Residents from Observatory and the surrounding suburbs have been given the right to use a section of the disused tennis courts in Strubens Road to grow organic veggies and indigenous plants.
Daniel and I, with our respective partners Andrea and Richard, are now proud owners of 2 adjacent allotments. The plots however were covered in asphalt and we had to manually break it up with picks and spades to uncover the earth beneath. Despite this backbreaking work, it was the most satisfying feeling watching the grey tarmac being slowly lifted and removed piece by piece.
Sunday was the 10/10/10 Global Day of Action where 7,347 work parties in 188 countries were held and citizens around the world called to government: “We’re getting to work… what about you?” to show them the global climate movement is bigger, more diverse, more creative and more determined than ever and we simply won’t give up until our planet is safe.
We decided to host an allotment party and invited people to come and support us in creating an inspirational vegetable garden. We received amazing sponsorship from Starke Ayres – 36 trays of rocket and another 20 trays of different types of lettuces and cabbage to plant.
The day could not have been more successful. Despite the dubious weather over 30 people arrived armed with spades, forks and trowels ready to get dirty! Some were friends, others colleagues and a great many had found our party on the 350.org website and had come along to help out.
We spent the day digging holes and trenches, shovelling clay, sifting sand, raking soil and planting. We had three film crews filming our actions: ecobuzz, One Day on Earth and an independent film maker. We also took loads of great photos up now on facebook and flikr.
We all need to start thinking about where our food comes from and the environmental impacts this has had. Is it organic? Has it been locally grown? Has it been excessively packaged in layers of plastic, nestled on a polystyrene tray?
I am looking forward to being able to eat food that I have grown myself, which is local, pesticide-free and unpackaged as this will help me to dramatically decrease my carbon footprint.
Organic farming releases less greenhouse gases than non-organic farming. Where you can, choose organic, local and seasonal food. And remember that driving to the shop adds to your food’s carbon footprint.
- Intensive agriculture needs ten calories of energy to produce one calorie of food
- Globally the production and use of artificial fertilisers are the largest single source of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 310 times more damaging than carbon dioxide
- To make one tonne of artificial fertiliser takes 108 tonnes of water, emits 7 tonnes of carbon dioxide, and uses one tonne of oil
- Globally, agriculture is responsible for between 17 – 32% of the world’s total greenhouse gases
- Organic farming typically uses 26% less energy to produce the same amount of food as non-organic farming. Source
Food miles are also a very important aspect of the carbon footprint of your food. You can measure how far your food has travelled before it reaches you with this excellent Food Miles Calculator . And if you get the chance watch the excellent documentary called Dirt! which shows us how important soil is to our survival.
Our sincerest thanks to all those who came along to help us at the Allotment, and please feel free to pop by anytime. Hopefully soon we will be able to offer you locally produced, pesticide-free delicious veggies!