The People Place revamped

The People Place on Kent Street in Busselton will undergo a makeover to create a ‘magic’ community space using design principals from permaculture.

The People Place chairman Tony Robinson said they would create a garden for people which would transform the current space that was totally unproductive.

The People Place board thought about how they could create a community garden where people could have their lunch and use a soft gym.

They also wanted to create a community garden which would be productive and looked into developing the space as a permaculture project.

Permaculture is environmentally sustainable and a good way of growing organic food.

“Rather than just getting someone in to do it, we want to give ownership to the community, we will give people an opportunity to learn something at the same time,” Mr Robinson said.

A series of four permaculture classes will be held over the coming year at The People Place, and will be run by two experts from the Ethereal Yogi Collective in Busselton.

Mr Robinson said the garden would be used for experiential training so people could participate in the project for a small fee.

“People will learn how to do permaculture and take part in creating the garden so there is ownership and great community value in it.

“We are hoping to get a great group of people who would be interested in seeing this grow and come every week to a class.”

Mr Robinson said people would learn about things which they likely had not considered for their own garden.

“We will put hens in there so we can get eggs out of it, we will have fruit trees and a small orchid which will all be child friendly, so children can go around and pick the fruit.

The People Place board are also hoping to attract business sponsors to support the project and pay for some of the items which they will need.

“It is a bold and entrepreneurial project, at the end of the day we have to do these things to not only make sure we are useful for the community, but that we can also sustain ourselves as we are a non-for-profit organisation.”

The board are currently looking for 13 sponsors from the commercial world and already have Harcourts and The Boulevarde on board.

“I think Busselton needs to look to the future and this gives us some vision and the hope that we will be able to meet the needs of people in 10 to 20 years time not just tomorrow.”

Ethereal Yogi Collective directors Lewis Mackay and Lindsay Henderson helped design the garden, met Mr Robinson after they turned a garden verge into a productive space to grow vegetables.

Mr Mackay said the verge-side garden was done with the intention so the community could visit the garden, pick vegetables and talk to one another.

“I have seen that work in different situations and locations around the world and having just completed a permaculture course it was divine timing,” he said. 

“I was really excited and Mr Robinson was really excited, we started planning this magic space because it is pretty much a blank canvas right in the middle of town.

“We want to create an interactive place where the community can visit, learn from the garden, learn from the space and also partake in physical movement.”

Mr Mackay said the project was designed to be broken down into individual elements so people could takeaway from the classes.

“For example one element is a wicking bed, which is a self watering garden bed, we are building six of those in the project, every couple of weeks there will be a two week project on how to build a wicking bed.

“That goes throughout the system we have fruit trees, an orchid, chickens and people will learn how to grow espalier fruit  trees.”

Mr Henderson said the idea was to enable people to go home and function on their own in a sustainable way.

“The community will be able to communicate on a different level like people did many years ago, share vegetables and whatever else it may have been.

“Permaculture, yoga and sustainability is what we are trying to do.”

Mr Henderson said it would be a productive, flourishing and beautiful space with water features which people could hear, a cafe spot and exercise equipment.