A HAMILTON Hill sustainability expert who has been forced into a daunting isolation has engaged his inner green thumb to keep the blues at bay.
The Forever Project’s Chris Ferreira’s world was turned upside down last week when he was told his family had come into contact with a person who had contracted COVID-19.
His eight-year-old son River, who has autism and ADHD, came into contact during a regular appointment with an allied health nurse, who at the time was unaware she had the coronavirus.
Mr Ferreira was told he must immediately go into isolation for two weeks along with his ex-wife, son and stepdaughter, which he described as a “sociological experiment”.
“My first thought was ‘how the hell are we going to survive this?’,” he said.
“I thought once the test comes back negative, we’re back to normal, but the health nurse told us we had to be quarantined for 14 days and my jaw dropped.”
All family members did return a negative test and Mr Ferreira has put a positive spin on the isolation situation and is using it to turn his ex-partner’s formerly barren garden into a suburban utopia, documenting the entire process on social media to inspire others to follow his lead.
“The world has two choices: we can either hoard toilet paper and think it’s us against the rest of the world, or we can show this is the chance for humanity to evolve and do really good things for each other,” he said.
Mr Ferreira is using recycled material and delivered greenery for the project, which will have a food garden, a play space and a figure-eight path for his son to ride his tricycle.
He said it was vital people had a project to occupy themselves with during social distancing and isolation periods.
“Gardening becomes a really important mental health tool for me, it’s what I turn to when I need to spend time re-calibrating and calming myself down,” he said.
“We’re getting local businesses to support us, because hopefully, as this goes on, people will become more self-sufficient and will want to improve their garden, so these businesses can be supplying products.”
Infill workshop moves online
Mr Ferreira was due to present at The Forever Project’s Inspired Infill event on April 1, however due to his enforced isolation and the current pandemic, the forum will now take place online.
The workshop will feature presentations from some of the state’s leading sustainable development experts to help guide residents to incorporate sustainable features into their own infill development.
The assembled panel will now broadcast the seminar via Zoom and Mr Ferreira said he believed it would make for a far more collaborative event.
“The beauty is it allows us to disseminate info, we’ll get participants to upload images of their garden, or a block they want to learn with and we can discuss it as a group,” he said.
“They can upload their image, tell us what their key issues/aspirations are and then the group of experts can look at that and say ‘I reckon you can try this and that.'”
Mr Ferreira said the incorporating greenery into infill developments often had a positive effect on the well-being of the occupants.