From Bare Earth to Bounty
In 2013, Walter Steensby (past President of COGS), with Bethany Turner and David Pearson, wrote a short history of the Society that includes transcriptions of interviews with founding members. With permission from Walter, ‘From Bare Earth to Bounty’ is now available for download.
Funded by an ACT Heritage grant, this book explores the organic growing movement in the ACT and surrounding region through the voices of thirteen members of the Canberra Organic Growers Society (COGS). We thank these members for their willingness to share their stories with us: Betty Cornhill, David Odell, John Brummell, Arno and Nel Struzina, Traudy and Bob Kalivoda, Peter and Shirley Carden, Joyce Wilkie and Michael Plane, Mary Flowers, and Rasima Kecanovic. We would also like to extend our thanks to the photographer, Michelle McAulay, for capturing such evocative images of our volunteers. The authors are all employed at the University of Canberra. Bethaney Turner’s research focuses on urban agriculture, food-based social movements and food ecologies. Walter Steensby is conducting research into urban agriculture in the ACT region and is currently President of COGS. David Pearson’s research is based around environmentally sustainable and healthy food choices, which includes local food systems, organic food and food waste.(Excerpt from the Preface of ‘From Bare Earth to Bounty’)
Download the PDF of ‘From Bare Earth to Bounty’.
“The Canberra Organic Growers Society Inc. is a non-profit organisation which was started in 1977 with the aim of providing a forum for organic growers to exchange information and encourage the general public to adopt organic growing methods.
This list is incomplete and I would be grateful to learn of errors and omissions. For instance, I don’t know in which year the Watson garden was established.” – Walter Steensby
Founded in August by the enthusiasm of Betty Cornhill. Named the ‘Organic Gardening and Farming Society of the A.C.T.’ or O.G.F.S.A.C.T
Name changed to Canberra Organic Growers (C.O.G.).
Membership sinks to 30; extinction of C.O.G. looking likely.
Watson garden moved to Mitchell owing to housing developments.
Membership built up to 96; extinction averted.
Adopted a Constitution.
Changed name to Canberra Organic Growers Society (COGS).
Erindale garden established.
Cotter garden moved owning to proposed earthworks (still proposed).
Membership almost 300.
Oaks Estate garden established.
Cook, Dickson, Holder, Kambah, O’Connor and Queanbeyan gardens established.
Kaleen garden established.
Membership grows to 430.
Queanbeyan garden transferred to NSW management.
Crace garden established.
Membership reaches 480.