Every gardener is unique, every garden one of a kind. But what if there was a way to connect residents and communities that love growing, sharing and eating locally grown foods in one network?
From humble beginnings in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs in 2012, Grow It Local slowly grew into a national movement that drew the attention of home gardeners and local councils everywhere. It’s a web platform that where local residents can share their patches and produce with a national network of like-minded gardeners in communities around Australia – a celebration of backyard, balcony, community garden and window-sill farmers.
Grow It Local is an idea conceived by Darryl Nichols and Andrew Valder, founders of Garage Sale Trail, Australia’s biggest sustainability and community event. In their view, cities are growing faster than ever and globalisation is bringing in foods from all over the world that could all be growing in our own backyards, balconies and window sills. By making gardening more accessible, we can all produce and eat more locally grown food, inspire positive health and wellbeing, while reducing organic waste going to landfill.
We believe that if everyone grew their own food we’d be happier and healthier. We’d have dirtier nails and bigger smiles. We’d be more connected to nature and our communities. We’d compost more and waste less. Life would be juicer and more delicious,
commented Darryl Nichols.
More than just uncovering local green thumbs, Grow It Local has uncovered incredible edibles being grown all over the country. The platform routinely sees colossal-sized pumpkins and monster tomatoes, and balcony beehives being hidden from neighbours. Just recently, there have been multiple users posting their harvest of rare Purple Beauty capsicums and unusual yet beautiful Star Fish flowers.
With registered gardens as far and wide as Denham WA, Kununara NT, Port Douglas QLD, Pegarah TAS (an island in the Bass Strait) and Roxby Downs SA, plus thousands throughout metro and regional NSW, VIC and ACT, the philosophy of Grow It Local speaks to all Australians – and even a few overseas!
In 2013, Grow It Local caught the attention Remo Guiffre of TEDx and food extraordinaire Jill Dupliex, who suggested the outrageous idea of ‘crowd farming’ the ingredients to feed 2,200 people at the Opera House as part of TEDx Sydney. With catering by celebrity chef Matt Moran and his Aria catering service, locals from across NSW came out of the woodwork with extraordinary produce that was generously shared for the event.
Grow It Local relaunched in September 2018 with the support of the Myer Foundation and three foundation councils (Waverley, Randwick and Woollahra Councils). The mission is simply to get more people growing, sharing and eating locally grown food.
Growers across Australia are invited to put their patch on the map at growitlocal.com and get involved in local community events such as the Weekend Walkaround, an idea that invites growers to open their patch and checkout others. Gardening Australia host and Grow It Local ambassador Costa Georgiadis (in video above) has also got involved and is encouraging growers across Australia to join the Grow It Local movement.
Looking forward to this year, Grow It Local will keep encouraging more Australians to get their hands in the dirt and share produce with their neighbours. Who knows what the next crop will hold…
Keen to get involved? Find out more or join the network at www.growitlocal.com
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