Straw People

October 12th, 2017
Straw People
You’ll do a double take when wandering around the Uraidla Sustainability Fair this year. Odd figures will be appearing here and there.

On a closer look you’ll discover they have straw limbs and tattered clothes and with a poke of the finger you’ll find they’re definitely not human.

What you’ll be looking at is the Uraidla Sustainability Fair’s scarecrow competition.

Held on Sunday, November 5 – the same day as the Uraidla and Summertown show – the fair educates locals about sustainability and renewable energy.

Uraidla Sustainability Fair secretary Sue King said the scarecrows are always popular with fair goers.

The idea is to reuse materials – about 90 per cent – to create your scarecrow with entries in three categories, junior primary, primary and open classes.

“Last year we had about 25 scarecrows of all levels of creativity,” she said. “One pair were sitting on chairs without any heads! My favourite aspect was the variety of hats they wore.

“We had caps, Sunday best hats and of course lots of farm type hats, some of which were very worn.

“The deeper purpose of the competition is to encourage kids to think about reusing. What can you do with that worn skirt or trousers?”

With over 50 exhibitors showcasing everything from the latest solar panels and batteries, to skin care and food, sustainability can be applied to all areas of life.

There will be a recycled fashion parade, sustainable gardening talks, demonstrations, community stalls, local food, and natural wine and cider. Bring your knives or tools to be sharpened by Mr Knife or pick up a mushroom growing kit from Fun Guy Fungi.

Adelaide’s first cloth nappy library service, Ecobums will encourage parents to move away from disposable nappies and hire a pack of cloth nappies to try.

A new addition to the fair, the Remakery is the place to bring those tools or items at the back of the shed that you have avoided fixing.

“There will be simple tools at the Remakery so people can repair it themselves or work with others who know how to go about it,” Sue said.

“We really hope people will be encouraged by the fair to reduce their carbon footprint, to think about how to reuse and recycle in their lives without it being an awful choir.

“We want people to have fun and see the many creative ways it can be done.

“We have the good fortune to live on this earth in this moment and we want to be handing on to our children and the community an earth that is not damaged.

“Our area is so beautiful and productive in terms of fruit and vegetables and working alongside the show we can think about how we can be productive in sustainable ways.

“The show is a very important community event and it talks about who we are as a community and we are wanting to add to that notion of who we are – a wholly sustainable community.”

When the fair first began 14 years ago it was one of the first of its kind in Australia.

“Back then there were no talk of batteries and there were only small solar panels,” Uraidla Sustainability Fair treasurer Richard Wallace said.

“It was still a greenie technology – people thought you were a bit weird to have that stuff. There is now an acceptance and the cost of the technology has reduced.

“There has been a significant uptake of solar panels with the massive government rebates so it’s much more mainstream.

“Sustainability in general is much more common because of the discussion around climate change. People see they need to do something in their own backyard.”

The fair focuses on changes or activities you can do at home such as producing your own food, switching to LED lights or looking after wildlife.

Solar panel set ups can now even include USB ports to charge phones – useful during a power outage or bushfire.

The fair also donates a portion of any profits back into the community and have given funds to pay for solar panels at the Basket Range cricket club.

In the future, they hope to install a small solar panel with USB ports and a digital radio on the Uraidla show building which becomes a refuge during bushfires.

Richard said running alongside the Uraidla and Summertown show allows the two events to help each other out.

“Volunteers help on either side and it increases the community involvement,” he said.

“People have the opportunity to meet people they otherwise wouldn’t. Obviously it’s a lot of work but it’s a fantastic community building exercise if you can do it well.

“We hope to get more people involved and continue to promote sustainable living.”

The Uraidla Sustainability Fair will be held on Sunday, November 5 from 9am at the Uraidla Primary School grounds.

Entry to the fair is included in Uraidla and Summertown show ticket price of $5.

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