Saturday, December 24, 2011

Peak Oil Ball & 1st workshop of the year

The Mayor's Peak Oil Ball drew a diverse crowd. Quiz Master Rick Tanaka, in his inimitable style, and team mate David Holmgren (below with Laurel and Gabe) brought a few more hidden facts to light.

Beth (centre), natural fibre prize winner 

Miri and Clay recycled  outfit prize winners
Hubbard's Peak by Maureen

Thank you to everyone who came and contributed to the fun of the evening and to the Mayor's Climate Change Fund.

The first workshop of the year will be held on January 13th at Melliodora and will be on creating a clay floor. The workshop will be lead by James Henderson and there will be only 6 places. There will be some preparation leading up to the day which will require participants to be available for a couple of hours during the week before the workshop day (TBA). Expressions of interest should be sent to HRN. More details to come.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Solstice Party

Well, the summer solstice is just around the corner so come and celebrate at Melliodora under the pear tree on Thursday December 22nd after 5pm.

Please bring a plate of your homegrown/preserved goodies turned into your favourite dish or drink or a meat dish from wild or homegrown/home killed source. No pets please. For more info contact us.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Peak Oil Ball

Click for bigger
Come and help support the Mayor’s Emergency Climate Fund to help Hepburn Shire communities with emergency relief for climate-related disasters such as fire, flood, winds, etc, and innovation in renewable energy.

Date: Saturday 3 December 2011
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: The Palais, 111 Main Road, Hepburn Springs
Tickets: Dinner and Show: $65. $600 per table of 10
Show Only: $25 - at the door on the night
Music by the Cartwheels Big Band
Quiz by Rick Tanaka
Drinks at bar prices

  • Prize for best recycled outfit
  • Prize for best local natural fibre outfit
  • Prize for who ever walked to the event from the furthest away

Book at the The Palais, 111 Main Road, Hepburn Springs
Ph: 5348 4849

Another date or your diaries is December 10 when SBS gardening guru Costa will be in town to help launch the Hepburn Wholefood Co-op.

A PS from last time about Seed Saving. The Seed Savers Handbook is usually $32 but for orders of 4 or more it is $19, so please email Liz on by 4 December if you'd like to add yourself to a bulk order. $19 if you drop off your money in a (second hand) envelope with your name on it to Melliodora, 16 Fourteenth Street, Hepburn, $21 if you pay afterwards, to cover costs.

Also mentioned at the film night was the possibility of a bulk buy of some of Juliette de Baircli Levy's books about dog health and Farm and Stable. Unfortunately we haven't found any bulk buy options, so perhaps instead you could look at purchasing them from ABE books, a website that collects together suppliers of second hand books.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Peak Oil Ball & Saving Seeds

Hi all,

Firstly just a bit of housekeeping: the Community Dinner that was scheduled for tonight has been cancelled due to lack of numbers. In the future if you would like to see such events go ahead, please make sure you book in advance.

The next upcoming event is the Mayor's Peak Oil Ball on Saturday Dec 3 at the Palais. Details to come.

Thank you to everyone who turned up for the screening of Juliette of the Herbs at the Savoia. What a lovely film and what a lively discussion afterwards. Thanks to Margot for being the scribe. Here are the notes from the night:

How do we create a culture of seed saving and swapping?

Save seeds from our home gardens and community gardens.

Swap them at community garden working bees and at the monthly harvest swap meets.

Be careful as cross pollination can occur between some plants eg: zuccini, squash and pumpkins. Daikon crossed with wild raddish makes a useless root.

Growing successful plants means they are better adapted to a specific area, but they can lose the individual characteristics the plant started with.

Adaptability vs quality.

Rijk Zwaan is a Musk-based seed company that specialises in breeding and supplying vegetable seed for commercial cultivation. Maybe we could have an excursion out to see how they their company operates.

To save seeds make sure you identify what they are:
  •     Variety
  •     Lineage (how long you have been growing the plant)
  •     Where the plant was grown (wet or dry part of town)
  •     When the plant was harvested
  •     What type of soil the plant was grown in
  •     How was the plant fertilised?
  •     Was the plant grown in sun or shade?
Perhaps we could have a communal stamp made up with all the info we need to know about seeds. Variety, shade, frost sensitive etc.. Just like regular seed packages.

Do we want to have a centralised shire seed bank?

The Seed Savers' Handbook by Michel and Jude Fanton

Monday, November 7, 2011

Reminder for Pardon My Carbon and community dinner

The Rod Quantock show is this Thursday. Please let us know by tomorrow if you would like to join an HRN table for what promises to be an entertaining night. BYO dinner (local of course) and drinks to share.

And the Community Dinner is on November 16th which is the following Wednesday. Book if you would like to join us so that we can set table.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Old Is New Again, Transition Conference in Melbourne, Rod Quantock in Daylesford & film night this Thursday

Well, just take a look at the Automatic Earth blog: October 30 2011: Reviving the Department of Subsistence Homesteads and discover 'the solutions' from the States to the1933 great depression...anything look familiar?

You can watch Nicole Foss explaining finance - highly informative but give yourself a free evening and a nice snack before you settle in. Or shall we do a film night so we can talk about it?

You may be interested in this MAV Transition Conference but if you can't get there (or it is a stress on the finances), contact a Councillor or Shire officer to suggest they go.

SHARE is hosting Rod Quantock again so if you want to join us on the HRN table, let us know. The cost is $19/head.

Oh, and don't forget film night this Thursday and in preparation, think about what seeds you have or could collect to swap/gift this year.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Garden Party

This is just a reminder about the Garden Party this Sunday at Rea Lands Park.

The weather is forecast to be 20˚C and very spring-like, so bring a picnic and rug, your loved ones and come on down!

There was a bit of a rush on the seedlings we had for sale yesterday so not everybody got what they needed. Florian will have a seedling stall at the Sunday market this week so maybe you could pick some up some from him then. Alternatively, please order some (see list here) through HRN and they will probably be here next Wednesday with bulk foods.

Don't forget that this Thursday, November 3rd we'll be watching Juliette of the Herbs at the Savoia at 7.30pm. Regular menu available.

See you Sunday, folks!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Juliette of the Herbs and Community dinner

Thursday, November 3rd at the Savoia at 7.30pm join us to see Juliette of the Herbs

Our discussion afterwards will be on seed saving and creating a seed bank.

Also, put November 16th (Wednesday) in your diaries for our community dinner at the Town Hall accompanied by music and a spot of dancing. More on that soon ......

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Local happenings

Hey all, it seems that a lot of us have been really flat of late but there a bunch of things happening to go to that could get us smiling again. Try some of these...

This Saturday pop up to Jubilee Lake between 12 and 3pm to celebrate the new lessee of the Jubilee Lake Caravan Park - a residents' co-operative! Congratulations Hepburn Shire for giving them the lease! HRN will have a stall there.

Paul Hawken
If you want to hear Paul Hawken, he will be in Bendigo October 28th as guest of the Bendigo Sustainability Group. Email us if you want to be part of a table. (It is expensive I know but hey, it could be worth it.) We will be car pooling across.

Then, Daylesford Community Gardeners are hosting a garden party Sunday October 30 between 10 and 3pm. Oh what fun! Bring a picnic or enjoy some Ego Culinaria tucker while reclining on the grass with friends.

Also, starting in November are a series of bicycle maintenance workshops at the Neighbourhood House between 2 and 4pm on the last three Saturdays. Great idea if you have an old bike you would like to zip into shape for Critical Mass (last Friday of the month at 5pm at the Daylesford Primary School).

And Keeping it Local: Local Wardrobe is a nice little clip on local clothing, something I neglected when Ken Warren asked the question about transitioning and local clothing at a recent film night. Here is what a small group is doing.

And coming film night Juliette of the Herbs and a community dinner.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Upcoming Workshops

to extend your transitioning capabilities
Advanced Permaculture Principles Design 2 days, November 30 - December 1st
Principles & Reading Landscapes Course with David Holmgren.

Bicycle Maintenance for Beginners with Nick Sara. 3 sessions. Saturdays from November 12. 2 - 4pm. $50 for all 3 or $20 per session. Bookings: 5348 3569.

Shoe making with Duncan McHarg 3 days, February 11, 18, 25th cost $200 (subsidised by the Hepburn Shire). 8 places only.

Food Preserving with Su Dennett. March 2012. 1 day. 8 places only. date & cost TBA.

Fungi with Alison Pouliot. Autumn 2012 date & cost TBA.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

1st Central Victorian Permaculture Gathering & Equinox Dinner

We are already in September and spring is showing her beautiful head! Many blossoms are incredibly early and the warmth has been deceptively seductive!

The equinox is not far away (Sept 23rd this year) and we would love to celebrate it all together at Conti on Thursday September 22nd. It will be sustainable eating out principles as usual (set menu, $15/person, bookings essential). Even though it is the spring lean time, we are hoping to have as much local produce as possible. We will have a discussion about Energy Descent Planning and give you a run down on some of the projects around town that fit beautifully for a great future. Book soon

On 17th September 2011 the first Central Victorian Permaculture Gathering will be held at Winters Flat Primary School in Castlemaine. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Films, films, films- Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - THIS WEEK

There's a feast of films showing at the Daylesford Town Hall ..... two sessions 6.30pm and 8.30pm. If you have missed some of the films shown by HRN that you really wanted to see, here is the opportunity to see:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Energy Descent Action Planning

HRN does most things that are in line with the transition to a simpler lifestyle to encourage the strong development of a cohesive, self reliant and socially just community.

Informed by the rapidly emerging energy descent future after many generations of the 'big is better' view of progress 'fuelled' by energy ascent, it is often hard to imagine what energy descent might look like. Even more challenging is how we might think positively and plan to not only survive but thrive in a future with less energy. This light hearted FAQ helps explain energy descent and action planning. If you have any comments or feedback, we can develop it into a joint paper that may be useful for all of us to send to friends and family.

Transitioning is happening in the Shire in many small and meaningful ways which are the basis for people to really embrace bite sized changes in their lives on an ongoing basis to achieve the larger goal of adapting to, and even enjoying, a lower energy future.

Join some of the things happening around eg SHAre activities, the Community Gardens, the Central Highlands Goat Club, the Daylesford & District Horticulture Society to name just a few or/and start something with your friends/family/playgroup.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Film night # 41 and Words in Winter book launch

Words in Winter is a celebration of some of our local wordsmiths with a few imports to round things off. From Clunes to Trentham, there is something local for everyone so hop on your bike and pedal along to your nearest gig.

In Daylesford, August 12th at 7pm, Melliodora Publishing will launch Permaculture Pioneers, Stories from the New Frontier at the Neighbourhood Centre new classroom. Talk to the editors, some of the authors and the publishers. Get an insight into the people and the process.

And while you are there, watch Anima Mundi, a new film by Warburton filmaker Peter Charles Downey. Discuss the film with Peter, Adam Grubb from Permablitz and our own David Holmgren. Film starts at 8.15pm.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Monday 6.30 ....discussion group at Library (first of three)

    As a followup to the Transition Towns Training that was held at the town hall in May, and the decision on the part of that group for an 'official' Transition Towns process to begin for the Hepburn Shire, SHARE has set up a Transition Handbook (Rob Hopkins) discussion group.
      The group will meet three times only over the next three months on the SECOND MONDAY EVENING of JULY, AUGUST & SEPTEMBER AT the DAYLESFORD LIBRARY from 6.30 to 8pm. Bring along an interested friend. We are studying one section per month, beginning with our HEADS (as per the Handbook)..... Read the relevant section before the night.
    If you would like to know more you can email Laurel Freeland on or call her on 5309 2664
If you get this email and visit our blog and have not read the Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins, now is a good time to do it. This book will help you make sense of HRN activities as they are all actively part of the transition process. The book is available from HRN at $27 (if you can't find one to borrow).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Solstice Dinner

What a night we had at our dinner!

The musicians set the ambience for a celebratory evening that 60 of us contributed to in many different ways. Firstly by contributing things we had grown, preserved been gifted or created ourselves including even our drinks; elderberry wine, gorse flower and elderberry soda and elderberry cordial to mix with fresh mineral water collected on the day.

Gary Thomas came up with a brilliant menu that included a few unusual ingredients like acorn meal and flour, dandelion and chickweed for the nine main dishes and three sweets.

We were all rather surprised by the variety of fresh produce that we managed to come up with in mid winter and how creative people are in making things from nature's abundance.

An able handful of cook's assistants helped Gary to bring his menu to life.

The decorations for the room were created mostly for traditional European solstice greenery and many diners also made themselves laurels to wear for the evening.

A solstice ritual with candles gave thanks to the longest night of the year and then the returning light.

Some quirky stories of how particular ingredients of the dinner had been obtained were shared much to our amusement and Gary told of why he wanted to create a dinner of this kind.
 In keeping with the longest period of darkness of the year, the photos too are a little dark but really give you a feel for the evening.

Thanks to each and every one of you for making the evening such a a grand celebration!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Economics of Happiness

This has to be the icon film of HRN as it fully illustrates how going local really is a choice strategy in leading us all to a more fulfilling, gentler and just society.

Brought to us by Helena Norberg-Hodge whose previous film, Ancient Futures, was seen by many of you in 2008 at an HRN screening. Her ground-breaking work in the Himalayan region of Ladakh is internationally recognized, and earned her ‘Alternative Nobel Prize.’

Screening at the Savoia Hotel in Hepburn Thursday July 14th at 7.30pm


Saturday, June 11, 2011

National Permaculture Day

National Permaculture Day in Daylesford on the 30th April was a joyous celebration of community spirit. Over 300 people attended the day's activities, workshops, open gardens, talks and meals, some of which you can see in this short film by Patrick Jones.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Event Reminders

Hi folks, as usual there's a lot happening in our area right now. Watch this space for news of exciting developments from the Transition Towns Training at the Daylesford Town Hall last weekend. Here's a link   of up-to-date peak oil resources.

We plan to develop a criterion for material put here on our HRN blog but as yet we haven't had the time to do this. Suggestions as to what we include will be discussed at an upcoming meeting / dinner / film, but feel free to discuss here.

Meanwhile here are few local events I'd like to mention:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Solstice dinner with a difference

On Wednesday June 22nd HRN will celebrate Yule (the winter solstice/longest night of the year) at the Daylesford Town Hall at 7pm.
This year Gary Thomas is going to make up some shared plates from our ingredients.
The challenge is:
                              we, the eaters of this dinner, provide  all the ingredients from our own gardens, gleaned from public spaces, preserved or processed from either of these, or that have been gifted or that received outside the monetary economy.
We are aiming to have an enjoyable celebration where all ingredients and labour are freely given and shared as a foray into a different approach to living in community.
There will be creative effort put into limiting our buying of anything for the dinner, including energy to cook and stay warm. Discussion over dinner will be invited about where things came from, how they were produced, what we were not able to obtain in this way, etc and there will be an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the ‘gifts’.

Join us in this adventure!
If you'd like to attend, please let us know by June 3rd what ingredients or help you are able to offer for the dinner so the menu can be constructed,  or simply if you would like to come along .... drinks, music, poetry,etc are other possibilities you could offer to freely share.
Hoping to hear from you soon…
the HRN schemers

If you're booking into the Transition Training weekend (28/29th May) that's great! You will have to book with SHARE, but could you also let us know, so we have some idea of how many of us HRN representatives can attend....Thanks

Monday, May 16, 2011

MAY 28/29 Transition Training in Daylesford

Announcing a Local TRANSITION TOWNS TRAINING WORKSHOP....Building community resilience and localised economies from the ground up. There are some 360 Transition Towns Networks around the world acting on creating a better future for their families, business and community. Transition Towns initiatives help communities design strong and healthy futures despite diminishing supplies of cheap energy and threatening environmental demise. 

This practical and informative training covers the principles, steps, processes of the Transition Towns model and the logic of an Energy Descent Action Plan (the EDAP). Jacinta Walsh one of the few officially recognised Transition Towns Trainers worldwide will conduct the training in Daylesford Sat 28th & Sun 29th (9.15 to 5.30 both days). Bring some food you have grown or made to share. We will provide home made soup and bread and refreshments. SHARE members $65 for weekend.
To book contact 03 5309 2664 or email Laurel Freeland on

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Great 'Simple Living' Survey is still open...

Oops! I have just discovered The Great 'Simple Living' Survey is still open, so as well as reading the interesting results so far, you can still fill in the survey for future research purposes.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

National Permaculture weekend 30th April, 1st May - excitement builds! Also preserving workshops and surveys galore

National Permaculture weekend is fast approaching and preparations for the feast of events, activities and, of course, food are coming along and we're all getting very excited.

Saturday 30th April is a day of celebrations, at the Daylesford Community Garden in Albert Street (next to the library). It all starts with a bang at 10am when the Community Garden Permablitz happens, so get your work clothes on and head over nice and early!

Prepare yourself by:
- choosing some seedlings - to plant in the garden during the Community Garden Permablitz (10am);
- collecting some apples (find a yummy wild unharvested tree!) and finding a bottle or two - to press some juice (11am-3pm);
- finding a plain cotton t-shirt or top, in your drawers or at the local op shops - to screen print on the day (11am-2pm);
- dehoarding some things to swap at the swap table - seeds, plants, fruit, vegies, clothes... (11am-3pm);
- preparing your favourite recipe made as much as you can from local ingredients - to share at the evening meal (6pm) while you listen to reLOCALisation stories, poetry and music around the fire; and
- getting excited about the music, talks, chestnut roasting, clay work, wood carving, films (in the library), and permaculture design exercise (at Raelands Park, Raglan Street) that are happening on the day!

Sunday 1st May, the official National Permaculture Day, is a day of tours. Meet at the Community Garden at 9:50am for free tours of 3 Daylesford food gardens. Or you could take the chance to book in for a tour of Melliodora, Hepburn permaculture gardens, with David Holmgren (held monthly September through to May). The mudbrick passive solar house tour runs 10am-12:30pm, and the garden, orchard and animal systems tour is at 2pm-4:30pm, $25 per person, per tour (including morning or afternoon tea), call 5348 3636 or email for bookings. As a bonus, first two HRN people to book for the afternoon Garden tour can come free, so let us know if you are HRN when booking!

And in the mean time preserving workshops seem to be the go all around...

Next Wednesday 27th April Su is running a preserving workshop from 9am to 1pm at Melliodora. The cost is $50 and there is a limit of 6 people so get in quick! Su will cover preserving tomatoes, fruit, juice and chutney.

And the Castlemaine Community House is running some preserving workshops too, Quinces: what to do with them on Saturday 7th May, 10am-1pm, Olives: preserving and pressing on Saturday 28th May, 11am -2pm and Apples & Pears: making juice and cider, Saturday 25th June, 11am-2pm.

A number of film screenings are happening in Castlemaine as well with the first ones being The Gleaners and I on Sunday 8th May, 5pm, and The Real Dirt on Farmer John on Sunday 22 May, 4:30pm.

Email Lucy or call 5472 4842 to book or find out more about the Castlemaine workshops and films.

Lastly, if you haven't already, click here to fill out the Hepburn Wholefoods Collective consumer and backyard food producer survey. They would greatly appreciate you taking the time to complete a survey, to assist them to establish the community's needs regarding sustainable wholefoods options within the Hepburn Shire.

Speaking of surveys, we were a bit slow off the mark to tell you about the Simplicity Institute's Great 'Simple Living' Survey as it has now closed, but the results are very interesting at a quick glance. 87% of survey participants who have made a transition toward a simpler life report that they are happier living more simply! (That includes me.) :-) And only a measley 0.2% said that they were 'less happy'! Read all about it here. Living simply is a big part of transitioning to the future, so it's great to know that most people end up happier that way!

When we next get some spare time around here we will be working on a Household Audit project which aims to help us all learn better ways of doing things at home, a lot of which are about living more simply and reducing external consumption across all areas. Ask us more about this if you are interested in getting involved.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Peter Harper, this Saturday! National Permaculture Weekend celebrations!

Don't forget about Peter Harper's talk on Plants, Land and Carbon this weekend. 7:30pm this Saturday 16th April at the Hepburn Primary School Hall. Email or call 5348 3636 to book.

And, announcing the details of our upcoming National Permaculture Weekend celebrations, Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May! Da daa daa da da daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Join us from 10am Saturday 30th when events kick off with a Community Garden PERMABLITZ!

Please let us know if you'd like to help us out on the day or with organisation prior to the events. Otherwise just come along and join in the festivities! We'll have a marquee to keep us dry in the event of wet weather so come along rain, hail or shine. :-)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Peter Harper lecture, Bioenergy Seminar and Ballarat Permaculture happenings

Don't miss the unique opportunity to hear Peter Harper speak about Plants, Land and Carbon, and what role agriculture and land-use can play in decarbonising a fossil economy. Brought to Australia for lectures in Melbourne and Sydney by the British Council, we are fortunate to host Peter at the Hepburn Primary School Hall on Saturday, April 16th at 7:30pm. Book with us by email or phone 5348 3636.

CHAF along with Central Victorian Farm Plantations Committee and Ballarat Regional Treegrowers are hosting Dave Atkins to run a seminar on using woody biomass for bioenergy on Thursday 7th April in the Trench Room at City of Ballarat from 10:00 - 12 noon.

Dave Atkins is a world renowned forester from the US Forest Service. Dave set up the Fuels for Schools and Beyond program that has successfully overseen the installation of 14 biomass boiler systems in schools and hospitals across the States.

Three events with Ballarat Permaculture Guild:
Introduction to Permaculture with Graeme George - April 9 & 10
8:30am to 5:30pm both days at Ballarat South Uniting Church

Practical Pruning Apple Trees with Carolyn Jones - April 9
9:30am - 12:30pm at Snake Valley

Vegetable Garden Tour with John Ditchburn - April 9
10am to 12 noon at Soldier's Hill.
Truly an excellent garden to visit!

Email or call Steve on 0409 551 539 for more info and booking instructions for the Ballarat Permaculture events. Booking form available here.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Film night #40 and other news

National Permaculture Day is fast approaching and will be celebrated by HRN over the weekend of May 1st.  Saturday April 30th at the Community Garden (next to the Daylesford Library)and Sunday May 1st house tours in Hepburn and Daylesford. More info soon ...   As a lead up we will show the
Permaculture: The Growing Edge  Beyond sustainabilty to Regeneration at the Savoia Hotel, Hepburn March 31st 7:30pm 
This film is about an antidote to environmental despair, a hopeful and practical look at a path to a viable, flourishing future. 

Peter Harper from the Centre of Alternative Technology, Wales will be in Hepburn for a one night stand April 16th. 
"The land-use chapter of ZeroCarbonBritain2030  would be a good place to start arguments," says Peter.
 More info soon ...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Film night and community gardens sprouting all around...

So, at last, our next film night will be The Oiling of America. It will be showing at 7:30 at the Savoia, Thursday 10th March. It is not an anti-vegan film as many have characterised it, but must be seen in the light of all of our films, a beginning to a substantial discussion which we hope to have after the film as usual. Bring an open mind and a desire for productive discussion and contribute. All points of view are encouraged.

Dinner is available from 6pm, call the Savoia to book on 5348 2314. See the poster in a bigger size here.

And in other news, community gardening seems to be the flavour of the week in our Shire, and beyond. (Sorry about belated notice about some of these things...)

A community garden sprouted overnight on Friday, next door to the Daylesford library, and was thoroughly planted in on Saturday, due to some good work by some local folk. See the facebook page here and check out the pics and vids, or even better, head along and check out the real thing. Stay tuned for details of working bees... and a freegan dinner there...

Trentham's community garden next to the railway station had its kick off last Sunday as well. I'm sure it's not too late to join the working group. A bit of inspiration from the kick off notice:
The garden is for you as a gathering space, a place for the creation and display of art and as a living example and experiment in growing local sustainable food and thought.
Individual and communal areas, fruit & nut trees, herbs, perennial food plants, fish, hens etc. the potential is boundless…
Meeting and performance space, cooking and storage, communal facilities. Sharing of knowledge.
Contact Devan 0429 722 487

And a little further afield in the other direction, Costa Georgiadis, from Costa's Gardening Odyssey, is heading to Ballarat to launch the "Backyard Bounty" project on March 11...

Costa Georgiadis
(Costa’s Gardening Odyssey)
“Why everyone should grow veggies at home!”

7 pm Friday March 11
Cooinda Centre
10 Learmonth Rd, Wendouree

Mayor Cr Craig Fletcher will welcome Costa as he launches a new program to help people grow food at home.  Beginning gardeners especially welcome!  Stalls from Ballarat Permaculture Guild, BREAZE, City of Ballarat, Ballarat East Community Garden & Friends of Royal Park.  Entry: gold coin donation.
Enquiries: Steve 5331 3110  or 0409 551 539

Hope those of you who went to Mike Reynolds' workshop and/or evening talk were inspired. If you didn't get to either, at least check out the clip of the workshop (courtesy of Patrick Jones). Stay tuned for working bees to finish Jenny's lunch room at the tip...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Don't miss Michael Reynolds in Daylesford!

Hey, Michael Reynolds workshop preparation is proving to be lots of fun, creating a wave of enthusiasm amongst lots of people beyond HRN, SHAre and the Council for future prospects of what we might create at the tip, the source of much wealth for building. Will it turn into a passive solar lunch room for Jenny.....?
And, Mike should be a real font of info both about the ins and outs of his particular way of designing and building for self sufficiency using discarded industrial materials (hence the workshop at the tip) as well as the regulation quagmire that our Council is looking at lightening up - do I hear you making skeptical noises?? Well, we at HRN are pretty excited about the steps forward in the Council and for the first time are working closely with this Council. Times they are a changing at last.
Oh, and if you book for the talk on Thursday evening, that will help us to know how many to cater for  at supper time.
Put a note in your calendars for next film night - Thursday, March 10th when we will be showing
The Oiling of America
  Robert Pekin the creator of Food Connect in Brisbane will be in Daylesford to tell us all about his 1000 box CSA(Community Supported Agriculture) in March.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Loads to do, see and learn

Don't forget our film night this Thursday 10th February, 7:30pm. We'll be showing Garbage Warrior, at the Town Hall. A great preview before Michael Reynolds comes to town. We're hoping to also show a short film from Peter Cowman of Living Architecture, who is also running some workshops in the area. His open house last Sunday was very interesting, he has a different perspective on "Shelter Making" that is very valuable.

Meanwhile, an important message from Hepburn Wind:

Australia’s clean energy future is being questioned by the Federal Senate’s inquiry into the ‘Social and economic impact of rural wind farms‘. Without a strong display of community support, it is possible that we won’t see any more projects like the Hepburn Community Wind Farm built in Australia. Put in your submission here to support wind farms in Australia.

And a message from Ian Lillington about some more upcoming learning opportunities:

There are four exciting opportunities coming up soon for anyone involved in transition, sustainability, food systems, community gardens etc.  Brief details follow - please share them around as bookings close soon.
Robin Clayfield Queensland-based trainer with over 25 years experience - making a rare visit to Vic to run:
1.  "Dynamic Groups" 4 Day Intensive Course to be held in Melbourne from 1st to 4th March at C.E.R.E.S. in Brunswick. This course is for people involved in Permaculture, City Farms and Community Gardens, Transition Towns and similar. It is open to all though it's great if we all have similar interests for maximum benefit.

2.  "Creative Community Governance and Decision Making" Day, also at C.E.R.E.S. on Tuesday, 8th of March. This is for anyone involved in Community organisations or groups where making decisions and having discussion could be more energising, fun, creative and/or productive.

Information about Robin's Dynamic Groups Courses and the CCG & DM Day can be found on let Virginia know on
 if you are interested. Some of us from Hepburn are going down so let us know if you want to join us (Robin is highly recommended)
PLUS - with a range of highly skilled and experienced Victorian trainers; and tours to private permaculture properties:
3.  Castlemaine Permaculture Design Course - low cost, high quality. 16 Wednesdays over term 1 and term 2, with State government subsidy making this the cheapest PDC anywhere. [Get it while it lasts!] Run by the Castlemaine Community House. Bookings on 5472 4842.
4.  Diploma of Permaculture - the highest level of accredited training in permaculture in Australia, starts soon at Eltham College. Some subsidised places available. Details at or email

And if you're based a little further afield in the northerly direction from Hepburn (over Castlemaine way), check out the Growing Abundance project - to share fruit trees and harvesting work, to learn about production and preservation of your local food, and to find out where to get food around the Mount Alexander Shire. Well worth a look. We're working on some similar things over this way in the Hepburn Shire, let us know by email or phone 5348 3636 if you're interested in helping us out.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Building, building and more building - workshops galore and a film night too

Michael Reynolds of Garbage Warrior and Earthship fame is soon to join us here in sunny (and occasionally somewhat rainy) Daylesford. SHARE are organising 2 events on 24th February (details below), with a little bit of help from us and others, and in anticipation of this we are showing the film Garbage Warrior again.

We will show Garbage Warrior on Thursday 10th February, 7:30pm at the Town Hall. Please come along and join us, and be inspired to attend Michael's public talk and/or workshop on February 24th. Also, our new Sustainability Co-ordinator at the Hepburn Shire, Jill Berry will discuss suggestions/ideas for projects for which her department could apply for funding in the forthcoming council budget. Get your thinking caps on and let's discuss your ideas just before we view the film. Short and sweet.

And also on the theme of building...

Peter Cowman is running a number of events in the near future in the Castlemaine and Daylesford areas, with an Open House on the topic of "Architecture and the Meaning of Life," this Sunday 6th February, 2-4:30pm. The updated venue is the Ray Bradbury room, Frederick Street (behind the market building) in Castlemaine. And this one is just a gold coin donation too! See the Living Architecture Centre site for all the details.

And out the other way from Daylesford town...

The Satyananda Yoga Ashram in Rocklyn is running a Yoga and Earth Building Render Workshop from 17th to 21st February. See the flier here.

Michael Reynolds event details:

Principles, Permits, Planning, Practicalities
Michael Reynolds is a world expert in Zero Carbon building and build Biotecture.  He will be presenting and demonstrating how to use build making use of local recycled materials and deal with building and planning regulations.  The workshop is aimed at Local and State Government decision makers, builders, engineers, owner builders, planners and architects.  This workshop is supported by the MAV.  See Michael’s film the Garbage Warrior and website for his disaster recovery work in Haiti.  
Booking Essential, Limited Spaces.  
Cost: $65 - $75  
Enquiries and Booking:, Tel 03 5309 2664,

Michael Reynolds, internationally acclaimed Garbage Warrior will present on Earthship Biotecture and The Art of Zero Carbon Living.  Michael is an engaging and knowledgeable speaker on building from local recycled materials, influencing policy and disaster recovery. See Michael’s film the Garbage Warrior and website for his disaster recovery work in Haiti.  Booking preferred, we need to plan for this popular event.  
Cost: $10 - $15. 
Enquiries and Booking:, Tel 03 5309 2664

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wild Food workshop this weekend, and some reading and watching...

Don't forget Alexis' Wild Food Identification, Gathering and Preparation workshop this Sunday 30th. There's still space, so email us or call 5348 3636 to book in! It will be really great finding and gathering wild food, then preparing and eating it! I very much enjoyed my meal when I attended a previous workshop and have made use of my identification skills in finding food to prepare meals since!

Also don't forget to head to the market stall for Sally McCrae at the Daylesford Market before you head down for the workshop.

If you aren't able to make the dinner and films tonight, you can check out the update from the Chile building project here. Worth a watch to see what our funds are helping them do over there.

And just a few other things to check out while you're at it:

A new article by David Holmgren, on Bee keeping for the energy descent future, is available for download from the Writings page of the Holmgren Design Services (HDS) websiteThis article is a reflection on "the prospects for apiculture (bee keeping) as a sustainable and resilient livelihood in the future" and considers the current state of apiculture and future possibilities from a number of different angles.

Also on the HDS website, a press release by David entitled Urgent need to recreate flood resilient rivers and floodplainsThis press release is a response to the recent floods and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of streamside vegetation management strategies that are currently in use and that are recommended by David Holmgren and others. 

David also recommends that "Tradable Energy Quotas is probably the only public policy that might have a chance of giving us orderly energy descent," and that "this report should be widely read and discussed."

Also check out a video, 300 years of fossil fuels in 300 seconds, here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dinner & short films Thursday 27th - change of venue, Wild Food Gathering and Preparation (and Eating!), and market stall for Sally!

A late change to the venue of our upcoming dinner and short films Thursday 27th January, it will now be at Conti, still at 7pm for dinner, 8pm for films. Book with us by email or phone 5348 3636. Come along to share a meal and catch the Chile building update and Transition message from Rob Hopkins.

Now for the promised details about Alexis' upcoming Wild Food workshop on Sunday 30th January...

The full workshop will run from 10am until 2pm and will include a walk to find our yummy weeds and then cooking up a storm with said weeds to share a meal. $45 for the full deal, including lunch. If you really can't come for the whole session, $20 for the walk, $30 for the preparation and meal. Book with us by email or phone 5348 3636.

And before you head to the Weed workshop, check out the market stall for Sally McCrae that morning (30th January), at Daylesford market. Sally is a local midwife who is facing pressure from the medical profession to justify her homebirth practice. Supporting homebirth is important so that people can have right to choose how they give birth. Karen and Sarah are organising a market stall to raise funds for Sally's legal costs, she has yet to hear about hearing and the costs are mounting.

If you have any donations of good quality household goods, furniture, clothing, kids' stuff, toys or books, or if you can help with the running of the stall on the day, please contact Sarah on 5348 7993 or Karen on 0434 261 306 or email to organise pick up/delivery of goods and advise of your availability.

See the flyer here, or the link on facebook here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

First HRN event for 2011! Thursday 27 January

Our first event for the year will be a dinner, with an update from the Chile building project and a transition message from Rob Hopkins. (Rescheduled from late last year as it was a busy time for everyone!) See our previous blog post for more info about the message from Rob Hopkins and the update from Chile...

The dinner will be at the Savoia, 7pm Thursday 27 January. Dinner is a set menu with bookings in advance, in line with our sustainable eating out guidelines for minimising food waste. Please book with us, by email or phone - 5348 3636.

On the topic of Chile, a long overdue big thank you to everyone involved in helping to raise funds for the Chilean community of El Manzano who were affected by the earthquake early last year, particularly those who were involved in last year's benefit dinner, gig and art auction. It was a wonderful night with a delicious dinner, excellent company and fantastic music to dance to. Thanks to the cooks, the musicians, organisers and helpers and also special thanks to the artists who donated their art works for the silent auction and to those who donated prizes for the raffle. See a few pics from the night below. :-)

It will be great for us all to hear a much awaited update on the progress of their project that we helped support AND learn a little more about sustainable building!

Enjoying the delicious local organic feast prepared for dinner.

Scattersoul delighting the audience...
who kicked off their shoes to dance...
and enjoying themselves while they were at it!
Also, advance notice that the next Edible weed walk with Alexis Pitsopoulos will be on Sunday 30 January. More details in next week's blog or email us for early bookings.