After 3 incredible years Tellurian Fruit Gardens is closing it’s doors. It’s been a wild ride and a steep learning curve but for a whole bunch of reasons, I (Ant) have decided to pass on the torch and seek a new adventure.
In the last three years I have had the pleasure of working with some solid farmers. The food sovereignty movement is strong in this region for both farmers and allies and I have hope that it will continue to gain momentum and influence our food systems.
The incoming leasees are a top-notch bunch of locals that are donning the orchardist hat. They have an impressive array of experiences and similar values to the ethos you’ve come to know from TFG. Their plan is slowly evolving as they get their heads around what is required to run the orchard but you should be able to get access to their harvest in the same ways as with TFG. I’m really excited to see what they do with it.
As mentioned in the newsletter, they will be taking over this contact list in order to keep you updated on any new developments. So, expect to see some changes in the comms and some new faces at the market stall but no change in the diversity and quality of the organic stone fruit. It’s the very same that has been growing here since Katie and Hugh of Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens established the orchard.
Thanks again for all your support and much love from your fruit farmer of the past few years,
Check out the bio below to get acquainted with the Orchard Keepers.
The Orchard Keepers are a collective of friends who are very excited to take on this exciting project together.
Between us we have experience fruit picking, general farm work, volunteering on CSAs in the UK and France, lecturing at Universities, making award winning documentary films, coordinating climate action camps & direct-action training, starting a mutual aid network in Castlemaine, coordinating community food programs and even racing in the Alice Springs Camel Cup!
Yoann is French and lived in the UK for 10 years before coming to Australia in 2017. Yoann has spent the last 15 years working as a part time Systems Engineer mainly on small hydro (including 7 years in a workers cooperative), been active in social and environmental justice campaigns, has supported small scale organic growers in the UK and France as well as being active in various collective farming projects.
Terry is a sessional lecturer in the Humanities at La Trobe University and writes in ecological philosophy. Before and alongside these activities, he has worked as a farm hand and fruit picker, in factories and on building sites, as a policy worker and student union advocate and has been active in environmental campaigns. For the past 15 years Terry has been reveging an 8ha block at Wehla in Central Victoria. This work has involved tree planting days and hosting student groups from La Trobe’s School of Outdoor and Environmental Education.
Ingrid is a Public Health Nutritionist and has a long history coordinating nutrition promotion and community development projects with an aim to improving access to nutritious food. Ingrid has worked across a range of sectors including Not For Profit, Local and Federal Government and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations. She has been privileged to work closely with the Alyawarre people on the Utopia homelands to establish small scale fruit and vegetable gardens. Closer to Castlemaine, Ingrid coordinated the Harvest program for The Growing Abundance Project where she began learning about different fruit trees, pruning and cycles of production. She is a keen gardener and has completed a Permaculture Design Certificate and a course in garden design. Ingrid grew up in milk and fruit country on a dairy farm near Kyabram and comes from a lineage of farmers.
Alex is a producer, filmmaker, communications strategist and long-term political organiser, she even had a stint in Bob Brown’s office in Canberra. Alex spent 15 years based in Alice Springs and has worked around the world including two and half years with Naomi Klein on her climate change project This Changes Everything. Alex grew up on a sheep farm in country Vic and has extensive experience in facilitation and collective collaborations such as directing a film festival and managing significant grants, large scale public events and complex multi-year projects.