Plants, People, Planet – All One!

Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae which include trees, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The entire human evolution has occurred alongside, and with plants. We have inseparable links to plants that give us the basic requirements for life; food, clothing, shelter, medicine and oxygen.

As Australian “Earthman” and environmental educator John Palmer OAM points out the connection with self, others, the land, the flora and fauna is an “Opera of Existence”. This concept can offer us a big picture perspective that we are but one human species within a whole biosphere that is all inextricably linked in some way.

We at Fantastic Plants don’t just sell plants to people, we aim to introduce a concept of connection and relatedness to natural, living organisms that need our care to survive in urban environments. This greater understanding gained by being a “proud plant parent” will hopefully extend to wider circles and even some deliberate action to participate in the great “Opera of Existence”. 

Fantastic Plants would like to offer some suggestions to help us engage with, understand more, and be closer to the natural world. This is timely recognition as Earth’ biodiversity is rapidly dwindling and responsibility for sustainable practices and oversight lies at our feet, not the plants or animals. 

A few ways to participate in your own “Opera of Existence.”

1. Take a walk in nature.

This one has been tried and tested by humans for millennia. Here are three walks in Melbourne –

Sherbrooke Forest. This walk is simply stunning, easy access and around 1 hour drive from Melbourne CBD. Nearest train station is Belgrave.

The Bushwalking Blog

Tarra Bulga National Park. Lush rainforest with defined trails and walking loops. Plants + trees (big ones!!) + wildlife. Around 2 hours 40 mins drive from Melbourne CBD.

Visit Melbourne

Yarra Flats trail walk. Wide and flat walking trail alongside Yarra River. Part of the Heidelberg School Artists Trail. A real country feel in the city with kangaroos residing in the area. Park beside the trail at Yarra Flats Entry Rd Eaglemont. Under 30 minutes drive from Melbourne CBD or Heidelberg Train station is around 2kms from the car park.

Visit Victoria

2. Plant a Seed (of life).

Here’s a Melbourne seed supplier that can mail you a packet of seeds for under $5.00. Great for new green thumbs and children.

The Seed Collection

Or if you would like to grow native seedlings to have them passed on to Landcare groups and rural landholders check out Tree Project.

The Tree Project

Rural landholders and Landcare groups who need our help with revegetation.

3. Breathwork.

Try this simple breathing practice to open up the lungs. Great for stress management backed up by science.

Headspace Website

4. Join a like hearted group.

Find your tribe for fun, learning and connection. For example if you’re a keen gardener check out this national register of gardening clubs

Garden Clubs

Or start your own tribe with a Meetup get together.

Meetup.com

5. Get to know a farmer.

Knowing where, when and how your food is grown keeps you informed and more connected to our most basic of needs. For a place to start in the city environs find a local farmers market to meet and greet with growers and producers. Melbourne Farmers Market is a not for profit, social enterprise.

Melbourne Farmers Markets

6. Sleep under the stars.

Ever had a camp out in your own backyard? Sleeping outside can be a true state changer and whether or not it’s a bush camp or a backyard just the increased oxygen levels are enough to make a difference to wellbeing. Here is a well written editorial from an outdoor enthusiast.

Thermarest Website

7. Volunteer.

Right now has never been a better time to contribute time and effort to a worthy cause. We at Fantastic Plants encourage seeking out organisations who offer social and environmental services to discover the power of service to a local community. Here are a few ideas to flex the giving muscles.

Launch Housing provides homelessness services and housing support to disadvantaged Victorians.

Launch Housing

Help Orange Sky Laundry to provide every day Australians with a regular mobile laundry and shower service.

Orange Sky

Find a Boomerang Bags community to connect with others by having socially important conversations and helping to grow awareness of the detrimental impact plastics has on the environment.

Boomerang Bags

Become a new type of “banker” and help to restore the Yarra’s sensitive riverbank ecosystem.

Abbotsford Riverbankers

This long running community based project in regional Victoria is about restoring eucalypt habitat for endangered species such as the Regent Honeyeater. Located in the Benalla area, hundreds of city folk make the drive to assist in their planting days held several times a year.

Regent Honeyeater Project

8. Understand Climate Change.

Global warming is widely acknowledged to be the number one threat to human health and safety. The mission to reduce human caused C02 emissions has begun and will require many levels and layers of effort to keep the planet widely suitable for human habitation.

Simple explainer of the greenhouse effect from the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment.

Greenhouse Effect

Community owned climate change awareness organisation – Climate Council

Climate Council

General overview here from Australia’s national science organisation – CSIRO

CSIRO

Podship earth – A general environmental podcast show with a North American heritage.

Podship Earth

Climate change and environmental podcasts. Both free to access, subscribe via Apple podcasts and various other podcast platforms

Australian grassroots initiative founded by Mark Spencer. Plenty of stories, perspectives and news on climate change in Australia.

Climactic.com.au

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