Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Coburg Incr-Edible Food Swap this Saturday, 3rd May

Saturday, 3rd May. 10am-12pm

Once again we welcome you to our food swap on this Saturday, 10am-12pm, where you can meet and greet other locals, food swappers and get stuff for free!!

You'll be pleasantly surprised most months to find not only food stuffs are being swapped. There might be recipes to accompany unusual edible ingredients on the table; seedlings, cut flowers, preserves and pickles made from swapped fruit and vegies to local stories and garden wisdom being shared amongst the crowd.

Ross will have the wood fired oven going to bake off any  doughy goods you might like to cook in there! 

The Popup Cafe will be serving hand baked treats to accompany your morning cuppa.

Browse the Community Nursery and snap up some affordable plants to plant in your garden - great time of year right now to transplant and get some plants going while the soil retains some summer warmth and before the cold slows everything down.

The Craft Coop is for anyone interested in selling their own (and others) handmade products regularly each month. A stall is set up each month and attended by a rotation of craft volunteers to promote their wares - if you're interested in joining this please come down and check it out! We would love to see more people contribute to this local enterprise.

PepperTree is your Community Hub that provides a family friendly, inclusive space for you to strengthen your ties to a vibrant, creative, sustainable and earth friendly community.
We have a composting hub here so if you can't manage your organic scraps at home - bring them here to feed our worms and composting systems on site!

We have volunteers that assist with many aspects of day to day management and maintenance of PepperTree Place so if this sounds like your cup of tea - and we do punctuate the day with lots of them, then come and see what PepperTree is all about and ask how you too can become a volunteer here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

3 Melbourne-based Open Source, Fair Food Projects - @300acres, @OpenFoodNet, @growstufforg

It might just be me but it seems there is something exciting happening around food systems and open source software development here in Melbourne.

The groundswell of local food activity in Melbourne (and elsewhere) isn't really news (although it's still exciting). However it's worth looking more closely at the confluence of fair food and open source software. The open source philosophy (a community sharing knowledge and skills, collaborating to build a viable alternative to established proprietors for sound, socially good reasons) meshes very well with the fair food movement which can sometimes use an open source approach to improving our food systems.

Given their core aim of facilitating fairer food systems, it makes a lot of sense that these projects would also take an open source approach to developing the tools that underpin their projects.

Here are 3 notable efforts that are working to do this, described using their own words*. Do you know of any more?

(*because they've already put a lot of effort into explaining what they're doing and why)

The Open Food Foundation was established "to accumulate and protect a commons (“the open food web”) of open source knowledge, code, applications and platforms to support the proliferation of fair and sustainable food systems.

"The Open Food Network is a community of people working together to build...a free, open source, scalable e-commerce marketplace and logistics platform that enables communities and producers to connect, trade and co-ordinate movement of food. It’s like a network of online farmers markets that enables everyone to participate. Through peer-to-peer product traceability and transparency, it helps put control over food into the hands of farmers, eaters and local enterprises."

Their other project, Open Food Hub, is software to "run a stand-alone food hub (of any scale). It enables you to manage online ordering, multiple suppliers and products, and a range of distribution points. It is designed to facilitate the viability of ethical and sustainable food enterprises."

Watch the Open Food Foundation. They're building something sound, substantial and ambitious.

3000 Acres want our help to change Melbourne's food landscape by "building a platform to connect people to land, resources and each other so that more people can grow more food in more places. [They] want to build holistic and sustainable cities for generations to come by changing how we use vacant land, establishing strong relationships between community, business, and government."

Their website "provides a map of actual and potential places to grow food. A team including representatives from local government review potential sites and help make suitable land easier to find. [They] provide ways for people to get in touch and organise around their plot, as well as resources to help get started and make connections with land owners, local councils, and a whole range of resources."

One way people can support their project is by helping to develop their open source platform.

It's early but there's much interest and excitement around what 3000 Acres might deliver. The idea has caught people's imagination.

Growstuff "helps people learn about how to grow food and track and share the results of their work, whether in their backyards or community gardens, through a web and mobile based app and community.

"Growstuff values openness, transparency, and community involvement [and] operate as an open source project, with over 100 volunteers either participating in or following every stage of our development. The data gathered by Growstuff is also released under an open license, and anyone can use it...

"[They're] trying to build a diverse community of food growers, from all backgrounds and skill levels, and from all parts of the world. So far our membership encompasses at least 5 continents, and includes everyone from those aspiring to plant their first windowsill herbs, to experienced permaculturists and self-sufficient homesteaders."

The Grow Stuff community is significant (nearly 900 members), their open source database of plants is growing bigger and their platform is improving (although not much since January). Hopefully it has reached a critical mass of users and developers that will see it go the distance.

Give these projects your support and tell others about them.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Your invitation to MFGN Quarterly Social #2 with Dr Nick Rose (Tues 6th May)

Our next MFGN Quarterly Social is approaching on Tuesday 6th May.

We're looking forward to another evening full of enthusiastic discussions with others who share our interest in locally grown, healthy food. I hope you’ll come along to participate, meet new friends and say hello to old ones.

We’ll start with a guest speaker followed by discussion/questions, then anyone who wants to can briefly share quick project updates or items of interest. After that we’ll mingle, chat and eat. It's informal and everyone is welcome, a terrific opportunity to find lots of likeminded, enthusiastic people all in one place.

We're lucky to have as our special guest Dr Nick Rose (between 6.30-7.30pm). 

Nick is the National Coordinator of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) (the people behind Fair Food Week) and has been instrumental in the development of the People’s Food Plan. 

He is also the coordinator of the Victorian Healthy Food Systems Network project of the Food Alliance (Deakin University), funded by VicHealth.

This one-year project aims to establish collaborative spaces and forums for stakeholders from across Victoria's food system to work together to tackle the big issues we are facing, from soil to stomach. Nick has focused particularly on the establishment of an Urban Food Network and a project to create an Urban Food Charter for Victoria. The Urban Food Charter has been revised and Nick is here to workshop the Urban Food Charter with the network to gather our feedback and thoughts.

You may also have read his recent article in The Conversation.

When: Tuesday 6th May from 6.30pm - 9.30pm

Food/Drink: Bring a plate & drink to share

Where: The Lower Merri room at CERES (situated under the Merri Restaurant at the top of CERES. If you are driving, enter through the mosaic gates and drive down to the car park on your left. If you park as far down as you can you will almost be at the front door.)

RSVP: Please RSVP by emailing so we can be confident of the space we need.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Incr-Edible Coburg Food Swap - this Saturday 5th April 2014

PepperTree Place Incr-Edible Coburg Food Swap is on this Saturday, 10am-12pm - bring your end of summer season excess produce and swap it for something you haven't been able to grow or have much of.

From 11am there will be discussion and much ado about OLIVES!!!
It is nearly olive harvest! The olives on our trees are ripening fast. It is time to decide which processing method to use this season! We have tried several methods and we know some of the regular swappers have local expertise on this subject. Take the opportunity at this weekend's Food Swap to share skills and knowledge in processing olives. If anyone else would like to bring olives from their tree, that will be great. We will have a processing demo and discuss the various methods. There will be olives to take home to process.
The woodfired oven area has received a fabulous make over recently - so come and check it out and bring your doughy creations to be baked off from 10.30am.

This weekend our Pop-Up cafe won't be popping up so we encourage you to bring your own picnic and drinks if you like to have here. Its taking a small break and will pop back up again the following month.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Can you spare 3 mins to help make the Wilson Ave Brunswick pop up park permanent?

Wilson Avenue pop up park in Brunswick

We want more food growing in Moreland and more people growing it, right?

One way to help is to make the sight of food growing part of our day-to-day lives. Make it mainstream, commonplace. If getting food growing in public is helpful in raising awareness then getting it growing in the heart of Moreland in a public space with heavy pedestrian traffic would be VERY VERY helpful.

That's where you come in. 

Help make this happen by filling out an online survey that takes about 3 minutes.

You might have seen that the pop up park in Wilson Ave Brunswick (Brunswick Station) for the last couple of months. Last week we shared news of the North Nomadic Project which held a community event in the pop up park last Friday. Council wants your input re: closing the road an establishing this space permanently.

Tell council that you want to make this a permanent public space and that you want food growing here. Think fruit trees and herbs in planter boxes or pumpkins growing over trellis, sweet corn screening, grape vines providing shade and grapes...

Please click the link to the survey below and please forward to your neighbours and friends
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