Flemington Community Garden’s new lease of life

•February 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment


Flemington Community Garden, one of the many inner city community gardens providing garden plots near high rise public housing,  was relocated due to a new freeway extension. It is now growing on in its new space, with the help of Cultivating Community and Garden of Eden project workers. Art work by gardeners is also a strong feature of the new gardens.

more @ Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network:

“A new community garden in Flemington, Melbourne, features around 130 allotments, a chook shed designed in an organic architectual style, a rustic shelter, raised garden beds for less-mobile gardeners and hand-finished seats and tables.”



Less Water, More Fire – Our Climate Change Emergency

•February 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Glenn Talaue)

(From ABC website, User submitted: Glenn Talaue)

Here is a summary of some interconnected environmental issues that have appeared recently at the ABC. I will continue to explore the BAD NEWS,that due to climate change, loss of mountain ash forest cover and bushfire impacts on water reservoirs, and the nearing return of the El Nino weather cycle, THE EMERGENCY OF OUR DWINDLING WATER SUPPLIES IN MELBOURNE ARE PREDICTED TO GET WORSE.

The government is beginning to use the bushfires impact on water catchments and climate change as a need for the desalination plant. I will also explore the massive climate changing carbon emissions the desalination plant will give us, as well as the large environmental degradation of the surrounding area. Simplistic answers will only be accepted through ignorance. Meanwhile the bushfire raged over much of the north-south water pipeline area, also contentious, especially in the bushfire ravaged communities and catchments which the pipeline takes water from.

ABC – Water supply moved amid bushfire threat

Billions of litres of drinking water is being moved out of Victorian reservoirs with catchments which are fire damaged. Ninety per cent of the O’Shannassy catchment and 40 per cent of the Maroondah catchment have been burned.

More @ http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/17/2493439.htm

ABC- Fire crews work to protect water catchments

Fire crews in Victoria are working to try to stop bushfires doing more damage to Melbourne’s water catchments. The Kilmore East-Murrindindi North fire is one of six blazes still burning across the state.


ABC – Victoria ‘could face worse bushfire threat next summer’

An expert in climate modelling says next summer could see even higher fire dangers for Victoria due to extreme temperatures. It has been predicted that an El Nino climate event could hit Australia this year, causing higher than usual temperatures across the country.

More @ http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/16/2492070.htm

ABC – ‘At risk’ firies want urgent global warming action

Australia is at risk of more tragedies such as the Victorian bushfires if the Federal Government does not reassess its approach to global warming, says the peak firefighters union.

More @ http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/12/2489847.htm

ABC – Global warning worse than predicted, top scientist says

One of the world’s leading experts on climate change says a Nobel Prize-winning panel of scientists seriously underestimated the reality of global warming when it published its report just over a year ago.


Jane Edmanson visit to Elwood Primary School Kitchen Garden

•February 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Here is a summary of a feature on the school kitchen garden at Elwood Primary School that appeared on Gardening Australia late last year.

The presenter, Jane Edmanson, is a well respected garden expert in Melbourne, and lends her support to both Sustainable Gardening Australia and the Food Gardeners Alliance.

As well as this, Jane explains that

“For over 30 years, I’ve encouraged schools to get involved in school gardening programs because there is no better way to create the next generation of gardeners. At Elwood Primary School in Melbourne, students are involved in a program that combines gardening and the kitchen. This gives children a unique experience.”

more @



Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation http://www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au/

Jane Edmanson’s website http://www.janesgarden.com.au/

Sustainable Gardening Australia Team

Food Gardeners Alliance Save the Vegie Patch Forum http://www.fga.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=42&Itemid=2

Sustainability Street – Empowering local street action

•February 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment


From a sad and smoky Melbourne, here’s a community project that encourages local streets in Melbourne and across the continent to become more sustainable together. This includes, of course, growing food in their yards and sharing it amongst neighbours

For more info on Sustainability Street, and to see how you could turn your street into one, see their website 

In the words of Sustainability Street, “Clearly it’s time for people power!”

Open Garden Scheme showcases Fitzroy Community Garden

•February 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The Open Garden Scheme is showcasing the Fitzroy Community Garden, located along Napier Street on the weekend of the 21st and the 22nd of February. This is one of the Cultivating Community supported gardens.

the following invite is from Sustainable Melbourne, a great website supporting sustainability in Melbourne, under the direction of the Melbourne University VEIL Project



A Permanent Disruption – Fire & Climate Change

•February 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I have ummed are arred about raising these issues here yet, at this little place on the cyber highway, but a strongly spoken opinion piece by Freya Matthews in The Age today has inspired me to post it.

This is a significant thread to the very real story about our need to develop community food security due to the harmful environmental effects of climate change.

From this tragedy, more resolve from the community to build resilience in the face of climatic disruption will develop.

From our part of the world, an unavoidable recognition of our climatic future stares at us from the scorched land. We all feel so much for the victims. No one in Melbourne or regional Victoria can comprehend the answers to our complex and problematic future. North of here, half of Queensland, in complete irony, is suffering the effects of prolonged flooding.

Save those seed….and keep looking after each other…

Article from the Age

Fires the deadly inevitability of climate change

  • Freya Mathews
  • February 10, 2009

The disaster challenges the Government to accept evident truths.

IT IS only a couple of years since scientists first told us we could expect a whole new order of fires in south-eastern Australia, fires of such ferocity they would simply engulf the towns in their path. And here they are.

The fires we saw on Saturday were not “once in a thousand years” or even “once in a hundred years” events, as our political leaders keep repeating. They were the face of climate change in our part of the world.

These fires are simply the result of the new conditions that climate change has introduced here: raised temperatures, giving us hotter days than we have ever experienced before combined with lower rainfall giving us a drier landscape. Let’s stop using the word “drought”, with its implication that dry weather is the exception. The desiccation of the landscape here is the new reality. It is now our climate.

Perhaps we can adapt to this new climate by completely rethinking and reprioritising our fire defence.

But can we adapt to it if it gets worse? It was only by chance that a cool change came through on Saturday. What if the pattern of the heatwave that occurred in the last week of January had been repeated? If instead of the cool change on Saturday evening we had had three or four days of above 40 degree temperatures? How much of our state, how many of our towns and outer suburbs, would have been engulfed?

People are comparing last Saturday to Ash Wednesday and Black Friday.

But this misses the point. We should be comparing these fires to the vast and devastating fires of 2002-03, which swept through 2 million hectares of forest in the south-east and raged uncontrollably for weeks.

They have been quickly forgotten because, being mainly in parks, they did not involve major loss of human life or property.

But it is to this fire regime, the new fire regime of climate change, rather than to the regimes of 1983 or 1939, that the present fires belong.

Saturday showed us the terrifying and desolating face of climate change.

The heat was devastating in its effects even without the fire.

In the fruit bat colony at Bellbird on the Yarra, hundreds of bats died as they had during the heat wave a week earlier.

Wildlife carers reported many incidents of heat stress and death among native animals generally.

This means, of course, that out in the bush, unreported, vast numbers of animals were suffering.

We can all see the trees and other plants dying in our gardens and parks. Our local fauna and flora are not adapted to these extremes.

With wildfire, this heat death becomes a holocaust, for people and for animals and plants. Yet we are only halfway through summer. How many more lethal episodes of extreme heat will we have to endure in the coming weeks, let alone the coming years?

Meanwhile, the Federal Government is wondering how to inject stimulus money into the economy, how to get rid of the surplus accumulated over years of boom times.

It is planning simply to give much of it away, as hand-outs. It has made the usual little token allocations to climate change mitigation, allocations that will in no way deflect the coming holocaust.

The Prime Minister weeps on television at the tragedy of Saturday’s events. He looks around uncomprehendingly, unable to find words, unable to find meaning.

But there are words. There is meaning. This is climate change. This is what the scientists told us would happen. All the climatic events of the past 10 years have been leading inexorably to this.

Yet this is just the beginning, the beginning of something that will truly, if unaddressed, overwhelm us.

As the events of Saturday showed, the consequences of climate change will make the financial crisis look like a garden party.

But there is a synchronicity here that must not be missed. The extraordinary economic measures for which the financial crisis is calling provide a perfect opportunity to fund the energy revolution for which the crisis of climate change is calling.

If the Government does not seize this opportunity, if it persists in its self-serving refusal to name the truths of climate change, then the terrifying world into which we were plunged, momentarily, on Saturday, will become the world that we will have to inhabit.

Freya Mathews is a research fellow in the philosophy department at La Trobe University.


Fears bushfire death toll will reach 300

Police now fear that as many as 300 people may have perished in Victoria’s bushfires.


Bushfires haze garden talk

•February 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It seems hard to talk about gardening in Melbourne at the moment, with all the bushfire devastation in the surrounding areas. 181 people have been confirmed to have lost their lives.

As well as self sufficient gardening activities, I hoped to use this blog as a discussion of local weather and climatic conditions, which are favourite and necessary topics for gardeners. I will continue on with more hopeful topics soon, but in the meantime,

If you are able to, please donate to the following….

Red Cross Appeal

Help the victims of bushfires who have lost their loved ones, homes and towns


A lot of animals are suffering also..

Wildlife Victoria Appeal