Sunday, 18 December 2011

A Small Group

It has been over a year since all three of us were at the Food Forest. So much has happened in our home garden, we knew that in Sydney's semi-tropical weather, much change and growth would have come about. We were right! Everything was humming with the business of life, especially one of the nectarine trees. A year ago it was a quarter of the size!

We discovered many other surprises in the garden. The first was Amanda, who is part of the church and who has been keeping us in the loop about happenings in the garden.

There was also much abundance to be found (and eaten). Strawberries

and Dianella berries. The leaves were used to weave dillies and baskets by the Gadigal and the fruits were eaten as well as used as dye.

The first things we did was make this sign and get busy weeding.

When we initially installed the garden, we buried thick black plastic around the perimeter to prevent the tenacious couch grass from making itself at home. It was great to see that it worked.

It was also great to see the bales of sugarcane mulch and pine bark that the City of Sydney Community Gardens and Landcare Coordinator donated, which was quickly put to use.

It was great to see the water tank was full after the recent rains.

It was great to see evidence of people using the space as it was intended.

It was great to catch up with some old friends and meet some new ones.

It was great to stand back at the end of the weekend and admire what a small group of thoughtful, committed people are capable of achieving in a short amount of time.

It was great to look at all the trees and think, I knew you when you were this big!

And to feel like explorers in the garden of the world.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Food Forest Bee

Hello Sydneysiders! We hope to see you soon.

We are heading your way for a two-day working bee at the Food Forest on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 December.

The bee will involve some general maintenance, composting techniques, water conserving strategies and planting sessions.

Local residents, church goers, Artist as Family groupies and Food Forest friends are all invited to attend this free event. Come for as long or short as you'd like between 10am - 4pm on both days.

BYO seeds, seedlings, garden tools, friends and picnics.

The Food Forest is located at St Michael’s Anglican Church, (Cnr Albion and Flinders), Surry Hills.

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Creative Commons: Water Commons

Patrick has drawn a new map to show our findings. If Melbourne is serious about being zero-carbon then bottled water (and anything disposable) has to rapidly become an outmoded commodity.

Please feel free to distribute this map widely (copyright is just another form of privatisation).

Thanks to Designscope for scanning.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Key Audit Findings

We found our first bubbler of the day near the corner of Lonsdale and Spencer streets at 8.35am.

We found that to make sure we didn't miss any of the bubblers in the chaos of the city we had to slow right down.

We found the entire contents of somebody's home out in the street. What a lucky country we live in that so much waste goes unwanted.

We found our friend Brett who joined us on our audit. We found him at the lovely Kinfolk café, which is staffed by volunteers and whose profits go to a selection of different charities.

We found that although we only drink rain water at home, we loved drinking a toast to all the working bubblers we came across.

We found that after a while we even started acting like water bubblers.

We found that we started seeing bubblers even when there weren't any.

We found a few over-zealous bubblers.

We found lots of important reasons to carry out our audit.

We found wheelchair accessible bubblers,

dog accessible bubblers

and bee accessible bubblers.

We found the wasteful remains of the winning entry in the 2011 Melbourne Urban Prize for sculpture.

We found bubblers being repaired.

We found bubblers from great heights.

We found some very brave people at the Occupy Melbourne protest; people willing to stand up to the corporate greed that is killing our planet.

We found some great examples of people growing their own food.

We found people will go to great lengths to get a drink of water.

Overall what we found was very positive compared with Patrick's findings from four years ago.

We found 46 bubblers in the CBD region, 19 more than last time.
We found 39 working bubblers, 21 more than last time.

When we enquired at the City of Melbourne council offices we were told that on average there are 788,000 people who use the city every day, 77,400 more than last time.

We found 1 working bubbler per 20,205 people whereas last time it was 1 working bubbler per 40,000 people.

Congratulations are in order for the City of Melbourne. It's fantastic to see that they have started to take the issue of bottled water pollution seriously. We encourage them to continue their great work by providing even more water bubblers for the people of Melbourne who are concerned about drinking just and free water.

And lastly we found that walking over 15km auditing Melbourne's bubblers sure did make us sleepy.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Water Bubbler Audit

Four years ago, Patrick spent a day walking through Melbourne auditing the drinking water fountains in the CBD. His walk revealed that there was one working bubbler per 40,000 people in the city. He charted his findings on a map which he made freely available:

This coming Monday the 21st November, Artist as Family will spend the day retracing Patrick's walk through the CBD as we re-audit the city’s bubblers. We want to find out if the City of Melbourne is still committed to encouraging bottled water pollution or whether they’ve begun to transition to a sustainable and just free water supply by repairing all the broken bubblers and installing new ones for thirsty summer city dwellers.

Did you know that for Australians to drink bottled water, over 500,000 barrels of oil are required every year??

If you live in Melbourne, please feel free to join us for any part of our walk. We will have a mobile with us, so please call or text to lend us support or to find out our whereabouts: 0418 523 308.

Stay tuned for the findings of our audit.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Tip Trip

It's been nine months since we sold our car and we have loved every minute of it. Yes—even walking in the pouring rain in winter. We agree with British adventurer Ranulph Fiennes who said "There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."

But there is much to be said for walking in the sunshine, and today we said it as we walked to our local tip. We wanted to get rid of some unwanted goods, and have a fossick to see if there was anything we had use for at home.

We fossicked high and we fossicked low. And we fossicked around and around the Earth Ship demonstration wall we built earlier in the year with waste warrior Michael Reynolds.

We test rode all the bikes,

we sniffed out hidden treasures

including 30 metres of tangled chicken wire we are going to use to keep our five hens and one rooster out of a new garden bed.

We spent the better part of an hour pulling it this way and that until

it was ready to roll up and

roll all the way home.