Wednesday, February 13, 2013

One guy starts an evolution of dancing

Seth Godin writes: “it’s guy #3 who made it a movement.” 
Kyra Gaunt, author of The Games Black Girls Play, comments: "I think [Seth Godin] is actually riffing off the sociological work of Georg Simmel (1950) who argued that the number of people in a group helps form the social relations which take place in that group."

Shout out to Soul Sides for starting the discussion.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cycling and Pedestrians

Somebody in the NSW Police force is keeping a careful eye on the newspapers.
On February 11, this article on the relationship between cyclists and pedestrians appeared in the SMH.
On the morning of February 13 I was cycling through the city- which is hard to traverse by any form of transport. Heading along George Street towards Wynyard Station I was pulled over by a grumpy officer on a motor cycle who had been assigned to spend the day patrolling George Street for errant cyclists.

Tobacco, Food and Alcohol

Growing interest in the relationship between corporate strategies employed by tobacco, food and alcohol to address (and thwart) public health concerns.

In an article entitled "Profits and Pandemics", Rob Moodie et al suggest: "There is now evidence to show that the food, drink, and alcohol industries use similar tactics and strategies to the tobacco companies to undermine public health interventions."

At last count, the story of the article was retweeted 92 times on #ncd13 (non communicable diseases).

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Community Gardens in the Sydney City LGA

See these maps at:

Newtown Community Garden
Corner of Longdown and Stephen streetsNewtown NSW 2042

(In the grounds of the Carter Evans Day Centre)
A compact community garden on City of Sydney land, it consists of small plots and shared gardening areas, raised garden beds of wooden sleepers, a pond, rainwater tank and composting facilities

Angel Street Permaculture Garden
Corner Angel and Harold streetsNewtown NSW 2042(on land belonging to  the high school)
A one hectare shared communal garden consisting mainly of trees with edible fruit and nuts or producing other useful materials, with a small area for vegetable cultivation. The garden is open every Sunday from 11am to 1pm except in summer when it opens between 10 am - 12 pm. Members have access during daylight hours seven days a week.

Alexandria Park Community School & Community Centre
Corner Buckland Street and Park Road
The community garden is located in the grounds of the community centre as well as at the end of the nearby football field. It has both shared garden areas and plots for individuals. There is an annual Permablitz community construction day. Installations include raised gardens for vegetables and herbs, fruit trees, compost production and a small aquaponic demonstration system

The Luncheon Club Eden Garden 
56A Raglan Street
Waterloo NSW 2017
Started as the Waterloo Community Garden in 1991 by a community worker associated with the church, the garden is used primarily for horticultural therapy and includes vegetable production, chickens and composting. With Angel Street Permaculture Garden, this is one of Sydney’s older community gardens.

Waterloo Estate
cnr of Raglan and Pitt streets
Waterloo NSW 2017

Poet's Corner Community Garden
Moorehead Street
Redfern NSW 2016

Greg Hewish Memorial Garden
Corner of Ogden Lane and Marriott StreetRedfern NSW 2016(In the small park on the Cnr Ogden Lane and Marriott Street)
A community garden of 12 plots in raised, brick garden beds producing vegetables and culinary herbs. The garden features fruit trees, composting facilities and rainwater tank on church land.

James Street Reserve
Corner of James Street and Young Lane
Redern NSW 2016
A small grant was obtained from the City of Sydney and gardeners designed and built the community garden themselves. Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, opened the garden in late 2010.

Charles Kernan Reserve
Abercrombie Street,
Darlington NSW 2008
Located on City of Sydney land and opened in late 2010, Charlie’s is a small garden where food is grown in raised, recycled brick garden beds.

Sustainable Chippendale Street Verge Community Gardens
On street verges along Myrtle Street and adjacent streets.
Chippendale NSW 2008
Assisted by the City of Sydney through the Sustainable Streets-Sustainable Communities Demonstration Project, the City’s Community Garden Policy and the City’s Waste Projects Coordinator, the street verge gardens were initiated by local people and are supplied with compost from the adjacent community composting bins. Citrus, avocado, pawpaw and other fruit trees as well as fruiting, edible shrubs and vegetables, herbs, native and exotic plants have been planted between established street trees. The gardens are irrigated by rainwater runoff from the roofs of adjacent houses.

Glebe Community Garden
Corner of Derwent Lane and St Johns Road
Glebe NSW 2037
The garden is a community venture on land owned by the Anglican Church.

Ultimo Community Garden
McKee Street Reserve
between McKee and Wattle streets
Ultimo NSW 2007
Approved by council in late 2010, the garden was awarded a City of Sydney Matching Grant to cover start-up costs. The garden team produced a management and a works plan and the garden was built by the gardeners themselves. Construction was completed by the end of June 2011.

Arthur Street Community Verge Garden 
Surry Hills NSW 2010
In late 2011, the City of Sydney handed over a planter in the Arthur Street road closure to community management following a request from local residents who have now established vegetables and other plants in it.  The conversion to community management was enabled under the City’s Community Garden Policy as a street verge community garden. Although the planter is small it forms a focus for local community activity for participants in the project.

Foster Street Verge Gardens, Surry Hills

Premises of the Asylum Seeker Centre
38 Nobbs Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Established in 2008 through a grant from the City of Sydney, the garden grows fruit and vegetables, has a hive of native bees and teaches asylum seekers the principles of permaculture design. In 2010, an additional grant from the City of Sydney enabled the establishment of a bush tucker garden in the front yard. The next phase of the project, called Permaculture for the People, will connect asylum seekers with community organisations and initiatives.
The small garden provides opportunities for socialisation. Participants meet weekly on Tuesday afternoons.

Bourke Street Park
Bourke Street
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
(just northwards of the Cathedral Street intersection)
Located on NSW government land managed by the City of Sydney, the garden started in late 2011.

Woolloomooloo Community Garden
Corner of Dowling Street and Sydney Place
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
With both shared gardening space and plots, the community garden occupies part of a multiple-use public open space. Included are fruit trees, vegetables, herbs and composting. Water harvested from the roof of the bamboo-construction shelter is stored in a rainwater tank. Coffee grown in the community garden was roasted by a nearby coffee processor, producing what may be Woolloomooloo’s first coffee crop.

First Fleet Garden
Royal Botanic Gardens
Mrs Macquaries Road
Sydney NSW 2000
(close to herbarium and administrative building off Lady Macquaries Road)

A garden exhibiting many of the food crops brought by the first fleet of colonists to Australia in 1788. Included are grains, vegetables, citrus, coffee and figs. Opposite is a garden exhibiting the landscape and plant types the colonists found when they settled at Sydney Cove, many of which were used by Aborigines for food and materials.

Sydney City Farm

The "Sydney City Farm" is in the process of development. In the meantime a corner of Sydney Park, St Peters - near the Brick Kilns - has been "transformed" into a "Summer Garden": Saturday 19 January to Saturday 24 March 2013.

The City Farm was initiated in 2009 when Sydney City Farm approached the council.

A Feasibility Study was commissioned from Clouston Associates to assess best practice models in Australia and overseas combined with stakeholder consultation and field work investigations in order to establish issues, objectives, evaluation criteria and recommendations for a future Sydney City Farm. Clouston define "Community Gardens" as " places where people come together to grow food and engage in communal activities. They are a great way to foster good health, support life-long learning, cultivate vibrant communities and 'green' urban environments."

Also involved in the feasibility study were:

  • The People for Places and Spaces (PPS), a consultancy firm specialising in "collaborative placemaking, urban revitalisation, design facilitation and implementation for places, spaces and buildings". Their work work "transforms places into more efficient, liveable and people-friendly environments and ensures that projects can be implemented". They "specialise in complex projects in politically-sensitive environments". Projects include "Woollahra 2025: community consultation process".
  • Root Projects Australia (RP) was engaged to advise on considerations for feasibility in relation to the governance and funding models (fully funded to fully community funded) for existing city farm models in Australia and overseas in terms of understanding the current operating models, staffing structures, costs and revenues. Based on benchmark examples, the most successful model appeared to be the not-for-profit association managing and operating the farm with a committee of management selected from the membership base. RPA have worked on the relocation of the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market and the National Flower Centre.
  • Equatica, a "group of water professionals providing innovative and sustainable water management solutions in the urban environment".

 Other city farms are being considered by Randwick and Blacktown.

Saturday, February 16, Meet a farmer – get the insider’s look at farming life
Saturday, February 23, Meet a beekeeper – learn about bee-keeping and the production of honey
Saturday, March 2, Meet a market Gardener – find out what is needed to grow your favourite produce
Saturday, March 9, Meet a horticulturalist – learn how trickier crops are grown by our local farmers
Saturday, March 16, Paddock to plate – get the dirt on where your food comes from!
Saturday, March 23, Celebration/Harvest Weekend – a hoedown to celebrate the harvest of all our crops.

The City Farm Project Manager is Adam Ridge9246 7267,

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Majora Carter: Greening the Ghetto

From TED

In an emotionally charged talk, MacArthur-winning activist Majora Carter details her fight for environmental justice in the South Bronx -- and shows how minority neighborhoods suffer most from flawed urban policy.

Majora Carter redefined the field of environmental equality, starting in the South Bronx at the turn of the century. Now she is leading the local economic development movement across the USA

Monday, February 4, 2013

Milkwood Permaculture

Milkwood provides world-class education in Permaculture and Regenerative Agriculture. Courses are run at Milkwood Farm near Mudgee, in the center of Sydney and around Australia.

The major course they run is a Milkwood Permaculture Design Certificate, which provides a grounding in Permaculture design and theory. This runs for two weeks and costs approx $1700. certificate is recognized by the Permaculture Institute of Australia (which als The o runs courses- ten weeks - $6,600). Graduates may then progress towards a Diploma in Permaculture if they wish. The Milkwood course covers the 14 chapters of Bill Mollison's Permaculture: A Designers Manual.

The Course is being run in Sydney: Jun 29 2013 - Jul 12 2013.

Outside course hours there's optional hands-on workshops to help get you skilled up in urban permaculture skills, including composting, worm farming, aquaponics and more. We also take students on multiple site tours of some of Sydney's best and most inspiring permaculture systems.

Wormfarm poster from Afristar Foundation

Other Resources:

Sunday, February 3, 2013


The National Environment Centre (NEC) is a campus of TAFE NSW Riverina Institute located at Thurgoona near Albury on the NSW border with Victoria.

The NEC runs courses in Permaculture and a Diploma of Agriculture (Organic Production), (course details here)as well as an organic farming / permaculture internship.

Industry Links include:

The NEC has an organic farm which runs African Fat-tail sheep and pigs, as well as olives, bees, and vegetables which are sold at the Hume Murray Foodbowl Farmers Market every second Saturday.
They also plan to supply the Wangaratta markets and Rutherglen markets (as well as the Canberra and Melbourne markets - on special occasions).

Joel Salatin is internationally respected for his farm's innovative, integrated animal systems. Following on from his previous Australian tours, Joel now returns ready to explain in detail how to replicate some of Polyface Farm's most successful livestock systems

Joel Salatin is a Virginian-based sustainable farmer. He is giving a series of talks in Kiama NSW, Feb 17-19. There is a video of Joel Salatin here.