2023 Theme: Food Security
When we think of self-sufficiency our immediate thoughts go to food: Growing food, preserving food, sharing food, sourcing healthy organic food, community food....and so on.
Food is a fundamental resource to sustain life but it is under threat from climate change, economic and political instability, chemicals and natural disasters.
This year's hosts at the conversation hub will give you a great insight in how you can take food security into your own hands, with inspirational and practical talks about gardening, farming and local food networks.
FREE TALKS ALL WEEKEND!
Therese Graham - Trees & Greens
PROPAGATING EDIBLE PLANTS
Dirt don’t hurt – propagation tips and tricks for edible delights. In this talk Therese will introduce you to some different methods of propagating food producing plants using seeds, roots and shoots. And talk you through the seasonal and climatic considerations for success.
Adrian Iodice & Ben Waldhart - Beekeeping Naturally
INTRO TO NATURAL BEE-KEEPING
This is a wonderful opportunity to start your natural bee-keeping journey the right way with advice, tips and insights into taking a natural approach. In this very special hour and a half presentation Adrian and Ben will take you through the basics of natural bee-keeping including discussions about the differences between commercial style conventional bee hives and a more sustainable approach to caring for bee’s in Kenyan Top Bar Hive’s.
SATURDAY 11.45 AM
Antony Brown - Grow Resilience
FOOD SECURITY - SHARE THE GROW LOAD
Everyone here can see the cracks in our systems and we naturally feel the impulse to rush into finding solutions for a myriad of problems. Our food and nutritional security is one of those problems and to solve this issue for our families and communities we need to think creatively about solutions.
Growing nutritionally dense and chemical free food can be hard, time consuming and exhausting, and buying these foods can be expensive. Come and listen to Ant give you a framework for small community groups to achieve food security, without doing everything on your own.
Karen van Huizen - Elderglen Farm
FUTURE-PROOFING - Emergency Preparedness
Karen (and Paul) are the founders and farmers of Elderglen Elderberry farm in NE Victoria. But it’s not just about growing elderberries...it’s also about future proofing our farm, our family and supporting our community. As a permaculturalist with lived experience working in emergency management in fires, floods, COVID and landslide Karen is passionate about future-proofing to minimize the challenging effects of any disaster, shock or trauma which may happen unexpectedly. A shock could be something as simple as falling off a ladder and being unable to work for 6 months or more. With this in mind, future proofing was a high priority in establishing her farm to ensure their income and basic needs such as food, water and shelter continue to be met. Which are all important for wellbeing and often taken for granted.
Karen shares simple solutions to inspire others to future proof themselves and their family, no matter where they live.
Ricki Hersburgh - Executive Director, Plastic Oceans Aust.
Alex Fearnside - Co-Founder FoodVillage
Eric Bittner - Chef, Hospitality, Permaculture Practitioner
Jack Herry - Goulburn Murray Climate Alliance & City of Wangaratta
NO TIME TO 'WASTE'
Hear from food sustainability experts including a local chef, an organic farmer, and a food village entrepreneur. Hosted by plastic waste warrior Ricki Hersburgh from Plastic Oceans Australasia’s / Picnics Unwrapped.
Lots of secret tips will be shared to ensure you can go away armed with the skills to have any outdoor picnic occasion sustainably.
Chris Lanyon - Off-Gridder
YOUNG, FREE AND OFF-GRID
5 Years ago Chris Lanyon decided to drop-out of society, purchase a rural pieces of land in the Cann Valley District with her family and create her own off-grid life of freedom, self-sufficiency and creativity.
Join her for a chat about the journey, it's ups and downs, what she's been able to achieve on her own and what the future holds for someone young in this lifestyle.
- Building, gardening and trying to have a social life out bush
- How when you live without something for a while you find out you can survive without it (Eg. Running water, electricity, convenience)
- Working to earn money for what you want to do in life. (6 months working, then 6 months off out bush)
SATURDAY 3.45 - 4.30PM
Gamila MacRury - Gamila at Beechworth
CREATING YOUR OWN DELICIOUS OLIVES
An introduction to creating delicious olives at home.
Do you have an olive tree at home, or access to olives (wild, friends, family farms?), do you look at the fruit each year and feel you should do something about it? Well, now's the opportunity to learn how.
Join olive farmer Gamila MacRury to learn all of the tips and tricks you'll need to know to get it right from curing to brining and more.
SUNDAY 9.10 - 9.50
Natasha Stafford - Beingreen Permaculture
VEGGIE PATCH PLANNING
Would you like to have your own veggie patch?
Don’t know where to start?
Haven’t got much time?
Then this is the workshop for you.....
Natasha will cover where best to put your patch; What the soil should be like; explanation of pH; different approaches to setting up; crop choice and rotation; planting by the moon; techniques to save time.
SUNDAY 10.00 - 11.30 AM
Pete the Permie - Telopea mtn Permaculture
DESIGNING YOUR OWN HOME ORCHARD
Don't miss this opportunity to glean a wealth of knowledge from experience permaculture educator Pete the Permie! In this talk he'll focus on the basic ideas for a good permaculture designed Home Orchard.
Some topics covered will include:
- Innovations in rootstocks - that mean we can grow “Olde heritage varieties” of most fruit in a more controlled manner, so the family get the fruit not the Birds, Bats & Possums. (new netting laws discussed).
- How can we layout trees to help each other, so we get best performance from these weather conditions normal to extreme?
- Are Dwarf fruit trees viable, can you make your own.
- Why are grafted trees the most productive ones and who does not need grafting anyway.
- Design methods to beat the Fruit fly menace plus other pests & disease.
Peter has been designing these for 30 years in all sorts of situations & teaching fruit, cider & cheese classes for 20+ years.
This session will be followed by a grafting demonstration back at our stall about 1 hour later.
SUNDAY 11.45 AM
Sharan Rivett - Pepo Farms
SOCIAL FOOD AWARENESS
Pepo Farms are the first and only producers of pumpkin seeds in Australia and are proud to be a farm to plate company that produces pumpkin seeds for eating and a range of other seeds, nuts, oils and flours.
They practice sustainable farming using organic and biodynamic methods ensuring they are good custodians of the soil. This involves the team working with an agronomist to constantly look for natural ways to enrich the soil. The use of cover crops and other means such as carbon capture allow them to go beyond simply not using any herbicides or pesticides.
In this talk you will enjoy hearing about Sharan's personal journey though the food system. Pioneering an arigcultral food business in Australia, following family heritage to offer sustainable, locally grown produce. Inspiring health and nutrition, food security and social enterprising.
SUNDAY 12.45 PM
Penny - Ovens Landcare Network
NUTURING NATURE & INCREASING BIODIVERSITY
Landcare is a grassroots movement of groups and individuals who want to protect, enhance or restore the natural environment in their local community. Hear from local Landcare volunteers about:
- Designing native gardens and revegetation sites to create habitat for native mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects.
- What else can you add to your home or property to increase biodiversity.
- Where to find local resources and help to ensure the success of your work.
- Monitoring your local biodiversity through citizen science.
Kevin Beecroft - Biolink Probiotics 4 Plants
HOW MICROBES CAN HELP FARMS AND GARDENS
We live in a world looking for solutions to big issues like carbon and nutrient pollution, soil degradation and low efficiency and biodiversity. Through our on the ground testing and research at Biolink, we believe that introducing microorganisms to soil and animals helps to reconnect us, our soils and animals to a more natural system of nutrition.
We have developed a range of products to improve our soil and animals health and the environment we live in. We feel that they can be beneficial to many different types of situations to live sustainably.
Come along and hear our journey and how we might be able to help you live better.
SUNDAY 2.45 - 4.15 PM
Daryl Taylor and Panel (see below)
Off the Grid: Food, Water, Soil, Energy, Sovereignty, Governance, Housing and Health
A Being ‘Other-Wise’ integrated alternative futures conversation hosted by Daryl Taylor from Kinship and Adaptive Dynamics and featuring:
Elena Pereyra - Architect, Co-Housing Australia Co-Chair and Regenerative Development and Urban Commons consultant
Yin Paradies - Professor and Chair in Race Relations at Deakin University and Board Member of Regen Melbourne
Josh Floyd - Engineer, Energy, Systems and Society Fellow at The Rescope Project and Strategic Foresight practitioner
Serenity Hill - Regenerative Farmer and Co-Founder of Open Food Network and Director of Open Food Foundation