Skill sharing and community building

Last month I spent a enjoyable day with a few other Sustainable Communities SA members learning how to make chutney. The informal skill sharing session was hosted by Patricia and David from the McLaren Vale group. Myself and Eleanor from the Unley group first got to enjoy the numerous local and sustainable initiatives that Willunga has to offer including the WIllunga Farmers and Quarry Markets, the Willunga Community Share, Singing Cricket Food Co-op and Willunga Environment Centre. I dropped off some oranges and books at the Community Share and came away with some celery and a lemongrass plant which has since found a home in my garden.

We then headed back to David and Patricia’s home for an afternoon of chutney making. For many of you this might be a simple thing to make, but for me, not having ever made a chutney, jam or any preserve before, it was a bit daunting. So it was great to get hands on experience from Patricia and to pick up all the little tips and tricks that you don’t get from a book.

Making your own chutney, preserves and jams is a great way to control what goes in (no nasty preservatives), is much cheaper than buying it and can be a good way to use up excess garden produce. Just as important for me though was the great conversation and laughs we shared while making the chutney. It turned what could be quite a laborious task if done individually into a fun afternoon with good company and delicious chutney to take home at the end.



Gardening Workshop: Growing vegetables from seed, successfully

Presented by Sustainable Communities SA – Unley groups
When: Saturday 9th August, 2.00pm
Where: Unley Community Centre, Arthur Street Unley (opposite Unley Shopping Centre).
Cost: free
Registrations by email to Peter.
Please let us know if you plan to come to the workshop – so we can plan for afternoon tea!

growpicThis workshop is for growers who want to grow vegetables from seed.

The workshop will be led by Vivian Curro and Pat Wundersitz – experienced seed savers and gardeners.

The first 40 registrants attending the session will receive a seed raising kit. Other attendees will receive some seeds to start their seed-raising.

The Unley Council has generously provided a grant to support this workshop as part of a series of workshops to help the local community grow more of its own food.

We will have a Q and A session too – so bring along questions you have about your garden and we will (collectively) work out a solution. No one grower has all the answers.

The subsequent workshops, in September and October, will include:

  • September 6: a followup session on growing from seed, and planting out seedlings
  • October 11: propagating from cuttings and perennial food plants

Let us know if you have any topics that you would like covered at future workshops.

You are very welcome to bring friends and fellow growers to all of these workshops.

See you soon!

Save Our Food Bowl, Water and Tourism Rally

by Catherine Pye (Community Action for Sustainability – Mt Gambier)

Join us this Saturday, 2nd August 2014 from 9:45am at Parliament House. We are holding a rally on the steps of Parliament House and marching to Victoria Square with farmers from the Yorke, Eyre, Ackaringa, Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and Limestone Coast of SA to stop open-cut mineral and coal mining, and both conventional and unconventional gas and oil in areas of sustainable agriculture.

Community Action for Sustainability and Limestone Coast Protection Alliance invite you all to help us raise awareness of the dire situation in our rural areas.

  • 90% of the Eyre and Yorke Peninsula are under open – cut mining leases. The Eyre Peninsula supplies 45% of all our wheat and the Yorke Peninsula 25% of all grain grown in SA.
  • The Limestone coast which is totally dependent on underground water in aquifers – is covered with petroleum licenses for gas and oil and there is a risk of an open-cut coal mine near Kingston SE.
  • This is highly productive farmland and 60,000 people live in this region and are dependent on groundwater.
  • BP and Bight Petroleum are exploring for oil and gas around Kangaroo Island and only 10Km offshore of our pristine coastland.


Stepping Lightly on the Earth Film Festival

I went to the mini-film fest last month organised by Friends of the Earth Adelaide and Seed Freedom Food Festival. They screened several excellent short films which can be watched online:

WASTE DEEP by Sustainable Table is made in Australia and looks at the incredible amount of waste that is generated by the food system. The focus on plastic waste ties in nicely with the Plastic Free July challenge that is happening now. It also looks at several exciting initiatives that have been developed address food waste.

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