Want an easier and cheaper way to grow?

Bring Nature's FREE ecological services back to your farm again

Growing healthy food doesn't need to be such hard work

Input costs are escalating, yet the price we get for our produce is approximately 50% less than it was in the 1950s in real terms. The future isn’t looking much brighter, with climate change triggering production losses due to droughts, floods and extreme temperatures.

Organic practices are great for growing chemical-free food and getting premium prices, BUT we rely on fertilisers, pest controls and labour intensive farm-made alternatives like compost and bio-fertilisers.

What's the solution?

Growing gets easier and cheaper by improving ecological functions in our production systems - by bringing back Nature’s FREE ecological services to our farms.

Set aside two days from working in your business to work on your business at our two-day workshop – ‘Grow farm profits using Ecological Practices’

Using a simple, proven toolkit of Ecological Practices you’ll have a low risk and affordable way to:

  1.  Grow healthy food
  2.  Reduce your input costs and crop losses due to extreme weather
  3.  Take carbon out of the atmosphere
  4.  Have the joy of bringing Nature back to your farm

 

The size of your enterprise doesn't matter. Join orchardists, dairy farmers, market gardeners, grain producers, and grazers already getting amazing results from using this ecological approach.

Who will benefit?

Experienced and new farmers who are open to new ways of growing.

It doesn’t matter what size of enterprise or type of production system. There are orchardists, dairy farmers, market gardeners, grain producers, and grazers already getting amazing results from using this ecological approach.

With standard practices farmers are stuck on a treadmill of escalating input costs. With some initial hard work to restore ecological functions they reduce costs and increase the resilience of their farms to extreme weather events.

What farmers say about our workshops

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David and Sandi Cohen, commercial organic green bean producers in Queensland, Australia.

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Dianne James is a business consultant supporting farming enterprises in NSW, Australia.

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Michelle Stephens runs a successful organic market garden in NSW, Australia.

Farm and Co

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Ron Purves, farming 40 acres north of Brisbane, Australia

Featured on national radio in Australia -  ABC Country Hour 

Learning from Nature - featured on national New Zealand Radio - Nights

why this ecological approach makes sense ….

Organic practices are great for growing chemical-free food and getting premium prices for products. However, growers rely on expensive inputs - fuel, machinery, fertilisers, pest controls, and farm-made alternatives like compost, bio-fertilisers, biochar, and mulch.

Agricultural Economists recommend counteracting declining profit margins by either ‘getting big’ or farming more intensively. ‘Get Big’ farmers shoulder the risk of narrowing profit margins by expanding their production base. But this approach requires considerable capital investments and the production systems have little inbuilt resilience.

The other option is to intensify production by increasing the return per hectare of land or dollar invested. It’s an approach requiring less up-front costs. But how can farmers grow more without extra fertilisers, pest controls, labour and machinery?

How can they intensify production without increasing costs?  Will they be any better off?

What is the solution?

Bringing Nature’s FREE ecological services back to our farms, using the technology Nature has developed over 3 billion years to create ecosystems that are:

  • Highly productive with the energy and resources they have available
  • Self maintaining
  • Resilient - quickly rebuilding essential functions and processes after disturbances
  • Environmentally sustainable

 

Everything we would like for our farms.

By restoring the key ecological functions - nutrient and water cycling, energy capture, and the beneficial connections to use these resources efficiently – farmers have a easier and cheaper way to grow food. They also increase the resilience of their production systems to extreme weather, sequester carbon, and have the joy of bringing Nature back to their farm.

How do we do it?

Change is challenging, even if what we are doing now is not working as well as we would like. As anyone who has converted from so-called ‘conventional’ to organic practices will tell you, change doesn’t happen overnight! It takes time, and growers worry about the risks and costs involved.

We need a transition process that’s simple, straightforward, and low-risk.

That’s why I’ve put together the toolkit of the Ecological Practices taught at this workshop. Using these Practices farmers:

  1. Grow from your Strengths
  2. Restore Nutrient Recycling
  3. Capture more solar energy
  4. Improve your Water Cycle
  5. Build connections
  6. Work with Nature’s restoration Strategy

At the workshop, participants will learn how to apply the Practices. Developing solutions that are responsive to their production systems and growing conditions, by understanding the ecological rationale – the why - behind the Practices.

What’s the solution?

Bring Nature’s FREE ecological services back onto our farms, using the technology Nature has developed over 3 billion years to create ecosystems that are:

  • Highly productive with the energy and resources they have available
  • Self maintaining
  • Resilient - quickly rebuilding essential functions and processes after disturbances
  • Environmentally sustainable

Everything we would like for our farms.

By restoring your key ecological functions - nutrient and water cycling, energy flow, and the beneficial connections to use these resources efficiently – you clients will have a easier and cheaper way to grow food, increase the resilience of their farm to extreme weather, take carbon out of the atmosphere, and have the joy of bringing Nature back into their farm again.

How do we do it?

Change is challenging, even if the current techniques are not working as well as growers would like. As anyone who has converted from so-called ‘conventional’ to organic practices will tell you, change doesn’t happen overnight! It takes time, and growers worry about the risks and costs involved.

We need a transition process that’s simple, straightforward, and low-risk.

That’s why I’ve put together the toolkit of the Ecological Practices in the Ecological Farming Handbook for farmers to use:

  1.  Restore nutrient recycling
  2. Capture solar energy
  3. Drought-proof your farm
  4. Build connections
  5. Grow from your strengths
  6. Work with Succession

 

At the workshop, participants will learn how to apply the Practices, getting inspiration and ideas from innovative growers around the world, and using the ecological rationale – the why behind the Practices - to apply them in ways that are responsive to their production systems and growing conditions.

story behind Learning from Nature

When I bought Hill Top Farm, I wanted to find an easier way to grow. I had been growing organically for many years but was intrigued by the benefits innovative growers were getting by improving ecological functions in their production systems.

These growers were reducing their costs, by bringing Nature’s free ecological services back to their farms. As an Ecologist, it seemed the logical way to grow.

My challenge was how to do it?

I knew I needed to find tools and techniques that would work well for my growing conditions and production systems.
What started out as an exploratory journey for myself, became a bigger project to make it easier for other growers to join the innovative farmers already obtaining amazing benefits from using this ecological approach.

I am excited by the innovative ideas and rate of change, as people realise the benefits that come from restoring Nature’s free ecological services.

> Dr Wendy Seabrook's credentials

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS ECOLOGICAL APPROACH

practicalities ….

I partner with community groups, regional and international development organisations to deliver these workshops.

Partners generally have extensive networks and media contacts for promotions, and organise registration, the  venue and catering.

My role is developing and delivering content relevant to the participants. I can help by supplying text, images and videos for promotional tools like posters, fliers, Facebook postings, and so on.

I charge $1,750/day ($1,500 for organisations without Government funding), plus travel and accommodation if required.

Achieve improved on-farm outcomes

We achieve better outcomes when we provide post-workshop support. I can provide this assistance through coaching - remote (via phone or Skype) or on-site.

I recommend a follow-up site visit 6 – 12 months after the workshop to see some of the projects, evaluate program outcomes and gather promotional material.

The farm visit can double up as a public field day, providing your organisation with an opportunity to extend program engagement beyond the initial workshop participants.

Contact Wendy to discuss running this workshop for your community

wendyseabrook@learningfromnature.com.au

phone on +61 7 4069 505

Learningfromnature.com.au