Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Can you help 3000acres create another garden?

3000acres has helped numerous new productive gardens pop up around our city (and greater Victoria)
The FareShare Kitchen Garden
In less than a year this garden has grown a tonne of veggies which were cooked into nutritious meals for people in need.  We helped FareShare access this VicTrack land quickly and design a productive and safe food garden.
The Burundian

This garden is growing traditional Burundian crops to share with the local community.  We helped them develop and sign an memorandum of understanding with the landowner so that they could make the most of this land.
St Stephen’s Community Garden
With our support, one dedicated resident found a community, land and funding to start a brand new community garden. Going from initial idea to thriving garden in only 6 months, this garden must be a record breaker!
And we want to make more!
We’re working with groups in Collingwood, Spotswood, Footscray, Clifton Hill, North/West Melbourne, Toorak and Wangaratta where more people want to start gardens.
And that is why we've launched our first crowdfunding campaign: to raise money to get another garden up and running by July next year.  
There are two ways that you can help us make this happen:

We've already made it halfway to our target, and our sponsor, Patagonia, will be matching every dollar donated, which will ensure that we get over the line.  But every extra dollar raised will help us make the new garden all the bigger and better.

Thanks so much for contributing to this community-led transformation of our city!

The key to future food supply is sitting on our cities' doorsteps

The key to future food supply is sitting on our cities' doorsteps

Republished with permission from The Conversation

Our food systems are under increasing pressure from growing populations, diminishing resources and climate change. But, in a new report, we argue that city foodbowls – the agricultural land surrounding our cities – could supply more secure and sustainable food.

The final report of our Foodprint Melbourne project outlines a vision for “resilient city foodbowls” that can harness city waste to produce food, reduce dependence on distant sources of food and act as a buffer against increasing volatility in global food supplies.

But to do so we need to start planning now. Food is a basic human need – along with water, housing and transport – but it hasn’t been high on the planning agenda for Australia’s cities.

Growing food, and jobs

Australia’s city foodbowls are an important part of the nation’s food supply, particularly for fresh vegetables.

Melbourne’s foodbowl produces almost half of the vegetables grown in Victoria, and has the capacity to meet around 82% of the city’s vegetable needs.

Nationally, around 47% of highly perishable vegetables (such as lettuce, tomatoes and mushrooms) are produced in the foodbowls of the major state capitals, as well as eggs, chicken and perishable fruits such as berries.

New analysis by Deloitte Access Economics has shown that Melbourne’s foodbowl contributes A$2.45 billion each year to the regional economy and around 21,000 fulltime-equivalent jobs. The largest contributors (to the economy and to jobs) in Melbourne’s foodbowl are the fruit and vegetable industries.

Other research estimates that agriculture in Sydney’s foodbowl contributes around A$1 billion to the regional economy. The flow-on effects through the regional economy are estimated to be considerably higher.

City foodbowls at risk

City foodbowls are increasingly at risk. Our project has previously highlighted risks from urban sprawl, climate change, water scarcity and high levels of food waste.

Melbourne’s foodbowl currently supplies 41% of the city’s total food needs. But growing population and less land means this could fall to 18% by 2050.

Australia’s other city foodbowls face similar pressures. For example, between 2000 and 2005, Brisbane’s land available for vegetable crops reduced by 28%, and Sydney may lose 90% of its vegetable-growing land by 2031 if its current growth rate continues.

These losses can be minimised by setting strong limits on urban sprawl, using existing residential areas (infill) and encouraging higher-density living.

However, accommodating a future Melbourne population of 7 million (even at much higher density) will still likely mean we lose some farmland. The Deloitte modelling estimated this will lead to a loss of agricultural output from Melbourne’s foodbowl of between A$32 million and A$111 million each year.

Protecting our food supply

Australia’s city foodbowls could play a vital role in a more sustainable and resilient food supply. If we look after our foodbowls, these areas will strengthen cities against the disruptions in food supplies that are likely to become more common thanks to climate change.

The New Urban Agenda adopted in October 2016 at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, or Habitat III, emphasises the need for cities to “strengthen food system planning”. It recognises that dependence on distant sources of food and other resources can create sustainability challenges and vulnerabilities to supply disruptions.

Resilient city food systems will need to draw on food from multiple sources – global, national and local – to be able to withstand and recover from supply disruptions due to chronic stresses, such as drought, and acute shocks, such as storms and floods.

Our final report presents a vision of a resilient city foodbowl for Melbourne.

In this future vision, highly perishable foods continue to grow close to the city. City waste streams are harnessed to counter decreasing supplies of water and conventional fertilisers, and increased investment in delivery of recycled water creates “drought-proof” areas of food production close to city water treatment plants.

Eco-Innovation Lab, Author provided

If Australia’s cities are to retain their foodbowls as they grow, food will need to become a central focus of city planning. This is likely to require new policy approaches focused on “food system planning” that addresses land use and other issues, such as water availability.

We also need to strengthen local and regional food systems by finding innovative ways to link city fringe farmers and urban consumers – such as food hubs. This will create more diverse and resilient supply chains.
The Conversation

Rachel Carey, Research Fellow, University of Melbourne; Jennifer Sheridan, Researcher in sustainable food systems, University of Melbourne, and Kirsten Larsen, Manager, Food Systems Research and Partnerships, University of Melbourne

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Friday, November 11, 2016

2016 Darebin Backyard Harvest Festival (19-27 November)

The Darebin Backyard Harvest Festival is back better than ever with a range of exciting events to inspire people to create their own food gardens.

Presented by Darebin City Council in partnership with Darebin Ethnic Communities, the Backyard Harvest Festival runs from 19 – 27 November in a celebration of home food-growing traditions from around the world. This is your chance to tour over 16 impressive home gardens around Darebin and participate in 7 great workshops, including keeping chickens and quails, aquaponics, and water efficient gardens.

Tours and workshops cost $10 ($5 Concession), Children are free.

BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL as numbers are limited so BOOK EARLY! Home garden locations are provided at the time of booking.

For the detailed program and to register on-line visit or contact Tina Stagg on 8470 8673, email

Why not take advantage of our 20% off the ticket price when you attend 3 or more events? In the Eventbrite booking system, enter the promotional code MultiBYH16 in the ticket selection box of each of the 3 or more events booked. (Don’t just enter it at the last event – you must enter the promotional code when selecting and paying for each event to get the full discount)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Beginner's Sourdough – Wild Yeast Workshop (26th Nov)

Come and tap into your bread making skills by learning to make bread from an active living culture. Following a traditional recipe, we will learn to turn flour, water and salt into beautiful bread using a sourdough culture.

We will discuss the fermentation process and benefits, look at the required ingredients used in sourdough bread making and use them to follow a basic recipe to create a naturally fermented bread loaf.
Learn to prepare sourdough bread, simple kneading techniques and methods for shaping bread. You will also learn how to maintain and care for your sourdough starter culture.
$45 per person includes: your own sourdough starter culture, sourdough bread dough, recipe, bread tastings, and the skills and inspiration to get you started on your sourdough bread journey.

When: 10 – 12.30pm
Where: Maribyrnong

Limited places. For bookings contact:
Gemma Macri

Facebook event:

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