May 15 – Brandon & Allie

8:00 am: Ate brekkie at the hostel

9:30-11:30: CERES Environmental Park

Noon: Merri Table lunch

2-3:30 pm: Fare Share Kitchen

5 pm: Rod Quantock comedian

CERES (Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies) Environmental Park is a sustainability center located on 4.5 hectares on the Merri Creek in Melbourne. It is home to the first sap soil system which uses sensors to detect the amount of water running into and out of the trees to detect the health of the trees. When trees are lacking water they become stressed which decreases their lifespan. Trees in urban settings are important for temperature control, oxygen, and shade and shut down when it becomes too hot, so all of the important aspects of the trees are no longer present. There is a huge community initiative to involve the citizens of Melbourne to come to CERES to learn about sustainable ways of living and become educated on the topic. There is a community garden for people to grow their own food as well as an organic grocery store and a café to shop/eat.

Fare Share Kitchen rescues food from grocery stores, farms, and manufactures that is then cooked into free, nutritious meals that feed people in need. About 6,000 meals a day are cooked in the kitchens and then distributed to Foodbank which donates the meals to local charities including homeless shelters and disadvantaged communities. There are four main components of Fare Share that keep it running every day: need, food, volunteers, and financial contribution. There are about 370,000 Victorians that go without food, so the need is there. Food that otherwise would end up in the landfill because it does not look appealing or is incorrectly labelled is donated. There are 1,100 regular volunteers that are the backbone of Fare Share that prep the meals and work in the kitchen. Lastly, there are many philanthropists that donate money to keep the place running to provide about 1.3 million meals each year for people in need.

Group photo outside of the Memoriam
Water sensor technology panel powered by solar energy
Another group photo outside of CERES
Outside of the Fare Share Kitchen

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