Thursday, March 29, 2012

CERES Autumn Harvest Festival is on this Saturday (31st March) - see you there!

This Saturday, across CERES' ten acre site will be a range of activities and events that celebrate our community, our environment, our sustainable food systems and CERES’s 30th birthday.

The unbelievable, exciting array of features include:
  • Workshops, talks and activities,
    • Edible weeds,
    • Chooks,
    • Compost,
    • Landshare,
    • Permaculture design,
    • Growing from cuttings.
  • Kids activities,
  • Music,
  • Stalls,

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A day in the life of a supermarket tomato - Local Harvest (video)

Take a minute to watch this little video. It makes a good case for sourcing locally grown produce.

A little local knowledge from Local Harvest on Vimeo.

Follow the journey of a tomato through the industrial food system to the supermarket shelves. Find out why local food alternatives are a good thing, and how easy it can be to find good food close to you.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Merri Corner Veg In Veg Out - monthly gardening share/chat sessions

Seeds by erix! on Flickr
Want to share excess seedlings, swap seeds, talk about what to plant each month and share gardeners' tips?

Join us on the second Sunday of every month.

We'll provide a propagating table, seed trays and tools, and a light morning tea.

Bring your seeds, cuttings and spare seedlings, or just your curiosity. 

When: 11.00am til 12 noon.

Merri Corner Community Garden
cnr Donald and Harrison Sts, Brunswick


  • 15 April, 
  • 13 May, 
  • 10 June, 
  • 15 July, 
  • 12 August, 
  • 9 September, 
  • 14 October, 
  • 11 November, 
  • 9 December

All welcome - young and old, experienced gardeners and those just starting out. Open to the whole community.

(thanks Tania)

Sustainable communities: collaborating, planning, delivering – hear about leading-edge approaches to creating and maintaining sustainable communities (29th March)

Sustainable communities: collaborating, planning, delivering – a C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group public event

The City of Melbourne, in conjunction with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, invites you into the minds of the world's leading thinkers on sustainability. The sharpest minds on cities and sustainability will be in Melbourne during March for a workshop on sustainable cities and this Melbourne Conversations event is your chance to hear what they are saying.

Sustainable communities: collaborating, planning, delivering has been developed in conjunction with the C40 workshop and will allow you to hear about leading-edge approaches to creating and maintaining sustainable communities.

Come along and give us your comments and opinions from the audience 'hot seat' or get involved in the conversation online through our Facebook group or on Twitter.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Where The Heart Is...

Without wanting to generalise, if you're reading this blog there is a pretty good chance that:

a) you love plants that feed you
b) you're community minded and
c) you like to get your hands dirty

All pretty good traits (even if I do say so myself) and a perfect match for volunteering in the garden section at the 'Where the Heart is Festival'.

This time last year I was blessed to be a part of the garden department at the 'Where the Heart is Festival'. Essentially the festival is a big pamper day in the park for people who are homeless and doing it tough in Melbourne and a wonderful opportunity for these people to feel connected & part of a community rather then socially isolated & living on the fringe. The festival is an initiative of the 'Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) Homeless Persons Program'.

The Real Dirt on CERES Organic Farm - no threat from contamination

(from Chris Ennis - Manager, CERES Fair Food and Organic Farm)

from CERES
What's the worst thing that can happen to an environment park that educates kids and grows food? A contamination scare that breaks in the city's most trusted paper. 

Appearing on page three of The Sunday Age, March 5th edition, just the week before CERES Organic Farm was given the all clear by Moreland Council and the EPA, a feature article reported, "produce grown at CERES banned from sale" because of lead contamination. The timing of Steve Holland's article could not have been worse or more mischievous.

If The Sunday Age had bothered to check their story, the real but far less newsworthy story would have revealed that Moreland Council and EPA testing had found five privately leased community garden plots with lead levels slightly over ANZFSC limits and that produce from CERES Organic Farm had never been contaminated or banned from sale. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story they say.

When I read the article, including a quote from CERES chairperson, Robert Larocca, which seemed to back up the story, my first thoughts were, "That's not right and why would Robert confirm it?"

Friday, March 16, 2012

Agam Grubb on rrr discussing soil contamination.

Monthly guest Adam Grubb from Very Edible Gardens and the Permablitz network chats to Donna and Kulja about lead contamination in Melbourne backyards, issues surrounding food safety, and more on the Grapevine.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fresh – the movie: fresh food on every plate!

Fresh - The Movie is a new documentary on the industrialised food system.

Check out the trailer below for a taste.

We may have heard or read the issues before, but this movie has some nice close up examples of small scale intensive rural and urban sustainable agriculture (or permaculture/holistic management!):

In particular the intensive urban agriculture set up by former professional basketball player "Growing Power".

Best of all it has now been shown that sustainable agriculture is more profitable than industrialised agriculture! (References required...)

(from Tania at Transition Brunswick)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

MFGN 1st birthday!

MFGN turns 1
Dear friends,
We would be absolutely delighted if you could join us on Thursday 15th March
to celebrate our 1st birthday at a very special film night.
Where & when: PepperTree Place 6-8pm.

Hope to see you then!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Green Bronx Machine: better food, jobs, attendance & performance, fewer food miles (video)

Find 15 mins to watch this and see what someone with energy (and this guy has more than enough to go around), commitment and passion can achieve. In this case, growing fresh food for school kids, improving attendance, providing training, creating jobs and more.

Stephen Ritz is a South Bronx teacher/administrator.   
With the help of extended student and community family they have grown over 25,000 pounds of vegetables in the Bronx while generating extraordinary academic performance. His Bronx classroom features the first indoor edible wall in NYC DOE which routinely generates enough produce to feed 450 students healthy meals and trains the youngest nationally certified workforce in America.   
Stephen has consistently moved attendance from 40% to 93% daily, helped fund/create 2,200 youth jobs, captured the US EPA Award for transforming mindsets and landscapes in NYC, recently won the ABC Above and Beyond Award, helped earn his school the first ever Citywide Award of Excellence from the NYC Strategic Alliance for Health and attributes these results directly to growing vegetables in school. His speech at Columbia University, "From Crack to Cucumbers," along with the release of a You-Tube Video (Urban Farming NYC) resulted in a national following including an invite to the White House Garden. Dedicated to harvesting hope and cultivating minds, Stephen dreams of opening a nationally replicable Career Technical Education public school in the poorest Congressional District in America rooted in urban agriculture, green and sustainable initiatives. 
(Thanks Janelle)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Volunteer required to advise on food security initiatives in Botswana (applications close 18th March)

Botswana Red Cross is working on food security projects, such as local food gardens, to help communities reduce their vulnerability to disasters.

An Australian Volunteer is being sought to advise on various food security initiatives, including soil preparation, planting, maintenance and harvesting.

Working closely with Red Cross program officers, the volunteer will travel between two communities, advising on irrigation, maintenance, planting and overall food security strategies.

The successful applicant will demonstrate:
  • Experience in food gardening, from planning to harvest 
  • Understanding of food security issues 
  • Qualifications in agriculture, rural development or a related field 
  • Self awareness, cultural sensitivity, flexibility and adaptability, resilienceRed Cross is looking for people with experience in food gardening to volunteer with us in Botswana.

Start date: 4 June 2012 
End date: 3 June 2013
Application closing date: 18 March 2012

Contact Zayne D'Crus for more information
Communications Account Manager - International Volunteers
Australian Red Cross 
(03) 9341 7589
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