SHA President’s Report – Winter 2018

As we move through winter, and reflect on the year so far, Southern Harvest continues to support farmers, and eaters of local food with opportunities to connect across our region and enjoy the value that comes from growing and sharing local food and the knowledge to process the harvest.

In March we held the annual Bungendore Harvest Festival. It drew an estimated 3,500 people to the Saturday market day with the farm tours being well patronised on Sunday.

The Bungendore Harvest Festival is a wonderful opportunity for farmers and vendors of local food and fibre to showcase their wares. We were very fortunate this year to receive support from Destinations NSW and for the Festival to be opened by Mr John Barilaro, Member for Monaro and Deputy Premier of NSW. I also thank our volunteers as well as our key sponsors the Bungendore Community Bank, Provisions Deli in Braidwood, PRD Realty Bungendore, Caroola Farm and the Bungendore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Planning is already underway for the 2019 Harvest Festival to be held on the 28 -29 April 2019.

Southern Harvest was also pleased to support the 14th Australasian Permaculture Convergence (APC14) held at Greenhills Conference Centre from 15 – 19 April. The event brought together Permaculture practitioners from Australia, New Zealand, East Timor and Canada. Including one of the original Permaculture pioneers from our local community, David Watson from Millpost Farm who launched his book Millpost – A broadscale Permaculture Farm since 1979.

The event was hailed as a great success by all. Most significantly for Southern Harvest, through the efforts of our Market Manager, Ruth Gaha-Morris, the event was catered with produce from our many local farmers in the Capital Region and South Coast. In his closing address David Holmgren (Permaculture co-creator) said that providing locally grown wholesome food at the Convergence was a great reminder that Permaculture at its heart is about growing and sharing wholesome nourishing food The volunteers of the APC14 organising committee are to be congratulated for organising such a great event.

To share Permaculture with the broader community Southern Harvest, in partnership with Canberra City Farm, hosted a Permaculture Festival on Sunday 15 April. Despite the day of the Permaculture Festival being bleak and cold, an estimated 4,000 people turned out to hear David Holmgren launch his book RetroSuburbia and be entertained by the gnome of garden gnomes, Costa Georgiadis as well as sample wonderful local food and products from the many stall-holders who attended.

The weekly Southern Harvest Farmers Markets in Bungendore and Queanbeyan continue to provide great value to customers and due to growing demand the Southern Harvest Multi-Farm Produce Box program now has a Canberra northside collection point in Lyneham at the Old Canberra Inn.

As we look to the spring, the Southern Harvest Committee will finalise its forthcoming seasonal program of events to take us into 2019. I look forward to sharing it with you.

May your fire be warm as you enjoy this winter time to reflect, refresh and prepare for the spring.

James Innes

10 July 2018