The Broome Sustainable Gardening and Living Fest ran from June to August 2021 and celebrated local knowledge, resources and food. It did this through hands on workshops and an aim to improve local resilience and self-sufficiency.
Our teachers were permaculture gurus Jeff Nugent and Geoff Tonkin and local permaculture practitioner Wendy Albert (from Windjana Wellness ). Having great teachers allowed us to deliver four permaculture courses. In addition, we ran courses on earth bricks, seed saving and organic gardening, aromatherapy and biochar. Firstly, a prelude workshop on native bees delved into a secret world of joy and honey (presented by Beezotted). After that, we launched The Broome Sustainable Gardening and Living Fest at a concert with The Mexicans. Lastly, we finished with a bike tour of several Cable Beach verge gardens, giving inspiration to share and grow.
We shared learnings and local successes, and discussed ways to improve resilience. For instance, have you thought about saving water and creating humanure by using a composting toilet? Another was making fertilisers using chicken manure, bokashi, composting worm farms and biochar. Overall, the workshops inspired new ideas and provided a call to action.
A visit to Wendy’s permaculture garden showed us a wonderful way of working with nature. She lets native trees grow tall, to create a high, open canopy that allows good airflow and dappled light. Subsequently, the trees protect and support an understorey of low lying herbs, fruits and veggies.
The Sustainable Gardening and Living Fest was part of our Plot to Plate project, funded through a National Landcare Program Smart Farms grant. Plot to Plate aims to establish a coordinated network of local producers and community groups. The network, in turn, will support better access to food, deliver workshops and build communal spaces that increase nutritional, physical and mental health benefits.