Diane Greenwood

Thinking about…

Robin Hood Tax

Age from Morepraxis.org.au

Robin Hood Tax

Write to Kevin Rudd and tell him you think that this is an anwesome concept and he should help MAKE IT HAPPEN!

What is it?

The Robin Hood Tax is a tiny tax on financial speculation by investment banks, hedge funds and other finance institutions that would raise billions to tackle poverty and climate change, at home and abroad.

It can start as low as 0.005 per cent – and average 0.05 per cent. But when levied on the billions of dollars moving round the global finance system daily through transactions like as foreign exchange, derivatives  and share deals, it could raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

Some photo’s from the action taken at State Youth Games on the Queens Birthday long weekend.

Tessa, Adrian, Bethany and Kelly

North Ringwood Uniting Church – and Drew!

Doncaster East Uniting Church

Plots and Square Metre Planting

Illustration by Cecilia Macaulay

There are many places on the net, in books and in practice that use methods for growing and harvesting your own fruit and vegetables. In particular the following places focus on supplying enough food for particular needs and size requirements. This is just a very small touch on some places to get your juices flowing for growing your own things.

Diggers Club

These people have many methods, but two that can get you started on seasonal harvesting and correct sizing for plots. If you want to check out their gardens visit the website and see their locations.

Growing your own vegetables is the single most
important step to a sustainable, healthy life. When
vegetables are grown at home they are fresh and free
of chemicals, eliminating food miles and cutting CO²
emissions by up to 30%. It takes a few hours of work
a week.

Mini Plot Harvest – pdf

The concept of the Mini Plot Harvest is that in 40 square metres you can grow up to 472kgs of vegetables, which is enough to serve 4 people for the year. It is based in 4 garden beds and has a yielding calendar with rotations and suggestions for planting.

Square Metre Gardening – pdf

This method is used in the mini plot garden, but it goes into the development of the matrix sewing system and the advantages that can be gained through yielding by this method.


Very Edible Gardens

These people sell great kits to get you started, and can also be really useful for people renting. They either have options for just the edging/container, or to fill it as well with the weed matting and organic soil, and then also get you started with the optional VEG irrigation system, then fill it up with seasonal organic produce.

Take a look here for options and lots of choices.


The Permaculture Home Garden

This is a book that I just love and am hoping to base a lot of my new place on these methods. There is a great website that does a review on the book. The first sentence of the book is:

“This is a book about saving the planet and living to be a hundred, while throwing very impressive dinner parties and organising other creatures to do most of the work. It is a book about a very different style of growing food.”

So you can imagine this book is filled with great ideas and planting styles. The best things about the book is that it eliminates most of the permaculture language and is really easy to read with out knowing everything about the topic to begin with.


Other methods:

There are of course methods for you to create your own harvesting pattern according to your families likes and dislikes, location and seasonal produce. Other web sites that I have found some great tips on include:

- Send me Seeds Pip - which I have not joined but I think that I plan to when I get my new place up and running. There are planting tips and seasonal calendars, and really nice recipes (for seasonal produce). You can subscribe and they will send you seeds to plant at certain times of the year so that you are always growing to best potential for your harvesting.

- Gardenate - another website that sends you monthly emails to remind you what to plant and also what to get ready for the next month.

- Permaculture Institute – don’t forget you could always get intimate with Permaculture principles and work it out for your specific location and needs.


There are always great places overseas that are also doing these sorts of things to help developing countries:

Seed International

Food Gardens Foundation in South Africa

Permaculture Relief

Permaculture Weekend Away

So, last week end was the relax, retreat and restore. To be honest I feel drained, but not tired and I think that is because I just have so so so much inspiration from the weekend. On a personal level I think that it was a good place for me to start talking about my experience as I have not really been in a place to share some of these thoughts yet.

On reflection one of the biggest bonus’ of the weekend is that I feel that I am going to be able to write more and link more to my story and my teachings. There were many questions that I too did not know and that I will be aiming to get back to everyone with some more direction and answers. One of the most challenging questions for me was: “If our faith is calling us to care for people and live with ethics, fair trade and care for the earth, how can we too live in solidarity with the poor?” Given that ethical and fair trade means are a more expensive option, how does this make us view our choices and options. This question I will explore more as I develop a deeper understanding of the connection of Permaculture and my Christianity.

Friday night we could class as relaxing as we were running a little late and we just ended up sharing a bit about the principles of Permaculture and what it was.

Saturday morning was a nice sleep-in and then shared breakfast of fresh bread and cereal together. We sat around and delved into a very brief session around ethics and fair trade. Particular interest was around the carrying capacity of the earth and the 100 mile food diet.

Working out the carrying capacity of 160km’s around Melbourne for the population of melbourne. I will post on this separately.

Carrying Capacity I = P * A * T

After this discussion we made a few things for our house and our garden. We chose a common all purpose cleaner and also a soap spray for the garden.

Ken and Hannah making all purpose household cleaner

Maria grating the soap for the garden spray

Paul making all purpose household cleaner

Rose stirring the boiling soap

Saturday afternoon was all about relaxing and restoring, we had people sewing, cross stiching, reading, playing games, some went for a walk during the on and off rain, and there was of course a lot of chatter as well.

In the evening, more people arrived and we made a great dinner (great apple crumble!). After dinner there was many a discussion and then a video (The Corporation). Afterwards more chatter and discussion.

Eating wonderful dinner together

Sunday morning started much the same. Great breakfast together, then we packed the house and made our way to Hearonswood Edible Garden. Before we left we spoke a little about peak states of the earth and Bill Mollison and David Holgrens view of the earths peak oil problems. We spoke about care for the earth and how we can live a better for the earth that was loaned to us. 

The Vegetable Parterre – Inspired by the medieval potager gardens, it is an ornamental and a productive garden 

The Mini Plot – Shows how to grow a years supply of vegetables in just 20m2 for two people using the Diggers seeds.

Crazy Pink Echnechea

Sunday lunch we gathered with some great fish and chips on the Dromana Beach front and ate together. Ethical choices of course! Download your free pocket fish guide here.

Sunday afternoon most of us headed back to Glen Waverley, but a few of us ventured onto Michele and Andy’s place where they had the most scrumptious apple and rhubarb tea cake. Yum! Then we visited their big swail and also they spoke about their tea composting system they are using. I am excited to try this out.

After that we headed home to see our little dog. We then headed onto Church for the evening. What a great weekend. Thanks to everyone who came, and asked questions and just had a good time. 

If anyone is up for some more reading this blog seems to post some great words and advice. With lots and lots of links.

Some more post to come about:

  • All purpose household cleaner and garden soap spray
  • Carrying Capacity of Melbourne as we worked out
  • Ethics of living in solidarity with the poor while still living ethically … ??
  • 100 Mile Food Trail Diet – we are going to give it a try in September
  • Apple Pollination
  • The Corporation Discussion Questions
  • Care for the Earth
  • Care for People 
  • Fair Trade and Ethics
  • The Diggers Club and Mini Plot

If there are more questions that people want answered please feel free to contact me and I will add them to my list. 

Hope you enjoy reading.