Old Ways New Ways – the Sugarcane Harvest

old ways new ways flyer

Old Ways New Ways – The Sugarcane Harvest

When: Friday, October 4, from 3pm to 7pm
Where: The Beacon – near the Meadowlands Amphitheatre, Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens
Cost: Free, all welcome. Kid-friendly event.
What to bring: a plate of food to share, a chair or picnic blanket, hats, sunscreen, water bottle.
More info: www.watershedmackay.land
Contact: Lucas Ihlein, 0423 745 736 or info@watershedmackay.land
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/651244108685011/


AFTER two years growing at the Botanic Gardens, The Beacon’s chemical-free sugarcane crop is finally ready for harvest.

Join us on Friday, October 4 from 3-7pm at The Beacon, located at Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, for our sugarcane harvest. The harvest event titled Old Ways New Ways is based on traditional cut-out celebrations, with everyone invited to bring a plate of food to share.

Old Ways New Ways is a celebration of the sugarcane families who for so many years have been the heart of Mackay (the “old ways”) as well as the growing movement of regenerative agriculture for soil health and human health (the “new ways”).

Come and learn about the way things were and be inspired by the way they’re heading to help our ecosystems flourish. Old Ways New Ways features a live cane harvesting performance, sugarcane juice, a shared meal, storytelling, science and movies.

The event will be launched by Stephen Andrew, MP for Mirani, Australian South Sea Islander descendent and a champion of regenerative agriculture.

Starrett Vea Vea, chair of MADASSIA, said that Old Ways New Ways was a great opportunity to bring cutting-edge ecological farmers of 2019 together with the cultures that built Mackay’s great sugarcane industry.

“It’s the first time that the Maltese, Italian, and Australian South Sea Islander groups have come together for a celebration like this,” he said.

Old Ways New Ways is a collaboration between the Mackay and District Australian South Sea Islander Association (MADASSIA), the Mackay Maltese Club Inc., the Mackay and District Italian Association Inc., and the team of artists and farmers behind the Watershed Land Art Project.

Artists Lucas Ihlein and Kim Williams have been leading the Watershed Land Art Project. The artists have had great success with community engagement around crops of legumes, sunflowers and sugarcane at The Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens over the last couple of years.

“Recent scientific tests indicate that the soil has benefited from the chemical-free multi-species cropping methods we’ve employed on site,” Lucas said.

“Regenerative farming is essential for both environmental and human health, and this project is an excellent demonstration of how innovations in sugarcane farming can have a positive effect on water quality in the Great Barrier Reef.”

Old Ways New Ways has been supported by the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF), Reef Catchments, Catchment Solutions, Central Queensland Soil Health Systems, University of Wollongong, Yuwibara traditional owners, and a whole host of community participants!

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