Category Thrive

Small-scale Farming – Fare Share


With just enough money to pay for compost and mulch, plus a generous donation of land, Justin Hartley established the thriving and popular Duck Foot Farm: the first notill, small-scale and land-share farm in the Southern Highlands in New South Wales.

The importance of soil biology and health has become more apparent in recent times, partly perhaps spearheaded by books such as Matthew Evans’ Soil and Charles Massey’s Call of the Reed Warbler and, of course, a flourishing community of passionate permaculturalists across the globe. After centuries of using aggressive agricultural techniques that heavily cultivate land, many contemporary farmers are simplifying their farming methods by using no-till, no-dig or regenerative agriculture to inspire more environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices. It could spell the end of depleting soil health, spraying chemicals and poisoning waterways.

Pig & Earth Farm: Put To Pasture

Getting access to pasture-raised pork is far harder than it ought to be, but there are two young Victorians working hard to make a living out of ethical farming.

Will and Emma’s work is really important for humans and animals alike. If you were a pig you would go to extraordinary lengths to live on their land, for they raise pigs on pasture as opposed to dark concrete sheds. Will butchers the meat they grow and it’s sold it through a community-supported agriculture (CSA) model.

They both have off-farm jobs; Emma works full-time as an environmental campaigner and Will works at a nursery. Their Pig & Earth Farm is located on Dja Dja Wurrung country, just outside of Kingston in Victoria. They are young, passionate and committed to farming that cares for land, pigs and people.

Electromobility: On The Charge


Greenhouse gas emissions from transport have recorded the highest rate of growth of any sector in the last 30 years. The key to changing the projected trajectory, which forecasts continued growth through to 2030, is about finding cleaner transport solutions.

According to the Climate Council, Australia is the second-largest producer of greenhouse-gas emissions in the world and transport is our second-largest source of pollution. And while electric-powered vehicles are the most obvious and effective solution, in this country, it’s an industry still very much in its infancy in terms of technology, efficiency and consumer affordability.

Compared to many other global markets, Australia’s take-up of electric-powered vehicles has been low. It’s a result largely driven by short-sighted government policy removing incentives to switch to low-emission transport. But there’s plenty of misconceptions surrounding the day-to-day realities of electric vehicle ownership, too, which could be causing Australians to shirk what’s an otherwise simple answer to a worsening problem.

Ethical Investment: Banking On The Future


Your money could be racking up a hefty carbon footprint, or supporting industries that don’t align with your personal beliefs. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Have you ever considered how your money is being used beyond your daily transactions? Every day your money is being loaned and invested into corporations and industries. In return, you receive interest payments and hopefully accumulate more wealth.

Recognising that your hard-earned dollars don’t sit idle in your bank or superannuation account and making well-researched and ethical decisions about where your money is invested means your money can be as ethical as you and support a sustainable future.

To align your money with your ethics, you need to take control of what your money is funding and divert it into other industries. It’s a practice called divestment. It means that instead of unintentionally funding things like fossil fuels, modern slavery, child labour, pornography, tobacco, gambling, live exports or weapons, you actively seek opportunities to invest in positive things. For example, you might prioritise investing in renewable energy projects, medical research, healthcare, regenerative agriculture or public housing. The point is that you take control of your money and the impact it is having on the planet.

Self-reliance: A New Normal

A rise in interest in permaculture during the pandemic has highlighted the important role its practices play in building household and community resilience.

Faced with limited access to goods and services, many Australians turned to permaculture practices as a solution to the pressures associated with the coronavirus pandemic. From the early days when panic buying cleared supermarket shelves, to the recent higher-level lockdowns, more people are recognising the benefits a more sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle can have during a crisis.

Local Food Systems Thriving In A Crisis


Local food networks have proven their ability to deliver the goods during recent waves of climate shocks and panic buying. With Australia’s food system failing to calibrate in time, to ensure everyone has equal access to the basics when they need it most, local food hubs, such as Food Connect in Brisbane, are ensuring noone misses out on household basics, including toilet paper!

With shorter distances to travel and strong relationships established with growers, a local food system can respond to crises with agility and certainty. Growers know the back roads and can often bypass highway lockdowns with their smaller trucks. The networks established between growers, small transport companies and distribution hubs means they can respond quickly to requests for assistance.

Local Food System Answers The Call

Food Connect – a small social enterprise in Brisbane – has been feeding customers for 15 years. At the same time, Food Connect pays growers their true value of production and has built a secure supply of locally sourced

Repair Cafes: More Than Just Repairs

Imagine a world where we know and care for the life story of things and care about how items are used and re-used. The Repair Cafe movement is working to create such a world.

Just over 12 months ago, Daylesford’s Repair Cafe started with a community meeting to bring together local repairers and supporters, people who could volunteer their time and skills every month. The breadth of skills uncovered included sewing, soldering, welding, mechanical and electrical work, knife and tool sharpening, bicycle maintenance, metal and woodwork, cooking, cake making, financial management and general support.

The Cafe is open the third Sunday of every month, from 1–4 pm, at Hepburn Shire’s Victoria Park Pavilion. Support from the regional waste management group enabled promotional material to be produced. Before long, the new Cafe was registered on the International Repair Cafe Foundation worldwide map.

Slow Flowers


Just as the slow food movement made us more aware of local and seasonal produce, the slow flower movement is doing the same for blooms.

Tara Luca is a sustainable flower grower from the Northern Rivers area in NSW. Tara and her family live and work on Olive Gap Organic Farm in Woodburn. The farm, which specialises in native essential oils, as well as seasonal flowers, is run by two couples: Tara and her husband Alex (along with their three daughters), and Alex’s sister Tess and her partner, Nina. ‘Basically, we are a big girl gang, plus Alex,’ says Tara.

Tara developed her love for all things floral while studying an Organic Farming course. ‘Whilst at TAFE I discovered an amazing old floriculture section in the student library and I became completely obsessed with learning about flower production,’ she says.

Shulz Organic Dairy: Making The Change


Simon Shulz is taking a stand. After watching the War on Waste back in 2017, Simon realised that as a producer of milk, he was directly contributing to the problem of single-use plastics. He decided then and there to do something about it and three months later he was trialling a range of milk sold in reusable glass bottles.

Simon Shulz is a third-generation dairy producer and farmer. With his father he runs Shulz Organic Dairy in Timboon, in southwest Victoria. He lives there with his wife, Abbey, and their three, soon-to-be four, children.

The Buzz On E-Bikes


Our cities are becoming more spread out and also more congested. A revolution is needed to help people reach their destinations quickly, sustainably, enjoyably and affordably.

Electric bikes (e-bikes) may be the solution with their energy efficiency, the ease they offer in urban environments by eliminating parking and traffic jam issues, their lack of pollution, and their suitability for riders with compromised fitness or health.

How Do They Work?

E-bikes are pedal bikes that have been modified or manufactured with an electric motor that is powered by a battery. Most electric bikes come with either a lithium-ion (Li-Ion) or a lithium polymer (LiPo) battery.