Category Archives: Resources

My Weekly Small Pleasures #1

Since it was festive season and holiday times, I got an opportunity to indulge myself in bit of travelling and other fun activities.

Here are my weekly small pleasures #1

weekly pleasures

1. Went to Melbourne with my family (hubby and two kids) for holidays. We spent 4 days  there and had a great time meeting friends, eating good food and visiting beautiful places.

2. Went on a long road trip (of that length) for the first time. We chose to drive from Sydney to Melbourne which is approximately 870 km. Even though it was supposed to be just 8 hours drive,  it took us 11 hours of pleasant driving with few survival breaks in between.

3. Went for a swim with my family and friends to kill the scorching heat in Sydney.

4. Went shopping  to grab some New Year sale. Got some stuffs for kids, hubby and myself as  a New Year gift. This was the best part of the holiday.

5. Hubby and I went to watch a Bollywood movie in the cinema (after more than a year), while my cousin babysit my three years old. The movie was completely entertaining and insightful. Hence worth a watch.

 

The Idea originated from

My Weekly Small Pleasures

I came across this blog event ( Weekly Small Pleasures – Blog Event) a while ago. I found it quite interesting and have been thinking of sharing my weekly small pleasures too, which I have not been able to start due to one or the other reason. As we enter the brand new week of the brand new year, I think this is the perfect time to begin this journey.

This blog event is simply about remembering and sharing those small things that made you happy during the week; things that made you smile, made you laugh, made you do a happy dance, made your heart silently smile, or they even made you cry for joy.

Weekly Small Pleasures

Know more about this blog event here Weekly Small Pleasures – Blog Event

 


 

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An Introduction to Community Garden ‘A Place for Cultivating Healthy Food and Communities’

Community Garden Photo

Growing population and rapid urbanisation have increased demand for food in the urban areas which has led to the global issues of food safety, availability and affordability.  This demand has on the one hand been fulfilled by growth in industrial agriculture where as on other hand limited our connectedness with nature and detached ourselves form the pleasure of growing our own food. In addition, climate change, food miles and footprint are also becoming the major concerns. Hence currently, in the urban society, the community garden has emerged to bridge this gap and connect people with the nature not only to produce food but also to cultivate healthy community and enhance community harmony and resilience. Community gardens are gaining popularity all over the world as an alternate source of urban food.

What is community garden?

Community garden is a common area where people form diverse communities come together to grow their food, share skills and make new friends. The garden is managed by a group of like- minded people who shares the same passion for gardening. People living in apartments or units have limited space for gardening. However, the increased development of community garden in the urban society has left city dwellers with no choices but to connect with nature and grow the favourite fruits, vegetables and herbs.

The essence of community garden lies in more than being just a place to grow food and vegetables.  The community garden has successfully served as a place that enhances healthy lifestyles, reduces social isolation, improves local food security and develop new green spaces and open spaces for community to enjoy  and encourages strong community relationship through gardening and food production.

Community Garden Pic 2

Benefits of community garden

Community garden holds lots of benefits. Here are some of the benefits-

  • Provides access to land to grow fruits and vegetables
  • Provides access to fresh and nutritious food that helps to enhance health and wellbeing.  Gardening also provides a physical activity that provides positive impact on heath.
  • Enhances social life by increasing social cohesion and connectedness among people from different ethnic and cultural background.
  • Develop and use public space to increase the productivity. It also manages and protects the open space to add value to the land and increase the functional green space in urban area.
  • Provides an opportunity to learn and share new skills from each other. Community members also learn from various educational and capacity building programs in the garden such as sustainable gardening, horticulture, composting, healthy cooking etc.
  • Provides access to locally grown, nutritious food that reduces household cost on food.  Some gardens producing surplus are able to sell their produce to the nearby market thus helping earn extra income.
  • Encourages sustainable gardening which benefits environment on many ways. Organic farming, natural pest control, composting, using rainwater for irrigation etc. helps to maintain environmental sustainability.

Organic Gardening Pic 1

Different models of community garden

There is no one set rule for gardening and hence the garden model might differ according to its location and community needs and desires. The garden occupies both public and privately owned land. Some garden are based on allotment approach where as some might be shared and some might be the combination of both. In allotment approach the garden space is divided into plots that are assigned to each member to grow their own food where as in the shared garden all the members collectively contribute their effort and share the harvest. In general, the gardens have combination of both types and are more multifunctional.

The long term viability of the garden depends upon the motivation and commitment of the stakeholders involved, the type of gardening practices adopted and other environmental and social factors. Aligning with the objective of producing healthy and organic food, the community garden also focus on adopting environmental conservation and sustainability where applicable.

Permaculture system of agriculture is becoming popular among community garden. This is a low impact and resource intensive gardening system designed to be environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. Permaculture integrates the principle of caring for the earth, caring for the people and equitable share of the produce. It is a well-established system that is easy to understand and apply in the community garden. Community garden also holds diverse opportunities for social interaction and some include community education and capacity building programs that helps in holistic development of garden and gardeners.

Community Garden

Getting involved in community garden

One can get involved in community garden in different ways. Depending on who own the garden land and who manages the garden, the involvement of garden members might vary. Community gardens can be initiated and managed by the local community members or groups such as schools, churches, not for profit organisation etc. on a voluntary basis or managed or assisted by local council or might be run by a bigger community groups and have someone employed to look after the garden.  It would be appropriate to get in touch with your local council as they usually have the updated information, if you would like to have any information or get involved in the community garden in your area.

See the video below to learn more on community garden and identify different benefits community garden can provide

Community gardens are getting widely popular and successful in the area where people with low socio- economic background resides and where apartment and units are predominated. The garden also provides new migrants and disadvantaged group to get connected with the community and food that helps to enhance skills and knowledge and confidence. The idea of creating community gardens originated in the United Kingdom during the 18th century to fulfil the need of low income labourers to supplement their food sources.  The first community garden in Australia was established in 1977 in Nunawading, Victoria. Today the principles of community garden has been widely adopted in all the states of Australia and continue growing in numbers. Considering what it takes to develop one, there is no limit to what community garden can offer to the community and environment that has made it widely accepted in different parts of the world.

Please do share if you have any interesting stories on community garden..!!

Community Gardening

Here I am sharing some information on Organic Gardening. Hope you will find it useful. Please click the link below.

community_gardening

Community Garden Pic 1

Community Garden Pic 1

Community Garden Pic 2

Community Garden Pic 2

Community Garden Pic 3

Community Garden Pic 3

Organic Gardening

Here I am sharing some information on Organic Gardening. Hope you will find it useful. Please click the link below.

organic_gardening

Organic Gardening Pic 1

Organic Gardening Pic 1

Organic Gardening Pic 2

Organic Gardening Pic 2

Organic Gardening Pic 3

Organic Gardening Pic 3

No Dig Gardening

Here I am sharing some information on No-Dig Gardening. Hope you will find it useful. Please click the link below.

no-dig-gardening

 No Dig Gardening in Raised Bed

No Dig Gardening in Raised Bed

No Dig Gardening in the Container

No Dig Gardening in the Container

 

Recycling

Recycling
Australians are the second highest waste producers in the world. We throw away 3.3 million tonnes of food a year – the equivalent of a quarter of the nations food supply.
The good news is Australians are among the best newspapers recyclers in the world, recycling 74.5% of newspapers in 2005. We’re also now recycling 2.3 billion aluminium cans a year – that’s 600 million more than ten years ago.
But there’s a lot more we can do. Recycling has advanced and we can now remove a wider range of contaminants and can recycle more than just cans and paper.

5 Reasons Why We Should Recycle
1. “Recycling reduces landfills.”
Recycling reduces the need for more landfills. No one wants to live next to a landfill.

2. “Recycling preserves our resources and protects wildlife.”
By recycling, we reduce the need to destroy habitats for animals. Paper recycling alone saves millions of trees.

3. “Recycling saves energy.”
Recycling saves energy because the manufacturer doesn’t have to produce something new from raw natural resources. By using recycled materials we save on energy consumption, which keeps production costs down

4. “Recycling is good for the economy.”
Recycling and purchasing recycled products creates a greater demand for more recycled goods. Goods made from recycled materials use less water, creates less pollution and uses less energy

5. “Recycling helps our climate problems.”
Recycling produces considerably less carbon, which reduces the amount of unhealthy greenhouse gas omissions.

Worm Farming

Food waste makes up a large proportion of our household waste. These waste when transported to landfill, decays without oxygen to form harmful greenhouse gases. Composting and worm farming are easy and important ways to divert these valuable materials going to landfill, reducing the green house gas emission and returning nutrients back into the soil.

What is Worm Farming?

Worm Farming

Worm farming is a great alternative to composting for people who live in apartments or have limited space. Worm farms can be kept inside, outside, on the balcony or in the shed. Worm farming is a simple and fun way to turn food scraps into a rich, soil-like substance called ‘castings.’ Worm castings are great nutrient source for pot plants, seedlings, and for potting soils. The liquid produced by worm farms which is also known as ‘worm juice’ is full of nutrients and can be diluted and added to pot plants.

Benefits of worm farming:
• To reduce waste:
Worm farming helps to divert household organic waste from landfill.
• To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
In landfill the organic waste gets decomposed without oxygen (anaerobic process) which causes the release of greenhouse gases, as well as produces leachate which when combined with toxic chemicals seeps into soil and groundwater.
• To Produce Nutrient Rich Fertiliser:
Organic fertiliser is produced in solid (worm casting) and liquid (worm juice) form.

Easy steps to worm farm:

Worm Farm

1. Select the ideal site:                                                                                                               i. Place the worm farm in a cool and shaded area. Worms do not survive well in the heat.

2. Maintaining worm farm:
i. Initially provide a small handful of food scraps for the worms to eat.
ii. Maintain moisture levels by spraying water on hessian or newspaper regularly.
ii. Slowly increase the amount of food provided to the worms depending on how fast they eat it. Also leave the tap open to ensure the liquid is draining from the farm.

3. Provide proper worm food:

Food Waste for Worms
Worms like to eat vegetable and fruit peelings, tea bags, crushed egg shells, cardboard (such as shredded egg cartons), coffee grounds, newspapers etc. Smaller scraps are easier and quicker to digest so blend your scraps with water before feeding your worms. Worms’ least favorite foods are citrus peelings, dairy products, cheese, meat, fish, bones, very oily foods and citrus, onion and garlic and animal droppings.

4. Harvesting the casting
i. Once a casting layer of approximately 5cm deep has formed in tray 1, stop feeding the worms in that tray.
ii. Add tray 2 on top of tray 1 and start to feed the worms in tray 2. Begin with a small amount of food in one corner and slowly increase the amount of food until the majority of worms migrate to tray 2.
iii. Once tray 2 is somewhat established, the casting from tray 1 can be removed.
iv. Tray 1 can then be placed on top of tray 2 and food scraps added as before.
v. This process of rotating the trays around is continuous and should be carried out as required.