It is with sadness that we are now learning of Robin Wheeler’s passing this past Monday. Robin was a leader in the food security movement. After learning about permaculture, Robin moved to the Sunshine Coast to create her own permaculture learning centre called the Sustainable Arts Living Centre where she offered many courses on sustainable food growing.
I first heard of Robin following the publication of her book Food Security for the Faint of Heart. We invited her to speak at the Stone Soup Festival a few years back and her talk was well attended. Her book is a practical adventure in relearning the basics of growing one’s own food, of preserving food, and a whole host of strategies to eating and living a healthy lifestyle.
Robin did not have a lot of money and she made a point that building food security had to be an affordable venture, which she set out to prove. Robin worked to make a living growing her own food, teaching permaculture, preserving and selling herbs and seeds and all. I heard from others that it was a bit of a struggle for Robin. Building a permaculture school and farm is a lot of hard work and like all farming not particularly profitable. In the end she created a beautiful garden, and taught many people about permaculture. She welcomed friends and others to stay on her farm, to help in exchange for free learning. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to visit her farm, though I would have liked too.
Robin’s passing from cancer once again affirms the vital importance for us to take care of ourselves, to care for each other and our planet earth. Thanks for all you gave us Robin.