Monday, October 31, 2011

Urban community agriculture: we could learn a few things from the UK (orchards & meanwhile leases)

Now, no-one is saying Melbourne needs 2012 new community gardens like London (although it would be a stunning achievement) but what a difference it would make if local, state and federal governments were to adopt clearly stated policy positions that:
  • Recognise the value of urban food production, giving active (even legislative?) support and encouragement,
  • Set specific, achievable, time-bound targets for establishing more community growing spaces in Moreland,
  • Establish clear criteria for the use of existing council-owned land zoned as open space for community supported urban agriculture projects,
Here are a couple of initiatives from the UK that could inspire action here in Moreland. As you read on, think about those vacant blocks you walk past on your way to somewhere else and what could be done with them given a little effort and imagination and a co-operative landlord.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Moreland community composting hubs are just around the corner! Coburg and Brunswick

A recent survey of 1000 residents revealed that only one third of Moreland residents are composting their food and garden waste. The main reasons people had for not composting were lack of space and lack of knowledge. Council has been working with local residents and community gardens to develop three community composting hub trial sites to help tackle this issue.

The first community composting hub site to be launched will be at PepperTree Place, in conjunction with PepperTree’s annual Coburg Garden Fiesta on the 5th November. A free composting workshop at 10.30am will be provided to anyone interested in being involved in a community composting hub. To register your interest in attending this workshop, please email info(at)

The remaining two community composting hubs at Wolseley Street, Coburg and Park Street, Brunswick will follow shortly after PepperTree Place.

If you are interested in using the community composting hubs you can register here

Financial Policies and Resources for Moreland Community Gardens

As part of the partnership grant with the Moreland City Council, Merri Corner Community Garden agreed to document thier systems and processes for use by other groups.

On the "Official Stuff" page of the website you can find Garden Rules, Safety and OHS Guidelines, and Financial Policies and Procedures, all of which should be useful starting points for other Moreland garden projects.

Over time Merri Corner hopes to develop and post other useful resources on their site. If you are aware of other resources that may be valuable to Moreland projects then please let us know.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Double the Dandy: buy Veggie seedlings and support your community!

Come on down this Saturday and support the amazing 'Stewart Lodge Well Being Garden' simply by buying seedlings for your garden!! Plus a chance to see the garden and perhaps have a yarn with some of the residents who help care for the garden... 10am till 12pm 83 Stewart Street, Brunswick

Lalor Community Garden Grand Opening celebration Tuesday November 8th

What to expect...

morning tea, laughter, heartfelt speeches, belly dance & Tai Chi performances, unveiling of an amazing garden art work, kids activities, a photo exhibition of our garden journey so far and sharing our ideas for the future (including growing into the paddock next door!!), a BBQ lunch...AND a take home ‘Lalor garden path story book’! All friendly and free! :-)

What if it rains?

No worries ... We have plenty of space in the gym next door to the garden

What: You are warmly invited to celebrate the opening of our wonderful Lalor Garden

When: Tuesday 8 November 2011

Where: Peter Lalor Vocational College

21-39 Duncan Road, Lalor,

Time: 10am-1.30pm (Grand opening between 11am and 12pm)

RSVP: Please confirm if coming by November 2nd so we can bake enough cakes for EVERYONE! Please feel free to invite and bring friends!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Opportunity within the troubles at the West Brunswick Community Garden

Back in June, there were signs that trouble was brewing at the West Brunswick Community Garden.

An article in today's Moreland Leader suggests matters are coming now to a head.
"MORELAND Council has ordered a management overhaul of West Brunswick Community Garden, which has fallen into disarray following conflict between members. The council will seek expressions of interest for a new committee and said its constitution and by-laws must be updated and a new lease signed."
After the disappointing and unexplained recent closure of the Ilma Lever Garden in Coburg, the Moreland community must now rally to ensure West Brunswick Community Garden is kept afloat or we risk losing another significant community garden facility.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

PepperTree Place Garden Fiesta, November 5th, 10 -4pm, Coburg

ebrate all things green and growing at this year’s annual Garden Fiesta
- a volunteer powered, local, green initiative -
This creatively designed community space boasts a productive kitchen garden, inviting edible classroom and community plant nursery all framed by an historic bluestone church and stables. A fun day in the gardens, the Fiesta promises great music, good food and friendly people.
  • Live Music
  • Community Nursery Plant Sale
  • Free Gardening Workshops and Kids Activities
  • Coburg Home-grown Edibles Swap
  • CafĂ© Cooperative
  • BBQ (veggie ‘n’ meat)
  • Roving Puppets
  • Community Info and Market Stalls
512 Sydney Rd, Coburg (enter from Bell Street or Urquhart Street)

Contact: or Phone 0431 494 773

A unique initiative of Kildonan UnitingCare

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Backyard Bee Keeping Workshop at Mulberry Gardens 26th Nov (Glenroy)

Learn about different types of hives (box and top beam), the basics of honey harvest, safety, local regulations, where to locate a hive and more.

Workshop presenter: Martin O’Callaghan- experienced and passionate local bee keeper

When: 26th November 2011
Cost of: $10 Members $15 non members
Time: 10:30-12:30

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Moreland Food Swaps: Grow, swap, eat! Easy huh?

The Urban Orchard at Clarence Park Community Centre.
Photo: Joel Catchlove,
Food swaps are the solution to a dilemma I find myself in occasionally - what to do if I actually manage to get a decent crop of something, I've eaten my fill and preserved what I can.

We're pretty lucky to have at least one food swap every weekend somewhere in Moreland (you'll find details on our Moreland Food Swaps page).

If you don't know how food swaps work, it's easy....

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Capital Growth & Capital Bee: 2,012 new food growing spaces, 50 new apiaries and 75 beekeepers! (London)

A couple of great examples of what can be achieved when a few groups get together and work towards a shared goal.

Capital Growth

1295 new community growing spaces and support for local, urban food growing across London.
from Capital Growth
"Capital Growth is a partnership initiative between London Food Link, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, and the Big Lottery's Local Food Fund. It is championed by the Chair of the London Food Board

Friday, October 7, 2011

Stewart Lodge Plant Sale - October 22nd from 10am-1pm (Brunswick)

Come down to Stewart Lodge plant sale.

When: Saturday 22nd October, 10am - 1pm
Where: 83-85 Stewart St Brunswick

Stewart Lodge is a supportive residential service for over 80 residents who might otherwise not have a place to call home.

The wellbeing garden engages residents and local volunteers in tending a kitchen garden which provides fresh produce for meals and incorporates garden therapy activities for residents to increase physical activity and mental wellbeing

All proceeds from the sale will go back into growing and maintaining the garden.

if you would like to find out more about the garden, make a donation or become a volunteer please email Julie West.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Environmental Film Festival Melbourne - Oct 11-16, 2011

Between October 11th and 16th, the Kino hosts the Environmental Film Festival of 2011, an interesting and challenging selection of films from Australia and overseas some with discussion panels for good measure.

In their own words....
"The Environmental Film Festival Melbourne aims to increase awareness of key environmental issues by bringing together film-makers, experts, policy makers, politicians and the wider community in an open conversation about the world we live in."
The topics range from growing food and diet, plastic and light pollution, nuclear waste, logging, energy and more.

One of the films - Magic Harvest (Australia 2011) - seems particularly relevant to our network. It "documents the trials and tribulations of first time gardeners, and follows their progress as they struggle and triumph against weather, pests and inertia to grow and cook their own food" in a 1 square metre plot in their own gardens.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

At O'Hare Airport, Unused Land Is Going to the Bees

Photo (cc) by Flickr user tenchifx
At O'Hare Airport, Unused Land Is Going to the Bees (From
"That buzzing sound you hear at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport could be a jet taking off. Or maybe it's coming from the 1.5 million bees that call the airport home. In May, the Chicago Department of Aviation partnered with a community group to start a 2,400 square foot apiary on-site. Now 23 beehives are up and running and are scheduled to yield 575 pounds of honey this year."
An innovative use of land that supports bee populations in an urban/industrial environment.
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