IT’S A COMMON BELIEF among people setting out to start a community garden that the first step is to find land, do a site analysis, do a design, build and start growing. Were it only so simple.
IT COMBINED ELEMENTS of learning and doing, social benefit and placemaking. And it would go on the footpath in Waterloo.
IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING OF AN ADVENTURE working with a new community garden group on their first project. You never know what to expect—so it’s best to expect nothing at all and that way you will be pleasantly surprised when things go well.
I STARTED ADDRESSING ISSUES of food security and food sovereignty and how these ideas relate to the future of our cities at conferences and seminars and in community education courses some years ago. A key message I delivered was that the mainstream economy’s food supply chain could be improved to make it more effective and fairer, and that food was an emerging issue and that evidence for this were the ways that communities were intervening in their own food supply by setting their own production and distribution chains.
A FARMERS’ MARKET, the Transition Towns movement and Sydney’s emerging collaborative economy come together with live music, good food and the smell of freshly brewed coffee on Saturday mornings at Taylor Square in Darlinghurst. This is Sydney Sustainable Markets. It’s small but diverse. The market is hard to miss as it occupies the plaza on the northern side of Taylor Square where Oxford Street’s traffic diverges to the Eastern Suburbs or continues towards Bondi Junction and on to Bondi Beach. This is a busy crossroads for both traffic and pedestrians and it’s a prime location for a market. a
IT’S ONE OF THOSE streetscapes dominated by the presence of the past. I’m speaking architecturally, about the late nineteenth and early twentieth century once-were-working-class houses and occasional commercial buildings. It is in this way, through the built environment, that the past remains the present in this part of Redfern near where, across Cleveland Street, the urban continuity becomes Surry Hills.
A GOOD EVENT it turned out to be, National Tree Day 2010, with fine, sunny and warm Winter weather bringing out hundreds who planted 4000 ground covers, shrubs and trees. Activities for kids, a wildlife show that included a black head python and a lizard that changed colour were brought along by the wildlife display and City of Sydney waste educator, Sarah van Erp, an Eastern Suburbs Compost Revolution veteran, and Katie Oxenham, the City’s urban ecologist, were there.
A LITTLE OVER A YEAR AGO I delivered a presentation for the Sydney Food Fairness Alliance at the Plains To Plate Future of Food Conference in Adelaide. A highlight of that conference was the launch of a bold new venture in community food, Food Connect Adelaide.