SUE JACKSON Therapist/Writer/Photographer/Activist

Last year, as the unofficial blogger/photographer to the anti-East-West Link campaign, our battles were my blog's entire focus. But by Christmas, with the electoral win for people power and the dumping of the dud Tunnel, I was suddenly at a loss. What to write about now? Not sure yet. But there will be ongoing musings and images from this Australian life. So please leave a message. (No need to sign into an account. Simply comment as ‘anonymous’; then leave your name within the comment itself.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Keeping hope on the menu

The State election seems ancient history now and you all know what happened. Cattle are already back grazing in the high country, chomping and stamping to their hearts' content. It is hard to think about anything but the environment and the climate, when one climatic catastrophe after another wracks our country. It is so unpredictable - a mere 2 years ago we Melbournians were terrified for our rural neighbours as fires raged; now we fret as their lives and homes are destroyed by floods. And that's just Victoria.

Climatic disasters are escalating world-wide and yet still our leaders fiddle while we burn. I wake up some mornings in despair about their short-sightedness and idiocy. And then I give myself a shake and remind myself of all my buddies in the food security network, who are working so hard to change things, and I start writing another article...

I have a piece on food swaps ('One Good Turn-ip Deserves Another') coming out in the next edition of Earth Garden. And there are two more under consideration. The first is a report on an amazing local bicycles advocate who, with the permission of his Body Corporate and help from friends and neighbours, recently transformed his unused car space into a tiny piece of Eden. The other is an investigation of the global bees crisis. It feels good to be doing my small bit to get the environmental message out there.

Of course the other thing that feels good is contact with my buddies. Yesterday I made pots of glorious beetroot chutney for home consumption, and gifts, with my friend Anne. Tonight another friend, Judy, has opted to celebrate her birthday here with me as chef. Guess what her present will be?

This morning, as I assembled the meal, I realised what a story of support, generosity and sharing it tells. The eggs for the frittata were donated by my sister Jude, who lives on a bush block north of Bendigo. Anne gave me silver beet and basil to enhance the chicken. And the plums for the piece de resistance - the birthday cake - I got at the last food swap. No wonder I enjoyed doing the preparation; I had my gang all around me in the kitchen.

And one of that gang, Grace McCall, someone I haven't yet met, is interviewing me tomorrow for her new blog. Share the grub.com, dedicated to 'ordinary communities living a little more sustainably', is brimming with great recipes and photos. Check it out.

Then there is next Monday to look forward to. That's when Michael Reynolds, the visionary American architect, will be talking to a sell-out audience, including me (I got the last ticket!), at Ceres. Michael has been building 'earthships', completely self sustaining homes made entirely with recycled materials, for over 30 years now. Taos New Mexico, where he lives, features many of his amazing creations, made from things like bottles and cans and used tyres covered with rammed earth. The houses look spectacular and as they capture all their own energy and water, require no auxillary services. I can feel another article coming on...

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