Churchill Fellow Dr Nick Rose is advocating for a comprehensive approach that includes increased support for community gardens and urban farms as a sustainable solution. Nick has called for a major expansion of community gardens nationally as an investment in food security, but also as a preventative public health measure, calling for a $500mn Edible Gardening Fund.
“Community gardens are literally the grassroots solution to the challenges posed by market concentration and rising food prices. They empower individuals, strengthen local communities, and contribute to food security,” Nick said.
Nick asserts that community gardens play a vital role in addressing not only the economic challenges faced by citizens but also the broader issues related to health, environment, and community empowerment.
“Community gardens are not just about growing food; they are about growing resilient and connected communities,” states Nick. “In the face of rising costs and concerns over supermarket practices, community gardens present a practical and empowering response.”
In a recent conversation addressing these critical issues, Nick underscores the importance of community gardens and urban farms, particularly in the context of the ongoing review led by Craig Emerson.
Nick acknowledges the significance of the supermarket review, emphasizing the need for a multi-faceted approach to tackle the challenges faced by consumers. He suggests that community gardens, operating on a non-commercial, volunteer-led basis, can and do provide a sustainable alternative to traditional food supply chains.
Nick draws parallels between the review’s focus on supermarket pricing and the impacts of market concentration on farmers. He points out that community gardens represent positive and democratic community-led responses to market failures and government inaction in various sectors.
As part of their strategy, Nick and his team at Sustain: the Australian Food Network call upon key decision makers and government figures to advocate for the funding and support of a nationally coordinated network of community gardens and urban farms. Nick also continues to engage with influential figures in the media to amplify his messages and raise awareness about the importance of community-led initiatives.
Nick’s Churchill Fellowship report can be read here.