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2024 TAS Community Gardens Gathering

2024 TAS Community Gardens Gathering


Product Description

Come and experience a fabulous day at The Shed in Rocherlea with your fellow Tassie community gardeners.

Learn from fellow community gardeners, speakers and workshops. Join the big lunch cook-up for our community lunch. Tasmanian wild foods author Rees Campbell will share her love of foraging local ingredients and seaweeds and will demonstrate cooking techniques. Yum—in a wild food sort of way!

Dr Yolanda Hanusch will explore what plants we can grow in our garden to attract beneficial insects. Bruce French will outline his contribution in compiling a vast database covering almost all edible food plants globally.

This is a day to learn about:

  • the secret life of soil
  • the insects that inhabit our community gardens
  • community garden governance 
  • a tour of Launceston community gardens.

Morning and afternoon tea as well as lunch is included in the ticket, as is a fabulous evening dinner with live entertainment. 

Please bring your own:

  • keepcup and bag for goodies
  • water bottle
  • seeds and/or plants to swap
  • some of your produce to share, as we will have a food swap at the end of the day.

We will spend some time outdoors so dress appropriately for the weather and don’t forget your sun protection.

Everyone is welcome. Fully accessible. 


  • 9:30 am — Arrive for a 9:45 am start
  • 9:45 am — Keynote speakers
    • Rees Campbell — Cook wild Tasmania
    • Dr Yolanda Hanusch — Bug out — how to welcome (some) insects into your garden
    • Bruce French — Database of international food plants.
  • 11:00 am — Morning tea
  • 11:30 am — Community garden networking session — a garden nominates someone to let us know what their garden has been up to; other participants can let us know their interest in community gardening
  • 12:20 pm — Outline how the Open Space Sessions will work
    • bring your ideas—you are invited to facilitate a discussion circle or run a workshop in the afternoon; there are seven workshop/discussion spaces available
      • facilitate a discussion — ideas: how to start a garden, how to develop a management plan, how to deal with conflict, how to develop links with local government
      • run a workshop, bring materials — ideas: composting, worm farming, seed saving, pest management etc
  • 12:40 pm — Lunch preparation and open space sessions (one of the open space sessions will be a cooking session to prepare lunch alongside the chef)
  • 1:30 pm — Lunch
  • 2:30 pm — Open space sessions continue
  • 3:00 pm — End of open space sessions and join together to organise tours
  • 3:15 pm — Community Garden tours in the Northern Suburbs
  • 6:00 pm — Dinner with evening entertainment.


Meet our speakers who will be part of the upcoming TAS Community Gardens Gathering:

Rees Campbell

Rees Campbell is Tasmanian by birth and attitude. She is passionate about the island she was lucky enough to be born on and its extraordinary places, creatures, plants and people which inspire her. This passion has led her to explore and write about Tasmania’s edible native larder, both on the land and in the sea. Rees wants knowledge shared, as this leads to valuing, care and conservation. She and her husband Col travel around Tasmania promoting the state’s edible native plants. 

 Rees will give a short presentation on some of the wild food we have here, how to grow it in your garden, what to harvest and how to harvest it… and most importantly, how to cook with it. Questions are welcome. The presentation will be enhanced by plant and food samples to view and taste. Rees’ books Eat MORE Wild Tasmanian, and The Seaweed Supplement will be available for sale, as will a small sample of her range of wild food-inspired products… from Boronia Shortbread to Kangaroo Apple chutney. 

Dr Yolanda Hanusch

Yolanda has a keen interest in supporting sustainable land management in agricultural landscapes, focusing on the conservation and enhancement of ecosystem and biodiversity functions.

Her academic background is in entomology and agroecology.

Originally from Germany, she completed her undergraduate studies in Tasmania, with her honours project focusing on ecological direct-seeding and native tree-planting in the Midlands. Her PhD thesis completed in 2023 through the University of Sydney focused on floral usage of beneficial flower-feeding insects (pollinators, natural pest enemies) in orchards and small-scale diverse cropping systems in Tasmania and NSW.

Yolanda is excited to be working, living, and exploring the beautiful island of lutruwita – Tasmania, and she is always more than happy to talk and learn more about conservation projects, agricultural production, gardening, compositing, and the beautiful world of insects.

Bruce French

Bruce French, hailing from rural NW Tasmania, pursued studies in agriculture at the University of Tasmania before doing national service and eventually venturing to Papua New Guinea (PNG) for agricultural work. Alongside his professional endeavours, he pursued theological studies and later integrated his faith into various educational and pastoral roles.

His awareness of the lack of information on traditional food plants in tropical countries led him to write influential books for PNG in the 1970s. This expertise led to consultancies with organisations like the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Biodiversity (formerly IBPGR), as well as work with the CSIRO and the establishment of the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) in PNG.

Bruce’s significant contribution lies in compiling a vast database 
covering almost all edible food plants globally, particularly focusing 
on poorly documented plants in tropical regions. This database, managed 
by the non-profit organization Food Plants International, aims to aid 
those outside the cash economy in growing their own food, particularly 
in impoverished tropical countries.

His extensive international engagements include speaking at various 
organisations, universities, aid agencies, and mission groups across 32 
countries. Bruce’s family has been integral to his work, with both his 
late wife Helen and current wife Deb supporting him, alongside his 
children and grandchildren who maintain active involvement in the work 
that has been established.

Motivated by his Christian faith, Bruce continues to advocate for 
sustainable living and food security, earning recognition through awards 
such as the Order of Australia (AO) and the Crawford Fund Award.

Thanks to our sponsors for their generous support:

  • WaterUps — is a modern innovation inspired by age-old wisdom: the art of wicking — they will be running a workshop all about wicking beds during the Open Space sessions
  • Koh — create a cleaner, happier home that is better for our planet
  • PiP Magazine — the magazine shares practical and inspiring stories
  • Food Plants International — helping the hungry feed themselves
  • Food Plant Solutions — Rotary Action Group — solutions to malnutrition and food security incorporating Learn Grow Services Inc. — booklets to giveaway on the day — they will run a workshop on one of the Open Space sessions.