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Urban homesteader Margaret O'Connor with 100kilos.org founder Elizabeth Goodfellow.
Photo: Mark Sawa
Backyard farming takes
root for capital produce
The urban homesteading movement has plunged
its roots into Canberra and is gaining ground.
Urban homesteading, which is also known as
backyard farming, is about growing your own
food, keeping backyard livestock, such as
chickens and bees, and eating seasonally.
The Urban Homesteading Club (Canberra
and Surrounds) started in the ACT about 31G2
Club administrator Margaret O'Connor said
it was going from strength to strength.
"We've got 350 members and we have people
from all over Canberra and the surrounding
areas,'' she said.
"There are people who live on a few acres and
earn their living from sustainable agriculture
right through to people in urban Canberra and
even people who live in flats and only have a
balcony to grow thing on.
"The fact that we are growing so quickly
shows how much interest there is in sustainable
living in Canberra.''
Members are committed to sharing resources
and knowledge about sustainability practices.
The group attracts a range of people from a
diversity of backgrounds. It includes novice
gardeners who just want to grow some herbs in
the yard to survivalists.
The homesteaders recently joined with
100kilos.org, another grassroots Canberra group
which is encouraging people to grow their own
food, for its monthly harvest swap.
Founder of 100kilos.org Margaret
Goodfellow said both groups complemented
each other so they decided to come together for
"They're encouraging their members to come
along and share the produce,'' she said.
"I suppose how that comes about is that we
have very complementary approaches to things.
100kilos is very much about making things
easy and fun and lots of homesteaders have that
enthusiasm and lots of good expertise to share
about growing produce.''
Although 100kilos.org was only formed a
year ago, Ms Goodfellow said the organisation
was getting bigger on the back of strong interest
in homegrown food.
"People are thinking a lot more about what
they eat and enjoying what they eat,'' she said.
"What is driving that seems to be a whole
range of things.''
She believes the popularity of cooking shows
on television has played a big part in focusing
attention on fresh and seasonal produce.
For more information, visit facebook.com/
Healthy parks equal healthy people
Our bush capital
Living here in the bush capital there is nothing
better for your physical wellbeing and
emotional health than getting out and enjoying
the best of what nature has to offer.
Breathe the fresh air and enjoy the sights,
sounds and scents of nature which surrounds
and shapes our urban existence.
Our parks are everywhere -- from the most
remote locations of Namadgi National Park to
Black Mountain Nature Reserve right in the
heart of the city. Whether you're looking for the
exhilaration of a challenging climb to the top of
Mount Bimberi or unwinding at the tranquil
Cotter with family and friends, Canberra's
wonderful national parks and nature reserves
have something for everyone.
The evidence is clear and far-reaching.
Spending time in our natural environment is
good for your mind, body and soul. Our parks
are for everyone. Why not explore a park today?
Not only will it feel good, it will be good for you
too.As well as providing the opportunity for
physical activity, contact with nature can help
you recover from the stress of everyday living.
Taking a daily walk in one of our nature
reserves can improve mobility and flexibility,
and help reduce osteoporosis and even reduce
the likelihood of dementia.
Our ACT Parks and Conservation Service
rangers are passionate and committed to
keeping parks and reserves as healthy as
They manage the impact people have had on
this ancient landscape by controlling weeds and
exotic pest species such as feral pigs, deer and
rabbits. At the same time, rangers also manage
and protect native species, which are being
bought back from the edge of extinction through
a highly-successful cross-fostering breeding
Our rangers also keep our many campsites
and walking trails clear, safe and free from litter.
Given Namadgi National Park alone has
several campsites and over 160 kilometres of
walking tracks, the amount of work required to
keep all our parks clean is substantial.
Of course it is not just the rangers who are
responsible for keeping our natural environment
happy and healthy -- we can all play our part in
lending a helping hand here in the bush capital.
One way of doing that is to join our park care
It is a partnership between the ACT
Government and community volunteer groups,
formed to care for various nature reserves and
Namadgi National Park.
Training, equipment and support are
provided. You don't need any previous
experience or special skills, just a passion and
interest in making a genuine difference and
along the way you can improve your own health.
Healthy parks, healthy people -- a real win/win.
More information about the program can be
found at tams.act.gov.au
7 - Tuesday, February 17, 2015
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