The annual Golden Seedling awards

 

The 2018 Golden Seedling awards

Now in their 4th year. Maybe there should be a judging panel, or maybe voting by the readership, but at the moment it’s just my 2 cents. If you would like to nominate any other organisations or individuals that you consider would be worthy winners, email me.

Awards to organisations
  • Community garden of the year – a difficult award as I have only visited some of the community gardens but I’m going to give it to Sylvester Hive (Preston): numerous events, which are both well-attended and well-organised, with energy, a friendly ambience and yummy food. Honorary mentions – previous winners St John’s Riverside (Heidelberg) and Macleod, both of whom continue to go from strength to strength.
  • Food swap of the year – another difficult award as I only visited a minority of the food swaps but I’m going to give it, for the second year running, to the Forest Hill and Box Hill South food swaps, both of which are run by Whitehorse Urban Harvest: a lively Facebook page plus free talks at many of their swaps and, importantly, they tell people by email about the talks before they happen.
  • Library of the year – Lilydale: free, monthly events on a wide range of topics. Honorary mentions – previous winners Watsonia and Diamond Valley, both of which continue to organise numerous free events.
  • Council of the year – Banyule (both staff and Councillors): for their support of local community gardening and composting initiatives. Honorary mention – previous winner Darebin, for their continuing program of activities.
  • Social justice organisation of the year – there are lots of organisations who arguably deserve this award but I have chosen one that happens to be less well known: Open Table, for their ongoing provision of free meals to those in need. Honorary mentions – Diamond Valley FoodShare, Food Not Bombs Melbourne, Reservoir Neighbourhood House, The Community Grocer, The Darebin Fruit Squad, The Salt Foundation and Watsonia Neighbourhood House, to name just a few.
  • Non-cooking workshop organiser of the year: Bulleen Art and Garden nursery – numerous, affordable events covering a wide range of gardening topics.
Awards to individuals
  • Lifetime achievement award – Bruce Plain, owner of the Bulleen Art and Garden nursery: for his philanthropy with respect to many of our local community gardens and for his role in establishing, and then running, Sustainable Gardening Australia.
  • Newsletter contributor of the year – Judy Vizzari: for her monthly interviews of local home growers, which take substantial time and effort as well as the obvious writing skill. Honorary mention – Robin Gale-Baker: for her monthly gardening tips, which are always interesting and increasingly so.
  • Newsletter reader of the year – Stuart Rodda: for his frequent contributions on such subjects as bees, soil and coffee grounds.
  • Cooking workshop organiser of the year: Bek McMillan for her frequent, varied and affordable cooking classes.
Newsletter links

2017

Now in their third year and now expanded to 16 awards. As Sustainable Macleod said last year after being told of their award: “we are very chuffed! Just my 2 cents.

Awards to organisations
  • Community garden of the year – a difficult award as I only visited a minority of the community gardens but I’m going to give it to St John’s Riverside Community Garden (Heidelberg): they have clearly gone from strength to strength over the year. Honorary mention – SEEDs Communal Garden Brunswick: regular working bees, food swaps and workshops plus a lively Facebook page.
  • Food swap of the year – another difficult award as I only visited a minority of the food swaps but I’m going to give it to the Forest Hill and Box Hill South food swaps, both run by Whitehorse Urban Harvest: free talks at many of their swaps and, importantly, they tell people by email about the talks before they happen. Honorary mention – Warrandyte Food Swap: a great ambience and they actively recruit people to receive this newsletter.
  • Library of the year – Watsonia (for the second year running): for their free, monthly events on different topics and their hosting of a community garden.
  • Innovation of the year – Really Really Free Market Preston: yes, everything is free and there are no catches.
  • Villain of the year – Microsoft: for classifying this newsletter (and all other MailChimp newsletters) as spam for no reason in November, admitting this, but then effectively saying that they can’t be bothered fixing the problem.
  • Newspaper of the year – not awarded: The Weekly Review now has no local stuff and The Leader’s search facility has, for some reason, been crippled.
Awards to individuals
  • Overall contributor of the year – Paul Gale-Baker, of Sustainable Macleod: always indefatigable, energetic, obliging, and helpful to others. Honorary mention – Felicity Gordon: also indefatigable, energetic and obliging plus a wonderful painter of plants and veggies.
  • Newsletter contributor of the year – Helen Simpson (for the third year running): for her interviews of local home growers; her growing guides from previous years are also some of the most popular pages on our website. Honorary mention – Mac McVeigh: for his weekly tips, which are always informative and often witty.
  • Workshop presenter of the year – Maria Ciavarella, from My Green Garden: for her 20 or so workshops during 2017 at her own home plus many others at various other locations. Honorary mention – Rasha Tayeh: for her workshops on unusual topics.
  • Council officer of the year – Lee Tozzi, of both Darebin and Moreland: for her leadership of the Homemade Food & Wine Festival, the Backyard Harvest Festival and other food initiatives. Let’s hope there is more competition in future years.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit – shared between Cath Lyons (aka Tiny Trowel), for her Crowd Harvest initiative, and Deb Graham (from Blue Pantry): entrepreneurial spirit is difficult to define but you know it when you see it.
Newsletter links

2016

Just my 2 cents:

  • Council of the year – Darebin (for the second year running): for their Homemade Food & Wine Festival, their Backyard Harvest Festival and their get togethers of relevant local organisations.
  • Library of the year – Watsonia: for their numerous free events and their community garden.
  • Newspaper of the year – The Weekly Review: for their regular featuring of local food individuals and organisations.
  • Community group of the year – Sustainable Macleod: for Macleod Organic Community Garden, their well-attended food swaps, their annual auction and their ability to get themselves into the local paper. Honorary mention – Permablitz Melbourne: so many events, all booked out, and all portrayed with such enthusiasm.
  • Newsletter contributor of the year – Helen Simpson (for the second year running): for her monthly articles on how to grow various veggies and, just recently, for starting her fabulous new series interviewing local home growers. Honorary mention – Mac McVeigh: for his weekly tips, usually witty and always informative.
  • Most popular recurring event link – Home Harvest Manningham: these were also the best attended events (more than 100 people at each event) and had the best free food!.
  • Most popular event link – Heide’s kitchen garden: a bit of a surprise; perhaps some of the newsletter readers work for Heide(?).
  • Most popular website link – the resources page (for the second year running), mainly due to its section on horse manure (also, for the second year running). Honorary mention – the dog gallery.
  • Most popular external link – The Common’s Facebook page: 21 great food articles.
  • Most popular newsletter image – food cubes as art.

2015

As this is the last newsletter of the year, plus I have now been the editor for nearly a year, I thought it would be a good time to announce a few awards. Just my 2 cents.

  • Council of the year – Darebin: for their Backyard Harvest Festival (20 different events held during November).
  • Library of the year – Diamond Valley: for their free monthly talks, their community garden and their hosting of a food swap.
  • Newspaper of the year – Warrandyte Diary: for their local food-related articles in most editions.
  • Contributor of the year – Helen Simpson: for her monthly articles on how to grow various veggies.
  • Newsletter reader of the year – Lucinda Flynn: for submitting numerous items of news and for telling me what other newsletters I should subscribe to.
  • Most popular event link – sourdough bread making workshop.
  • Most popular website link – the resources page (mainly due to its section on horse manure!).
  • Most popular external link – Ripe Near Me.

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