The Botanical Ark is located in the northeast of tropical Queensland, Australia, the wettest area of the driest inhabited continent on earth. We are neighbours to the world heritage listed Daintree National Park rainforest and only a few kilometres from the Great Barrier Reef.
Energy at The Botanical Ark
Our 8 hectare (20 acre) paradise is by its very nature –solar powered. Around 3000 species of plants (quite incredible biodiversity energy) owe their presence to the sun. And so do we.
The sun provides the food that fuels the water cycle, the inevitable rains that keep our garden and the rainforests green, the winds, and us, as humans.
Our garden sits at the bottom of a high rainmaking mountain, just a few kilometres from the sea. Tropical deluges and perennial streams with gushing waterfalls are our backdrop. And from one of these streams we borrow a small portion of the flow for a short time to generate around 100 kWh of 240v AC electricity each and every day!
We also have 6.2 kW of solar cells on the roof of our original residence, The Botanical Ark Retreat providing up to 35 kWh each sunny day. The homes are designed for energy efficiency and as such do not require excessive amounts. Our energy systems are integrated into the grid so excess power provides green energy down the line.
We believe we are energy positive in an ever-increasing energy hungry world.
Community and the Botanical Ark
Since day one of The Botanical Ark, we have held the belief that Community is an essential ingredient for life. Community starts within oneself, grows locally and should be global.
We grow much of our own food, which we share with family, visitors and friends. We actively campaigned for a local market and food network. We still do.
In the interests of Food Security and Conservation we travel the world sharing ideas, concepts and resources to enable others to provide for themselves in a sustainable manner, and doing so with a great appreciation of their natural environments.
Along the way we have won a prestigious Slow Food International Award (2000) for our work in the conservation of rainforest fruits and nuts and won Australia’s Best Backyard (2007) for our commitment to a more natural way of life.
We have cooperative programs and partners in sustainable agriculture and rainforest conservation in Central Africa, South America and South East Asia, many we have been involved with for more than 25 years.
We open our garden to tours for educational groups from schools through to Universities, and other interested parties by appointment.
Community begins within one’s self and you may find it anywhere you wish to go.