Macedon Ranges Leader – May 2015
Midland Express – May 2015
Macedon Ranges Guardian – March 2014
Macedon Ranges Weekly – November 2013
Garden grows beyond schoolyard at Kyneton Secondary College
By Angela Valente
All hands on deck: Julie McLaren in the garden with year 9 students (from left) Sam, Brodie, Finley, Chantelle and Jordan. Photo: Paul Rovere
A disused horticulture area at Kyneton Secondary College has been transformed into a community edible garden with help from Kyneton Transition Hub volunteers.
Hub convener Julie McLaren said the area already had a shade house, hot house tools and shed.
“We thought how could you not start a community garden when you have all this here already.”
The Kyneton college did not run a horticulture subject at the school this year, which gave Ms McLaren and a team of volunteers time to establish the garden.
There are plantings in wicking beds and seedlings in the hot house, and they have brought in chooks, bantams and a “truckload of soil”.
She said the garden was for community use, but students at the school were also taking advantage of the area.
Year 9 students have been helping in the garden as part of community service projects, while year 7 students collect eggs that are used in home economics classes.
“Engaging 15-year-olds can be tough, but they have worked really hard moving dirt and clearing sleepers,” Ms McLaren said.
“We haven’t had a community garden in Kyneton for some years.
“We hear that most people in Kyneton have big backyards so why would we need it? But there are people in rental places, people who don’t like gardening in their own spaces for whatever reason, and this is a place for people to learn and share.
“A lot of people like being in the company of others and it’s a social place, too.”
» People interested in volunteering should call Julie McLaren, 5422 3023
Macedon Ranges Weekly – June 2012
Hungry for a fare food exchange
Macedon Ranges Leader – June 2012
THE Kyneton Transition Hub wants to be at the forefront of grassroots community adaptations to emerging problems such as peak oil and global warming.
But as a new volunteer group, the Kyneton Transition Hub also needs a leg up in the way of funding to get some of its ideas of the ground.
Group c o n v e n e r J u l i e McLaren said since launching at last year’s Kyneton Daffodil Festival the ideas have been flowing.
Already it has run a film night, a community swap table at the Kyneton Farmers Market and garden blitzes around the tow
n. There are plenty more projects on the horizon.The group are just one in the Sunbury/Macedon Ranges set to apply for a $1000 grant from the Leader Local Grants Program, which was launched last week for projects that help the community.
Community groups, organisations and individuals are invited to upload their idea for a project to the Leader website for others in the Macedon Ranges to see.
The top ideas that will benefit the community, and are achievable, constructive and ready to go will be shortlisted. Macedon Ranges residents will then be able to vote for the project they think should receive the $1000.
Friends, family and supporters of groups who apply are all allowed to vote and further grant cycles will be available later in the year.
Applications can be made from June 11-29 and voting is open between July 9-20.
Leader is providing a total of $100,000 for projects that will build better communities.
Macedon Ranges Weekly – March 2012
Food security? Try the garden
JULIE McLaren hopes every person’s garden in Kyneton will become edible.As co-convener of the Kyneton Transition Hub, she is helping to launch Kyneton Edible Gardens, a sustainable initiative to convert backyards into food havens.It’s hoped a mega-blitz this weekend will become a showcase for the hub – and for the town.”Our key objective is to transform backyards into productive food sources by coming together as a community to help each other,” Ms McLaren said.”To achieve this, we will organise working bees, or backyard blitzes, to pool our knowledge, skills, energy and time.
“These are informal gatherings with a key aim to build community networks, share, learn and have fun.
“They are free, open to the public, and offering free workshops and a shared lunch.”
To qualify to host a working bee in their garden, people are asked to attend at least three others.
The first working bee and workshop is at a town block belonging to Ms McLaren.
“The activities will include installing swales [marshy areas] in a gently sloping backyard, revamping the chook run around the original chook house, and providing small ponds for ducks. And we’ll establish a herb spiral, render a north-facing wall to provide for a passionfruit vine, and plant vegetables and fruit trees,” Ms McLaren said.
“There will be a workshop on brewing and using compost tea and you can take some home for your own gardens.”
No gardening experience is necessary and people can help on Saturday, Sunday or both days.
Macedon Ranges Leader – March 2012
Autumn leaves its harvest for Kyneton group
23 MAR 12 @ 05:00AM BY ELIZABETH ALLEN
Arianne Peers with daughter Isabella, 2 planting in her Veggie patch in Malmsbury. Picture: Sarah Matray
WHILE last season’s apples, pears, stone fruit and tomatoes are harvested and enjoyed, Kyneton Transition Hub member Arianne Peers is using autumn to prepare and plant her next crops.
Going into her veggie patch will be turnips, beets, winter lettuces, spring onions, parsley and radish while Cabbage and broccoli will be grown in trays so they become strong seedlings before planting.
Ms Peers said gardeners should prepare garden beds with lime before planting broad beans and spinach in autumn, making the garden bed alkaline rather than acidic to help them grow.
Ms Peers said learning to preserve, dry, bottle and pickle produce could help people get the most out of their garden and enjoy produce for the rest of the year.
Ms Peers is part of the Transition Hub’s Kyneton Edible Gardens initiative where community members help each other design and establish sustainable, efficient and edible gardens.
The initiative will be launched at a working bee this weekend at a Kyneton home and will include a workshop on brewing and using compost tea.
Bookings: Julie McLaren on 5422 3023 or 0425 724 156
Macedon Ranges Guardian – March 2012
Edible Gardens Spring Up
Kyneton Transition Hub is launching a new initiative, Kyneton Edible Gardens. This is a group of people who come together as a community to help each other design and establish sustainable, efficient and edible gardens.
The launch will be at the group’s first working bee or garden makeover on a town block in Kyneton, and will be held over the weekend of
March 24 and 25.
“It will be a mega-blitz that we hope will become a showcase for the town and for our group,” explains co-convenor Julie McLaren.
“Our key objective is to transform backyards into productive food sources by coming together as a community to help each other. To
achieve this we will organise working bees or ‘backyard blitzes’ to pool our knowledge, skills, energy and time.” The working bees will be informal gatherings with a key aim to build community networks, share, learn and have fun. They are free, open to the public, offer free workshops and a shared lunch.
Kyneton Edible Gardens runs on reciprocity, and to qualify to host a working bee in your own garden you usually need to attend at least three.
These events are modelled on similar events held under various names, including ‘Backyard Bounty’ in Ballarat and ‘Permablitz’ which originated in Melbourne and is now used around the world.
The location for the first working bee and workshop is a town block that belongs to one of the group’s members. The activities will include: installing swales in a gently sloping backyard; revamping the chook run around the original chook house and providing small ponds for the
ducks; establishing a herb spiral; rendering a north-facing wall to provide for a passion fruit vine; and planting vegetables and fruit trees.
There will be a workshop on brewing and using compost tea and you can take some home for your own garden.
No gardening experience is necessary and participants can come for Saturday, Sunday or both. A healthy lunch will be provided, and you can bring your favourite gardening gloves and tools if you have them.
It is important to book for this event by calling Julie McLaren on 5422 3023 or 0425 724 156.
Macedon Ranges Weekly – July 2011
Kyneton hub hooks onto climate conflict
Ms McLaren will then hold a discussion session on August 19.
Details: Julie McLaren on 54223023.
Macedon Ranges Leader – June 2011
Green group for town
24 JUN 11 @ 06:45AM BY BARRY KENNEDY
Julie McLaren and Sarah Corfe from the Kyneton Transition Hub
PROMOTING sustainability in Kyneton is among the aims of a new group, the Kyneton Transition Hub.
The new group sprang from the Kyneton Conference last May and is set to spruik itself at several events in the coming months.
Joint-convener Julie McLaren said the transition town group would run monthly film nights and other awareness raising events in the lead-up to the Kyneton Daffodil Festival. It is there they hope to sign up new members – are already 15 – while a website is also planned.
“The transition town movement is all about relocalisation of towns as the world will have to adjust to global warming and dwindling supplies of oil,” Ms McLaren said.
Members of the fledgling environmental group have taken advice from similar groups in the Macedon Ranges, including the Transition Town Riddell and the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group based in Woodend.
Meanwhile the Friends of the Earth are organising a public meeting to discuss wind power opportunities and risks.
It will be held on Thursday at the Holy Cross Primary School in New Gisborne at 7pm. Speakers at the forum will include Barry Mann from Woodend Integrated Sustainable Energy, which is hoping to build a community wind farm in Woodend, Tobias Geiger of wind farm developer WestWind Energy, Michael Power from the Environment Defenders Office on planning laws and wind farms and Merryn Redenhach of Doctors for the Environment Australia.
Details: Ben on 0413 580 706.
Kyneton Transition Hub details: Julie on 5422 3023.