Guerrilla gardening is something that quite a lot of people talk about but, as far as I can make out, not many people actually do, at least in Australia (although Gardening Australia’s 2016 Gardener of the Year was apparently won by a guerilla gardener from North Fitzroy). I did some a few years ago: we went out in the middle of the night and planted a bunch of stuff. It was actually quite an adrenalin rush: what would happen if someone caught us planting the lettuce by torchlight?! Anyhow, it has recently come to my attention that a newsletter reader who wishes to remain anonymous has been verge planting in Warrandyte (see picture). The veggies currently growing include cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, silverbeet, butternut pumpkins, cucumbers, oregano, apple mint, common mint, salad burnet, garlic chives and lettuce. She has also started doing food-is-free veggies and her neighbour does food-is-free lemons. (posted November 23 2016)
Crowd Harvest – seed banks for Christmas: seed banks help people facing difficult circumstances to access the seeds and establish food gardens. Local home growers with excess seeds are invited to send them in a Christmas card or holiday card to one of the following organisations, who all maintain seed banks:
- Darebin Information, Volunteer & Resource Service (DIVRS) Urban Food Program, 285 High Street, Preston, 3072.
- STREAT, 66 Cromwell Street, Collingwood, 3066.
- Tiny Trowel, P.O. Box 4076,
Box Hill South, 3128. (posted November 23 2016)
A related event – Crowd Harvest at Epping on Sunday, 27th November – featured The Leader newspaper.
Blueberries, racism and ABC Radio National: Duang Tengtrirat won ABC Radio National’s 2015 Pocketdocs audio competition. Listen to her story where she quietly picks blueberries for her business as, all around her, fellow Australians make racist assumptions about her. (posted November 2 2016)
As part of the launch of ABC Radio National’s 2016 audio competition, Duang recorded a follow up story. The setting is one year later and Duang is again collecting blueberries. But this time her meeting is much more pleasant and heart warming. Listen to Duang’s follow up story. Or, if you want to listen to both stories plus ABC’s commentary on them, click here. (posted November 9 2016)
The 10-year history of Permablitz: Adrian O’Hagan has written in (using the valediction ‘warm rhubarbs’!) to provide a potted history of Permablitz to mark its 10-year anniversary: “For ten years, Permablitz Melbourne has helped people grow their own fruit and vegetables, all by transforming people’s yards and lawns into edible oases. It has now transformed almost 200 gardens Melbourne-wide. The Permablitz movement started in Dandenong back in 2006, and has thrived due to its reciprocal nature – recipients of a permablitz will first have volunteered their time to two or more other permablitzes. This, in turn, attracts new volunteers, and the cycle begins anew. The permablitzes are almost always designed by volunteers with a Permaculture Design Certificate. This gives the designer real-life experience working with a ‘client’ and the recipient (or ‘host’) gets a design tailored to their preferences, lifestyle and environment. Each permablitz event also contains workshops, which teach new skills to the volunteers, as well as having lots of fun. The concept has proven so successful that it has spread all over the world, with blitzes as far away as Hong Kong, Canada, the UK, India, Italy, Uganda and several other countries – as well as permablitzes held regularly across Australia.” (posted October 19 2016)
Urban Agriculture Forum presentations available for download: scroll down past all the self-spruiking until you get near to the bottom of the page. (posted October 12 2016)
Not food, but still tasty: for those of you who fancy a trip to Nillumbik during Spring, two of the best non-food events of the year are coming up. If you have never been to them, you should.
- Eltham Mudbrick Tour: Sunday, 23rd October, from 10am.
- Nillumbik Artists Open Studios: 19th, 20th, 26th & 27th November. (posted September 21 2016)
Yarra Ranges Council has approved edible planting on nature strips: according to this article in The Leader, Yarra Ranges Council has approved edible planting on nature strips. Note that the Council’s new guidelines are not yet available on their website. (posted August 24 2016)
New planter box in Eltham: Nathan Ezard has begun to adorn the outside of The Little Drop of Poison with vertical gardens, such that they can be seen from both the road and the railway. The first (see picture) contains succulents. (posted October 21 2015)
Open Farm Day – more shaking than a Zumba class …: the picture is of an olive harvester, which shakes the tree trunk until the olives drop off and fall into the catcher. Whilst it only gets 80% of the olives, it takes just a few seconds per tree.
Hay fever & sinusitis honey: Frankie Spranger has written in to say that his ‘hay fever remedy honey’ is now ready for the new season. Jars contain pollen, bees wax, raw local honey and propolis. They can be purchased from the Heidi Honey stall any Saturday at St Andrews Market or most Sundays at Kingsbury Drive Community Market. Read some testimonials on the BeeRescue.com.au website. (posted September 30 2015)
In August, Dianne from Edendale ran an advanced composting workshop at Diamond Valley Library. To view/download Dianne’s slides, click here. (posted September 30 2015)
Marlies Tammes has posted a ‘food is free at Diamond Valley library’ picture and, thus far, it has received 600 likes (and 125 shares)! Click here to view the post and picture. Thanks to Dione Fisher for going to the effort to become my Facebook friend so that she could alert me to the post. (posted July 15 2015)
Whilst on the subject of popular Facebook posts, a recent post by Sustainable Gardening Australia on a healthy meal vending machine at Westfield Doncaster reached 52,000 people! Has anyone tried the food? (posted July 15 2015)