Friday, 19 May 2017

Urban Agriculture : food literacy, ecoliteracy, connection


Urban agriculture is the theme of my podcast this week. From next week, my Simple Life segment will be aired live on ABC radio every Tuesday night at around 9:30 (moved from Thursday).  You can tune into Evenings on 612ABC.



With about 90% of Australians living in cities, more than ever we need to take urban agriculture seriously and support the flourishing of food growing in the city - for the health of people and the planet. A healthy city is one that can feed itself. 

Urban agriculture is actually a huge global phenomenon, but often quite unnoticed. Over 800 million people are involved in doing urban agriculture (mostly in developing countries), producing over a fifth of the world's food. In Australia, around a quarter of our food is grown in urban and peri-urban areas on just 3% of the agricultural land. There is rapidly growing interest. In 2013, a study by The Australia Institute reported that 48% of people are likely to grow food at home. 

From another perspective, urban agriculture is important because around 400,000 Queenslanders experience food insecurity every year and urban food growing can help people access fresh, cheap or free local food.

Here Evenings host, Trevor Jackson and I, talk about urban agriculture. In this podcast I explore a wide range of issues that urban agriculture helps us to address including: 

  • FOOD LITERACY: Urban agriculture can help us feed people good food and increase understanding of food.
  • CONNECTION: Urban agriculture can play an active role in cultivating community, building connection between urban and rural communities, between neighbours, and also in creating a connection to place and land.
  • ECOLITERACY: Urban agriculture can help restore the urban metabolism, reduce food miles and embodied energy of food, and support the establishment of small scale polycultural systems.

We need to rethink the city as a farm and explore how food growing can be incorporated into every neighbourhood and every new development.

Some previous posts:

Previous blogposts, podcasts and films I have made about urban agriculture include:


24 November 2016 (detailed information)

5 Jan 2016 
27 November 2016 

22 March 2017 
12 April 2017


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1 comment:

  1. We could learn a lot about urban farming from our older migrants. Some Italian and Greek migrants living in the inner city suburbs near Melbourne are great farmers. Some manage to be self sufficient on a smaller than average block of land ( think tiny terrace yard). With massive seasonal plantings, they preserve a lot. They grow vines for summer shade and wine making, keep rabbits to slaughter, chooks for eggs, olive trees grow in the front yard, and figs along the sideways. The chooks and rabbits eat the discarded greens from the local fruit shops.
    The major problem confronting urban farmers in Melbourne is the overwhelming possum and fruit bat population. Possums are protected and fruit bat numbers are now in plague proportions. This makes it difficult for all inner city farmers, unless they belong to community allotments such as Ceres where they get help netting and infrastructure.

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