TTG Newsletter March 2015

Transition The GrovePO Box 471

Ferny Hills DC  QLD  4055


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Dear {usertag:name},

Here is our events for this month, which we hope you will join us for.
The rest of the Newsletter has a range of articles.

1. Upcoming Events:

Sustainable Transport Planning Workshop; & (optional) Bike Ride
Transition The Grove's monthly Community Meeting for March

Organiser: Wally Wight
Location: 48 Corrofin St, Ferny Grove
Time: Bike ride 4:30pm;  Transport Planning Workshop 5:30pm - 7:30pm; Supper sharing

Workshop on transport policy appropriate to The Grove
Wally will coordinate a workshop on transport policy appropriate to our Transition area. The workshop will CityCycleaddress: - your personal experiences of transport challenges and "wins", - a review of Labor pre-election transport policy proposals (an excerpt of the policy document is available on request), and - a vision of how we would like to see transport perform in our area. This session will culminate in providing shared input to a draft submission which Transition The Grove may wish to make to the new Premier, the new Transport Minister, Jackie Trad, and to our local members.

Bike Ride - optional

The bike ride is along Lanita Rd to the Ferny Grove rail station and transit interchange, then westward to where Lanita Road terminates at the entrance the forest.  The aim of the ride will be to provide:

  • a look at how various modes of transport integrate (or not?) at the local transport interchange,
  • a look at Brisbane City's recent treatment of Lanita road as an "active transport route"
  • appreciation of the corridor along Kedron Brook as a recreational experience,
  • a look at potential Kedron Brook crossing points to Samford Road, and
  • a preview of the future cycle link to Samford via the old railway line route.  

Lanita Road has a very slight slope. The ride takes half an hour not hurrying.  
Allowing an hour gives us time to see the sights.  
John and Anne have one spare men's bike available to borrow (but no spare bike helmet).  
Wally will bring a spare bike (choice of a men's mountain bike or a unisex folding bike) and helmet.

Demonstrations of transport planning using Translink Journey Planner
As a precursor to the workshop, we will have a look at the TransLink Journey Planner to see how each of us might have travelled to the meeting by public transit and home again (a challenge for a Sunday night?).  
Laptops are provided, but if you have a "smart" phone or the like we suggest you bring it.

Demonstration of booking a bike using City Cycle
John Tennock will pass on his experience with attempting to hire a "city cycle".

Shared Potluck Supper
We will finish the meeting with a shared meal.
Please bring something to share for supper

The HOG (Hills Organic Garden) Open Day, Sunday 29th March, noon to 4:30pm

The garden is next to the Dog Offleash Area on Bunya Rd. Enter through the Dog Offleash Area gate.

Responding to climate change: lessons from an Australian Hotspot

Wednesday, 25th March, 4-6pm, The Ship Inn, South Bank, Brisbane.

SE QLD has been one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, both in terms of its rapidly growing population and an ever-expanding built environment. It is also one of the most vulnerable regions likely to suffer from the adverse impacts of climate change...

To hear more, come to this book launch, including panel and author discussion.
RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone Amirah Kullack 07 5552 7263 at the Griffith Climate Change Response Program.

2. February Meeting - Appreciating the geography and gems of our expanded Grove

Walking in the RainA successful outing was held on Sunday 15th February. We traversed the Egernia Circuit rainforest/butterfly walk (1.5km) and Joan pointed out an astonishing variety of caterpillars. A rain shower while we were in the rainforest somehow added an unanticipated magic and brought the forest alive! Bunyas scattered on the path and butterflies sparkling in the sunshine were real highlights.

Afternoon tea at Jolly's Lookout is worth mentioning - homegrown tiny tomatoes with herbs & crackers, lemon meringue pie and lilly pilly muffins with a cuppa from the thermos. Delicious!

We continued back along the beautiful forest drive and stopped at Camp Mountain to savour more views from the lookouts.

Lunch Time

This was a relaxed and delightful opportunity to enjoy views of our region and this included observing the catchment boundary and comparing with the electoral boundary, checking where Upper Kedron residential development is progressing and noting the roads situation. Most importantly, we were also getting to know each other better which of course is strengthening local connections for a supportive community network.

John Wrench's Bunya Cream Recipe

Soon after gathering your freshly fallen bunyas (BEWARE safety: Falling bunyas could easily drive your skull down to your belly-button!) steam or boil them for half an hour. Don't leave them long either before or after cooking as they are very susceptible to going mouldy.

Cut them open (he uses strong electrical cable cutters; we used a set of cleaned tree-loppers - BEWARE of finger safety). Extract the bunya flesh.

Freeze any you are not going to use or eat promptly to avoid it going mouldy and getting wasted.

Blend it to a fine paste (we added a little cold water). He recommends some macadamia or olive oil, a little salt, and (if you want it sweet) a little honey.

Then emulsify it (he's a chemist so uses the correct terms) with boiling water. Same process as making custard or white sauce. Stir the bunyas briskly while stirring in boiling water. How much water you add determines how stiff or runny the final cream is.

This cream can be used as is on desserts, or added to dishes that benefit from being made creamy. He talks of a delicious leak and bunya cream soup.

Alternatively, bunyas can be baked in the oven to dry them out, them ground to a coarse granules which store well and make a good breakfast, or can be added to soups, etc.

The best bunya crops happen every 4 years (this year was one) from mid-February for a week or two.

3. Welcome New Member

Diane Cairnes has joined us. Welcome Diane. She has transport connections, so you may get to meet her at the March Community Meeting.

4. Local Governance - New Local State MPs

What a difference a month makes! What hiatus our local electorates of Ferny Grove and Ashgrove caused in the recent State election! With Ferny Grove being the ultimate cliff-hanger.

We wish retiring MP Dale Shuttleworth all the best.

We are planning to meet with the currently elected local MPs (Mark Furner, Kate Jone, Tim Mander).

The new MP for Ferny Grove is Mark Furner (Labor) - not sure if he lives locally, but we are planning to meet with him. Let us know if there perspectives you would like brought to him, or if you'd be really keen to come along.

The new MP for Ashgrove is Kate Jones (Labor). Ashgrove is like the Federal seat of Ryan - it extends right across the dividing range (Taylor Range), so while most people think of The Gap and Ashgrove, it is also Enoggera...  We are also planning to meet with Kate Jones and let her know about the Transition movement in the Upper Kedron valley.

Tim Mander (Everton - LNP) continues to hold his seat, now in opposition.

We hope to work with all local members, and will explore what this means. In the meantime, could you all put on your thinking caps and make a list of what we should/should not talk to local politicans about, and whole way we approach them.

5. Climate change and all that

Book recommendation: Pachacuti, by George F. Trembath (a north QLDer).

This is a very readable novel (429 pages good-sized print) woven around three time periods (late 1970s to mid 1980s; 2012-2024; 2065). Well-written science dialogues, love story woven into ecological adventures, utopian future-building, and some (?unnecessary) philosophising about religion. It includes a constitutional preamble for a new future ideal society which would be worth arguing about (I found lots of reasons to think it flawed, but debating what would and wouldn't have a chance of working is well worthwhile).  Anne and John own a copy and are very happy to loan it to members.

Climate change, El Nino events and drought

Exactly what will happen to the climate in our own region here in the decades ahead is well worth trying to pin down. The Griffith University book launch raises the question of whether we will become a hot spot or not.

This article on Global temperatures in 2014-15 includes a clear graph showing El Nino events (Figure 7). El Nino - global climate change combinations will play a big part for us here in SEQ.

Very alarming predictions have been coming out about drought in the US and the directions the climate is taking in Europe. Also in the south of Australia. What we need to think more about is what is likely to happen here in SE QLD. Also, what is likely to happen as literally multi-millions of people around the globe become climate refugees.  Millions already are, but many of the events that have climate as an underlying cause are being experienced as war and extreme unrest. Syria is a case in point. Hunger in Egypt is a trigger to watch too as they are grossly overpopulated for their carrying capacity. Do we offer to share the lifeboat with desperate fleeing people in dramatically increasing numbers, or do we equally desperately and probably ineffectually attempt to close our doors? What do we do as the richer and cleverer ones simply buy up our farmlands, our businesses, our water resources and our homes?

What happened to the lobbyists who tried to reshape our views on climate change?

Graham Redfearn has done the research and published it in The Guardian. Here is the link.

Climate Fast for Carbon for Lent 17 March

Catholics in our community are going on a carbon fast for Lent on 17th March. This is something we could all join in and do. We can share what the experience is like, and how little carbon we managed to get down to for the day.

6.  Cooperatives, mutuals, LETS, and community currencies

Anne, John and Sue attended a very interesting presentation at Griffith University about banking and cooperatives. This is a hugely under-explored area in Australia, though not overseas. Some of us who have experience with cooperatives and LETS and alternative currencies are very excited with the benefits to be readily obtained. We are wanting to explore through Transition The Grove the possibility of starting some local cooperatives.... The June meeting will be led by Alison Bird and it will be on the subject of LETS and community currencies and trading services. Heaps of potential for sand-patching this together.

7. Bev a Local Heroine for helping to recycle and keep resources local

Bev has a stall at the Ferny Grove Markets most Sunday morning, selling eggs, bread and some fruit. She also has tables with items on for sale for 50c/item. These are donated by anyone who wants to bring things along to donate. This keeps the price really low, and means it is a great place to find a bargain, and it helps keep resources in our local area.  Resilience in action! Good on Bev.

8. Local health is best

You've probably heard what we say about local health: "Who needs the Federal/State health budgets! We can do 80% of keeping healthy without it!" Big claim, but don't dismiss it unless you really know all the treasures we've found and put on our Health Forum on the Transition The Grove website.  Here's a few for this month:

Less alcohol is better. Two Harvard studies are worth noting in this regard. One is a big longterm study of men's happiness, and it definitely identified alcohol as being a source of problems, and heavy alcohol consumption as a precurser for mental health problems, not a result of them.  Another study found a clear link between female alcohol intake and breast cancer. Not much alcohol, unfortunately!

Learn to take your pulse, and get to know how your pulse rate works. I picked up a little book in the Ferny Grove Markets (at Bev's stall for 50c would you believe!) called "The Pulse Test: Easy Allergy Detection", by Arthur F.Coca, M.D. His medical credentials are quite remarkable: 17 years Medical Director of Lederle Laboratories, Honorary President of the American Association of Immunologists, founder and first editor of the Journal of Immunology, taught at Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania and the Post-Graduate Medical School at Columbia University.  What makes him all the more remarkable is that he recommends a simple Pulse Test to identify food allergens to add years to your life and well-being.  I'm going to type up notes from it, and road-test the Pulse Test, and will give a report next month, and maybe we can give it a try at the April Community Meeting which will be a combined AGM and a Local Health Workshop.

Protect your hearing. The World Health Authority advises against listening to loud music through headphones. Turn it down!

9. Future Community Meeting Topics

Remember our Community Meetings are held regularly every month on the 3rd Sunday (time of day varies a bit depending on the actual topic/activity, but is usually at the end of the afternoon)

Our April Community Meeting will be the AGM, combined with a workshop on Local Health.  Will also plan to seek to meet with local politicians towards the end of April.

Our June Community Meeting will be on LETS, swapping goods and services locally,  and local currencies.

If you have articles or photos you'd like included, please email them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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