BIO-FERTILISER recipes for sustainable agriculture were on the menu at a threeday hands-on course held at Skybury Coffee in Mareeba.

The course was presented by Mexican Eugenio Gras from the Council for Sustainable Agriculture and Permaculture, was attended by 30 people including representatives from Cooktown Food Connect. Mr Gras from the Council for Sustainable Agriculture and Permaculture in Mexico gave farmers fertilizer recipes they could make themselves.

Mr Eugenio Gras ran the workshop which included hands on methods on how to make Bio-Fertilisers, and how to monitor soils through the use of Chromatography. Mr Eugenio is devoted to researching and promoting organic farming. ReGenAg a collective of private farm education providers brought him to Australia. Eugenio has been working with poor farmers in Latin America and Brazil, teaching them to make organic fertilisers with readily available ingredients.

At Skybury he demonstrated to the workshop attendees how to use locally available resources including basalt rock, molasses, fresh cow manure, bones, milk and baker’s yeast as inputs for the Bio-Fertilisers. Compost, compost teas and other mineral preparations were also part of the mix.

The Chromatography was especially enlightening, giving farmers an instant picture of what’s happening in their soil pertaining to mineralisation, organic matter and microbes. As well as being very cost-effective, it enables the farmer to make adjustments to their soil profile as required.

Thus the farmer has the tools to become soil scientist. All in all, very empowering stuff, giving back control of industry processes to farmers in a totally cost effective and sustainable way.

The future does indeed look promising for farmers wanting an easy and accessible solution to the Agrochemical treadmill. I would like to thank Cooktown Food Connect Inc. and Cape York Natural Resource Management for their support and generous sponsorship for enabling me to attend and special thanks goes to Kym Kruse from ReGenAg who did a fantastic job of organizing the workshop.

For more information go to or contact Jack Degney on 0402 730814 You-Tube movie

Jack will be presenting the findings from this workshop in the Cooktown area through Cooktown Food Connect Inc, a social enterprise supporting local farmers to supply organic produce to customers in the Cooktown area as well as the local gardening group Club Veg. (not available)

This project is supported by Cape York NRM through funding from the Queensland Government’s Q2 Coasts and Country and the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country Programs.

Cooktown Food Connect attends ReGenAg Bio Fert Workshop Partnering for the future of Australia’s agrifood industry. The Food Futures Flagship is seeking partners to help realize its goals of annually adding $3 billion in value to the Australian agrifood sector.

The Flagship has opportunities for research and industry collaboration and coinvestment. These opportunities include projects eligible for the National Research Flagships’ Collaboration Fund, which will support Selected research partners in specific projects aligned with a Flagship’s interests. The National Research Flagships’ Collaboration Fund is available to:

  • public research organisations
  • universities
  • national and international fellowships.

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