We had to share this media release from one of our grant winners. It’s important our customer know the outcomes of their spending! 

Media Release from one of our grant winners

Thanks to a grant from Santos Organics, a series of chemical free weed control workshops will be offered to the public throughout the year at the Bush Tucker Living Classroom, by Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare.

Female Bush Regenerators from Madhima Gulgan To Take Action

The Santos Organics grant will also support the employment of two experienced female bush regenerators from the Indigenous Bush Regeneration team Madhima Gulgan Natasha Johnson and Carlie Togo to undertake maintenance and natural area regeneration of a subtropical rainforest buffer zone surrounding the garden.

Bush Tucker Living Classroom

The Bush Tucker Living Classroom started in Reconciliation Week 2014 and is a non-profit project run by the Federal Community Children’s centre on Byron Shire Council managed crown land.

Natasha Johnson has been involved with the project since its birth
“it’s been great to see the changes that the bush tucker living classroom has gone through. From where it was 4 years ago, completely covered in Lantana, it has come so far”

The classroom is a half-acre community garden and natural play space filled with locally native bush tucker trees and interpretative signage, always open to the public and a short walk from Federal park.

The project has been made successful by countless volunteer hours, philanthropic grants, community input at working bees that are held throughout the year, and support from Ngulingah Working on Country Rangers.

“The grant from Santos Organics supports us to work towards our vision for this garden we developed with Widjabul custodians and elder Dorothy Gordon in Reconciliation week 2014. This vision included to create a natural play and meeting place that celebrated locally bush tucker plants, to support Aboriginal employment and youth focused projects” Rachel Heaton, Project Manager

The Director of the Children’s Centre, who had the idea for the project dreamed of the day she could take the children of the centre into an outdoor learning where they could be surrounded by local plants and animals. The classroom is now incorporated into the daily curriculum.

A very important aspect of the project is to undertake all works herbicide free. “We hope to provide an example of effective methods of weed control in the Byron Shire that do not use herbicides” comments Mandala

Mandala has engaged the Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare Coordinator, a project of Mullum SEED Inc., Nadia de Souza Pietramale to assist with chemical-free bush regeneration strategies for management of a buffer zone around the Bush Tucker garden and to facilitate the workshops.

“I am looking forward to this project and it will be an honour to work on this space with local Aboriginal women. It will be an exchange of knowledge, where we will learn from each other”, comments Nadia, BSCFL coordinator.

The grant will allow the team to target a toxic invasive plant, Duranta erecta which is surrounding the classroom. Duranta is a common hedge and garden shrub in the area that has invaded local bushland, displacing local natives and decreasing diversity. It has seeds that are toxic to pets and children and also has sharp spikes.

Nadia will show the community weed control methods which respond to the ecology of the area, supporting the health of the soil and resilience of the forest seed bank, leading to an increase in healthy habitat for all!

Working Bees Provide Community Training

The first working bee will be on Tuesday, the 10th of April, from 9 am until 1 pm, and will be followed up by another three during the year. Meet at the Bush Tucker Living Classroom: 898, Binna Burra Road, Federal. Tools will be provided, but for safety you will need to bring: thick leather gloves, long sleeved shirts, long pants and covered shoes.

The event will be open to the public, however please book by emailing: byronshirechemicalfreelandcare@gmail.com.

Keep up to date by following the Bush Tucker Living Classroom Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/The-Bush-Tucker-Living-Classroom-in-Federal-NSW-1225558640790755/