Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Yarra Urban Agriculture Extravaganza - Sat 4th August (Fitzroy)


It’s FITZROY URBAN HARVEST this Saturday 4th August – but it's not just our monthly SWAP day, it's also Yarra URBAN AGRICULTURE EXTRAVAGANZA day!

The swap will be at the usual place and time, 
When: 10am -12.15 
Where: Smith Reserve, Alexander Pde (next to Fitzroy Pool)

Then from 2pm-3.30pm at Fitzroy Town Hall (cnr Napier /Moor Sts) there's a free hands-on workshop on ‘how to build a street planterbox foodgarden' with Yarra’s URBAN AGRICULTURE FACILITATOR, Peter Huff.

and to top it all off, at 5pm there will be SOUP AND SCREENING - enjoy delicious free soup and inspiring short film MAGIC HARVEST at Kindness House, 288 Brunswick Street - BYO cup/mug & keen-to-garden neighbours, .......and hear more from City of Yarra’s Urban Ag Facilitator Peter Huff on getting together with your neighbours to set up a street planterbox foodgarden.

MAGIC HARVEST tells the story of a backyard revolution that is developing in South Australia. Inspired by the book, One Magic Square (Wakefield Press, 2009) where Lolo Houbein shares her vision for Australian suburbs to become productive once more. Running time 26 mins.

For more info please call Peta on 0411899618 or email peta@cultivatingcommunity.org.au

'Fukuoka in India': South Melbourne Commons film fundraiser - Wed 8th August 7pm

The South Melbourne Commons is proud to announce that we will be hosting a film fundraiser event for the Commons Garden.

Masanobu Fukuoka in his film 'Fukuoka in India' shares with the viewer the philosophy and techniques from his revolutionary farm in Japan, before embarking on a tour of India, traveling to a number of farms and villages.

Join us in seeing this rare footage, which includes a demonstration of Fukuoka's unique clay ball strategy of broadcasting seeds and growing rice.

When: August 8 @ 7PM

Where: Commons Hall, South Melbourne Commons, 217-239 Montague Street, South Melbourne

Cost: $5 entry, which includes free popcorn and herbal tea!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Exciting Urban Farmer Job at CERES



CERES is looking for an enthusiastic urban farmer to manage operations at the CERES Aquaponics System, located at CERES Fair Food in Northcote. The commercial aquaponics system is ready to be pushed to its productive limit and see what it's capable of.

Click here for more information and the full position description from the CERES website.

Be quick, applications close Monday 31st.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pruning Workshop at Mulberry Gardens - Sat 4th August (Glenroy)

Pruning and Espalier Workshop

with Diane Cotter (eminent Horticulturist)

Saturday August 4th, 2012, 11am-2pm

120 Glenroy Rd, Melway 16K2

Plant sale, food swap, cafĂ©, children’s & gardening activities

Cost: Members/conc. $10.00, Non members $15.00

For more information contact:

Susie Maas: 0407070206

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

UNEP report on sustainable food systems

Originally published on the Food Climate Research Network website.


A recent United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Sustainable Food Systems aims to increase the focus on these crucial environmental aspects, which are being undermined by overfishing, unsustainable water use and other human activities. It also frames the debate in the context of the Green Economy, calling for food production and consumption practices that ensure productivity without undermining ecosystem services. 


To access the original article please click here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CERES short courses

No matter what level of education or training you have had in the past, Learn Local can help. New skills can be life-changing, offering job choices, further education and the chance to interact with others in your Learn Local community.


The community basis and diversity of the organisations is one of the great strengths of Learn Local. CERES Community Environment Park in East Brunswick is proud to be one of the 320 Learn Local providers.

CERES, with funding support from Adult Community and Further Education (ACFE), is offering a number of short courses that are aimed at connecting adult learners with the environment through sustainable gardening and cooking, as well as providing practical working skills, pathways and knowledge for both the horticulture or hospitality industry.

If learners have not completed further study beyond Year 12, they are entitled to significant savings on course costs as an ACFE learner.

Courses commencing soon at CERES include:
·         Cooking on a Budget – 12th July to 30th August
·         Sustainable Gardening  - 19th July to 6th September
·         Cooking for Blokes – 20th July to 7th September
·         The Complete Urban Cook – 20th July to 7th Sept
·         The Complete Urban Farmer – 15th August – 14th November
       Gardening for All Abilities - 27th August - 15th October
       Cooking for Life - 3rd September - 22nd October
The cooking programs will take place in CERES’ brand new Community Kitchen, demonstrating state of the art green technology and sustainable design.

For costs and more information on these programs, go to http://ceres.org.au/shortcourses or call 9389 0100

Monday, July 16, 2012

Buy olive oil from the farm gate without going to the farm


Great Western Olives is a small family owned olive grove near the Grampians in western Victoria. Frantoio, Manzanillo and Kalamata olives are grown there. The olives are used to produce a cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, rich in anti-oxidants, with fresh aromatic flavours and a mild peppery finish.

The oil is sold in specialist stores in small bottles, mainly in Western Victoria, but is available via Julie Francis, Bill and Helen’s niece, in bulk, in Melbourne.  18 L drums are available at extremely discounted prices.

The olive grove is run by Bill and Helen Francis, and is part of their small farm with native grass pastures and some cattle.  The grove is growing in a native pasture block which is maintained by slashing the grass and weeds and occasional use of herbicide to control grass between the trees.  The trees and fruits themselves are generally not sprayed with any chemical. Irrigation is used during the summer and early autumn.

For information about getting your own 18 L drum or for smaller portions, contact Julie in Brunswick at:
p 03 9939 4094 (AH)

Note: If you're decanting from an 18 L drum into another container, make sure that the container is well washed, and preferably limits light (e.g. a green or brown bottle or a tin) to stop the quality of the oil from degrading over time.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Grow your own: making Australian cities more food-secure

Originally published at The Conversation.
Read the original article.
By Paul Burton, Griffith University

Food security has typically been framed as an issue of global concern, concentrated within developing countries. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation defines food security in terms of the availability of food sufficient to meet the needs of all people at all times, and while this conception acknowledges that people must have the wherewithal to meet their own needs, it can lead to a preoccupation with the gross volume of food produced, at the expense of questions of distribution and adequacy.

Alternative notions of food sovereignty address some of these conceptual shortcomings and importantly also reveal more clearly the problems of food accessibility and adequacy we face in Australia. And as more than 90% of us now live in cities we recognise that food security is as much an urban problem as it is one of rural food production.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

5 Things I Love about Pepper Tree Place Nursery

1. It is a volunteer run nursery at the Coburg community garden.  The profits go back into the garden and support local folk to learn about horticulture, share their skills and be socially engaged.

2. The plants are cheap!

3. The plants are strong. Ever bought plants that have looked great and lush in the nursery only to get them home and they shrivel up and die?  Often plants are in too pampered  in the nursery- such as low light and lots of water.  The plants at Pepper Tree Place seem to have just the right amount of TLC but they are tough enough to thrive in your average back yard. This process of preparing plants to be planted into the environment from a sheltered propagation area is called hardening off.

4. Veggie seedlings can be bought individually.  Sometimes you only have space for one tomato or cabbage and don't want to buy a whole punnet. Or you can stagger some plantings so your harvest doesn't all come at once.

5. The variety is great from unusual edible plants to indigenous natives.  Many of the plants are also growing in the gardens so you can see what they will look like as they get bigger.

The nursery is open Wednesdays 10am – 3pm and the 1st Sat of the month 10 – 12noon.
A great nursery to support, check it out sometime!
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