Cultural Diversity
Women's Garden


‍“Women play a crucial role as transmitters of traditional knowledge to the new generations. They are particularly aware of the usefulness of plant genetic diversity as they are in many regions the ones with primary responsibility for the production of subsistence crops that are essential to household food security” (Utviklingsfondet, 2011)

Celebrating “Women’s Week 2019”
and Having Fun!

by Diane Kelly

As you may know, March 2-10 this year was Queensland Women’s Week. Each year Queensland – and indeed countries across the world – recognises and celebrates the achievements of women and girls.

So it was very fitting - and generous - of EdibleScapes (who are establishing an edible landscape gardens at Country Paradise Park-land in Nerang) to invite several of our Club members and other ladies to “select a fruit tree to grow in a permanent, edible garden as a women’s legacy”.

Jorge Cantellano (who is the person making “EdibleScapes” happen) invited us to choose a sub-tropical tree from the Daley’s cata-logue. When we met last Saturday morning at Nerang, not only were the trees there ready to plant, but Jorge had already pre-pared a number of plots for us. The plots were dug and then filled with composted mulch, and then soil, and then compost – it was all very friable and ready to use.

There were nine trees provided, and so we could choose between:A Dwarf Mulberry tree; a Peanut Butter tree; a black Grumichama tree; an Acerola tree (Florida Sweet); a pomegranate; a Dwarf mandarin (Emperor); a Wampee tree; a Carambola (star fruit) tree and a Tahitian Lime tree.

Thanks for showing us how it’s done, Maria

So with quite a bit of discussion and fun, the trees were planted, and then we were invited to the picnic area to share in morning tea. A highlight of the morning tea was the delivery by one of the EdibleScapes members of a basket of pumpkin scones (beautifully light) – and the pumpkin had been grown on the vines in the EdibleScapes garden!

Thank you, Jorge, and here is a pictorial summary of an enjoyable morning:

The plots were all ready to plant into.
In goes the Tahitian Lime!
EdibleScapes two herb spirals – oneculinary and one medicinal – planted according to their sunlight requirements.
The “tired but happy” group
Our reward !!
Panozzo girls’ agroecologist seeds

Women gardeners

Over the past two years, since I am working to establish the edible landscape gardens, I have observed that gardening is a female territory.

GCOG club over 3/4 women participants

Here at the Gold Coast Organic Growers club, women are in command. It is noticeable, not only from the President’s informative talks, or the over ¾ female regular members, but also to the camaraderie at the regular monthly meetings. Likewise most of the management committee members, newsletter contributors, and speakers are woman.

Similarly, at the Edible Landscape Gardens, participants are predominantly female. As well there are visibly a substantial number of women involved in Gold Coast community and school gardens.

Edible Gardens working bee September

Through digital social media pages, EdibleScapes have received 71% of Women ‘likes’ and GCOG club have 76% of Women ‘likes’. If you follow the South East Queensland Permaculture you will see that from 3,627 FB members, nine out of ten are woman. https://www.facebook.com/groups/335757083118409/members/

From the GCOG’s library this Month, I am reading ‘A Modern HERBAL’ a book edited by Violet Stevenson.  On page 9 it mentions that in the Middle Ages, the ladies of the castles were the ‘gardeners’ and the ladies remained the gardeners of the castle and village for centuries, cultivating healing herbs among their vegetables and culinary plants.

Another topic of interest is the transition to urban agroecology. I selected three statements that comment on the role of women in today’s global-local agroecology transition;  I cite these here:  

“Women play a crucial role as transmitters of traditional knowledge to the new generations. They are particularly aware of the usefulness of plant genetic diversity as they are in many regions the ones with primary responsibility for the production of subsistence crops that are essential to household food security” (Utviklingsfondet, 2011)

“Successfully addressing the challenge of natural resources and biodiversity preservation will require putting women at the front seat of agroecological transition processes since they play a major role in managing soil, water, forests and energy, especially in developing countries. Women have traditionally entertained a close relationship with trees and the forests. They have a deep knowledge of the plants, animals and ecological processes around them. They can be considered the traditional daily managers of the living environment” (Sobha, 2007).

“recognizes the vital role of women in the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and affirming the need for the full participation of women at all levels of policy-making and implementation for biological diversity conservation” (UNCED, 1992).

I hope this note will encourage some conversation especially with the upcoming International Women’s Day, which is to be celebrated in Queensland with a Women’s Week.

On 9th of March in recognition of the vital role of women in keeping knowledge and practice of edible gardening, EdibleScapes are inviting woman to plant fruit trees, and accompanying vegetables and herbs.  We hope to showcase a cultural diversity women’s garden at the Edible Landscape Gardens.  For details please go to:  www.facebook.com/pg/n.ediblescapes/events

Thanks to Council of the City of Gold Coast’s Division 5 – Cr Peter Young, for funding support.  This has allowed, EdibleScapes to proudly source fruit trees and plants in consultation with organic growers and multicultural women’s groups to celebrate Women’s Weeks with a Permanent edible garden women’s legacy.

Gardening Methods

April 2020

Edible Garden Promoters

March 2020

Women Garden

February - March 2019

Spiral Herb Gardens

October 2018

Heritage Orchard Garden

June 2018

Ediblescapes Gardens

June 2017

The End of a Cycle

February 2020

Gardens stage one -

Update January 2019

Inter-generational Garden

August 2018

Water Harvesting

June 2018

Spring Season 2019

January 2020

Banana Circle

November - December 2018

Moon Garden

Update July 2018

Sun Garden

2017