Santa Teresa Orchard Development

AAAC Orchard 5 year Property Management Plan (2015-2020)

In response to the orchard falling into disrepair for several years, Atyenhenge-Athere Aboriginal Corporation (AAAC)  contracted Arid Edge Environmental Services to develop a 5 year property Management Plan for the site, funded by the Indigenous Land Council (ILC). This plan follows the reconnection of water and initial rehabilitation of the site by Arid Edge Environmental Services in 2013 (see below). Arid Edge worked closely with local residents and orchard workers, AAAC and Catholic Care NT (RJCP provider for the site) to develop a innovative plan for re-establishing the site as a social enterprise and work experience site for residents of Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa).

Based on the vision laid out by Ltyentye Apurte residents, the Property Management Plan lays out a 3 stage road map for the rehabilitation and development of the orchard as:

Please email ceo@aaacorp.org.au to request copies.

  • A site where locals are involved in producing fresh fruit and vegetables for the community
  • A site where locals are involved in producing fresh fruit and vegetables for the community
  • A work experience farm, where locals can receive training and gain hands-on work experience in the horticulture sector.
  • A site where locals gain learn the horticultural skills needed to run and maintain the site themselves.
  • A site open to the whole community for recreation, learning, gardening and cottage industry activities.
  • A base for developing enterprise opportunities for AAAC and employment for Ltyentye-Apurte locals.
  • A training centre, with a long-term vision of AAAC Orchard workers being equipped with skills and experience to deliver accredited horticulture training to orchard workers and paying clients.
  • A site to explore the possibilities of a long term horticultural business venture, or to support long term horticultural business ventures being developed by AAAC on other nearby sites.

Please contact ceo@aaacorp.org.au to request copies of the plan.

 

Emergency irrigation being laid at the Santa Teresa orchard (October 2013)Orchard Emergency Irrigation Design and Install (2013)

In mid 2013, the Santa Teresa Orchard had experienced several years of disrepair and neglect following the disconnection of water to the site in 2010. In response to community concerns for the site, Jesuit Social Services invited Arid Edge Environmental Services to start rehabilitating the site by reconnecting the water and installing an emergency irrigation system. With support from local workers, Catholic Care NT and the Mary MacKillop Foundation, Arid Edge completed this work in late 2013.

With the valuable fruit tree crops being irrigated again, routine work could begin again on site through the RJCP program, and the community was able to start a longer discussion around what they wanted the orchard to be. This eventually lead to the development of a 5 year property management plan (see above).

ABC Rural: Desert Orchard on Life Support (8 January 2014)

 

Permaculture students with teachers Lachlan McKenzie and Alex McClean at the Santa Teresa Orchard in October 2012.

 

Permaculture Design Certificate @ Santa Teresa Orchard (2013)

Arid Edge’s first engagement with the Santa Teresa Community Orchard came with a visit to the students from the 2012 Permaculture Design Certificate. Students learned about dry lands sustainable horticulture from local residents and the site’s long time caretaker, and used the site to develop design projects as part of the course.

Click here to find out more about Arid Edge’s Permaculture courses.