Friday, March 6, 2015

MFGN Quarterly Social #5 - 3000 Acres & Nick Rose - Friday 20th March from 6.30pm

Moreland Food Gardens Network (MFGN) quarterly social events are informal get-togethers for anyone interested in urban agriculture, local, sustainable and/or community-based food growing. Everyone is welcome. We hear from interesting speakers then talk with them and generally catch up on what's been happening, renew connections and make new ones.

For our next social on Friday March 20th we have ourselves a top notch double-feature. We’ll hear about two active, exciting and innovative efforts on the local/fair food front.

First we'll hear from Nick Rose of the Food Alliance (see below for more about Nick) who will update us on the current status of the Food Declaration as well as the Urban and Regional Food Network.

Members of the MFGN, as well as representatives from many other urban food groups and organisations, and local governments, participated in the drafting of this Declaration between September 2013 to June 2014. The Declaration is now open for signature and has been endorsed by a growing number of public organisations, including the City of Melbourne, as well as a not-for-profit associations, research entities and social enterprises. The project to establish an Urban and Regional Food Network on a national basis is also getting a warm reception from local government and other entities. These initiatives are closely linked and represent the cumulative and collective efforts of the many individuals who generously provided their time and input during several meetings of the Urban Agriculture Working Group during 2013 and 2014.

Then we'll hear from Hannah Schwartz and Ellie Blackwood from 3000 Acres, an enterprise that has been matching people with places and actively working to facilitate food growing in under-utilised spaces around Melbourne and specifically in Moreland with a pop-up garden near Jewel station and the new Saxon St community garden.


When: Friday 20th March from 6.30

Refreshments: BYO shareable food and drink

To RSVP or for more

How to Get there: 
  • No.19 tram on Sydney Rd; 
  • Coburg Station on the Upfield Line=5 minute walk; 
  • Bus at back gate on corner of Bell St and Sydney Road. 
  • Bike corridors located along the Upfield Line and Merri Creek nearby. 
  • All day parking along Urquhart St on Saturdays and further parking at Coburg Leisure Centre over Bell St.

About Nick Rose
Dr Nick Rose has been working in the fields of food sovereignty and food systems for the past six years. He is the National Coordinator of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance and the Food Systems Project Coordinator of the Food Alliance at Deakin University. In 2014 he undertook a Churchill Fellowship to the US Midwest, Toronto and Argentina, to investigate innovative models of urban agriculture, especially focused on getting good food to those who need it most, and models that generated livelihood opportunities for young urban farmers. He is the content director for Australia's first food politics documentary, Fair Food ( and the editor of Australia's first anthology on the food movement, Fair Food: A movement with a mission (UQP, forthcoming, October 2015). A selection of his writings can be found at

About 3000 Acres
3000 Acres is a VicHealth funded project working towards reconnecting people in urban areas with viable spaces to grow food. Managed by Executive Officer Hannah Schwarz, 3000 Acres is comprised of a small team of town planners, urban designers, horticulturists and sustainability enthusiasts. The project is centered on the idea of unlocking vacant land around the city to create productive community gardens and green spaces, by working with developers, land owners and local councils to bridge the gap between community initiatives and city planning policies. Along with their six current gardens, 3000 Acres have launched a website that provides an interactive map of actual and potential places to grow food in Melbourne. Through this platform people are able to get in touch with others who express interest in a potential site, and from there can access a practical toolkit of information and resources to get started - from handling lease agreements, liaising with council, and public liability insurance, through to practical instructions such as sourcing materials and building a wicking bed.

Of the six 3000 Acres gardens that have popped up around Melbourne in the past 12 months, two are located in the Moreland area. Ellie Blackwood is the garden manager of the Saxon st Garden, built in partnership with Moreland City Council, and is their biggest garden to date on the site of a now vacant primary school. This garden is communally maintained and harvested with the participation of the local Brunswick community, and is the first stage in a redevelopment project of the site into a larger community hub.

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