Inspired by the food is free movement, a group of Flinders University staff and students has set-out to create a series of self-sustaining biodynamic gardens to engage the University community and be accessible to all. To this end, the Grow, Eat, Learn Market Garden was launched last year.
I had the pleasure of meeting with students and staff last Thursday at the garden’s planting day hosted by FUSA for Keep Australia Beautiful Week, which ran from 17-23 August. One of many planting days, it brought together volunteers to plant, weed, prune and pick from the garden.
Whilst others pulled weeds and planted the new season of herbs, vegetables and plants that are indigenous to the local area, I donned gloves and planted a quandong tree. As an amateur green-thumb, I also sought tips and tricks to save herbs I’ve attempted to cultivate at home and was pleased that the students were more than happy to provide helpful advice.
Driven by bold ideas, Flinders is committed to embedding sustainability behaviours in the delivery of our activities and across our campuses; the Grow, Eat, Learn Market Garden exemplifies that commitment. Not only does the garden reduce our carbon footprint, but through its honesty policy, it also provides free food to those who need a helping hand, and creates a picturesque space to relax or get your hands dirty in.
The garden also provides the opportunity to support the learning of not only our students, but also our wider community. One example of this is a recent visit by a local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth group. As always, I take great pride when I see our campus and students giving back to our community in myriad ways.
For those who wish to get involved, the Grow, Eat, Learn Market Garden is open to staff and students at all times. Limited pieces of equipment are always accessible to assist your efforts, and, in the coming months, there will be a seasonal to-do schedule to inform what volunteers can do in the garden to help.