Community gardens are shared spaces to grow food. They can be in public parks and gardens, on hospital grounds, adjoining community kitchens, at Community and Neighbourhood Houses, Churches and Schools.
Networks and education
The City offers a range of services that can be used by community gardens including education sessions and free compost. More information about these programs can be found on the Waste education page of the City’s website.
The City has drafted a Community Gardens Policy to assist community members to navigate the process to start a community garden on council owned and managed land.
Another resource for community gardens is the Bendigo Community Garden Network, a place for those involved in or interested in community gardening to share information, ideas, ask questions and connect.
School kitchen gardens
Schools and early learning centres are also using kitchen gardens to teach children about growing food, helping to form lifelong healthy habits and a love of fresh produce. There are multiple Stephanie Alexander School Kitchen Gardens in the region plus scores of other independent kindergarten and school and kitchen gardens.
One early learning centre in Bendigo is even transforming an 800 sq house block into a full kitchen garden for the centre in an effort to reduce ‘bought’ food and to cook more genuinely in a seasonal manner.
Food System Strategy
Greater Bendigo’s Food System Strategy 2020-2030 has been developed in partnership with multiple organisations, businesses and community groups. The strategy is the first of its kind for the Greater Bendigo region.
The Strategy uses a collective impact framework, which is based on the knowledge that individual actions and efforts are limited, but when we work together towards a common aim we maximise our impact. Over 30 organisations and groups have committed to either leading or supporting key actions listed within the 10 year Strategy Action Plan. The Strategy’s shared vision, guiding principles and objectives can be explored HERE.