Well, Stellar Violets turns six today. We made it past early childhood 😅!

Only a few weeks ago it was a new year, and we were contemplating what projects to give focus this year. I hadn’t counted on refitting the Trolleybus in Autumn – I thought a significant garlic planting would be quite enough work.  Oh well, that can wait a bit. You can plan all you want and sometimes, the universe has other ideas![/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”11393″ img_size=”800x600″ alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This time last year we were working toward bringing Bruce Pascoe, author of “Dark Emu” to Manjimup. It was the first big event we’d organised, and there is no way we’d have pulled it off without wonder woman Fran from Manjimup Library on one side, the Warren Catchments Council on the other, and a team of sparkling volunteers on the night.

It was a career highlight for me to bring Bruce Pascoe to speak to our community and school students. Bruce wrote what may be the most important book in Australia, and if you haven’t read it yet, please prioritise doing so! We have a few copies left for sale at Stellar Violets, $30 each.

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”11392″ img_size=”800x600″ alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Now, here we are in March a year later, the high season of harvest, bringing beautiful huge red tomatoes in by the boxfuls each week, keeping the dehydrator and Vacola preserver in full swing. So much has changed since we hosted Bruce last June. From a site-in-development with few comings and goings, to volunteers here 7 days a week, gardening, Nature-Playgroup, Yoga, building, and more. Luckily I hung on tight for that ride!

Kevin our volunteer french builder-maker has become Facebook-famous since he joined us. With ABC South West on their way here next week, I can only see his star quality increasing. Catch up on the fun vids we’re making with Kevin for the Trevor the Trolleybus Eco Apartment Refit Go Fund Me.

Kevin is joined by Cass Moricet, with both staying through HelpX. Cass is collating our extensive book collection, with nearly 500 titles already put in a database! Perhaps it won’t be so long now until the Train Carriage Library will at last be open to the public and in use for our volunteers. The plan, aside enjoying the ambiance of a library in the train carriage, is to launch books, host authors, writers in residence, and book clubs. Perhaps the odd language class will be thrown in there too. Parlez-vous français?


The Train Carriage Library forms part of our Living Museum theme “Communication”, to which I am presently working on adding a working printing press. Cross your fingers we pull off the deal! I know – there’s probably enough to be attending to around here, and building space for but… a printing press!

We are well on our way toward becoming a fully operational arts & cultural centre, with a treasure trove of interactive Living Museum Exhibits for the young and young at heart. To get there, we need more in the way of building materials and funding. We’ll keep working on that, and if you can help, please shout out. Volunter, or make a donation.

On this 6th Stellar Violets Birthday, let’s count what we do have. Beautiful and productive gardens, two lovely Train Carriages, and a charming Trolleybus on the road to restoration. And how about the beautiful Reception space, soon to host our first Gallery Exhibition!

“Underworld” – Photographs of Southern Forests Fungi will showcase rare macro imagery of local forest fungi. 28th April, 6pm-8pm at Stellar Violets Reception as part of Pemberton Unearthed Festival.

Thanks to Super Kevin we have the “Pump House” Volunteer Hub almost fitted out and functional, and the Nature Playgroup has a movable kitchenette, two storerooms, three art tables…. if I keep writing what Kevin has done, we’ll never finish this newsletter, and it’ll become a love letter.

We have a lovely crew of people volunteering regularly at Stellar Violets now, both local and international. The project is starting to have an energy all of its own. We’re working hard, yet the days have a kind of “home stretch” feel to them. That feeling in itself is a wonderful birthday present. Thank you to everybody who has come along for the ride so far, we’re grateful for all the experiences and adventures Stellar Violets has brought our way. Stay with us to see what surprise is ‘round the next bend.