Gardening Guru Shares Sustainability Secrets

Last weekend, sustainable superstar Josh Byrne from ABC’s Gardening Australia, visited Geraldton to give a workshop on Sustainable Landscapes.

The room was full and buzzing as Donna Ronan and talented digeridoo artist Leroy Shiosaki began with a beautiful Welcome to Country.

WA born Josh Byrne grew up in Esperance and spent his early days surrounded by amazing coastline and bushland. As a teenager, Josh took on the gardening chores and when he was 14-15 years old he was very into growing his own food and looking after the family gardens.

As Josh grew up he adopted a more sustainable outlook on gardening which influenced his education pathway of Environmental Science.  Josh studied part time while running his own gardening round business before joining multiple research groups and presenting on Gardening Australia.

With 2017 being Josh’s 15th year with Gardening Australia, he still believes the highlight of his career has been meeting other gardeners and being invited into their homes.

“Helping people understand the environment in which they live and the roles they can play in better managing their land is really important. We need to let people know that what they do at home can have a huge impact on our environmental footprint and their own sustainability,” said Josh.

Josh aims to create more pathways for regional communities to become more resilient and sustainable. “Geraldton is a great example because there are lots of community groups and movements happening that contribute to regional resilience,” he said.

A little bit extra

What is the biggest mistake landholders and gardeners make? Racing into things before understanding the site. “This often happens when people change from one property scale to another, for example, going from managing a garden to a small landholding.”

There is a third book on the way! “It is early days yet but my third book will be focussed on my personal research and work around sustainable housing.”

What’s your favourite place in Geraldton? “There are lots of cool places in Geraldton but I particularly love and always talk about Julie Firth’s property in Waggrakine, otherwise known as Dryland’s Permaculture Farm.”

Be sure to check out Josh’s video featuring his top 5 tips on how gardeners and small landholders can adopt more sustainable practices. (embed video from Facebook)

This project is supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program supported by Royalties for Regions, and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

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