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Picking Olives at the Police Station

I’ll never forget my partners face when he picked an olive from the tree for the first time and tried it! As those of you who have experienced this know, olives straight from the tree are disgusting and need to have the bitter oleuropeins removed. That is why the olives you buy have already had the oleuropeins removed through soaking, curing and fermenting.

Where I currently live in Mt Maunganui, New Zealand, the climate is coastal and cool temperate; warm and dry in summer and cool and wet in winter (without frost) and alot of people plant olive trees in their urban gardens as ornamental trees that do well in our mediterranean-like climate.

Thanks Mr. Policeman for the Olives

Mr Policeman has planted a beautiful big olive tree next to the footpath and it is loaded with olives after a really dry summer. I have added it to the For Greenies Communal Food Plants Google map. Olives in New Zealand are ready to pick in Autumn, around April/May when some of the green fruit is beginning to turn purple. Curious passers-by asked us what they were and were surprised to know they were olives. As we explained the process of curing them before eating we had lost about half of them. This is because curing olives requires time and patience, and alot of it!

How to Cure/Ferment Olives

This is the first time I have cured olives and all of the information I have read requires soaking of the olives in a saltwater brine solution, for up to six months, changing the brine every so often.

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Sustainable Streets in the Byron Shire [HD Video]

Sustainable Streets Organic Gardening Workshop

The Byron Shire Council in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia are providing the framework to empower residents to reconnect with their neighbours and to build resilient and sustainable communities.

The ‘Sustainable Streets’ program provides sustainable living information through a series of monthly sustainable living workshops where residents can also connect with neighbours, receive energy audits, free water-saving showerheads and shower timers and share seeds and surplus home grown produce.

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Chivoko Village Uses Video to Share Conservation Success [HD Video]

Participatory video is accessible to all genders and levels of education

Participatory Video is a method pioneered by Insightshare whereby a community of people are taught the basics of video production, how to plan a story and create a storyboard and then given a video camera and computer to produce a short film of their own choosing.

The purpose of the video is to create discussion, communicate issues, and ultimately make change.

Most documentaries are made by professional filmmakers who have years of experience behind a camera, and who have their own agenda, but through Participatory Video, putting the camera into the subjects hands helps them to express themselves and tell their own story exactly how it is.

In April 2011, supported by the AusAID-funded project “Building the resilience of communities and their ecosystems to the impacts of climate change in the Pacific”, led by The Nature Conservancy, I facilitated the first Participatory Video activity in the Solomon Islands, in the remote village of Chivoko on the north-west tip of Choiseul Island.

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The Summit Organics Farmwalk

Summit Organics Farm and Border Ranges backdrop. Photo: Peter Bracher

At Summit Organics, farmers Rod and Tania Bruin use no chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers and still manage to grow quality fruit and vegetables on a commercial scale. Just how does a certified organic commercial farm work? For Greenies went along to one of their ‘Farmwalks’ in May 2010 and learnt about the process from seedling to harvesting, weeding without herbicides, the importance of compost and energy efficient irrigation. The day was topped off with a beautiful meal made by Russel Scott in his self-sufficient food caravan comprised entirely of Summit Organics fresh salad greens and locally produced vegetarian ingredients.

Check out Summit Organics Facebook Page for upcoming Farmwalk events!

Here is the For Greenies video summarising the day…

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Edible Streets Tour

For Greenies joined ‘Culture Club’ for a stroll around the streets of West End’s urban foodscape. What we found was a diverse array of sub-tropical fruit trees overhanging footpaths, edible vines spanning fences, and sprawling root crops replacing nature strip grass. This is a testament to the culturally diverse community and the favourable climate of sub-tropical Brisbane.

The tour involved plant identification as well as discussing the ethics of harvesting, share maps, what to do with surplus and how to contribute to the urban edible foodscape.

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Worldwide Organic Food Sources

For Greenies has created a worldwide Google map that locates organic and bio-dynamic farms, organic food markets, organic retailers and even the backyard organic gardener who wants to sell their surpluses.


View Organic Food in a larger map

Anyone can add to the map, so if you are an organic and and/or bio-dynamic farmer,  organic gardener, organic retailer, or if you know of the location of organic markets, farms and cafes feel free to share your location with the world. Read More & Comment →

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