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A patch of green
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Southbank Sustainability Group

11 Jul 2019

Southbank Sustainability Group Image

Low environmental footprint

On June 29 we hosted a sustainable family stone painting day with the generous help of our volunteers, local families, and Melbourne Men’s Shed.

We invited the community to help us create a colourful, creative, and environmentally-friendly stop-light system, which indicates what is ready for harvesting and what is not.

This was a zero waste, low footprint event since everything we needed for the day was either borrowed or made from repurposed materials. This included the likes of brushes from Boyd’s playgroup or individual painter palettes our volunteers created out of old packaging cartons and bottle caps collected from the House of Cards cafe.

Kids were invited to take their palette home along with one of their stone creations. The only store-bought items were non-toxic paints. Southbank Local News was part of this day in spirit, with older issues acting as table protectors so that our artists could let loose.

About 25 people participated with children four years old and older and adults of all ages getting involved too. They all had fun expressing their wonderful creative art skills, the results of which are now a permanent part of Boyd’s community vegie garden you’ll see spread around in the garden beds.

Stones stop-light colours and what they mean:

  • Green: Ready for harvesting. Leafy greens: only harvest a few of the bigger, external leaves. Never take the whole plant unless a sign next to it instructs otherwise.
  • Yellow or Orange: Looks ready for harvesting, but needs more time. About one to two weeks away.
  • Red: Not harvest-ready soon.

Not all vegies (or greens) are harvested in the same way. Please email us for harvesting instructions so that the plant itself is not damaged and can continue producing food for the community. Only take what you need for one meal.

The amazing Melbourne Men’s Shed has also helped by contributing further harvesting instructions and useful plant information.

Andrew and Ian (pictured with our volunteers) created and delivered rewritable signs for the garden beds using repurposed wood, making their environmental footprint as tiny as possible. You’ll be seeing some more Men’s Shed creations in the garden soon. They have been an absolute delight to work with and have been very solutions-focused in helping with some of our garden’s needs. We are lucky to have Australia’s only CBD-situated Men’s Shed nearby and we are very grateful for their support. For anyone that is interested in getting involved with their work, we cannot recommend them highly enough! You can find them at the Level 1 carpark at Federation Square. Visit melbournemensshed.org or email info@melbournemensshed.org.

Our next meet-ups are Saturday July 20 and August 3, 10am at Boyd Community Hub. As usual, we’ll start the day talking sustainability initiatives and ideas over coffee and then move on to gardening. No gardening experience needed to join us.

You will also find us at Boyd’s first Open House on Saturday July 27 (Assembly Hall), where you can meet some of our volunteers, learn about our community projects - past, present, and future - and tell us what environmental issues matter most to you. Come along and share your ideas for making Southbank more environmentally responsible!

About the group: A solutions-focused community group of Southbank residents working to bring positive change in sustainability practices and education to our neighborhood, while building a wonderful community of like-minded people. Reach us at southbanksustainability@gmail.com or facebook.com/SouthbankSustainabilityGroup.

Artemis Pattichi - Southbank Sustainability Group

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