Creating the perfect butterfly garden

(AMLRNRM: Jeremy Gramp) Photo:
An Australian painted lady butterfly.

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(AMLRNRM: Sam Ryan) Photo:
A common brown male butterfly.
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(AMLRNRM: Sam Ryan) Photo:
A bitter-bush blue butterfly.

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ABC Radio Adelaide

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Brett Williamson

Posted

March 17, 2017 12:28:38

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Butterfly gardens are booming in schools to help boost nature play and outdoor learning. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Brett Williamson)

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A southern grass-dart butterfly.

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Searching for butterflies provides hours of entertainment for both children and adults. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Brett Williamson)
Looking at the antenna was a way to differentiate a butterfly from a moth, Mr Ryan said.”A moth will have a club-like antenna.”And butterflies, when resting, usually have their wings closed, whereas moths will lay them flat. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Brett Williamson) Photo:
Butterflies are definitely welcome in the specially designed garden. Know your local butterflies He said the first thing that usually comes to mind when someone says “butterfly” is the monarch.”They are actually introduced and were brought over from California.”The NRM has an Adelaide-region butterfly identification chart, that when printed in A3 size shows species at life sizes.Mr Ryan said there were many local butterflies you could attract to your garden, including the wrongly named cabbage moth.

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A boom in butterfly gardens at schools across South Australia is being driven by an increasing interest in nature play and a drive to see students learn more outside of the classroom.The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management (NRM) Board has helped 12 local schools build a butterfly garden on their grounds.”It’s a great way for children to interact with their local environment,” NRM education coordinator Sam Ryan said.”[Students] learn about plants and some of the animals you are likely to see in a metropolitan area.”What makes a great butterfly garden?O’Halloran Hill kindergarten staff recently created their own butterfly-attracting garden in a southern courtyard of their grounds. Photo:
The NRM’s Sam Ryan talks to teachers who are about to become new butterfly garden hosts. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Brett Williamson)
He said an important part of creating a butterfly garden was growing plants that caterpillars would eat.”[Plants] like the ruby salt bush, kangaroo grass, hardenbergia — they’re fantastic for those caterpillars.”Flowering plants are also needed as a food source for adult butterflies.”A good butterfly garden will have different plants flowering at different times so the food source is spread out,” Mr Ryan said.Attracting the locals (ABC Radio Adelaide: Brett Williamson)
Mr Ryan said the plants were chosen to support and attract local birds, bees and butterflies.”There are predominantly local native species [in this garden].”

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Birdbaths with rocks in them provide surfaces for butterflies to access water.

Dumpster divers make free meals to build community

(ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius)
Brendon Donohue has been a regular at the Food Not Bombs event over the past year-and-a-half.He is blind.”I was looking for more social interaction,” he said.”As a blind person it is very hard to get out into the community and go to social places which accept all diverse people.”Everyone is included here, regardless of disability.”It gives me a sense of belonging in the community.”William Hunter, who has had mental health problems, has been coming most Fridays since July 2014.”I was a bit involved with petty crime and stuff and I was a bit mentally unwell because of drugs.”I’m a lot better now but I get a bit lonely sometimes, so I come here and talk to my mates.”They’re good people, they’re kind and you can have a good conversation.”I’m on the pension and it helps, it’s a free feed.”

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Mike, originally from Sudan, comes some Friday nights to meet new people. Photo:
Sandon and Brendon met through Food Not Bombs and now go to the cinema and on runs together. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius)
“He lives in the area and lives a fairly isolated life,” Mr Paine said.”He has been a real blessing, he has taught us sign language.”We have made a long-lasting friendship.”If he doesn’t turn up I’ll send a text to make sure he’s alright.”Paul did not want to be interviewed nor photographed, but those there could see the delight on his face.The group circled around him to sign “happy birthday” as he blew out his candles. Photo:
After half an hour sifting through the dumpster, the group has enough food for up to 40 people. What it’s like dumpster diving The crew from Food Not Bombs hits a bin once a week in inner Brisbane to rescue kilograms of food. Photo:
The table, laden with food, is carried a short distance from the community house to the park. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius)
Atop the table last week was carrot soup, mash potato with saffron, a mushroom, eggplant and ginger stir-fry, apple crumble and a fruit salad.They had also made a carrot cake for one of the regulars celebrating a birthday — Paul, who is deaf. A group in Brisbane is turning food thrown out by supermarkets into home-cooked meals which they serve to the lonely, isolated and some who are just plain hungry.The young men and women gather each Friday in a West End park; they do not have a permit to be there, nor do they believe in asking for one. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius) They are part of Food Not Bombs, a global movement to reclaim public space and protest against rampant food wastage.Andy Paine and his friends have been dumpster diving once a week for the past six years.They hit just one bin, fishing out enough fresh food to feed 30 to 40 people — bags of zucchinis, potatoes, loaves of bread, as well as packaged bananas and donuts.There are also unopened soft drinks, dumped by the supermarket after one in the pack of four broke.The usable food is washed off, the damaged turned into sauces, and the too-far-gone composted.”It is an incredible amount of waste, but it will help us provide food for other people.”

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Bags of zucchinis and potatoes were saved from the dumpster, as well as unopened soft drinks and cakes. Photo:
The food rescued from supermarket dumpsters is turned into vegan and vegetarian meals. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius)
They head to a community house to cook, turning the haul into vegan and vegetarian dinners.”We are not just about reducing food waste,” Mr Paine said.”Food waste is also just eating in front of the TV and not thinking about the potential.”Not thinking about what we could be doing with our food, what communities we could be building, how we could be reaching out to people, how we could be using the streets. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius)
“That is what Food Not Bombs is about; it is about envisioning a different world and a different way of eating.”Forming lasting friendships through foodAs part of their weekly ritual, the barefooted group walk their long wooden serving table from the community house to a park on Boundary Street. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius)
Mr Paine said they wanted to create an environment where you could make friends and meet new people every week.”We welcome strangers and use food as a resource for building community — using food beyond just fuelling our bodies.”

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Denis comes to Food Not Bombs to talk to people from other cultures.
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(ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius) ABC Radio Brisbane

By Kym Agius

Updated

March 17, 2017 13:23:56

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Food Not Bombs regular William Hunter has turned his life around after petty crime and mental health problems.