Ethical Shopping, homemade food and seed saving for the future!

27 April, 2016 at 10:11 pm Leave a comment

Last month at our coordination meeting we had a really great opportunity not just to engage in some spontaneous artwork thanks to our off grid host Erik but also to reflect upon where Transition Darebin is and how far we’ve come. The events over the last months have really built and there is a palpable buzz at all of the long list of things that are happening around the village. Our promotions are hitting more people than they ever have and our website and facebook followers have almost doubled over the last 12 months. This is pure and simply due to the enthusiasm and efforts of all our volunteers and the passion that you, our members have for building a sustainable, resilient and localised Darebin. We’ve still got loads of work to do and loads more opportunity for more people to get excited, get passionate and get involved…but with winter coming lets just stop for a moment, notice the colours and give thanks to the big contribution that all our people make to be truly… Ready and Resilient!

TD Events in the Comings Weeks

Our Apple Tree ‘Tree Bee’: Sunday May 8th 1-3pm @ Our Apple Tree (Cnr Beavers Road and Herbert Street, Northcote)
Every 2rd Sunday we hold a ‘Tree Bee’ at Our Apple Tree. It’s a chance to meet, do some gardening, reclaim some public land and generally learn about community gardening. The next tree-bee is a biggy. We want to repair and fill the IBC, install the solar pump and do the first harvest of the compost bin. If we get a good crew maybe we can even install the second aerobin! If you haven’t been involved with the Apple Tree working bee’s before then we’d love to see you for a chat, a dig and some wholesome community garden action.

Transition in the Pub: May 10th 7:30pm – 9:00 @ Bar 303 (303 High Street, Northcote)
Transition Darebin is all about a more sustainable, resilient and localised future for us and our children. The Transition in the Pub is a open and public session where people can come and hear about small steps they can take that have big sustainability impacts. Think of it as a space to mix beer, conversation and environmental awareness.
This month, as part of the Darebin Homemade Food and Wine Festival, we’re turning out attention to the food we buy and asking the question

What are you supporting when you shop?

We’ve seen in the news how people can discover, generally out of tragedy that they are unconsciously supporting companies, practices and ingredients that they wouldn’t if you were aware of it. So Join Transition Darebin and Shop Ethical for an ethical shopping ‘whodunnit’ as we look at how to buy with a clear conscious and for a healthy planet. Tickets are going fast so register at https://register.eventarc.com/33599/transition-in-the-pub-shop-ethical

Darebin Urban Harvest Northcote Food Swap: May 14th 11-12 @ 251 High Street, Northcote
The Second Saturday of every month sees the Northcote food swap roll into action. Whether it’s produce, seeds, preserves or just some advice about what’s growing and how to deal with gluts and scarcity then this is a great session to check out.

Transition Coordination Meeting: May 16th 7:30 – 9:00
Once a month we get together to talk about what has happened and what needs to happen to build a more sustainable, resilient and localised Darebin. These meetings are open to anyone whether you want to take a role or just watch what happens.Email transitiondarebin@gmail.com for the address.

Darebin Urban Harvest Reservoir Food Swap: May 21st 10-11 @ cnr broadway and Chedder Road, Reservoir
On the Third Saturday it’s Reservoirs turn to join the sharing economy with their own food swap. This one might be new but it’s seen a great array of produce and a really keen bunch of ‘swappers’ and an amazing array of seed collections and horticultural ‘know how’.

Other Events (non-TD events)

Urban Orchard
Can’t make it on the first or second saturday but still want to do some food swapping? Check out the Urban Orchard Food swap @ Ceres (greater Darebin!) each saturday from 10 – 1pm. Bring along your homegrown fruit, vegetables, seeds and plants to swap or just meet local home gardeners and share recipes and gardening tips. More info on facebook or contact urbanorchard@ceres.org.au

Sustainable Food Leaders Forum (Wednesday 11th May (6:00 – 8:00 @ Council Offices 350 High Street, Preston)
Come along and network with other community members who are passionate about building a more sustainable food future.  We will hear from inspirational community members involved in exciting Urban Food Production projects and initiatives in Darebin, and get an update on Council’s activities in this area. Don’t forget you can keep up to date on local food events and news via the Darebin Food Harvest Network website.

RSVP’s are required by Friday 6 May to lee.tozzi@darebin.vic.gov.au or phone 8470 8392.

Homemade Food and Wine Festival
Bookings for the Darebin Homemade Food & Wine festival are now open, celebrating food traditions and sustainable food in Darebin. The program includes a ‘mini’ Backyard Harvest Festival featuring 4 inspiring events hosted by our very own passionate home food growers and preservers Kat Lavers, Meg Montague, Jessamy Miller and Darcy Watson-Russell. To book the Backyard Harvest Festival events, click here.For the full Homemade Food and Wine festival program visit www.darebinarts.com.au/foodandwine.

Project in Focus: Darebin Urban Harvest Food Swaps
Convivial Kitchen: Chat, Chai and Cake!
Convivial kitchen is all about cooking healthy food and sharing recipes with other people in your local community. It’s a chance to pass on some traditional or cultural wisdom, a recipe for a preserve or some way to make better use of local, seasonal and nutritious produce. It was a beautiful day as the Convivial Kitchen crew took to Our Apple tree for a very special ‘Chat, Chai and Cake’ session. Convivial Kitchen is a great new and building project so if you fancy mixing social connection, environmental action and food then why not get out and get involved in the next event.

Project in Focus: Darebin Urban Harvest Food Swaps
Darebin Urban Harvest Food Swap:
Reservoir: The Reser food swap, as said, is going from strength to strength.We had a visit from Local Food Connect in Eltham who were checking out swaps in their surrounding areas. They have a great handout for their food swaps and some great information on their website which is worth checking out. As well as food we are developing a good seed bank which we will be sharing in between the two food swaps. A big thanks to Kate and Clara who have kicked this off and look forward to seeing much more.

Northcote: Fantastic swap yesterday with heaps of people at the Northcote Food Swap this month. Kombucha scobies, home made fruit tarts and hummus, apricot jam, tonic syrup, lots of seeds, coriander seedlings, bottles of worm juice, chilies and chili oil, herbs, fruit, veggies – literally a cornucopia! And the banner was back and the box of seeds – thanks Marion.

Sustainable Living Expo
Transition Darebin was in fine form at the Darebin Sustainable Living Expo this month. Sometimes these events can be more ‘green-wash’ than green change so we were putting it to people that they could take on one or all of six actions:
1. Grow a garden
2. Divest
3. Slow down… live local
4. Eat Local….shop different
5. Turn waste into treasure.

And our sixth effort really put the ball back into the participants court. We challenged them, after hearing all that we are about to write down one thing that they could do or would do. It was a great opportunity to see how we need to be putting lots of effort into breaking down the big changes that we need in this world into small steps to get people to walk the path with us.

Project in Focus: Our Apple Tree
Our last tree bee was a quiet affair with one big difference. Yeh, sure the usual things happened; we planted, we weeded, we scratched our head to wonder who had seen fit to dump a massive pile of bluestones around the corner…. Just another afternoon at the Tree. But the big difference? Well for a fair while we have been missing a fairly central pillar of a successful garden…namely water. We’ve tried a range of things but, thanks to a friendly neighbour have finally cracked it…yes it’s worth block capitals…THE APPLE TREE HAS WATER!. What does this mean, well it means that the wicking beds are full and that we can install our solar watering system for the vertical garden that is looking very sad at the moment.

Project in Focus: Transition in the Pub
Transition in the Pub: Divestment
There’s not many topics that get me as excited as the potential for divestment. I mean, just imagine it. Adani shuts up shop and gives up on the Gallilee basin, the channel through the reef becomes completely un-necessary, the Latrobe valley after a massive investment of superannuation funds makes a world leading switch from brown coal to renewables and accidentally restarts a manufacturing industry in the area which results in near full employment!
None of these things happened at the Transition in the Pub but what we did have was a very spirited performance from local divestment guru Isabella from 350.org who walked us through the need to divest and how to go about it. It was a great session with some really good discussion. If you missed it then check out marketforces.org.au andsuperswitch.org.au to get yourself started on the divestment pathway and let’s make all those things actually happen.

The transitions in the pub are really starting to get big and exciting so if you haven’t checked us out then why not come down to our next one on the 10th of May where we will be looking at ethical shopping and what sort of future you are encouraging through your buying habits. This is part of the Darebin homemade food and wine festival and the tickets are selling fast. If you want to be part of this then register athttps://register.eventarc.com/33599/transition-in-the-pub-shop-ethical .

June (21st) To head in to the winter solstice we’re putting on one of the most important films of recent times. “This Changes Everything” which looks at seven communities around the world with the proposition that we can seize the crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better. Check out the trailer here

Transition Darebin Needs You…

We are gradually building up a web team to look at the Transition Darebin website. We want to build a collaborative space that enables people to use the resources of Transition Darebin to bring about local and powerful action without the need to deal with a central bureaucracy. There’s so much going on we see this as a great opportunity not only to bring all of the TD events together but have a space where all the groups working towards a more localized, resilient and sustainable world can work together and engage with the community. If your brain is currently sparking with ideas about how this could happen or the best way to go about it then we REALLY want to hear from you. This is a short commitment and this group will last only until the website is constructed so there is no ongoing commitment. If you are interested email Paul.

Transition in the News: Northcote Seed Bank Goes Live
Our friends at Deep Green Permaculture have just amounced the news of a Free Public Seed Bank in the City of Darebin, initiated and run by the community and supported by local government and local businesses! Back in 2014, as part of the Darebin Leaders in Sustainability course (an initiative run by local government), Kerrie Ludekens and Angelo Eliades  began a project to establish a free local seed bank. Kerrie initiated the project and invited me to come on board as a project partner. A local government grant of $500 was provided through the Darebin Community Support Program which helped fund the project.

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Why a Free Seed Bank?A major purpose of the seed bank is to both grow seedlings for the Northcote library community garden, and also to grow seedlings to sell to the community so the project will become self-funding in the future.

The benefits also include:

  • the protection of valuable heirloom seeds & locally adapted seeds
  • assist in preventing the loss of genetic diversity
  • food security and the strengthening of the local food system
  • educate the community on gardening & seed saving
  • source of seeds for community gardeners at NLFG, Darebin community & other community project

Kerrie and the NLFG are offering seeds to Darebin home gardeners free of charge. Collect them from:

  • Northcote Library Food Garden (NLFG) at their working bees – Working bees: Second Sunday of the month 10am, except long weekends.
  • Northcote Library; Preston Customer Service Centre, 274 Gower Street
  • Kiln Café, 85C Clyde Street, Thornbury
  • Darebin Information and Volunteer Resource Service, 285–287 High Street, Preston

Transition in the News: Add your name to avoid the climate emergency

“All of us are fully aware how wrong it is to falsely yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theatre. But we are also aware of how wrong it is to sit silently while a fire begins to spread…”
Richard Alley, Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University

Humans are like frogs in a saucepan of water being gradually heated to boiling. Each month brings us more frightening news on the effects of global warming, but because the changes are gradual, there’s never a clear signal that it’s time to step up to stronger action.

Let’s use the alarming spike in global temperatures during February 2016 and the bleaching of the Reef as the impetus to insist our leaders stop playing political games on climate and stand together to draw a line in the sand. Australian Parliament must declare a climate emergency. It’s the first step in mobilising government and community resources and funds that are not normally available. Declaring a state of emergency inspires the public to act for the common good.

Australians are great at pitching in to help in an emergency. In the Queensland floods of 2011, three-quarters of the council areas were declared disaster zones. Government funds were made available and a large workforce was mobilised to deal with the emergency. More than 55,000 volunteers registered to help clean up the streets of Brisbane. All over Australia kind-hearted individuals and community groups sent supplies and raised emergency funds.

This petition is a first step in a growing campaign by grassroots climate action groups to pressure our political leaders to step up and do what is needed to address the climate crisis.  It is part of a PetitionStorm and the total includes signatures on other forms of the petition. Read more at www.climatesafety.net

Transition Darebin Needs You…

We are gradually building up a web team to look at the Transition Darebin website. We want to build a collaborative space that enables people to use the resources of Transition Darebin to bring about local and powerful action without the need to deal with a central bureaucracy. There’s so much going on we see this as a great opportunity not only to bring all of the TD events together but have a space where all the groups working towards a more localized, resilient and sustainable world can work together and engage with the community. If your brain is currently sparking with ideas about how this could happen or the best way to go about it then we REALLY want to hear from you. This is a short commitment and this group will last only until the website is constructed so there is no ongoing commitment. If you are interested email Paul.

Or do you need Transition Darebin?
Nobody died and made us king of the transition ideas! Maybe you’ve got a passion, some time or just the skeleton or an idea that needs some fleshing out. Transition Darebin is a truly grassroots organisation that holds the support of those with passion very dear. So if you’ve got an idea and want some help, or just need an organisation to help with that grant application then let us know or come on down to a coordination meeting because we don’t just need fully formed ideas…..we need all of them!

Till next time…

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Chai, divestment and festivals… a busy month for Transition Darebin This Changes Everything!

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