Dear Environmentality Listeners,
Co-presenters Bridget and Danielle today talked to participants of the Hume Environmental Champions Program, Jodi Jackson and Norman Palumbo. Both Jodi and Norman have set up community based programs that are both participatory and inspirational.
Norman is the creator of several exciting initiatives based around his two cafes, in Sunbury and Bendigo. Particularly in Sunbury, the cafe is the focal point for community activities, gathering, discussion groups and events. Upon learning that child slavery has been found to be involved in the production of cocoa around the world, Norman was committed to selling fair trade chocolate in his café. The Just Planet cafe now sells a range of organic and fair trade products, including of course coffee!
The café hosts Sunday morning breakfasts in which people gather and share their experiences and concerns about a range of topics relevant to the community, be it political, social or religious. For example, the idea of creating a food cooperative has recently been canvassed. Norman also incorporates a spiritual aspect to some of his discussion groups and activities, for example he recently he organized an art therapy session in which people explored their connection with God, the creator, other people and the planet.
You can find out more on: http://justplanet.net/
Jodi also shared with the audience details of her fantastic projects. 'The Lemon Tree Project’ is a newly created initiative, and inspired by Jodi’s travels through Italy. Specifically on route to Cinque Terra, Jodi encountered a number of homeless people. However the people were surrounded by orange trees on the streets, a source of nutrition.
From that point on Jodi considered the importance of people working together to make food readily available. The idea of the project is to have a lemon tree on every street, and this becoming a focal point for community meetings and connection. This small gesture can make a big difference. Jodi is currently looking at integrating this idea into new housing developments and the local area.
Jodi also has a very productive backyard. On an 800sqm block, Jodi is producing about 60% of her food! You can find out more about Jodi’s garden, vegetable gardening tips and more on: http://everydayinthegarden.com/
A reminder that Hume City Council are running some practical workshops on seed propagation that will help people get the most out of their vegetable gardens. There are two sessions, Friday the 4th of May, 10-12am at Roxburgh Park Homestead and on Wednesday the 23rd of May, 10-12 am at Meadows Primary School.
Finally, Bridget and Danielle briefly spoke to Dan from Sustainability Drinks. On the first Wednesday of every month 6-8pm, Sustainability Drinks hosts a social drinks night featuring a guest speaker. Tonight, film maker Karl Fitzgerald from 'Real Estate for Ransom' will be talking about the issue of how our precious land can be used for more productive purposes, as opposed for purely speculative financial gain. As Bridget remarked, its about ‘fair trade land’!
If you missed the show, you can listen to our podcast. Next week the Environmentality team will be speaking to Hugh Wareham, CEO of Eco-Buy.