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September 11, 2023

Nourish yourself this Nature Festival

This year’s Nature Festival program is filled with opportunities to connect with the environment your way, through food, workshops and cultural events designed to help you reflect.

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  • This article was produced in collaboration with Freerange Future.

André & Poh: Nature of Home, through cuisine

We all have our comfort foods and dishes that taste like home. By sharing them, we create a sense of belonging. So, to bring people together to appreciate nature over food seems like a no-brainer.


This year’s Nature Festival will run from 1–15 October.

Find out more at the website.

To kick off the festival on 1 October, chefs Poh Ling Yeow and André Ursini create a four-course shared lunch and reflect on their connections to nature through cuisine.

Nature Festival Chair, Vicki-Jo Russell, says events like this one remind us to come back to the roots of nature and the foods that make us who we are.

“It’s amazing to follow the connection of food and nature, because good food relies on a healthy environment…this is something Australian producers know and also Australian eaters.”

Hosted by Lost Phoenix Farm in Hindmarsh Valley, the scenic views of the Fleurieu Peninsula set the stage for you to enjoy a local wine and connect with nature through food.    

Vicki-Jo says the Nature Festival Program is intentionally diverse because there’s lots of ways people connect with nature in their ordinary lives.

“That relationship doesn’t all look like David Attenborough. It looks very different to different people, from where they’ve come from, their history, their life, their interests.”

“We want to make sure that the way that you care for nature and the way that nature cares for you is also represented in this discussion.”

Book for this strictly 18+ event here.


Plant Kin: Tracing Home through Food, Seed and Medicine

We know that food can capture the essence of home. But, in a country as multicultural as Australia, for many it can bring up feelings of displacement and a need for reconnection and reclamation. In their Plant Kin talk, writer/restaurateur Durkhanai Ayubi and herbalist/farmer Keitha Thuy Young address these themes and share how plants are crucial to a homeland.

Ayubi is best known for her family-run restaurant Parwana and book of the same name that shares stories from an Afghan kitchen. Keitha grows food, diverse medicinal herbs and seeds for resilient communities at Seed Medicine Garden.

In conversation with artist Amber Rose Cronin on 4 October, the pair will come together for an evening of storytelling to remember the connections they share with food and medicine plants.

In the week following their talk, on 11 October, Durkhanai and Keitha host a workshop to unpack the concepts while making a herbal tea blend and Bolani – an Afghan stuffed flatbread with flour from Native Australian grains. The double offering allows a depth of understanding of the themes of plant families, remembering homelands, and nourishment.

“We all remember much better by doing,” Vicki-Jo says. “This event is very much about where people have come from and where they now belong…giving you an opportunity to reflect on that for your own journey is also a wonderful experience.”

Tickets are $20 for the talk and $120 for the workshop.

Get your tickets here.


Kaurna Yerta: The Seasons

Closing the festival on its final weekend, Kaurna elders, the Taikurtinna Dance Group led by Jamie Goldsmith, and the Bowerbird Collective present a new performance inspired by connection to country and the cycle of seasons. Supported by Arts South Australia and the Australia Council for the Arts, this hour-long cinematic concert will feature immersive soundscapes, sound, dance and new music for string quintet and traditional instruments by David John Lang.

Vicki-Jo says after receiving feedback from the community, there’s a lot of appetite by South Australians to learn more about understanding the principles of living that come with caring for country.

“The depth of relationship with country that we’ve had the opportunity to learn from through the festival, and also through our cultural ambassadors, has been really profound,” she says.

“One of the other key things that we keep being reminded of with these cultural events is this deep need for reciprocity…we are receiving so much from country, and part of that relationship is actually giving back and the more that we give, the more we will receive.”

‘Kaurna Yerta – The Seasons’ will close the festival at 7pm on Sunday, 15 October at the Adelaide Riverbank Lawns, Festival Drive.

Tickets are by donation and available now here.


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