Savage Garden, Plant Life and D.I.G aren’t just musical acts: they’re also the names given to some of the edible gardens in the eastern suburbs as part of an urban farming movement in our backyards and on our balconies.
Grow it Local is a new initiative to showcase local growers, and create and build connections between good and growing within our communities.
It’s the brainchild of the team who brought you Garage Sale Trail and is a community-led idea supported by founding partners Woollahra, Waverley and Randwick City Councils.
Grow it Local co-founder, Darryl Nichols, said an increasing number of local residents, schools, community groups and businesses were embracing edible gardening as a means to nourish, reconnect, improve wellbeing, reduce food to landfill and have fun too.
“We believe that, if everyone grew their own food, life would be juicer and more delicious,” Darryl said.
“Research shows that growing your own food is better for your health and fitness, promotes learning for young and old, and helps to tackle social isolation.”
With food gardens on the rise, we took a peep around the neighbourhood to see what’s ‘growing on’.
Meet local grower, Oliver Brown
Oliver Brown, of Maroubra, is a local grower, beekeeper and salt-maker who runs the Fat of the Land and Sea initiative. For three months each year, Oliver eats only what he can grow, forage or fish.
“For most of human history, almost everyone was directly involved in where their own food came from,” Oliver said.
“Whether that was picking fishing, foraging or hunting. What always remains, ticking away in the core of human nature, is the desire for real connections to food and a community within which it is shared.
“One of the most important things that we have to share is not just food – but knowledge & skills. There is also potential for local growers to make some pocket money by listing their growing services – this could be mentoring aspiring growers or growing food for a local family - posting unused space for rent, making locally grown produce available for restaurants via ‘crowdfarming’, selling seeds and no-doubt more.”
Joining Grow it Local
- Register your patch on the map.
- Join Oliver and others at the Grow It Local Festival (18-24 November) aiming to inspire and encourage edible gardening through a series of community-led talks, workshops, garden tours, seed swaps and events.
The festival includes:
- growers like Oliver will be opening their patches for an edible garden tour and tasting
- the first ever Picklenic featuring a live ABC Radio Sydney broadcast
- crowdfarmed dinners & cocktails
- jamming with the Country Womens Association
- a workshop with Costa Georgiadis from Gardening Australia
- can You Dig It Art Show
- edible gardening with Paul West from River Cottage Australia
- seed exchange with The Diggers Club
- a G&T with the Australia’s godfather of growing, Clive Blazey.
For more info, and to curate your own contribution, visit www.growitlocal.com.
Image: Urban farmer Oliver Brown, courtesy of Grow it Local