After finally recovering from some nasty virus at the beginning of this week I had some time to head to CERES (Centre for Educational and Research for Environmental Strategies — say that ten times fast!). This is a massive farm located in the middle of Melbourne that houses many different ongoing projects such as community gardens for let, chucks (read: chickens), bicycle workshop, skill trading groups, cafe (oh baby), etc.

What’s amazing is that within such a large city such as Melbourne CERES is showing the community that they are ways to be more sustainable. One are of the farm consists of an array of solar panels and wind turbines that help to put energy back onto the Melbourne power grid, and can’t help but make you smile with how cool it is to see them sitting in the middle of the city collecting the suns rays.

I think that a great deal of work and thought goes into the projects that they are setting up to work feasbily and responsibly. For example, their cafe uses water collected from the roof, is heated through two systems of solar heating, used to cleaning, etc. and then when drained goes through some reed bed water treatment system before being used to water other plants around the farm. If we had implemented systems of better grey-water reuse I could see there being less water shortages and better use of our water. The closest thing I get to t his back home is to shower into a bucket and then use that water to then flush my toilet. This is saving quite a lot of water considering the amount of water we are using in our bathrooms each day but still it might be easier for the average person if new homes were simply setup in a manner to allow for these types of systems. [You can read more about what the cafe is doing here.]

Frankly, I am just plain impressed with the entire site and can’t wait to get out there again to check out more. Learn more. There’s something about being in a farm in the middle of the city that is relaxing, amazing, and perhaps surprisingly natural to me. Shouldn’t all cities have something like this? A means to provide large scale agriculture that actually contributes to the food that people eat in that city? Or perhaps farms on the outlying areas of the city for the same purpose (not to mention people growing their own but in some cases people can’t because lack of yard space, etc).