Council embraces family focussed food theme for Earth Hour
  • Friday 27 March 2015
Palmwoods food grower selling local produce at market

This year Earth Hour is celebrating Australian food and farmers, highlighting the impact of a changing climate on our food supply and the importance of supporting local, fresh, quality food.

Sunshine Coast Council is embracing the theme, hosting a local harvest picnic at Cotton Tree on Saturday, March 28 from 2.30pm to 8pm.

Residents will enjoy a free family day out with heaps of fun activities for kids and adults, plus opportunities to learn about and taste local produce.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the theme for this year’s Earth Hour event was especially pertinent as the Sunshine Coast had such a thriving food industry.

“We have hundreds of growers and producers right here in our region," Cr McKay said.

“Through this event, we hope to highlight local produce and growers and encourage conscious consumerism.

“We want people to support our farmers and to look for information that tells them where their food is coming from.

“Sunshine Coast residents are lucky to have such a vast choice of where to buy local produce—markets, fresh food outlets, farm stalls, many of which are listed on the Seasons of the Sun website, a council initiative which supports local growers.

“This is all part of Council’s journey to make the Sunshine Coast the most sustainable region in Australia, supported through the Sunshine Coast Climate Change and Peak Oil Strategy and the Rural Futures Strategy.”

Food Facts

  • Gross value of Australian agricultural production in 2012/13 was $48 billion;
  • Rising temperatures and more extreme weather, like drought and irregular rainfall, are already affecting hops and barley, key ingredients in beer;
  • 93% of the food we eat is grown in Australia;
  • 85% of Australia’s bananas come from North Queensland. An increase in intensity in tropical cyclones could greatly affect the price and availability of Australian bananas;
  • Australia sells $135 million worth of blueberries each year with most grown in areas of low temperature and high humidity. Hotter temperatures will decrease pollination time;
  • The value of services from bees to agricultural production is around $6 billion per year.   A warmer climate alters plant flowering patterns and bee behaviour. Almonds are 100% reliant on bees for pollination.
  • Source: Appetite for Change, the latest research on the impact of climate change on specific foods.

Event Information

Family fun at Cotton Tree

If you love food and local produce or have kids and want a free family fun activity, come along to the FREE local harvest picnic at Cotton Tree 2.30–8pm on March 28.

Why? We’re celebrating local food production for Earth Hour.

Bring your picnic and enjoy:

  • Live music from Swing Loco;
  • Local produce – Good Harvest, Cedar Creek Bushfoods, Frozen Sunshine;
  • Food presentations - beautiful every day lunch box food (Tania Hubbard), foraged native foods and cooking with fresh local ingredients of the day (Peter Wolfe);
  • Creative workshops – learn to weave a platter with banana leaves, make your own bee puppet, try your hand at origami and make some strawberries. Make a pot and take home some edible plants for your garden and prepare for Earth Hour with a handmade lantern (and a LED candle);
  • Free veggie seedlings - Anne the Micro Gardener who will show you how gardening is possible in even the smallest of spaces.  Pick your favourite edibles and pot them up in an upcycled container;
  • Children’s games and activities – watermelon tunnel ball, egg and spoon races, pass the orange, painting and drawing and a petting zoo;
  • A meet and greet with Hugo the turtle;
  • The Starry Night cinema.

At 6.30pm, bring your pillows and settle back for some family fun with an outdoor movie screening of Over the Hedge (G). Grab your free popcorn and come early to make a lantern powered by an LED candle.

For more info, visit the events page on council’s website.