Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Screening of The Economics of Happiness, Sunday 1 May 2011

I'm organising the Melbourne launch of a film 'The Economics of Happiness' and it would be great if a few of you Melbourne dwellers could make it.
Please join Melbourne permaculture and transition initiative groups at Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre on Sunday 1 May, for a screening of ‘The Economics of Happiness’, a new documentary film by the International Society for Ecology & Culture (ISEC) about the worldwide movement for economic localization.
It shows how people around the world are already engaged in exploring alternative visions of prosperity: uniting around a common cause to build more ecological, more human-scale, more local economies – a foundation of an ‘economics of happiness’.

The film features a chorus of voices from six continents, including Vandana Shiva, Clive Hamilton, David Korten, Richard Heinberg, Rob Hopkins, Juliet Schor, Zac Goldsmith, Bill McKibben, and Samdhong Rinpoche, the Prime Minister of Tibetʹs government in exile.

The film on National Permaculture Day 1 May will be followed by a Q&A with film maker Helena Norberg-Hodge and those involved with local permaculture and transition activity.

Permaculture Inner North, Transition Brunswick, Transition Darebin, Transition Banyule, Sustainable Fawkner, Permablitz, Moreland City Council and Darebin City Council are the official cosponsors of this event.

When: Sunday 1 May 2011, 6pm-8pm
Where: Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre, cnr Bell St and St Georges Rd, Preston

Tickets cost $15 or $10 concession, and are available from the venue by calling (03) 8470 8280 

View the filmʹs website:

The Economics of Happiness on Twitter:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Coburg Food Swap

I went to my first Coburg Food Swap yesterday. What a great way to meet the locals and exchange your excess harvest for items not in your own garden!

I've been to two other food swaps, one we have as part of the Permaculture Inner North monthly meeting, the other was a once off organised at my work by the Permaculture Community of Practice. Most of my produce is at the country plot and not in Melbourne, so I wasn't sure if I had enough to swap. Then I read an article in Earth Garden magazine, where woman saw the food swap near the Fitzroy Pool and just HAD to join it. She figured a few bunches of herbs in the garden should do the trick, and it did.

So I headed out to the backyard which has a lovely rosemary bush and snipped off a dozen sprigs. I thought everyone has rosemary, don't they? Well, if they did, why is it sold in supermarkets? From the potato harvest, I had a few of the purple Saphires in the cupboard so grabbed some of them, too.

I headed down to Pepper Tree Community Nursery, on the corner of Bell and Sydney Rd. It's part of Kildonan Uniting Care (Uniting Church).  The Coburg Food Swap is held from 10am-midday on the first Saturday of every month at 512 Sydney Rd, Coburg (corner Sydney Rd and Bell St).

With my little offering I managed to meet new people and was offered seeds, recipes, cooking tips and biscuits as well as a whole host of fresh produce. I went at the end of the swap, and as people have the tendency to be generous but not take much, I walked away with a full bag, including:
  • apples
  • pears
  • garlic chives
  • two types of chilli
  • capsicum
  • okra
  • warrigal greens (NZ spinach)
  • rhubarb
  • oregano
  • basil (needed some help identifying it, I think it was basil mint)
  • tiny, unusual eggplant

Amazing, no? My recommendation: go to a food swap or start one up. CERES lists a few. Do you know of a good list of food swaps in Australia or Melbourne?

We've all got some excess produce we would prefer to exchange for what we don't have. And don't be shy taking a decent amount of food home with you as you don't want the organiser to be stuck with too much.