GreenFriends Australia - Living Consciously Project
"The Food Forest" - Permaculture Farm Visit
On February 6th 2011, as part of the GreenFriends “Living Consciously Project”, devotees from Adelaide Satsang Group attended a tour of the Food Forest − a Permaculture farm and study centre in Gawler, South Australia. A group of 20 people attended. The weather was perfect and the day was highly informative and inspirational.
The principles of Permaculture align with the “Living Consciously Project”. They provide an ethical framework for designing environmentally sustainable farms, gardens, buildings and communities. Based on a philosophy of co-operation with nature and each other, Permaculture aims to create sustainable systems of family and community living. This includes growing organic food using low impact production and distribution techniques; passive solar building design; clean energy production; rain harvesting and water conservation; recycling and waste management; and fostering biodiversity and symbiotic relationships in nature.
The Food Forest is widely regarded as the best working example of a Pemaculture farm in Australia – producing over 150 organically grown varieties of fruit, nuts, vegetables, wheat, free range eggs, honey, carob beans, Australian native foods, and nursery plants. Through their living example and the various study courses held at the Food Forest, owners Annemarie and Graham Brookman demonstrate how an ordinary family can grow its own food and create a productive and diverse living environment, in harmony with Mother Nature.
There was something for everyone to be inspired by. Many of the practices employed can be adopted in any family home and garden. The overall picture was one of working with reverence for, and with the flow of Nature − in sync with ecological cycles.
The Brookman’s travelled through 40 countries on a quest to learn about sustainable land use, but actually stumbled across the Permaculture design system back in Australia after their return. This element of their story draws parallels with the spiritual understanding that we can travel far and wide in search of Truth only to find it was and always will be right on our own doorstep.