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  • THE Hungry Spirit Centre For Semi-Arid Regeneration
  • Organic Wholefood Retail & Catering
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Events & Workshops1 THE Hungry Spirit Centre For Semi-Arid Regeneration2 Organic Wholefood Retail & Catering3 Growing Community4 Nice Things People Say5 Free Stuff6 Connect7
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Community Garden Needs Your Help!

Local Food at it’s best!

Each week we buy amazing, local, organically grown produce from the community garden.

The proceeds of their sale goes towards improving the infrastructure at the garden which is available for anyone in the community to get involved with!

All members get a key and can secure their own plot for growing.

Nick and Ana are the caretakers and do an amazing job at keeping the gardens watered and tidy and of course, keep planing new seeds and seedlings to keep us stocked up with delicious produce which we sell through the Shop and supply to our Organic Box Delivery customers!

Of course, all community activities rely on good people to show up and Nick and Ana are looking for more community members to get involved in the garden!

If you’d like to become a member, have your own plot or support the other growers, please email rebel@thehungryspirit.com with your name and contact details so we can pass on your details to Ana!


Is THE Hungry Spirit YOUR Next Adventure?

Feed Your Hungry Spirit As The Owner Of A New Food Business In THE Outback!

The Hungry Spirit – Centre for Semi-Arid Sustainability

Are you a young, adventurous, fabulous, hard- working, values driven entrepreneurial permaculture couple that would do anything for the chance to realize your dreams of implementing your food business dreams – but don’t have the land…or the capital to buy your own?

Do you want the chance to take an acre + of outback land AND an established wholefoods/organic shop that is proven to be productive and turn it into a thriving permaculture design showcase for semi-arid sustainability as well as a healthy returning financial enterprise and a unique outback lifestyle in the opal mining community of Lightning Ridge, NSW?

Have you always wanted to run your own food business that has a market garden that provides produce for a café and wholefoods sales point – that also nurtures your desire and provides a platform from which you can educate people about healthy food systems and permaculture?

We are offering a values-based business exchange, for the right couple – that would see you gain access to previously award winning restaurant facilities, an existing organic shop with client base and suppliers, a productive land space with established and emerging gardens, somewhere to live and business coaching – to achieve your dreams.

Why? Because we have an incredible space in Lightning Ridge, a business model that’s proven and ready to scale with a hungry – growing community of supporters, a passion to empower local food systems and the desire to help young entrepreneurs get a start in rural Australia.

If you think this sounds like your dream opportunity – and you would like to learn more –email rebel@thehungryspirit.com or call Rebel 041 963 9380. Send us an introduction to yourself AND a quick overview of WHY this is your dream and HOW you would make it happen – be as creative as you like with your submission…videos are welcome!

When Lee Holmes Came To Visit THE Hungry Spirit


In 2011 I started an online business called  I’m Not Fussy and Lee Holmes was one of our founding contributors, she’d been on an incredible healing journey through food and that year, launched her first book, Supercharged Food.

Since then her career has really taken off; she’s a regular contributor to several global food publications, she’s written and published 6 print books and several e-books, she’s shared the stage with some of the world’s finest health and wellbeing teachers and this week. Last week she was in Palm Springs filming a television show and well this week, she was hanging out in Lightning Ridge!

The power of internet brought Lee and I together 5 years ago and since then we’ve followed each other on Facebook…which was a thing then, but not as it is now!

On Friday I saw Lee post that she and her hubby were getting on the train in Sydney to make the trip out west to Lightning Ridge and of course, I messaged her straight away and offered to show her around!

We had a gorgeous afternoon on Saturday hopping around the fields of Lightning Ridge getting photos of Lee, finding great locations for video shoots and I made certain she and hubby Justin fell in love with the place, so they will return! We had a delicious meal at Bruno’s and then soaked under the stars at the Bore Baths! I connected Lee to my friend Lyndahl and her teepee and we stopped at the Australian Opal Centre hole for a photo opp!

It’s so nice sometimes to see your town through the eyes of an outsider; especially one as passionate about Australia as Lee, she’s so keen to use the considerable leverage she has in the marketplace to ‘put Lightning Ridge on the map’ for something else!

Lee has a gorgeous new face mask/scrub that contains the kaolin clay from Lightning Ridge – it’s precious and I tried a little on Sunday as a pick me up after a hectic week and it’s really luscious!

Lee is as gorgeous in spirit as she is in human form and it was a total treat for me to share this place I love and am so passionate about, with a kindred spirit.

Our journeys’ intersect in so many ways; our healing stories not dissimilar and our passion for connecting people to healing runs strong in our veins.

Lee was super impressed with THE Hungry Spirit Kale (she’s a big kale fan) and how abundant it was and had all kinds of ideas of other products we can share with the world that is prolific and healthy grown right here in the Outback!

It was a totally supercharged Saturday for me!



Good For Your Gut Fizzy Drink

I enjoy experimenting with food, it’s true = but I have to admit to being a bit dubious…and quite scared of starting to culture things. My 20161001_071524previous experience of culturing was a sourdough which went very well for a few weeks and then subsequently died when I had to go away for  a while.

But I attended a workshop we hosted by Lightning Ridge local and health guru Millie and she showed me how easy it was to make KEFIR.

So she gave me some grains and I began the process of making it.

KEFIR is a fermented drink that starts with a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) that kind of looks like the plumed up crystals you add to soil to keep it hydrated.

With the addition of water and sugar, some fruit juice or fruit to taste and with the patience of only a few days the result is a delicious fizzy treat that is pro-biotic in nature which means it adds to the good bacteria and flora in your gut!

All you need to get started and make your own is the grains – and anyone who makes kefir will always have some to share (I’ve got heaps if you want some!) and a recipe – and a really fabulous description of Kefir and how to make it is HERE on Milkwood, my favourite permaculture site.

I have learned that you can over ferment the grains and if you do this (ie leave it too many days before separating the grains from the liquid) it will go vinegary and become undrinkable (unless you like drinking vinegar, in which case, go for it!).

A fab mix we are enjoying at the moment is pureed mulberry.

I always add my fruit or juice to the second stage and keep the initial fermenting with the grains and the sugar and water pure. I’ve experimented with both and just prefer it that way – both work just fine!

I feel good drinking it, it tastes nice and there’s something really satisfying about making your own probiotic healthy, feels like a treat, drink!

It’s a great time to start making it so you have a chilled replacement for alcohol in these warm summer months!


Kids In THE Garden

We had a gorgeous hour and a half in THE Hungry Spirit garden with 7 children aged 2-9 on 24th September for our Kids In THE Garden Workshop.

Together we enjoyed learning about worms, picking cabbages and mulberries (their red fingers and lips gave the sneaky picking away!), digging in the dirt, planting seeds, transplanting seedlings and learning how to feed the worms and make new garden beds with shredded newspaper and mulch!

There was lots of laughter and activity and learning. They were all very patient and waited their turns, watched their step in the garden and listened to instructions.

The kids left inspired to keep gardening or start their own gardens!20160924_171501 20160924_171507

the-worm the-cabbage 20160924_143521 20160924_144609 kids-in-garden-around-rebel learning-how-to-plant-seeds

Fresh Organic Produce in Lightning Ridge

We are really excited to be bringing FRESH Organic Regional and Local Produce to Lightning Ridge and surrounding towns.20160430_081328

And we are thrilled with the great response we are getting!

Each week we get a new delivery of vegetables and fruits from south east Queensland and we also supply Local Free Range Eggs and Local Herbs and Leafy Greens (kale and silverbeet) when they are available.

We also have organic unpasteurised milk, organic yoghurt, butter and cheeses as well as fresh Kombucha, coconut yoghurt and saurekraut!

These are all in addition to our growing range of wholefoods, nuts, seeds, flours and other pantry staples as well as homeopathics, protein powders and supplements.


Place Your Regular Order

If you want to place a regular order so you are assured of always getting what you want please click on the Hungry Spirit Order Form and email it to rebel@thehungryspirit.com 

If you are from Walgett or Collarenebri we are arranging pick up/delivery to your area so please call Rebel on 041 963 9380 for more information.


5 Day Permaculture Practical Design Course

Permaculture Practical Design Course – In A Semi-Arid Environment

15th – 19th September 2016

A series of 1 day workshops held over a 5 day course that will change the way you look at farming, food production and the world around you.

The aim of these workshops (course) is to provide farmers, backyard gardeners and individuals living in geographically remote and semi-arid climates the opportunity to reconnect with their own health and a regenerative, sustainable food system through the practical application of permaculture. These 5 x 1 day workshops make up a comprehensive course that will mean participants can return home and apply their learnings with confidence.

With a focus on holistic practices that include water harvesting, animals and incorporating trees this is a course that will help farmers living in harsh climatic conditions look at new ways of mitigating risk as well as improving production and diversifying income.

Note – spaces limited to 30 people only 

Be A Part Of The Next Food Production Revolution & Create an Abundant Food System In A Semi-Arid Climate

Are you looking for a way to be more self-reliant? Do you want your land to be more productive and profitable? Are you dismayed by the failing health of people, the earth and our communities  and want to enact change? Do you want to help heal and regenerate yourself, your family and your community? Permaculture provides skills to improve your quality of life, create resilience, care for the environment and build family and community strength. This Practical Permaculture Design Course has been created with you in mind. Whether you have a small backyard, a balcony or thousands of acres – permaculture can help you turn your life and space into social, biological and financial profits for you, your family and your community.

When – this course will be run over 5 days. You can participate in one, some or all 5 days:

Book in for all 5 days Permaculture Practical Design Course – Lighting Ridge – September 2016


Day 1 –  Thursday 15th September – Designing the System 15 Sept Design day 1


Day 2 –  Friday 16th SeptemberWater Harvesting 16 Sept Water day 2


Day 3 – Saturday 17th September – Food Forest Gardening  17 Sept Trees day 3


Day 4 –  Sunday 18th September Soils and Biology 18th Sept Soil day 4


Day 5Monday 19th September – Animals in the System 19th Sept Animals day 5



$895 for all 5 days 5 Days Permaculture Practical Design Course – Lighting Ridge – September 2016


$520 for 3 days 3 Day Bundle




THE Hungry Spirit Centre For Semi-Arid Regeneration

573 Wooloroo Road Lightning Ridge NSW 2834

For further information, to discuss group bookings please contact Rebel Black on 041 963 9380 or email rebel@thehungryspirit.com

The Movement Of Water In a Semi-Arid Landscape & The Blessing Of Rain!

We LOVE it when it rains; the sound, the smell and what it does for our garden! We are coming off the back of a serious dry spell and so when we heard rain was coming early in January, we thought it was a good time to start a bit of experimental earthworks to try and slow some of the water that flows off the ridges and into our dam. The flow from a previous downfall, which we weren’t around for, had showed evidence that wha20160102_17250720160103_161948t we had wasn’t really working, so it was time to have another go!
I don’t really ‘get’ water movement – but after this rain, I can see it much more clearly.

Sometimes you just have to see it to understand it! I remember Nick Huggins telling me that when it rains I need to get out in my coat and boots and go and watch it…so I took his advice and I did!

You can see two views in these pictures. The image on the left is looking north/east up the gully and away from the dam, before the rain and the image on the right next to it shows the view looking into the dam away from the gully during the rain!

This little rock barrier definately slowed the water a bit, but more than likely, if it’s going to be of any real use in the future, it needs to be bigger.

In fact, it seemed to catch silt more than slow water.


In these images you can see further up the gully where I have attempted to make rock walls to slow the moving water – the newspaper and straw patches were originally a big patch of new garden bed I was making, but got strewn in the first big storm, on Boxing day night. It was a useful exercise to see what happens to the water as it flows through the gully. It doesn’t rain often here, we are in a very dry climate; but often when it does rain, it rains big and hard! In the space of 10 days we had two storms yielding inches in hours. So we need to maximise the movement of this water through the landscape as well as catching as much of it as we possibly can. On both occasions the dam overflowed, so there is bottom of the catchment work to be done too. Our future plans will include how to hold the water for longer in the beds – this gully area is planned for a Food Forrest so we need to make sure the water is moving slowly and soaking in rather than rushing and running off. It’s a work in progress, but it’s very interesting.











A Little Oasis In The Outback – Landline Story

We had a lot of fun filming with Tony Eastley and the Landline crew for this piece. Screenshot 2016-04-20 14.24.27

I am always so grateful for the media in their support in sharing good news stories AND to those who I bring along and challenge to step outside their comfort zone to share THEIR good news stories. Ashley and Ronnie are amazing and humble people.

Lightning Ridge is an extraordinary place.

We can do anything.

Click the link below to watch the story and meet Lightning Ridge locals Ashley, Ronnie and Rebel


Don’t Forget Zone 4

When we are focusing on our own backyards it is easy to forget that there is a zone 4 (permaculture concept) out there that is full of abundance if you are willing to look for it – even in a semi arid zone.

We are always looking for ‘free food’ beyond our borders.

This week Michael found mushrooms on the opalfields; they popped up after the rain. He is so careful about brushing them to make sure we don’t end up with gritty lunch. I pan fried them in butter and had them on some homemade chia and buckwheat toast = coupled with greens from the garden and it was sensational!

20150629_190045There is so much to forage and make use of in the zones expanding from our homes. Firewood. Sticks and posts for using in the garden. Wild fruits and plants. Around Lightning Ridge we often pick ‘snottygobbles’ the fruit from the napan tree – tastes like a passionfruit. We also harvest wild oranges and I used to know of a secret grove of quandongs but I think the drought might have heavily impacted them. There is the wild spinach too – the warrigul greens. There are fish from the river (our freezer is FULL of Murray Cod at the moment from several fishing adventures by Michael) and if you have permission, wild game like kangaroos, emu eggs and rabbits.

We often stop roadside and pick apples or peaches from trees that have popped up along the way.

Keep your eyes peeled. Mother Nature provides for us in abundance and it’s there for our harvesting; mindfully and always allowing for regeneration too, of course.