sustainable

GRAND OPENING THIS SATURDAY: Rose Bay Community Garden

Despite only beginning this year in July, the Rose Bay Community Garden has gained an enormous amount of traction and is ready only three months after to host its GRAND OPENING this Saturday 25th October!!!

The campaign has been following the work of the dedicated garden members for a couple of months now via their Facebook, and through the help of a few dedicated people they have finally reached their objectives of creating a beautiful garden for the local community of Rose Bay and surrounds to have fun, socialise, learn, and of course grow fresh fruit and veggies 🙂

This Saturday will be such an exciting time for the gardeners and for the entire community as their will a plethora of things to do such as: meet Costa from Gardening Australia, have a sausage sizzle, play games, visit many stalls, have a peek at the Community Garage Sale, and OF COURSE take a look at the community garden and get involved!

With SO many things to do, means a lot of help is needed from 9am onwards in the form of a few different jobs.

If you’re handy in any of these areas that the Rose Bay Community Garden Facebook page has listed, please either email them on info@rosebaycommunitygarden.org or rock up on the day and help out in the following areas:

We’ll need:
1. A photographer. Are you handy with a lens? Or a pro with your iphone? Please come take some photos for us! We want to be able to look back on this in a year’s time and say, “Wow! That was a fun party!”

2. A runner. Do you drive? We might need to get extra supplies on the day if hordes of people descend on us and we run out of snags or ice. We have no idea how many people to expect, so we may need someone to do a run to the shops.

3. People to help set it up. 9am start
4. People to help break it down. 5pm start

5. A number of stall helpers. There will be a cake stall, raffle station, seeds and seedling sale, t-shirts and cap stand, books stall, flower stall, garage sale, kids zone, barbecue, lemonade stall, that all need back up helpers. Let us know if you’re able to do a few hours.

6. A head counter. Just so we have an estimate of numbers of people.

Extra stuff:
7. Tables. If you have any trestle tables, please let us know. We may need one or two more.

8. If you’re baking a cake or cookies or a slice or whatever, please put a label on it, so people know what they’re getting.

Have a fantastic weekend!! 🙂

*Image: Courtesy of the Rose Bay Community Garden Facebook page 

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Guerrilla gardening

Even though this campaign is about sharing and connecting people to community gardens, I had a read of this blog post by Bee Kind Australia and absolutely LOVE the challenge they have proposed for all you prospective gardeners to do!! Even if you and a few friends got together and made a change in the Eastern Suburbs, like a few members of the Marrickville Council community have done, this would make it more apparent to the councils of the Eastern Suburbs that we ARE serious about bridging the gap between the nature and culture divide!!

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I have a challenge for you. Go out into the suburban and urban areas close to you, and look around. What do you see? Roads? Concrete? High-rises? Not much plant life, I’m guessing. Urbanisation is one of the main threats to bee populations today as natural environments are destroyed to make way for new developments. More often than not, the plant life destroyed is never replaced, which limits the food supply available to bees.

This is where guerrilla gardening comes in. But what on earth is it? Guerrilla gardening is the act of gardening on land that gardeners do not have the legal right to work on, such as abandoned or neglected sites, council owned property and private property. It is usually done in the form of a protest or direct action to provoke change. When I walked around the area I live in, I noticed areas of land, like this…

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Being green in the Eastern Suburbs with Jess Cheah

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Eastern Suburbs resident and inspiring sustainable sister, Jess Cheah, runs the social campaign The Green Flat which endeavours to provide healthy, easy alternatives to nasties without it being difficult or expensive. 

Jess and I have many interests in common in regard to being green and sustainable, so I thought I’d take the time out to interview her and give you all a little insight into the mind of an Eastern Suburbs resident and her thoughts on community gardens in the area.

What inspired you to start up ‘The Green Flat’?

I have always been interested in cooking, making my home feel like a home and beauty products… interests that have been with me for life. But when I moved out of home this year I started to notice just how many additives were in not only the food I was eating, but the products I put on my face and body, and the products I use to clean my home. Once I started to notice, it was really hard to stop. We are exposed to so many toxins without realizing, but the alternatives out there are fantastic and accessible.

Why do you believe that being green and sustainable is important?

We’ve only got one earth… If you ask me, it’s a pretty good one. I’d like to make sure we look after it so that we can keep enjoying it, because we’re the ones with the power to make a change- even if that change is switching to a different laundry powder. Every little bit from every person counts.

Do you grow much produce at home? If not, what are your reasons why.

Moving into an apartment from a University college, we are constrained on outside space. I don’t have access to a personal garden like I’d like, however we do have lots of potted herbs around the flat, which are functional as well as calming.

Are you aware of the community gardens in your area? And have you ever thought about joining your closest one?

We’ve got the Coogee Community Garden and the Randwick Community Organic Garden just down the street- both look fantastic. Brushing up on my gardening skills is definitely needed; I love the idea of growing your own fresh vegetables and while I don’t have much experience, I am definitely keen to get involved.

How does this statement make you feel…”There is a divide in the lack of understanding surrounding community gardens, their processes and food production, as well as a lack of enthusiasm and connection from urban dwellers within the Eastern Suburbs”?

I think that this is true, it is so easy to get caught up with work, social lives, and trying to balance everything that people forget to think about where such a basic necessity comes from and how important it is.
I also think that if kids aren’t involved from a young age, a lot of the emphasis on the importance of natural food production and the community is lost. It’s not all pessimism though, there is a real surge of people reconnecting with growing their own food, it’s much more fulfilling, and you know exactly what was used on it.

Do you think more initiative should be taken by the local councils in the Eastern Suburbs to encourage people to join their community gardens?

Definitely. People move home all the time and might not even realize there is a garden close to them or how to join. It’s a wonderful activity that makes us healthier people in body and mind, uniting communities and making sure we pay attention to what we are consuming.

If you were given a brief by the local council endeavoring to encourage more people to connect with their community garden, how would you go about doing this?

I think it would be a great activity for parents to involve their kids with, providing kids with a better knowledge of food processing, fostering community spirit and supplementing family diets. Talking to the local school communities would help to get families involved, also perhaps having seasonal guides or tips on the best way to garden or suggesting people sign up with friends- really getting information out to people via social media would increase the uplift.

 

To witness more of Jess’ wisdom, visit her social campaign blog at http://thegreenflat.wordpress.com/ or via Twitter @thegreenflat . Maybe you even want to follow her on all accounts (p.s. the campaign has a Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest also!) Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegreenflat / Instagram: @thegreenflat / Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thegreenflat/