Growing the community
We aim to strengthen connections within the community through growing and sharing food and knowledge… and have fun while we do it

southeast-harvest-600The Southeast Harvest is SAGE’s flagship event and in 2017, will be held at the Moruya Agricultural Showgrounds on 1st April.

The festival is determinedly grassroots, organised by SAGE volunteers and ensuring free entry for everyone.

CONTACT THE SOUTHEAST HARVEST COMMITTEE

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Guest speakers have included author and science communicator Julian Cribb, soil guru Bruce Davison and a diverse collection of food producers and chefs who have demonstrated how to make healthy, wholesome food from local produce.

In 2017, we are thrilled to be collaborating and co-creating with with our local Walbunja People – the first farmers in this region – for our upcoming festival.

Author of “Dark Emu, Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident?”, Bruce Pascoe and fellow author of “The Oldest Foods on Earth”, John Newton will be speaking at this year’s event and sharing their knowledge with us. Walbunja Senior Woman Lee-Anne Parsons and Walbunja/Gumbayggirr man Bindarray jiibiny will also be joining the speaker panel to contribute their knowledge to the discussion of farming and food in our cultures.

Stall holders come from all over the southeast region of New South Wales and include growers, makers, retailers of sustainable products and community groups including primary schools and even preschools. Plus there’s always a heap of activities and games for the kids to enjoy along with some fabulous local food.

SAGE’s annual dinner, The Riverfeast, has become legendary for its inspiring local food menu and unbeatable party atmosphere. We believe good food produced locally should be celebrated!

Click or tap to visit the Southeast Harvest website

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In the SAGE Plan, we have identified a number of community groups with whom to develop stronger connections. One such group is our established farmers in the Eurobodalla.

Part of our mission is to gather and share knowledge. We recognise that there exists a wealth of local knowledge that we have barely tapped since we began in 2009.

Through events such as our “Chew the Fat” evening, as part of the Southeast Harvest festival, we endeavour to engage with farmers and eaters on the grittier issues facing our food system today and in the future.

SAGE acknowledges that while approaches to food production vary greatly, we have more to unite us than divide us and our community has much to gain by farmers of all philosophies strengthening their connection to each other.

WANT TO CONNECT? CONTACT SAGE TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER

We acknowledge the traditions of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, the Djuwin Nation, in particular the local Brinja Djuwin and Walbanga people, on whose land SAGE grows and celebrates food.

CONTACT THE SAGE COMMITTEE

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There is a rising consciousness of the agricultural heritage of Australia’s first people. We seek to connect with the keepers of this knowledge and discover what role SAGE can play in both preserving it and applying it to modern food production.

We also recognise the benefit to individual and community wellbeing when different cultural groups come together through the universal practice of gardening.

Through schools and other organisations, SAGE seeks to be guided in building our connection to the Koori community respectfully and harmoniously.

SAGE is pleased to acknowledge the contributions of the Eurobodalla Shire Council as an enabler of many of our projects.

From sourcing the site for the SAGE Garden, to a cooperative approach in overcoming development issues, to an enthusiastic response to establishing our farmers market and assistance in obtaining grant funding for the creation of our innovative e-market, Council has demonstrated that the objectives of a community organisation can be — and need to be — supported in ways beyond direct funding.

SAGE was an active participant in the public consultation process for the Rural Lands Strategy adopted in February 2016. We are pleased that we were able to contribute current data and feedback which particularly helped guide the sections in the strategy pertaining to local food.

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Council and SAGE continue to reinforce our joint efforts to support the local food system through an agreement negotiated in early 2016. In recognition of the explicitly local focus of the SAGE Farmers Market and the direct impact the market is having on the growth of the local agricultural economy, Council will return the equivalent of 40% of the site fees paid by the market to occupy Riverside Park. These funds, paid quarterly, will be used to address specific points raised in the Rural Lands Strategy that relate to “growing the growers” in our shire, one of SAGE’s primary objectives.

We look forward to a continued productive relationship with local government.