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Category — Australia

The digital farmer: Using social media to bridge the urban-rural divide in Australian agriculture

Social media sensation Emma Moss struck Instagram fame after sharing photos of her life as a jillaroo during a gap year on the Kimberley’s Nerrima cattle station in 2016.

“People in urban and rural populations, we all have the same values. We all care for our families, our animals and our land, so it just brings people together I think.”

By Courtney Fowler
ABC
May 7, 2018

Excerpt:

As urban centres grow, Australians are becoming increasingly disconnected with the life on farms and stations, but social media is slowly changing that trend.

Nowadays platforms like Facebook and Instagram are playing an increasingly important role educating city dwellers about where their food comes from, paddock to plate.

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May 12, 2018   No Comments

Australia: Urban farming campuses to bring food closer to consumers

Ambitious plan: Nuffield Scholar Jan Vydra hopes a planned urban farming campus in Melbourne will be followed by others in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Sydney. Picture: David Geraghty

Visiting Indonesia, Japan, Israel, Holland and the US, Mr Vydra took away lessons on the community and cultural impact of urban farming, as well as how purchasing habits of consumers have changed.

By Bethany Griffiths
The Weekly Times
April 12, 2018

Excerpt:

A first-generation Melbourne farmer wants to share his knowledge on urban farming by building a university-like campus in every major Australian city.

Jan Vydra, from Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs, is drawing on his 2016 Nuffield Scholarship research to develop spaces where other farmers and growers can learn about urban farming and see how it works in a real-life setting.

“What we really want to do now is take that concept and build a campus in each capital city, so we can localise produce and provide jobs to people in the industry that’s in a different format,” Mr Vydra said.

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April 19, 2018   Comments Off on Australia: Urban farming campuses to bring food closer to consumers

Australia: Eco-activist Joost Bakker plans rooftop urban farm for shopping centre

Flower grower and sustainability activist Joost Bakker promotes green design and zero waste.

In what the developer is labelling an “Australian first”, the Burwood Brickworks rooftop will feature a mix of greenhouses, planter boxes and gardens, both horizontal and vertical

By Paul Best
Good Food
Feb 9 2018

Excerpt:

Frasers Property Australia has enlisted Bakker to establish an urban farm and restaurant on the 2000-square-metre rooftop of its proposed shopping centre development on the former Burwood Brickworks site in Melbourne’s east, which begins construction mid-year.

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February 15, 2018   Comments Off on Australia: Eco-activist Joost Bakker plans rooftop urban farm for shopping centre

Suburban farming: The Australians with country lifestyles, but city lives

Potter, Edwin Wise enjoys farm life just 14km from Melbourne’s CBD. Photo: Anthony Rodrigeuz

The family have never felt tempted to shift to the country. “We don’t want to be socially isolated,” says Wise.

By Melissa Howard
Domain
2018

Excerpt:

Edwin Wise (35) and his family live on a thriving suburban farm in Heidelberg West, just 14km from Melbourne’s CBD.

On their 700-square-metre block they have chooks, honey bees and sprawling vegetable gardens – overflowing with celery, parsley and lettuces. “We’re good for leafy greens,” says Wise. The family also grow their own fruit. “This winter we’ve had all the citrus we need. We’ve got limes, we’ve got lemons and we’ve got mandarins.”

They’ve also kept goats for six years. “People have dogs in the suburbs,” Wise says. “Why couldn’t we have something, like a dog, that was productive?”

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February 14, 2018   Comments Off on Suburban farming: The Australians with country lifestyles, but city lives

New Zealand: Can vegetable gardening help at-risk youth?

Bailey Perryman and Fiona Stewart from urban farm enterprise Cultivate Christchurch. Bailey uses the broad fork to prep for seedlings; Fiona is about to dig out the cow horns used to prepare the biodynamic soil amendment BD500.

Cultivate Christchurch, she explains, provides somewhere young people in need of extra support to be in employment can come and learn about working the land and working with others.

By Mary Lovell-Smith
NZ Gardener
January 30 2018

Excerpt:

It is only Jackson’s third day on the farm and the 23-year-old is bursting with enthusiasm. “It’s amazing, I love it here,” he says. “I’ve worked in cafés and done a carpentry course, but I’ve been out of work for a while due to medical reasons. I was apprehensive before I began, but once I arrived here, I just love the place. You can pick your jobs. You get tired, you have a break.”

He says he has done “a bit of gardening in the past” but doesn’t know a lot about plants. “I want to learn to build planter boxers. On my third day I built a trellis. I want to learn new skills to take on with me.”

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February 3, 2018   Comments Off on New Zealand: Can vegetable gardening help at-risk youth?

New Zealand: ‘Pat on Back’ Guinness World Record attempted at South Alive Community Garden

The aim was to get at least 251 people together to pat each other on the back for a year

By Eugene Bonthuys
The Southlands Times
December 10 2017

Excerpt:

An attempt by South Alive to set a new Guinness World Record for the longest continuous chain of people patting each other on the back in Invercargill fell short on Sunday afternoon.

The aim was to get at least 251 people together to pat each other on the back for a year of successful projects in south Invercargill, with participants gathering in the South Alive community garden for the attempt.

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December 17, 2017   Comments Off on New Zealand: ‘Pat on Back’ Guinness World Record attempted at South Alive Community Garden

Australia: A Bountiful Harvest – Community Gardens and Neighbourhood Renewal in Waterloo

This research importantly affirms that community gardens can make a positive contribution to community development in public housing estates.

By Linda Bartolomei, Linda Corkery, Bruce Judd, Susan Thompson
NSW Department of Housing
The University of New South Wales
Faculty of the Built Environment School of Social Work, 2003

Excerpt:

The Gardens provide many positive opportunities for cross-cultural interactions. Indeed, the Gardens are a multicultural place where participants develop better understandings of cultural difference through the sharing of recipes and plants. There were many stories of how participating in the Gardens has helped to diminish cultural boundaries and negative racial stereotypes. The Gardens also provide an important cultural continuation of the home that has been left behind. This assists with developing feelings of belonging and worth for many gardeners born outside Australia.

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December 12, 2017   Comments Off on Australia: A Bountiful Harvest – Community Gardens and Neighbourhood Renewal in Waterloo

Australia: Guerilla gardening: The leafy oases popping up in unexpected areas

From guerilla gardening to permaculture blitzes, amateur gardeners are picking up trowels and transforming their streets into edible food forests and more.

By Isabelle Lane
Queensland Country Life
17 Nov 2017

Excerpt:

Pat Long is the driving force behind Farnham Street Neighbourhood Learning Centre’s community garden and food forest, in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Flemington. Both the garden and food forest are open and accessible to the general public.

“It brings communities together … and connects you with all sorts of people that you might not normally meet,” Long says.

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November 23, 2017   Comments Off on Australia: Guerilla gardening: The leafy oases popping up in unexpected areas

Australia: Sky-high beekeeping and small-scale farming no problem for inner-city Brisbane

Hotel Brisbane bees.

Five years later, looking after the 150 hives he now has around greater Brisbane and northern New South Wales is a full-time job.

By Rachel Clun
Brisbane Times
November 2011

Excerpt:

But for the cafes and corporate companies that now host beehives, Mr Stone said they have found it very rewarding.

“They produce about 200 kilograms (of honey) per hive per year, which allows them to do quite a bit from their rooftop,” he said.

“Instead of giving out a branded pen they give a 500-gram jar of honey to their most-cherished customers.”

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November 17, 2017   Comments Off on Australia: Sky-high beekeeping and small-scale farming no problem for inner-city Brisbane

A New Book by Permaculture Co-originator David Holmgren

The book will be launched by Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis at the Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne on February 10 2018.

Excerpt:

David Holmgren’s new book, RetroSuburbia shows how Australians can downshift and retrofit their homes, gardens, communities and, above all, themselves to be more self-organised, sustainable and resilient into an uncertain future. It promises a challenging but exciting mix of satisfying work, a more meaningful way of living and hope for the next generation.

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November 7, 2017   Comments Off on A New Book by Permaculture Co-originator David Holmgren

Australia’s first community garden celebrates 40 years

Margaret Rackham, centre, with fellow gardeners at Nunawading Community Gardens. Photo: Justin McManus

With 127 plots and a current waiting list of 12 years, the Nunawading Community Gardens is a vibrant, verdant hive of activity.

By Megan Backhouse
Sydney Morning Herald
Oct 20, 2017

Excerpt:

In the mid-1970s a Nunawading dentist named Gaven Oakley took a holiday in England and found himself captivated by the country’s community gardens. This was the era of Tom and Barbara pursuing self-sufficiency in downtown London in the TV series The Good Life. Growing your own food was in the air.

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October 25, 2017   Comments Off on Australia’s first community garden celebrates 40 years

Australia: Myanmar refugees embrace community garden to cope with PTSD

Win Men says gardening in the community garden lets him forget his past trauma for a while. (ABC News: Pablo Vinales)

The simple act of gardening at a small Sydney community garden for refugees is one of the things 66-year-old Win Men loves most about his Australian life.

By Pablo Vinales
ABC
Oct 6, 2017

Excerpt:

“I enjoy dong this gardening things here and I am happy to be able to do it in freedom… in my homeland I could not do this freely without fear,” he said.

Mr Men is part of the Karen community, an ethic minority from Myanmar, who was forced to flee his country because of persecution.

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October 13, 2017   Comments Off on Australia: Myanmar refugees embrace community garden to cope with PTSD

New Zealand: Fighting to save an urban food forest in the heart of Auckland

Trevor Crosby is fighting to save a food forest in the heart of Auckland. Photo by Sally Tagged [See great video on website.]

Sanctuary Gardens Mahi Whenua, in the heart of Auckland, is a food forest and community garden where more than 60 local families are growing fresh food.

By Nicky Pellegrino
Stuff
October 2 2017

Excerpt:

“All we can say at the moment is that the future is uncertain,” says retired entomologist Trevor Crosby, who is determined to do what he can to save what he describes as, “a hidden biodiversity jewel of Auckland.”

Trevor isn’t against development but argues that cities also need open spaces where nature can thrive. Sanctuary Gardens is currently home to more than 400 species of plants and trees, some relatively rare.

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October 9, 2017   Comments Off on New Zealand: Fighting to save an urban food forest in the heart of Auckland

Australia: ‘Dads and Dirt’ program digging into stronger father-child relationships

Mr Harrison believes getting your hands dirty and working closely with nature brings out the best in blokes. (Supplied: Taree Community Garden )

He said he believes his programs have inspired men to open up and engage, not only with their children but other like-minded men.

By Gabrielle Lyons
ABC Mid North Coast
Sept 1, 2017

Excerpt:

Mr Harrison maintains the Taree Community Garden on the New South Wales mid-north coast.

He runs a program in the garden called ‘Dads and Dirt’ aimed at getting men to better connect with their kids in a hands-on environment.

Some of the men in Mr Harrison’s programs are single dads, widowers or suffering with mental health issues.

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September 6, 2017   Comments Off on Australia: ‘Dads and Dirt’ program digging into stronger father-child relationships

Australia: Gardening guru Costa Georgiadis opens Woolgoolga Regional Community Gardens

Costa Georgidis crashed the kids planting session and made learning fun at the Woolgoolga community garden open day.

By Rachel Vercoe
Off Coast Advocate
Aug 31, 2017

Excerpt:

“Community gardens are not just about gardening, they’re about the accessibility where people can come and communicate. As we head towards mental health week, these are some of the best facilities we can have in a community where we can encourage preventative medicine,” Costa Georgiadis said.

“Studies show there are not just therapeutic benefit but scientific benefits to easing stress and anxiety by bringing people together.

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September 6, 2017   Comments Off on Australia: Gardening guru Costa Georgiadis opens Woolgoolga Regional Community Gardens