Kym Green – Organic Cherries and Apples – Lenswood South Australia

In the Lenswood Hills of South Australia, this organic farmer of 50 years, combines 6 generations of farming knowledge with an insatiable curiosity and a desire to genuinely observe the apple and cherry trees he stewards for a commercial bounty. He is somewhat of an apple whisperer and far from his self title of being a “silly old bugger on his soapbox” his kernels of wisdom are graceful, gentle and shred only if you desire them.

Sandra Fishwick – the tale of Red Plateau Organic Produce

As a farmer with a 32 year history of organic avocado production in the mid north coast, Sandra is the matriarch of a family business that experienced 2 solid years of drought as the entree to the summer fires that decimated both her orchard properties. Ever the optimist – despite high levels of trauma, she held her mettle for the sake of those around her and continued steadily, one day at a time. Despite the devastation, there are definitely silver linings and with a galvanised desire to continue farming she is leaving a legacy of knowledge we are all grateful for.

Kaye from Saarinen Organics

With integrity and a deep commitment to their community Kay and Greg Saarinen had been farming and creating their organics skincare range according to permaculture principles for 20 years, when the 2019 fires wreaked havoc on their land, business and mental health, they decided to pack up and start a new life somewhere else, but with just the right help and  by taking things slowly, one year on, they have a renewed vigour for the way they grow and a desire to keep producing their wares and seek new and innovative ways to package, produce and please their exceptionally loyal customers

What are your End of Financial Year Goals?

What are your End of Financial Year Goals?

Empower the world you want to be part of ……

We know it’s been a rough year for many.  We are rallying support in the last days of the financial year towards organisations that continue to ‘do good’ through these tough times.  Here is our hot list for any tax deductible donations that align with your values …..

* Make a donation to ORICoop Bushfire Fund (tax deductible via AMF)

* Offset your carbon footprint directly with organic producers

* Support our friends at CERES  who continue to do incredible things across Melbourne
 
* Fifteen trees – buy your own tree to be planted and watch them grow

* Buy a carbon credit that goes directly to indigenous communities

* Trees for Life – connecting seeds with farmers one by one

* Buy a piece of rainforest – from just $2.50

* Bush Heritage – supporting bushland conservation

* Tasmanian Land Conservancy – preserving farmland in Tasmania

* Offset Earth – for only $2.50/week

* Firesticks – supporting Indigenous communities

* Organic Matters Foundation – Organic education and buy a tonne of carbon
*
Earthworker Cooperative – supporting businesses transitioning across the Latrobe Valley

  And your yearly financial health check up list!

 * Transfer your super to one that aligns with your investment criteria

* Review your banking (and mortgage choices) to an ethical one

* Switch your browser to Ecosia and plant some trees

* Close down that ‘extra’ credit card

* Invest your funds to enable ethical and sustainable returns that don’t cost the earth

Could your business achieve Net-Zero by EOFY 2021?

We are urgently calling on all ethical, organic, conscious businesses to aim for Net-Zero by the End of this Financial Year.    Let’s show some love for our planet!  Here is how you can start your journey….

* Calculate your carbon and environmental footprint
* Choose credits that align with your business values
* Reduce your footprint through best practice sustainability

Our newly released Eco-Credits can help you achieve this – while directly benefiting organic producers that are increasing the carbon across their farm businesses.  Key outcomes include:-

* Verified independent soil tests confirm carbon drawdown

* Quantification of biodiversity quality and density in every farm system

* Annual ecological reports (including natural capital)

* Eco-Credits™ are only offered once and then retired

* All purchasers receive an Offset Certificate to verify your offset

Apply for your Eco-Credit here

Or you can download an Eco-Credit Application Form here

Or contact us for more information

Volunteer and be part of the restoration from bushfires

Volunteer and be part of the restoration from bushfires

We are calling out to communities, businesses and farmers to continue to support bushfire affected organic farmers. ORICoop continues to walk with these farmers – and we need your help! You can register to volunteer for the upcoming ‘Organic Farm Blitz’, with a farm close to you. You can also contact us to coordinate an event, make seedpods, plant &/or grow seedlings or build native animal boxes. And we will ensure they get to your nearest bushfire affected farmers! EAST GIPPSLAND VOLUNTEERS You can join Chris & Christine from Blue Sky Organics, to assist them to plant trees, weed, and lend a hand in East Gippsland, not far from Bruthen over the coming months. And to assist with the planting of their 2021 crop in the Autumn (April & May). You can complete an Expression of interest HERE to register your interest directly with Blue Sky Organics in East Gippsland, and make sure you include when you are available over the coming months.  Chris & Christine will be in touch with those that register directly. During time in East Gippsland last February a few keen volunteers rallied to assist Soorya from Ontos Organics sort and process his garlic crop after he and his family were burnt out in January last year. Soorya runs a mixed organic farm, incorporating garlic, heritage seed and goats on their family farm. You can assist Ontos Organics farm, and learn about heritage seed and garlic harvesting by REGISTERING HERE. Work required includes weeding, sorting, processing and their ongoing recovery work.  It may be that you can help both Blue Sky and Ontos Organics over a weekend or visit to the wonderful Gipplsand Lakes region. BEGA VALLEY – NSW VOLUNTEERS Kaye & Gregg Saarinen of Saarinen Organics, from the Bega Valley were tragically burnt out over Black Summer. They grow organic herbs, and make lovely organic face and hand creams and salves from these products. They also utilise full solar in their processing, a unique and truly carbon neutral business model! They have much to rebuild – and are calling out for teams of 5-10 people to assist them to restore their fencing and rebuild their garden area over the coming months. If you are interested, you can complete an Expression of Interest HERE with Saarinen Organics farm located in the Bega Valley, and include when you are available. MID NORTH COAST – NSW VOLUNTEERS Plateau Organics (near Wingham) are situated on the Mid North Coast in NSW, a stunning certified organic farm high on the plateau.  One of the leading certified organic avocado and citrus producers in the region. We are keen to rally a small team of helpers to assist them in their rebuild, as they were devastated by fires on two seperate fire events last year. The work includes clearing around the trees, mulching and fertilising. This farm is remote, beautiful – and worth the time to experience such a plateau! Self contained accommodation is required for any interested volunteers and 4wd for access only. (or you can contact owners for further opportunities) You can complete an Expression of Interest HERE directly with Plateau Organics (located in NSW) Ideally they are looking for 1 or 2 keen singles or couples for 3-4 days between February & April, for mulching of trees, pruning and bushfire recovery of the fruit orchard. BRAIDWOOD (Sthn NSW) VOLUNTEERS Christina and John from PRANA produce need help to clean up wood after the fires, weeding and clearing areas that were bushfire affected. Ideally people that have their own tools (gloves, secateurs, even a wheelbarrow) and are keen to offer their hands and hard work for a day or two! A Saturday or Sunday in March would be fantastic. Happy with a few keen people or even a group of 20 could be of use. Lunch included. You can complete an Expression of Interest HERE for Prana Produce (near Braidwood) If there is not a farm in your area included – but you are keen to be involved, you can register your interest via our Volunteer Register HERE. There will be more Organic Farm Blitz opportunities over the coming months and will notify all those registered first. We are also considering having some city based events – where you can plant seeds, make seed bombs or native animal boxes.  Contact us if you are interested to be a host or fundraising champion! Over the past year the Organic Farmers Bushfire Appeal has continued to support these farmers along their recovery journey. With donated inputs, professional organic farm advisory, soil tests, donations of trees, coordinating online zoom calls between affected farmers, and enabling the farmers to share their stories, we are incredibly grateful for the time we have spent with each of the farmers. And to all the businesses that have offered financial, personal and physical support. We want to give a huge shout out to the following supporters of the Organic Farmers Bushfires Appeal, that have donated towards the ongoing recovery of many of these farmers.
  • Dr Bronner – including their most recent appeal over January/February 2021
  • CERES – dedicating $5/box last Summer and providing facilities to process the garlic
  • BCCM – Bushfire Appeal grant funds to further extend the appeal
  • AgriSolutions – for Gerhards ongoing farm support and advisory
  • Organic Advisory Services – for Greg’s ongoing farm support and advisory
  • Nutri-Soil – for generous organic input donations
  • Vitec – for generous organic input donations
  • Omnia – for generous organic input donations
  • Australian Kelp – for generous organic input donations
  • Converte Plant Food – for generous organic input donations
  • Bio-Tech Organics – for on-farm support and advisory
  • EAL – for generous at-cost soil tests for all farmers included in Appeal
  • 15 Trees – for their donations of trees and ongoing support into the next year
  • Southern Cross Certified, for reduced certification for bushfire affected farmers
  • Elmore Compost – for donation of organic compost
  • Peats Soil –for donation of organic compost
  • Benalla Mushroom Compost – for donation of organic compost
  • Organic Market & CAFE in South Australia for their fundraising efforts
  • Dunn & Walton in Western Australia dedicating coffee sales to bushfire appeal
  • Gung-Hoe Growers for their champion fundraising efforts
  • Next Rural – for their support in transition and succession discussions
  • Sheia from Life Force Farm – for her business reset coaching
  • Organic Angels – for their ongoing donations
  • Eva Perroni – for her ongoing storytelling capacity for these farmers
  • Jade Miles – for hosting our zoom connect meets for our farmers
  • And …. our Bushfire Committee (Antony, Hugh, Christine & Carolyn) that have steered this ship through the seas!
ORICoop is pleased to continue working with many businesses across different steps of the bushfire appeal.  We are calling for sponsors interested to support these Organic Farm Blitz projects as per above.  Any donations can be tax deductible, thanks to the generous support from Australian Mutuals Foundation (select bushfire appeal) Your business can get involved by:-
  • Sending a team to a farm for a team building weekend (teams of 3 – 20 welcome)
  • Donating/sponsoring the food required for each weekend (organic of course)
  • Sponsor an Organic Farm Blitz in your area (Sponsorship can be tax deductible)
Contact us to pledge your support.  Or drop us an email admin@organicinvestmentcooperative.com.au You personally can show your own support by: Any other suggestions contact us at admin@organicinvestmentcooperative.com.au – and show your support for these courageous farmers! We honour and celebrate these farmers, for their courage, resilience and digging deep over the past year.  We encourage you to remember and reach out to them.  Buy some of their product or volunteer a weekend with your workplace to lend a hand. ORICoop Bushfire Committee
Bushfire recovery that restores ecological hope

Bushfire recovery that restores ecological hope

Earlier this year as part of the Organic Farmers Bushfire Appeal, we put out a call for people to support our friends in East Gippsland and purchase trees for landholders in areas that had been devastated by the February fires. Many people heard the call, and together with 15Trees we were able to offer Chris and Christine Watts, of Blue Sky Organics, 100 trees (and guards) for a revegetation project that will help restore native bushland. Organic farmers were heavily impacted by the bushfires across many areas of south east Australia and the Organic Farmers Bushfire Appeal continues to support each farmer in ways that they need.

Blue Sky Organics is a family farming venture located in the East Gippsland located on the Murrindal River, VIC. Their family team consists of Madeline, Talsy, Jaklan, parents Chris and Christine Watts and grandparent Ian Watts. Last month, 100 native trees and shrubs were planted out along their creek beds, a true family affair!

A note from Christine ‘We had some significant pockets of gorgeous gullies and creeks etc before the fires. Alas not so gorgeous now! And so we have concentrated our revegetation efforts in these areas. The creek banks are a priority as the trees will stabilise the banks (roots hold the soil together), provide habitat to native wildlife and help keep the creek water clean (so important for down stream ecology).

The bush up the back has not come back at all yet. We are still hopeful. We will not re-plant there as it is rocky and mountainous. Nature is going to have to do her own thing there.

We are actually wildlife rescuers and we do have a particular love of wombats. The wildlife here suffered immensely with the bushfires.  Simply heart-breaking. I guess I would like people to understand that wildlife need us to care and regenerate their land. And with the help of Fifteen Trees and ORICoop we can make a start.’

Thank you to everyone who contributed in any way.  Christine Watts | Owner | Blue Sky Organics

ORICoop is pleased to be working with Fifteen Trees to continue to raise the funds needed to purchase 1500 trees (+ tree guards) for this district and other affected by bushfires over the last Black Summer. If you are interested to support you are invited to contribute to this ongoing support. Colleen from Fifteen Trees will keep a tally of all trees purchased and offer more trees to this area in 2021.

This past summer was one of the most challenging Australian seasons ever and giving support to East Gippsland will be an on-going commitment.

You can offer your support by:

And remember that many of these farmers are a long way from being ‘out of the woods’.  Many are still dealing with the heartbreak of last Summer.  Many are still managing their recovery and getting their business back on track.  ORICoop is excited to continue to walk with them, and to support each of them in their journey towards recovery.

Carolyn Suggate (ORICoop) & Colleen Filippa (Fifteen Trees)