Saturday, 13 October 2012

October Bee

Over thirty participants attended this month's working bee, which we held at Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre (DNC).

All around the DNC buildings are garden beds which are slowly filling up with food plants and herbs.

Paul had organised a delivery of lucerne rounds which we spread along the back garden.

Jasmine, Jill, Adrian, Jeremy and others attacked the west bank.

Dora, Tim, Chris and Luke worked on the front beds.

Eric taught in spontaneous waves contiguous with his beard.

We emptied the straw truck and got farmer Ian Miller's number for more affordable local farm materials (0438 944 422).

We spread the straw and stacked the excess under cover for another day.

Sarah and Ivan manned the Daylesford Food Co-op while they gardened with us.

Lindy (in green below) set up the first Harvest Swapmeet for the season including many seed swaps.

Jo, Tony, Ian and Lena weeded out the strawberry patch and the footpaths.

Danger Maz took to the bent grass with an iron tool.

And we piled up all the weeds, layered by soaked straw, underneath the oak.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Meeting the candidates

Some enthusiastic DCFGers went along to the 'meet the candidates Q&A' at the town hall last night. These candidates are folk who have nominated themselves for the next four-year term in local council. After compiling a list of concerns on behalf of community gardeners Patrick delivered the following set of questions.
Daylesford Community Food Gardeners would like to know where candidates stand on a number of important local environment issues.
We would like to know where candidates stand on:
1 Water Security.
(a) the misuse of the shire’s groundwater for polluting products such as bottled water.
(b) contamination of our waterways due to industry and mining.
(c) contamination of our waterways due to council pesticides.
2 Food Security.
The continued development of a community food system
(a) through community gardens, and
(b) through the strategic planting of public fruit and nut trees throughout our shire.
3 Chemical and Pollution Reduction Strategy.
(a) supporting the establishment of a chemical reduction strategy, beginning with an audit of council’s toxic chemical use and an up-to-date independent analysis of the harm herbicides such as Roundup cause to humans, nonhumans and the environment.
(b) a plastic bag free shire.
4 Affordable Housing, Ecological Building and Cooperative Living.
(a) housing for low-income families.
(b) energy efficient building practices, including solar accessible homes (ie north facing).
(c) composting toilets for domestic and public buildings.
(d) opportunities for residents to own land in cooperatives, especially younger people who have little chance to buy land.
The most outspoken on these issues was Jon Barrell, who was the only one to speak about the challenges of climate change and peak oil and how the above questions relate. Councillor Barrell has also already demonstrated his support of the community gardens and other such transitional activities such as public fruit and nut tree plantings. 

All the other candidates were supportive of these things, especially Brian Hawkes regarding composting toilets and affordable housing. It was however a little concerning that a number of the candidates were standing for council on an anti-streetscape ticket, which seemed a little tabloid to the those of us in attendance who believe there are much more important issues. 

One candidate, Chris Sedgman, was not in attendance so we emailed her our concerns. Her responses are posted as the third comment below.