This winter the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance brings you the Agroecology Roadshow! Agroecology is a science, a set of practices, and a social movement practiced by Indigenous Peoples and small-scale farmers the world over.
The workshops will be an opportunity for farmer to farmer knowledge sharing days, including how they embrace diversity from the microbes in their soil to their multi-faceted business models.
You can also jump into agroecology with both boots by pairing your day on farm with our online Solidarity Session on agroecology with Peter Rosset ahead of the workshops, on 7 July.
Tammi and Stuart Jonas of Jonai Farms & Meatsmiths will join Echo Valley Farm in Goomburra (Darling Downs) and Belvedere Farm in Cedarton (Sunshine Coast) for a full day workshop – head to the AFSA events page to book for the workshop near you.
The workshops will be an opportunity for farmer-to-farmer knowledge sharing on agroecology, including how they embrace diversity from the microbes in their soil to their multi-faceted business models. You can also jump into agroecology with both boots by pairing your day on farm with our online Solidarity Session on agroecology with Peter Rosset ahead of the workshops, on 7 July.
Farming for a decade on the unceded lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung, Tammi and Stuart (aka ‘the Jonai’) have been trailblazers of on-farm processing since back in 2013 when they crowdfunded a boning room, where they transform carcasses into a range of fresh cuts, smallgoods, and charcuterie. Bones that remain after processing into bone broths are pyrolised to create bonechar, which is then activated in barrels of microbially-rich biofertiliser and used to grow a small commercial crop of heritage-variety garlic and a diverse range of vegetables to feed the vibrant community on farm.
They have embraced a degrowth philosophy and are reaping the benefits of radical sufficiency for all. Living a life made in common with Nature, the Jonai conserve and sustainably use the biodiversity in their care, and as non-Indigenous Australians, have chosen to share the benefits of their use with the First Peoples by paying one percent of our income to a local Indigenous organization.
Echo Valley Farm
Echo Valley Farm, producing pastured eggs, Brangus beef and Bushranger pork, is founded in the ‘four goods’ – good for the animals, good for the land, good for the farmer and good for you.
Belvedere Farm is a grass-based, chemical-free, community-focused farm on unceded Jinibara land in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, producing ethically-raised pastured eggs, beef and pork
The AFSA Agroecology Workshop will ground you in the mission to enact food sovereignty on every farm, which includes practising radical transparency and deep engagement with a community of eaters, including the rewarding successes of CSA (community-supported agriculture). The aim is to design complex and diverse agroecosystems for all the individual parts to eventually support and sustain each other to prevent the outbreaks of pests and disease common in monoculture systems. In practice this means incorporating a range of livestock, grains, and plants in ways that minimise external inputs by re-using waste on the farm, spreading out the risk of relying on just one crop, conserving water and looking after the soil – we’ll explore how this is done at Jonai and at host farms.
We’ll share specs and costings for the Jonai’s on-farm butcher’s shop, curing room, and commercial kitchen, as well as information on working through regulations and planning issues for on-farm further processing for livestock farmers. We’ll also include a session on how to avoid debt, and successful crowdfunding for agroecological farms.
Numbers for these workshop are limited so book your place ASAP. The day includes a feast featuring host farms and other local producers, served with a side of food politics. The day runs from 9:30am to 5pm.
Usually a $250 course, which includes a copy of Farming Democracy: Radically transforming the food system from the ground up (2019), the workshop is subsidised by AFSA to bring you the workshop at just $100 per person for AFSA members, or $150 per person for non-members with a bonus 1-year AFSA membership included.
Note that the prices for two people ($150 members/$225 non-members) are intended for two people from the same business, as we want to encourage business and life partners to learn together!
A $50 deposit to be paid upon booking – registered attendees will be invoiced for the remainder, to be paid one week prior to the workshop.
Online Solidarity Session on Agroecology:
Kick off your agroecology learning before the workshops by joining our free online session with renowned agroecology scholar and activist, Peter Rosset, on 7 July. We’ll talk to Peter about the methodology of farmer-to-farmer learning, why agreocology is the pathway to better food systems, and open up the discussion to what farmers feel they need to progress agroeocology on their own farms.