Many people speak of our current era as the time of the Great Turning, or the Great Transition. We are at a point in our journey as humanity where, as the philosopher Thomas Berry puts it, we must move from a ‘period of human devastation of the Earth to a period when humans would be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner’. The ways in which we produce, distribute and consume food lie at the heart of this transition. Many of us in Australia’s emerging food movement speak of this as a transition to a ‘Fair Food’ system.
There are many ways to start a garden bed: no-dig to double-dig. Each suits different situations, people and budgets; how you do it is up to you. Double-digging – the biointensive growing technique – is excellent for anyone wanting to grow a large quantity of organic vegetables in a small space, in a small timeframe. But you need to work for it.
Connecting with the earth and nature gives me a very different perspective on which to base my environmental endeavours. Feeling a deep connection with nature, and experiencing myself as part of our living, breathing planet – not separate from it – supports me in acting for positive change, and earth care, in a natural and passionate way.
Over the last two decades I have explored permaculture as a set of thinking tools for the energy-descent future and outlined a nuanced and over-the-horizon view of the diverse ways in which that energy-descent future might unfold. Since then ‘resilience’ has displaced ‘sustainability’ as the buzzword about the future, while ‘energy-descent’ still lurks on the conceptual fringe.
Australian settler geese (previously ‘pilgrim geese’) were developed for Australian conditions. They are hardy medium sized geese. Males are born white, and females grey.
Common2us is made up of a small team of young farmers from Spain and Australia who are passionate and driven to produce fresh, local, sustainable organic food for their Sydney community. They focus on producing highest quality food for their community and believe that ‘healthy’ food is grown and distributed in ways that benefit not just human health, but the health of the environment, the community and the producers who’ve grown it.
Buena Vista Farm is a small family farm growing food (primarily pastured meat chickens, and a market garden with laying hens, bees, ducks, pigs and cattle), making delicious fermented foods, and teaching homesteading skills, in particular ‘from-scratch’ cooking (e.g. sourdough and sauerkraut).
“Biochar may represent the single most important initiative for humanity’s environmental future. The biochar approach provides a uniquely powerful solution, for it allows us to address food security, the fuel crisis, and the climate problem, and all in an immensely practical manner”. Prof. Tim Flannery 2007 Australian of the Year
A fair food system begins with you. These three contributors walk their talk. They are actively raising public awareness of things you can do to make our food system fairer. Here are their top tips.
There is something so absolutely delightful about seeing children play outside in nature, creating worlds and games together, using just the things they can find around them – branches, sticks, feathers, rocks, water – and being totally enthralled for hours.