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Category — Australia

Asbestos discovery at Northey Street City Farm, Brisbane, Australia

Genevieve Wills Nursery co-ordinator at Northey street city farm mulching the garden bed.

Brisbane City Council has closed the Northey Street City Farm ahead of its huge Winter Solstice celebrations on Saturday after finding asbestos.

The Australian News
June 20, 2014


Mr Copeman said without prior notice, council shut down 3.5 acres of the site with fencing after the discovery of demolition waste, including asbestos and possibly heavy metals.

The discovery was made during a BCC inspection related to an approved development of a picnic shed on the site; Mr Copeman said NSCF was cooperating with BCC in the investigation and management of the demolition waste.

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June 30, 2014   Comments Off

Urban fringe agriculture under threat in Australia

Ben and mark honey are facing urban encroachment near their dairy farm in kiama, nsw. Photo by Sarina Locke.

Experts believe now is the time to ‘draw the line’ and put in place permanent city boundaries to protect farms that could become increasingly important as climate change takes hold.

by Cathy Pryor
June 6, 2014


Wayne Shields’s farm has been in his family since the 1970s when his father first bought the fertile patch of land on the Mornington Peninsula to Melbourne’s east. In those days the Peninsula was a quiet rural retreat from city life, frequented by holiday makers on a pilgrimage to the coast.

Forty years later, thirty per cent of the Mornington Peninsula is classified as urban and the boundary to metropolitan Melbourne is only 500 metres from the Shields’s farm. While the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is working hard to protect the agriculture it still has, the Shields’s organic farm now co-exists with its suburban neighbours.

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June 13, 2014   Comments Off

Paddock-to-plate farm-based Tasmanian cooking school

The Agrarian Kitchen is situated in a 19th century schoolhouse at Lachlan, 45 minutes from Hobart in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley, Australia.

The Agrarian Kitchen grows and uses heirloom varieties of fruit, vegetables and rare breed animals in its cooking classes

Rodney Dunn and Séverine Demanet

Excerpt from web site:

The Agrarian Kitchen’s growing areas have been hewn from grazing paddock, securely fenced and tirelessly tilled to create a 500 square metre vegetable garden, an extensive berry patch and orchard.

The vegetable garden was first tilled by our own Wessex saddleback pigs to remove stubborn perennial weeds before being formed into beds. Paths are constructed of mulched tree trimmings from the property and lined with stones from our front paddock. The garden has been designed by local gardener and journalist, Paul Healy. The garden is now tended by our Gardening Team, Lee Farrell, Jethro Havenhand, Fin Fagan and Rodney Dunn using organic principles without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilisers. The garden is predominately planted with heirloom varieties and we are always on the look out for the old and interesting and are constantly experimenting with varieties, saving our own seeds where possible of the varieties that perform the best in our conditions, for example, at last count there have been over two hundred varieties of tomato.

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March 26, 2014   Comments Off

Melbourne Australia’s Community Hop Ale

Beer rep Steven Germain with We Make Beer partner in crime Dan.

The Circle Of Hops

Crafty Pint


One half of Make Beer is beer rep Steven Germain (above right with We Make Beer partner in crime Dan). At his home, he has 12 hop plants that he will be harvesting this weekend. His intention was always to create a fresh hop beer with them and, in part inspired by the fact he may not have enough flowers to do a 100 litre batch justice and also by a desire to launch a community project, he decided it would be even more fun if said beer featured hops grown by other people in their respective backyards.

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March 12, 2014   Comments Off

A Brisbane, Australia primary school has a kitchen garden

A Brisbane primary school is achieving improved learning outcomes, after turning classrooms into a kitchen and creating an extensive vegetable garden.

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden at Ashgrove State School

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden (SAKG) program is a dynamic curriculum program for children in year 3 to year 7. The program instills in children the values of growing their own produce and utilising this produce to cook healthy delicious meals. Children learn many valuable life skills through their participation in the program.

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March 11, 2014   Comments Off

Costa Georgiadis, of TV’s Gardening Australia, says community gardens no threat

Costa at a local food event in Coffs Harbour. Photo by Kim Honan.

Costa says that if industry bodies see this movement as a threat, then they’re taking a backward step.

By Kim Honan And Fiona Wyllie
Abc Rural
Mon 3 Mar 2014


“Community gardens are about growing awareness and getting people inspired in local seasonal food,” he said.

“To think that spending money on an initiative like that that brings people closer to their food, and develops food as a health initiative, how could you think that a $1 million spent on growing community.

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March 10, 2014   Comments Off

Australia’s vegetable industry believes community gardens pose a biosecurity risk

Volunteers working in The Tucker Patch at Gloucester, NSW. The demonstration garden, run by not-for-profit group The Gloucester Project, is trialling small and large scale crops. Produce is sold weekly at the farm gate shop and monthly at the local farmers’ market.

The criticism comes on the back of the Federal Government scrapping the $1.5 million Community Food Grants program, created by the former Labor government under the National Food Plan.

By Kim Honan
Abc Rural
28 Feb 2014


Ausveg’s William Churchill says his industry has welcomed that decision, and says the money could have been better spent developing export markets for growers.

“A lot of these gardens may not be in the best nick, so to speak, and the issue we then have is with infestations with either pests or diseases, and then that becomes a threat in itself to commercial horticultural operations that need to comply with strict adherence to quality assurance guidelines,” he said.

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March 10, 2014   Comments Off

Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens created The Tasmanian Community Food Garden


Mission: To develop a model Community Food Garden demonstrating best practice in sustainable food production and preparation, supported by a community of Food Gardens and food gardeners

The Tasmanian Community Food Garden is part of the ongoing redevelopment of the area formally known as Pete’s Patch. The garden it’s self will consist of 20+ small gardens, an education centre and training facilities. The aim is to engage community groups from schools, migrant, older Tasmanians, Salvation Army, SecondBite etc to take ownership of the planting and maintenance of a veggie patch within the greater garden. It’s like a large group of community gardens in one location that will be facilitated by the RTBG in maintaining and growing this resource.

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February 25, 2014   Comments Off

Plans for vertical farms on unit blocks take off in Australia

French architect Vincent Callebaut poses in front of a picture of one of his futuristic projects – The Dragonfly – on “the city of tomorrow”. Photo: Bertrand Guay.

NSW government architect Chris Johnson thinks the idea would work in Australia

By Toby Johnstone
Sydney Morning Herald
January 28, 2014


When Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut put forward an “urban farm” concept for a twin-tower development in New York, called Dragonfly, in 2009, he was laughed at.

But industry experts in Sydney say the idea may catch on.

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February 6, 2014   Comments Off

‘3000acres’ in Melbourne, Australia – Kate Dundas at TEDxMelbourne

What about those vacant lots? Kate Dundas at TEDxMelbourne.

3000acres aims to unlock under-utilized land across the city to grow food and build strong communities.

Kate Dundas is interested in how we think about and use land. She is passionate about finding ways to connect people back into the food chain by making it easy for people to access land to grow food and build community. Kate’s vision for a fresh food city was inspired by 596acres in New York, she is attempting to bring the project to Melbourne and unlock the vast acres of land which lie underutlised, and hidden in plain sight in our city. She is a senior Landscape Architect and Urban Designer at Planisphere in Melbourne. She works on long term plans for communities and cities along with designing parks, gardens, streets and spaces.

Excerpt from 3000acres:

THE PROBLEM: At the moment accessing land for food growing process is a complex process. There are no standard approaches and no best practice models. To unlock land and create opportunities to grow more food in more places collaboration between the public sector, the private sector and the community is needed.

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December 15, 2013   Comments Off

Wagtail Urban Farm, Adelaide, Australia: Grower Profile


Demand for our produce is constantly growing and new markets are popping up all the time, but we all agree that if we only scaled up by a factor of two, it would stop being an enjoyable hobby and start being a very low paying job!

By Kirsten Bradley
Milkwood Permaculture
Dec 4, 2013


- Whats the total square meters you’ve got under cultivation?

We’ve got precisely 182 sq.m under cultivation – 14 x 13m long beds (it’s a nightmare to plan given 13 doesn’t divide well!)

- How many work hours (total) do you estimate per week are getting spent on this patch, spread across how many people?

We’ve been keeping a tally of hours spent on the project (including time spent planning etc.), which in the first six months added up to roughly 500 hours, so about 20hrs / week shared between the three of us.

Our normal work week is Monday afternoons planting and weeding, Saturdays picking and selling. A lot of time has been spent in setting up infrastructure (fencing, post-harvest wash stand etc.) which will (hopefully!) taper off in the future.

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December 7, 2013   Comments Off

Urban Commons – Foodscape


A curated set of tools for growing food in the city

Excerpts from their website:

Foodscape is the flagship suite of products by Urban Commons.

It empowers people to connect with food by making it easier for them to grow food together in their neighbourhoods, at work, and other places of social gathering.

We are all part of the local food system and Foodscape enables us all to create social change through shared experiences around food.

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December 7, 2013   Comments Off

The art of the edible in Melbourne, Australia

Grow your own: Shawn Ashkanasy (left), and Justin Hutchinson in their NGV garden. Photo by James Boddington.

Vessels concocted from former advertising banners, concrete and plastic

By Megan Backhouse
Sydney Morning Herald
November 28, 2013


Composed of edible plants growing out of vessels concocted from former advertising banners, concrete and plastic, this living exhibit will be tended and harvested over the next four months as part of the wide-ranging exhibition, Melbourne Now.

Devised by the design consultancy Urban Commons, the installation is both an ephemeral art piece and a practical demonstration of the ways in which edible gardening can foster community ties.

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December 6, 2013   Comments Off

Australian school cultivates kitchen garden and publishes cookbook

Author Alla Wolf-Tasker of ‘Grow Cook Eat’ with Daylesford Primary School students and principal Peter Burke in the school’s vege garden. Picture by David Geraghty Source ofThe Australian.

Ask Peter Burke, principal of Daylesford Primary School, to talk about the benefits of the school’s kitchen garden program and he’s stuck for words. There are so many, he says, he doesn’t know where to start.

By Necia Wilden
The Australian
November 09, 2013


“In a garden there is nature, science, maths and vocabulary; in a kitchen it’s the same. It crosses over into so many areas of the curriculum,” Burke says.

“Social confidence, hands-on learning, gaining a real understanding of issues of sustainability and recycling … ”

Once a week, students from Years 3-6 spend an hour in the regional Victorian school’s kitchen garden, learning how to grow things.

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November 14, 2013   Comments Off

Agropolis – a transitional urban agriculture project in Christchurch’s city centre – New Zealand

Agropolis site in the city centre. Photo by Tanya Michils.

Eventually Agropolis hopes to provide a ‘garden to plate’ experience via a mobile kitchen.

By Andreas Wesener
Lecturer in Urban Design
School of Landscape Architecture at Lincoln University, New Zealand


Agropolis is a new transitional urban farm in Christchurch’s central city situated on a vacant earthquake site not far from the popular C1 café. Founded this year, a number of dedicated volunteers (including the author) have so far invested their precious spare time to create a wonderful new transitional and productive open space for everyone interested in growing and eating locally produced food. The official launch of the project will take place on Friday 25 October, 4 – 6 pm as part of the Festival of Transitional Architecture (FESTA) on Labour Weekend.

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October 24, 2013   Comments Off