In recent weeks we have had a burst of activity in carpentry through collaboration with Urban Bush carpenters enabled by a grant from City of Moreland Council Celebrating Place program.
We have had four workshops where people have been able to use carpentry tools to create some useful gardening furniture with assistance of the Urban Bush Carpenters.
At the workshops we created a bench and five wicking planter boxes from old timber pallets. Of equal importance was the process of joining with others to build social community and community resilience.
The planter boxes are located at the Fawkner Community House in CB Smith Reserve, on the nature strip on Jukes Road, and at the Community House new extension at 95 Major Road.
On Saturday we planted summer crops in the new community planter boxes and held a wheel barrow procession through Fawkner streets from one site to another. It was a merry procession with ukelele, singing and various percussion to the enjoyment of the several children as part of the event.
We were joined at the planter box on Jukes Road by Cr Meghan Hopper, Mayor of Moreland, and Federal MP for Wills Kelvin Thomson. Cr Hopper joined in the planting.
The Fawkner Women’s Choir sang two songs as part of the celebrations at Fawkner Community House.
Kelvin Thomson spoke briefly on population and food security saying
The way that we are going in terms of population increase and unsustainable practices means that there are real problems and challenges further on up the road. It is already true that many people around the world don’t have enough to eat on a day to day basis, but this problem is likely to get worse and to be exacerbated by the energy inputs and the amount of carbon required to transport food from where it’s grown to where it’s being consumed.
The message out of all that is that we need to be more self-sufficient and to be able to grow and produce our own food. I think that is a terrific message to be conveying to people here in Fawkner as well as building all manner of living skills as part of that process. I am really delighted to seeing it in action.
Urban food security
Urban food security is an important issue seldom widely discussed. I did some literature research in this area in early 2014 and wrote the blog article Tackling food security with a growing population, climate change and peak oil. Urban food security was also considered in my literature review conducted earlier this year into Heatwaves, Climate change and Melbourne where I noted:
While there is some concern by government of aggregate impact of climate change on agriculture and food production, little attention has been paid to the fragility of food supply chains and the role urban agriculture could play in urban resilience for urban populations. This has resulted in the upsurge of the Transition towns movement, an increase in suburban farmers markets, backyard permaculture gardening and informal food swaps. Burton et al (2013) detail in a qualitative study the growing interest in urban food security and backyard permaculture utilising two case studies of the Gold Coast and Melbourne as examples. This study provides a window on local communities already responding to climate change by building more resilient communities.
Burton, P, Lyons, K, Richards, C, Amati, M, Rose, N, Desfours, L, Pires, V, Barclay, R, (2013), Urban food security, urban resilience and climate change, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast, pp.160. http://www.nccarf.edu.au/publications/urban-food-security-resilience-climate-change
Englart, John (2014) Tackling food security with a growing population, climate change and peak oil http://takvera.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/tackling-food-security-with-growing.html