Market garden to boost Flinders’ green credentials

A sunny 19 degrees is forecast for the inaugural planting day of the new Flinders Market Garden, to take place this Friday 24 August at Bedford Park campus.

Based on permaculture principles, the productive new landscape complements an ever increasing range of exciting sustainability-centred initiatives at Flinders University.

The garden is part of the Grow, Eat, Learn initiative – a collaboration between staff in the College of Science and Engineering, the Students of Biology Association (SOBA), the Flinders University Buildings and Property Division, the Flinders Permaculture Committee and Scoop SA.

Led by Flinders students, the project will see a series of community market gardens designed at the University, inspired by the free food movement which rewards contribution with produce.

The Flinders Market Garden is the first of these. It will provide a functional space to bring together a community of staff and students who are keen to volunteer their time in exchange for a share of fresh produce, with the entire University community benefiting from its tranquil environment. Both native and non-native plants have been chosen for the garden, which will feature a pistachio avenue, citrus orchard and many beds of salad greens and other vegetables.

The long term goal of Grow, Eat, Learn is to create a self-sustaining community that is engaged in a living campus on University grounds, where students and staff actively contribute to the development of biodynamic systems including recycling and composting, sustainable food production, soil preparation and crop rotation.

In fitting with the University’s draft Sustainability Plan, recycled and low-impact materials will be incorporated as much as possible in the Flinders Market Garden, which will also work with Flinders’ food vendors to lower the University’s carbon footprint by reducing food miles between source and retailer.

The new garden is located near the Biology Discovery Centre and has been skilfully designed to fit into the contour of the hill between the centre and McHughs at Anchor Court.

Community gardens have been a Flinders hallmark for many years. The Community Permaculture Garden at Sturt plays an important role in fostering student leadership, knowledge and learning around sustainability, environmental awareness and practical organic gardening skills on campus. It is the longest running university community garden in Australia.

Flinders University is inviting feedback on its draft Sustainability Plan until Friday 24 August.

Get involved

Any staff and students who are interested in being involved in the Flinders Market Garden are welcome to come along to the first planting day on Friday, August 24th from 9:30am. For updates or more information, please visit the Grow, Eat, Learn Facebook page.

The Flinders Market Garden has been made possible thanks to funding from Flinders University, the College of Science and Engineering, the Student Service and Amenities Fee, SOBA, and the Flinders University Student Association.

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