Our annual Forum this year, held at CERES Community Environment Park, focused on Sustainable Gardening. It proved to be enormously popular, booking out early with late-comers joining a waiting list. CERES, with its huge variety of environmentally-friendly and sustainable practices was the ideal venue.
Our speakers included Karen Sutherland from Edible Eden Design imparting her knowledge of companion planting especially to encourage beneficial insects. Angelica Cameron from IPM Technologies described her experience as an advisor to the agriculture industry promoting integrated pest management and how we can apply this in the home garden. Finally Belinda Kennedy from CERES took us through all the various ways they recycle materials on site in organic and chemical-free ways to minimise waste going to landfill. Their composting process and garden bed preparation was her particular focus. Both Angelica and Belinda touched on the challenges they faced in gaining the trust of a largely male clientele and management respectively, in the course of their work.
Afterwards, a delicious salad lunch was provided by the Merri Cafe whilst attendees used this networking opportunity to catch up with friends and meet new friends in the industry. They took home with them a sample bag of goodies from Circular Food and HALS: worm juice fertiliser and biochar products which help protect the environment and add valuable and natural nutrients to our soils. We wish to thank our donors Steve Morriss at Circular Food and Emma Szabados at HALS for contributing to our very successful event. A big thank you also to CERES for making their venue available to us and for donating a Gift Voucher to our Raffle prizes.