Urban agriculture isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a food growing revolution thriving right here in the Inner West. It’s a movement all about increasing ways to grow food locally, getting our hands and seeds in the soil, and growing nutritious, organic fruit, veggies and herbs in the heart of the city while improving the environment and increasing biodiversity.  

Let’s explore the benefits and dig into the abundance of city food systems to celebrate Urban Agriculture Month

  • Fresher and healthier produce: When you tend to your garden, you can pick food and eat it right away. You also have more control over the chemicals and pesticides used to grow it by avoiding them This means access to fresher, healthier meals. 
  • Reduced food miles: Growing your own food, or sourcing it locally, reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation. It’s a big win for the environment. 
  • Strengthening community: Sharing gardening tips, trading extra produce with neighbours, and connecting around gardening fosters a sense of community. We’re not just growing food; we’re cultivating connections and more resilient neighbourhoods. 

Some of the local organisations participating/contributing to this change  include Pocket City Farms in Camperdown, Mort Bay Community Garden (who celebrated their 11 year anniversary last weekend), and  Rozelle Organic Buyers Group.  

When combined with the magic of permaculture, you can take growing your own food to the next level! But what is permaculture? Put simply, it’s like nature’s cheat code for sustainable living: 

  1. Resources, not waste: Permaculture focuses on reducing waste by utilizing natural cycles and resources efficiently. Composting, rainwater harvesting, and recycling are key components that help you maintain a sustainable garden while minimising waste.  
  1. A living system: Incorporating a variety of plant species in your garden helps create a more diverse and resilient ecosystem and reduces the risk of crop failure due to pests or disease. 
  1. By embracing permaculture principles, you can grow a wide range of fruits vegetables and plants to eat, as well as supporting local plant, fungi, and animal species.  Nurturing the soil and using organic methods also supports your garden’s fertility and ensure so that it remains productive for years to come while increasing biodiversity 
  1. Regeneration not extraction: Permaculture imitates natural patterns that are observed in flourishing ecosystems. An easy way to see this in practice is by visiting a local food forest, where there are “layers” of edible plants, mirroring the structure of natural forests. Other common practices are returning organic matter to feed the soil and designing what you plant to maximimise your space’s unique features – wind, shade, sun and rainfall.
White’s Creek community garden

Now that you’re inspired, it’s time to act. Get planting at your home or neighbourhood! You could also join a community garden! 

For more resources and help, connect with us at the Green Living Centre. We offer workshops, can connect you with community gardens, and provide expert advice to help you get started on your journey toward growing food locally. For more inspiration, listen to our podcast on sustainable food systems.  

If you want to act, but lack the time, resources, physical ability or space, you can still get involved through Sustain, a national organisation advocating for fairer, more resilient urban food systems. You can connect with them at the upcoming Urban Agriculture Forum.By embracing urban agriculture and local permaculture, you’re taking meaningful steps toward a greener, healthier, and more sustainable future for the Inner West, and the planet at large. It’s not just about growing food; it’s about growing communities and nurturing a sense of responsibility for the environment. 

So, why wait? Let’s cultivate a brighter, more sustainable future together right here. This Urban Agriculture Month let’s sow the seeds of change together!