Wednesday, April 8, 2015
One of Terry's high school friends asked us to take one of Melbourne's trolly's out of the city to it's terminus. There she met us at the station. She suggested we go for a walk and get some lunch. Along the way, we met a man who was busy picking berries from a tree. He looked a bit like a hippy and invited us to try a couple of berries for ourselves.
Our destination was CERES (Cnr Roberts and Stewart Streets, Brunswick East, 3057) which is a not for profit educational organization located on 4 hectares of rehabilitated landfill in East Brunswick, Melbourne. It used to be a quarry and it was purchased and turned into a community gardening project. Terry's friend has been on a waiting list for years to get a plot to tend. CERES was absolutely amazing. There was a gardening shop, cafe and an open market with fresh vegetables and vintage clothing. Children played in the dirt lanes and chickens scurried across our path. This seemed like the Eden that we had lost. What a shame that Orlando doesn't have a similar large community project.
We stopped for a coffee and a muffin at the cafe. Oscar Jimenez was entertaining the crowd on guitar. I did a tiny sketch to be sure I was done quickly. Everywhere I looked in CERES I wanted to sketch. There was a huge community bike shop which had a geodesic dome made entirely of bicycle wheels. Wind turbines and solar panels provided energy making the community self contained. Water barrels conserved water for the gardens. CERES is deeply committed to a reduction in resource use. Technology and efficiency are drivers for this reduction. They match technology with education programs for both adults and school children to encourage widespread behaviour change leading to large reductions in consumption. Some of their demonstrations, such as the Environmentally Sustainable Design principles embodied in the buildings are widely applicable. Other demonstrations are experimental, part of their aim to support cutting edge initiatives. The electric vehicle conversion program, aquaponics and biogas plant belong in this category. All CERES Green Technology projects are designed to be working demonstrations or on going research projects, and can be viewed on site, or during guided tours. In America we seem to waste everything but Australians conserve and optimize their resources.
I was sorry we had to leave. Terry's friend showed us her apartment which also had solar panels. When she conserves energy and only uses solar, she is paid by the energy company because her energy feeds the grid. We all decided to head back to Melbourne to go to The National Gallery of Victoria. Fashion designer, Jean Paul Gaultier was having a show and Terry was excited to see his contour dresses on display. We drove an energy efficient Prius back to the city.