A few weeks ago (somehow, already) I chipped in a little elbow grease to the annual Tropical Garden Spectacular down at Darwin's beautiful botanic gardens. After taking a little time out during the week to help prepare some pop up garden beds (and remembering that while shoveling soil is good dirty work, due care is needed to avoid unwanted muscle twinges - or complete spinal displacement come to think of it), I also lent my barista skills over the weekend at the community cafe.

Community gardens, in Darwin as well as all over the world, are gaining both popularity and momentum. It's heartening to see these grass roots seeds of change slowly springing up across the planet, reminding us where our food comes from and connecting us with community. Another advantage of the TGS is the opportunity to rub elbows with the dynamic and passionate Costa Georgiardis (host of Australia's most popular garden show). His first-hand experiences of watching small community initiatives and events undergoing a serious groundswell over the last 4-5 years is something we might not otherwise realise is happening in between all the news at 7 stories of global conflict and disasters.
I'm gradually trying to move myself more into the world of urban gardening, as part of my commitment to the me I see when I put my wish list life to paper. Though have never been more than an occasional hobby gardener until now (and not always the most committed one either, truth be told), it feels more and more urgent that in a world of diminishing resources and exhausted monocultures, one of the most vital and transformative changes we can adopt is to become involved with our local food communities as much as we're able and develop some measure of self sufficiency to boot.

To that end I actually have some exciting news. I'll be hopping back over the Tasman (the land of the long flat white has lingered a little in my soul) in a little under 3 months to go and do a Permaculture Design Course with the Koanga Institute, in the wine-soaked region of Hawke's Bay (the region's notable wineries may have swayed me, but the timing and the cost also played a part!) This is something that's been on my to-do list for a couple of years now so it's a great feeling to be able to pin it down. I have a feeling this experience will consolidate a lot of half finished thoughts, experiences and ideas into something much more tangible (well, I hope it will).

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