Monday, September 16, 2019

Wild Fennel's inaugural workshop

Working with our herbal allies

At our recent Wild Fennel dinner it was decided that this exciting new community group will meet on the third Saturday of each month.

Please join us:

Saturday 21st of September
9.30am -12.30pm
Senior Citizen's Kitchen, rear of Daylesford Town Hall

At the first Wild Fennel gathering we will have:

  • an introduction to harvesting, processing and storing herbs
  • a look at the foundational actions and how to use our physical senses to discern medicinal properties of plants
  • a closer look at calendula; medicinal actions, uses and how to make a calendula infused oil

Please bring along with you:

  • pen and paper to take notes
  • any herbs, plants, seeds or homemade remedies you would like to share at the end of the workshop 

This is a free gathering and everyone is welcome.

Each month, under the tutelage of herbalist Rosie Cooper, Wild Fennel will look at different aspects of herbal medicine and focus on a particular plant, with the intention of reclaiming herbal medicine as an accessible mode of healthcare for ourselves and our community to bring us into closer connection with the land and plants where we live.

We will continue to meet on the third Saturday of each month. For those who are on FB, here is the link to the Wild Fennel group:

And here is the link to the September event page:

* * *

Some reminders re upcoming events:

Tuesday Sept 17: Extinction Rebellion workshop and info session in Daylesford
Wednesday Sept 18: Daylesford #ClimateStrike Crafternoon
Friday Sept 20: Global Climate Strike, Melbourne
Saturday Oct 5: Daylesford Culture Club
Saturday Oct 12: Daylesford Community Food Gardens monthly working bee
Saturday Oct 19: Wild Fennel
Sunday Oct 20: Daylesford Repair Café

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Spring beginnings: our sap is on the rise

The Hepburn Relocalisation Network was established over 10 years ago by Su Dennett and Maureen Corbett with the aim of encouraging local community members to take responsibility for their carbon output and ecological footprint by organising skill sharing workshops, public events, local food dinners, speakers and film nights. HRN's aim has always been to empower people through knowledge sharing, up-skilling, personal accountability and community collectivism.

While HRN supports any action that attempts to put an end to carbon intransigence on a governmental level, we do not encourage households to take a 'business as usual' approach while hoping the government takes action on our behalf. We are not victims unable to take responsibility for ourselves.

Our mother earth is suffering and it is everybody's responsibility to attend to her healing: to embed our hearts, actions and families in the local much more than the global, to reduce our carbon outputs by riding our bikes, walking, taking public transport more and only flying if we really have to, to divest from institutions that fund fossil fuels and destructive projects, to boycott companies that put profit before people and biotas.

We are endorsing the grass roots Extinction Rebellion movement and the Global Climate Strike while we continue to work at the household and community levels.

Extinction Rebellion Hepburn Shire information session

Extinction Rebellion (XR) is an international socio-political movement whose aim is to use civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance to protest against climate breakdown, biodiversity loss, and the risk of social and ecological collapse.

Citing inspiration from grassroots movements XR aims to rally support worldwide around a common sense of urgency to tackle climate breakdown.

Please join us for an XR info session + workshop:

Tuesday September 17 
Senior Citizen's Hall (behind the Daylesford Town Hall)

Please bring a plate of supper to share.
This is a free event.
You can RSVP here:

* * *

Global Climate Strike

We celebrate, cherish, honour and respect this beautiful planet of ours. It's time to let our government know we will not tolerate pollution, destruction or disrespect of our world any longer. Let us unite in our voices and march for the sake of every living being now and to come.

Friday 20 September
2pm - 4pm
Treasury Gardens, Spring Street, Melbourne
Jen Bray has created a FB page called Daylesford will be there! Sep 20 Climate Rally 

We have a goal to see over 140 people from Daylesford attend this rally. This figure represents 3.5% of our population, which has been said to be the tipping point number for peaceful protests to start to make real impact on government decision making. In March 1.6 million Australians rallied for the climate. This Strike aims to take that figure to a whole other level.

Students have invited everyone to join them for the biggest ever global #ClimateStrike on Sep 20, three days before the UN Emergency Climate Summit in New York. 
Can you help us reach our target of 140 Daylesfordians (and district) at the Climate Rally on 20 Sep? 
Make a sign! Catch a train! Bring your friends! Have a fun day while we collectivise our voices for the sake of our planet.

* * *

Daylesford Crafternoon - #ClimateStrike

HRN is hosting a crafternoon session to make banners and signs for the September 20 #GlobalClimateStrike!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019
3:30pm - 5:30pm
Daylesford Dharma School (prep class room)
90 Daylesford-Trentham Road, Daylesford

Join us for a creative, fun and purposeful afternoon in the prep classroom of the Dharma School.

BYO paint, brushes, cardboard and other banner materials you may need.

Entry by gold coin donation to the Dharma School's Plant a Tree fundraiser.

Thanks to Fe Porter for running this crafty session.

* * *

Asking Hepburn Shire Council to be truthful

This Tuesday night at Hepburn Shire Council's ordinary meeting in Trentham, HRN co-facilitator Meg Ulman will be asking two questions:

1. The former NSW fire chief, Greg Mullins, recently said in relation to climate change, the horse has truly bolted. 50 fires were burning in NSW in the first week of spring and it's not even an El Nino year. 14,000 homes burnt in California last summer, 9,000 the year before. This new reality is upon us too. Hepburn Shire is rated as the second most fire prone region in the state. Does Hepburn Shire Council unanimously agree that there is a climate emergency?

2. For the sake of our children, future generations and for the sake of life itself, will Hepburn Shire Council stand with over 1,000 other councils around the world, representing over 222 million people, and formally declare a climate emergency?

If you would like to send letters in support of Hepburn Shire's climate emergency declaration, please email to let them know.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

So much good stuff!

Hi everyone!

Just a reminder that the Wild Fennel herbal group is having its very first gathering this Friday the 23rd of August.

6.30pm - 8.30pm
6 Tierneys Lane, Daylesford
BYO dish to share for dinner (with as many local ingredients as possible) plus a plate & cutlery.
Please note this is a waste free event so no single use plastic please.

No need to RSVP, just come along!

* * *

Community food is serious business!!

Thank you once again to Serge, Jacques, Brenna, Charlie and everyone else involved in growing, picking, and sharing the amazing Captain's Creek organic veggies with the local community.

L-R: Brenna, Jaques & Charlie (Pic from Brenna's FB page)

The veggies were given away for a gold coin donation which went to HRN. Over $130 was raised. Thank you everyone!

* * *

September Culture Club

The next exciting Culture Club gathering will be an excursion to Herbal Lore Liqueurs.
Please join us on Saturday September 7 from 10am - 12pm at Lot 2 Railway Crescent Daylesford.

Owners Roger & Sue will discuss health, wellness and herbs and of course the fermentation process they employ to make their alcohols. They will also provide an enjoyable tasting of their herbal liqueurs, all of which have been crafted using a combination of carefully selected herbs to fulfil a particular health benefit.

We hope you will join us.

* * *
Planting a bushfoods garden

Community Gardener Patrick Jones with Bruce Pascoe at the Daylesford Library Community Garden, 2016

Inspired by Bruce Pascoe’s critical work, Dark Emu, The Daylesford Community Food Gardeners seek to honour, help repair and reinstate the intellectual & cultural heritage of the Dja Dja Wurrung through the creation and cultivation of a bushfoods garden along the north facing wall of the library at the Albert Street garden. They are currently looking for an enthusiastic gardener to lead this regenerative growing initiative. If you are interested in applying for this voluntary position, please email

* * *

Natural Building Course

Castlemaine Community House is offering a practical introduction to the world of natural building.

Learn resourceful and ecologically-centred construction through fun building projects around the community garden and get some more tools under your belt for resilience and self-sufficiency.

Develop a confidence in building that you can apply to any backyard sustainability project or incorporate into permaculture design systems.

Such projects are many and varied and may include earth pizza ovens and outdoor kitchens, garden seating and landscaping, animal shelters, potting sheds, planters and wicking beds, solar dehydrators, compost bays and cold frames, setting up netting and shade systems, building a composting toilet, beehives or even a garden studio or summer sleep-out!

Natural building techniques and concepts covered:

Understanding the principles of passive solar, thermal mass and insulation, breathability, seasonality, building appropriately for climate, embodied energy and ethical resourcing.

Learn cob construction, bottle walling, light earth, sustainable carpentry, foundations and drainage for small structures, and natural finishing techniques such as clay/lime renders and plasters.

Throughout the 8 week course there will be information on sourcing materials, a survey of traditional and resurgence natural building, theory and demonstrations, Q & A sessions and lots of hands-on practice to really come to grips with the materials and techniques.

Dates: 7th October – 25th November (8 weeks)
When: Mondays 9am – 4pm
Where: Castlemaine Community House, 30 Templeton Street.
Fee: $350 (payment plans available)
Tutor: Perri Campbell

For more information and to enrol:

* * *

Networks for Action

Transition Australia is hosting a convergence in Melbourne next month. Meg Ulman and Nikki Marshall will be attending on behalf of HRN and Localising Leanganook to spruik all the wonderful initiatives our region has going on, and to learn from other communities.
For more info.
For bookings.

* * *

Goathand gathering

Brad, Vasko and Patrick from Goathand co-operative are hosting a community working bee and lunch gathering. People are invited to come and learn what goats and shepherds with loppers can achieve together. A warming forest fire with endless hot drinks will keep our late winter labours well accompanied.

The 16 co-op goats have been on this site for a few months, and we’d like to do a final chop-n-drop session to leave the site looking wonderful. This is a cultural and learning day, so feel free to bring the whole family, an instrument or two and any friends who are interested in learning about community managed forests, goatherding and ecologically sensitive weed and bushfire mitigation in a climate change era.

Saturday August 31 between 10am and 2pm
Please bring a plate of food to share for lunch and any loppers, secateurs or pruning saws you may have.
Please contact goathand co-op for the exact location.

* * *

Annual Yandoit Shindig

Once again the good folk at Yandoit Farm are hosting an annual gathering for Central Victorian permies, gardeners, homesteaders, back-to-the-landers, suburban-retrofitters, farmers, conservationists, natural builders, local food lovers, neighbours, allies, and curious minds.

This is an opportunity to spend an afternoon & evening catching up with old friends and making new ones. Kids are welcome but need to be supervised at all times as this is a working farm with the potential risks that go along with that. Please leave dogs at home (assistance dogs excepted).

You are very welcome to come early for a swim in the dam or come prepared and camp overnight! (If camping, please let Michael know) Please also feel free to invite like-minded friends to come along. This informal event was created a couple of years ago to strengthen links between permaculture communities and individuals around towns like Ballarat, Castlemaine, Daylesford, Bendigo, Ballan and other parts of central Victoria. If you know people who might like to join in, let them know!

Saturday, 16 November from 4pm
Yandoit Farm, Yandoit
BYO food & drinks, musical instruments, comfy chairs and rugs
Facebook event page

Monday, August 5, 2019

The last harvest of the season + Frenemy Fire

Hello vegetable lovers!

The crew at Captain's Creek Organics are just about to harvest the last of the season's veggies: carrots, beets, cabbages, radishes, leeks, onions, silverbeet, and everybody's favourite: weird looking broccoli.

From 1pm to 5pm this coming Wednesday (August 7), at 16 Fourteenth Street Hepburn, you can come and take as many organic veggies as you'd like for a gold coin donation to HRN.

Please note the veggies will be picked on the day, and will be unwashed. Please bring your own boxes/bags.

Many thanks to Serge for growing the veggies, and to Jacques for co-ordinating the picking and sharing.

See you Wednesday arvo!

* * *

Internationally renowned environmental historian Stephen J. Pyne is visiting Castlemaine while on tour in Australia. Professor Pyne will be giving a talk at Phee Broadway Theatre on

Thursday 8th August 
6.30pm - 8.30pm

Entitled 'Frenemy Fire: the best of friends, the worst of enemies,' Stephen's talk will draw on his work on the history of fire in Australia and globally, along with his experience as a fire fighter, to discuss how we can best live with fire as a friend, not just an enemy.

Stephen is one of the first authors to explore fire stick farming (indigenous use of fire for shaping the land). Stephen’s stories weave together fire science, fire history and cultures of fire across the ages and across the globe.

This event will provide practical ways that people living in central Victoria can understand fire management as it relates to them.

Stephen is Emeritus Professor at Arizona State University, and a much sought after speaker on fire. You can catch watch his TED Talk for a preview.

    You can book tickets at:

    Tickets are $12 or $10 (concession and Fryerstown residents).

    Light supper is included.

    Look forward to seeing you there.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Introducing Wild Fennel: Hepburn Herbal Group

Rosie Cooper is mad about plants. She forages them, she grows them, she drinks them, she eats them, she infuses them and she decocts them.

As of this coming spring, Rosie Cooper, practicing herbalist from Rare Beauty Botanicals in Guildford, will be facilitating a free monthly herbal group where participants will be taught to make their own tinctures, teas, oils, balms, infusions, love potions, herbal first aid kits, flower essences and herbal honey remedies.

Are you as excited about this as we are?! To kick things off Wild Fennel is hosting a potluck dinner where we will decide where and when to meet on a regular basis, and what we'd like to learn from Rosie during the first gathering, come springtime.

The details of the dinner are:
Friday August 23
6.30pm - 8.30pm
6 Tierneys Lane, Daylesford
BYO dish to share for dinner (with as many local ingredients as possible) plus a plate & cutlery.
No need to RSVP, just come along.
Please note this is a waste free event so no single use plastic please.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Let's make mead

This is a watch and learn workshop.
No bookings required - just rock up on the day.
This is a free event - everyone is welcome.
See you there! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Olive curing

This is a watch and learn workshop.
No bookings required - just rock up on the day.
This is a free event - everyone is welcome.
See you there!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Community immunity wrap up

There was not a sneeze or a cough in sight at the last Culture Club, as we chopped, poured, stirred and tasted a variety of health giving immune boosting ferments. Mara Ripani, thank you for coming to share your black garlic recipe and for taking these beautiful photographs.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Community immunity, community repair

This is a watch and learn workshop. No bookings required. Just rock up on the day.

* * *

So your toaster isn't working, your duffel coat has lost a button, your bike needs new brake cables and your pocket knife is blunt. Have you heard about the Daylesford Repair Café? It's on the third Sunday of each month from 1pm till 4pm at the pavilion at Victoria Park in Daylesford. Come along and bring your items that need mending. There will be tea, coffee and cakes to be enjoyed too. Email for more info. See ya there!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Community Krauting Day wrap up

And it's a wrap!

Thank you to the cabbages, thank you to Edward + Serge for growing them. Thank you to the soil, the sun +  earth, thank you to the salt, the wild microbes, the jars and the crocks. Thank you to the 40 people who came along to share, laugh, pound and squeeze. Thank you to Mara Ripani for catching the tail end of the day with her signature beautiful photos, and to Blackwood Ulman Jones for the video at the end of this post (that you'll need to click through to the blog to see (if you are reading this in your inbox)).