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Nadja Osterstock

nadja

What do you do?

I design practical, productive gardens, help people get the most out of their existing gardens, and sell organic and heirloom seeds through my market stall.

What are you passionate about?

It’s a cliche these days, but empowering people to live more sustainably is what drives me. I love learning about others’ dreams and visions for how their garden could work, and applying design skills and gardening experience to help them turn it into reality. I get a huge buzz as I see people gain the confidence to get growing.

What inspires you to do the work you do?

I love the Arthur Ashe quote, ‘Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.’ I don’t have all the answers or experience, but I sure want to share what I can. Permaculture offers us a set of principles and ethics so that we can take effective action and overcome the sense of powerlessness that so easily arises over environmental issues.

How did you get into permaculture?

I heard about it through friends in the 1990s, did my PDC at the Food Forest in 2004, and while working as a counsellor in community health I had the chance to support isolated individuals to get involved in a community garden. Since setting up our own place and starting a family, I wanted a really direct, practical way to engage with people while addressing urban sustainability head-on. That’s when ‘Nadja’s Garden’ morphed from a hobby into a business.

How does permaculture help you connect with your community?

It happens on many fronts: meeting people for a chat through the market stall; online; and through local networks to support activities like beekeeping, community gardening, food swaps, tree planting and a school garden. The most direct connection is the conversations you have with people passing by while I’m making compost in the front garden or pruning fruit trees on the road verge. Permaculture and gardening are at the roots of our sense of belonging in our neighbourhood.

For more information see www.nadjasgarden.com.au/ or look for Nadja’s Garden on Facebook

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