On Friday, 17 March 2018 I went to the Brisbane Garden and Plant Expo at Doomben Race Course. I had a great day. I got up close and personal with some very tame cute lizards, a blue tongue and an eastern bearded dragon, as well as an adorable sugar glider who kept wandering onto my arm every time I patted her.
I learnt about the importance of birds, bees and butterflies. I also brought home a leaflet on the plants I need to grow to get the caterpillars to then get the butterflies as you obviously can’t have the butterflies without having the caterpillars first. You can get a copy of this booklet here.
The other thing I learnt was about the importance of gardening to you, your local community and the planet. Apparently a lot of what used to be farming land near cities is now being taken over by urban sprawl. This didn’t just happen in the 50s, it’s still happening. The land around Melbourne is down to 35% and is expected to go down to approximately 18%, only with a lot more people to feed.
Luckily most cities also have spare land which is being used for community gardens as well as the food gardens people are growing at home. Food gardens can be grown anywhere from pots on balconies to the backyard to a plot in a community garden.
There are even online swap communities, such as Spare Harvest (their Facebook page) where you can advertise any excess herbs, fruit and vegetables you have so that people can see what you have and come and collect it. Likewise, you can see what excess other people have and collect it from them.
For more information on Urban Agriculture and gardening coming to the rescue, see the following TEDtalks and YouTube channels:-
- Sophie Thomson on Saving the World with Gardening;
- Costa and Indira Naidoo on starting small;
- Costa on being a Change Maker;
- Costa Georgiadis;
- Urban Farming;
- How Urban Agriculture is Saving Detroit
- Community Garden in Camperdown, NSW; and
- Other Community Gardens in Sydney.
There really is a lot of good information out there; this list is a good place to start, though.
There are also often workshops run by your local permaculture group, council and library.
Then it just gets better with people like Transition Streets, Newcastle, NSW building whole sustainable communities.
I hope this helps in some way.
Hang in there, you’ve got this.