An Example

For those of you out there that are planning on submitting an entry to this year’s Reclaim the Curb competition, we thought it might be helpful to give you an example of a winning entry from last year. The Johnson Street curb was a wonderful entry from last year and continues to be an outstanding example of community building and urban agriculture practice. You may remember Paul wrote a blog entry for us a few weeks ago reporting back on how the garden has gone over the year. So here is the competition submission for you: the johnson strip. We hope you find it as inspiring as what we did all those months ago.

Have a great weekend and look forward to seeing those entries start flying in.

The Prizes

Over the past 2 months we have profiled the most amazing generous supporters of urban agriculture. They have donated workshops, magazines, seeds, honey, plants, fruit trees, guide books, design consultations and cash, without which this competition would not be made possible.

It is a really exciting time in the sustainability scene at the moment. We are experiencing a flux between extreme disappointment at the governments lack of continual support to environmental activities, and the all encompassing passion and drive of people who are not willing to let other people control their common future.

To everyone who has supported this competition – Thank you.

And once again, here is the final list of prizes for the Reclaim the Curb competition. The competition closes Friday 30th May (that’s next Friday!) so its time to get into action!

 

Prizes

Pip Magazine – for your reading pleasure, all winners will receive a few copies of the newly launched Pip Magazine

Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance – Bound copies of the Peoples Food Plan, DVDs of Fair Food, Australia’s first feature length documentary (release date expected to be September this year), Free one-year memberships of AFSA (as a group = $100; as individuals – $25 x number of individuals)

NSW

Michael Mobbs – Design Consultation

Milkwood Permaculture – One Pass to an Introduction to Permaculture course

The Urban Beehive – A full day exploring, experiencing and tasting the hives around Sydney, you even get to take some honey home with you!

Ooooby – Vegie boxes to help feed the working bee!

Terra Permaculture – One Pass to a Permaculture Design Course

The Field Institute – 5 x NSW Guides

+ $500 in cash to help start your public garden! A big thankyou to Energy to the People and Growing Abundance.

Victoria

Melbourne City Roof Top Honey – Workshop Passes and a stack of seeds to grow bee friendly plants

Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens – Workshop Passes and 3 bare rooted fruit trees

Very Edible Gardens (VEG) – Double Pass to an upcoming Edible Weeds tour

CERES – a few seedlings, seed packets of their much sort after broad beans and a few boxes of fruit and veg

Growing Abundance – Double workshop pass

The Field Institute – 10 x Vic Guides, 1 x Double pass to workshop after end May.

+ $500 in cash to help start your public garden! A big thankyou to Energy to the People and Growing Abundance.

Tasmania

Good Life Permaculture – Double Workshop pass to an Introduction course on Permaculture

Urban Farming Tasmania – Seed packs

FIMBY – Garden consultation, must be within 1 hour of Hobart

The Field Institute – 5 x Tote bags

+ $500 in cash to help start your public garden! A big thankyou to Energy to the People and Growing Abundance.

Energy for the People Supporting

 

There is small forgotten sign on the corner of Bligth and Lygon streets in Brunswick, Melbourne that advertises the ‘Brunswick Electricity Company’. I’ve never been able to get a great photo of it (so if you have one I would love a copy!). The sign has always made me smile because it reminds me of a time long past when a decentralised system was the norm, small was beautiful, and livestock was probably still kept on suburban allotments allowed to be herded along the banks of the Merri Creek.

I like the idea that each suburb might have their own energy company whether it be food or electricity. There is so much potential to co-locate energy supply and people, even when density is high, it little wonder why these two basic necessities  (food and electricity) are so removed from us, the users.

So while there is much hype, song and dance (and amazing competitions!) around bringing food back to where people live to reconnect them with the basic energy system, much rumbling has been happening around energy, albeit a bit more quietly.

 

Energy for the People is one such company that is applying imagination, skills and experience to deliver clean energy and energy efficiency projects, and to challenge the current energy market status quo. Their mission is to enable the rapid transition to a citizen-powered clean energy market.

Impressive huh? and one particularly radical project they recently launched is The People’s Solar, a community centred initiative to crowd fund solar panels to benefit the entire community. Solar panels are installed on the roofs of child cares, schools, community buildings, aged care facilities, and more – and the savings gained from the solar panels are then invested into the community, which could include small projects bike parking and raised garden beds on foot paths, right up to training and mentoring programs for those in need. Inspiring stuff.

What’s more inspiring is that Energy for the People want to support the Reclaim the Curb competition with a whooping $1250 to go towards our growing cash prize, giving us a nice, round $500 cash prize for each competition winner.

Thank you Energy for the People, and looking forward to seeing a more citizen-powered energy market soon!

To Judge

We are entering the final stages of this competition, but before it all done and dusted its time to find some amazing, inspiring judges to select the winners from each state. What makes a good judge? Well I’m not too sure yet! But I do know some out of this world incredible people who have a better idea than most on what makes great public gardens, how to connect communities and build change. So I’ll nominate, you choose.

To have your say on who you would like to judge, head over to our facebook page and ‘like’ the post with your choice of judge. I’ll be posting for the next 5 days so be sure to follow the Reclaim the Curb facebook page to keep up to date with new developments.

Judges will be announced on Monday 19th… so go get voting!

The Field Institute Supporting

I moved to a small town about 2 years ago. I was nervous with the move that everyone in town would know everyone’s business and I would find that really over whelming. I know its the quintessential fear of small town living, and the anonymity a criticism of big city living but it fueled my apprehension nonetheless. 2 years on and I can honestly say that its all true. Everyone in town knows everyone’s business! But the interesting thing is that I like it! People know when you’re having a hard time and tend to help out or offer a hand. Conversely if things are going well, there are people to celebrate with.

And celebrate I will when I was introduced to Ewan McEoin, of The Locavore Edition and The Field Institute fame earlier this week. Ewan has worked on the Fair Food Documentary with the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance whom we featured earlier this week. Ewan has been amazingly supportive of the Reclaim the Curb’s competition and in such a short week has offered an amazing suite of prizes to add to our increasing pile!

The Field Institute is a design-led research, communications and strategy office with a focus on food, growing, harvesting, cooking, sharing, eating food! The Field Institute has a range of projects including the very popular Locavore Editions (which they are working on the Tasmanian one right now … submission still open!), The Fair Food Documentary, Food Strategy Research Projects, Workshops and Exhibitions.

And for the prize pile .. From Ewan and the amazing team at The Field Institute we have ..

For NSW ..
5 x NSW Guides
For Victoria ..
10 x Vic Guides
1 x Double pass to workshop after end May.

For Tasmania ..

5 x Tote bags (I’m sorry the guide isn’t out til September but the bags are very sweet!)

 

A big thanks for the support from Ewan and the Field Institute team. We look forward to watching your research grow!

 

 

Growing Abundance Supporting

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Australians have been blessed with an incredible history of suburban food production. Sometimes it feels like everywhere you look there are fruit trees and edible plants! Often it can feel like much of the best fruit is growing on someone else’s tree, in someone else’s yard … and worse still sometimes it feels like that fruit is often left to fall and rot, instead of picked, shared and enjoyed.

Well, with all of this in mind, and so much much more, Growing Abundance was established in 2010 as a bit of experiment to see what would happen if the fruit from backyards were picked, shared and enjoyed by the community. Inspired by the Abundance programs in the UK, Growing Abundance in Castlemaine applied for a grant to harvest 20 trees that first year. But of course, things don’t always go as planned. That year the drought also broke in central Victoria. People who never knew they had fruit trees, now had an abundance of fruit growing in their backyards. Lucy, the coordinator for Growing Abundance, still remembers the first phone call their received after sticking up posters all over town calling for fruit trees that need to harvested. The phone call was from someone with a small forgotten orchard, 40 trees needed to be harvested! And the program snow balled from there.

Although the harvests are still the cornerstone piece of the Growing Abundance project, the group also holds community preserving and jamming days, curated a local produce guide, more workshops than you can poke a stick at and a food for thought taking series. They have also set up a sister project called CAKE which runs a catering business, the school canteen and a weekly community lunch.

Pheww talk about quite the project. What I continually find inspiring about this project is that despite being largely run by volunteers and entirely depend on grants, it is a project dedicated to dreaming big for their community.

Despite all that is going on for Growing Abundance, this year will be their second year to support the Reclaim the Curb Competition. This year they will be offering a double pass to an upcoming workshop to the Victorian winners, plus donation of $400 that will be used as prize money.

Thankyou Growing Abundance, and Lucy for your continual support, I’m thrilled to have your support for another year!

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Ooooby Supporting

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So I’m just a little bit in love with Ooooby! Another outstanding acronym: Ooooby = Out Of Our Own Backyards, Ooooby has just come to our shores, all away across the ditch. Take over the reigns of Food Connect Sydney, Ooooby is now servicing Sydney making good honest local easier for those people who don’t live as close to their food as they would want to, to get the food that’s good for them. Similar to Food Connect, all profits generated from the business are reinvested into developing local food production –  this includes paying their producers 50% of the retail cost of their food … something those big bad supermarkets just could not compete with.

Murat and the team at Ooooby are doing an outstanding job filling the shoes where Food Connect Sydney left off and growing this amazing enterprise. Despite only being Sydney side since the start of the year, they are ready to get involved with other activities happening around the space by supporting the Reclaim the Curb competition. Ooooby will be donating food boxes to help feed the working bee when its time for action.

A big thankyou to Oooby for their support and best wishes for settling in this year. Also a heart felt thanks goes to Sophia Alison who kindly took these beautiful photographs for us.

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