I, Linda Cockburn and my partner Trev Wittmer run a small organic market garden in the Huon. My passion is seed saving and our straw bale house generally smells like suppurating bowls of fermenting tomatoes.
The seed saving passion stems from our concerns about global and local food security and anticipating that future generations will need to draw on a diverse open-pollinated seed supply.
So it was a natural next step to step things up. To that end the years of breeding up locally acclimatised seed has culminated in Seed Freaks – but it doesn’t end there. Currently around 70% of seed is sourced from the Huon either from our own property or the gardens of others.
The aim is to get to 100% – We accept that’s a big challenge. But we’re up for it.
We fairly frequently set ourselves challenges. The best known was going six months without spending a dollar in QLD, 2005 – a challenge we almost met (we spent $300) and it resulted in Living the Good Life – How One Family Changed their World from Their Own Backyard. Published by Hardie Grant.
After the experiment we became climate refugees and headed for the naturally air-conditioned state of Tasmania. Trev built our house using local timbers (400 year old celery top pine which had been designated as firewood), managed to reduce PVC to a bare minimum, no concrete and no toxic finishes. We had a motto, ‘If there’s a hard way to do it we’ll find it’.
I coordinated the Geeveston Online Access Centre from 2006-2008 and then the Geeveston Community Centre (GeCo) from 2008-2012 before a short study break prior to establishing and coordinating the Huon Producers’ Network, a group whose aim is to assist small producers to make a living in the valley and to increase the availability of fresh local produce to the community.
Trev is now establishing and coordinating the Geeveston Community Centre Market Garden while I sit at home and create websites on rainy days and slog it out in the market garden when it’s dry. It’s the life 🙂