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Archive for March, 2008

Set amongst the picturesque hills of the Dorrigo plateau the abundance and beauty of Jenni’s garden inspires. Fresh food, flowers, fragrance abound; while fibre producing plants, the source of raw material and first principle for diverse creativity grow in and around the council approved grey water reed bed system. Symbiotic relationships with the land, plants, animals, reptiles, insects and the local community are interwoven and evolving in a celebration of life.

Passionate about sharing her experience, knowledge and skills on plant fibre use, Jenni conducts classes and weekend workshops at suitable venues in other areas. Imagine taking a walk to harvest sustainably grown plants that will with your energy become the hand-made paper for a book you bind with your own hands. . .. or perhaps a basket woven from the leaves of a collected plant. Maybe a story, moulded from clay, painted and fired in the kiln then composed as a mosaic.

Through utilizing the Earth’s gifts of fibre and clay as mediums of artistic expression and practical applications, Jenni encourages workshop participants of varying ages and abilities to explore their creativity. A process of effective change, creativity is an elegant use of energy. Workshops are conducted from the renovated dairy bales home, studio and small-scale paper mill surrounded by the gardens, enabling up to 12 people at one time to expand their creativity with supportive guidance and access to the extensively equipped studio.

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In 2007 this garden was the state individual winner in the inaugural Keep Australia Beautiful / Raine and Horne Sustainable Garden Challenge. To find out more contact Jenni Francis at PO Box 620, Dorrigo 2453, call (02) 66572625 or email jennifrancis@dorrigo.com

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Living Schools will be presenting an Introduction to Permaculture Design course on 19th and 20th of April at the Raymond Terrace Community Garden. As per our philosophy of hands-on experiential learning the course will provide the opportunity to get your hands dirty learning about:

  • Site assessment, sector analysis, zoning, systems design
  • Soil fertility management (incl. composting master class)
  • Urban food production (backyards and balconies)
  • Integrated pest management and companion planting
  • Water cycle management (xeriscaping, grey-water reuse, WSUD and rainwater harvesting)
  • Energy efficient home retrofit
  • Practical solutions for sustainable living

The course fee of $150 covers all course materials, as well as lunches, morning and afternoon teas. Please contact us through the website at www.livingschools.com.au if you would like to attend.

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In February the Glebe Community Garden again hosted Living Schools, this time for a weekend Introduction to Permaculture Design. The course was hands-on with lots of activities, including planting habitat for native birds, sowing seed, setting up a household worm-farm and designing a passive solar home retrofit. Of course the best bit was the many passionate conversations and sharing of skills and knowledge amongst participants. As one person put it: “What a wonderful weekend. I’m looking at the world around me with new eyes!”

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