1990 to '93 a nursery was set up on the neighbouring Davey's property
around 1996 the shed, watering system and benches were set up on Lady Northcote site as part of a bigger Landcare education program. The Landcare education program occupied some of the buildings of the camp and provided a demonstration space to aid understanding into erosion and its control, soil health, revegetation and many other areas of Landcare. That program folded in the early 2000s when funding was reduced, coinciding with YMCA taking over management of the Lady Northcote camp. Those building are now part of the camp and the materials disassembled.
in December 2015 the Rowsley Landcare group had a working bee to maintain the site and conversation started about making better use of it.
in December 2018 MLN came by some unallocated plants and used the site to manage them, which got the ball rolling to the redevelopment of the site.
From about that time the Landcare Facilitator started to spend more time at the site, which was facilitated by the improvement of the mobile reception to the area (previously a black spot).
At the start of 2019 we started some small scale propagation to work with the community interest. This illustrated how hot an unlined shed can get, so we set about lining the shed with materials the facilitator could scrounge to make it more livable. Landcarers also donated a lot of the materials, plus the fridge and the wood heater which adds to our ability to educate around the responsible use/reuse of resources.
In the first half of 2019 member groups were alerted MLN was getting the nursery going as a community venture given that several nurseries in our landscape had closed.
In June 2019 8 of us got together for a steering meeting for the nursery and resolved to make sure we only dealt with local genetics with a focus on the more unusual/less propagated species.
In the second half of 2019 we received grant support form PPWCMA to have Wadawurrung involvement and Moorabool Shire Community Grants to contribute to the facilities improvement. Word of mouth then attracted orders from CCMA, Koala Clancy foundation, and others to the tune of 17,000 plants. So without an official launch we've found ourselves operating at a small commercial scale.
Glasshouse seed raising
Shade area for seedling establishment
Open benches to harden off the stock ready for planting
On the 9th of April 2020 our first 3,000 plants were delivered.
The Wadawurrung staff involvement in November & December was a big help in getting the volume of material produced while still building and expanding the facilities.
After the 2020 season was delivered we set about expanding the facility to cope with the demand that was presenting itself.
We're really pleased to be able to cultivate sustainable clients such as the Council and CMA, which helps us to engage staff to do the hard yards, however, our focus will remain on community involvement and ownership.