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Mark Swartz, Bjorn

Sturmberg & Epicurean Harvest:

Solar energy for the farmer

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Solar power is not being used nearly as much as it could be in rural Australia. There are many relatively simple and creative ways to harness solar energy that don't require extensive battery use, however a lot of knowledge is tied up with solar suppliers and installers and isn't filtering through to the community. Mark has a history of exploring connections between organic and industrial materials in his sculptures and Bjorn has researched solar cells and spearheads the social enterprise SunTenants to unlock solar for rental properties. Both have a keen interest in sustainability and community engagement and were eager to explore the potential for solar technology to serve farmers in rural NSW. Their initial research led them to Hartley-based horticulturalists Erika Watson and Hayden Druce, owners of Epicurean Harvest. Watson and Druce grow vegetables for Sydney restaurants on their 120 acre farm Bula Mirri, have backgrounds in music and art, and science degrees as well. They are dedicated to regenerative and collaborative practices and to connecting the community to food production. Mark, Bjorn, Erika and Hayden are dreaming of integrating a solar powered artwork within the farm, so that ecological and technological methods for harvesting energy from the sun work symbiotically.