Ovens & Murray Advertiser

Sharing food security ideas in adapting to climate change

- By CORAL COOKSLEY

AROUND 25 people took away valuable ideas from an inspiratio­nal visit to a local sustainabl­e food production property towards the end of last month.

The visit arose from a pruning workshop run by Beechworth’s Fay and Charlie Robinson held earlier this year for Wooragee Landcare members after the couple had invited the group to their property.

An informativ­e session given by the pair centred around food security with adaptation to climate change.

Wooragee Landcare’s Sue Brunskill said the invite had been a great opportunit­y to check out how the couple managed their property with resilience for changing times.

“Fay and Charlie are very generous with their time and knowledge and find what they do is important to share with the community,” she said.

Ms Brunskill said people from Yackandand­ah, Myrtleford, Indigo Valley and Wooragee had turned up on the day.

“Charlie and Fay encouraged people to add to the conversati­on as well,” she said.

A variety of areas were covered with talks stretched from composting, vegetable and orchard growing, preserving food to geese, sheep and chooks, to planning for bushfires, water conservati­on and storm water management.

Taking pride in growing their own food for self-sufficient living, Mr Robinson said composting is the key to growing good produce.

“Good food does not exist without good soil and composting is fundamenta­l,” he said.

Mr Robinson said the couple’s original concept in running their property had been about food and food security and they planned to keep going along that track until a recent Intergover­nmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report changed their minds to take on a broader approach.

“We need to talk about climate change mitigation and where food security fits into the climate change concept,” he said.

As the world was already in a climate change crisis, Mr Robisnson said now is the time to take adaptation measures for food security.

“Leaving the property if we can for prosperity, we would like to be seen as pioneers of climate change adaptation,” he said.

When the couple moved to Beechworth in 2007 being an education facility had been one of their main objectives.

With more than 2000 visitors since the passionate food growers opened their garden in 2008 starting with sustainabl­e house days, the Robinsons also participat­e in the in the annual Patch to Patch run by the Beechworth Urban Landcare and Sustainabi­lity group (BULS) and the Beechworth Food Co-operative.

The couple also open their garden for the Albury Wodonga Sustainabl­e Living Festival.

Wooragee Landcare member Maree Misson who attended on the day said the session had been terrific.

“We only have a small parcel of land and hearing from Charlie and Fay has been valuable,” she said.

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 ?? PHOTO: Coral Cooksley ?? ALL EARS: Beechworth’s Charlie Robinson (left) talks about composting to session goers while Wooragee Landcare member Maree Misson, and Sarah Hendriks on a visit from Oxford in the UK with her brother Oliver Hendriks from Melbourne who both grew up in Yackandand­ah take a close look. (Below) Attendees listen intently during one of the sessions.
PHOTO: Coral Cooksley ALL EARS: Beechworth’s Charlie Robinson (left) talks about composting to session goers while Wooragee Landcare member Maree Misson, and Sarah Hendriks on a visit from Oxford in the UK with her brother Oliver Hendriks from Melbourne who both grew up in Yackandand­ah take a close look. (Below) Attendees listen intently during one of the sessions.

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