Saturday, December 6, 2008

Young people and the Yam daisy

This morning Barry Golding, from the University of Ballarat, led a group of us on a walk from inside the crater at Lalgambook (Mt Franklin) to Larnebarramul (Franklinford). Barry is a font of anthropological, geographical and archeological information dating from the earliest volcanic activity 20 million years ago, to more recent history, specifically that of the Djadjawurrung.

The other half of the day I spent at the senior citizens rooms behind Daylesford Town Hall with another group of people. The issue of heritage was a major sticking point with us, some people thinking that social heritage begins with Cornish miners. We were attempting to agree on a way forward for the contentious community reserve which adjoins the equally contentious youth (skate) park. On my agenda was public food, and I was sucessful in having fruit and nut trees (20-30%) considered as a recommendation for the final planting scheme.

Among the day's highlights was learning about the murnyong (Yam daisy). The murnyong was a major staple tuber that the Djadjawurrung lived off for tens of thousands of years, and which still grows wild in the area and across central Victoria. Barry had collected seed earlier in the morning and gave some out. I'm looking forward to propagating our five seeds. Another highlight was working with others of wide-ranging opinions to develop a common objective, and potentially the beginnings of a food relocalisation mind-shift, that local council backs on behalf of the community.

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