How to get politicians to eat their greens

On Friday I went on a “date” with Peta, my wife, to the launch of the Moreland City Council’s Food System Strategy – yes, clearly we don’t get out much.   In a Coburg community garden in front of about 40 people our mayor gave a speech; announced a program, dedicated a budget, gave thanks to all involved before sending around platters of tasty food to us attendees chatting and eyeing off herbs in the garden beds.

The release of the council strategy document isn’t in the triumph-over-adversity mould of say Yacouba Sawadogo: The Man Who Turned Back the Desert.  But these are the slow motion incremental steps of democracy in action we’re talking about here. I remember ten years before going to a couple of council consultative food system meetings but giving up after watching it all become tied-up in brain-fogging bureaucratic knots.

But there were some, like food system strategy author, Mark Sanders, who had the sort of glacial patience to stay with the maddening process.  At the strategy launch Mark explained he was just one of those incredibly stubborn people who wouldn’t go away.  “It’s not how these things should happen”, he said, “but they do.”

You’d think, like some other evident truths, that something so fundamental in our lives as making sure everyone in our neighbourhood has healthy food that’s grown in a sustainable way would naturally command a high place in our political priorities. But it doesn’t and to get it there takes persistent visionaries like Mark Sanders, to keep pushing the food issue under the noses of our elected representatives again and again until something finally…..clicks.  

Community Gardens City Farm Gathering 2017

If you’re involved or want to be involved in community gardens or city farms – then this October 7th and 8th at CERES and on tour in Geelong you are invited to the National Community Gardens and City Farms Gathering.  It’s informative, warmhearted and there’s guaranteed to be some great food to share and home baked treats for morning tea.

Have a great week



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