Gil & Mem’s trail of inspiration. The sliding doors of oval autumnal fruits.

Sunday, June 7th, 2015 at 6:25 pm

Since the 1970’s when they started an intentional community called Compost in Thornbury, Gil and Meredith Freeman have left a trail of inspiration in their wake (that’s them above).  They’re this two pronged unstoppable force for good, solving problems wherever they go with the good humoured power of resilient people based projects.  As teachers in the 1970’s they wanted to work outside the mainstream so they helped start the Sydney Road Community School.  After the success of Sydney Road  Meredith went inside the Education Department to work for curriculum change for all while Gil helped found our very own CERES; a place for children and adults to experience hands-on environmental education.
When they retired from the education sector in the 90’s instead of European river cruising they began their agricultural phase.  Shifting from Thornbury to Tarnuk, a ten acre property in the Strzeleckis, they pioneered cool climate bushfoods; growing warrigal greens, mountain pepper, lemon myrtle and bush mint.  The local industry needed a focus so Gil and Mem brought other fledgling farmers together to found Prom Country Bushfoods Association.
On top of their bushfoods they also ran a small veggie box scheme for friends based around whatever they were growing on the farm that season. When demand started to outstrip what their garden and chooks could produce Gil and Mem brought Grow Lightly into being.  Recruiting like-minded local growers, from the smallest backyard blueberry grower to large organic spud operations all within a 50km radius of Korumburra, they started a local business that is about so much more than feeding people. Read more …