Friday, September 24, 2010

Upcoming event reminders, some interesting links and event reports

Some reminders about upcoming HRN (and other) events, to put in your diary now. Events beyond the bushfire prep workshop are TBC, details will follow...

- Today! Friday 24 September, 5pm: The very first Critical mass in the main street of Daylesford. Ride your bike and meet at the Daylesford Primary School zebra crossing to help raise awareness of bikes on the road!
- Wednesday 29 September: Food survey meeting, email us for more details. Come along to find out how you can help with our Food survey project, get to know your local community food producers and strengthen our local food network, all at the same time!
- Saturday 2 October, 10am: Bushfire preparation workshop with David Holmgren, Spring Creek Gully.
- Thursday 14 October: Film night - Bullshit
- Thursday 11 November: Film night - The Oiling of America
- Thursday 9 December: Community meal, final event for 2010

Here is a link we've been waiting for a (relatively) quiet moment to send out, to ABS Quick Stats for the Daylesford Urban Area. The statistics here give a bit of a picture of our local area relative to the rest of Australia, which is very interesting in terms of thinking about how we are placed as a community and what we need to do to relocalise and build our resilience.

On that topic, I (Liz) must say I was quite inspired by attending the Holmgren Design Services "Advanced Permaculture Principles and Planning Tools" course on the weekend, particularly by the Community Resilience Mapping of Hepburn exercise, during which most course participants assessed Hepburn to be relatively well off in terms of future energy descent scenario capacity... It was also amazing to learn more about how to read our landscape and find out so much more about our local area, and also to consider permaculture design principles and ethics in a deeper way. What a (gold?) minefield of things we all have to think about now! I highly recommend the course for future reference for next time it is run... Ask me about it any time.

Course participants viewing our local area from a vantage point on Elevated Plains. Photo by Liz Wade.
Also on a related topic, we were recently sent a link to a Dateline report on concerns in the United States about the earth's future and the different ways people are responding, ranging from reserving space in an underground survival shelter to transitioning to a sustainable life post-carbon. Could be worth a watch...

The recent HRN Bio-fertiliser workshop with Eugenio Gras was also fantastic. A number of people from near and further afield learned how to make a fermented liquid fertiliser for our gardens and fields, and so much more. Eugenio was an engaging presenter and the hands-on workshop helped us understand the process of making bio-fertiliser and also lime sulphur, and all that they can do for our soil and plants. For those who couldn't make it along, you can check out Eugenio's presentations and instructions for making bio-fertiliser, lime sulphur, and more, here.

Last night's film, Food Inc., was quite sobering for all who attended I'd say... Makes me glad to live right here, where we have local food available for us to eat that is not all entangled in the multi-national corporate system... Thank goodness for local farmers, CSA vegie box schemes, bulk food coops, all the local folk who grow their own, harvest swaps, seed and seedling sharing and other wonderful things we are so very lucky to have right here.

Locals and a visiting WWOOFer at a working bee at Rod May's farm in Blampied. Photo by David Holmgren.
Be part of the solution and help us with our food survey project to help find out more about, and to strengthen, our local food network, and to build food security for the future. Yeah! (Starting with that meeting I was talking about next Wednesday!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bushfire preparation workshop Sat 2 October, Film: Food Inc Thurs 23 September

HRN ran four fire preparation workshops in 2009. Many of those who attended had felt quite devastated by the bushfires of February 2009 and the workshop helped them to overcome fear and worry, and to develop a sense of empowerment. Not only did they learn how to make their properties and adjacent bush-land more fire safe, but they also had a very enjoyable time in the local park-land and developed their skills with rake-hoes, slash-hooks, etc. (These tools are in a HRN tool library available for loan - see the Tool Library tab of the blogsite.)

HRN will run another Bushfire Preparation Workshop this year, at Spring Gully, Hepburn on Saturday 2nd October from 10am to 1pm. Click the link above to see the poster. Cost is $15pp (children free, repeat workshops also free if you have been before). Bring lunch to share and wear work boots, work pants (even two pairs of pants) etc. Bookings: email or call 5348 3636. 

And while we're on the topic of Bushfire...

If you haven't read it before, you can download David Holmgren's discussion paper "Bushfire Resilient Communities & Landscapes" from the Holmgren Design Services website home page (near the bottom of the page).

There are also a few bushfire related videos available for viewing on the Writings page - David speaking at the Sustainable Living Festival in February this year on the same topic - Bushfire Resilient Communities and Landscapes, in two parts. And the video mentioned in a previous post of David explaining fire-management and revegetation strategies at Spring Creek Gully, particularly relevant as that is where the upcoming workshop will be held!

Lastly, don't forget our upcoming film night. We're showing Food Inc, 7:30pm, next Thursday 23rd September at the Savoia.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Food related Film night and HRN Project, and don't forget the Bio-fertiliser workshop this Saturday!

Please remember that all blue text sections below (and in all blog posts) are links that you can click for more information...

First up, a reminder about the Bio-fertiliser workshop with Eugenio Gras this Saturday. It's a unique opportunity to learn a fantastic method for improving the fertility of your soil. Check out the last blog post and the two links above for more info. Email us or call 5348 3636 to book in.

And now, onto the favourite HRN topic... Food! Two food related items...

Next film night is Thursday 23rd September and the film will be Food Inc, showing at the Savoia Hotel in Hepburn Springs. Film at 7:30, dinner available from 6pm, call the Savoia to book for dinner on 5348 2314.

In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on America’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of the government's regulatory agencies. America’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and their environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. Widespread obesity reigns, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults. Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.
Although this film is American, the issues are much the same for Australia.

And continuing on the topic of food, we are still working on our Food survey project and we have some new helpers making calls to farmers - thanks heaps! We are still looking for more interested people to help with the calls however. You can make the calls with us here, or from home, depending on your preference. It's a great way to get to know your local community and the wonderful people who grow food in our area.

We will have a meeting for all people involved in the project, or interested in being involved, probably on Wednesday 29th September in the evening (date and time TBC). Please contact us by email, or phone 5348 3636 to register your interest in helping out, whether you can make this meeting or not.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Upcoming workshops: Bio-fertiliser and Sustainable Clothing

Bio-fertiliser workshop with Eugenio Gras, Saturday 11 September 2010

We are lucky to have the chance to learn about a method of brewing bio-fertiliser, from Eugenio Gras, a Mexican permaculture pioneer and one of Latin America's foremost regenerative agriculture experts. Eugenio has been working with some of the pioneers of bio-fertilisers in a dynamic partnership COAS, that has taught thousands of farmers, rich and poor, how to enhance fertility on their farms.

The process of brewing bio-fertiliser employs anaerobic microbes in a low oxygen environment to break down a group of minerally rich, nutrient dense ingredients from their original inaccessible form to one readily available to actively growing plants. These brews are referred to as 'bio' because they are made from natural materials and are not destructive to soil microbes. Bio-fertilisers are complementary to but very different from aerobic compost teas that are better known in Australia.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to explore this method of boosting the fertility in your farm or backyard veggie patch. Workshop to be held Saturday, 11 September 2010. Click here for the poster, for more information about bio-fertiliser click here, for bookings email or call Su on 5348 3636.

Sustainable Clothing Workshops with Kim Kneipp

A local woman, Kim Kneipp is running a series of Sustainable Clothing Workshops at the Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre in September, and the Trentham Neighbourhood Centre in October. The first one is this Saturday, so get in quick!

Kim says: "The workshops are based around my ethical and slow-fashion principles - Make, Do, Mend, Salvage, Swap, Store.

Held over a series of 2, 3 or 4 sessions, the workshops encourage participants to shop within their wardrobes - rummaging through old, threadbare keepsakes, fabric remnants, hand-me-downs, and hidden impulse-buys with price tags screaming out in unworn indignation, dusting them off and bringing them in where fresh eyes, like-minded friends and a professional perspective can encourage new creations.

They are hands-on workshops – with garments draped and pinned on the body ready for cutting, unpicking, slicing and re-stitching.

In a region where most households have sewing machines and the general population follow sustainable, green living, these workshops hope to re-inspire people to unpack their machines, pull out the baskets of alterations and join a group of like-minded people happy to look good whilst reducing their fashion footprint."

You can read more about Kim's work on her blog.