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Urban landcare for sustainable food production

Anda, M., Stocker, L. and Carr, B. (1994) Urban landcare for sustainable food production. In: Proceedings of the National Greening Australia Conference, 4 - 6 October, Fremantle, Western Australia pp. 227-231.

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Abstract

Many residents in the South Fremantle area have spoken of the need to enhance their under-utilised vacant land and treeless street verges by having intensive native planting, community gardens and groves of fruit and nut trees. Consequently some 50 residents came together to form Fremantle Inner City Agriculture (FINCA) for the development of a vacant block in South Fremantle into' an organic community vegetable garden with appropriate technologies for water management and pest control. It involves close collaboration among community members, Murdoch University and Fremantle City Council (FCC).

Through participation in training workshops FINCA members have been developing skills and have completed the first demonstration plot- the Beaconsfield Out of School Care Centre. The themes implemented here are soft fruits for the children (including quandong), native species for nitrogen fixing, windbreaks and bird attraction, rainwater harvesting, earthworks for erosion control and heavy mulching for water conservation and soil building.

A challenge for this project has been the collaboration of 'permaculture' advocates, unpopular for their use of 'environmental weeds', and 'purist' landscape ecologists who find useful exotic species hard to accept even in urban areas. The Beaconsfield Centre show how the two approaches can be combined in a sustainable manner in certain urban settings.

The 'greening' of increasingly popular older suburbs will not only bring a rural feel to inner city areas but will facilitate sustainable use of land, productive use of stormwater and greywater, an improvement environment for birdlife, meaningful social interaction and an alternative means of complementing their food needs.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: Institute for Science and Technology Policy
School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Greening Australia
Copyright: © 1994 Greening Australia Limited
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/22716
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