Places, people and things that capture the imagination.
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.
FOOD SHAPES CITIES. It was once found in the marketplaces in the middle of our towns and cities. Here, people gathered to buy and sell food, to gossip and exchange news. The market was shop, news bureau and social exchange… the vital heart of the city, the focus that tied the city to its productive hinterland ever so closely through its culinary and economic links. The market was the point of interaction between farmer and eater.
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 WAS ON A SUNNY SATURDAY MORNING a little over a year ago that City of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, opened the James Street Reserve Community Garden in what had been a poorly used pocket park in Redfern.
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.
I like receiving mystery packages providing they don’t tick. Thus, it was with anticipation that I opened this most recent parcel, postmarked South Australia, and found it to contain a rectangular object. Realising this was a DVD (you can tell by the round shiny thing inside the case), I slid it into my Mac’s disk slot and discovered it was about an orchard… about a particular kind of orchard. Watching it, it dawned on me that this was the work of a particularly notorious Adelaide gang of freerangers, but more on this gang later and its links to another media product of Adelaide’s urban food subculture.
Citizens, community organisations, small farmers, food advocacy and eduction organisations, heath interests, small business and social enterprise working in food production, distribution and waste management have a new voice in Australia now that the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) has taken steps to set itself up as a formal agency.