Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CERES has a new kitchen for hire

CERES in Brunswick East have just opened a new kitchen for the community!

The CERES kitchen is a place for everyone to come together to share, learn about and celebrate food.
It is available to hire by groups and individuals who require a kitchen facility to teach, for recipe testing or product demonstrations, for group cooking projects, or to self-cater for on-site events and functions. The kitchen is available to hire seven days a week.

This community kitchen can comfortably fit up to twelve people cooking and more for demonstrations and master classes. It can be combined with the adjoining room to cater for large groups or events. There’s also a large sunny outside area to enjoy lunch and a glass of wine.

The adjacent kitchen garden is being planted and maintained by CERES Urban Farmer students, who are ensuring a constant supply of herbs, vegetables and fruits that can be used by people who are cooking in the kitchen.

CERES Training Team are also using the kitchen for hospitality training programs, adult workshops, and to facilitate team building days for local groups, get in touch if you would like more information about our Training Programs.

For more information about the community kitchen including booking and pricing, (please note that discounts may apply for not for profit organisations) check out our website www.ceres.org.au/CommunityKitchen or contact
Jess Smart: 9389 0120

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Forest Camp: Restore senses. Challenge your mind. Find surprise

(from Juliette at Sharing Abundance)

Another day, another amazing project to share... this time much more intense than any of the suburban stuff I usually talk about... A Forest Camp!

Developed by 3 mavericks who love getting out and beyond, A Forest Camp is the ultimate in uncharted holiday experiences. Hipsters take note, there is not yet a Lonely Planet guide on this type of holiday. 

Firstly there will be no internet connection, secondly you will have to create your own sleeping shelter and thirdly (and most herotic on my radar) you will encouraged and taught how to forage to food...amazing! Reflective thinking is a must, an open mind would definitely be beneficial and an appreciation for all things much bigger than you is your parting gift. 

Leave your converse at home with your fixie and tight jeans, this is an event to put all of that stuff into rather harsh perspective.

In their words: 
"A Forest Camp suits those who require a break from the noise of everyday life, those needing to restore themselves, needing a challenge, or just needing to take stock of life and work in a simple, quiet, unstructured, though always supportive environment. We tailor experiences to families, school children, individuals, organisations and businesses alike. Be a student of the forest with us for a weekend of simple living, of reconnecting to the lifeforms that enable us to live well and wisely."

A camping trip is currently being planned for July so head over to the website to register your details... hopefully before another uber travel guide reporter gets there first.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

RECLAIM THE CURB: Enough talking, let's make our streets productive.

MFGN have been doing a bit of advocacy in recent months in response to community consultations around Moreland's Open Space and Street Landscape Strategies. It's time consuming and tedious work ploughing through policies and strategies, position statements and plans. It's hard to know how to best channel your frustrations to best effect and at the end of it, you're never quite sure how much impact (if any) your work will have.

So, I for one totally get the impetus behind the project described below.

Heard of Reclaim the Streets? Well Reclaim the Curb is a group of people who want to take to the streets (hopefully yours) to make the curbs productive spaces.

They developed this project in response to Moreland's Open Space Strategy consultation earlier this year, and the general frustration of a lot of talking and not enough doing.

In their own words:
"Whether it be planting out the space full of edible amazingness or creating a perfect place to sit and enjoy the view, Reclaim the Curb is about empowering people to take control of the places in which they belong, meeting their neighbours and enjoying the great outdoors."
The project website has just been launched and the first site to reclaim has been secured.

Exciting times in suburbia!

Let’s act together for a Zero Carbon Moreland!

Climate change is the biggest challenge we face today. But we can take action, and in Moreland, we can do it together. 

By joining Zero Carbon Moreland, you add your voice to the 3600+ Moreland residents, businesses and community groups who care about building a safe, clean and healthy community – together!

To get you started, once you sign up you’ll go in the draw for a $1,000 tailored home energy makeover with Ecovantage! You can then keep informed about events, actions and offers you can get involved in to help make a Zero Carbon Moreland.

In Moreland, we're not waiting for governments to act on climate change; as a community we're leading the way. Sign up to Zero Carbon Moreland today!

(From Asha)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

West Brunswick Community Garden - Come and get involved - Saturday 16th June at 2pm (spread the word!)

The West Brunswick Community Garden in Dunstan Reserve (above) was established in 1995 and has provided residents with a place to meet and somewhere to grow food ever since.

Unfortunate recent troubles lead council to seek a new management group to run the garden. They backed a proposal from volunteer resident group Coburg Community Gardening that aims to revitalise the garden and open it to more residents as a welcoming, lively community hub. Plans include a mix of communal/shared gardening and personal plots and improved facilities where locals can meet, learn and share. If you're interested in the details of the proposal, you can read it here.

The garden has an exciting future but it obviously needs people. It's up to all of us to make it so.

Join your fellow Morelanders at a public get-together to find out more about the future of the garden and how you can be involved.  Come down and chat, check out the plans and join the fun.

When: 2pm on June 16th
WhereWest Brunswick Community Garden, Dunstan Reserve

We'll be holding our first food swap too so if you have too much of anything, feel free to bring it down and swap it for someone else's surplus.

Pass it on....

Monday, June 4, 2012

Plant Families- Patterns in Nature

A practical thing botany teaches is to look at similarities and differences or patterns in plants. When growing vegetables you start to see resemblances between the plants and it can be useful to develop some general knowledge about how plant families are classified. I have found this knowledge particularly useful for:

  • Crop rotation — so you can avoid planting crops from the same family in the same spot each season, or too close together
  • Pest management — the same families have similar pests and diseases and control methods
  • Seed saving — plants in the same family may cross pollinate or have similar seed collection and storage needs, so you don’t need to memorise the details for every individual plant
Plants are classified botanically into groups according to similarities in their flowers, seeds and their genes. Two plants that have almost identical looking leaves may not be related at all botanically. So while the growing form, such as leaves or height, can give some clue to whether plants are related, the best place to start to see the family patterns it is to look closely at the flowers and seed formation.
Important is the overall shape of flowers; symmetry — are they symmetrical if cut from all angles or only along one axis? What is the flower structure — are there single or multiple flowers together; how do they branch? Which flowers open first — those at the top or the bottom?
All of these are clues to which plants belong to the same family.

 By Elspeth Brock
 Click here to read the full article on the Permaculture Research Institute website

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