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Top five things I learnt from Weleda Australia

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Question everything. Learn Something. Answer nothing.

T his is the first thing I learnt in my first week of the Global Garden journey. It’s been full of thought provoking experiences. I have asked a million questions and have learnt so much.

‘Don’t worry, there’s no chance that after one week I’m professing to be a ‘guru’ with all the answers. But I did want to share my top five learnings from  my week in Sydney, Australia.’

Some of the ground we have covered this week

  • Sowing seeds and taking Biodynamics at Warrah Farm
  • Building a Bee Hotel with Alison from Bee-cology as part of the Weleda Bee B&B school program
  • Detoxing the beauty bag in an Eco Make Up Masterclass
  • Celebrating our oceans and Project Aware’s milestone of removing 1 million pieces of debris from our ocean floor
  • Learning to get my Leica camera off auto-mode with Photo Workshop Australia

Sydney in a snap shot

What is biodynamic farming, and how is it different to organic?

‘Horn manure’ – nutrient rich soil. Nutrient rich produce.

Biodynamic gardening is the next step to organic farming. It uses animals, minerals and herbs as well as lunar cycles to activate the soil, making it as healthy and biodiverse as possible.

‘It’s kind of like looking at farming in relation to the cosmos. Looking at the deeper, more holistic approach to farming, and our place within it.’

Like Organics, Biodynamics is a farm-forward approach to healing the planet through conscious agriculture. It is all about sustainability – putting back more than it takes out.

But it’s also about nature helping nature by taking the art of farming and enrichening it with a philosophical and spiritual meaning. With the purpose to create ecological, social, and economic sustainability as well.

‘Biodynamic farming is much more than a method, it is a belief   system
— a holistic way to collaborate with the earth.’
Rob – Warrah Farm.

Biodynamic farming is much more than a method, it is a belief system

It’s agriculture being performed with the relationship between humans and the earth is at its core. Nature teaches us the lessons of decomposition and renewal in harmony with the seasonal and other cyclical processes. By harnessing the solutions that already exist in nature. Biodynamics promotes the fertility of the earth, the integrity of our food, and the health and wellness of our communities.

The most important thing for farmers to grow is soil.

Healthy soil. Healthy produce.

The most nutritious, healthy and vital produce starts with healthy soil.

Biodynamic farming ensures generations after us can continue growing and enjoying plants with the same potency – and do it in the most sustainable way possible.

 

Higher quality farming practices. Higher quality produce.

Less chemicals going into the earth means less chemicals going into human beings.

By employing the use of compost to introduce humus , which is rich in micro-organisms to the soil, Biodynamics uses companion planting and natural pest control measures and rejects the use of herbicides and pesticides.

The result is produce that is rich in nutrients and a balanced environment.

If we don’t make a biodiverse environment for bees,
they can’t make one for us.

Weleda Bee B&B School program

Pollination is vital to plants, to pollinators, to humans. Without it plants can’t reproduce. If we don’t give bees a safe home in a biodiverse environment, they can’t give one back to us

‘Native bees are amazing little creatures that we really want to have in our gardens, at school, wherever they may be. They are amazing pollinators and that’s just what our plants need to grow the fruit, veggies and flowers we love.’  Costa Georgiadis, Gardening Australia host.

If there’s no bees there’s no fruit. No vegetables. No flowers.

It doesn’t take much to welcome bees into our backyards. Bees often do better in urban areas than in the country, mainly because city parks and gardens contain a wider range of plant life.

Here’s some simple ideas that can have a big impact. 

A native Bee Hotel

  • Swap cuttings with neighbours
  • Build a Bee Hotel to encourage native solitary bees into your backyard
  • Back away from the lawn mower and let the micro flowers grow
    – bees love them!
  • Choose plants that flower more than once a year
  • Let your herbs flower
  • Enjoy your own backyard – if you love it, bees will love it too

Applying something toxic to our skin can be more damaging that swallowing it.

Eco make up class using Ere Perez and Weleda products

In my eco-makeup master class this fact really hit home. 

‘Skin is our biggest organ and like a giant sponge it absorbs everything we put on it into the body. And even more scarily, the bloodstream.’

Unfortunately, cosmetic ingredients are widely unregulated. And yes, toxic ingredients are allowed into our cosmetics. When we learn to read the label we empower ourselves to make our own choice, not just believe what companies would like us to believe.
Find out how you can avoid beauty nasties. 

‘Do your best until you know better.’  Liv Lundelius

Not all plastics we can see.
Micro plastics are not a micro problem.

Most of the plastics in our ocean we can’t even see.

Micro plastics are small plastic pieces less than five millimeters long. They are becoming increasingly harmful to our oceans and our sea life because a huge variety of the fish and shellfish we eat are consuming plastics directly too.

While most micro plastic is found in the guts of fish, which in most cases gets thrown away. Studies are now showing that it is leaching into the flesh of the fish.

If our marine life are eating micro plastics, that means we are too.

Micro beads are tiny pieces of polyethylene plastic sometimes added to health and beauty products, such as some cleansers and toothpastes. We can all make a simple change to reduce the impact of micro plastics but choosing a shower gel with wax beads rather than micro beads. In the short term that’s less plastic in the ocean and the long term benefit is that if we don’t buy it, companies won’t make it.

Change doesn’t have to be hard.

Big impact doesn’t have to come from big, complicated changes. If we, as individuals if make a little self-pledge to leave things better than we found them – no matter how small that may seem, it adds up to something very powerful.

The Weleda Australia team.

A massive thank you to the Weleda Australia team, David Johnson, Katja Phegan and all the amazing people who have given up their time to share such thought provoking experiences. I can’t thank you enough.

Did you learn something from our time in Sydney? I would love to hear about it!

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