Solar Powered – SHORT TALKS STAGE.

Head along to the Solar Powered Short Talks Stage and meet the wonderful presenters of 2019 bring you amazing information from a wide variety of topics. This area will be shaded with plenty of seating and a cafe by WithOneBean, so you can enjoy an ethical coffee and relax throughout your busy festival day.  

Please make your way to the short talks stage at 9:15 for Welcome to Country with local Aboriginal Elder – Uncle Freddie (Dowling).

TALK 1: Energy Efficient & Sustainable Homes for Future Generations

Talk 1 GrunEco - Passive Solar House Design Talk

TIME: 9.30 – 10.15am

Join Simone Schenkel of Grun Eco to learn about passive house standards and how they can not only guarantee you a highly energy efficient and sustainable home but can also have a huge impact on the health of your family.

At Gruen Eco Design we design beautiful energy efficient and sustainable homes for future generations. We are passionate about sustainable design; because we believe it can and must be affordable for everyone and as a matter of course should be integrated naturally throughout the whole design process, rather than designing something and trying to make it sustainable later.

See our work at:


TALK 2: Consumer to Home Producer, a permaculture journey.

Consumer to Producer, a permaculture journey with David Arnold of Murrnong Farm

TIME: 10.30 – 11.15

Meet David Arnold long-term permaculture farmer and PDC teacher from the Murrnong Farm, Violet Town.

As run-away consumption leads to run-away climate change, we each need to stop and decide what it is that we as individuals can do to turn things around.

There are many sides to this worldly problem, but David Arnold has made Murrnong Farm a shining example of the first big and important steps in the right direction. Since 1996 he has taken Murrnong Farm from a 20 acre grass field to bountiful permaculture production, using tree crops, forestry, chickens, goats, and of course home garden! What they have done there demonstrates how our human impact where we live can shift from being an ecological burden on the planet, to active earth repair. All while improving our own quality of life in the process.

These days their diet is about 80% home production, and sometimes the contents of their fridge are 100% home produce. Surplus abundant farm produce is preserved, and/or sold locally. They recycle, re-purpose, repair, travel less, buy very few new items, share skills, and passing on their knowledge after a fantastic 20 year journey on the land….

I could go on, but I’ll save the story for David to tell. Join him at the short talks stage for stories, tips and tricks in becoming a home producers.


………….And be sure to Visit the Murrnong Stall in the Alternative Farming area to buy some of their wonderful produce or join David in the conversation hub for a more intimate chat.

TALK 3: Joy of Building with Bamboo

TIME: 11.30 – 12.15

Making something with your hands is a highly rewarding experience and its much better if you do it with other like minded people.

In this informative talk Munir from Giant Grass will talk about their co-design and co-building approach to building communities using bamboo as a sustainable material. You will learn about how planting and using bamboo can benefit the environment and yourself.

Promoting the use of bamboo is at the heart of what we do at Giant Grass. Our interest in bamboo is grounded in the intention to foster the use of this structurally high-performing, low cost and ecologically sustainable material in small-scale building industry.

See more here:

TALK 4: Loving Life Off-Grid

TIME: 12.30 – 1.00pm

Join Sahaj, the Off-Grid Elder, as he ventures into the realms of his LIFE and LOVE and memories of living off-grid for over 40 years.

When we talk about Off-Grid Living it’s often about practical elements like building homes, power, water and waste, but have you ever stopped to think about how you might cope emotionally with the changes an off-grid life would bring?Sahaj will look at the positives and negative aspect off-griders may face on their journey. He’ll get you considering your own needs and abilities, and the approach you might like to take on your adventures off the grid.

This will be an entertaining and thought provoking talk for all.

See more of Sahaj’s passions and works here:

TALK 5: Integrated Energy Systems

TIME: 1.30 – 2.15pm

In the past going off-grid was very much a DIY, solo affair and if you’re not handy or electrically minded, getting your energy systems up and running could be a mighty hard task.

As off-grid culture is become more mainstream there are now professionals who can help you make the best possible decisions in products and hardware and make sure they’re all running efficiently together as part of an ‘integrated system’.

The team at Future NRG are just the people you want to speak to. During this talk they’ll take you through some of the latest advances in setting up off-grid homes and business.

See more from Future NRG here:

TALK 6: Raising Fleece Animals Naturally

TIME: 2.30 – 3.00pm

Keeping Fleece Animals as Part of an Artificial – Chemical – Free Permaculture System.

Fibre and fabric are an integral part of human existence, and producing them ethically from scratch is a vital part of sustainable self sufficiency.

In this talk I will share my experiences in setting up my still young and evolving system to include my animals, keeping them healthy and happy, and using their fibre sustainably.

With Tine Brok from Eucy Redd –

Join us on Facebook –

Eucy Redd offers unique naturally dyed upcycled products and hand made fibre items.All are based in a philosophy of ethical enjoyable clothing and fabric, and reconnecting the wearer to nature.

TALK 7: Natural Building

Natural Building presentation

TIME: 3.15 – 4.00pm

Natural building: what method is right for you, your budget and environment.

All prospective owner-builders and off-grid dreamers are encouraged to join Kegan in a conversation about natural building and how to decide which method is right for you, your budget and the environment.

In this broad discussion, we’ll cover straw bale, Earhthships, hempcrete, mud brick and the various modes of construction (workshop, owner-builder, licensed builder) that can used to create your natural home.

Disillusioned with the limitations of environmental activism, Kegan became passionate about combining grassroots direct action and the down-to-earth ethic of natural building. In the next few years he studied and practised in a number of complementary fields, including permaculture design, horticulture, natural building (straw bale and Earthships), environmental philosophy and the sociology of nature. In 8 years of practise, Kegan has developed alternative skills to become an accomplished natural building and permaculture tradesperson. His lifes goal is to learn the art and science of natural building and permaculture so he can work with others to achieve their sustainability goals

See Kegan’s work here:

Instagram: of_the_earth_permaculture Facebook:

Demystifying the challenges of community living.

Talk about community living, ecovillages, green subdivisions, louise kelly, tim hicks and rob fenton

TIME: 4.15 – 5.00pm

Embracing new Possibilities in Rural Communities

Panel of Presenters:

  • Louise Kelly, Jarvis Springs
  • Tim Hicks, co- founder Cultivate Farms
  • Rob Fenton, Head Teacher of production at National Agriculture Centre Thurgoona

Dreaming of living Off-Grid, but don’t want to do it alone? If buying a farm with friends, starting an eco-village or intentional community is your dream, this is the talk for you!

This wonderful panel of presenters will demystifying the challenges and red tape that are stopping people from making progress in areas of communal living and communal farming. Come along and hear about the latest in Green Subdivisions, getting planning approvals, Rural Activity Zoning,  Eco village hempcrete tiny homes, Small Farm Viability and  Innovative ways for owning your own farm.

More about the presenters:

Jarvis Springs – after 150 years of Kellys farming at Jarvis Creek it is time to transition to new farming families and embrace viable approaches to restorative agriculture. Louise will talk on the journey of bringing a 100 year vision of creating community and restoring landscape to the family farm. Louise will share the vision of the multi use green development model, the process of the subdivision and the challenges that were overcome. The 8 titles include 2 large titles now leased to Tim and Tegan Hicks from Cultivate Farms,  5 small farms ready for families wanting to embrace a different life and the house title on 10 acres with a planning permit for an Off grid Eco village of 8 tiny hempcrete homes with rammed earth floors and art studio. Watch this space for the upcoming website………

Cultivate Farms – Tim and Tegan Hicks are co founders of Cultivate Farms. Tim grew up on a farm at Berrigan, has rolled up his sleeves and had his hands in the dirt. Tim has a heart in land restoration and was instrumental in the planting of 6000 trees at Thurgoona Golf course to create wildlife corridors for the endangered squirrel glider. Tim tells a good yarn and will share his story of how he came to be on Jarvis Springs. Tim, a family man through and through wants to see families being able to own their own farms and be part of Rural Communities.  Cultivate Farms was born out of this and offers a matchmaking service for young aspiring farmers and retiring farmers. Tim will share stories of successful farm matches that Cultivate Farms have instigated and the possibilities opening up in the Towong Shire area.

Rob Fenton is a well respected expert on restorative agriculture and a passionate believer in the potential of small farms. Rob is in demand to share his expertise on what productive, profitable small farms look like, a different model and approach from large scale mechanical farming. With 70% of world agriculture produced on farms of 2 hectares or less, it is time to look at small acreage as more than a lifestyle.  Rob will talk on what practises they employ on the organic green gate farm at Thurgoona, and give examples of other potential possibilities for viable small farms Green Gate Organic Farm