About

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Chris:

Artist/community gardener/DIY guy/big thinker

What I do:

I am the coordinator of a community garden in Belmont N.S.W called ‘Habitat in Harmony‘. The garden is almost 20 years old and was designed using permaculture principles. My work in the garden involves overseeing the daily running of the garden; helping garden volunteers grow fresh organic produce in much loved, beautifully cultivated soil, disease/pest prevention and treatment, strategic planning and asset maintenance, community engagement, volunteer recruitment and networking stuff. I am very appreciative of this wonderful job with thanks to Belmont Neighbourhood Centre. I am passionate about organic gardening and permaculture and love sharing my skills!

In my spare time I am a passionate advocate for community gardens in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie LGA’s. I live and breathe community gardens! My aim is to  support gardens in several ways:

  • Face to face engagement with groups – Be it a new group wanting to start a garden, or an existing group requesting support.
  • Delivering ‘hands on’ workshops
  • Garden design and implementation – using permaculture techniques
  • Facilitating discussion between groups – Via the Facebook Group
  • Advising groups of any available funding programs
  • Sharing of various edible plant species and growing tips

DSC_9928I do lots of fermenting! I make all sorts of fermented things, such as Kombucha, Beer, Wine, Gundru, T’ej, Kefir, vinegars, yoghurt and so on. I love to experiment with fermentation processes because all the good bacteria in these foods are good for your belly! (and they taste AMAZING)
I love to cook and play with interesting foods and ingredients. In my mind, there is nothing more special than making an amazing meal from scratch. You pick the flavors, you find the freshest ingredients, and with some good company, your two hands and bit of time (and mess) you make it yourself. I love that.

I’m also an art-maker in my spare time. I studied Fine Art at The University of Newcastle, majoring in Art theory, Wet based and digital photography, alternative photographic imaging techniques and installation art. I make works often and i am hoping to have more exhibitions in the not too distant future. I am always interested in joint projects collaboration, and lately i’ve been keen to do some performance art. A few images of my work can be found here. My CV can be requested by posting me a comment or via email.

What i love:

I absolutely love the world that i live in. I am crazy about all living things, especially the small, specialized, often overlooked organisms such as ferns, come-and-go herbaceous annuals, orchids, insects, wildflowers, mosses, lichens and fungi. I love the Australian bush in all of its varied, ancient, wise forms and i am constantly inspired and refreshed by its immense beauty. I am passionate about protecting, repairing, and conserving our national heritage, indigenous culture and knowledge, native animals and our many ecologies under stress. I love volunteering with different organizations and sharing my passions and skills with worthy projects.

I love my pushbike! I ride my bike as much as i can, and i love the freedom of not owning a car, and the fact that i don’t need to rely on fossil fuels to get me around.

DSC_7786What i crave:

More plants! Lets just say i am a crazy plant hoarder. If its a rare or unusual herb, orchid, flower, fruit, epyphite… whatever! I crave it. I am amazed by the diversity of nature and its many creations. I crave seeing, touching, eating, smelling, growing and learning about all plants and how they work. I don’t know why i am so obsessed, its just exciting and a fun thing to share with other like minded people.

I crave travel. I want to see the mountains of japan, the rivers, the deserts, the jungles, but my bank account  says no. I also am fighting the inner battle of rationalizing all that carbon and fossil fuel to get me around the world.

Something i dream of one day is an acreage. A biiiiiig chunk of land that i can plant thickly with local, indigenous plants, fruit trees and veggies. I want a slice of land to look after in exchange for my nourishment and the nourishment of the community around me. I am wanting to know and get along with more people,all working towards the common goal of becoming carbon neutral (or better – carbon negative!), sustainability – not the greenwashed version of sustainability which involves changing a light globe and replacing the washers on your taps – but true sustainability, working with nature, rather than against it.

community garden list – (working document)

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