Can Natural Sequence Farming change our future?

Friday, 20 September

Lismore City Council is hosting training into Natural Sequence Farming from 23-26 September at Jiggi Hall in an effort to contribute to flood mitigation and explore ways to combat climate change.

Staff from Council, Rous County Council, Southern Cross University and members of the Floodplain Management Committee will attend the training to learn about this method of retaining water in the landscape.

Natural Sequence Farming was pioneered by Bylong Valley farmer Peter Andrews on his property Tarwyn Park and is a technique of regenerative agriculture and land care. It is a system of farming focused on transforming dry and degraded landscapes by improving water retention and promoting plant growth.

Tarwyn Park Training, which will host the four-day course at Jiggi, was started by the Andrews family to share this system of farming with other landholders throughout Australia.

Peter Andrews’ work has been internationally recognised and in 2011 he received Australia's highest public award, the Order of Australia Medal, for his work. He has been featured on ABC’s Australian Story twice showcasing his unique method of landscape restoration, which he describes as ‘terraquaculture – natural farming based on water’.

The training has been organised by Lismore City Council General Manager Shelley Oldham following a recent visit to Forage Farm at Kandanga in Queensland, where they have restored the landscape using Natural Sequence Farming. She described the experience as “inspirational” and wants to explore how these principles can be applied locally.

“While the theories and practices largely focus on the application of Natural Sequence Farming at a micro level, I’m keen to ultimately collaborate across the region to investigate the feasibility of applying these principles at a macro level,” Shelley said.

“There is potential here for these systems to be used as flood mitigation strategies and, additionally, investigate it as a means through which whole landscapes of degraded country might be restored.

“Innovation is something we should always encourage, explore and try to learn from, particularly as we face the challenges of a changing climate. I want to see what we as a region can learn from Tarwyn Park Training and how we may apply this to our flood and agricultural challenges.”

 

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