All posts tagged: sustainability

Spring Gardening in Melbourne

Ah, spring. My favourite time of the year in Melbourne. Sun, blossom, green shoots and a winter’s worth of compost ready to be put to use. Although the weather’s still a bit temperamental, there are dozens of herbs and veggies that are suitable for planting in September. Herbs like basil, oregano, parsley, mint, coriander and dill are great to grow in pots if you have limited space, while those lucky enough to have big backyards can go for veggies like beans, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, pumpkins and zucchinis. For a full run-down on what to plant this spring, the Gardening Australia website has a great planting guide. (Here’s another handy one.) Melbourne sits in the southern temperate zone, and these guides are tailored specifically for our city’s climate. For some more general tips on gardening in Melbourne, click here.  

Feral Fruit Trees Melbourne

Recently I heard about Feral Fruit Trees Melbourne, a local blog that plots the location of fruit trees growing in (or overhanging) public spaces in this city. The blog includes a Google map to which punters can add public fruit trees they’ve spotted around Melbourne. The blog advocates exercising restraint in your fruit-picking endeavours — don’t pick more than you need — and in the case of picking fruit from a privately owned tree that’s overhanging a public area, do the right thing and ask the owner if possible. There seems to be increasing momentum around the sustainable food movement lately, and this is just one more illustration of the fact.

CERES Community Environment Park

If you love nature, gardening, organic food, bicycles or animals, or if you’re passionate about conservation and general do-gooderness, you should head to CERES Community Environment Park in Brunswick East. This place is like an urban lung, feeding Melbourne’s northern inner suburbs with oxygen and greenery and the smells of fresh dirt and ground coffee. Apart from being a lovely place to simply wander around and look at chickens, CERES has its own Organic Market, a Permaculture Nursery, and an Organic Cafe. CERES also offers a range of courses and workshops on all things green and sustainable; check the website for details of what’s on offer. There are also a bunch of volunteer opportunities here, so contact CERES if you’re keen to get involved. One popular and very handy CERES service is the team of volunteer bicycle fixer-upperes at The BikeShed. If, like me, you’re a little mechanically challenged, take your ailing bike along to CERES and the kind folk here will teach you how to fix it yourself. You can also buy new and second-hand bicycle parts …

How to make a garden (in Melbourne)

If you’ve never tried making a garden, now’s the time to give it a shot. As the weather warms, this is the perfect time of the year to plant some seeds and watch them grow. The internet is full of information and advice on how best to make a garden, but I’ll pass on a few small tips that I’ve found to be the most helpful. 1. Pots Those of us who live with small gardens (or no gardens) will need to grow our plants in pots or other containers. You can buy plastic pots very cheaply from Kmart; the bigger the better. I also use a couple of large wooden drawers that I found on the roadside. With a few holes cut in the bottom, they work perfectly as a garden bed. One advantage of using pots is that you can strategically place them in the spots that get the most direct sunlight — a crucial factor for growing most plants. 2. Compost Juicy, wormy compost is, basically, plant food. Without it, your plants …

Event: The Growing Food Project

Where does our food come from? This question is seldom asked in wealthy first-world societies, where food seems to originate — individually wrapped and pleasingly presented — on the supermarket shelf. The lack of basic knowledge about growing food must be one of the more significant tragedies of the modern age — one that has contributed to many of today’s health and environmental problems: food waste, poverty, obesity, even climate change. Melbourne artist, activist and nutritionist Rasha Tayeh is passionate about food. Her new short documentary, The Growing Food Project, looks at Melbourne’s expanding local food movements, which sees local communities coming together to create sustainable food systems. ‘The  Growing  Food  Project  is  an  attempt  to  allow further exploration of positive relationships with food, whilst documenting various stories of grassroots initiatives that search for meaning through food,’ Rasha explains. ‘There is a growing energy in Melbourne responding to food and sustainability issues. Local communities are teaming up to strengthen the way we produce and distribute local food. From community gardening to neighbourhood feasts, these community food projects improve …

Garage Sale Trail 2013

It’s the ideal way to spend a Saturday morning in spring: grab a friend or three and while away few leisurely hours visiting garage sales around the neighbourhood. Most Saturdays there are usually a few garage sales (also known as yard sales) happening around Melbourne, but they’re often spread out and difficult to find. But on Saturday 26 October, that’s going to change as the country explodes into one big garage-sale smorgasbord extravaganza. … Ok. That may be a slight exaggeration. But there will be an unusually high number of sales happening in Melbourne on this day, thanks to the Garage Sale Trail. This initiative started three years ago in the suburb of Bondi in Sydney, and has since spread across the country. The GST is all about fostering sustainability and creating a better sense of community by encouraging households to hold garage sales rather than throw unwanted bits and bobs into the tip. Already there are 898 sales registered in the Melbourne region, over 200 of which are in the city’s inner suburbs. The …