I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published November 8th 2012
Western Australian sustainability groups will teach you how
With city life becoming increasingly busy and complex, growing one's own food has largely become a thing of the past in Australia. While even a few decades ago many urban families, as well as those in the country, maintained a vegetable garden, a few fruit trees and some chooks in a large backyard, these days fast food and supermarket veggies have all but hijacked our diets, and backyards have shrunk dramatically in size, due to the time taken to maintain them.
Despite such a dynamic, over recent years there has been an escalating movement in certain circles towards rediscovering the joys of home gardening. Spearheaded by popular television shows such as 'Better Homes and Gardens' and glossy gardening publications, local people are once again showing an interest in one of life's simple pleasures: growing the food which will eventually end up on our dinner table.
Locally, many garden, environment and community centres are doing their bit to educate us in the traditional art of home gardening, offering workshops in earth friendly organic gardening practices, worm farming, composting and much more. Some even offer special classes for young children. The following are two wonderful groups which are dedicated to educating people in Western Australia about food growing, sustainable gardening and caring for the environment.
Great Gardens Great Gardens was founded in 2003 with the goal of educating West Australians about living an environmentally conscious and sustainable lifestyle. Proudly sponsored by the Swan River Trust, the Water Corporation, Woodside and Landcare Solutions, the Great Gardens team provides workshops, training sessions and events around the state on a variety of topics relating to sustainability, including waterwise gardening, soil improvement and growing nutritious food with less resources. Great Gardens also offers a variety of courses designed for children of all ages, which are available either through schools or at the various events they conduct in the wider community. Incredibly, their workshops are totally free of charge.
For more information about Great Gardens and their upcoming seminars and events, along with some very practical sustainability tips, check out the Great Gardens website. You can also find out more by calling the Great Gardens hotline on 1300 884 764.
Beyond Gardens Beyond Gardens was begun by five of the original team members of the highly successful Great Gardens program, and according to its website 'aims to inspire, inform, and empower people to live sustainably' throughout metropolitan and regional Western Australia. Events have been held as far north as Kununurra in the eastern Kimberley region down to small hamlets in the state's far south, and isolated communities inland. The vast majority of the Beyond Gardens courses are free of charge and for those people who are unable to attend their seminars, they also provide education about water-wise gardening via e-learning.
Image is from the Beyond Gardens website, of a visit to the Kalbarri Primary School's garden.
Their fun and comprehensive seminars cover topics which are relevant to the home gardener including understanding and improving your local soil, principles of design, growing food at home, waterwise and fertilising tips, and gardening myths. Free refreshments are even included.
Image is from the Beyond Gardens website of a seminar at Albany, in the south of Western Australia.
To find out when the next Beyond Gardens seminar will be held in your area, check out their very informative website or give them a call on 1300 369 833.