EGF and Bundjalung Tribal Society have partnered with Hungry Earth Ecology and Growing Roots Permaculture to create a community-supported regenerative farming enterprise.
The enterprise is one of a series of activities the Bundjalung Tribal Society is undertaking to fulfil its social and cultural goals. This project is occurring on the Society's 31 hectare property in the Northern Rivers Region of NSW Australia. To date the project has achieved significant milestones including regenerating production of cash crops using successional agroforestry systems techniques.
Successional agro-forestry is an intensively planned and managed farming approach designed to mimic a natural ecology's development and function. To the successional farmer, a lemon tree, an avocado, a blueberry, a finger lime, or any species, which is not a true pioneer, will never thrive when planted in isolation and without a diverse ecology around it. This form of regenerative farming provide sustainable food, fibre and biofuels production as well as growing broader community awareness of aboriginal land management.
Bundjalung Tribal Society is a local Indigenous organisation founded by members of the Bundjalung Aboriginal Nation over 40 years ago. Hungry Earth Ecology and Growing Roots Permaculture are regenerative farmers and trainers based in the Northern Rivers and who provide hands-on farm-based support to groups seeking to deliver socially responsible and sustainable primary production.
Bundjalung Tribal Society has recently collaborated with North Coast Community College to deliver an on-farm training program to it's community members to build their skills and capacity to work in the region's agriculture and horticulture businesses.
The current focus on reinstating productive output at the property is an initial stage of a strategic plan to develop it's socially responsible enterprise to support Bundjalung people's health and well being. Future goals and projects are to provide a cultural centre for Bundjalung people to educate visitors on culture and bush foods use and to create and curate a Northern Rivers Bush Foods "living-library" on their farm.
In December 2017, the current project commenced with a half-hectare plot being created. As at June 2019 a further three plots have been developed and all plots are being regularly maintained to maximise successional plant growth for prodcution of food, fibre and timber and to generate nutrient and biomass sequestering and cycling to build further production systems.
The latest work, completed in July 2019, included ongoing farming maintenance and harvest and sales of produce into local markets.