Thursday, December 20, 2012

The People's Food Plan needs your support!

This message is re-blogged via the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance

Photo credit: Costa Giorgiadis & AFSA

Dear friends,

600 Australians around the country took part in 40 People’s Food Plan forums from September to November this year. And so the journey of the People’s Food Plan has begun. It’s an exciting journey of transformation, of coming together, with a shared vision and goal. As Costa Giorgiadis says in his foreword:

Now is the time to repurpose and refocus as a community. Now is the time to build an economy where growth is valued in annual soil depth and fertility that in turn promotes a health industry, not based on sickness but on living food. Let’s cover the fences and boundaries of a divided world with edible vines and plants that produce new visions and innovations worthy of the potential we have around us. Creativity to drive a world fueled on regenerative and renewable sources requires new industries, new thinking and less baggage from a world paradigm whose time is passed.

This is a very powerful story, one that can change – is changing - lives and communities. We’re asking now for you to help us take it to the next level. We want the whole country to hear about this, the great work we’re all doing. Will you help us take that next step? Please give what you can, and share this message with your friends and networks.

Together, the future is in our hands and hearts.

With warm wishes for a safe and peaceful festive season for you and your family

The AFSA Management Committee

Please Donate

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Growing opportunities: tales of doing #1 - Daylesford Secondary College Food Forest

In hushed voices amongst ourselves, we've been saying for a while that there's a nascent food growing thing happening around us here in Moreland and in Melbourne more widely. We think more people are doing it, the nodes in our networks (where information is exchanged, people meet and cool stuff happens) are getting busier and it's pretty cool to see.

Here's a bit of raw material for the purposes of inspiration and cogitation, to get us thinking about the next few years and where we all might take this (let's face it, it's up to us to do it)...

Daylesford High School Food Forest

When it comes to teaching our kids about the importance of sustainable, healthy, ethical food production not to mention the shear joy of growing something you can eat, there are some awesome, inspiring, exciting things happening in our primary schools with food growing. Some of this is getting done by parents and teachers or through organised programs like Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation's schools program or with support from other groups like Cultivating Community.

We're building a foundation for the future health of not just for our kids but for their families and our communities more widely. (Apart from the health impact, I like to think waiting for something to grow might bring a bit of patience back to kids for whom everything's so much about "NOW!")

This is all great and we need more of it for sure. On top though, we also need to ask "What are we doing to make sure this continues as our kids move into secondary schools?" I reckon the answer is sadly "not much" but at least someone is doing something. Last night I heard about a 5 acre food forest project that's going ahead in Daylesford at the Secondary College, (the 5th new community garden in the area in 2 years).

In their words it will be:
Part community garden, part educative resource, the DSC Food Forest will be a first of its kind in Australia. It will have an emphasis on growing ethical, local food in an ecologically restorative way and will teach students and the wider community how to climate change proof our food supply while attend to greenhouse gases by growing locally, perennially and organically.
So what? Well, you might be aware that thanks to the hard work and relentless efforts of some folks in Moreland who embedded their aim in their name (High School for Coburg), we're expecting an all-years, open entry high school for the 2015 school year.

Wouldn't it be great if we did something along the lines of the Daylesford project. at our Coburg High School, right in the heart of the city of Moreland?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

West Brunswick Community Garden's cure for Christmas shopping queues

Want a fantastic alternative to slogging through the Christmas queues in the city or at your nearest shopping centre? Here it is - get down to the West Brunswick Community Garden on Sunday 23rd December between 10am and 4pm for their next Big Dig.

Let's face it, if you need to shop and you haven't done it by then, well you've still got Monday!

It's their last get together for the year and they'll be digging in celebratory mood after what's been a big year for the food forest and the garden. Get down there and get stuck in! Come for the whole session or just a couple of hours, every bit will make a difference. No doubt they'll finish up with a cool refreshing drink and a good laugh.

As usual bring a plate, a drink, gloves, a hat and suncream!

Check out the Moreland Community Gardening website for more info.

Oh, one more thing, those who are successful in their personal plot applications will find out which plot is theirs! Surely you want to be there for this history-making moment.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The People's Food Plan

In October 2012, a few of us from the Moreland Food Gardens Network (MFGN) got together to discuss the People's Food Plan and explore ways in which we could create a fair, sustainable and resilient food system.   

What's the People's Food Plan?
The process for establishing the People's Food Plan (PFP) was initiated by the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) in response to concerns around the content of the National Food Plan Green Paper. In an earlier post we mentioned some of the issues highlighted by AFSA members regarding the problematic assumptions in the Federal government's Green Paper.  

The People's Food Plan is a social movement, call for action, a participatory & democratic conversation that aims to create a fair and healthy food system.  PFP aims to include all Australians, unlike the National Food Plan which seems to benefit large agri-business & retailing corporations!

For more information about the People's Food Plan & how to get involved, visit AFSA's webpage.

Our story...

We hosted our first PFP conversation over a Food Swap.  The evening was hosted for MFGN members by Merri Community Health Services & CERES Environmental Park with support from AFSA.  We explored some of the issues outlined in the People’s Food Plan discussion document, identified policy ideas and collated people’s food stories and visions for a local food system.  

The Food Swap table was filled with delicious produce from people’s gardens.  This sparked a lively conversation around food, health, families and community.  Some of the produce that crossed the table included; calendula petals, kaffir lime leaf, “worm wine”, tarragon, rocket, red mustard leaf, bronze fennel, horse radish leaf, French sorrel, heartsease viola, nasturtium flowers and leaves, silverbeet & preserves.  We shared stories of childhood memories, growing food with our parents and grandparents, connecting with nature and creating change within our communities through the simple act of growing food.  Below is a quote from one of our members:

 “I became a gardener when I became a mother, the two are very connected for me.  8 years later I am now sharing our family’s connection to gardens/seasons/nature/food with our community.  We belong to a number of food coops, have begun a vegetable garden at our local school and meet our neighbours often via food and gardens”

Many themes emerged from our conversation which highlighted a need for a variety of strategies required to support a local food system and build community resilience; these include:
- Integrated Council policies & frameworks to support local food projects
- Productive green infrastructure, including urban orchards and food forests
- Establishing networks to enable peer support and meaningful social action
- Building community capacity to support all residents
- Establishing social enterprises and food co-ops

We also talked about how we can get better at including disadvantaged & vulnerable groups   into new or existing local food projects.  So we established scenarios & visions for the future.  There is still a lot of work to be done!  However, we found that this was a great way to inform future projects for MFGN & our advocacy agenda for 2013.

So what's next?
We collated our feedback and sent it to AFSA to incorporate into a revised PFP discussion document.  This document will be launched around the country this month (Dec 2012).  We also plan to take part in Stage 4 of the PFP consultation which aims to "broaden and deepen the public engagement with the revised People’s Food Plan discussion document, through the formation of working groups on specific issues, the writing of background papers to support the People’s Food Plan proposals, and the holding of further public forums and kitchen table talks February – July 2013" (as described by AFSA).  

Our next PFP event will be open to the public & we look forward to having you onboard... so stay tuned!

Get involved!
In the meantime, please share our video & get the word out about the People's Food Plan. If you would like to join our next PFP event, we'd love to hear from you - drop us a line on morelandfoodgardensnetwork[at] or if you'd like to host your own PFP conversation in your neighbourhood, please get involved directly through AFSA.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

MCCG - Veg In, Veg Out x 2, Busy Bee and BBQ - this weekend!

Hello MFGN gardeners,

We have a big weekend of events coming up this weekend at the Merri Corner Community Garden (corner Donald & Harrison Streets, Brunswick East) and we'd love to see you there.   

All welcome, not just plot holders, and no need to RSVP. 

Saturday 8 December - Kids Veg In, Veg Out!

Come along at 1.30pm on Saturday 8 December to help build a teepee and plant some beans around it for this special kids-edition of Veg In, Veg Out. 

Sunday 9 December - Busy Bee, Veg In Veg Out and end of year BBQ

Busy Bee
9.30am - 11.30am 

Busy Bee at the MCCG including a free compost workshop at 11.00am for those who are interested.  
Veg In, Veg Out

11.30am - 12.30pm

Join us for the last Veg In, Veg Out of the year.  Plenty of FREE tomato and pumpkin seedlings to give away, shade cloth to put up in the propagating area, we'll plant sunflowers in the communal beds and harvest poppy, rocket and sweet pea seeds to share. 

End of Year BBQ and celebration

12.30pm - 2pm 


Join us for an end of year sausage or veggie burger and celebrate the MCCG's progress this year.   Barbecued things, bread, onions and sauce to be provided by the MCCG. 

Please bring a plate to share and enter it into the inaugural MCCG Cook-off.  All dishes will be judged by an independent team of culinary experts and prizes will be awarded in all categories, and for all entrants. 

We'll have esky's and ice available in the morning for you to store your cook-off entries until lunchtime and we'll be taking last-minute orders for the MCCG wine fundraiser.

Thanks to everyone for a wonderful year of gardening and support of the garden. We hope to catch up with many of you on the weekend.

Happy sowing,

the MCCG

Monday, November 19, 2012

West Brunswick Community Garden - Big Dig Day #1 - Sun 25th Nov 10am-4pm

It's less than a week until the first big day in the West Brunswick Community Garden and things are picking up pace.

Come down on Sunday 25th and help us make a big start by getting the main paths laid and the first big communal bed planted with vegies.

All welcome, no experience necessary, there'll be something for everyone to help with. Bring a friend (or two)!  Share this with as many people as you can. Don't worry if you haven't been before, come along and get stuck in.

If you haven't been to visit this great hidden gem in West Brunswick, pop down and say 'hi'.

When: Sunday 25th November - 10am - 4pm
Where: West Brunswick Community Garden, Dunstan Reserve (off Everett St, West Brunswick)
Refreshments: Bring a plate of food to share, drinks will be supplied

What are we going to do?
  • Enjoy ourselves
  • Lay paths and plant our first communal bed, prepare seedlings for next time, tidy and water the food forest
  • Show and explain the garden design
  • People interested in a personal plot can learn about sizes and costs, confirm details and express your preference
A few things to remember:
  • If the weather looks bad, check our website on the day and we'll let you know if we're going ahead
  • BYO gloves, hand tools, suncream, hats
  • We need a volunteer photographer to help record the big day
  • You don't need to RSVP but if you can drop us an email to let us know if your coming that would be great
More info: Visit our website of email

We look forward to seeing you all down there on Sunday.

SMH article by James Robertson urges Syndneysiders to grown their own food


"Grow your own food to protect city from disaster, Sydneysiders urged"
November 17, 2012

Some quotes:

SYDNEY'S fresh food would only last two or three days if a cataclysmic disaster struck, experts say.

Steven Newton, the chairman of the Retailers Action Working Group, which plans food industry responses to potential national crises such as pandemics or floods, said … the supply channels of Australia's increasingly concentrated and commercialised farming industry were more vulnerable to disaster shocks than the dispersed small-scale farming model of 30 years ago.

''We don't know what it's like to produce food,'' Ms Hill [The Youth Food Movement] said. ''If people grow one vegetable they will never look at food the same way and underestimate the value of the farmer.''
She encourages young urbanites to think critically about where their food comes from and buy from local farmers - or grow their own..

Read more:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Introducing the MFGN Banner

The networks new banner is finished! Hand made from recycled and new fabrics should be a good eye catcher at community days and events. So if you see it around stop in and say hello!

Friday, November 9, 2012

FREE organic pest control workshop at Merri Corner this Sunday 11 November

This Sunday the Merri Corner Community Garden will be hosting a FREE workshop about Organic Pest Control.

We'll also have our monthly Veg In, Veg Out session in the morning - an informal get-together on the second Sunday of each month to chat about gardening, swap seeds and share excess produce.  We usually get stuck into some propagating too and we often have vegie seedlings to give away.

Sunday 11 November 

11am - 12pm - Veg In, Veg Out
12pm - 2pm  - Organic Pest Control Workshop 

Merri Corner Community Garden, corner Donald and Harrison Streets, Brunswick East.

Organised by the Moreland City Council the gardening workshops are in partnership with local community and garden groups across Moreland from October 2012 to January 2013. These are open to all residents and will be presented by qualified horticulturalists from Sustainable Gardening Australia.  

All are welcome, not just plot holders from the Merri Corner Community Garden - so please pop by on Sunday if you can, and BYO rug or chairs for the workshop!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fawkner Community House - Food Swap & Open Day

Check out all the action at the Fawkner Community House!  Join the lovely folk from Fawkner at their Food Swap this Saturday & a fun-filled Open Day next Saturday - details are below;

Food Swap
10.30am -12.30 pm
Saturday 10th November

Fawkner Community House Open Day
11am -4pm
Saturday 17th November
stalls, singing, henna painting, crafts & yarn bombing

Fawkner Community House
CB Smith Reserve
79 Jukes Rd 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Brite Plants' annual open day fundraising event - Sat 1st Dec (Broadmeadows)

Brite Plants is an Australian Disability Enterprise based in Broadmeadows. Our wholesale nursery sells Australian Native, Indigenous and exotic varieties of plants to retail outlets and landscapers.

Once a year we open our doors to the public as a fundraising event.

When: Saturday 1st December, 9am - 4pm
Where: Cnr Belfast Street and Dallas Drive, Broadmeadows
Enquiries: call 9309 5111

There will be an abundance of plants for sale at wholesale prices from our nursery including:
  • Specially grown advanced tomatoes and other herbs and vegetables
  • Potted plants, trees and shrubs
  • Colourful flowering pots, hanging baskets & more!
On top of the plants:
  • Homemade cakes, coffee, chocolates, fudge (be early, very popular!)
  • ‘Bangers and Cash’ Gourmet Sausage Sizzle
  • Raffles and prizes to be won
We would love to see you on the day.

Busting myths about industrial agriculture (video) #FoodMyths

There's not that much I can really say about this video other than it does a great job of cutting through three major claims of industrial agriculture and lays bare how unsustainable their current practices are.

Take a few minutes to watch it and pass it on. If you feel moved to action, why not get involved with the Peoples Food Plan?

For more information: (particularly their companion reading guide)
Join the conversation on Twitter by using #FoodMyths

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pub night: talkin’ about community and gardens - 15th Nov (Brunswick)

This month’s pub speaker is Peta Christensen from Cultivating Community.

Peta is the team leader of the Food Systems team and will come along to share her perspective on community and gardens and about the work she does at Cultivating Community.

A founding member of the Brunswick East, Merri Corner Community Garden, will also be there on the evening, along with other community garden leaders.

It will be great to see you there - you may even be inspired to volunteer for some of the exciting initiatives that are happening in Moreland and beyond.

When: Thursday 15 November, 6-8pm
Where: The Sporting Club, 27 Weston Street, Brunswick
Cost: Free with nibbles provided

Check out the photos of us taste testing local honey at last month’s pub night on our facebook page.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sustainable Gardening in Moreland - free resources from Moreland City Council

Moreland City Council is proud to release two new gardening booklets this spring:
  • Sustainable Gardening in Moreland - Tips and tools to help you develop your own sustainable garden haven 
  • Home Harvest - How to grow your own delicious fresh food
Download a copy of the booklets from Council’s website or visit one of Councils Citizen Services Centres for a hardcopy.

Sustainable Gardening workshops
As part of the release of these booklets, Council is offering a range of FREE gardening workshops in partnership with local community and garden groups across Moreland.

Presented by qualified horticulturalists from Sustainable Gardening Australia (SGA), these workshops will provide you with the practical skills to get your garden up and growing.

Workshops are open to all residents but spaces are limited so book early. Call Council’s Operation Centre on 8311 4300 to reserve your place. See this flyer for more information.

Refreshments will be available at each workshop. Copies of the booklets will also be available at these sessions.

Herbalicious (1 hour) - A little sage advice on how to grow happy herbs in no thyme
Wednesday - 31 October - 6 pm – 7 pm
Fawkner Community House, (As part of Fawkner Fiesta) 79 Jukes Road, Fawkner

Sustainable garden design (1 hour) - The basics on designing a sustainable garden
Wednesday - 31 October - 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Fawkner Community House, (As part of Fawkner Fiesta) 79 Jukes Road, Fawkner

Gardening in small pots and spaces - Productive pots or small plots, gardens to fit anywhere
Saturday 10 November - 10.30 am – 12.30 pm
Peppertree Place (as part of Garden Fiesta) 512 Sydney Road, Coburg

Organic Pest Control - Simple strategies to keep the bugs away without the spray
Sunday 11 November - 12 noon – 2 pm
Merri Corner Community Garden, Corner Harrison and Donald Streets, Brunswick East

No Dig Vegie gardens - Setting up and growing in no-dig beds, including raised garden beds.
Saturday 24 November - 11 am – 1 pm
Mulberry Gardens, 120 Glenroy Road, Glenroy

Organic Soil Management - Dig deeper and get some simple tips for healthy productive dirt
Sunday 13 January - 10.30 am – 12.30 pm
West Brunswick Community Garden, Dunstan Reserve, Everett Street, Brunswick West

Monday, October 22, 2012

Stewart Lodge Annual Plant Sale - Saturday 27th October 1-am-1pm (Brunswick)

Stewart Lodge (83-85 Stewart St, Brunswick) will hold its annual plant sale and BBQ on Saturday 27th October from 10am -1pm.

The Stewart Lodge 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 call Stewart Lodge on 9387 6942.

Garden & Gather Event - Sunday 28th October 11am – 3pm (West Brunswick)

Garden & Gather is a monthly public event that takes place on the 4th Sunday of every month at the West Brunswick Community Garden and Food Forest in Dunstan Reserve, West Brunswick. Everyone is welcome to go along!

This month’s event will focus on the food forest and will include:

  • Planting, mulching, weeding and tidying up
  • A chat about some of the plants in the Food Forest
  • Training of vines and tightening pergola wires
  • Tasty, refreshing afternoon tea and great conversation
  • A food swap where you can exchange any surplus home grown food you might have

Make new friends and get a few tips about gardening and growing food. If the last few sessions are anything to go by, everyone will get lots done and leave feeling tired and satisfied and knowing more of their neighbours.

Past events have seen lots of pruning, planting, weeding and mulching as work has got underway on rejuvenating the Dunstan Reserve Food Forest (a public urban orchard of mature fruit, nut and olive trees) as part of a project funded by City of Moreland Council. In coming months, the focus of activity will extend to rebuilding the adjacent community garden.

Sound appealing? Get involved, go along!

To help provide enough refreshments, please RSVP by email to or by mail to PO Box 59, Pascoe Vale South, VIC 3044.

What: Garden and Gather
When: Sunday 28th October. 11am – 3pm
Where: Dunstan Reserve Food Forest. Dunstan Reserve, West Brunswick. Enter off Everett St or Peacock St, between Albion and Moreland Rds.

For more information please check the website

Friday, October 12, 2012

Veg In Veg Out at Merri Corner this weekend

Hi everyone,

If you’re around this Sunday 14 October, the monthly Veg In Veg Out session is on from 11am - 12pm at the Merri Corner Community Garden (MCCG), corner Donald & Harrison Streets, Brunswick East

There is always the opportunity to chat with fellow gardeners, share some tips, swap some seeds and share excess produce.  Come down to see how the seeds are going that have been planted for Summer crops – lots of lovely basil, tomatoes, capsicums, eggplants and more which will be shared out amongst gardeners at Veg In Veg Out when they are ready.

All are welcome, not just plot holders from the Merri Corner Community Garden - so please pop by if you can!

Happy Gardening,


The Vegie Patch - learn about getting started with vegie growing at 400 Volt Men's Shed (Hadfield)

The Vegie Patch
A new course with Horticulturalist Judy Allen at 400 Volt Men's Shed. Classes on Thursday or Saturday to suit everyone.

  • Finding and preparing a vegie patch, window sill gardening - Propagating by seed, cuttings, plant division,
  • Making your own pots
  • Making a wicking bed, mulch and composting
  • Problem solving, make your own organic sprays to combat pests and diseases, make your own fertilizer

When - Thursdays or Saturdays 10am to 12noon
Dates - Thursday 8 to 29 November or Saturday 10 November to 1 December 4 sessions in total
Cost - $88 / $66 concession including materials
Where - 400 Volt Men’s Shed, 1 Walter Street, Hadfield

Bookings through: Sussex Neighbourhood House, 235-237 Sussex St, Coburg North 3058
Phone: 03 9354 2210

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Plantcatching: How I will stop committing unnecessary planticide and meet my neighbours

I'm an enthusiastic propagator.

I particularly like taking softwood cuttings and I'm proud to say I have some success in this. No doubt I'm enthusiastic because of this.

Surprisingly however, my success leads to quite a few dead plants. I end up with too many and run out of people willing to take them off my hands.

For me, that's why Plantcatcher is a brilliant idea. It will hopefully find homes for all those plants that might otherwise end their days in my compost bin.

Plantcatcher is a website that...wait, here's how they put it:
"connects you with gardeners in your area and lets you do two very simple things: 
1. Find plants, seeds and bulbs, gardening materials and even fruits and vegetables given by fellow gardeners, either anonymously in a public area, or personally at or near their property. 
2. Share your passion by giving your plants, seeds, bulbs and your own harvest crops so that existing members of the site or even passers-by can catch, plant and admire them, or eat them."
If you have something you want to give away, add details of what you have to the website and it will help you print a handy label with details of the plant and how to get more info. You get to decide how you want to make the plant available (put it somewhere public or ask people to contact you to arrange handover). It's very easy to do.

If you're looking for a plant, search by putting in your suburb and it will show you what's available in your area. To see an example try looking for Coburg, Australia (it's an international site).

We have a healthy food/edibles swap scene here in Moreland with at least one food swap every weekend but this doesn't work for everyone. I think there's room for Plantcatching as well.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Film Screening: Growing Change: A Journey Inside Venezuela's Food Revolution - Oct 16th (City)

Growing Change: A Journey Inside Venezuela's Food Revolution                   
Speaker: Neesh Wray, Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance                      
Tuesday, October 16, 6:30pm (cheap meal from 6pm). Resistance Centre, level 5, 407 Swanston St, City (opposite RMIT). An inspiring new documentary that looks at one of the most exciting experiments in the world to build a fair and sustainable food system.

It follows filmmaker Simon Cunich's journey to understand why current food systems leave hundreds of millions of people in hunger. It's a journey to understand how the world will feed itself in the future in the face of major environmental challenges.

Organised by Green Left Weekly & Socialist Alliance.                                           

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Applications for the 2013 Sustainable Living Festival are closing 1 November

The Sustainable Living Festival raises awareness and provides tools for change by showcasing leading solutions to the ecological and social challenges we face, it aims to inspire and empower everyday Australians to accelerate the uptake of sustainable living.

The SLF are now calling for events throughout Victoria happening between 9 and 24 Feb 2013, the SLF would love you to host an event in your community, and time it to fit within this fortnight.

In the past groups have held all kinds of events; expert panels speaking about environmental and climate change issues, cooking classes, gardening workshops, music performances, tours of parks and gardens, art exhibitions, farmers markets and so much more!

We want groups all around the state to hold their own event which explores and promotes sustainable living. Register your event at so that we know it is happening.  Check out the 2012 Festival promo:   

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pop up Patch: bringing food growing (and bees) to Fed Square

Close your eyes and imagine if somehow we could create a lovely food growing oasis in the city.

Why not take the opportunity to cover up a bit of nasty concrete with something green and lush that might help reduce the urban heat island effect AND on top of that host some more bees in the city.

What if we could help restaurants and bars in the city grow food close to where they're cooking to reduce food miles.

Now how about if there were people around everyday to help you learn how to grow food.

Wouldn't that be awesome?

Friday, October 5, 2012

PepperTree Place Edibles Swap - Saturday 6th October

(Sorry this is so late!)

Suffering (?) a bounty of produce? Sick to the back teeth of the same home grown veg? Don't fret, you are not alone and there is a solution!

Take yourself and your surplus produce down to PepperTree Place for the Coburg Edibles Swap this Saturday and swap it for someone else's excess home grown amazingness. The Cafe and plant nursery are open too.

If you haven't visited this fantastic oasis of calm in the centre of Coburg, find something you have too much of in the garden and get down there and have a look.

Even if you don't have anything to swap, get down and meet your neighbours.

When: 1st Saturday of each month - 10am - 12 noon

Where: PepperTree Place, 512 Sydney Road, Coburg (corner of Sydney Road and Bell Street)

Cost: FREE!

What: Coburg Edibles Swap is a fun local gathering where people swap excess homegrown produce and gardening extras. Items may include fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, seeds, seedlings, recipes, gardening tips and worm juice just to name a few.

How: Swaps are run on an honesty system. Swappers bring their produce and then 'shop' from the table of goods left by others. The exchange should be a fair reflection of what has been given, i.e. eggs for lemons, herbs for chilies.

Contactinfo(at) or Claire on 0431 494 773

Rushall Garden (North Fitzroy) Community Garden Open Day - 13th October


When: Saturday October 13, 2012, from 1 pm – 4 pm


  • Garden Tours
  • Plant and seedling sale
  • Sausage sizzle & Cold Drinks
  • Home grown produce
  • Home made goodies
  • Raffle

Where: Rushall Garden is located in the Thomas Kidney Reserve on Rushall Crescent, North Fitzroy. Melways Map 30 D11. (Behind the grassy knoll at the end of Kneen St.)

Come and learn about community gardening and the importance and joy that can be gained from growing and sharing fresh produce from the garden

Further information about the garden is available from the Rushall Garden website

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Learn to Garden, Harvest and Cook for a Healthy Life

10 week course for two hours a week

Do you live in the City of Darebin? 
Are you interested in growing vegetables, fruit and herbs, gardening and learning how to cook healthy food in a friendly, community setting?

Where:      Sprout Community Garden
40 Clapham Street, Thornbury
(Cnr Clapham and Watt Streets – beside Thornbury Train Station)

When:        10.00 – 12.00 Fridays x 10 weeks
October 12th – December 14th, 2012

*FREE to Eligible Applicants living in Darebin
(Eligibility Criteria: unemployed or casual or part-time workers or people from a non-English speaking
background or Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders or pensioners or people with a disability or carers).

Bookings, enquiries and enrolments: 9480 0466
Photo courtsey of Mulberry Gardens

Delivered by Sprout in partnership with Thornbury Women’s Neighbourhood House and
The City of Darebin.

Return of the Sacred Kingfisher Festival

Monday, October 1, 2012

Local, Organic, Avocados, Oranges and Olive Oil: order by Tues night (2nd Oct)

Eaterprises Fair Food Offer: Connecting Farmers and Eaters

Eaterprises works to transform the way food is produced and consumed, by initiating, incubating and fostering activities that connect farmers and eaters and support the proliferation of local food systems. This social enterprise seeks fair reward and respect for farmers and affordable, good food for everyone.

Order Online: local, organic avocados, oranges and olive oil by Tuesday night (2nd Oct) and collect from PepperTree Place this Swap Sat, Oct 6th, 10am - 12noon, or choose one of 7 other pick up locations across Melbourne.

This Swap Saturday at PepperTree Place brings you good food, affordable plants, community connections and the chance to build your very own sukkah as part of the Jewish Festival of Booths!

When: Saturday, Oct 6th, 10am - 12noon
Where: 512 Sydney Rd., Coburg
  • The Coburg Home-Grown Edibles Swap,
  • PepperTree Community Nursery,
  • Cafe Cooperative,
  • Food, Faith and Fabric Fun (Jewish Festival of Booths),
  • Eaterprises fair food collection,
  • and the Craft Cooperative.
Contact: Claire Hetzel 0431 494 773 or chetzel(at)

We have also set the date for our Annual Garden Fiesta so pencil in November 10th, 10am - 4pm for a day of great music, delicious food, plant sales, kids activities, roving performers, free workshops and much much more. We hope to see you there!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Garage Sale at Luscombe Garden - This Sunday (23 Sept) !

Hi gardeners!

This is very exciting - we are having a Jumble Sale, THIS SUNDAY (23rd Sept), 10am-3pm(see attached).

Come along and support the Luscombe St Community Garden -  there's over 12 different stall holders selling their 2nd-hand wares. Plus there are some great prizes to be won in the raffle...and yoghurt!

Also, you may consider de-cluttering your home this weekend, we will accept donations of (almost!) anything you want to be rid of. Just bring it along on the day, the earlier the better (contact me on 0439617251 if you want to drop stuff off before Sunday).

Please pass this around to all your friends. There's enough bargains for everyone!

Nicole, Jen, Emily and the Luscombe Garden Crew xxx

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Making Better Places: A Research Project

This post is published on behalf of Tashia Dixon:
Connection is at our core, the first thing that strikes us when we consider anything.   To really know anything one must study all of its immediate and mediate connections.  For example, cutting down trees will reduce the bird population, a natural predator for many pests, leading to an increase in the number of pests that destroy agricultural crops.   Cutting down trees will also contribute to soil erosion which can lead to increased pollution of our water ways that our food crops rely upon.  Everything is connected.   
I am an urban designer who is researching how human settlements and communities can benefit from replicating the patterns of connectivity found in natural ecology.  The goal of my work is to design/ create better places for people to live, work and play in by drawing lessons from the complex interdependencies found in natural networks and systems.
My study is focused in the City of Moreland, specifically on the existing community and business networks that have formed around sectors such as food, energy, community, environment etc.  
What I Hope to Achieve?
Through my research I will critically analyse the current model for urban development which often starts with a design and layout for a community of people who don’t yet exist as a collective.   It is my contention that in order to build strong and robust frameworks for sustainable development we should engage with community and business networks before we put pen to paper.  
What if the process for development changed to prioritize the importance of community/ business networks, placing them ahead of the design process and the bricks and mortar?   Instead of Council assessing open space contributions, road networks and layouts, building heights, densities and setbacks for a new project, they would first assess plans for building connections and networks for community health and wellbeing, economic productivity, social vitality and environmental protection.  
How Can You Get Involved?
I am seeking people who are involved in community/ business networks (as organizers, members or owners) to fill out a brief questionnaire to gain insight into how their activities and connections contribute to building sustainable urban environments. 
The questionnaires have been designed for each specific group and can be filled out in a few minutes.
My research requires the engagement of three groups:
1. Organisers of community/ business networks
2. Members of community/ business networks
3. * Small – medium business owners/ operators
*I would also like to hear from small/ medium businesses who are not involved in local networks. 
Please email me at tashia.dixon[at]  for a questionnaire.   
Many thanks for your time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Naked Brunch: Food, Consumption & Culture

This post is reblogged.  Original source from Melbourne Free University can be accessed here.

"Eating is a mundane activity, sometimes pleasurable, sometimes routine. But how often do we think about what we eat as a social phenomenon rather than an exercise in personal taste? This course will be a six week long naked lunch, a collection of ‘frozen moments’ when we’ll stop chewing and attempt see exactly how ‘what is on the end of our forks’ got to be there. It’ll investigate issues surrounding the pursuit of ethical food consumption; why some eating practices are privileged and some are pathologised; who gets to eat what; the lifestyling of food; and the role of cooking and eating in popular culture. There’ll be breastmilk and Masterchefs and cooking shows and fat and locavores and vegans and meat."

The series of discussions will be taking place
on Thursdays 30th August – 10th October 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
at The Alderman (upstairs), 134 Lygon St East Brunswick &
co-ordinated by Helen Addison-Smith (Melbourne Uni). 
Hope to see some of you there!

Merri Corner Community Garden Survey


Hello gardeners and Moreland Food Gardens Networkers,

Today we are asking you to help the Merri Corner Community Garden (MCCG) on the corner of Donald and Harrison Streets, Brunswick East by completing a survey, for a research project being conducted by an RMIT student.

The survey is based online at Qualtrics, it will take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete and you will remain completely anonymous throughout the whole process. Once you have completed, there will be no follow up from anyone.

Here is the link to take you to the survey.  Survey responses must be received by Saturday 29 September, 2012.

We appreciate your time to fill out the survey so we can learn more about what you'd like to see happening at the Merri Corner Community Garden.

Thanks everyone!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Backyard Food Production Research Project

I have always been interested in food, from its production to consumption. Eating is something we all do on a daily basis and we have the tendency to take food for granted; i.e. it will always be there. Walk into any supermarket and the shelves are bursting at the seams with all manner of food from all over the world.

Studies and research have shown that the food on the shelves can only feed us city dwellers for three days before it runs out and it needs to be continually replenished. This means the food you tend to eat and purchase a week from today has to be produced from somewhere else and transported to your local supermarket. What does that mean to any disruption to that supply-chain system? Have we become over-dependent on the current food system?

Friday, September 14, 2012

CERES Community Food Projects Forum - 17th October (Brunswick)

CERES Community Food Projects Forum

Half a day to share, learn and inspire about community food projects in and around Melbourne.

We are holding a forum to share and inspire local organisations about community food projects. We’ll go on a tour of CERES' Community Food System, talk to some experts in the field and have an opportunity to hear from local organisations about their successes and challenges delivering food based projects in the  community. All this followed by a delicious organic lunch and an opportunity to meet other people involved in community food projects.

Who: You! This forum is for anyone who is involved in a community food project, policy makers, people thinking about community food projects or people from the community interested in food.

When: Wednesday October 17th, 2012 from 8:45am – 1pm

Cost: Free

Mark Daniels, Social Traders
Peta Christensen, Cultivating Community

Lunch: Provided by the Merri Catering with Seven Stars (free)

Bookings: Although this is a free event, places are limited and bookings are essential.
Book on TryBooking at

For more information contact Jessica Smart on 9389 0120 |

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Moreland Community Gardening's next monthly Garden & Gather session - 23rd Sept (West Brunswick)

Moreland Community Gardening is very excited to invite you to their first Garden & Gather session!

When: Sunday 23rd September. 11am – 3pm

Where: Dunstan Reserve Food Forest. Dunstan Reserve, West Brunswick, enter off Everett St or Peacock St, between Albion and Moreland Rds.

How many gardeners does it take to plant a tree?
Garden & Gather is a monthly event that takes place on the 4th Sunday of every month at the West Brunswick Community Garden and Food Forest in Dunstan Reserve, West Brunswick involving a bit of a working bee, some afternoon tea, a food swap and lots of all round fun.

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