ACFCGN’s Eco-topia 2012 clips

Eco-topia 2012 highlights

Growing food • transforming place • creating culture
…celebrating community one lettuce at a time

5th ACFCGN National School & Community Garden Gathering
at Randwick Sustainability Education Hub

The 5th National Gathering continued the tradition of bringing together people active in community gardening and in developing school gardens for education, to share their experience and to map a course into the future in which these initiatives play a leading role in developing our sustainable towns and cities.

Sponsors and supporters of Eco-topia 2012

Thanks to our sponsors and supports that helped make the event such a success. Thanks to our major sponsor, Randwick City Council that provided the venue and some financial support. Thanks to Pureharvest and Greenpatch Organic Seeds for providing resourses and Permaculture Australia who provided a grant. Also Randwick Community Organic Garden, the Kitchen Garden Project at Carriageworks and Glovers Garden vounteers that helped co-ordinator the event. Finally, thanks go to TiDe event management for their help and guidance during the planning phase of the event. Tours were sponsored by Camden, Wollongong and Randwick Council’s or which we were most grateful.

Thanks also got to Gary Cagonoff from Lysis Films for doing a fantasitc job of pulling together days of video material below, we’re sure you’ll enjoy them.




Opening address from Costa Georgiadis


Highlights of the Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network 2012 Eco-topia conference featuring Costa Goergiadis, Jude and Michele Fanton, David Engwicht, Russ Grayson and others.

Thanks to Kooii for the music. Used with permission:

Keynote—Placemaker, David Engwicht

Bringing life into your school or community garden:

David Engwicht takes us on a journey of the art, science and practice of placemaking

If we approach the design of our school and community gardens merely as a landscape design exercise, all we are likely to end up with is a school or community garden space. The best school and community gardens are a lot more than this—they take a space and turn it into a place… a place where you like to go… a place where you like to spent time with plants and people… a place where children are excited to learn from…

David’s keynote and workshop will leave with a head spinning with practical ideas on ways to make your new or existing community or school garden a true multiple-purpose venue that practically demonstrates its value to the surrounding community.

David’s ideas are not just for community gardeners. They are equally valuable to local government staff seeking better ways to engage with communities in the repurposing of urban land to turn it from bland, lawn space into a productive landscape populated by people and the plants they tend.

Placemaking is a new approach to design led by communities rather than professional designers, yet it is a practice through which professional designers can learn to design the productive landscapes that people, rather than transient trends, fashions and notions present in landscape design, really want. It’s a community-led, not a designer-led approach. Essentially, placemaking is about people.

More: Visit Eco-topia website for more information on David

School gardens

Leonie Shanahan

Edible School Gardens:

Leonie’s session gives an overview of the different schools she have been involved in and how she runs the edible school gardens program. She talks about how to get started — who are going to be the support team, what works and what doesn’t, how to transform that piece of dirt into a vibrant healthy edible garden. The language you might use to get kids attention. How to source materials. Different types of gardens to create, growing food for health, and gardening towards sustainability.

Leonie also looks at games to play to reinforce the learning in the garden and to make our sessions a fun place.

More: Visit Eco-topia website for more information on Leonie

Dan Deighton & Aaron Sorenson

The permaculture classroom & training garden ambassador’s program:

The Permaculture Classroom Program was seeded in 2003 through a community partnership between BlueScope Steel (then BHP Steel Port Kembla) The Garden (then the North Wollongong Community Garden Inc.) and Cringila Public School.

With BlueScope Steel ‘Growing Great Gardens Program’ seed funds, Permaculture Designers & Educators Daniel Deighton and Aaron Sorensen (now Elemental Permaculture) teamed up to germinate the Permaculture Classroom & Training Garden Ambassadors Program.

More: Visit Eco-topia website for more information on Dan and Aaron

School garden with Kate Hubmayer

Garden art for primary school children:

Kate takes us through her experience at Black Forest Primary School and provide hands-on demonstrations of easy nature crafts and other successful (& cheap!) garden art activities for children. Learn to make rope using natural fibre and how to make a beautiful leaf print using a mallet.

Kate also covers which plants, garden design elements, and simple props inspire children to connect with nature in imaginative and creative play.

Seedsavers’ Network

Michel and Jude Fanton

As local leaders of the Act of Seed Freedom working with international seed freedom advocate, Dr Vandana Shiva, Jude and Michel Fanton are best known as the inventors of the Seed Savers’ Network, the national citizens’ seed exchange that has been educating and facilitating the growing and swapping of seeds for the past 30 years. In this video they share their stories about how Australian community, home and school gardeners are taking action to conserve and regenerate our seed heritage.

More: Visit Eco-topia website for more information on Jude and Michel

Russ Grayson

Footpath gardening—what we’ve learnt:

Footpath gardening changes thoroughfares—urban spaces along which people hurry—into places where they linger. Since the first footpath approved gardens appeared in Chippendale several years ago to the development of local government policy around the practice, we have learned much about their design… and that has turned out to be more complicated than is commonly imagined. That’s what we will explore in this session.

We’ll look at design parameters and see images of existing footpath gardens in Sydney and learn how people went about creating them.

More: Visit Eco-topia website for more information on Russ


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