Monthly Archives: October 2014

Mushroom Growing Workshop 22 & 23 November 2014

Join Will Borowski for two jam-packed days of hands-on knowledge in DIY edible mushroom cultivation. Learn how to grow delicious organic oyster, shiitake, enoki and other mushrooms at home.
This practical workshop will take you through the basics of mushroom propagation. The principles can be adapted to most mushroom varieties, therefore the sky is the limit!
You can either attend one day or join Will for two whole days to learn the basics of gourmet mushroom cultivation. The course has been specially developed for aspiring gourmet mushroom growers to learn how to grow mushrooms at home. MushroomGrowing

Cost is $300 for two days or $200 for one day. 50% CENTs acceptable for payment.

Partners sharing resources can sign on for an extra $100.

10% discount for NWEC members.

Book at


Electric bicycle conversion workshop

The freedom to ride more often and travel further
Sunday, November 16th, 10am – 12:30pm (plus as much afternoon time as required to complete conversions).
RESEED Centre, Penguin
electric-bike-conversion-kitThis is a theoretical and practical workshop where you will;
– learn the necessary background for conversion of a bicycle to electric assist
– complete a bicycle conversion*
– have the opportunity to ride and experience an electric assisted bicycle
Please RSVP using the following survey
*For interested participants a pre-order to purchase the electric bicycle conversion kits will be made so that you can undertake the conversion on the day. Please complete the survey by COB October 27th
A detailed set of questions and answers are included below, however, don’t hesitate to contact Michael if you have further questions, ph 6437 0765
This workshop has been made possible with funding through the Tasmanian Climate Change Office.
Are you interested in converting your pedal bike to an electric assist bike?
1. What do you do to a bike to convert it?

The following short Australian video will give you a snapshot of what is involved in a conversion.

2. What will a conversion cost me?

Around $600 for a good kit that includes a lithium battery. See below for a subsidy we are offering. The kits we have negotiated to purchase are good mid-range kits produced by Dillenger. You can buy a more expensive conversion kit however we want a conversion to be within the reach of most people. This is why we have chosen to use ‘mid range’ kits. There should be no other costs although you may want to install a rear pannier rack to mount you battery (approx cost for rack $45).

3. How does a conversion compare with buying a new bike with electric assist?

Typically a good electric assist bike will cost you upwards of $1500. We have seen some on ebay for under $1000 and some of these could even be ok. The cheapest conversion kit available (using a lead acid battery) is about $300 while the well known conversion brand kits like BionX and Solarbike start at aroud $1000. The following Choice article compares some ebikes and includes a couple of the more expensive conversion kits.
4. What are my options for conversion?

There are three ways to convert your bike and each has pros and cons.
A) Replace your front wheel with a kit hub motor
B) Replace your rear wheel with a kit hub motor or
C) Buy a kit and motor that work on the centre crank. Crank motors have their followers but the conversions can be tricky so we won’t be doing these.
The following supplier has a range of ebikes and conversion kits prices to compare: (note freight)
If you are still interested in the centre crank conversion method, the following site is worth a look:

5. What sort of people chose an electric bike conversion?

Electric assisted bikes are used by a diverse range of individuals for many different reasons. For example, cycle commuters with a longer or hilly commute, those with limited fitness wishing to take up riding, those keen to transition from using a bike for occasional leisure rides to using it for shopping. commuting or long distance touring and environmentally conscious individuals keen to reduce their use of petrol power vehicles.
6. Will the kit fit my bike?

Any bike can be converted but the easiest bikes to convert are ones with 26″ (mountain bike) or 700 (hybrid) wheels. The kits we are purchasing will fit over 90% + of these bikes but because there are thousands of bikes out there you will need to take a measurement of your bike to make sure the kit will fit.

7. How long will the conversion take?

A one day workshop will do the trick in most cases

8. Can I legally use my converted bike on Tas roads?

Yes – all the kits we will purchase comply with Tasmanian regulations – no bike registration is required. It is really important for you to know that many of the kits on the market do not comply so if you use these kits there is a legal requirement to have your bike registered if you are riding on the road.

9. What is the range of an Ebike?

This depends on how and where you ride. Most converted bikes use an 8 to 12 Amp hour battery which will take you around 40 km if you assist the motor by pedalling. Simply increase the battery capacity to increase the range.

10. Why use a lithium battery?

Lead acid batteries are very heavy and even the ‘deep cycle’ ones are damaged by constant discharging/ recharging. While lithium batteries are considerably more expensive, they are much lighter and will accept many more charge cycles than lead batteries. A lithium battery should manage at least 1000 charge cycles if you look after it.

Still interested in converting your bike? Read on and complete the survey


2015 Organic & Sustainable Living Festival

The time is upon us to begin the planning of the 2015 Organic & Sustainable Living Festival, which will be held at NWEC’s headquarters and Community Garden in Penguin, on Saturday 7 March.
This is very exciting as next year marks the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the first ever “Organic” Festival, held at Tomahawk. Also, in honour of that anniversary, NWEC will be hosting the 12th Australasian Permaculture Convergence during the week following on from the Festival.
What we are seeking at this point in time, is people who would like to be involved in organising the Festival and/or the Permaculture Convergence. A meeting will be held at 207 Ironcliffe Rd Penguin, on Saturday 18th October at 3pm. If you can’t be at the meeting, please email or phone 03 6425 6928, and I will arrange to talk to you individually.