Tuesday, June 1, 2010
My little Greenwash column in Trouble magazine is a year old this month, and to help celebrate this anniversary I've made a cake almost entirely from forest foods.
Bill Mollison says that a mature oak tree can provide as much food as an acre of agriculture in a given year. Once established a tree requires little toil and can be a home for diverse biology, whereas a field requires constant toil and generally doesn't allow much scope for beneficial flora and fauna, especially on non-organic farms. After collecting a handful of acorns and preparing them for cooking my experimental poem-cum-cake-cum-festival-announcement (Greenwash #12), I have begun to realise the potential that Mollison is talking about. In fact I would go so far to suggest it's urban food forestry that's key to sustainable cities, over and beyond urban farming. Urban food forestry makes even more sense due to space limits. A food producing tree can be 'slotted in' anywhere in an urban context due to its verticality, however an acre of horizontal land for crops is almost impossible unless we start bulldozing suburbs.
On this note our Food Forest community garden based in Sydney is coming along nicely over here on the Artist as Family blog. And my research work at UWS is also being fed forest based nourishment as I start to consider the form of my creative-critical project as potentially modeling a recipe book – a kind of Alice B Toklas cookbook goes anarcho-primitivist.
Oak trees, acorn recipes and urban food forests are all segues into introducing Melbourne's forthcoming festival of art and sustainability seven thousand oaks.
If the above is difficult to read (click for bigger), you can also read it at Trouble by clicking here.
If you want to know more about the seven thousand oaks festival please click on the link.