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Category — Australia

Australia: Melbourne’s community gardens could save the city’s food-bowls

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lidmal Click on image for larger file. There is a groundswell of support for urban farming initiatives in Melbourne, reaching as far as new communities in Doreen. Photo: Pat Scala

Michael Hands, of 3000 acres, a Melbourne-based not-for-profit organisation that promotes urban agriculture, is working with developers to help establish communal gardens in projects.

By Christina Zhou, Kirsten Robb
Domain.com.au
Aug 20, 2016

Excerpt:

From large-scale community collectives to the humble backyard vegie patch, Melbourne’s plot culture has gained considerable traction in the past decade, with more and more people discovering the humble pleasure of GIY (grow-it-yourself).

But the future is not all ripe. Experts warn Melbourne will face a “perfect storm” in coming decades that will take suburban fresh food production from pastime to necessity.

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August 26, 2016   Comments Off on Australia: Melbourne’s community gardens could save the city’s food-bowls

Sydney now has its very own working city farm

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Organic market farmer Michael Zagoridis is part of the Pocket City Farms team. (Pocket City Farms)

If you thought true working farms were only for the country, think again. Sydney now has its very own organic urban variety, Pocket City Farms, located in Camperdown, near a major highway on a former bowling green.

By Yasmin Noone
SBS
Aug 16, 2016

Excerpt:

“Our primary aim is to bring farming into the city and to create food as locally as possible… People can come past and see us growing the food and then come in on a Saturday to our market and buy the food. It’s a real instant connection.”

The new farm, which officially opened around six weeks ago (but took three years to get off the ground), is located near Sydney University, nestled in a side street off the Great Western Highway, and bordered by an art gallery, city park and small Portuguese museum.

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August 21, 2016   Comments Off on Sydney now has its very own working city farm

Community gardens are flourishing in Australia

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Photo by Fitzroy.

In 1996 the inventory of community gardens numbered just 60 but the online directory now lists 600 locations and there are more that have not yet listed.

By Helen Young
The Australian
Aug 2016

Excerpt:

Russ Grayson of Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network says they are now part of standard urban design, with support from many councils. The volunteerrun network connects people across Australia who are interested in city farms and community gardening. In 1996 the inventory of community gardens numbered just 60 but the online directory now lists 600 locations and there are more that have not yet listed. The network offers free guides to setting up a community garden and basic techniques for productive gardening.

“The social design of a community facility is as critical as the landscape design,” says Grayson. “Learning how to work with other people, make decisions together and resolve disagreements is very important.” On 4.5ha in East Brunswick, Melbourne, CERES Community Environment Park runs an organic working farm, community garden, nursery, cafe, market and kitchen on what was once a desolate quarry turned landfill site. “We have 400,000 visitors a year, including 70,000 students,” says Melissa Lawson, group manager at CERES.

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August 18, 2016   Comments Off on Community gardens are flourishing in Australia

Community Garden helps Young Mums grow in Victoria, Australia

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youmumL-R: Stacey Horsfall-Rodda, Leyvi, Jet, Regae Gordan and Ash Lanko hope to harvest herbs and vegetables by spring.

“Staff from the horticulture department came along to teach us about soil preparation, watering, fertiliser and the risks and hazards of working in a garden such as wearing hard shoes and keeping our kids buckled in their prams,” Ash says.

By Doseda Hetherington
Swinburne University of Technology
June 27, 2016

Excerpt:

Members of Swinburne’s award-winning Young Mums Program are ready to turn the first sod on their own community garden and plan to harvest beans, chives, parsley and thyme this spring.

Designed and built by the students as part of the program offering a Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) to mothers aged 15-20 years at Swinburne’s Croydon campus, the garden is an extension of a study program helping young women take control of their lives.

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July 1, 2016   Comments Off on Community Garden helps Young Mums grow in Victoria, Australia

100 planter box community garden in Melbourne, Australia threatened with closure

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malpopMat Pember, director of Pop Up Patch, a community garden behind Federation Square faced with closure. Photo: Vince CaligiuriClick on image for larger file.

Mat Pember, whose the Little Veggie? Patch Co runs the garden at a small profit – charging $25 a week per box – fears the four-year-old garden will be “cut down in its prime”, in favour of a more lucrative helipad or car park

By Carolyn Webb
The Age
June 6, 2016

Excerpt:

Mr Pember said the Press Club, Eau-De-Vie and Izakaya Den were among restaurants leasing boxes. Among 50 residents who rented were two couples from high-rise apartments who met here “and are now great friends and have dinner and go away together”.

Young people ranging from two-year-olds to university students visit to learn how to sow seeds, tend plants and harvest them.

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June 14, 2016   Comments Off on 100 planter box community garden in Melbourne, Australia threatened with closure

Sydney, Australia: The Footpath Gardening Policy

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The Footpath Gardening Policy (the Policy) allows residents and businesses to put planter boxes on the footpath and/or carry out gardening on footpath verges outside their properties under certain conditions.

This policy was adopted by the City of Sydney Council (the Council) in February 2013, and consent was provided by the NSW Division of Local Government in May 2013.

Excerpt:

Planter boxes on the public footpath.
Planter boxes should contribute to the attractiveness of the street, but must also ensure pathways remain accessible and safe.

Residents and businesses are allowed to install and maintain planter boxes on the kerb side of the footpath outside their properties as long as they meet the requirements of this policy. Interested residents and businesses will be provided with an information package and a checklist and returned to the City. The checklists specify the minimum clearances and criteria for access and safety.

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June 2, 2016   Comments Off on Sydney, Australia: The Footpath Gardening Policy

Urban farm gives fresh start to youth and homeless in Christchurch, New Zealand

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chrzCultivate Christchurch hopes to scale up in the coming months after gaining access to two larger sites.

“As a young person, it’s really hard to get into employment if you don’t have either the networks or qualifications or haven’t had to practice those skills,” Stewart said.

By Alice Cannet
The Press
April 25 2016

Excerpt:

One of Cultivate’s volunteers had been out of work and education for seven years before joining the group.

She had since put spent nearly 100 hours in the garden in the last three months and was studying horticulture at the National Trades Academy.

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April 28, 2016   Comments Off on Urban farm gives fresh start to youth and homeless in Christchurch, New Zealand

Survey of teenagers living in New Zealand’s cities has found an alarming lack of knowledge when it comes to farming and food production

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Image from: If You Plant a Seed Hardcover by Nadir Nelson.

81 per cent admit they know only “a little” or “nothing at all” about these topics.

Press Release: Rabobank
Conducted by research consultancy Key Research, the Rabobank Farm Experience Urban Youth Research
Scoop
15 March 2016

Excerpt:

Key findings:

81 per cent of surveyed teens say they know only a little or nothing about farming and food production.

Eight per cent have never been on a farm, while a further 35 per cent have visited a farm three or less times in their life.

72 per cent don’t know anything, or know just a little, about how food gets from farm to plate.

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March 18, 2016   Comments Off on Survey of teenagers living in New Zealand’s cities has found an alarming lack of knowledge when it comes to farming and food production

Taking community gardens to backyards in Merivale, New Zealand

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Gee and Rawiri Sammons, and Merivale Community Gardens trustee David Harricks. Photo Tracy Hardy.

“It’s cheaper to go to Pizza Hutt and buy a $5 family pizza than it is to go to the supermarket and buy fruit and veg, which is absurd.”

By Cayla-Fay Saunder
SunLive
Mar 13, 2016

Excerpt:

Merivale Community Gardens coordinator Deb McCarthy says the community garden has been available for four years, and people respect it and use it, so the “next step is to take it to their backyards.”

But it’s not a set-up and leave sort of project, says Deb. Each backyard garden gets a mentor assigned to come back to the garden on a regular basis, “at least once a month,” says Deb, to see how the family and the garden are growing.

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March 17, 2016   Comments Off on Taking community gardens to backyards in Merivale, New Zealand

Australia: Community Gardens and Bureaucracy

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Waverley Council’s new ecoPOP (pictured above) is a good example of the steel supply chain providing a contribution to both social and environmental improvement. Click on image for larger file.

“For some reason which alludes me, the council seems to always be revising the community garden council policy. They seem to spend most of their time making red tape and remaking it.”

By Shon Ho
Altmedia
Feb 25, 2016

Excerpt:

“It’s not a complicated issue but council processes make it complicated. For example, the Coogee Community Garden took three years to be built and was very strongly opposed to by all the staff.?Many?people who had?joined the community garden?had left at the end of the three years because they got fed up. They said we came here to garden, not to go to council meetings.”

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March 1, 2016   Comments Off on Australia: Community Gardens and Bureaucracy

Maribyrnong, Australia Council rejects planter boxes despite trial success

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Maribyrnong council has ordered the Gray family of Yarraville to remove their nature strip garden despite urban farming trial that endorsed the use of planter boxes. Picture: Damjan Janevski.

The council does not allow structures or plants on nature strips to be higher than 50 centimetres.

By Benjamin Millar
Star Weekly
February 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Maribyrnong council will not allow planter boxes to be used for growing produce on nature strips, despite previously celebrating the success of an urban farming trial.

In 2013, the council piloted a program to install 10 wooden boxes in Pitt Street, West Footscray, and five in Eldridge Street, Footscray, in which community members could grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs.

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February 20, 2016   Comments Off on Maribyrnong, Australia Council rejects planter boxes despite trial success

Otago, New Zealand community garden harvest feeds families

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otegBrian Seymour manages the 1.2 hectare garden which is run by the Salvation Army on behalf of Combined Churches.

600 families benefited from food grown at the garden

By Jo Mckenzie-Mclean
Southland’s Times
Last updated 14:39, January 20 2016

Excerpt:

Seymour said fresh vegetables were boxed with a selection of at least 10 vegetables and distributed to families who had been given a coupon from doctors, Work and Income, churches, and mental health and budget advisory services.

“That grows. I think last year we ended up with 20 different varieties. There are spuds, lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, zucchini, carrots, onions, shallots, tomatoes…”

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January 24, 2016   Comments Off on Otago, New Zealand community garden harvest feeds families

Community gardens in Canberra, Australia are the quiet achievers

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Ken and Chris Perrin run a community garden at Ainslie Church of Christ. Photo: Jamila Toderas

At the time there were 17 community gardens and at least 77 food-producing school gardening sites in the ACT.

By Ross Peake
The Canberra Times
Jan 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Pastor Ken Perrin says his family history is in the vegetable gardening business in Melbourne. “My uncle was a market gardener in the Dandenongs.”

A couple of years after he and his wife, Chris, were posted to the church, they decided to make better use of the sad-looking tennis courts.

“Because it’s an ageing congregation, the two tennis courts weren’t being used and they needed a lot of work done,” Chris Perrin says.

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January 19, 2016   Comments Off on Community gardens in Canberra, Australia are the quiet achievers

Hobart City Farm in Tasmania produces bumper garlic crop in small space

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“There’s a lot of community gardens in Australia, but we’re set up as a market garden, so we’re selling produce, renting the land – we’re business owners really.”

By Amy Bradney-George
www.freshplaza.com
1/14/2016

Excerpt:

Ms Stewart says only a quarter of their small site is dedicated to garlic, with the growing area just 15 by 20 metres. A significant amount of the crop has already been sold to local businesses, with more set to be available to consumers through the farm’s online store.

“We’ve just sold somewhere in the realm of 200kg to the Tasmanian Black Garlic Company,” she says.

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January 17, 2016   Comments Off on Hobart City Farm in Tasmania produces bumper garlic crop in small space

A rural training programme in Dunedin, New Zealand, aims at helping city youngsters get jobs on farms

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nzfarm
Harvesting radishes from a Taieri market garden for their graduation dinner last week are (from left) Farmhand programme manager Annika Korsten, Travis Cardno, University of Otago ecologist Jay Iwasaki and Micheal Hooper.

A farm training course for young urban people from Dunedin city has produced another five graduates who are now keenly pursuing careers in farming and horticulture.

By Rob Tipa
NZ Farmer
Dec 14, 2015

Excerpt:

“The course is evolving all the time with a variety of experiences for students,” Korsten said. “We’ve only been here for four months now. We want to use it as an outdoor classroom and a controlled environment which is an ideal space for hands-on learning.”

When they first started, the soil was puggy so students built raised beds and wood-chipped pathways then planted out green manure crops of mustard, oats and lupins to add organic matter to the soil.

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December 21, 2015   Comments Off on A rural training programme in Dunedin, New Zealand, aims at helping city youngsters get jobs on farms