Citizens may self-approve their road gardens

Sydney City Council has recognised that its citizens don’t need nannying if they wish to garden. Citizens may give themselves  approval to garden in public in the road verge. A new policy adopted by Council on Monday 25 February 2013 makes clear that Sydney citizens may self-approve their own road gardens. “The Footpath Gardening Policy (the Policy) allows residents and businesses to put planter boxes on the footpath and/or carry out gardening on footpath verges... Read More

Leaky drains, stink bugs and fun with dirt on our hands

Rosie and Nigel, who came on the first Urban Farm Working Tour at Sydney’s Sustainable House last Saturday, have kindly sent these photos and questions in. Firstly, the photos. Digging trench beside path for leaky drain   Cutting the agricultural pipe to fit the length of the trench; note the geofabric covering the pipe One length of leaky drain runs beside path edge and directs rain water to either side and also to drain at the T-section We also pruned a Tahitian Lime... Read More

Composting on the frontier

In Chippo we have public compost bins on our road gardens.   Friday and Saturday nights – pub nights – sometimes bring the urban galah, alcohol and our bins together.  About a month ago an urban galah or two tipped over two bins and damaged them. Michael with two heavy duty tapes screwed around the bins – sorry about the poor photo in the poor evening light Today, a new gardener who’s just moved into Myrtle Street, Michael, worked with me to strap... Read More

Kids garden in the roads

Kids harvesting tucker from road gardens Last week some 5 and 6 year old kids from a local child care centre came a-gardening with me and their parents and carers in Chippendale’s streets. They harvested lemon grass, nasturtium flowers and leaves, lemon tea tree, bay leaves, caffre lime leaves and, more than that, some ancient connections with food.   Marie, child care cook, using public compost bins The cook at the child care centre walks with the kids from the centre... Read More

Public meets to discuss plan to sustain a suburb

The Sustainable Communities Team have arranged a public meeting on Tuesday 16 October at 545 pm to discuss the plan to sustain a suburb, The Sustainable Communities Plan.   They’ve put the event onto Facebook where any person, even if they don’t use Facebook, may visit to see what’s planned.  Here’s an extract from the site:   The Sustainable Communities Panel is a completely free event brought to you by The Sustainable Communities Plan... Read More

Free mulch service, Australia-wide

Thais has posted this offer in the Sustainable Chippendale Facebook page. “Gardeners – free truckload of mulch for you to take away in open yard, Chippendale Yesterday we received a massive truckload of mulch to protect our gardens from the heat that is about to come; and it was free!! MulchNet has kindly donated the mix of beautiful mulch this afternoon, the lovely Wally dropped it off to us, and it is all now at the Pine St Creative Arts Centre, who also... Read More

Of the Wallace Line, the company of friends

Lombok island sits on the Wallace Line; a ‘black and white’ boundary where there is an abrupt and complete change from one type of animal and fauna type to another type. It was discovered by Darwin’s contemporary, Alfred Wallace who drew it in 1859 and I quote: ‘[to show] the ecozonesof Asia and Wallacea, a transitional zone between Asia and Australia. West of the line are found organisms related to Asiatic species; to the east, a mixture of species... Read More

Free mulch, free spring and other positives

Free mulch – Australia-wide While in Fremantle recently –  a very beautiful place to walk around – I met Tim Lawrence, whose business, MulchNet, provides free mulch across Australia. No catch here, just someone using imagination and wit. It works like this:  most landscaping and other mulch-making businesses have to pay to take the mulch to the tip if they can’t find a way to make it useful.  MulchNet allows anyone in any Australian state to register... Read More

When the streets seem strange

More often now  as I walk the streets the words come to my lips or mind, “These things seem strange to me now.” Funny.  Why’s that? The streets are the same.  The people, cars and other walkers – the same. How can the familiar become strange? James Joyce, self-exhiled to Paris, could describe the streets and names of most of his home town Dublin.  They were in his blood and inhabited his every fibre – his books say so loudly, and fondly, with... Read More

Humans being wonderful

With music and passion we humans soar and are wonderful – I dare you to watch this and say, ‘No’:… Som Sabadell flashmob On the 130th anniversary of the founding of Banco Sabadell we wanted to pay homage to our city by means of the campaign “Som Sabadell” (We are… (With thanks to The Chook Whisperer and her parents.)  Read More

  • Michael Mobbs

    Michael is a former Environmental Lawyer who is uniquely placed to consult in four main areas:

    • Sustainability Coach and Speaker,
    • Sustainable Urban Farm Design greening, watering and cooling the cityscape, roads, parks, suburbs,
    • Major Projects Consultant Commercial and Industrial,
    • Residential Sustainability Consultant.
    For permission to re-print any articles or to book Michael for a speaking engagement go to Contacts. Please ensure all quotes from Michael's blog include a reference to