Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hannah at Permaculture Convergence

Published 2nd October, 2010

We have seen Daryl Hannah featured in the newspaper recently and some of us had probably not take too much notice of why she came to this region. Last Sunday I attended the Australian Permaculture Convergence (APC10) Dinner on a beautiful evening in the grounds of the Rudolph Steiner School in Kuranda where Daryl was the guest speaker. Of the 300 dinner guests most of them had attended the convergence over the past week with Daryl and were privy to some exciting information on permaculture and key-line agricultural methodology that is gaining momentum around the world.

With a stellar cast of international speakers, the convergence was simply about a new (or should I say ‘old’) way to grow our food. “Simply” meaning - less artificial inputs (oil, chemical fertilizers & pesticides, etc) and more natural inputs (bio-fuels, compost, land/soil regeneration) to grow healthy food.

Daryl’s “Love Life” farm in California runs its tractors and machinery on a bio-diesel of used peanut oil, and her sustainable permaculture methods of producing foods and caring for her animals does not buy-in to the escalating cost of petro-chemical fertilizers and pesticides that has most farmers’ in-debt to their banks.

These methods also include the traditional saving of the best seeds from one crop to plant the next crop rather than purchasing GM seeds that are often designed for other characteristics over flavour and with no ability to reproduce future crops. The uptake of using heritage seeds is bringing back the flavour of ‘how it used to taste’ in vegetables that Daryl was obviously familiar with.

It was quite apparent that the surprisingly demure, environmental activist; Daryl had warmed to Tropical North Queensland and to the people she had met over the month in the region. The feeling was mutual for this lady who had a great message to tell about a low impact lifestyle.

This week from Friday 1st to Sunday 10th October is National Organic Week, themed ‘Be Organic: Taste the Difference, Feel the Difference, Make a Difference.’ The annual event highlighting and promoting the country’s growing organic industry, which is forecast to be one of the fastest growth industries in Australia this year. Now in its third year, industry associations the Centre for Organic & Resource Enterprises and Biological Farmers of Australia are hosting and promoting National Organic Week.

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