A NOMINEE for a prestigious rural women's award wants to create a four acre "food forest" out of paddocks to help feed people at risk.
Kyneton's Kerryn Wildenburg has set aside land on her property for the project.
"I'm the operations manager at Kyneton Caring Community and we see people ranging from students to the elderly, farmers, single parents and homeless people." she said.
"So the idea is to bring some of them out to our farm to teach people skills and to give others purpose."
People would learn how to grow and cook, as well as potentially taking some to market to show how to sell it, Ms Wildenburg said.
The rest would go to Kyneton's Community food bank.
The forest would stretch across four acres and use permaculture design principals to replicate nature's design.
"So it's a system where taller trees support smaller trees, for example," Ms Wildenburg said.
"We've put in a small orchard to begin with, with 60 fruit or nut trees. We are also about to put in a greenhouse for propagation."
TWO central Victorian women have been named state finalists in the 2020 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award.
Kyneton's Kerryn Wildenburg and Pyramid Hill's Katrina van Eyk are among four in the running for the award, which encouraged women to develop skills to benefit their industries and communities.
Ms van Eyk wants to expand on an affordable eight-week learn to swim program in regional communities.
The program runs over summer and helps under-utilised community pools while boosting physical and mental health.
Ms Wildenburg wants to create a permaculture "food forest" to give vulnerable people a place to learn to grow and cook nutritious food.
The plan would also help supply the area's community food bank.
Kyneton is no stranger to nominations for the awards.
Beekeeper Claire Moore became Victoria's award recipient last year for her work breeding a genetically diverse range of queen bees.
Supplying the queens to backyard and commercial beekeepers could help tackle a declining global bee population.
Ms Moore was then named runner up in the Rural Women's Award national category and said the experience had brought her closer to setting up Victoria's first beekeeping qualification, to be based in Kyneton.
The Victorian winner will be announced at a ceremony on 24 March and receive $10,000 to implement her project.
A national winner will be announced in Canberra in September.
The awards are sponsored by the Victorian government and minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Syms congratulated the four nominees on their achievements.
More to come.
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