Thursday, September 18, 2008

Welcome to Melbourne, Part 1

I had always heard that Melbourne was a cool city. Known for its unusual public art, its hidden laneways, its fantastic cafes, and its changeable weather, Melbourne is a dream for tourists and locals alike. During my visit last year, I explored some of the trendy and bohemian areas, checked out plenty of art, and discovered plenty of good eats.

But what I didn't know until I moved here three weeks ago was what a sustainable city Melbourne is. People here are incredibly tuned in to environmental issues, particularly surrounding climate, transportation, and food. One of my favorite places so far are CERES (Center for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies), a fully functional community farm center right on the edge of the city. Not only do they engage much of the community in growing food, they also run a nursery, many educational programs, a cafe, music events, and so much more. I also like Friends of the Earth, which is both an activist organization and a co-op/cafe/bookshop oasis in the midst of the urban environment. It's also nice to see so many bike riders, so many organic food shops, and such obvious consciousness of treating the earth and each other with dignity and respect.

There's so much more to explore, but my relationship with my new city home is off to a passionate start. Here's a little photo montage of my initial Melbourne story:

An old narrow laneway, recalling days of milkmen

I do love living local!

These guys are the greatest sustainable food activists. Love the co-op and cafe as well.

Mosaic art decorates the entrance to CERES

Where Winnie the Pooh would do his gardening! CERES love.

Seedlings galore at CERES

A really free-range chook

I wish I lived here, though I do have a lemon tree and wild rocket growing in my backyard

How the eco set get around in Melbourne

Farmers Marketing

Winter veggies

Can you imagine a lovelier setting for marketing? Okay, okay, aside from Hanalei.

Need I say more? There's a lot to love in this city.

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