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I hope that you are all doing OK in these crazy times. It has certainly been a rollercoaster ride lately – mentally, physically and emotionally. Here are the big things that are happening at Green Connect, including what we need help with.
Op shop – new home needed – can you help?
In mid February we were given notice to vacate the Green Connect op shop in Bellambi. A few days later we entered negotiations to stay in the same site but move into a different part of it. We signed an agreement to lease and moved out of the previous shop on 10 March. We have been looking forward to building a new shop within the warehouse and excited about having a long-term home rather than the month-to-month lease we have been on since taking on the op shop. Unfortunately we were notified on Friday that the landlord is not going ahead with this lease after all, so we are looking for a new home.
If you know of a large warehouse and/or shop (we’d prefer to have the two together) for lease or for sale, please let us know. We’ll need to move quite quickly and are viewing some properties this week, one of which is particularly promising but all ideas are welcome.
School of Green Living
While we can’t run physical workshops, we’re branching out to help you in the garden and around the house online! With interest in sustainable living on the rise, the School of Green Living aims to share our skills and knowledge that will empower you to implement changes to create a more sustainable household and community.
The School of Green Living is once-a-week webinars that draw on Green Connect’s nine years of experience working in sustainability. Each week’s topic will be taught by one of our ever-growing team of local experts. We’re here to share what we know about:
- Growing chemical free vegetables and herbs
- Making tasty meals out of local, seasonal produce
- Zero-waste living
- Caring for chickens, bees and other farm animals
- Permaculture principles and methods
- Household sustainability
- Sustainable fashion
- And more!
Join us online this weekend by booking your tickets here
We’re also doing a free FarmLive for Green Kids digital tour of the Green Connect farm this Saturday. It’s the first time we’ve tried this. Fingers crossed it goes well and the kids (big and small) enjoy it! Join us on Facebook here.
The effects of COVID-19
For me, COVID-19 has meant my parents flying back to New Zealand early and cancelling their holiday for my Mum’s 60th birthday, staying at home with my two young kids while my husband and I fit as many work hours as possible around caring for them, and not seeing colleagues, friends and family for weeks. But it has also meant more time in the garden, more quality time with my children, getting to know my neighbours as we all head up and down the street on walks or bike rides, and seeing people take a keen interest in gardening, local food and sustainable living.
For Green Connect, COVID-19 has meant all of our zero waste events and audits were cancelled, the demand for labour hire has dropped, and many of our staff have had less work, more uncertainty, and in lots of cases have needed to stay home to care for vulnerable family members. At the farm it has meant new protocols to keep everyone physically distant, washing their hands constantly, downsizing our youth employment program, and splitting the team in two to reduce risk. But it has also meant a big surge in demand for our veg boxes which has been great – from 130 to 230 boxes per week in a short space of time.
For our staff, we hope that between JobSeeker and JobKeeper as well as the support in the community like the veg boxes that have been donated through Green Connect, everyone will come out of this OK despite there being less work around while we stay home to keep people safe from Coronavirus.
For our community, I hope that you are finding some silver linings in what is a difficult time for so many. Please share them with me. I love hearing back from people, and I’ve been making a point of sharing good news stories in meetings I’m in, particularly when we’re head down in problem solving mode for a long period of time and need a little reminder of why we do what we do.
Wishing you good health and lots of silver linings.