Tuesday 18 May 2010

Love from Peter Tyndall too

A little while ago we were required to ask for support letters to apply for funding for the Food Forest. We naturally asked members of our local community – permaculture co-originator David Holmgren and seminal conceptual artist Peter Tyndall. Both David's and Peter's letters were very generous, to say the least.
Patrick, Meg and Zephyr are thoughtful, energetic, articulate and engaged members of this rich local community. What they live and learn and practice here they also offer, as the Artist as Family, for the consideration of others. Last year, I followed them, via their several blogs, through a residency at Newcastle’s This is Not Art festival. I hope to be able to do so again during their participation in the MCA’s In the Balance: Art for a changing world. I recommend them and their application for your support. Peter Tyndall
(Blush, blush, thank you Peter). The Food Forest is a fusion of art and applied ecology, therefore to have this level of support from these two good and brilliant folk gives us much strength and focus as we head closer to realising this work. The union between the conceptual and the ecological is not only about providing interesting (we hope) public art and free ethical food in one combined work, but to make a work that participates in what it represents in healing the apparent rifts between the mind and the body, nature and culture.

For the connoisseur, Peter Tyndall's blog:

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Choosing the plants

We've been writing up a long-list of suitable plants to use in the Food Forest. A short-list selection will be based upon three criteria.

1. the local Cadigal food plants for ecology building.
2. the taste buds of the local community to determine desired foods.
3. the availability of plants from local nurseries.

This short-list palette of plants will help complete the design. In other words, the three plant zones (as seen in the previous post) will be filled in using this diverse palette of edible flora.

1. ground covers, herbs and beneficial flowering plants will skirt the exterior ring of the forest.
2. mid to large sized shrubs and small trees, such as citrus and guava, will predominant.
3. small copse of larger trees such as avocado and macadamia will complete the skywards gradation.

These three zones together will constitute a dynamic polyculture.

What are your favourite edible plants, and do you think they'd grow well in Sydney? We'd love to hear your suggestions.

Saturday 1 May 2010

Great News!

After months of searching and writing proposals, it looks like we have a site, and a beautiful site indeed. Yesterday we heard back from St Michael's and they agree in principal to Food Forest being planted in their front lawn. So, we will be busy over the next week compiling a plant list for the community, making drawings of the proposed work, and putting together an agreement outlining the scope of the work, while identifying the responsible parties.

Patrick swung by to measure up the site this morning, take some more photos and sketch out the footprint of the work. It seemed to suggest a kidney bean shape as we'll have to keep away from tricky underground plumbing services.

Here's an east view of the site and the awesome ficus doing a magnificent job.

Afterwards Patrick walked into the city and had tea with Tessa and Karl, two Sydney artists who are also involved with In the Balance.

Their poetic exhibition Make-do Garden City is on until 8 May at the Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Tessa and Karl's website can be found at Makeshift.

Upstairs in the gallery was the following drawing. It was pretty compelling, recalling Avatar and indigenous folk everywhere, pressurised by the growing needs of expanding technocultures. Apologies to the artist, but a wall label couldn't be found, nor a catalogue, or even anything on the gallery's website to properly credit this detailed work.

Next stop: Marrickville, to have lunch with some family members. After stepping off the bus Patrick came across this beautiful micro-forest front garden and stopped to admire the structure and health of it.

This really is close to the sort of feeling we want to create with Food Forest, only packed with edible and flowering plants.