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What’s going on: Local food gardens in remote communities

2009 July 6
by anthea

There has been a long history of food gardens and horticulture in northern Australia and this history includes market gardens from the mission days, on stations in the pastoral industry, and more recently through various local horticulture projects, indigenous enterprises and CDEP training programs. There have been successes, and there have been projects that have not been sustained over time. Sustainability imperatives, food insecurity, climate change and closing the gap all call for new, progressive approaches. Today there are various programs underway to research and develop bush foods and related social and economic enterprise and employment opportunities.  Food gardens can come in many forms and sizes, from household gardens to commercial horticulture and market gardens – from someone’s backyard, to enterprises of different types that have developed as social/community or commercial enterprises. Increasingly there seems to be good interest in including bush foods in local ‘gardens’ at the household or local community landscape level.

As we scope the project – and dig a little deeper to scope realistic opportunities for sustainable local food production initiatives – the list of kinds of food gardens we are looking at includes:

  • Household gardens
  • Extended family gardens
  • Community gardens
  • Community market gardens
  • Commercial market gardens
  • Commercial orchards
  • School gardens
  • CDEP led gardens for horticulture training
  • Community landscaping to include food plants and fruit shade trees
  • Bush food production enterprises – harvesting/collecting
  • Gardens that link to bush food production – landscaping/cultivation of bush foods
  • ‘Remnant’ gardens – old orchards and garden infrastructures that are still potentially productive if retrofitted/upgraded

If you know of any others tell us about them in the comments or help us out by checking out our Surveys.

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