Want to grow your own produce at home, but don’t know where to start? A group of green thumbs at Samford is online this month – showing off their gardens and answering your questions.
The Samford Edible Garden Trail was originally going to adopt a similar format to open gardens – local gardeners opening their gardens to the public so they could take a look, get ideas and ask questions. But, COVID-19 restrictions forced a rethink and the organisers, a group of four local mums, got creative.
Susanne Engelhard founded and co-ordinated the initiative with Christine King, coming up with the concept late last year before getting in contact with gardening groups to see what was possible.
Then COVID-19 hit. Instead of canning the idea, they decided to offer a similar experience and the same expertise online. They’re using Facebook, their website and Youtube to share virtual tours of 15 gardens and short, yet informative, videos featuring each of the hosts exploring a topic that reflects their garden.
Some hosts will take part in Facebook live videos, where people can ask questions. There will also be Q&A opportunities on standard Facebook posts.
“We’re going to get as much engagement as we can,” Susanne says.
It all starts on May 17 and a different garden will be featured each day until the end of the month.
#1. Growing biodynamic fertilisers
#2. Growing, harvesting and drying healing teas
#3. Involving children in the garden
#4. Edible gardens and animals to support children with additional needs
#5. Importance of fungal life and how to use mushroom compost
#6. Bee keeping
#7. Making a living native fence
#8. Zone planning and tree systems in a permaculture-style garden
Susanne says there are two reasons she wanted to do this.
“One was I thought we live in such a beautiful place in Samford Valley and have an amazing community of people growing food in their own backyards. This includes families, school gardens, community gardens and businesses. I wanted to do something that brought all these groups together that showcased the area,” she explains.
“And secondly, and most importantly, I just really wanted to do something that would encourage other people to grow some food in their backyards. It came from an idea of sharing information around how you do it, so we can encourage and inspire other people.”
Growing your own food is good for you for many reasons including being more active when you’re working out in the garden, not to mention the high nutritional value of homegrown produce.
“It’s also something really practical we can do to reduce food miles and do our part to mitigate climate change,” Susanne adds.
“There’s a general movement out there … people wanting to get back to what it was like just a couple of generations ago. People knew how to grow their own food, but a lot of that knowledge hasn’t been passed down.
“There’s been a huge increase in people joining gardening groups online – they’re starting gardens and want to know what to do. COVID-19 has prompted people to want to know more.”
Susanne’s hoping the Samford Edible Garden Trail will be an annual event – perhaps with a combination of open gardens and virtual tours next year. Watch this space.
There are two ways – via the facebook page or website which will include links to Samford Edible Garden Trail’s Youtube channel where the videos will be uploaded each day. Obviously, Facebook live videos and Q&A sessions will only be available on Facebook. If you’re planning to be involved, it’s a good idea to indicate you’re attending via the event page on Facebook.