Volunteer Training Program begins 14 July
Enrolment Now Open
We have completed the initial stages of EdibleScape Gardens by cultivating the test gardens and developing organic fertilisers. Now Ediblescapes Inc. are ready to establish Edible Garden Promoters.
Ediblescapes Inc. like to share big picture thinking. In 2030 we would like to see the Gold Coast burgeoning with ‘edible gardens’ in most residential homes and as well as in public spaces, from institutional sites to common sites controlled by local and state Governments. This solution guarantees healthy, nutritive food security for all Gold Coast residents.
It is not enough to rely on not-for-profit organisations like OzHarvest and Foodbank to deliver rescued food to those in need. Their work is in providing food to over 60 charities, churches, community centres and schools across the Gold Coast to ensure that who experience food insecurity are supported. But if we are to experience crises like the one we begin to experience with the hysteria around COVID-19, leading to supermarket shelves emptied of basic necessities like toilet paper, sanitary products and respiratory masks, this indicates greater scarcity of basic human consumables and potentially food.
It is time to urgently initiate now urban food solutions in the form of edible gardens and people to transition us to this new reality.
We need local food sovereignty solutions to respond to food price increases and food scarcity that are likely to result from a) the impacts of environmental events leading up to and beyond 2020 - long droughts, bush fires, torrential rain floods, what next?- and b) world pandemics such as the onset of COVID-19 that deepen the global socio-economic crisis.
Ediblescapes Inc. proposes a collaborative learning program facilitated by edible gardens “Promoters”. Each Promoter is empowered to establish an edible garden in their home garden space and help their neighbours to grow edible gardens too.
The objective of edible gardens is to provide residents self-sufficiency in the form of fresh, nutritious food, as well as many other integral benefits of cultivating soil to grow food, such as sequestering carbon into the ground, cooling the environment, reducing food transport and associated pollution, creating family bonding experiences, and emancipation from screens and digital devices.
Initially, we invite those over 55 to volunteer to became a neighbourhood Edible Gardens Promoter. After six months undertaking a learning program within EdibleScapes Gardens, the participant will be able to grow food at EdibleScapes Gardens as well as at their own home, and apply diverse organic agroecology methods to do so. Food produce in this program will be donated to local social food programs to support those that don’t have the financial means to acquire all their food needs from the supermarket.
Additionally, excess produce can be designed into a co-operative sales model that allows participants to sell their home grown produce at a local farmers market.
By 2030, in ten years’ time, we for see EdibleScapes Gardens leading the direction of local collaborative food economic models, developing human centred ecological solutions and developing viable social economic alternatives using urban agroecology practice.
This is ‘Big Picture’ thinking. Can we make it a reality on the Gold Coast?
Why agroecology ?
Edible gardens were popular in Australia during the Second World War - they were known as Victory Gardens and were neighbourhood gardens that helped with food shortages.
The concept of agroecology demonstration sites is common in countries around the world, particularly in Latin American. Volunteer promoters for edible gardens have existed in Argentina for 20 years, with 20,000 volunteer promoters and 750 paid technicians. The Argentina national program ‘Pro Huerta” (Pro Garden) supports 600,000 family gardens, 7500 school gardens and 4000 community gardens.
Argentina created the Pro Huerta program in response to their deep economic crisis 20 years ago. However, Gold Coast is not immune to poverty, with 35,000 people living below Australia’s poverty line and 20,000 unemployed.
From the time of Victory Gardens to now, the world has changed immensely. City cement covers yesterday’s farms, the agro-industry has poisoned and destroyed natural environments, and people have migrated from regional areas to urban centres and lost their agricultural knowledge.
The Ediblescapes Inc. vision offers a realistic and practical response to the question of how to give our communities access to healthy, nutritious food in both present uncertain times and in a future full of instability.
Now we need people power - a network of stakeholders, local and state governments, institutions and community groups to help to make this possible.