Barrabool Hills Landcare publications

Feral Feast

Copies of our much acclaimed recipe book, the Feral Feast, can be purchased from the SHOP on this website.

Our Feral Feast recipe book was crafted in 2016 by the Barrabool Hills Landcare community for a number of reasons.

Firstly we wanted to celebrate our 21st birthday with a bang… hence there are 21 recipes in the book.

Secondly we thought it was important that our community, many newly arrived, understood the role that the Barrabool Hills, and nearby Barwon Park, played in the release of European rabbits into the Australian environment, to wreak havoc across the nation.

Thirdly it was a way of engaging a broader group of people in our activities:- a chief, a photographer, an editor and an artist ….to name a few. …and build the capacity of our community

And finally it was heaps of fun, and something new and boy have we learnt a lot!

Apart from the printing and final setting out, we did everything else ourselves as volunteers. The research, writing, testing of recipes, food preparation, photography and illustrations.

 The seed funding came from our own group, and all profits are returned to the group for our projects, including a major annual rabbit baiting program supported by 100 landholders.

The book is in its third print!!

Hope you enjoy it….

PS – The terrine is to die for!!

Flora of the Hills

The Field Guide, Flora of the Hills,  is the  culmination of nearly 12 months of work  by a team from Geelong Landcare Network, the Barrabool Hills community and the  teachers and students of the Gordon TAFE, specifically those completing the Conservation and Land Management Diploma.

Whilst the actual physical project to collect the data and produce the guide,  took place in 2017, the idea has been years in the making…. Probably over 150 years in fact.

How many of us living in the Hills have wondered why, when our soil is so fertile, and climate relatively accommodating, there are so few significant large “old growth” trees left in our landscape, and haven’t been for quite some time?

In fact, when the trees we plant grow so well, how is it that the first settlers in Victoria actually  identified  the Barrabool Hills as one of the only two sites ideal for farming, because it was “sparsely timbered”

….and how did this sparse timber become rolling green hills in such a short time?  A landscape actually identified for this characteristic by the National Trust .

What do we say to our community when they ask what species should they plant to restore some of the native flora back to their land, when it was obvious to many that the officially recognised and documented vegetation classes were fairly vague to say the least?

These are the questions we hoped to answer when we started on this journey.

It was a chance discussion that sparked the project, and just another  example of why   our Landcare Facilitators in Victoria are such a valuable asset to our communities…

Angie Poole, Course Coordinator  at the Gordon, was looking for a project in 2017 , near Geelong for her students and brought it up in a discussion with  the Geelong Landcare Network landcare facilitator, Elissa Ashton Smith , who in turn knew that the Barrabool Hills would be interested…as we had chatted about it previously.

A small team of Angie, Elissa, the erudite and inexhaustible Stephen Murphy of Sustainable Biorich Landscapes, and the Barrabool Hills group then proceeded to plot and scope a project proposal…. and put it to the Wettenhall Environment Trust for consideration…… and we were successful in getting support which not only enabled us to research the previous Barrabool Hills Landscape but also design and print a field guide that would be available for anyone who needed it.

An easy to use document, with great photos, and text most of which has been supplied by the students as part of their course…. Which  entailed nearly 250 student contact hours.

Nearly 80 indigenous plants were identified  and mapped in the Barrabool Hills during the comprehensive survey of roadsides and private land, conducted by the students over  6 months. Over half of these are featured in the Guide which is available free for all members of our Barrabool Hills Landcare community….. or for the cost of postage to others.

A Changing Landscape

The Barrabool Hills Landcare Group was founded in 1995, with the primary purpose of halting the impact of serrated tussock, a new invasive weed, on the sensitive landscape of “the Hills”. As the success of this program grew, so did the aspirations of the community, to recreate a sustainable landscape of healthy productive farmland, interspersed with corridors of native vegetation.

Eighteen years after, in 2012, many had forgotten what the landscape had been like in 1995, and how it had changed…. and so this brochure was born. Now in its second print, it identifies many of the significant revegetation projects across “the Hills” with wonderful “before and after” photos. Copies are available on request from the group for free.

Even now in 2021 we are looking at revisiting this concept with possibly an updated version soon.