Almost a year to the day, we moved out of the hussel and buzzel of Melbourne to a country town an hour and half north in central Victoria. I love living here with the space, clean air, like minded people, friendly community and an easy train ride into Melbourne when I need to ‘get off the island’. When we bought our house we had the opportunity to buy the vacant land behind it. It was originally owned by the same people, a deceased estate. We are only the second family to live in our house which was built in 1947. Although my beloved was keen for the extra space, I wasn’t. I thought owning two land holdings so close together in the same market wouldn’t be a positive financial decision to make – we should invest our money else where is what I thought.
And then I came home to this..
Excuse the photos, it was raining and I was standing in my sunroom taking photographs on my phone. Not the best I know, and I’ve probably broken a stack of blogging rules.
I know that its inevitable the site be developed and this I’m comfortable about. I’m a townie, and I like having neighbours. I’ve even comfortable with the unsympathetic planning rezoning developments that allow units to be built on vacant parcels of land. I’m not against density.
But when I saw this .. that the owner had gone onto this parcel of land and ripped up every living thing on it, including a few quince trees, doused it with petrol and set fire to it .. well I had tears in my eyes while I was explaining to my 3year old what was going on. I caught myself saying things like ‘well those trees have been there for much longer than you and I, they make this world a far better place and produce wonderful fruit’.
I research food systems for a living so reading articles like this one about farmers ripping up fruiting trees doesn’t effect me. I live a hop skip and jump from Harcourt where orchards are getting bull dozed every day. But for whatever reason seeing this happen, literally in my back yard with the senseless burning (rather than relocation or even mulching) broke my heart.
There is this saying that if you want to learn about a culture, look at what it throws away. It couldn’t be more true.
The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance and the Locavore Edition are teaming up to produce a documentary around food. Check out a little snap shot here .. more trees being bulldozed! You can support this project at their pozible site.