Food forest planned for Daylesford

DAYLESFORD will soon boast a five-acre food forest, thanks to a partnership between Daylesford Community Food Gardeners, Daylesford Neighborhood Centre and Daylesford Secondary College.

The food forest will build on permaculture principles and will boast more than 60 species of food producing plants, a poultry system and bees.

Daylesford Community Food Gardeners co-ordinator Patrick Jones said the Daylesford Secondary College Council had already approved plans and the project was now seeking funding.

The food forest will be planted at Daylesford Secondary College and will be a fifth community garden for Daylesford.

“We saw there was a real need,” he said.

“The local primary schools have such good kitchen food gardens through the Stephanie Alexander scheme but when they get to high school, instead of that heightening that awareness, that diminishes.

“So to build on this into secondary education really made sense.”

The food forest plan was designed by members of the Daylesford Community Food Gardeners and representatives from Daylesford Secondary College. The design was critiqued by permaculture co-founder and former Daylesford Secondary College parent David Holmgren.

“He oversaw the project,” Mr Jones said.

“It’s an exciting model because it’s a vast scale five acres under production.

“Our other community gardens in the town are much smaller.

“We’re just about to apply for funding but from the beginning, at this pre-funding stage, there’s still things we can do with the students so we’ll be starting that up this year.

“And students have been involved in the design itself which is really great.”

Mr Jones said the food forest would be a great resource for the whole community.

“The Daylesford Secondary College food forest is on an unprecedented scale with the potential to build an incredible educational resource that will feed into areas such as climate change awareness, food security, small business skills, organic gardening and husbandry and ecological restoration through food production.”

Daylesford Secondary College principal Tiffany Holt said she was excited at the prospect of engaging students in sciences, arts and economics through the food forest.

“We’re encouraging the community to get involved in the process,” she said.

“There will be many opportunities for students, parents, friends and the broader community to join in at regular working bees.”

People wanting to find out more of get involved in the project should email Patrick Jones at permapoesis@gmail.com.

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