Landshare Australia – newly launched at Randwick Community Gardens, Sydney – is a matchmaking service for gardeners to help produce more homegrown veggies across Australia. It introduces people with spare land to others wanting to grow fruit and vegetables, but with nowhere to do it.
One of the founders, gardening ‘guru’ Phil Dudman, says:
“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.
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..
We plan to make Landshare Australia one of the leading websites for any Australian gardener, not only providing the matchmaking service, but allowing people to chat with other growers, get the very best growing advice from our veg doctors and download ‘how to’ guides. Anyone can register to take advantage of the websites resources, and it’s free..
With community support it will succeed and we’re hoping that with corporate support we can make it happen across Australia even faster!
The usual arrangement is that the gardener provides the landowner with a share of their produce so everyone wins. It’s that easy.
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 Landshare UK website was launched in 2009 by celebrity chef and ethical food warrior Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of River Cottage. The UK site has over 58,000 growers, landowners and helpers registered to date and still growing. and the UK team is advising on the development of the Australian site. Phil says:
“Obviously though, we will need participants on ‘both sides of the fence’ – we need people who have under-utilised backyards, hobby farms or rural properties to register as well as those who want to get a vegie garden going. We also need helpers, people who are not seeking land, but can offer help in some way, from answering gardeners questions online to helping out on the plot itself. ”
This area was the first to launch Landshare Australia and participants are already sharing in its first trial.
“It is working well and we look forward to the people of Sydney and the rest of Australia getting involved in growing their own.”
To register or for more information, go to www.landshareaustralia.com.au .