After a few false starts, with many date changes due to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent restrictions on gatherings, we finally got to start on the 2020 Blockie’s Course. To say that we started as a very mixed group of about 30 individuals, with a varied interests in our various sized blocks, would be a pretty true statement.
I have to admit that I didn’t really know what to expect from this Course. Even though I have bought loads from the Nursery over the years, I have never actually been to a Landcare Course before. I had no idea if it was going to be any good or not…
The basic outlay of each week was available at the point of enrolment. We covered Permaculture, Bio Dynamics, Soil Testing, Small Crop Grazing, Pollinator’s and Insects (we will never look at a Microbat the same), Rural Fire Safety, Invasive Species and Soil Health and Regneration. We were even lucky enough to spend a day with Stuart Andrews at Tarwyn Park, Kybong. I have to say that just listing what we did is not enough to give an accurate description of what we all got out of each and every day.
This is not a Course where you sit around and get two pieces of information for the entire day. This is a course where you get to do a lot of “Doing” and loads of information comes at you all day long!
I don’t think anyone got to the end of the day thinking any day was a waste of time – in fact, I think we all drove out each day thinking hard on how we could implement all that we learnt.
All of the speakers knew their subjects, brought tonnes of passion and could answer all our questions. All the modules were right on target for those with a Block that have a desire to improve their part of the Planet.
It didn’t take long for us to all start finding common ground and each adding our own knowledge to the conversation, from our own experiences and the depth of that knowledge was, at times, limitless – Donald I am naming you here!!!
Some of us were very new to our Blocks, some have been working on our Blocks for years but no matter where we are in our journey – there was one thing in common. We all have a drive for improving/restoring/sharing (with the Wildlife) our Blocks. We all, now, with a good depth of knowledge, have a much clearer understanding of where we are heading.
Myself personally…..I am a bit of a greenie and have spent years researching and presenting about Climate Change. I have been building rainforest for 12 years on my Block and I thought I had a pretty good plan in place with a very long term goal (100 years) and whilst I am sticking with my idea, I am now – with all this extra information rattling around in my head – going to “up the ante”. I can see that by doing this Course I have a deeper understanding of just how big a difference I can make to my part of Mother Earth and that difference is truly huge all without spending $1,000’s or moving in the D9 Bulldozers.
I think many of us would agree that equally important was that we came out of this Course as firm friends. In fact, we are even continuing our time together….. We are now organising our own farm visits amongst ourselves. We have a FB page to stay in touch. We are looking at doing Working Bee’s at each others places. We as a collective are going to draw on our individual skills and help each other out.
Would I recommend this Course to anyone with a Block, if they are not sure what to do or where to start? Yes, I most sincerely would. You will get so much out of this – I can not over-sell this enough.
When the 2021 Blockies Course comes up – do yourself a favour and sign up!
Written by Naomi Wilson – 2020 Course Attendee
Edited by Rhiaan Ashton – Education & Events Coordinator