community food systems
LOCAL GOVERNMENT—it’s the level of government closest to the people in Australia and it’s this situation that gives it its reputation. And that’s quite a variable reputation that spans the distance from appreciation to criticisms of excessive bureaucracy.
IT’S A COMMON BELIEF among people setting out to start a community garden that the first step is to find land, do a site analysis, do a design, build and start growing. Were it only so simple.
IT WAS A RIPPING TIMEon the footpath garden adjacent to Barrett house in Randwick as we ripped out an ornamental monoculture to make way for an edible polyculture.
The stories we tell make sense of and give meaning to our lives.
Costa’s father tells the story of the chook leaping into the feed barrel as he opened it. He tells the story of his flying days too, and of life in the countryside.
IT COMBINED ELEMENTS of learning and doing, social benefit and placemaking. And it would go on the footpath in Waterloo.
IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING OF AN ADVENTURE working with a new community garden group on their first project. You never know what to expect—so it’s best to expect nothing at all and that way you will be pleasantly surprised when things go well.
THESE URBAN FOOD ENTHUSIASTS call themselves Green Square Growers, and they’re a new group living adjacent to the brownfields that will soon house an additional 20,000 people in what s going to be a major urban renewal. Some live in Victoria Park, a large cluster of medium density apartments that offers a foretaste of what will appear in Green Square.
I STARTED ADDRESSING ISSUES of food security and food sovereignty and how these ideas relate to the future of our cities at conferences and seminars and in community education courses some years ago. A key message I delivered was that the mainstream economy’s food supply chain could be improved to make it more effective and fairer, and that food was an emerging issue and that evidence for this were the ways that communities were intervening in their own food supply by setting their own production and distribution chains.
FOOD SHAPES CITIES. It was once found in the marketplaces in the middle of our towns and cities. Here, people gathered to buy and sell food, to gossip and exchange news. The market was shop, news bureau and social exchange… the vital heart of the city, the focus that tied the city to its productive hinterland ever so closely through its culinary and economic links. The market was the point of interaction between farmer and eater.