Matching growers with land… Landshare Australia launched in Randwick Community Organic Garden
Posted: Wed, Feb 16, 2011
An national organisation that links people looking for land to grow vegetables with people who have land to spare was launched in Sydney this week.
A rainy morning hadn't looked all that auspicious in the hours before the launch, but the various gods of agriculture must have looked favourably on the project and the rain ceased by the time people started to arrive at Randwick Community Organic Garden.
Launching Landshare Australia at the community garden, project instigator, Phil Dudman, positioned the initiative as partial solutions to food price rises and the expected peaking of the global oil supply, which would also push up the price of food because of agriculture's reliance on oil. The solution for Phil is to make it possible for people to grow food on underutilised, private land in cities and towns.
Phil is a gardening radio presenter on NSW North Coast radio and has produced books for ABC publishing. 'This is a supurb garden", Phil told guests that included Randwick City Council mayor, Murray Matson (The Greens), Council's Sustainability Education Officer and its community garden liaison officer, community gardeners, garden educator Emma Daniel, representatives of the Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network and the City of Sydney.
Dressed in a broad brimmed straw hat and business suit and tie, Murray mentioned his council's work in lobbying to save the Phillip Bay market gardens, the Kensington guerrilla garden, which is not a Council project, and Council's recently-adopted policy on community gardens.
Referring to the Randwick community garden, Murray told the audience that he was at the opening of the garden some years ago and that growing your own means that "... you know what goes into your food", he said.
"There's food growing everywhere... there's chooks", said Phil Dudman after the mayor had finished, gesturing towards the surrounding food crops. "Working together in communities to grow your food helps to sustain out food future".
Landshare will help with that too.
"Landshare connects people who want to grow food with land to grow it on, and it does this through the power of the internet", he said in reference to Landshare Australia's recently launched website.
Phil was inspired to set up Landshare Australia by Landshare UK. The UK initiative, which has around 60,000 people registered on its website, provided guidance. Phil's vision is of the website as a hub that contributes to a sustainable future.
Visitors can register on the Landscare website as land providers or land seekers for both home food production and for
community gardening. There are other features to the website that an exploration will reveal.
Towards the end of the opening, a film crew from ABC24 turned up and shot interviews with Phil, the Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network representative and with Randwick community gardener, Maree-Therese.
The Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network and Landshare are exploring ways to cooperate, especially on their respective websites.
Landshare Australia: www.landshareaustralia.com.au