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The Forager

A home-grown movement of edible garden trails catches on in Adelaide

The Forager

Adelaide’s first Edible Garden Trail will be staged online this month, with an innovative series of videos taking viewers behind the scenes of six local urban food gardens that aim to inspire and educate.

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On Saturday, April 24, a curated selection of backyard growers across Adelaide will open their gardens to the public via informative online videos, sharing their knowledge and inspiring others to get growing in their own patch.

The Adelaide Edible Garden Trail will showcase sustainable garden practices for South Australian growing conditions, including water conservation, composting, increasing soil fertility, planting to encourage beneficial insects, home food production and organic growing techniques.

The event is spearheaded by a small community group led by Glynde gardener Jacqui Garcia.

She says the event celebrates the ways residents are creating food sovereignty while saving money and the environment.

“I think Sophie Thompson summed it up well in her TED talk, that, at the core of it, gardening could solve many of the world’s problems,” says Garcia.

“There are many other benefits to gardening, not just the fresh, lovely produce, but also a connection through sharing that produce with family and friends.”

Alex Miller founded the North Brighton Community Garden, which will feature in the Adelaide Edible Garden Trail. Photo: Koren Helbig.

Wanting to share her passion, Garcia has helped facilitate the Adelaide Edible Garden Trail with a group of like-minded gardeners.

The group decided to stage the event online, rather than in-person, after consulting with a similar Sydney-based trail that found the digital format to be more accessible to a larger audience.

A curated selection of six gardens were chosen for their innovative and sustainable garden practices which take into account South Australian conditions.

They are a shared street garden in the Adelaide CBD, a 15-year-old food forest established on permaculture principles at a Forestville rental property, a micro-scale market garden, a 60sqm garden at Gawler South, a formal edible garden at Glenelg North, and a North Brighton community garden established by a young gardener.

The project received funding by way of micro-grants to contract Six Foot Four Productions’ John deCaux to produce videos ranging from eight to 18 minutes in length.

“It is a beautiful set of videos and we’re very excited because they’re looking really good,” says Garcia.

“We’ve used the funding to make sure that we had really good production so the videos can be a valuable resource for the community.

“SA has unique challenges with its Mediterranean-type climate and summer heatwaves, so we’ve got tips and tricks throughout the videos for people to have success growing at home.”

Wagtail Urban Farm is participating in the Adelaide Edible Garden Trail. Picture: Baxter Wiles.

Participants can choose whether to make a donation or access the videos for free, and all event proceeds will be reinvested into local community food growing projects.

“Community-based edible garden trails are relatively new and we’re really excited to be part of the first wave of events popping up around the country. We hope to build on the momentum that’s happening on the East Coast,” says Garcia.

The Edible Garden Trail will also show the different ways local communities are coming together through gardening and how some residents with little space are making the most of their gardens.

“In Sydney, they were ready to go with a physical garden trail, but the shutdown happened and they quickly shifted to online,” says Garcia.

“It turned out to be a blessing in that it became more accessible than a physical event and drew a larger audience.

“We’ve managed to put together something that we’re really proud of. We’re very excited and hoping everyone else gets as excited as we are.”

Garcia hopes edible garden trails, both physical and online, will catch on in South Australia.

“I’d love to see a Barossa edible garden trail where you could stop at wineries along the way, or say at McLaren Vale, the Fleurieu or Mount Gambier.

“I encourage volunteer and community groups to give it a go. We’re happy to share the information with other regions or states about how to go about it.”

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