ITC is a big fan of verge gardens, edible gardens and crop swapping. We were thrilled to see that two Lane Cove Locals are working together to stage a Sydney Edible Garden Trail. Lane Cove local Bridget Kennedy tell us how the Sydney Edible Garden Trail idea became a reality. Take it away Bridget…
In early March 2019, I visited the Blue Mountains Edible Garden Trail with a group from Permaculture Sydney North (PSN) . Since the demise of the ABC Open Gardens scheme, I’d had been toying with the idea of creating an annual fundraising opening Garden Trail promoting sustainable living and growing your own food. The visit to the mountains was just the impetus I needed. Within 24 hours, I had contacted Susanne Rix, the founder of the Blue Mountains Edible Garden Trail (who was keen to offer her support) and her local permaculture group, who were also excited by the idea.
Within a week, Nita Lo, Garden Co-ordinator of Permaculture Sydney North, who had also visited the Blue Mountains, reached out to Laurie Green, Founder Crop Swap Australia (and another Lane Cove local), and Janna Mizen, VP PSN. A couple of weeks later, Margaret Mossakowska of Moss House contacted me. The result was an awesome team of multi-talented women who’ve volunteered their time to make the not-for-profit Sydney Edible Garden Trail a reality.
The Inaugural Edible Garden Trail
For the inaugural trail, while any creases are ironed out, we’ll focus on the council areas where the group personally has more knowledge of local food production (Ku-Ring-Gai, Lane Cove, Willoughby, Ryde, Hornsby and North Sydney) but moving forward, our vision is for this to be a Sydney wide event.
The Trail will run over 21 and 22 March 2020 with backyard growers, school and community gardens, large and small, opening their gardens to the public. This is a community not-for-profit event with all profits going to participating school and community gardens.
Why Hold the Edible Garden Trail?
The aim of the Sydney Edible Garden Trail is to encourage and inspire growing edible produce in street gardens, home gardens and public spaces across Sydney. We aim to showcase sustainable practices such as mulching for water conservation, recycling and composting to increase soil fertility and reduce landfill, planting to encourage bees, home food production to increase food security, and organic growing techniques to reduce chemical use. Often people think that growing edibles is a lot of work. Sometimes it can be, but there are also heaps of extremely low maintenance edible plants too. And, we also want to show that edible gardens can be beautiful too.
We want to celebrate the myriad of ways that Sydney residents are creating food security, saving money and the environment, while enjoying the health benefits of home grown fruit and vegetables. We see the trail as a conduit for these gardeners to share their passion and knowledge to inspire self-reliance and a love of growing edibles in others, saving the planet one edible garden at a time.
How Do People Participate?
We’re currently doing a callout to other passionate edible gardeners to register their gardens via our website. We’ll be supporting the garden hosts by providing a ‘how to’ pack of useful information, including signage and banners and inviting them to a ‘pre-trail’ event prior to the weekend so that they can meet each other. They’ll also be able to sell seedlings and other items to do their own fund raising, and we’re planning a prize for the best edible garden which will be voted on by visitors.
We’re also on the look out for sponsors for the event to help with some of the running costs. So if there’s any Lane Cove locals who might be interested, please do get in touch.
Tickets will cost $25 and be valid over the whole weekend. Kids 12 and under are free. All profits from the event will go back into the community in the form of grants to local schools and community groups to support edible gardens. The website (www.sydneyediblegardentrail.com) is up and running and you can sign up to receive the latest news about visiting the trail. You can also keep up to date by liking and following their Facebook page here.
Do you have an edible garden? Why not get on board and showcase it to locals?
Find out about Bridget Kennedy and her garden here.
Find out about Laurie Lee and her garden here.
Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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