The Self Sufficiency Pages
Home food production, renewable energy, alternative technologies, sustainable agriculture
with an emphasis on Brisbane and Queensland

News

Here are some news items of particular interest to Queenslanders, plus a few international stories to inform and inspire...

Landshare to launch in Australia
"Landshare" is a way to match people who have land but no time or ability to garden with people who want to grow fruit and vegetables but don't have the space. Modelled after the successful Landshare UK, Landshare Australia is scheduled to launch nationally in February 2011. Meanwhile, if you're interested in participating, you can register at www.landshareaustralia.com.au

Grow Local SEQ
Queensland Conservation wants to encourage the production and consumption of locally grown food. Their "Grow Local SEQ" campaign will help raise awareness about the environmental, economic and quality implications of reduced food transportation and storage. Objectives of the campaign include increasing the number of community gardens and farmers markets in the region, and providing support for backyard gardeners, community gardeners and farmers. For more information visit Welcome to Grow Local at the Queensland Conservation website.

Greening the leaders
You've probably heard about the Whitehouse vegetable garden by now, but the movement to make green examples of other official residences is spreading. Green the Grounds.org are calling on state governors to establish veggie patches and introduce more sustainable gardening practices into management of the landscapes surrounding their mansions. Influential garden blog Garden Rant often reports on this topic (as well as other U.S. garden trends). Meanwhile, the grounds of Buckingham Palace are once again growing vegetables. Read about it at The Guardian website: Queen turns corner of palace backyard into an allotment

Manchester (UK) parks get productive
Manchester City Council (United Kingdom) is introducing a scheme to plant fruits, nuts and vegetables in public parks. Overseen by the coucil in collaboration with local groups/volunteers, information and workshops will also be provided to educate the public, especiallly children. The produce will be available to the public for free. Source: City parks bear fruit (April 2009)

More veggie gardens in Washington DC
Hot on the heels of establishment of the White House vegetable garden comes declaration of the entire grounds of the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) headquarters as "The People's Garden". (Agriculture Secretary Vilsack expands "The People's Garden" to promote healthy food, people and communities across the nation) A sustainable landscape is planned illustrating ways the UDSA contibutes to food production around the world and demonstrating ways the public can implement sustainable gardening concepts at their own homes, businesses and farms. A highlight is the Three Sisters Garden, based on the traditional American Indian garden techinique of interplanting corn, squash and beans. More information at USDA People's Garden Initiative

The Whitehouse Vegetable Garden
It's possibly the gardening biggest news of the 21st century (so far!). The Obamas are joining a worldwide trend and turning some of their lawn into food. To view pictures of the groundbreaking and a plan of the new garden visit this page of the Whitehouse website: Spring Gardening. (March 2009)
Update: Planting the Garden (April 2009)

Brisbane City Council encourages growing your own
There's no doubt that the backyard veggie craze is hitting Australia. Check out the following from Brisbane City Council, which includes gardening tips from the Lord Mayor himself: Start growing your own food to make Brisbane more sustainable (April 2008)

UK report on 2007 garden spending
The Garden Industry Monitor provides a picture of what type of garden plants and products United Kingdom residents spent their money on in 2007. Compared to 2006, sales of fruit trees, herbs and seeds of edible plants were up, along with some ornamental categories. Outdoor ferns/ornamental grasses were down. Sales of metal garden furniture increased, while wooden and plastic furniture fell out of favour. Sales of garden heaters, ornaments and tools were also down. Read more at the Horticultural Trades Association website: No place for a gnome but plenty of room for fruit and vegetables (May 2008)

The importance of pollinators
The Guelph Pollination Initiative (Canada) hopes that rehabiliation of a local landfill site into a habitat for birds and insects will provide a model for other pollination parks. Decline in pollinator numbers threaten future agricultural production worldwide. More information from the University of Guelph here: For the Bees and Birds and here: Conference Looks at Turning Landfill Into World's First Pollination Park and (March 2008)

Events

The Queensland Gardening Pages events diary lists a variety of garden shows, sustainablity expos, open gardens, seminars etc happening in Qld. Many of these will be of interest to those pursuing self sufficiency. So, if you live in this state, check it out here: Queensland Gardening Events

If you're involved in organising other events on related topics (e.g. solar energy), or events being held in other Australian states related to the topic of self sufficiency, you're welcome to send in some information so that they might be publicised on this page.

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Treechanger / Treechangee

A page intended for Australians looking for opportunities to move to the country and for communities that are actively seeking people to move to their district. View here:
Treechanger/Treechangee


No space? If you have little or no space to garden, you might like to investigate the Landshare Australia scheme, in which others who have land but not the ability or time to garden share with others who do. Community Gardens are another option.




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