The day wasn’t planned just to see the week-old baby goats, but they were the highlight of the excursion for many students (as you can see)! During the ENVS3006 Sustainability: Theory and Practice excursion, we visited and learned from local Hunter Valley businesses that practice sustainability in different ways through their business models, processes and goals. There was a clear focus on businesses that support sustainable organic and biodynamic farming practices.
Mark Brown and Kate Beveridge at Purple Pear took students on a tour of their organic community-supported agriculture farm. They showed students around their market garden and their animals to explain how elements of the farm of are utilised to function together. Both Mark and Kate see “permaculture as a way of thinking, a way of looking at things and a system of design” which was evident when walking around the farm and hearing their stories.
We also visited Organic Feast where students learned about the ethics behind their business and how the store stocks organic foods, personal and home care products that are sourced from ethical food systems that promote the nutrition, health and wellbeing of our community and environment.
Finally we visited Macquariedale Organic Wines to learn about how the owners decided to focus on sustainability within their business and become the first vineyard in the Hunter Valley to receive Full Biodynamic Certification in 2006. Students learned what it took for them to adapt their farming practices to grow their vineyard naturally which they consider “secures a better and healthier future for our land, our plants, ourselves and for our customers.”
It was a wonderful opportunity for students to see sustainable agriculture in practice, to build connections and learn from people working in the industry.
You can see more photos from the day below: