Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Community orchards in Moreland are within reach. We only have until December 5th to help make it happen

click for a bigger pic
Hidden in the Merlynston Creek Park Draft Development Plan, (currently in the final stages of community consultation until December 5th - more on this below) is a tiny, beautiful glimmer of the future.

On their plan map they have three areas marked as "Opportunities for community food tree plantings"

According to the council's FAQ document, "There have been requests for some type of community gardening activity in this area. Given the narrowness of the open space and the number of private gardens in the area Council is suggesting that community orchards could be included in this space. They will be un-fenced and open to all the community. Council will only put in the orchards where the community in the general vicinity are interested in caring for the trees. Council will develop an agreement with a community group who are incorporated or who are auspiced by another organisation so that there is an ongoing commitment to provide this opportunity. Issues of pest management, fruit drop and pruning will need to be managed by the community."

Moreland Council are to be congratulated for this. It's a big step for them and an acknowledgment of the increasing demands of their constituents for opportunities to grow food in the community.

What can you do?
Show your support for this effort:
It's possible that the community was hoping for a more traditional community garden but if that can't be achieved this is a terrific alternative. 

Imagine strolling along this linear park grabbing an apple or a plum, harvesting olives, feasting on loquats. Consider the annual opportunity to teach about pruning fruit trees.

  • In nearby West Brunswick a community managed orchard (well this one's called a food forest) with around 30 mature trees has been growing for more than 15 years. It's a fantastic way for the community to get together, to provide free, fresh food for the community and to teach people how to care for productive trees. Dealing with the pests, fruit drop and pruning aren't a problem. One's just been started in Northcote.
  • In London the folks at the Urban Orchards Project "partner with local authorities, residents’ associations, Transition initiatives, park user groups, schools and other community groups to help design, plant and maintain community orchards in the nation's parks, housing estates, schools and universities." They're full of good ideas about how to do this.

More of these please!
The Merlynston Creek Park Draft Development Plan and Playspace Concept Plans are available for comment until 5 December 2014.

More info here

Story Sharing with Nick Rose from AFSA, Local Organic BBQ, Backyard fire and music

When: Friday, 28th November 6-9pm

Where: Local Organics Food Hub, 16 Barkly st, Brunswick East

You're invited to a relaxed end of year evening of story sharing, networking, and organic seasonal BBQ food. All in a relaxed back yard, with fire and music (weather permitting)!

We'd love to celebrate the amazing work we have all done in sustainable food, together! We hope you can make it!

Nick Rose (AFSA / Food Alliance) has just come back from a Churchill fellowship to the US, Toronto and Argentina. He's moved to Melbourne, and is keen to share these stories and help support the fantastic work that's already underway in Melbourne and beyond to transform our food system into one that cares for all of us and our soils, animals and waterways.

Lets talk about local food systems from across the globe to our own back yards!

What: Story Sharing with Nick Rose from AFSA, Local Organic BBQ, Backyard fire and music

What to bring: Picnic rugs, blankets

Tickets: $15 (please book)

Drinks at bar prices, profits to Local Organics / AFSA.

About Nick Rose:-
Nick is the national coordinator of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, and a Director of the Food Connect Foundation, affiliated with the Brisbane-based food social enterprise, Food Connect. Recently he was also appointed as Project Coordinator, Food Systems, for the Food Alliance at Deakin University in Melbourne, where he is leading an initiative to establish a Victorian Urban Agriculture Network and an Urban Agriculture Charter for Victoria

Monday, November 17, 2014

Learn about Worm Farming and Composting at Home (CBD, Dec 10th)


What’s it all about?

Wish you could be doing more with your waste? Worm farming and composting not only reduces the amount of food waste going to landfill but also provides high quality organic matter and fertiliser which enriches your soil and helps your plants grow big and strong! Come along and learn how to use and maintain a worm farm or compost bin at home and learn too how to make your own worm farm using mostly scrap materials.
What will we cover?

In this fun and interactive workshop we will:
  • Learn about why recycling food waste is good for the planet, the many types of worm farms and compost systems available and what works best in certain circumstances.
  • Find out what to feed the worms (and what not to feed them!); how to harvest and use the worm wee, castings and compost in the garden; how to diagnose and fix problems with your worm farm and compost bin; as well as how to make your own worm farm.

Who will be teaching?

Sam Green coordinates a sustainable living program for residents in the Cities of Darebin and Banyule. She is a keen composter and worm farmer. Sam practises what she teaches having established a community composting and worm farming hub in her front yard for which she recently won a City of Yarra Sustainability Award.

Questions about the class? Please email melbourne@lanewaylearning.com.

Sound like fun?

When: Wednesday, December 10th, 8:00pm to 9:15pm
Where: The Little Mule Cafe, 19 Somerset Place, Melbourne CBD, VIC, 3000

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Open edible garden this weekend (Heidelberg West)

If you're free this weekend......

From Karen Sutherland

You may be interested in an edible garden I have designed opening to the public this weekend, 10-5 each day.

It's opening with other gardens as a fund raiser for Kew Rotary, 'Garden DesignFest'

This garden at 6 Lae Street Heidelberg West is based around edible and useful plants, so I thought you may be interested to see it.

I'll be there all weekend chatting to visitors and hopefully inspiring them to include more edible (and beautiful!) plants in their gardens!

You can read about the garden here

Hope to see some of you there!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Saxon St Garden Meetup - Get involved with @3000acres at a new community food growing space in the heart of Brunswick (Sun 16th Nov 3pm)

There are some super exciting things happening at the moment in Brunswick - we would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and potential interest.

3000acres in collaboration with the Moreland City Council have been given the go-ahead to for a new shared community hub and edible garden in the heart of Brunswick, tucked right in behind the Brunswick Baths on Saxon Street. By repurposing a now vacant primary school, we plan on turning this site over the coming weeks into a dynamic and inclusive community space with a range of growing spaces, places to congregate as well as event and workshop areas.

But before we dig, hammer and plant, we want to hear the thoughts of our local community – after all, this garden is for everyone! So please spread the word and come along to our first Saxon Street Garden meet-up Sunday 16th November at 3pm and give your thoughts on how we can grow this space into something wonderful and resourceful for our Brunswick community. Give your input of what you would like to see growing in the garden, the kind of skills people might have to share (or want to learn), and how we can engage community groups in the most meaningful and relevant way.

We would love to meet with anyone who might have an interest in the garden - whether it might be short term, long term or just a general curiosity about the project.

If you would like to get involved please contact us at hello@3000acres.org, call Ellie our garden manager on 0449753676 or just come along to our first garden meet-up at 33 Saxon St on Sunday November 16th at 3pm.

Here is a link to our Facebook event with some more information (please feel free to share and spread the word!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Field Institute and Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance Film Premiere: Fair Food (Melbourne 2nd December)

Fair Food is Australia’s first feature-length documentary that tells the story of our farmers, social entrepreneurs and communities pioneering new approaches to food production, marketing and distribution. After a year of production by The Field Institute and Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, we couldn't be more excited to announce the premiere screenings of this very special documentary.

Our current food system is broken – two supermarkets control 75-80 per cent of the grocery market, cheap imports undercut local producers markets and farmers are walking off the land in droves. But Fair Food reveals a countercurrent to these trends – a fair food movement that’s gathering momentum, led by biodiverse family farmers, independent food enterprises, and communities and individual food buyers around the country.

The film will be launched in Melbourne and Sydney at events taking place in the first week of December, 2014. Tickets to launch events around the country are limited, so don’t miss your chance to be a part of the fair food revolution.

To view event details and purchase tickets visit www.justfoodfilms.com.

For Melbourne:

WHEN: Tuesday 2nd December, 6:30pm-8:30pm

WHERE: Clemenger Auditorium, National Gallery of Victoria, 80 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Vic

Premiere events proudly sponsored by National Gallery of Victoria, City of Melbourne, and Golden Age Cinema.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Brite Plants 2014 Open Day (Sat 22nd Nov - Broadmeadows)

The Brite Plants Open Day is a great day when our wholesale nursery is open to the public.

We have loads of vegetable seedlings as well as our great selection of Australian native and exotic plants. Plus raffle tickets and much more including:
  • WHOLESALE Plants, Trees, Herbs & Vegies
  • Food & Drinks
  • FREE Gardening Advice
When: Saturday 22nd November From 9.00 am

Where: Cnr Belfast St & Dallas Dr Broadmeadows

Enquiries: 9309 5111

  • is the wholesale nursery division of Brite Services, an Australian Disability Enterprise that provides employment and training for people with disabilities.
  • has a reputation for supplying quality plants of all sizes to a diverse range of clients within the horticultural trade industry.
  • is a member of the Nursery and Garden Industry of Victoria (NGIV) and is nationally accredited through The Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme Australia (NIASA)
If you represent a retail nursery, wholesale nursery, Council, or you are a landscaper, builder or an architect, why not give us a call?

Proof of trade will be required to ensure wholesale prices.

Please contact one of our friendly staff if you are interested in receiving our Monthly Specials List by mail, fax or email or would just like more information about Brite Plants.

Telephone: 9309 5111
Facsimile:  9302 2921
Email: briteplants@briteind.com.au 

Help local farmers, asylum seekers & CERES. Help "Rewiring the Food System" reach its tipping point

A message from CERES Fair Food:

It's crunch time - one week to go before our Rewiring the food system campaign ends. 

One more week to buy the new software that will give more people access to Fair Food and by doing so will give more farmers fair prices, give more asylum seekers jobs and fund more education programs at CERES. 180 people have given $17,500, so it's only $7,500 to get to our tipping point of $25,000 to make it happen.  The scary thing is that If we don't make the tipping point all donations are returned and we're back to scratch. 

Rewiring our website is crucial because it solves the problems you, our customers, have shared with us about your shopping experience with Fair Food.  It's the project that gives you the power to swap items out of your set fruit & veggie boxes that you don't like and don't use for the things you do want.  It gives you the power to have delivery the day after you order, to be able to shop by recipe and lots more.  It's the project that will make buying Fair Food doable for so many more of the 300 people a month who try Fair Food and leave because we just don't fit with each other's ways of doing things. And most importantly it's reclaiming all the lost opportunities to build a better food system that those people represent.

Asking you to help fund this project is a peculiarly democratic way of doing things.  Because now the decision is in your hands; you have the chance to help shape your food system and like the Onceler says in The Lorax, "Nothing will change unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It's not."

So, if you believe that farmers and grocery makers shouldn't be forced to the bread-line by Coles and Woolworths. 

If you believe that asylum seekers shouldn't treated as "illegals" but welcomed as human beings who can contribute to to our community.

If you believe that people can help build community by something as simple as sharing their verandahs for others to pick up their groceries from. 

If you believe that the profits from your grocery shopping should help teach children to care for their environment.

And if you believe that ethical, fair food should be available and easy to buy for as many people in Melbourne as possible.

Then it's time to put your money where your mouth is - literally.  

This is our last week to get over that $25,000 finish line and do this.  Let's make it happen together.

This is the campaign website - startsomegood.com/fairfood
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