This wonderful article came out in the Rural Weekly about The Beacon at the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens.
Thanks to journalist Kirili Lamb for making this happen, and to John and Christene Sweet for getting this bunch of legends together for the photo shoot! Featured in the photo are Christene and John Sweet, Robert Bole, Ray Abela, Arthur Grech, (front) Deb McLucas, Sharon Dallas, Kevin Kay, Michael Attard and George Tonga.
I’ve pasted below the text from the article:
Group a beacon shining bright with ideas
CENTRAL Queensland Soil Health Systems has been successfully demonstrating the productivity of biological, regenerative on-farm land management systems as a group for the past five years, building on years of individual work and experience of members.
Mostly working across commercial cane and livestock, the group has 33
members, whose operations deploy a range of principles including biodynamics, permaculture, keyline, organics and natural sequencing.
CQSHS is in the process of applying for round two funding to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation Fund, aiming to establish 30 demonstration sites on cane farms in identified water quality hotspots in the Plane Creek and Mackay growing districts, utilising the group’s approaches.
The group is currently spearheading The Beacon demonstration site on the grounds of Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, which was planted initially with mixed legumes, followed by a co-planting of sunflowers and sugar cane.
Sunflowers were mulched in November, leaving the cane.
The site integrates as a Watershed Arts Agriculture installation work led by Lucas Ihlein and Kim Williams, integrating film, song and photographic elements to communicate regenerative farming ideas to both cane farmers and the broader community.