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November 7, 2023 41 mins

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. 




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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 gr...

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September 24, 2023 55 mins

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 i...

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September 3, 2023 55 mins

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 ...

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August 7, 2023 44 mins

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 ...

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July 23, 2023 48 mins

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. 


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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 alternat...

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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, P...

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June 12, 2023 52 mins

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 togeth...

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Tim Hollo is many things, musician, politician, anarchist and the author of Living Democracy – An ecological manifesto for the end of the world as we know it. He was in conversation at the Taproom in Castlemaine with Jim Buckell and introduced by Alex Kelly with an extended Q&A with the audience.



Living Democracy Book

There is no time left not to do everything – an article and now a chapter in the book

The Green Ins...

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May 7, 2023 50 mins

Duang moved to Castlemaine just a few years ago, but is already an integral part of the fabric of our community.

She sells delicious Thai cooking at the weekly farmers market and came here, as you will hear, in part because she knew about the Harcourt Farming Cooperative and the community supported agriculture (CSA) method that they employ.

Duang was so keen to support the farmers that she offered a free zero waste cooking class to...

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April 23, 2023 50 mins

Following on from the last episode about the Castlemaine Currency Project, this episode shares audio from a panel discussion that was part of the original exhibition and social experiment. 


Warwick Smith, Castlemaine Institute

Karl Fitzgerald, Prosper Australia

Merryn Tinkler, Mount Alexander Shire - Manager of Economy and Culture

Anitra Nelson, University of Melbourne

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Local currencies and alternative money systems... what is that all about? Is it really a helpful thing to be thinking about in the middle of the climate crisis?

A group of artists in Castlemaine have created an art project and social experiment in the form of a local currency they called The Silver Wattle to explore just these questions.

The audio in this episode was recorded at a live event that was held as part of the Castle...

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March 19, 2023 53 mins

Anna and Matt run the Salvage Yard in Castlemaine. They rescue building materials that would otherwise go to landfill, clean it up and sell it on. It isn't hoarding if you turn it into a business is it?

This episode is exploring waste again, but this time we are looking at the building industry and how we can construct and dismantle buildings better. Another example of how 'Reduce, Re-use and Recycle' can be applied to almost anyth...

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February 26, 2023 55 mins

Tiffany Inglis started an op shop (AKA opportunity shop - known as a thrift store in the USA) and all she wants to do is save the world one pair of very cheap second hand jeans at a time. 

Not only is the Good Op shop keeping A LOT of stuff out of landfill, but money raised there is then given to worthy environmental causes. If that is not enough to convince you it is a 'good' op shop - then wait til you hear about the educational ...

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February 13, 2023 49 mins

Cassia Read and Ada Nano are both ecologists who have been working within a local climate focussed hub called The Castlemaine Institute.  They have been developing a program called “Wilderhoods” that helps neighbours come together, learn about the land they are on and how to turn their nature strips and yards into places that birds, bees and lizards would want to hang out in. This is all while connecting with neighbours and creatin...

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January 30, 2023 55 mins

Are you worried about waste?

If so, join us on an epic adventure of plastic reduction, waste management and letting your wheelie bin get dusty from neglect!

In this episode you can hear all about one inspiring local who has tackled this challenge head on. Gemma has set herself the incredible challenge of putting her landfill wheelie bin out just once per year! Hear all about how she managed to reduce her waste through making diffe...

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Back in March 2022 Zoe Scoglio joined Allie live on MAINfm and shared some interviews she had collected for a Castlemaine Commons Collective project. Beautiful conversations about community, connectedness and resilience.


Episode 4 includes interviews with:

Allison Nye from Country Womens Association (CWA)

Carolyn Neilson about the Murnong Community

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Back in March 2022 Zoe Scoglio joined Allie live on MAINfm and shared some interviews she had collected for a Castlemaine Commons Collective project. Beautiful conversations about community, connectedness and resilience.

Episode 3 includes interviews with:

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Back in March 2022 Zoe Scoglio joined Allie live on MAINfm and shared some interviews she had collected for a Castlemaine Commons Collective project. Beautiful conversations about community, connectedness and resilience.

Episode Two includes interviews Zoe did with two locals; author Robyn Annear and ecologist Karl Just.

Song referenced: Sunset Village by Beverly Glenn-Copeland

(Sound quality starts out with some interference, b...

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