Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Veg Out and a week that was far from a vegging out week

Wow, what a whirlwind of a week. Last week was the Students of Sustainability conference and it was an incredible experience. So many passionate speakers and interesting ideas (along with a depressing reality-check about climate change and the world's responses to it). I had intended to post daily with something that blew my socks off each day (and there always was something) but unfortunately we spent the week rushing home to interview for new housemates in a desperate rush, which was pretty exhausting and time-consuming. So I think I will try to do a few posts about it, starting with my favourite activity: an excursion to Veg Out community garden down in St Kilda.

I so enjoyed seeing what people were growing (all far more successfully than me), but it was also such an interesting story about how the garden had come about and then become an indispensable part of the St Kilda community. Some community gardens I've visited are really just a patch of personal backyard for a large number of people but they aren't a truly community-oriented garden. This garden is open to the public, numerous groups (like the war veterans who live in a hostel closeby) have a plot, and what I found most striking was that it had no high fences within the garden - it all felt open and welcoming.

The garden used to be a bowling green, so it has some quirks like the original lights and bunkers.

It's positioned in the shadow of Luna Park which makes for an odd juxtaposition as the sound of rollercoasters and screaming children is quite loud, but the garden still feels peaceful.

It was great to see flowers, succulents and vegies all planted together.

We spent the day digging up vegies that had been grown to help feed the conference-goers and I had fun chatting to others about their vegie patches or plans for one. One of the best personal things to come out of the week was a reinvigoration of my gardening enthusiasm. My friends suggested I get a t-shirt printed with my most succint explanation of why my enthusiasm had been dropping: 'Aphids ate my mojo'. But hopefully I'll have some new garden projects to show you soon as well as some more environmental posts about the conference.


  1. love your t-shirt slogan - print one for me please! my vegies have been dissapointing too. aphids on the lovingly tended brocolli that i hand picked off caterpillers and eggs from the leaves daily - drove me over the edge. ended up pulling them out one day in fury! snails just wipped out my peas that showed such early promise (depite almost nightly snail culling missions). am really disheartened must pop by st kilda for some inspiration also. sounds special.

  2. I love community gardens. Almost bought the Guerilla Gardening book today. Eeek. Not sure I can go that far, but would love to see more veggies in people's front gardens and on verges.