Friday, 22 July 2011

Costas Camden Odyssey

On July 8th i had the pleasure to attend the Camden Garden Club annual luncheon at the Camden Civic Centre, what a pleasure it was, guest speaker for day was Costa Georgiadis. How would i describe Costa? not easily, but in a nutshell this is as close as i can get, an enthusiastic, exhuberant, engaging, charismatic, passionate character and landscape architect who is at the frontline of the war on nature that has been waged over the last several decades.

Camden Garden Club President Harry Stait-Gardener and Costa

Costa passed on words of wisdom after discourging all manner of items from his own stash whose relevance became all too clear during the course of his engaging talk too the assembled masses.

Costa outlined his early childhood upbringing and how his grandfather had been a moulding force in his education of all things green and brown. His grandfather was into permaculture and organic practises in the 50s before it was fashionable or cool, he recycled everything in his randwick garden, from fetta cheese wrappers to olive oil cans, and everything he grew Costas Grandmother cooked, that included wayward pidgeons and rabbits, fed herbs as Costa joked as a sort of pre marinade from the inside out. He stressed the importance of the soil and compost, showing a sample he brought with him, and described it as a "lifeforce" and inshort our health is determined by what we put in our mouths and that compost is such a huge factor

His talk also touched on the fact that in the present age we have a duopoly which for many years has been dictated to by supply chain solutions and the growers/farmers feel they have to comply with this system, and in effect our health is governed by corporate profit.

There was certainly some interesting topics raised and all that Costa is very passionate about, the fact that one of the Northern Rivers shires had sprayed the best part of 320km of verge with biocide and this really frustrated him, to the point of contacting the local members, other issues discussed were Genetically Modified, or "GM" foods and having being involved in research where by i was working on canola oil and sunflower oil for use as hydraulic fluid, was something i could relate too, he also touched on the Free Trade Agreement blocked in 2005 and the coal seam gas situation presently in the media. (checkout Gasland on SBS), on the positive side the likes of the Youth Climate Coalition are making moves in the right direction, and also Costa commended the local community of Camden on its vision to retain and acknowledge the heritage of the area and loved that sense of arrival you got and the village feel of Camden albeit now having that large commercial stamp at its entrance.

As Costa put it we all posses the qualities of patience, observation and understanding and as individuals, groups and communities we can make a difference, and as his grandfather put it, soil/compost is the lifeforce for plants and we need to respect and nurture it.

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