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  • Writer's pictureLisa Wriley

from little things big things grow

16 years ago today my local Council approved the establishment of a new community garden. It was the first one in the council area, inspired my others in Sydney and beyond. We were called Kariong Community Earthcare Garden, and not much later changed our name to Kariong Eco Garden. It is still going and is run by volunteers, thinking globally and acting locally.

It has hosted "ECO-living" and Footprint Festivals, many workshops on sustainable living topics and been visited by early childhood centres, school groups and gardening clubs. We grow food, generate renewable energy (stored in a battery to use for lighting at evening events). recycle organic matter (including coffee grinds from the local coffee van), harvest rainwater in our three rainwater tanks and have furniture made out of recycled timber and recycled plastic. We have had nature play groups and raise funds by collecting bottles and cans worth 10c refunds.

Not everyone can come to our eco garden, but they might have another community garden near them, or they could start one up. For me the EARTHCARE game is an extension of what we have been doing at Kariong Eco Garden for the last 16 years. It is a way to explore many ways to be more sustainable.

We have had a small Boomerang Bag group making cloth bags out of donated fabric, and together with Permaculture Central Coast we run a Repair cafe once a month. We support zero waste and a circular economy instead of take-make-dispose. The Permaculture Ethics are People care, Earth care and Fair share (sharing the surplus).

The EARTHCARE game is a gentle and fun introduction to all these things. I hope it is a resource for families and schools, to stimulate conversations about taking care of our planet, our common home. Surely we need to do this now, more than ever.

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