At the Farm, our vision is for all to Live Sustainably. As we are a farm, many people think this only entails the gardening and land care aspects of sustainability. However, Permaculture considers the broader aspects of living on this earth and with each other. When designing this year’s education program for adults at our Winter Solstice Festival, we decided to explore the three Permaculture ethics. Hence, our program for this year will run across three tents: Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share. Throughout the afternoon, each tent will be hosting 4 hours worth of talks and workshops relevant to the Permaculture ethic the tent is named after.
In our Earth Care tent, we will be starting with a talk on Keeping Native Bees hosted by our own Mel Marx. Then you will be in for a treat with local gardening celebrity of ABC fame, Jerry Coleby-Williams, doing a talk on Growing in the Subtropics, followed by a full hour of Q&A. So bring in all those gardening questions you want answers too and hopefully Jerry can help you out with some ideas. The final talk in this tent, actually links Earth Care and People Care, as one of our more experienced and popular gardening educators, Adrian Holbeck teams up with Dr Sarah Lantz to talk on the link between soil health and gut health and the importance of both. Sarah may even have time to give a basic demonstration on how to make your own fermented foods with the leftover vegies in your fridge, before they reach the “toss them in the compost” stage.
People Care is important in Permaculture, because how can we live sustainably if we have poor relationships with ourselves and each other. This tent will host talks on a range of topics that will help us to develop our connection to self and others. Sustainable Relating by Tony Rowe and Anne Miller will offer tips on connecting and communicating our needs and vulnerabilities with each other. Then Andy Roy from Powerhouse Programs will explore the importance of Rites of Passage for Teens and how to support our teenage boys across this challenging transition into adulthood. Bill Lee-Emery from Evolve Australia will then be sharing strategies for using our multiple innate intelligences of our Head, Heart and Gut and how when they collaborate, we tend to make better decisions more aligned with our values. At the end of the day, Brisbane Independent School Principal Jen Haynes will be presenting a talk on how to develop a healthy relationship with your child that will support them on their path to becoming independent, confident learners at school.
The Fair Share principle is about taking what we need and redistributing what we don’t and sharing resources to minimise our impact. Developing a sustainable economy is all about fair share. This tent’s talks will be about ensuring that the decisions made around commerce and community governance are sustainable. The presenters will be exploring concepts of sustainable accountability in business and governance, through a talk by Nick and Thomas from the Accountability Institute in Victoria and in Erin Young’s Sociocracy workshop. There will also be a talk by Lara and Andrew from The Tiny House Company sharing what they’ve learned in developing houses with a smaller footprint. And another by UQ PhD student, Jason Hilder, who will be discussing the idea of Co-housing, and options for living in community that reduce our footprint on the Earth and save money and people’s sanity. I’m sure these talks will stimulate much conversation and solution focused thinking.
The only hard thing about the Winter Solstice Sustainable Living program is going to be deciding which talk to attend in each time slot. So come and celebrate Nature’s Abundance and enjoy our abundant education program.
Between the education program, our great live music acts featuring Mr Darren Percival and Wild Marmalade, dancing around the bonfire to the African drum beats of Spankinhide, and our kids and teens activitiy programs and workshops, we are going to have a packed house. Don’t miss out!