What’s on and what’s in the pipeline!?


Let’s be honest it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on in the world at the best of times. But making the first and very necessary steps towards a more sustainable, equitable and resilient community is a pretty important one. So we’ve made it a bit easier and every month we’ll be summarising what’s going on, giving you a little bit of information and highlighting the ways that individuals, groups and organisations can go from ‘watchers’ to ‘change makers.
Food Swap II
TD Events in the Comings Weeks
Darebin Urban Harvest Northcote Food Swap: March 12 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 in the Pub: March 15th 7:30pm – 9:00 @ Bar 303 (303 High Street, Northcote)
Solar arrays, batteries, electric cars. Things are moving pretty fast in the renewable energy world. Join Karl from the enviro shop as we catch up on what’s here, what’s coming and what sort of technology you need for the future. If you’re thinking about solar or batteries then this free event could save you thousands.

Darebin Urban Harvest Reservoir Food Swap: March 19 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’.
box at apple
Our Apple Tree ‘Tree Bee’: March 20th 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

Transition Coordination Meeting: March 21 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.Emal transitiondarebin@gmail.com for the address.

Other Events
Water Cycle to Williamstown

A cycle tour to help us understand the importance of our waterways. YHA andTD member Cath is hosting a cycle from Coburg lake to Williamstown to help us understand the importance of our waterways. This links with the final part of the art ‘Scenes of the Yarra’, a series performance workshops which will be held in Williamstown from 2-4pm. For more information or to register check out the facebook event here

Murundaka Open HouseMurundaka Open Day
What would housing look like if it were deliberately designed to foster community and sustainability? Why not go and see for yourself at the Murundaka cohousing community in Heidelberg Heights on their open day this weekend. It’s a truly amazing place and well worth a visit. For more info go to the TD facebook or click here.Earth Hour
Saturday March 19th is Earth hour where last year more than 7000 cities and 7million Aussies turned off all their power for an hour to highlight the need to take more action to combat climate change. It’s a great excuse to get your friends together and start a conversation. If you’ve no idea what I’m on about check out www.earthhour.org.au

Project in Focus: Darebin Urban Harvest Food Swaps

Where does your food come from…and what would you do if the trucks stopped rolling and the supermarket shelves started to empty?
Food swaps are a great, resilient and local solution to sharing, learning and generally tuning in to the flows of the seasons and local food production.

Transition Darebin has two food swaps each month.

The Northcote food swap has been around for a long time. Our last swap on Saturday was fantastic with a regular group coming each time and plenty of new people. We had duck eggs massive amounts of tomatoes, eggs and more while Damian also came and brought figs, grapes, tomatoes, pepinos, eggs and more.There were kombucha scobies and kefir grains swapped and even a bottle of lime cordial. This is always a great food swap and we’ll be looking to get our seed stocks back up as summer starts to wane and things to go seed.This food swap runs on the second saturday or every month at 251 High Street Northcote

The Reservoir Food Swap is the new kid on the block and we’ve had 3 great swaps so far. We are getting a regular crew and a whole load of produce thanks to our uber-gardeners Anthony, Clara, Kate and Damian. This food swap runs on the third saturday of every month at the corner of broadway and Chedder road, Reservoir.

Project in Focus: Transition in the Pub
Transition in the pub is all about getting the message out there because, let’s be honest it’s going to take all of use to build a resilient future. We’ve been searching for a home for a while now but think that we might have found one at Bar 303 (oddly enough at 303 High Street in Northcote). The aim for this year is to help people move from ‘watching and concerned’ to taking personal and collective action. As such we’re putting on a monthly calendar of events to focus on areas that change can be made:

March (15th): lots of people are interested in renewable energy but it’s hard to keep track of the technology and even harder to know what you need now and in the future. So we’ve got Karl from the Enviro Shop to come down and give us an overview on all things renewable from solar cells to batteries to cars.

April (19th). Divestment. It comes as a shock to many people but most of us are unwittingly funding the expansion of coal mining, fracking and habitat destruction through the massive amount of OUR money that lies in superannuation, bank accounts and other savings. If you are banking with Australia’s big 4 bank then you’ve been unknowingly contributing almost $37 billion dollars to these sorts of projects since 2008. You’ve also been losing money as these assets become stranded and less profitable than other investments as the Guardian reported here. Divestment is a way to take some control of your money by making some sometimes really simple choices about where you invest and where you bank. We’ve invited Isabella from 350.org to run us through some ways you can take solid steps to change this as well as some local Darebinites who are going to give us their experiences of how it was for them.

Changes everythings
May (10th). We’re going a week early in may to join in with the Darebin Homemade food and Wine Festival. This month we’ll be looking at ethical shopping with Shop Ethical who will help to “educate and empower people to make shopping choices that better reflect their values and to use their consumer power to create a better world”
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
Global Transition
Transition and Burnout
This month looked at the very real issue of burnout in the transition experience. Including an interesting article from Clare Power a Lecturer at Wetern Sydney University called Transition and Burnout: The Australian Experience
www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2016-01/transition-and-burnout-australian-experienceTransition Darebin Needs You…
Wesite Ninja: Look we don’t like throwing things away but sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and realise that it’s over! That’s how we feel about our website and we really need someone to give us some of their time and expertise to help us develop a platform that actually engages with the hundreds of people who are trying to engage with us. So if you have some mad tech skills and would be up for giving us a couple of hours of your time please let us know at transitiondarebin@gmail.com.

Fix- It…ers!: Fix-It Newlands is a group who appreciate taking the time to fix, learn, repair, maintain and mend things that we have. This group has been running on an occasional basis at the Newlands Community House  for some time but is looking for someone to help co-ordinate, organise and publicise this group. If that sounds like you then check out their facebook page here and drop us a line at transitiondarebin@gmail.com.

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!

23 February, 2016 at 10:10 pm Leave a comment

Food Swapping

Where does your food come from…and what would you do if the trucks stopped rolling and the supermarket shelves started to empty?

Food swaps are a great, resilient and local solution to sharing, learning and generally tuning in to the flows of the seasons and local food production.

Food Swap

Transition Darebin has two food swaps each month.

The Northcote food swap has been around for a long time. Our last swap on Saturday was fantastic with a regular group coming each time and plenty of new people. We had duck eggs massive amounts of tomatoes, chicken eggs and more while Damian also came and brought figs, grapes, tomatoes, pepinos and still more beautiful eggs. There were kombucha scobies and kefir grains swapped and evan a bottle of lime cordial. This is always a great food swap and we’ll be looking to get our seed stocks back up as summer starts to wane and things to go seed.

This food swap runs on the second saturday or every month at 251 High Street Northcote
NEXT SWAP: Saturday 13th March 11-12
The Reservoir Food Swap is the new kid on the block and we’ve had 3 great swaps so far. We are getting a regular crew and a whole load of produce thanks to our uber-gardeners Anthony, Clara, Kate and Damian.

This food swap runs on the third saturday of every month at the corner of broadway and Chedder road, Reservoir.

19 February, 2016 at 11:44 am Leave a comment

New Urban Harvest Fruit and Vegie Swap This Saturday


17 November, 2015 at 8:49 pm 1 comment

Future Directions Gathering and AGM

20th November, Jika Jika Community Centre 7:00 – 9:30

“Climate change has happened because of human behaviour therefore it’s only natural it should be us, human beings, who address these issues. it may not be too late if we take decisive actions today”

Ban Ki-moon

Since 2009 Transition Darebin has been active in pursuing it’s vision of…

“a relocalised and resilient Darebin that is livable for current and future generations”

Since that time many of you have been active in developing, running or simply attending the hundreds of projects, initiatives and events that we have run.

But with the impacts of resource depletion, limits to growth and climate change moving from a prediction to a reality, it’s timely that we ‘check in’ about how we take Transition Darebin forward to in to the future.

We want to take this opportunity to hear what moves, concerns or fires you up to get in and do something about building a more sustainable Darebin, not only for the now… but also for the future generations to come. With this in mind we would like to invite and encourage you to attend a really important event.

 2015 Future Directions Gathering and AGM

This will be an opportunity to review what we’ve achieved, and start the conversation about what and who will take Darebin towards a localized and resilient future

When: Friday 20th November @ Jika Jika Community Centre (Cnr Union Street and Plant Street, Northcote)

Time: 7-9:30

Whether you are or have been an active member, or have just been an observer, this is a great chance for us to start the conversation about groups, people, projects and causes that will add to and continue to build Transition Darebin in the future, as well as an opportunity to meet, mingle and sample our very own Transition Darebin brew provided by the Merri Mashers Brewing Club.

Transition Darebin is a non-hierarchical organisation and whilst there will be short election for ‘nominal’ office bearers to complete the requirements of incorporation roles will be determined at a future meeting.

Register at https://register.eventarc.com/32351/transition-darebin-future-directions-gathering-and-agm

Big Questions for the Night

What is Transition Darebin and Why?

Where have we been in 2014/2015?

Where are we going in 2016 and beyond?

What would… or could make the difference? What projects or ideas would truly move us towards a re-localized and sustainable future in Darebin?

What are we missing, what should we continue with and how do we best organise ourselves to do the most without overloading busy people?

10 November, 2015 at 7:30 am Leave a comment

This Changes Everything

Transition Darebin is excited to be supporting our friends at Darebin Climate Action now to host one of the first screenings of an important new movie “This Changes Everything”

Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.

This poses the question around whether we have not only risks but also opportunities to build a better world in the way that we address the climate challenge. It’s a great movie and a great event.

But you cannot purchase tickets on the night so be sure to claim your spot by booking online at


12 October, 2015 at 10:08 pm Leave a comment

Food Swap This Saturday

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade……or swap them for something you have too few of at the Transition Darebin Food Swap.

Food SwapOn the second Saturday of every month a group of ‘Transitioners’ get together to swap food, share recipes or just talk over what’s growing and how we can grow it better. We’ve seen jams and preserves, fresh fruit and veg, seedlings, seeds and all manner of good advice over the months and this session promises to be the same plus more.

So if you are a seasoned grower with a glut, a new vegie garden owner with a question or you just want to find out what a food swap is like then head down to Chalice (251 high Street Northcote) this Saturday from 11-1.

For more information check out Darebin Urban Harvesters on Facebook.


8 October, 2015 at 7:29 am Leave a comment

Two Convivial Kitchen Session

Demonstration, Tip and Taste

Convivial Kitchen TempDo you find cooking by yourself a bit…well routine?

Well maybe this is the answer. Transition Darebin is  running two convivial kitchen sessions. What is a convivial kitchen? It’s an approach to cooking where people share their knowledge and experiment together to learn to cook new things (as well as eat them). It brings the communal cooking experience back in a nice little afternoon package. We’ll be running two of them over the next couple of months.

Saturday 10 October

  • Kangaroo Bolognese Sauce
  • Rosemary, Lentil and Pancetta Bake

RSVP by Thursday 8th October

Saturday 7th November

  • Seasonal Fruit Crumble
  • Toasted Muesli
  • Homemade Yoghurt

RSVP by Friday 30th October

Skill-sharing from 2-4 pm at *DIVRS Kitchen

Cost $10

RSVP essential

For more information or to register contact tiffany.motherme@gmail.com or 0490373906

*DIVRS Darebin Information, Volunteer & Resource Service 285 – 286 High Street Preston

We are also looking for convivial kitchen organisers so please get in touch if you are keen to be part of the organising group.

5 October, 2015 at 10:02 pm Leave a comment

The Green Pledge: Zero Waste Week

Part of the purpose of Transition Darebin is to provide people with not only information about how to live a lower energy, more local and more resilient life but also to give people an opportunity to try it out. So imagine our glee when we found out that our friends at the Friends of the Earth were running a campaign to get people to make 5 pledges for a week and in doing so reduce their environmental impact to 50% (of the average). Some of these are really straightforward and would make for seriously dull reading (I think I would struggle to go in to depth about how 2 minute showers might work!) but some of them are a little more complicated (to find out all about the pledges check out The Green Pledge) and so we thought we’d help by giving some ideas around a couple of them.

Zero Waste Week

One of the ones that we’ve had more questions about is making no rubbish. There is the rubbish that is organic like food waste, peelings and leftovers. This makes up about half of all domestic rubbish in Darebin, which is a huge amount! There are a whole bunch of ways to deal with this and at the same time keep the nutrients that you’ve brought on to your site on your site to feed plants (or maybe even a local compost hub!). If you’ve got very little space then maybe a bokashi bucket is the way forward (http://www.bokashi.com.au). If you’ve got a bit more space then maybe a worm farm or if you have the space then nothing beats a composting system.

The other part of the challenge often comes down to wrapping and packaging. We waste a huge amount of resources on wrapping food that you are almost certainly going to wash and most likely going to cook anyway. Sure there are ways to recycle a lot of this but this is just making a bad situation slightly less bad. The better choice is to think about where you buy things from because, with a little bit of planning, you can reduce this to almost nothing and might even find you enjoy your shopping more. Don’t believe me, well here’s a blog from a Thornbury family who did just that as they went for a year without using oil that they called a ‘year of treading lightly’ (www.treadinglightlyblog.com)

What Shopping Centres Should Be!

A strange realisation hit just recently.

It’s November!

Yes I know it’s not that great a realisation! In fact as realisations go it’s pretty bloody ordinary since November happens in a fairly predictable manner every year. What is a special though is that in October 2012 we started doing what we called “a year of treading lightly’. We thought a year was a nice bordered amount that we would struggle through but be able to reassure ourselves that it would end as we battled to live oil free and local. So the realisation is that the year has come and gone and we didn’t even notice.

Why? Well because we thought it was going to be a really big shock. We thought it was going to be all about going without and, to a certain extent, about loss. But at the end of the day (and in this case the year) every change we have made has had more positives than it has had negatives.

I’m going to start at shopping since it’s one of those routine things that everyone does. Our aim is to shop local, sourcing food from within 100miles of where we live and use no plastics either as product or packaging.

So how do we do that? We get most of our greens from our garden as well as vegetables and some fruit from the fruit trees that are becoming established (we had our first oranges this year). We also exchange some things with neighbours, this year in particular it has been passata for eggs from a friend down the street. Our milk comes from a farmers cooperative and is delivered to our door. We get bulk food and cooking oil in old flour sacks and re-usable bottles that we take with us from Naturally on High in Thornbury, Friends of the Earth in Collingwood or Ceres farm in East Brunswick. Ceres in particular is great in that you can work out where things are from. Most of this comes from Victoria and within our boundary. Coffee is pretty much the one thing that we get from out of Australia, though I do stop at Eureka Coffee in Nth. Fitzroy when I can to buy a pack of Queenslands finest. Any coffee we do buy is organic and fair trade. None of these places mind filling up the vessels that we bring.

“That’s all well and good” I hear you say “but I don’t have the time and need the convenience of a supermarket where I can get everything at the one space!”. Well that’s possibly true but just compare what typical shopping day is like.

It started out like any other friday. It’s the only day that the kids are both at home so they spend the first couple of hours playing quite happily. That runs out at IMG_1276about 9:30 and so we go shopping, well actually that’s not quite true because first, and this is really important, we get our vessels ready. By the time we’re ready to go this looks something like this.

The two shops that we do most of our shopping from are close by soIMG_1277 it’s  helmets bikes and convoy style (incidentally how do you like the yarn bombing that appeared on street signs down a couple of weeks ago?).

For the most part our shopping centre IMG_1279looks like this and what we buy is defined by how far away it comes from. If the number is under 160 then it’s in and we’ll work out how to cook it later. We also get our bread from here or from our local sourdough baker who uses flour that I will admit is a just out of our zone but not by much. We did start baking our own bread with thIMG_1280e help of a second hand breadmaker but this exploded. We will get back to it but there is so much good bread around it’s hard to feel a pressing need. Our shopping centre is so advanced it’s even got a playground, we call it a tree!

We get cheese made locally and wrapped in wax from our local market, meat from local producers and often organic from our butcher (straight into tupperware containers) and our fish from our local fishmonger also into our own containers. This did take a while to sort as the lady struggled to zero the scales and so got all flustered, she then developed the habit of using a plastic bag to transfer the fish from the cabinet into our tupperware but we worked through it and she’s okay with it now. Any ham or smoked meat that we buy is from a local shop that has been smoking and curing their own meats for a long time.

Our cleaning (and hygiene products) are bought from either CERES or the Enviro Shop in Northcote and are all non petroleum based and decantered into re-usable containers. Our washing powder is IMG_1274likewise non-oil based but comes in a cardboard box. Toilet paper comes from Naturally on high is recycled and wrapped in paper (though becoming harder to find). At the end of the day it looks something like this, though obviously we go through more than this in a week but you get the idea.

When we do go to a big supermarket its for some sauces or ironically tinned Australian tomatoes, though this is only once every 3-4 month and with our passata connection we have pretty much stopped this altogether. It does confuse me why it’s so hard to get local tinned tommies though. Now I know that we live in a pretty well resources area and, as Nikki points out, you don’t have to travel more than 30 km from us to find yourself in a fresh-food desert. But there are many other ways to do much the same as we are. Box schemes, community supported agriculture, co-ops, farmers markets, organic stores etc. are popping up everywhere and if they’re not then start one. There are networks around that will help you do it and it’s a great way to become more connected to your food and build community as well, but you might find you just made a new, local job opportunity.

Now I should add that the above describes the vast majority of our shopping but sometimes things go wrong or just become too much. So if we suddenly have to head to a barbecue then we’ll stop where we have to and potentially come out with some plastic wrapped meat rather than turn up empty handed but morally righteous. We buy nuts from outside our area and rice too but we will try to avoid it.

And we’ve also had a couple of slips as Nikki points out “when the year ended we  finally bought couscous, wrapped in plastic, from somewhere really far away. After a disastrous pastry making attempt we have also been seen buying puff pastry to make pies. And for the rare supermarket visit we have become experts at scanning the labels on products and when we do go to Coles, with two kids we are in and out in under 15minutes since items come from a quite short list, including Great Ocean Rd Cheese, toilet paper, Sodium Bicarb, sliced bread, and biodegradable washing gloves.” To make a long story short our life is coles and plastic free but on the odd time that we slip we don’t beat ourselves up, this is about progress not being perfect.

So that’s how we do it, I’m sure I’ve missed lots but you get the idea. It probably sounds like a lot of hard work and in all honesty without any preparation and working out where we could get things we would have struggled. But the missing thing in this description is that this routine, whilst not being ‘convenient’ is engaging. The kids help us count the carrots and laugh at my dad jokes about what vegetable that is or isn’t. Pip sits on the counter and we both chat to  Ella behind the counter about recipes, gardens and how things are going. When we go to CERES on Friday, Felix takes great joy in grabbing the glass jar and heading in to the shop without me to help the lady refill it with honey, whilst Pip climbs the olive trees and we chat with Esther at the counter about grapes and food miles. We then ride away munching on local olive bread and organic apples.

So is it more complicated, sure but do we know where our food comes from absolutely. Do we know who we’re buying it from, equally yes. Does our family benefit from the relationships that we make by engaging with shop-keepers and food (not to mention the occasional dried fruit or slice of cabana), completely. Are we constantly bombarded with advertising, junk food and jingles reminding us how fresh the food is and would we go back to the brightly lit sterile duopoly of Coles or Woolworths to buy cling wrapped everything from a largely disinterested checkout person or worse still a self checkout computer? Not a chance!

16 August, 2015 at 9:08 pm Leave a comment

Coordination Group

There’s loads going on around Transition Darebin at the moment. We had a fantastic Transition in the Pub in collaboration with Friends of the Earth and already the next one, (26th of August) where we are going to talk all things home-brewing, is looking like it’s going to be a corker! The food swaps have been going from strength to strength with a great crew of volunteers and participants and an ever expanding array of food, seeds, know-how and great community engagement. The fruit squad has just passed it’s third tonne of food collected and Our Apple Tree is coming out of it’s winter hibernation to get ready for another season of workshops and ‘tree-bees’. Even the convivial kitchen and Croxton Commons are starting to get some momentum towards a huge year. And that’s just the start, there are cycle events, fun-raising, Permaculture Inner North, Fix-it Newlands and even talk of a ‘Transition Convergence’ with neighbouring Transition Towns on the cards.

But have you ever wondered how this stuff all gets organised! Well Transition Darebin has a co-ordination group. This group doesn’t run all the different groups and activities but aims to coordinate the actions so that it’s easier for people to bring about initiatives and powerful change in their local area.This is an incorporated group so can apply for grants and financial support but it also provides a knowledge and support resource to those who have seen a need and think that they can fill it. Along with this we coordinate liaison with other local groups and councils, publicity and media and a whole lot more (you can check out the different roles that make up this groups at coordination roles).

This is a non-hierarchical group that meets once a month. It’s an open meeting (as most everything is in Transition Darebin) and welcomes people who are looking to really get active in helping to make a more localised, resilient and low energy Darebin. Our meetings run from 7:30 – 9:30 and are always listed on both the Facebook page and the google calender on the website. We have a couple of roles still vacant so if you have been watching TD for a while and would like to suggest an initiative, take a role or just get more active in making it all happen then get along to the next Transition Darebin Coordination Group meeting and let’s make it happen.

9 August, 2015 at 8:56 pm Leave a comment

Urban Food Production Strategy Implementation

Did you know that Darebin council has an  Urban Food Production Strategy Implementation Plan.

This plan was adopted by council in May and outlines a four year vision of how urban food production will be DFoodplant tempsupported by council including community gardens, home grown food and other urban food models. Transition Darebin has been involved in providing feedback in the past and have again been invited to  provide input on this plan’s implementation particularly the 2015/16 priority actions. They want to hear from inspirational community members who are involved in UFP projects and initiatives in Darebin.

So if you have an interest in a local food production or have some ideas on how it can roll out efficiently through Darebin or just want to network with other community members who are passionate about building a more sustainable food future then please join us in the Function Room, Council Offices, 350 High Street Preston, on Thursday 13th August from 5:30 – 7:30pm.


RSVP’s are required by Monday 10th August. RSPV to Lee Tozzi (Lee.Tozzi@darebin.vic.gov.au) or by phone on 84708392

31 July, 2015 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

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