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Posts Tagged ‘urban cooling’

Potential Urban Orchards: City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Consultations

Posted in Events, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on April 4th, 2013

6 April , 2013
10:00 amto11:00 am
20 April , 2013
10:00 amto11:00 am
4 May , 2013
10:00 amto11:00 am

Pear-Shaped_London Apple Festival 030
Photo: Roots to Fruit

If we want council to consider productive street trees in Melbourne, we need to ask for them – that was the message when some of the Urban Forest team participated in the EcoCity Food Forum a couple of weeks ago, and it was also clear that they are really keen to get diverse and plentiful public feedback on the Urban Forest Strategy.  There are three more workshops left to run in the consultation process.  Feedback can also be posted directly to the Urban Forest website.

From the Urban Forest Conversation website:

We invite you to share your thoughts and opinions about the development of the City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest.

The City’s Urban Forest Strategy provides a robust framework for the evolution and longevity of our urban forest but what will that look like at an individual street level? Join the conversation to influence the plan for your neighbourhood’s trees. In 2013, we are developing the plans for the urban forest in Carlton, East Melbourne, South Yarra and the CBD.

Join the conversation online through this forum, post your comments on our urban forest map or participate in a workshop to influence the plans for your neighbourhood’s trees. You can register for a workshop via the key links on the right hand side of the Urban Forest page.

Register for Upcoming Workshops:

 

Food for thought? Some thoughts on productive trees in public space:

“Edible Street Verge Gardening is something that has been going on for the past 20 years or so in our cities but is now capturing the public imagination such that the number of plantings is rapidly increasing.  For advocates of edible landscaping in our cities, this is good news but for local government the practice can be confusing. What has become apparent during the recent upsurge in the popularity of edible footpath planting is that a set of design and planting guidelines are desperately needed.  Most verge plantings to date have been created by gardeners who know what they are doing. The possibility emerging from the current boost in popularity is that those less knowledgeable will create gardens with inappropriate plants and without considering other footpath users.”

“The biggest objections to planting food-bearing plants in public spaces have always been, and will likely continue to be, maintenance and aesthetics.  Public officials are quick to point out that edibles are messy and difficult to maintain, precluding their use in the urban environment. … These concerns are often based largely on misconception and subjectivity.  still, many of these concerns can be addressed with an understanding that maintenance and aesthetics can be balanced by choosing certain plants over others, mixing edibles with ornamentals, utilizing existing maintenance staff and methods, and properly gauging community demand for fresh, local produce.”

“The City of Yarra recognises the importance of urban agriculture in supporting community sustainability, especially in times of changing climate and the myriad of associated issues such as food security due to diminishing oil supplies. Neighbourhood gardening using productive trees1 is recognised by Council as a form of Urban Agriculture that can be used by local communities to create sustainable, resilient and liveable neighbourhoods in an effective and meaningful way. Planting productive trees is considered by Council to be an effective, means of inspiring and enabling community food production in the City of Yarra by generating environmental, social and economic wellbeing from the ground up – created for and by local people. Planting productive trees can be initiated, operated and maintained by the local community with support from Council. Council’s Guidelines and registration process will assist in making neighbourhood gardening with productive trees effective, enjoyable and safe for all.”

“We’ve all seen trees over laden with fruit that the trees owner isn’t eating. Generally the tree is in somebody’s garden where it can’t be reached from the street, and in these days of lost community and increasing crime it’s kind of hard to randomly approach people for fruits. There must be a way that more community food can be grown. There are many families where the kids don’t get enough nutrition, especially in the form of fruit, where dinner is straight from the freezer into the microwave. Yuck! I know of two parks where fruit is grown for the public to eat. One is Gourley Park in East Freo, the other is King William Park in South Freo. There must be scope for more. I know some people are concerned about fruit fly (and others who unfortunately aren’t concerned enough), but not all fruit attracts those rotten pests. It’s already common to see tasty loquats ignored in gardens , so we don’t need to add to the burden of fruit fly. There’s plenty of other varieties to choose from and if it was well known that the fruit was available and folk were educated about when to pick it there wouldn’t be lots of rotten fruit around to attract nasties. […]

Free fruit could be the only fruit so what can be grown that wouldn’t cause problems? Some nuts would be a good start. Almonds are good and grow well around here. Macadamias do well in some areas around Perth. They’ll also feed black cockatoos. Bunya pine nuts are pretty good, but need cordoning off in autumn (as they do in Hyde Park, Perth) because people have been killed when the huge cones of seeds drop on their head! Not a tree to sit under at the best of times with their wickedly spiny leaves, but much more useful that its oft’ planted relative the Norfolk Island pine!! Many kinds of citrus would be suitable with the right care. […] There’s a fantastic tree called Ziziphus jujuba, commonly called Chinese date, which grows numerous little apple like fruit about the size of olives. They are a tough species which provide a common meeting place in some desert countries, providing shade and food that can be eaten fresh or preserved for later use. Olives are good public trees with very useful fruit (though obviously not good for hand to mouth browsing). There are a few bush tucker foods that could be grown too, such as muntries/muntari (Kunzea pomifera), a creeping member of the Myrtaceae family, which has pretty white flowers followed by tasty little apple like berries. It grows on the east coast and is often sold in Perth. Quandongs are a native species which has deep red skins on pretty nuts. Some bush foods require some retraining of the taste buds, but they are generally pest and disease free, and don’t need help once established. Obviously somebody would need to be looking after these things, but if parks had more community input and a little council money to feed the trees a few times a year and have them drip irrigated they could become important meeting and snacking places. Parks could even be designed to be useful on purpose!!”