The Future Of Tasmania

Nov 22, 2017

Recently, I was invited to write an article for Island magazine around the theme ‘The Future of Tasmania’ and what I would like it to look like… Here’s what I wrote…

As a gardener, permaculture educator and landscape designer, when I think about the future of Tasmania, this little island at the bottom of the world with clean air, water, decent soils and rainfall – I think about agriculture and our relationship to this spectacular landscape.

Once upon a time the First Nations people of Australia managed this country as a whole for 10s of thousands of years. Like mainland Australia, the Palawa people used fire-stick farming to hunt animals, manage soil health and regenerate the land. Without a doubt they were some of the most sophisticated and successful agriculturalists ever.

Right now agriculture in Tasmania is predominantly based on the same model most of the world is following – big is better, monoculture focused and export orientated. However around the edges of this is an industry of small growers and producers in both urban and rural contexts offering up some of the best food and produce in the world. As an unwritten rule, they’re organic (certified or not), sell a significant portion of their produce within Tasmania and have a strong connection to their community.

Another general rule is that, with a few exceptions, they’re financially just scrapping by as they compete with big business. While small agriculture might ultimately be better for our environment and communities, it doesn’t always stand up to the current reality where lack of government support and debt can cripple enterprises. Something needs to change.

Lets jump ahead 100 years where agriculture is radically changed. There’s an over-riding manifesto of how people do agriculture and it goes something like this…

The whole island is organic due to the necessity of needing to look after natural resources.

Central to education is how we relate to our landscape. Farmers or not, we all know the basics, that without a healthy earth we’re stuffed. No one’s trying to commodify or ravage it – it’s simply not an option.

A significant portion of all cultivated land is under perennial food crops providing high yields and health for our soils and ground water. Annual crops are still grown, but in appropriate sized patches amongst a perennial landscape.

For meat, we no longer only farm livestock such as cows, sheep and pigs, but have also fully embraced sustainably harvesting wild wallabies, possums and the like for protein and for population control. Livestock are grazed beneath large nut orchards and no landscape is put under monoculture crops as everyone knows this only provides short-term gain, which just isn’t good enough any more.

Interstate trade and exporting of produce still happens, but only with a strong filter of sound ethics and only once Island folk are catered for. No one eats crap, processed food as it was phased out rapidly in the 2030s once the health effects were too bad to ignore.

Land ownership is more fluid with people being able to access land without having to go into debt. And while there might still be fences to contain livestock, we manage landscapes as a whole, just like the Palawa people once did.

And at the end of the day in this future of ours, when you look across this spectacular landscape, your heart will beat loud knowing that you’re part of it.

your thoughts:

2 Comments

  1. Hans Sipsma

    Love that vision of Tasmania, it is good that you are getting the message out there. That’s what people need right now as they feel discontent with the spectre of environmental disaster looming. A vision to aim for, a better world , environmentally, socially and psychologically.
    And being involved in the change is the best way to feel better about it.
    More visions please, to feed the hunger for a new world that people feel right now.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You might also like…

Home Harvest 2022

Home Harvest 2022

We’ve just wrapped up our third Home Harvest. It was so good that I’m sharing it with you here. But first, what even is it?? Funded by the City of Hobart and supported by Eat Well Tasmania and Sustainable Living Tasmania, Home Harvest is a one day self guided edible garden tour around the nipaluna/Hobart […]

Home Harvest Host Call Out!

Home Harvest Host Call Out!

We’re happy to announce we’re working with Eat Well Tasmania and Sustainable Living Tasmania to hold our third annual “Home Harvest” garden tour in the Hobart region!  Special thanks to the City of Hobart for funding this great initiative. Home Harvest is going to be a one day event on Saturday March 5th, 2022 in and around Hobart where […]

A Reading From My Book, ‘The Good Life’

A Reading From My Book, ‘The Good Life’

This past week I launched my book in nipaluna at the Town Hall with Kirsten Bradley and 300 other new and old friends. It was very special for me to be able to share this moment with so many beautiful souls. Dear friend, Kirsten Bradley and me 🙂 To celebrate the book coming out into […]

International Compost Week

International Compost Week

Howdy Folks, Just popping in with a little heads up this it’s currently International Compost Week! Running from May 2 – 8th, it’s a time to tune into what’s happening with you, food waste and composting. Maybe it’s not going so well for you right now (we’ve all been there), but friends it doesn’t have […]

2021 Home Harvest – Host Callout!

2021 Home Harvest – Host Callout!

We’re happy to announce we’re working with Eat Well Tasmania and Sustainable Living Tasmania to hold our second annual “Home Harvest” garden tour in the Hobart municipality!  Special thanks to the City of Hobart for funding this great initiative. Home Harvest is going to be a one day event on Saturday March 6th, 2021 in […]

Permaculture and Racism

Permaculture and Racism

It’s been a devastating week in our global community where systemic racism has repeatedly reared its ugly head with the death of George Floyd, Rio Tinto literally blowing up an aboriginal sacred site 46,000 years old and Christian Cooper being threatened while bird watching. And all while National Reconciliation Week is taking place here in […]

How To Grow Green Manures & A Better World For All

How To Grow Green Manures & A Better World For All

Green manure crops are used within a crop rotation cycle to re-nourish the soil in preparation for further annual crops. Our latest AND LAST Crisis Gardening video steps you through what green manure seeds you can grow for both cold and warm seasons and how to do it. It also explores how we can grow […]

Home Harvest: Host Callout!

Home Harvest: Host Callout!

We’re happy to announce we’re working with Eat Well Tasmania and Sustainable Living Tasmania to hold the inaugural “Home Harvest” garden tour in the Hobart municipality!  Special thanks to the City of Hobart for funding this great initiative. Home Harvest is going to be a one day event on March 7th, 2020 in the Hobart […]

Life in the Face of The Climate Crisis

Life in the Face of The Climate Crisis

This past weekend I (Hannah) was invited to give a brief talk at Landcare Tasmania’s conference – an exploratory chat on land and life in the face of the climate crisis. I thought a lot about what to say and even put words on paper (a rare occurrence) – here are those words… I get […]

Our Car Share: One Less Car & One More Bike!

Our Car Share: One Less Car & One More Bike!

After many months of planning and thinking, we sold our 4WD ute, bought a second electric bike and entered a car share arrangement with some mates around the corner who have a small “buzz box” car. It feels really good. . Jodie and Marty’s buzz box and our two electric bikes But Why? Two main […]

Mab Ueang Agri-Nature Centre in Thailand

Mab Ueang Agri-Nature Centre in Thailand

The Mab Ueang Agri-Nature Centre is an educational, diverse farm located one hour out of Bangkok, Thailand. At 30 years old, this mature farm is predominantly a giant food forest with small rice paddies and strategic water systems integrated. It’s amazing. It’s based on the late King Bhumibol’s many decades of research and advocacy in […]