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Originally from sugar cane farming in North Queensland, one of six kids with parents who always grew their own food. During my years at the bank in Sydney as Sustainability Work Stream Leader I was charged with researching sustainability issues and helping the staff in our department learn how to reduce their impact on the world; at the office, in the home, and garden. I gathered knowledge on consumption, waste and procurement dependance and implemented learnings for our staff that was a real eye opener for everyone. Our reliance on natural resources and vast international systems to entertain, feed, and clothe us makes us vulnerable, and though our collective attitude in decades' past to consumption and waste is slowly changing, more needs to be done to increase our grass roots resilience and self-reliance, both personally and in our communities. We're igniting a local movement towards greater self-reliance, food security, good health, collaboration, sharing of skills, ideas, hard work and laughs. I love growing organic heirloom vegetables and living as chemically free as possible. When we garden we truly find ourselves and each other. Join 'The Blitz List' Email Signup to subscribe to the Blog and get all the info and happenings.

Inspirational! The Eden Project

My jaw dropped when I saw what they did with this disused clay pit mine in England!


The Eden Project, an educational charity, connects us with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work towards a better future.

Our visitor destination in Cornwall, UK, is nestled in a huge crater. Here, massive Biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants, exhibitions and stories serve as a backdrop to our striking contemporary gardens, summer concerts and exciting year-round family events.

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Mop Tops – Council’s Aboricultural Assessment

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On 5 Jun 2015, at 3:40 pm, Janet Kay <> wrote:

Hi Francine,

Thank you kindly for forwarding the Arboricultural Assessment.

Can you please confirm if Council will be implementing within the Mt Beauty CBD Renewal plans, the arborists suggestions:

5.17 The use of responsive design to improve the growing environment may further increase the useful life expectancy of both species. This could include

i.) Expansion of the growing area by removing the asphalt between the planter beds and the pavement

ii.) Installation of a curb and channel system that catches and stores water for the trees.

5.18 Any streetscape re-development may also adversely affect tree health and therefore future life expectancy if undertaken insensitively. Changes in natural grade, or any digging, cutting or boring may impact upon the tree root system reducing the trees’ capacity to uptake water and nutrients and potentially destabilising them.

6.5 Bollards should be expanded or moved to prevent rubbing on tree trunks and to allow for future trunk expansion.

Can you also advise when the community can expect the Mt Beauty CBD Renewal works to be underway, or when a meeting will be held to update the community?

We look forward to hearing.

Have a great weekend.

Kind regards,

Janet Kay
Alpine Permablitz Collective

On 3 Jun 2015, at 4:20 pm, Francine Stacey <> wrote:

Hi Janet,

I am the new Project Officer responsible for managing the delivery of the Mt Beauty CBD project. Charlie Bird forwarded me your email and requested that I send you the arboricultural assessment recently completed for the Robinia’s in Hollonds Street and Kiewa Crescent. Please find this document attached.

If you have any queries regarding the report, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Francine Stacey AILA
Project Officer – Delivery
03 5755 0567
0437 222 439
Alpine Shire Council
ABN 14 821 390 281
2 Churchill Avenue, Bright
PO Box 139, Bright, VIC, 3741

On 3 Jun 2015, at 7:24 am, Janet Kay wrote:

Hi Charlie,

I hope you’re having a great lead in to winter and keeping warm.

Just touching base to request a copy of the independent arborist’s report mentioned below, or ask that it be posted on the Alpine Shire Council website for community members to view.

Kind regards,

Janet Kay
Alpine Permablitz Collective

On 17 Apr 2015, at 12:11 pm, Janet Kay wrote:

Thank you Charlie, it is great news that sound logic has prevailed.

Retailers have voiced that regular maintenance has certainly been missing from Council on these trees. We’ll be watching their maintenance closely in the coming years.

We would be very interested to read this report and understand what ‘useful life’ entails, and what key markers/symptoms we can expect to see at the end of ‘useful life’.

I appreciate your thorough and timely communications with me throughout this process Charlie. Greatly appreciated.

Good work.

Have a great weekend.

Kind regards,

Janet Kay
Alpine Permablitz Collective

On 17 Apr 2015, at 7:54 am, Charlie Bird wrote:

Dear Janet,

Thank you for your recent interest and involvement in the discussion about the Mop Tops in Mt Beauty.

After listening to a range of community concerns about Council’s proposal, I am able to advise that the Mop Tops will be retained.

Council explored feedback on issues with the Mop Tops including how many trees are causing damage, the nature and scale of any damage and how these impacts can be mitigated. We spoke to a number of retailers as part of this research. The result is that the damage is relatively minimal and that better tree pruning, maintenance and timely leaf litter removal would address most of the issues.

We also commissioned an independent arborist’s report which shows the trees have a useful life of about 20 years.

Given the concerns that have been raised about the suitability of the Mop Top trees in a retail precinct, we believe it would be prudent to consider a more suitable tree replacement species at the end of their useful life.

Again, I thank you for your interest in your community and hope you enjoy the Mop Tops into the future.


Charlie Bird
Director Assets
(03) 5755 0555
0428 392 554
Alpine Shire Council
ABN 14 821 390 281
Great Alpine Road, Bright
PO Box 139, Bright, VIC, 3741

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Food is Free Day – Lovely turn out

We had a wonderful morning on Sunday, 1st March for Food is Free Day. Goes to show how busy you are when you only find out two weeks later that we were actually on the front cover!

Thanks to everyone who came out and shared herbs, fruit & veg and lovely conversation. To those who needed and took home we hope you enjoyed every last nummy bite!

If you’d like to experience more home-grown, spray-free local produce you can drop in to The Growers’ Co op every Tuesday 10am-2pm at Mountain Health next to Flour + Water.

If you’d like to learn more about our volunteer permablitzing group to help develop your garden to grow more veggies join The Blitz List for info on upcoming events.

Look forward to seeing you in the garden soon!

Food-is-Free-Front-Cover Food-is-Free-article

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Janet Kay
PO Box 362
Mount Beauty Vic 3699
grow (at)

Sat & Sun: 8AM – 4PM

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