Archive for March, 2012

Project ideas

I’ve got loads of ideas for things I’d like to do in Adelaide.  There’s always more ideas that I can possibly do by myself, so I’m writing them down in the hope that you might be inspired to help me, or do something similar in your own community.

  • Screen documentary films, about all kinds of topics, for free (or by donation).  There are so many good films being made, that I’d like to give as many people as possible the opportunity to see, and by seeing them together can discuss the topic and take action on the issues.  The screenings can happen in loungerooms, community centres, schools, and outdoors.
  • The People’s Library.  Anyone can lend their books to anyone.  Having something online to keep track of who has borrowed them would be really useful, because I’ve lent lots of books to people and forgotten who has them, and I have a few on loan that I forget to return.  An automatic reminder email every few weeks saying “return this book” or “Fred still has your book” would be great.  There’s a barcode scanner that can connect with online catalogues, so scanning the barcodes of all your books would display a picture of the cover and list the details of the book.  This is one for Someone Else, who is more web-savvy than me.  [Update: I’ve just come across – excited to discover that other people have the same idea, and have made it happen!]
  • Organise regular network meetings for Councils in Transition.
  • Start a Free Skool in Adelaide.  Free classes on all kinds of topics, all the useful stuff that you don’t learn in school.
  • Consult to the Local Government Association about Transition and community food security
  • Block Repair
  • Run a natural energy (human and direct-sun powered) cooking day – demonstrate solar cookers, zeer pot refrigerators, rocket stoves, hand and pedal powered devices.
  • Teach a radical sustainability & activism course, or series of workshops
  • Establish an Edible Forest Garden demonstration site – a whole block in an urban neighbourhood would be amazing, or a park, school, community centre, anywhere really.  We need to start creating habitat for urban hunter-gatherers!
  • Regular potlucks.  Get together with people to share food.  There doesn’t need to be an occasion.
  • Organise a conference on Transition.
  • Encourage neighbourhood gatherings – parties, workshops, garden days, potlucks, dinners, food swaps, film screenings, games, anything to get neighbours together and sharing.  See
  • Organise regular network gatherings of people interested in these ideas to get together and make these things happen.  I organised one of these last year.  Two people met there for the first time, discovered that they are neighbours, and within a week had started a shared garden in one of their front yards.
  • Games.  Get a bunch of people together to play games.  This could be incorporated into many of the above projects.  Let’s start a tradition that any meeting, lecture, workshop, or party starts with a game.
  • Start a business called The Garden Party.  Design a garden and organise the party to create it.  Instead of just standing around, drinking wine and chatting at your party, your friends can stand around, drink wine, chat, dig, plant stuff, learn, get inspired, build things, feel useful, and want to come and visit you again to see how your garden is going.  And I would get to go to lots of parties.  I reckon councils and health services and agencies that concern themselves with the state of health and social isolation in low-income neighbourhoods would put funding towards this.  It could happen in backyards, front yards, schools, kindys, parks, street verges.
  • Train school staff to start and manage school gardens.
  • Teach classes and workshops about all kinds of things.  Living without money, food growing, permaculture design, nonviolent communication, community economies, facilitation, participatory planning, creative thinking, transition, community and school gardens, food fermentation, appropriate technology, urban water cycle, compost, keeping chickens, gleaning, economics.
  • Make a Garden Design Guide for the Adelaide plains.  The basics of creating a productive home ecosystem, presented almost entirely in pictures, so hardly any reading required.  It could cover fruit trees, vegie patches, compost, worm farms, chickens, irrigation, ponds, forest gardening, building community, sharing with neighbours.