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Feb 282013
 
Rolf Kuelsen chats to the Carindale Community Forum at Pacific Golf Club.

Rolf Kuelsen chats to the Carindale Community Forum at Pacific Golf Club.

We wrote about Rolf Kuelsen and his amazing Cannon Hill garden last year.

Rolf was one of the guest speakers at the Carindale Community Forum at Pacific Golf Club on Wednesday night.

He shared his knowledge and experiences surrounding transport, cycling, energy alternatives, food production, happiness, working with government and measuring economic growth, just to name a few.

Yes, each of those topics warrant sessions just on their own, but Rolf gave an interesting overview that tied together his diverse and practical insights.

He also told the group about the upcoming food buying group workshop (see below for details).

Rolf has extensive experience with edible gardens and he’d like to see Brisbane growing food, rather than mowing, on its verges (nature strips, depending on how you refer to them).

“Brisbane is one of the few regions that doesn’t allow growing food on the verge,” he said.

Rolf is taking part in a letter writing campaign to try to get the law changed regarding this “under-utilised resource.”

Carina Heights permaculturalist and friend of Rolf, Dean Bleasdale (‘Green Dean’), also has strong views on council restrictions regarding verges. The topic is something that Carindale Connect hopes to explore further at some point.

Most forum attendees had not heard of a Permablitz and so Rolf explained this community-powered garden transformation activity with the group. This video provides a great insight into the Permablitz that took place at his garden.

With his involvement in so many projects and groups it’s not surprising that someone in the audience asked him to share his strategy for time management. Rolf says his enjoyment of these projects and doing something constructive rather than “sitting in front of the television for hours” makes it easy for him to manage.

A big focus for Rolf is the upcoming workshop – ‘Building Community Food Options’.

He described the government’s National Food Plan as too much of “a Coles, Woolworths and Monsanto Food Plan.”

“So we created our own food plan,” Rolf explained.

The group food buying workshop arose out of a gathering of 100s of people all over Australia last year to generate a People’s Food Plan.

It’s an action-based day of workshops which aim to give practical steps for starting, or improving your existing, bulk buying group. The motivation for such a gathering is summed up well below:

“We are a national alliance of people and organisations who are working for a better food system. The food system is broken. People are hungry in outer suburbs, whilst supermarkets are throwing away food. Farmers are leaving the land in droves. Food is full of additives and chemicals that are making us sick. We’ve come up with a plan for a better food system – it’s called the People’s Food Plan.”
– the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance

Workshop: A day of information sharing – to help build community food options
When: Sunday 24th March, 9am-5pm
Where: Buranda State School
Cost: $10 (discounts for group bookings)
Contact / rego:  http://tiny.cc/localfoodrego or to seq.cooperative.network@gmail.com

With Rolf’s links to so many community-based initiatives it would be very worthwhile to have as a regular part of the Carindale Community Forum. We’d also like to hear from locals who attend the workshop to see what plans or ideas they have for community food options in the Carindale region.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gen is the Founder of Carindale Connect (started in 2007). She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Queensland University of Technology and an internship from ABC Online. She's involved in a number of web projects, was the Website Manager for Chamber of Commerce and Industry QLD and the Editor of Wotnews (Australian news aggregator and search engine start-up). She also spent some time as a volunteer Community Correspondent for 612 ABC Brisbane. Born in Hobart, Tasmania, Gen now lives in Carindale. She loves her bicycle (but doesn't do lycra), the environment and art.
Genevieve Robey

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