own poultry in the backyard.
We want to give people an opportunity to reduce their food waste and connect with their neighbours. The project includes workshops around organic waste and chickens, we also are planning a chicken walk through the neighbourhood where chicken owners open their property to show examples of rearing chickens in our area. One-on-one support to participants is offered and we finish up with an Urban Chook Picnic at the end of summer. We are excited about the project and have already created a blog. People with good tips on rearing chickens are very welcome to send through some guest posts.
It took us nearly a year to get this project off the ground and we now hope the idea is an inspiration for other urban chook networks around Australia.
[button_link url=”https://www.facebook.com/urbanchooks?ref=br_tf” target=”blank” style=”blue” title=”” class=”” id=”” onclick=””]Visit Urban Chooks Perth’s facebook[/button_link]
[styled_image w=”400″ h=”300″ lightbox=”yes” image=”http://www.permacultureaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/kat.jpg” align=”right”]Permaculture International is an organisation with massive potential to help make focus all our positive work in Australia, and we need all the help we can get, email me if you want to contribute.
Kat first arrived in Australia 10 years ago and recently became an Australian citizen. Ever enthusiastic about her Blue Mountains home ” it’s an incredible place, all the villages run across the ridgetops here, and so everything we do has a direct effect on a World Heritage Park around us. We can literally see our impact on the valleys below. We have a terrific opportunity to show that we can live sustainably and even in a way that’s mutually beneficial with our environment. More people need to know that permaculture helps that goal become very achievable”.
Kat’s involvement in Permaculture began with an introduction to a friend had studied Permaculture with Rowe Morrow, and had a strange enticing way of talking about the world, showing there was something to learn here. Searching for a local course up popped an opportunity to study with permaculture’s intrepid farmstead heroes, Nick and Kirsten of Milkwood Permaculture followed by a classic 72 hour design course with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton within a year. Thus began a full time quest for enjoyable sustainable living. “Permaculture came together right here in Australia, so here’s a place that’s stuffed to the gills with world class permaculture practitioners and educators, you’d be mad to live here and not to take advantage of that. I’ve learned heaps from all these great teachers, and now I’m out here making my own mistakes…”
Kat is a volunteer director with Permaculture International, volunteers at “the biggest little food co-op in Australia“, is helping set up a community farm co-op in nearby Mt Tomah, studying permaculture with Riverina Institute, community gardening and running a charity which helps give people greater access to public sector and political information. “I have gone from having one full time job having six, and I love every minute of it. All the projects I contribute to are in their own way helping us rethink and redesign the ways we live.
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[styled_image w=”400″ h=”300″ lightbox=”yes” image=”http://www.permacultureaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Terry-2008.jpg” align=”right”]Terry is a serving as a director on the board of Permaculture International Limited. He is also a co-convenor for Permaculture Cardinia Baw Baw which is a local group of Permaculture Melbourne and an ordinary committee member of Permaculture Melbourne.
“My permaculture journey commenced after we graduated from Teacher’s college in the 1970s and we had an interest in growing our own food and perhaps having some acreage to live a sustainable lifestyle. Reading Grassroots magazine I became aware of Permaculture and went to hear Bill Mollison speak in Queenbeyan in 1995/6 and subsequently read “Introduction to Permaculture”.
“Since the 1970s we had grown our own veggies wherever we lived using manures and mulch to build up a bed but it wasn’t until 2000 that we were able to buy our current property. Unable to build a house straight away, that would have to wait until 2009 we established an orchard with a variety of stone and pome fruits. I have since branched out and experimented with berries and perennial vegetables and now have over 60 fruit and nut trees and numerous berries. I have become enamoured with the concept of a food forest since I undertook my PDC with Rick and Naomi Coleman in April of 2008 and the experience has made me rethink how I approach the development of our property and how I look at the landscape. This was followed up in 2009 by attending a Food Forest Workshop at Robyn Francis’ Djanbung Gardens near Nimbin. We moved into our new house mid-2009 and I have made steady progress in turning the orchard and house surrounds into my version of a cool temperate food forest and enjoy the challenges of experimenting with sub-tropical fruits in the West Gippsland bioregion.”
Terry started his career as a Primary school teacher in rural Victoria and then joined the Army as an educational officer. This necessitated moving every few years, mostly up and down the east coast to Townsville, the Gold Coast and Canberra with the bulk of his time in Victoria. He has had long term postings overseas to Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Thailand. He retired after 26 years and now does Army Reserve work as an educational officer one day a week. His other interests include woodworking and Tai Chi.