My name is Josh and I am currently in my third year of a Bachelor of Business (Innovation and Enterprise) combined with a Bachelor of Health Sciences. When I first started at Flinders I wanted to get stuck straight into starting an urban farm or permaculture garden on campus and it’s been an amazing journey so far. I quickly became known as the ‘permaculture guy’ and what we’ve managed to achieve through the Flinders Permaculture Committee, which I helped set up, has been incredible.
If you don’t know what permaculture is don’t stress – most people in permaculture will struggle to articulate it simply and what it is can be different depending on experience. At the simplest level, permaculture is a set of 12 design principles which enable sustainable, if not regenerative, systems to be designed. Permaculture, the word itself, is just the fusion of ‘permanent’ and ‘culture’.
Agriculture food production is normally at the center of permaculture. While we don’t tend to think about it much, agriculture is crucial for our day to day living. You need a doctor once a year, but you need farmers at least 3 times a day! I believe through exposing people to gardens and food production, we can amplify the importance of permaculture.
Over the last couple of years I’ve worked with other students at Flinders to revitalise the community garden on campus, re-establish the Sturt Native Garden and coordinate a whole university effort to start a whole new ‘market garden’ dedicated to food production. The Sturt Native Garden has had more aquatic plants planted in the pond to encourage more frogs, the creek has been replanted and more groundcover planted as well to encourage more birds, bees and butterflies. We will also soon be planting more fruit trees on campus and all students will be able to pick and eat the delicious fresh fruit.
These gardens projects have been a great mix of my degrees in business and health promotion. I’m super passionate about connecting people to where food comes from and it’s my favorite thing in the world to bring someone into the garden who has never experienced such a thing before.
It’s been a whirlwind 3 years and I’m incredibly excited to see what the next couple bring. Expansion of current gardens and building new ones, making more amazing relationships in our community and ultimately helping shift Flinders towards a sustainable future is just a snippet of what’s to come no doubt