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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Local group seeks participants for community food network project

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A group of locals is voluntarily creating organic food gardens in local backyards and properties as part of its vision to create a sustainable community food network across the Shire.

Called the Abundant Earth Project, the group is seeking expressions of interest from locals who would like to have a food garden planted at their home free of charge.

Members of the Abundant Earth Project – in the foreground: Rainbow Eagle, middle right Isabella Petrova, and back, Laing Kerns-Stokes. Photo Jeff ‘Garden Gnome Since 1986’ Dawson

Three homes will be chosen to be part of a garden blitz on December 12 in which volunteers will set up fully functioning food gardens, with more gardens to be planted in the coming months.

‘If you’d like a garden at your home, take a video or picture of what your dream is, what your vision is, and send it to us,’ one of the members of the group, Rainbow Eagle said.

‘We invite you to be as colourful and creative as you like – wear costumes, sing songs, let us know what inspires you.’

The group believes that the food gardens will be prosperous enough to both feed the home and share excess produce with people in the community, particularly older people or anyone in need.

They will run a food delivery service to help share the food around, and hope to one day have food gardens across the Shire – creating a grass roots food production network.

‘The garden will be fully set up by the community so all that is required is to be present at the garden blitz, maintain the garden, and gift excess produce when it is available,’ another group member Laing Kerns-Stokes said.

‘A lot of people would like to have a food garden but lack the ability and knowledge to establish them, so this is an opportunity for people to do that.

The philosophy

The idea behind the project is the desire to create an abundant, resilient food system that is based on and builds, local communities, as opposed to the current commercially-driven model.

‘We also see this as an opportunity to connect to other projects which are involved in creating food sovereignty,’ says group member, Isabella Petrova, whose home in Mullumbimby hosted the project’s first food garden.

The group has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for the materials needed to create the gardens, which is under the name Abundant earth Project.

It is also calling for donations of tools.

‘We’re also reaching out to local businesses that would like to get involved, either through sponsorship or providing materials,’ Rainbow Eagle says.

It also calling for volunteers to be part of the garden blitz on December 12, which will be a family-friendly event including lunch and music jams.

Those interested in having a food garden at their home are asked to send their videos or pictures to [email protected]

Videos and pictures will be posted on the group’s webpage, abundantearthproject.com.

More information about the project can also be found on the Abundant Earth Tribe Facebook page.

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