Sunday, August 12, 2012

If you eat you're in! Inspiration from @incredibledible Todmorden (video)

"We are all part of a local food jigsaw, we are all part of a solution" - Pam Warhurst
Some of you may have heard of Incredible Edible Todmorden and their fantastic, integrated and inclusive effort to put food at the centre of their local community, places of learning and businesses.

Whether you've heard of Todmorden or not, watch this TED talk by Pam Warhurst. It'll leave you feeling energised, empowered and wanting to get your gumboots and gloves on and get out there.


They're volunteers, they didn't wait for permission or funding or a strategy document or community consultation or framework planning document, they just started and kept going. To quote Pam they've shown that "the power of small actions is awesome".

They started by greening places around their town, inspired local educators to get involved, convinced local merchants to sell more locally produced food which meant more business for local growers. In response to all of their work and the increasing momentum their local authority created an asset register of spare land and a series of licenses that can facilitate the use of public land for growing food.

If after watching this you're asking yourself "Yeah but what can I do?" They answer is PLENTY! Here are a few ideas (you'll find some things on this website if you browse around):

  • get along to a pruning workshop (even if you don't have a fruit tree),
  • attend a food swap and meet local people who're growing food, 
  • visit a community garden and chat to people about getting involved, 
  • plant some food in your garden,
  • plant a tree in your nature strip, 
  • start a food garden in your kids' primary school, 
  • dig up your driveway and plant it,
Whatever you do, do something! You'll never look back and you'll meet loads of other people just like you along the way.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Edible Bus Stop (@ediblebusstop): Another great UK example of using unloved public space to grow food

Another inspiring, interesting and innovative effort from the UK (see here for some others). Check out this 2 minute video....



I really like The Edible Bus Stop, a group of South London residents getting together to transform their streets (they've done 4 bus stops so far). 

I reckon we've already got the rising tide of similar projects in Moreland with the nascent Friends of Upfield Linear Park, Friends of Edward St, West Brunswick Food Forest, the Moreland Adopt-a-Tree project and Reclaim the Curb. Not all of these are exclusively food-focused but there's potential and interest. All of them show how much energy and enthusiasm there is contained in the people around us.

We've talked in the past about a vision of fruit trees along our streets, people grabbing an apple or a pear on their way to or from work or school. Imagine bus stops, train stations and nature strips bursting with veg, median strips overflowing with herbs!

Do you know somewhere this could work? Why not do something about it? Don't know where to start? Get together with some neighbours and plan something awesome or just go get your shovel, dig a hole and plant something!

Permaculture Design Certificate at CERES


 

The CERES Pemaculture Design Certificate covers the whole design course curriculum with extra time for urban issues and reading the landscapes of cool temperate south-eastern Australia.

The course is a mix of classroom presentations, workshops, design exercises, practical exercises and visits to properties to see Permaculture in action. The course will be led by Earthcare Permaculture’s Graeme George and includes sessions with a range of professional and practicing permaculturists.

Participants who complete the course will earn a Permaculture Design Certificate and credits towards
Certificates III & IV in Accredited Permaculture Training™.

The next PDC commences on Wednesday 29th August and runs until 16th December 2012.

Bookings are now open and are made online. Click here for bookings.

Contact Luisa Brown, CERES Training Coordinator with any enquiries:
Ph: (03) 9389 0124
Email: luisa@ceres.org.au

'Tis the season to be grafting - Heritage Fruit Society Grafting Days (5th & 11th August)

Question: If limited space at home prevents you from having the orchard you'd love to have, what can you do?

Answer: Make the trees you can fit work harder for you...learn to graft! The people from the Heritage Fruits Society are experts!

Petty's Orchard Grafting Day
This year's grafting day at Petty's Orchard is on this Sunday. Come along to get that special one of a kind heritage apple, plum or pear. 

When: 11 am -- 3pm, Sunday 5 August 
Where: Petty's Orchard 1 Homestead Rd Templestowe
If you cannot make it on Sunday then come to...

CERES Grafting Day
When: 11 am -- 3pm, Saturday 11 August 
Where: CERES Nursery, Entrance cnr Stewart & Roberts St, Brunswick East
There are many apple varieties available with some plums and pears also avaiable (all subject to availability). Come along to see how graft is done. Talk to members about the best fruit varieties.

Interested in finding out a bit more about grafting and fruit trees? Check out these:

The National Food Plan


The Australian Government is developing the National Food Plan.  On 17 July 2012, Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, released the National Food Plan green paper on behalf of the Australian Government.  This article provides a good summary and analysis of the current draft National Food Plan which seems to put the interests of big business ahead of health, equity, and food security.  It states:

"... contrary to the Government’s claims, the green paper is a recipe for increasing vulnerability, lack of resilience, and heightened inequality in our food system. A different approach, based on a different set of values and priorities, is required.  That is why the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance is inviting all concerned members of the public to join us in a participatory and democratic conversation to develop a food system that is truly fit for the challenges of this century."

The green paper is the second stage in developing the National Food Plan and follows the release and subsequent stakeholder consultation last year on the Issues paper to inform development of a national food plan. The government has released the green paper to seek feedback on current government policies on food as well as obtain views on a number of possible options that are discussed.

Stakeholder consultation on the green paper will comprise:
  • a series of public meeting in all capital cities and a number of regional locations. You can find information about meeting dates and locations here as well as register to attend a meeting at here
  • a call for written submissions
  • online discussion on the National Food Plan blog
  • use of social media (follow us @NatFoodPlan)
We encourage you to contribute to the National Food Plans development and forward this information to anyone who may also be interested in contributing.

For further information on the development of the National Food Plan or copies of the green paper, please visit www.daff.gov.au/nationalfoodplan

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Join the Yarra Community Food Systems Network - Meeting (Friday 10th August)

Cultivating Community and North Yarra Community Health (NYCH) convene the Yarra Food Systems Network with support from the City of Yarra.

Its members include community organisations, local government and community members. The network supports the development of community food projects and is involved in a broad range of food projects.

A good first stop for groups wanting to start a project or connect with other people working on community food projects, they meet monthly and welcomes guests or new members to meetings.

The network is beginning a new chapter as they seek to expand and involve groups and individuals from across the food sector - they are looking for a range of input and lots of new ideas!

There are a range of ways to get involved with the Yarra Community Food Network:
1.    Network meetings (Bi-monthly)
2.    Events (Bi-annual)
3.    Receive E-bulletin (Bi-annual)

Your level of participation is up to you!  For more information about meeting dates or other network happenings email peta@cultivatingcommunity.org.au  

*The next meeting is coming up on Friday 10th August, 9.30-11am at Meeting Room 1, North Yarra Community Health 75 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. 


They'd love to see you there if you can make it!
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