You make friends with mushrooms. A few weeks ago I met three very inspiring ladies on the forefront of Australian permaculture: Kirsten of Milkwood Permaculture, Fiona of Buena Vista Farm and Annie of Autumn Farm Bega. These women are the movers and shakers of the sustainable south coast. They’re passionate about home-grown, home-reared and home-sheared produce and not afraid to show it.

As a young person interested in growing sustainable food on said coast, it was extraordinarily uplifting to talk smallholdings and organics with these women who have pulled up their sleeves and spent years developing successful farms and enterprises, all the while with families in tow.  It’s becoming a harder choice – do you rely on mass-produced meat, dairy and veg or do you do something about it and become part of the solution? It’s equally terrifying and exhilarating to choose the latter. But that’s exactly what these women are doing – forging a solution. Kirsten is one half of Milkwood Permaculture, an organisation committed to quality permaculture education and linking passionate people around Australia. Fiona is one half of Buena Vista Farm, showing us all how to raise our own meat, grow veg and cook it too. Annie is one half of Autumn Farm Bega, where veg and truly pastured, beyond free range chickens are king. These women are all approaching the same problem in different, yet complementary, ways. Combined, they’re a force to be reckoned with.

So you can understand that I was pretty excited to show them my humble mushroom setup on their recent road trip down my way. Here they are with some of my white oyster mycelial blocks. Rock on, you inspiring sustainable chicks. We’ve all got a lot to learn from you.

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Kirsten, Fiona and Annie.
Screenshot 2015-06-10 20.55.38
Annie with some mammoth white oysters.

In other news, Milton Mushrooms snagged a sweet photo in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food and hit up the Milton Markets over the long weekend as part of the Scarecrow Festival (phoenix oysters and grow kits galore). Then we talked mushrooms with Ruth Hessey of 89.7 FM on Monday Drive (listen to the show here), covering everything from edible Australian mushrooms to mushroom surfboards. You’ll find us at the Gaia Farmers’ Market starting 9 July at Ulladulla with mushies and grow kits. Plus there are more mushroom varieties coming soon!

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