01 Dec Garden to Table
Question 1: What does your business produce or supply?
Here at Garden to Table Permaculture we offer in-person and online workshops, that specialise in permaculture, waste reduction principles and growing healthy wholesome food. We also offer a range of consultancy options as well as online products that compliment our courses.
Question 2: What motivated you to start your business
I was about five years old, and my dad would take me out into the garden to choose my favourite rose and he’d pick it and put it in a vase in my room that night. This taught me to stop and smell the roses, although these days it’s more like stop and smell the basil! This gave me the gift of loving the garden. Permaculture is not just about pottering around the garden it’s about being able to see something for what it is and designing it into something better which, I believe is the type of thinking we need to creatively solve the problems in the world today.
When I was in my early twenties, I was mowing lawns in Sydney and a guy I was working with handed me the “Introduction to Permaculture” book by Bill Mollison. I was always searching for a better way to garden and even look at the world through different eyes and this gave me a new way of a systems thinking approach to problem solving and finding creative solutions. As Bill Mollison, the co – originator of Permaculture said, “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple” and “You don’t have too many slugs, you have a deficiency of ducks!
Question 3: When you think about your business what keeps you awake at night?
After eight years of operating my business, I don’t really lay awake at night thinking about things but instead I apply the Permaculture Principles of “Creatively use and respond to Change” which is how I have responded to Covid and Climate Change. To be able to adapt to constantly changing situations. This year my fiancé’s house was hit by the floods on the North Shore of Port Macquarie with 1.8 metres of flood water which we are still recovering from. His daughter and her friend were trapped in the house as the internal staircase and the front door were under water, they were later rescued by a police boat over their balcony. We have used this experience to future proof his house by redesigning and renovating it by putting an external set of stairs in so next time the “one in a hundred-year floods” hit or who knows it could be a couple of years from now, things will be in a better situation.
Question 4: What has your business taught you personally?
It has taught me a lot. I think as a business entrepreneur you need to go with your own gut feel whilst taking guidance from others. It has taught me to put my heart and soul into what I love and what I am passionate about and what makes me get out of bed in the morning. Instead of writing my business plan I drew a tree with the roots representing me being grounded in the earth, leading up to the trunk with the branches which represented all the facets of my business, working with schools, home gardeners, private business and council offering edible gardening advice and solutions to reduce waste.
Having a vision and turning it into reality is a process that takes time and patience and it’s all about the journey along the way, remembering to stop and smell the basil not just thinking how happy you will feel when you reach your goal as sometimes it can be the exact opposite!
Question 5: What’s a recent business success that you have had, that has motivated you to keep going?
Putting together the “Growing Greens at Home”, online workshop has been my most recent success, after completing a TV presenters’ course in Sydney a couple of years ago.
Whilst at times it was challenging home schooling my two children and working from home, I really enjoyed the learning outcomes during lockdown and the opportunity of working with Cabe and Isabella to give them real life business and gardening skills. They filmed the workshop on an iPhone and Seth, my partners son edited it and then I put it online with the help of Andrew my business mentor. I am very grateful for the success to come!
Question 6: How do you feel about the future of your business in the next three years?
I am hopeful that during lockdown people have realised that relying wholly and solely on supermarkets and shops for their food and supplies can go horribly wrong. To grow even just a few greens in a garden near your kitchen or swapping eggs with your neighbour for something you’ve grown in your Permaculture Garden is the way forward. It’s all about small and slow solutions…even just reducing your food waste by putting in a worm farm can reduce your carbon footprint. Permaculture businesses in general during economic downturns and with Climate Change and recently COVID have seen a massive upturn in sales. I feel confident that my business will continue to grow and evolve to suit the needs of my clients and my family.
Question 7: How does your relationship with SRBEC help you and your business?
Andrew Campbell, my Business Mentor, from start to finish was supportive of my business ideas and really guided me in the right direction with going digital and turning my face-to-face workshops into an online product. I realise that it’s great to be an expert in your own field but even better to seek the help of others who are experts in their field. I’m a green thumb and Andrew is a digital business specialist and together we made it happen!
Megan’s contact details are as follows:
PS: If you would like your business to be showcased like Megan’s, please contact your BEC business advisor to discuss.