There are few opportunities to connect with neighbours these days. Children play in backyards or are busy with after-school activities. Families arrive and leave in cars, rarely bumping into their neighbours. But in Newcastle there are exceptions – they are called 'Transition Streets'. Neighbours in transition streets know each other. They work together to build their community and help each other make positive environmental change. Transition Newcastle are on the look-out for new transition streets for the 2015 program.
I was pleased when I heard about The Commons Sustenance project and its efforts to make lessons in wholesome cooking accessible to everyone in Newcastle. 10 affordable food and well-being classes are being delivered at The Commons cafe and community space.
Farmer's gate roadside stalls are my favourite place to shop. Buying direct from the farmer is a great way to source local seasonal food. The produce is typically super fresh and costs far less than what you would pay elsewhere. Finding roadside stalls is now easier thanks to a new directory of Australian road stalls (roadstalls.com.au)
Kitchen scraps and coffee grounds - I can't get enough of them. The coffee grounds are fed to my acid-loving blueberry bushes and the scraps go to the chooks and worms, who convert it into delicious eggs and fantastic compost. I've considered asking local cafes and restaurants if I can have their kitchen scraps, so I was interested when I discovered a Hunter Valley business doing exactly that. Feedback Organic Recovery collects waste from cafes and turns it into compost.
Given my preference for buying food from family farms, I was excited to learn that 2014 is International Year of Family Farming. The year was declared by the United Nations to highlight the important role that family farms play in improving food security and preserving natural resources.