Created on Djaara Country. Salt of the earth people. Grassroots change. Find out more at

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Local stories, global issues.

Although the show is made in Castlemaine and features people from this region, this movement is truly global. What one community is doing in rural Australia is what many communities are doing all around the world. What is possible here is possible elsewhere. What we have learned from watching and listening to other communities, others may learn from us.

After all, a grass roots movement is just a bunch of people who decided to get together, discuss ideas and then do something.


15 hours ago

Connecting Country is a not for profit organisation which works closely with landcare groups and others in restoring neglected and damaged ecosystems. Hadley Cole and Bonnie Humphries from Connecting Country join Allie to discuss how landcare groups contribute to various restoration efforts, and how the unprecedented nature of climate change and its impact on existing ecosystems makes the task complex and unpredictable. Various strategies are being tried, including mixing plant provenances to achieve a higher genetic diversity and boost ecosystem resilience. 
In this episode are excerpts from an event  called 'Revegetation Success in a Changing Climate' featuring Sasha Jellinek from the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Water, Oli Moraes from DJAARA and Tess Greives from the North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA),
The full recording of the event will be shared in upcoming weeks.
Bonnie Humphries – Connecting Country – Landscape Restoration Specialist
Hadley Cole – Connecting Country – Landcare Facilitator
Sasha Jellinek - the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Water
Oli Moraes - Djaara
Tess Greives - North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA)
00:00 Introduction
02:28 Acknowledgement of Country
03:22 Hadley Cole and Bonnie Humphries in conversation about Connecting Country and Landcare
17:30 Excerpts from event: ‘Revegetation Success in a Changing Climate’
17:53 Sascha Jellinik – climate impact and importance of genetic diversity
21:14 Oli Moraes - The Role of Djaara in landscape restoration and climate strategies
25:36 Tess Greives – Climate ready Reveg projects
28:07 Bonnie and Hadley on the Importance of Genetic Diversity in Ecosystems
31:35 The Role of Climate Future Plots in Ecosystem Restoration
43:09 The Importance of Community Involvement in Ecosystem Restoration
46:03 Conclusion and Final Remarks
Connecting Country
Djaara’s Healing Country Plan
Related Episodes:
Walking Together
Caring For Country

S5 E17 Village Dreaming

Tuesday Nov 07, 2023

Tuesday Nov 07, 2023

Today we are going to Village Dreaming Farm and Orto cooking school. Mara and Ralf live on about 15 acres just outside of Daylesford – about a 30min drive south of where I am in Castlemaine. They have been there since 2015 and in that time have transformed the empty paddocks of former grazing land into a small farm that follows regenerative and permaculture principles, with a kitchen garden, orchards and wetlands. 
Village Dreaming
Ceres - environmental park in Melbourne
Natural Tucker - sourdough bakery
Damian Cook - who Ralf worked for for many years 
Critical Mass - cycling protest
Related Episodes:
Youth are Rising
Redbeard Bakery
Ilka White on her art practice and  Ethical Apparel

Tuesday Oct 17, 2023

Are you good at composting? I certainly haven't been in the past. But with the help of a community composting group called YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) I have become a kitchen scrap saviour, a leaf collecting ninja and I make steaming hot compost. 
In today's episode I talk to Lucy Young, Joel Meadows, Mikaela Beckley and Claudia Lang about what this group is all about and why they are passionate about compost. (Spoiler: reducing greenhouse gasses, connecting community, building beautiful soil)

S5 E15 Salad with Soul

Monday Sep 25, 2023

Monday Sep 25, 2023

Recent episodes have been looking at the farmers out at the Harcourt Organic Farming Cooperative. We've been out there to explore how farming and agriculture might be done in a way that is earth, biodiversity and humanity friendly.
Each and every one of the farmers talked about how important the support of the local community has been, and how much enthusiasm they have received from people who get what they are trying to do, even if it costs a bit more and is not as convenient as shopping at the supermarkets.
But it isn’t just individuals buying for their families that support these farmers and so this week we're looking at small businesses who prioritise locally produced food, these are people who go to the extra effort and often spend extra time working with the farmers through the ups and downs, wins and losses of seasons and years and changing weather.
This episode features:
Mel from Gung Hoe Growers
Alex Perry from Bar Midland
Paul and Patricia from Sprout Bakery
Sas Allardice - co-founder of Gung Hoe Growers
Gung Hoe Growers
HOFC – Harcourt Organic Farming Cooperative
Sprout Bakery and their Instagram
Bar Midland
Other Related Episodes:
S4 E17 Djakitj Larr – Eating Country Healthy part 1
S4 E17 Djakitj Larr – Eating Country Healthy part 2
S5 E11 An Incredible Octopus – with Katie Finlay
S5 E12 The Orchard Keepers
S5 E13 Micro Dairy
S5 E14 Love and Garlic
S1 E06 Gung Hoe Growers with Sas and Mel
S1 E05 Mount Alexander Fruit Garden
S2 E13 Food Security and Farmers Markets
S5 E07 Root to Tip with Duang

Monday Sep 04, 2023

It has been almost a decade of effort and love and garlic from Gung Hoe Growers – supplying our local community through the local farmers market, selling to cafes and restaurants and providing boxes of veg to seasonal and annual subscribers.
Many have felt sadness on hearing that Gung Hoe will not be renewing their lease out at the Harcourt Organic Farming Cooperative.
This episode is a big chat with Mel about how and why this has happened and how this reflects on our farming and food production systems.
Listen back to the start of the Gung Hoe story:
Saltgrass Season 1 Gung Hoe Growers with Sas and Mel
Gung Hoe Growers
HOFC – Harcourt Organic Farming Cooperative

Monday Aug 07, 2023

We are heading back out to the Harcourt Farming Cooperative – this time to talk to Tess Sellar who runs a herd of 10 or so dairy cows and supplies organic milk and yoghurt to our local community.
Tess uses regenerative farming practices, re-usable glass containers and does countless other things to make her micro-dairy as low impact as possible.
Trigger Warning:
Please note that this episode contains conversation about suicide. If you feel vulnerable or at risk please reach out for help.
If you are in Australia you can go to Lifeline or call 13 11 14
Resources and Links:
Sellar Dairy
Harcourt Organic Farming Co-operative
Food Not Bombs
Holy Goat Cheese

S5 E12 The Orchard Keepers

Monday Jul 24, 2023

Monday Jul 24, 2023

Following on from the last episode about the Harcourt Farming Cooperative, today we are looking at The Orchard Keepers.  They are part of the  grand experiment of this farming cooperative, having taken over the orchard management a couple of years ago. 
They are using organic and regenerative practices and they are not just farmers, but they are visionaries and committed activists through the work they do on and in the soil. 
Listen as we discuss the challenges and joys of taking on a mature orchard and trying to make a go of farming with young kids and extreme weather.
The Orchard Keepers are:
Ingrid Phyland Alex Kelly 
Yoann Le Guen 
Megan Roberts 
Brian Morris 
Rachael Cilantro 
Resources and Links
The Orchard Keepers
Harcourt Organic Farming Cooperative
World Wildlife Fund – Innovate to Regenerate fund
Related Episodes:
S5 E11 An Incredible Octopus - with Katie Finlay
S1 E05 Mount Alexander Fruit Garden
S1 E06 Gung Hoe Growers
S2 E13 Food Security and Farmers Markets

Monday Jul 10, 2023

This is the first of four episodes that will be released about the Harcourt Organic Farming Cooperative.
Long term listeners may remember two episodes from season one that captured conversations with farmers from the cooperative as it was just beginning back in 2018. 
I’ve been following the process of this cooperative with interest since it began because it is a fascinating case study of alternative farming... that is, an alternative to large scale, monocultural farming which contributes to climate change rather than helping mitigate it.
Listen to Katie talking about what it has been like to open her family farm up to young farmers and the co-op - what she affectionately describes as an incredible octopus!
Project Drawdown on climate and farming
Grow Great Fruit
Fruit Tree Nursery
Gung Hoe Growers
Sellar Dairy
Indigenous native food – Murrnong Mummas 
The Orchard Keepers
World Wildlife Fund – Innovate to Regenerate fund
AFSA – Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance
Farming on other people’s land  - FOOPL
Grounded – community land trust 
Farmer Incubator
This Farm Needs a Farmer (Facebook link)
Growing Farmers
Related episodes:
Saltgrass Season 1 Katie and Ant
Saltgrass Season 1 Gung Hoe Growers with Sas and Mel
Saltgrass Season 2 Regenerative Farming

Monday Jun 26, 2023

Plastic Free July had humble beginnings in back in 2011 when Rebecca Prince-Ruiz had the idea of refusing to buy or accept single use plastics for the month of July, just to see if she could.  She asked people around her if they wanted to do it too and now it is a global movement with an estimated 140 million people from 195 countries participating in 2022.
I wanted to Talk to Rebecca, not only because she is amazing, but also, Plastic Free July is truly a grassroots movement that has made a global impact. And I was so curious to hear how it started and how it grew. Rebecca is also overflowing with stories of people making change at all levels of society and business and she happily delves into discussions about balancing personal responsibility with demanding action from corporations and governments and we also had some great questions from the audience as well. 
Plastic Free July
Book: Plastic Free
By Rebecca Prince-Ruiz and Joanna Atherford Finn
(Published 2020)
Global plastics treaty
Zero Waste Victoria
BYO Containers
Some other plastic education media pieces:
Climate Town: Plastic Recycling is a scam
DW Planet A: Recycling Myth
The Story of Plastic

S5 E09 Walking Together

Monday Jun 12, 2023

Monday Jun 12, 2023

How can local councils and Traditional Owners work collaboratively towards climate and environmental goals?
Today's episode explores one way to get things going.
Back in November 2022 Djaara – the Traditional Owners in Central Victoria where Saltgrass is made – invited representatives from local councils to gather on Country and workshop how Djaara and councils can co-design climate strategies and manage environmental issues together.
Along with the audio from the workshop there is an extended interview with the organisers of that event that includes Oli Moraes from Djaara, Melanie Marshall, Climate Change Coordinator at Mount Alexander Shire Council – my local council and Dr Alexander Saeri – or Zan – from Monash University and Behaviour Works Australia.
Resources and Links
About Djaara:
Djaara’s settlement agreement
Djaara’s Healing Country Plan
Oli Moraes from Djaara
Dr Alexander Saeri from Behaviour Works Australia
Melanie Marshall from Mount Alexander Shire
Mount Alexander Shire Climate Change Strategy

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