Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What goes in which bin?

I've been meaning to make up this list for ages. It's from the City of Fremantle Resource Recovery leaflet that comes in the postbox each year,but it's been rearranged so I can check it out easier.

The contents of this bins should be loose and preferably rinsed. Items are sorted and sold on for reprocessing.
All glass, inc. light globes and broken glass.
All plastic containers.
All tins and cans, inc. foil.
All paper, inc. wax cartons.

OTHER: broken ceramics, lunch boxes, empty paint tins,plant pots, seedling containers, yogurt containers.

All food, organic and general household waste, grass clippings and small prunings go in the green bin.
Ideally, food scraps get composted at home and used on the garden for growing your own veges!

OTHER: meat trays, take away containers, kitty litter, baskets, band aids, weeds, tapes, cellophane, cotton wool buds, disposable nappies, foam boxes and meat trays, glad wrap, animal waste, cooking oil, pens, pottery, polystyrine, terracotta pots.

NO glass.
NO construction or building waste.
NO hazardous materials.
NO hot ashes.
NO medical waste or needles.

Can be taken to local tip for disposal. No charge for household quantities.
These include: acids, ammonia, batteries, bleaches, cleaners, fertiliser, garden chemicals and poisons, insecticides, medicine, mineral turpentine, motor oil, paint tins with paint in them, pesticide concentrates, petrol and flammable liquids, poisons, pool chemicals, rat poison.

Fees apply for tip site entry.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My first visit to the FERN site.

In it's previous incarnation, the rectangle of land at the corner of Montreal and High Streets, Fremantle was an organically based garden centre. We sold manures, plants, open-pollinated seeds and seedlings, along with a few other odds and sods.
It closed down suddenly and dramatically a few years ago; the locals were aghast.
Deep in debt, there was a sale of anything on site.
That scene, of people tearing the place apart, digging plants up, basically ransacking the place made me cry at the time, seeing all these strangers (I didn't recognise one of the 'seagulls' as prior customers) tearing the place apart.
It had been such a beautiful concept for a shop and place to live my ideals of sharing my knowledge of permaculture and organics.

FERN have been doing lots of good work there. Still I hadn't been to check out what they did with the place..
Last night, I finally visited. It was sparse, no pots anywhere, the ponds and their reeds were all gone, most of the fruit trees were gone, but I could see the hard work that has gone into the place.
We went out the back to the shadehouse area. That's where I felt the most sadness. I'd grown lots of things in there. Some things grew themselves-like the 3 metre tall powton that came up from a root cutting that escaped from its pot.
Some of the good folk from Rocky Bay had been employed potting up plants for sale on site. We had grown some useful plants out there.
Now it stands completely empty. I'd like to get in there and grow lots of plants; all the things I don't have room for at home!

There was a talk about Ecological Engineering, including the use of algal photobioreactors, which can be part of a cycle that cleans water used by industry.
It was a very exciting and inspiring talk, and if I can get my head around the maths and chemistry at uni, I'd be interested in checking it out further.
I knew it would have t be something pretty special to get me back to that site, and the talk was excellent.
So was the vegan nosh-up afterwards!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Time well spent in the garden.

I'm pretty impressed by the fact that I can spend a couple of minutes planting some seedlings and they give me so much back with how long they last and the joy of eating your own garden or seeing flowers you've grown and the birds or insects they have attracted.

I guess that's a pretty obvious statement in regards to gardening, but I was thinking about food plants and how simple it is to grow a few little things that can help your vitamin and mineral intake immensely.
If you can get your hands on some seeds or seedlings, soil, fish emulsion and kelp solution, you can grow some lettuce or parsley, chards, and with enough sun all kinds of veg are easy to grow as long as you can water and feed them. This isn't so easy with water restrictions, but a watering can will suffice, especially when it has fish and seaweed in it every couple of weeks.

Reusing Kitchen Water.

The double sink in our kitchen has basins in it to collect our washing up and rinsing water. One side has the clean water, which can go onto plants out the front, near the door.
The rest of the water goes into a large bucket that also has our kitchen scraps.

Any edible-ish scraps are collected for our dogs, who get blended leftovers and veg as their meal a couple of times a week. They especially like it if there's a bit of cheese or meat scraps or a tin of sardines in it.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Fantastic FERN

It's brilliant to see that FERN are organised and advertising themselves and their upcoming workshops in the local paper; no doubt the most useful information ever in said local paper!

What/who is FERN?, you may ask.
Fremantle Environmental Resource Network a group of passionate and dedicated folk who have spent many hours of voluntary time to create an organisation, which aims to educate others on all kinds of topics related to sustainability.
These topics will generally be based on what urban-living people can do to reduce their impact on the environment and global-warming.
Permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, becoming more water-wise and other environmental education is what it's all about.

I admit, I haven't been to any of the meetings. My connection is that I used to work at the site that they're using. It was an organically-based permaculture garden centre.
A great place to work - there were fruit trees planted around the place and some ponds with fish and frogs. We sold a lot of edible plants and many interesting 'permaculture' type plants - rare or lesser known useful plants.

The site has changed a lot now, I'm sure. I will go there one day, I want to see what they've done with the place.

Anyone is welcome to join in.
Tuesday night's at 6.30 pm there is the 'magic beanstalk soup night' - share some food for a donation to the cause.

Who knows, I might see you there!

By the way, there's a link to the right to the FERN website if you want a closer look at what these good people are doing.