Australian flower workshop and tour

Gwen Sanders’ stunning flowers light up the Grow Lightly Green Grocer and Grow Lightly’s market stalls. On Sunday 27 October Gwen will run two workshops at the property she and Peter manage together at Bena.

What are some of the best Australian natives to grow for cutting? What do the flowers look like? What growing conditions do they prefer? When do they flower? What must be considered when picking native flowers for bunches? How do you prepare flowers for bunching? How can you propagate your own? What’s the best propagating mix to use for Australian natives?

Find out the answers to these questions and more; revel in a guided walk around Gwen and Peter’s three acres of Australian garden; explore Gwen’s glasshouse and propagation systems;  and enjoy afternoon tea and a chat in glorious South Gippsland surroundings.

Book on Eventbrite for one of these times:

·         1pm – 3.30pm

·         2.30pm – 5pm

Limit of 12 per session. Cost $25.

All proceeds to Grow Lightly

Moving ahead with Grow Lightly

We invite all who have an interest in local food for local people and in the future of Grow Lightly in Commercial Street to come to a meeting in the Community Meeting Room, (next to the Library) 12.30 Sunday, 25 August.

Have a cuppa and nibbles with us, find out more about all the things we do, and be there for a discussion from 1 to 3pm.
If you are a grower, or hope to grow for us in the future, please stay for a bit longer – we have special information for growers which we will keep until then!

Recently a report on climate change and land use, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), tells us that it will be impossible to keep global temperatures at safe levels unless there is also a transformation in the way the world produces food and manages land.
Grow Lightly, with its army of volunteers, has been working on ways of boosting local food and consumption for about fourteen years. Maybe you’ve been involved – by buying a weekly vegiebag, or ordering bulk produce online, or attending a cooking or gardening workshop or some other activity at the Food Hub near Coal Creek, or shopping at a market stall or in the Grow Lightly Green Grocer, in Korumburra’s main street.
It is almost a year since Grow Lightly took its green grocer business to Commercial Street. In that time we have added many more growers, expanded our range of produce, increased sales and created a new, vibrant and welcoming community centre into the heart of Korumburra. We have appointed wonderful staff and are really proud of their what they are doing. In short we are proud of what we have achieved.

But the Commercial Street shop faces an uncertain future. We have tried at all times to offer our produce at affordable prices and pay our producers well. However other costs are such that the future of the shop is in doubt. Without the main street premises many of our other projects will also be in doubt. We have a number of options but we really need to hear from the Korumburra community about how we can attract broader help to secure the future of the Commercial street shop. We invite all who have an interest in local food for local people and in the future of Grow Lightly in Commercial Street to come to a meeting in the Community Meeting Room, (next to the Library) 12.30 Sunday, 25 August. Have a cuppa and nibbles with us, find out more about all the things we do, and be there for a discussion from 1 to 3pm.
If you are a grower, or hope to grow for us in the future, please stay for a bit longer – we have special information for growers which we will keep until then!
Everyone is welcome. We need your ideas and help.
Please RSVP to Suzi, shop@growlightly.com.au .

Climate Risk in Agriculture Conference

Grow Lightly had a presence at this Conference put on by West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA), which aimed to explore climate change and what it means for farmers. There was an outstanding lineup of speakers, and lots of like minded people present.

Aboriginal elder Lloyd Hood welcomed us to Gunaikurnai country. and explained how we all need to care for each other and the land. Later on Mark Howden referred to the fact that traditional owners of the land have gone through climate change in the last ice age. Something I had never thought of before.

Portrait of Elder Lloyd Hood by Angela Lynkushka. I acknowledge the State Library of Victoria as the source of the work. Uncle Lloyd welcomed us to country.

The keynote speaker Mark Howden Director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University and Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was inspirational, not afraid to look facts in the face (climate change is already dragging agriculture’s productivity back by around 20%), but also asking how we can make an opportunity out of climate change and demonstrating that farmers themselves have lots of the solutions at their fingertips. He showed that our values affect our ways of adapting to climate risk. His main message was one of hope that the agricultural sector can do a lot more than it is to mitigate climate change.

Hallora farmer, Niels Olsen, spoke on a panel of farmers about increasing productivity and #carbonfarming. Niels Olsen is the inventor of Soilkee Renovator which increases soil carbon – and his farm business is the first to be paid for soil carbon through a government regulated system. “The livestock we’re looking after is the livestock under the soil.” Also on the panel were Jen Ribolli who spoke about having a positive impact on the planet through regenerative farming and Clydebank farmer Sandra Jefford who spoke about the work she and her husband are doing to generate their own energy and grow nutritious feed for their cattle.

There was so much more. The conference was live tweeted which you can see at this link (you need a twitter account to see this). It was so interesting to see many of the ideas that Grow Lightly is about, for example on the importance of providing nutritious food sustainably, were confirmed. Videos of the presentations will be available soon. Watch this space!