Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Organic Gardening Workshop ~Simple Living Toowoomba and How to Start up a Simple Living Group

Simple Living Toowoomba's June workshop will be held on the 13th and a horticulturist will be coming along to present an organic gardening workshop. I am sure this will be a very informative morning so if you live in the area and would like to come along you can book in here.

If you can make it feel free to bring along any of your plants you are having problems with and the presenter will be able to give you some tips and advice. If you have any questions please email me and I will collate them and let him know beforehand so that he can address them during the workshop. 

Here are the details:

Date: 13 June
Time: 10-12 noon
Cost: $5
Where: Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 23 Glenvale Road, Toowoomba.
What: A horticulturist from Bunnings will be coming to give a presentation about organic gardening.
Bookings Required: RSVP 10 June

Before the workshop you are welcome to come along earlier for a cuppa and to join in the swap. We bring from one to five handmade/homegrown items to swap and you take home the same number of items. The swap table is set up by 9.45am and the swap takes place around 9.50am.

If you are interested in organic gardening you may like to check out the post Natural Pest Control - Updated which includes the information we were given in a previous workshop. 

We have had an assortment of workshops since our group started back in September 2012 when Glenys showed us how to make Cauliflower Pickles.  There were only three of us plus our presenter at that first meeting and the group has grown somewhat since that first workshop. Others often comment that they would love to have a simple living group in their area so I thought I would share a little about ours and how it got started.

After Rhonda wrote her first book Down to Earth she and Hanno visited Toowoomba and spoke at the Toowoomba Regional Library and I think from memory that each of her sessions were booked out. Our co-ordinator Margy and I were at the same session but we had never met before and, afterwards Margy asked all of the attendees if we would be interested in starting up a simple living group and of course I signed up :-)  A few weeks later she emailed those who had expressed an interest about meeting together to discuss how to form a group and what we thought would be suitable topics etc. As a result of that meeting we started up with just a few of us and the rest is history. Perhaps you are part of an organic gardening group...why not ask the members if any of them would be interested in a simple living group.

We have been very fortunate to have access to a hall with a fully equipped kitchen which is really beneficial with some of the hands-on workshops. However, if you have a few friends who are keen to start a group then perhaps you could meet at someone's house to start off with. I know that one of our large shopping centres has an upstairs room where not for profit organisations can hold meetings so perhaps that is an option. Also I have been told that our Bunnings is happy for groups like ours to hold their meetings there on a certain night of the week. Of course, a hands-on workshop would be out of the question there but if you were having a presenter coming along who was just going to be sharing knowledge that would be fine. 

To find such presenters ask around amongst your friends to see if they know anyone who has knowledge about a particular topic, e.g. gluten free diets, organic gardening. You might be surprised at how quickly you come up with a list of names of potential presenters. Then ring or email them to ask if they would be interested in helping out. 

Once you have your list of potential members and a presenter then email everyone and tell them the details of the workshop coming up. We have found that lots of people don't book in until the last minute so make sure you email everyone the week before the workshop to jog their memories. 

Then turn up on the day and enjoy your new simple living group! 

Here are Mandy from The Old Dairy and our co-ordinator Margy getting their hands dirty. 

You could promote your group by starting up a website like Margy has done for Simple Living Toowoomba. This is a Weebly website and she has included a booking form and blog on the site. You could also start up a Blogger or Wordpress one if you preferred. Most libraries are happy for patrons to promote community events and also shopping centres usually have a community billboard where you could advertise your event. 

You might like to have some business cards printed for members to give to interested friends. Vistaprint has a variety of free cards and you just have to pay the postage for 250 cards. 

These are just a few ideas which might be helpful. Feel free to ask any questions you might have. I look forward to hearing about the new group you start up in your area :-)


  1. Chel I enjoyed the account of how Simple Living Toowoomba started. I checked out the link to the Simple Living Toowoomba website, I really like the list on the home page that describes what Simple Living Toowoomba is all about.

    1. Yes it is a great list that Margy has on there, Sherri.

  2. agree with sherri, what a great site, i added it to my helpful links as well
    great post
    thanx for sharing

  3. How wonderful! All these skills are so good to learn. I want to learn how to make sourdough, amongst other things!
    I make lemon butter in the microwave as you would custard or while sauce... that is 10x easier!
    Also meeting people and Im sure swapping of produce and crafts even... it all sounds perfect to me.
    It is lovely to hear this. xxx

    1. I can just imagine you starting up a simple living group, Annabel :-)

  4. Hello there! This sounds like so much fun! Wow, what I would do to be able to come! If only a continent and a ocean didn't stop! Thank you for sharing tips on starting one! I may pray about this.

  5. Hi Chrissy. Long time no see. Yes it would be great if you could start up a little group over there.

  6. Hi Chel, How interesting to hear about the origins of the group. All the meetings I've attended have always been very informative and fun too. I'll be there on the 13th to glean as much info as I can. See you then.

    1. Barb, I am looking forward to catching up.

  7. Congratulations on 2 years of your's wonderful to keep a record of your life and veggies and knitting etc. and making connections with people on line who have similar interests. Do you know that you can use "Blog2Print" and print out your blog in a hard cover book. It seriously took me 10 mins from start to finish the first time I did it. I chose not to print the "comments" just the posts and pictures etc. The pictures aren't big but still it's enough to have the memory as well. My friend was printing out her blog and was having trouble using the "discount code" but got onto them and sorted it out. You can put a start date and finish date ie if you only wanted to print Jan to Dec yearly but it's pretty simple and basic hard covers for you to have a nice record of your posts on your blog now you have made it to 2 years. Worth a look. Again with all of our on line stuff and photos too much of it stays in our computers and not hard copy on our coffee table or book shelves. Have a great long weekend....oh it must be freezing up your way this week. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

  8. Kathy that looks like a US website for the blog printing. Did you get it printed out here in Australia or order it from the US? Yes, we have had some very cold nights and early mornings up here.

  9. I have been thinking about your suggestion to start our own group here for awhile. Thank you for sharing the birth of your group! No excuses eh? Still sounds like more fun to go to one some one else has already done all the work for!!;)

  10. No excuses at all :-)


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