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23 June 2009

Welcome to the latest edition of the sustainability@byron newsletter. On my daily journey to work I pass an orange tree on the edge of a paddock. The tree is loaded with ripe fruit, yet many lay rotting on the ground. This tree makes me wonder how many of us go straight to the shop, rather than look around us in the landscape to see what resources are in bountiful supply. A Los Angeles-based group called Fallen Fruit noticed the prevalence of fruit and nut trees in their neighbourhood and started mapping them. Communal foraging events now take place with the harvest shared out, 'public jam' sessions organised to turn their pickings into jam and new fruit trees planted out. Sustainability is about finding inspiring answers to some to the world's problems. Read on for more details of what's coming up in Byron Shire.

Byron Hinterland Seed Savers

4 July 2009

Byron Hinterland Seed Savers will be holding their next event from 2pm on Saturday 4th July. The group will gather to tour the extensive sub-tropical garden "Camarra", learn about local soil characteristics and how to improve them and exchange seeds, plants, cuttings, and tubers. Please bring a plate of afternoon tea and any seeds or cuttings to share.

Where: "Camarra" 196 Friday Hut Road, Possum Creek.

Community Food Self Reliance - Evening Slideshows

30 June and 2 July 2009

Robina McCurdy, well known permaculturist, environmental educator and community facilitator from Aotearoa - New Zealand is coming to Byron Shire to share vital strategies for thriving in the era of Peak Oil, food shortages and escalating food prices! Robina will discuss ways in which 100% food self-reliance can be achieved at a bioregional and local level at evening slideshow presentations and an interactive workshop.

Robina has taught and applied powerful community-building methods with households, neighbourhoods, schools, farms, ecovillages and bioregions in Aotearoa/NZ, Australia, Southern Africa, Britain, Canada, USA and Brazil. 

Evening slideshows:

MULLIMBIMBY, Tues 30 JUNE, 7 - 9pm
Anglican Church Hall, Mullumbimby

BYRON BAY, Thurs 2 JULY, 7 - 9pm,
'The Verandah Room', Byron Centre, 69 Jonson St.

Entry for both: $7/$10. No registration necessary.
Enquires: Bacchi, Ph: 6607 9306

New Brunswick Heads Morsbag Pod

Following on from the success of the Bangalow group, a new morsbag sewing 'pod' has been started in Brunswick Heads. Morsbags is a worldwide movement to reduce plastic bag use, which is harms native wildlife, and pollutes our environment. See

SEWERS are needed, preferably with sewing machines to help sew simple cloth bags to be given away to local shoppers to encourage them to use alternatives to plastic bags.  Non-sewers can still join in to help cut the bags, make tea or learn a new skill. This is an ideal opportunity to meet other local people and MAKE a DIFFERENCE in your community.

Phone Mariana on 0430 175 923, or email for the next sewing day.

Insulation Rebates for Renters

Did you know that the Low Emission Assistance Plan for Renters provides assistance of up to $1,000 to install ceiling insulation in private rental properties? The Plan targets rental properties that are currently un-insulated, or have ceiling insulation with an R-value of 0.5 or less. The program officially starts in July 2009, but the Australian Government have released early installation guidelines that allow people to access this assistance now.

More information is available at Energy Efficient Homes Package or by calling call 1800 808 571.

Food Production on Public Land - Community Working Bee

6 July 2009

Have you visited the Food Production on Public Land site around Council Chambers in Mullumbimby? The public garden space aims to trial the replacement of standard landscaping species with edible plants for the community to enjoy.

To give the garden a bit of attention, we will be meeting down on the site from 10am - 11:30am on Monday 6 July. Bring the garden gloves and come join us for a causal weeding session and cup of warm lemon grass tea harvested straight from the garden!

Enquiries: Graeme Williams call 6626 7305 or email

Mullumbimby Community Garden - Kerbside Treasure Hunt

During June and July 2009, Council will be conducting a Kerbside Clean Up service. If you are cleaning out your shed or passing through the street, look out for good quality recycled treasures that may be of use at the Mullumbimby Community Garden! The Garden is currently seeking colourbond or galvanised roofing iron, timber (preferably nail-free), garden tools, outdoor furniture, stainless steel sinks or troughs, bath tubs (for worm farms), chicken wire, star pickets or any tools and equipment etc.

Please call Garden Coordinator, Jeannette on 0412 322 255 or Ed on 6684 3728 or bring it to the Community Garden any Saturday from 11am. For more info about the Kerbside Collection Service.