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Electric vehicles lead the charge

You can never have too much garlic

Renewed interest in renewables

WHEN Justin Harding accelerates silently out of a carpark, passers-by do double-takes.

“People wonder what on Earth is going on with that mysterious car that seems to go without starting its engine,” he says, happily.

His number-plates reveal the secret: ELCTR0. Harding, an engineer from Blackburn, finished converting his Mitsubishi Lancer to battery power two years ago.

Around Melbourne, a bunch of first-time farmers are sowing their cloves.

Em Herring has grown garlic once before: in an old tyre on her grandpa’s beef cattle farm in Gloucester, NSW, when she was only 8 years old. “He said to me, ‘Emily, if there’s one crop you grow when you’re older, it should be garlic’,” she recalls. “It’s funny that I’ve come full-circle.”

Herring is now 25, a tertiary-trained musician living in Northcote, and she’s turning back to the land.

WOODEND residents are staging a renewable energy revival, spurred by the incoming state government.

The local sustainability group is launching two green energy projects: a new solar energy scheme and the resurrection of a longstanding plan for three community-owned wind turbines.

Today, at the Sustainable Living Festival in Woodend, Energy and Resources Minister Lily D’Ambrosio will announce a $100,000 grant for a 30-kilowatt solar farm.