Black nightshade (or blackberry nightshade) Solanum nigrum is a highly adaptable plant, and a common weed across Australia, from the south to the tropical north. The species can look quite different from region to region. It produces small edible fruits throughout the year (depending on the region.)
A bioregion is a geographic area with boundaries defined by natural features such as catchments, soil types, geographic features or vegetation types. Bioregions create a sense of place; where people can identify with their location; in which people can create some form of community self-reliance, producing and trading within those boundaries.
Cara Edwards rents a flat in the heart of Hobart and, despite not owning land or having much space, she has become an urban farmer, using her own small backyard and other pockets of land she has borrowed from friends. She sells her produce from a bookcase converted into a roadside stall, on the footpath outside her inner-city flat. I spoke to Cara about her life there.
The theme for the Perth (Swanleigh) convergence in October 2016 is ‘Permaculture – designing for resilience’. David Holmgren, Rowe Morrow, Robin Clayfield and Graham Bell are running advanced courses, and some prominent permaculture practitioners have indicated that they will be there.
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.
The Ekukhanyeni Relief Project was started in 2003 to support vulnerable children in communities affected by severe poverty and HIV/ AIDS. Ekukhanyeni has created fifteen childcare centres, which incorporate permaculture gardens, to help care for over 600 children in informal settlements around Johannesburg.
The blackboards at every corner of this neighbourhood are a giveaway – there is something at work here, bigger than the sum of its parts. In this pocket of a suburb on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, a community project is changing the way local residents think about food and the act of eating. The scope of Urban Food Street has grown exponentially, and it’s hard to believe it started with one lime.
After reading Nick Rose’s book, Fair Food; Stories from a Movement Changing the World (UQP 2015), I knew it was going to be the theme for this issue. Fair Food is central to what so many of us are striving for: food that is produced in a way that supports not only our bodies, but the producers who grow it and the wider community as well.
Creating a truly local meal–where every part of the meal is produced locally–can be a challenge, but once you get into it, it is also quite addictive. It takes a bit of a mind shift – to look at the harvest first, then let the imagination run wild, and lastly find a recipe for final inspiration.
Why does a tomato plucked straight off the bush in your own backyard taste so much better than one from the supermarket? Why does an egg laid moments ago by Henrietta just outside your kitchen window look, taste and even feel better than one from a carton of supermarket eggs?