March 30, 2011
Landshare arrives in Australia
Landshare is now underway in Australia to provide a social networking service that introduces people with spare land to others wanting to grow fruit and vegetables, but with nowhere to do it.
Public concern for ‘food miles’, mounting food prices and a desire to get back to old fashioned flavour has generated a dramatic rise in people wanting to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
Everybody is catching the ‘grow your own’ bug – restaurateurs, celebrity chef’s, and the interest in cooking fresh at home is booming thanks to shows like Master Chef.
But as the movement grows, backyards in Australia are getting smaller or disappearing leaving thousands of would-be revolutionaries yearning for a piece of dirt on which to grow. That’s where Landshare Australia comes in.
A matchmaking service for gardeners
On the Landshare Australia website, www.landshareaustralia.com.au , people can register and post their particular need for a space to grow or offer land to share with interested gardeners. A website search will provide a selection of matches, contact is made, terms are agreed and then growing gets going.
The usual arrangement is that the gardener provides the landowner with a share of their produce so everyone wins. It’s that easy!
There are many backyards and vacant blocks around Sydney and the rest of the country that could be utilised and turned into productive gardens to benefit everyone and foster a greater sense of community.
Landshare Australia is based upon the hugely successful Landshare UK website launched in 2009 by celebrity chef and ethical food warrior Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (River Cottage). The UK site is booming with over 58,000 growers, landowners and helpers registered to date and still growing. The UK team are also advising on the development of the Australian site.
Which side of the fence are you on?
Obviously though, we will need participants on ‘both sides of the fence’ – we need people who have underutilised backyards, hobby farms or rural properties to register as well as those who want to get a vegie garden going.
My own ‘patch’, the Northern Rivers, was the first area in Australia to launch Landshare Australia with participants already sharing in its first trial.
It is working well and we look forward to the people of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and the rest of Australia getting involved in growing their own.
To register or for more information, go to www.landshareaustralia.com.au
Written by Phil Dudman. Phil is a gardening talkback radio host on the ABC Local Radio network, TV presenter, gardening author for ABC books and a regular contributor to popular gardening magazines. He is also a passionate advocate for organic gardening and the ‘grow your own’ movement. www.phildudman.com
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