Ediblescapes is an ecologically sustainable urban food community that researches sustainable food production and techniques and applies those research outcomes to provide community education and practice in food production. Additionally, the community is provided access to the gardens to see and taste that food, and experience satisfaction when that food is distributed to people in need. Ediblescapes is therefore owned by the community and operates to benefit the community.
Ediblescapes exists at Country Paradise Parklands, Nerang due to the vision and persistence of Jorge Cantellano and the support of Cr. Peter Young.
The site occupied by Ediblescapes at Country Paradise Parklands was originally stripped of all topsoil and is an extremely difficult site on which to grow fruit and vegetables; in fact anything other than grass.
This situation required significant holistic thought and investigation, resulting in soil being manufactured on-site and innovative approaches to using only plant-based fertilisers on the site and avoiding the use of both animal products and synthetic fertilisers, as well as detrimental insect sprays; the resultant produce is high in nutrition and bio-protection properties.
In avoiding commercial insect sprays the lives of many beneficial insects are saved so as to effectively control garden pests, and carry out that all-important task of crop pollination. Jorge has engaged in time-intensive experimentation involving fermented fertilisers and varied production techniques, to produce what is now recognized as local leadership in sustainable urban fruit, vegetable and herb production. In summary, Ediblescapes is an ecologically sustainable urban food community which researches sustainable food production and techniques, and applies those research outcomes in order to provide to the community education and practice in food production.
Additionally, the community is provided access to the gardens to see and taste that food, and experience satisfaction when that food is distributed to people in need. Ediblescapes is therefore owned by the community and operates to benefit the community.
Of additional benefit to the community is the ability of people to purchase organically produced fertiliser which will enhance production and plant and soil health in their own gardens.
People can volunteer at the Ediblescapes gardens so as to learn first-hand how best to garden in an ecologically sustainable manner without the use of synthetic fertilisers and insect sprays; the resultant education and practice can only benefit ourselves and our shared environment.
The current Ediblescapes gardens are uniquely designed and cultivated so as to embrace a wide range of edible and native fruits, perennial plants and beneficial herbs. The produce is high in nutrition and is greatly appreciated by the wider community of people in need of assistance.
What follows is a summary of the output in produce and services from the Ediblescapes gardens:
EdibleScapes Gardens plans to transition into Ecological Interpretive Garden.
After two years of responding to the COVID-19 induced local food crisis, EdibleScapes Gardens have demonstrated the efficiency of their ‘biointensive growing’ method by increasing food production tenfold over an average urban edible garden’s production.
Nonetheless, in 2022 Ediblescapes will refocus its efforts on the demonstrative and experiential learning functions of its public project. In a strategy to become a Food & Ecology Interpretive Centre by 2026, EdibleScapes Gardens will now transition into an Ecological Interpretive Garden. Ecological Interpretive Gardens offer community education opportunities that promote pro-conservation views and an understanding of human dependence on the ecological systems that provide our food, materials, climate control, and other benefits. Visitors can engage with ecological relationships in the garden to learn about the interactions between living organisms, including soil nutrients, pollinating insects and birds, native and cosmopolitan edible plants, and even humans.
Learning can be activated by visual and audio signage, storytelling, interactive elements, workshops and other modes of communication.
At EdibleScapes, interpretation is now possible because the fruit trees planted three years ago are now fruiting. The vegetable beds now give turn to perennial plants under the tree canopy and a recognisable edible food forest is taking shape.
Like any other public park, the first immediate tasks are to display flora labels to inform visitors about the species in the garden. Each sign will link to an online listing, via a QR code, to provide more information to mobile users. This approach will reduce the limitations and costs associated with printed signage.
(see work in progress on website construction page Sun Garden)
After flora identification labels, with the help of volunteers and student internship placements, we will aim to develop creative content for integrated media to entertain and educate a diverse range of visitors from different age groups, cultural backgrounds and interests.
As you can see, the interpretive task will become a recurring activity for gardener volunteers, and it will extend beyond these concepts. We aim to provide garden tours and host celebrations and cultural activations. We want to host community education programs like workshops on propagation, wild herbs and natural pest control, composting, plant adaptations, and more.
The common denominator with all of this effort is volunteers! Without the contribution of volunteers, there will be no accomplishment.