Pip Picks

TOMATO PASSATA

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Here is a product that you don’t have to buy but you can make yourself and simultaneously create connections and community. Nothing quite reminds you of summer than a bottle of preserved tomatoes in the middle of winter. Gather your glut of tomatoes or buy them in bulk from the market and get together with friends to have a passata making day in your own backyard.

For those in Melbourne you can join in the Crowdsaucing day with CERES Fair Food. Register for the event and saucing tomatoes, grown by a local organic farmer, will be delivered to you at your house, a community kitchen or someone’s backyard. CFF will also provide you with sauce-making knowledge, how-tos, free delivery of the saucing tomatoes and labels.

Because ‘at the heart of everyone, there is a little Italian Nonna yearning to get elbow-deep in tomatoes with friends, family and even strangers. Getting together to turn tomatoes into sauce isn’t just about the reward of home-preserved tomatoes in the cupboard, it’s about belonging to a community and doing something good.’

The big Crowdsaucing day is 30 April, 2016. ceresfairfood.org.au/crowdsaucing/

SOIL FOOD WEB: RADICAL EDUCATION CARDS

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Take a look into the world beneath your feet using these Soil Food Web: radical education cards, designed by Taj Scicluna (The Perma Pixie)!

Each card delves into the different types of organisms that live within the soil, and the animals and the systems which keep them thriving in a diverse web of interconnected nutrient exchange.

These cards were created to help facilitate a love of micro-organisms and how they contribute to the health of everything we see. Learn about the fascinating world of fungi, bacteria and nematodes (to name a few), their characteristics, the interconnections between them, what they eat and how they damage or improve soil quality and structure.

The set comes with instructions for Soil Food Web games that can be played, exercises that can be worked on, and The Perma Pixie’s guide to increasing the diversity of your Soil Food Web.

See: thepermapixie.com/ $33 + postage

CAPSULA MUNDI BURIAL PODS

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Most of us have likely had the opportunity to visit a cemetery at some point, and walked through the endless rows of cold marble headstones and weeping angel statues. An Italian design company called Capsula Mundi has a brilliant solution: burial pods made of natural starch plastic that nurture tree seeds as bodies break down. The natural decomposition process feeds the tree above, and over time, burial spaces can be transformed from desolate graveyards into lush memorial forests.

With burial pods such as those created by Capsula Mundi, a body (which hasn’t been befouled with formaldehyde or other toxins) is curled into foetal position and placed within a pod made of a bio starch plastic. A tree seed is placed into the capsule with them, and the pod is then buried in fertile soil. Instead of having an engraved stone to visit, family members are gifted with a beautiful, living tree that they can tend and nurture as it grows.

Due to restrictive laws around natural burial, Capsula Mundi are starting with production of their Capsula in a small size for ashes and will go forward with the Capsula for the body after further scientific and legal research.

For more information: www.capsulamundi.it/

BOOMERANG BAGS

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Boomerang Bags is a community driven initiative tackling plastic pollution at the grassroots level. Dedicated schools, community groups, businesses and volunteers get together to make the re-usable bags – using recycled materials – to replace plastic bags. Through Boomerang Bags you can start conversations, make friends, upcycle materials and work towards shifting society’s throwaway mentality to a more sustainable revolution of re-use – one community, needle and thread at a time!

Boomerang Bags is run by volunteers. You can get involved by making a bag, starting a community, donating, spreading the word or becoming a partner. Bags are placed in boxes at supermarkets, and are available for people to borrow when they have forgotten their own reusable bags.

If you don’t live near a current Boomerang Bags community, start one up or make bags to give away to friends, family, colleagues or the bag-less stranger in front of you at the supermarket. You can also wrap presents in them, or stash them in your car and handbag so that you’re never caught without a re-usable bag when you need one!

Go to boomerangbags.org to find a community near you, instructions on how to make the bags, or buy one premade $8

OPINEL GARDEN PACK

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These beautifully crafted Opinel garden tools will make you want to get out in the garden and get cutting.

This beautiful set of tools includes:

  • an eight cm garden knife, perfect for cutting fruit and vegetables, wine and other odd jobs
  • an eight cm pruning knife designed for grafting and small pruning jobs; and
  • a compact folding twelve cm pruning saw to help you get into the larger branches the knife can’t handle.

Made from modified stainless steel, they are anti-corrosive thanks to the addition of chrome and require no special maintenance.

Available at pipmagazine.com.au/shop $99

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