Flying foxes are vital for biodiversity, pollination and a healthy ecosystem. And some researchers believe they could be functionally extinct by 2050.
At the gate that opens into the gardens of Seedwell’s St Kilda site, there is a blooming eucalyptus caesia. For the people of the Kulin nation, this gum represents coming of age for young people and for Seedwell it represents a similar idea.
As urban centres expand and suburbs sprawl, farmers sometimes find their rural idyll hemmed in by the reach of the city. When they found they were losing their quiet country surrounds, Kate Beveridge and her partner Mark Brown of Purple Pear Farm faced the choice to sell up and move further out, or stay put and feed the community that had come to them.
Close to Perth’s central business district, something is growing by the Midland railway line. For over 20 years, Perth City Farm (a not-for-profit community garden, educational centre and urban oasis) has been welcoming members of the community through its gates.
Fair Harvest Permaculture is a testament to Jodie Lane and her dedication to community. Created over the last two decades, Fair Harvest is everything a permaculture demonstration site should be: a living, breathing example of permaculture principles in action, honouring the three permaculture ethics. But it is not the physical examples of permaculture that are most striking; it’s the community involvement that stands out the most.
‘Permablitz the Gong’ began as a conversation between three Wollongong women – Jacqui Besgrove, Sheryl Wiffen and Kristy Newton – in 2011 after Jacqui and Kristy completed their Permaculture Design Course (PDC). The women wanted to do something about food and sustainability at a community level, and got together with Rebecca Mayhew soon after; hosting their first permablitz on International Permaculture Day in May 2012.
I am developing a small farming business, with my partner Kirsti, which grows good food for our community. We aim to do that in an environmentally, socially and financially sustainable way. My personal aim is to regenerate this twenty-six hectare property into a farm that will be multigenerational in its viability. Whether I can achieve that or not remains to be seen, but I’m going to give it a good crack.
I have been in Australia for two years. I left the refugee camp in Uganda because it was very crowded, there was a lot of sickness because of poor sanitation; sometimes people had to share beds and drips in hospital because of the lack of medical provision.
On a steep and uneven hillside adjacent to Warrawong High School, south of Wollongong in NSW, a social enterprise called Green Connect is running a farm called Urban Grown. Green Connect combines permaculture ethics and design principles, with employment opportunities for resettled refugees and at-risk youth, to create an amazing model for urban sustainability; the farm produces as many social outcomes as chemical-free lettuces.
This article is about the little network that could. A low-key, flexible organisation made up of permaculturalists, community gardeners, teachers and Northern Territory Department of Education staff working together to make growing and cooking organic, local food a key part of daily life in the Top End. Throw in a bit of resilient communities’ action, and sustainable design and practice, and we are really getting somewhere!