While the more impatient of us had had hoped that by the time spring blossoms started to appear in Canberra we would be in a position to start the physical side of our project. Clearly we are not there yet but on the plus side there has been quite a bit of progress.
We have ticked off a number of project documents to support us in our project.
- The Project Plan
- The Governance Framework: How we work
- The Risk Assessment and a Risk Management Plan
- A Fact Sheet
- The ‘garden’ Concept Plan that outlines the principles and stages for the development and implementation of the community holistic orchard
- A draft consultation document that will be used by ACT Government for consultation with nearby residents
We have successfully negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Northside Community Services (NCS) who have agreed to be our project sponsor. This is a major breakthrough for us as this gives us access to insurance and support around governance and negotiating with ACT Government.
We have also agreed on the land use model with ACT Government. We will not be entering into lease agreement for the use of the land. ACT Government has agreed that our preferred model is appropriate for this project. The land remains public ACT Land but we are given a five-year licence to manage it within agreed parameters.
Finally we have submitted a formal Expression of Interest in relation to the site and we are in the process of finalising arrangements with the Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS). This is not without its frustrations as we are working through very different understandings about how to manage risk in relation to working bees and new hurdles – some totally unexpended – keep emerging. However we believe that none of these are showstoppers and we hope to be able to announce very soon that the community consultation process is ready to begin.
Apart from these negotiations our next activities will focus on fundraising, community engagement and the consultation process
We will need funds for water, ripping the soil, mulch, plants and other things and we are now ready to start to focus on this. But we need to grow the core group and expertise to manage this function successfully. if anyone is interested in this part of our work, just let us know.
Please consider dropping in and saying hello, buying a sausage or volunteering to help. Whatever you level of participation, you will be warmly welcomed.
BRING AND SHARE PICNIC
We are holding a bring and share picnic at the holistic orchard site this Sunday 9 November at 11.30.
If you are free, do come along. bring your kids, frisbies or the like, picnic rugs, chairs and food to share or just for you – your choice. Even if you cant stay long, just pop in and say hello, meet other friends of LC, ask any questions, share any information you have of relevance or just eat and have fun.
To find the site start at the bike path that leaves from the corner in Hall St, Lyneham, just near Lyneham Primary School. Walk or ride for 150 meters until you see a grassy patch on your right before the bridge over Sullivans creek.
We are also seeking endorsement of our project from local Lyneham businesses and like-minded groups. For this we have prepared a letter of introduction and an accompanying request for endorsement. Over the next month we plan to talk face-to–face with the relevant people in the identified organisations and hand over our letter. Obviously prior personal relations or connections will make for a more positive reception. If you work for, own and have good relations with any relevant businesses or groups we would be very happy to hear from you. You may have ideas or information about relevant organisations or you may be interested in being part of the face-to-face visits for particular groups.
Spring and summer is an excellent time to engage the community and we have a number of ideas about possible social events, seminars and skill-sharing sessions related to food, gardening and our local community.
Some early ideas include:
Series of talks – held locally
- The Lyneham Commons concept/implementation plan
- How we can improve our soil
- Slow food
- Local food producers
- Traditional land manager Indigenous healing plants
- Essential medicinal herbs for the home garden
- Starting a chicken cooperative
Practical workshops with experts
- Summer Pruning basics
- Making Kombucha and Kefir at home
- Growing perennial vegetables
Practical workshops where friends share skills
- Cooking with kangaroo
- Preserving vegetables
- Preserving fruit
- Cheese and yogurt making
- Making Passata
- Weed walk
- Food swap / seedling swap
- Mapping fruit trees – offer tree/share care agreement
- Public fruit and harvestable food map
- Pop up garden at the shops
If you have an interest in any of the above topics or other community building food/ gardening/community related ideas or knowledge to share we would love to hear from you.
The Consultation process
This is a formal process managed by TAMS. We have prepared a brief introduction to the project and some questions for this process. As soon as we get to a point of agreement on some remaining points of difference with TAMS it is our understanding that the consultation can go ahead.
We will let you know as soon as the consultation survey is available