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.
Challenging your Knowledge on Creating Fertile Soils…
Healthy soils are loaded with microorganisms such as bacterias and fungi that consume organic matter and produce readily available nutrients to feed plants. To grow healthy plants it is vital to create a healthy, diverse and alive soil ecosystem.
Soil bacteria and fungi under a microscope. Image: Soil Foodweb Institute
People living sustainably all over Australia obligingly opened their homes to the public on Sunday 12th September for Sustainable House Day.
Wendy & Len and their aquaponics system
Len and Wendy from 35 Sperring Street in Manunda, Cairns are passionate about growing their own organic nutritious food, thereby cutting out ‘food miles’ and having easy access to fresh organic produce.
Len in front of his 3 fish tanks
They grow about 60% of their food on their small 1/4 acre residential property using the technique of Aquaponics; breeding freshwater fish for eating in tanks and cycling and filtering the water through grow beds to utilise the fish excrement as a precious plant fertliser. Read More & Comment →
It is one thing knowing how to design and plant a food garden. Knowing how to prepare the harvested food for eating is something equally important and completes the whole process of organic gardening. All your efforts in the garden are rewarded when you taste the delicious nutritious food that you have produced yourself – and it always tastes better when you have grown it yourself! Read More & Comment →
The Seed Saver’s Network has been fighting a David and Goliath battle since 1986 when Jude and Michel Fanton created the non-profit organisation whose main aim is to conserve and share locally adapted varieties of food plants.
More than ever, as climate change and unpredictable weather patterns loom, we need to preserve a genetically diverse genepool of food plants to be able to adapt to these conditions. Commercial agriculture and the modern food system favour a small range of food plants that require high inputs of fertilisers and chemical pesticides and that are selected mainly for productivity, shelf life and appearance.
‘Our Seeds: Seeds Blong Yumi’ is a 57 min documentary which looks at the issue of the need to preserve the diverse food heritage from Melanesian and other countries as they become increasingly reliant on imports of hybrid seeds and white rice, biscuits and noodles. The film also looks into the solutions such as setting up local seed networks and education of the importance of preserving diversity.
(*WWOOFers stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms and is a group that connects voluntary workers to organic farms in exchange for food and accommodation.)
The Beneficial Lady Bug
In the big picture that is Planet Earth, all insects undoubtedly have a role. But to the farmer, horticulturist and home gardener, those insects which damage or destroy plants are obviously most unwelcome. Such ‘pest’ species include chewers like certain moth larvae (caterpillars) and suckers such as aphids and mites. Read More & Comment →