Members of the Byford Glades Community Garden were starstruck last week when gardening legend Costa Georgiadis made an impromptu visit.
Costa is the ambassador of Community Gardens Australia and took a particular interest in the Byford Community Garden and its urban agriculture education program.
“Urban agriculture is not just about the produce that’s grown in a garden bed or on a street, it’s about bringing that understanding and connection to food, to people living in a city,” he said.
“The power of Byford Community Garden is the education. Because people can come here and learn to grow in a square metre or so … and it’s growing a ‘growing consciousness’.
“The power of urban agriculture is giving knowledge and equity back to everyone in suburbia, To take control of the food system again, and to confront convenience, which is taking away our connection to food.”
Byford Community Gardener and educator Gary Richards said the skills they were teaching in the garden’s urban agriculture education program were particularly important in a place like Byford, where plots are getting smaller and smaller.
The program has proven incredibly popular, and members of the community garden grow in abundance of what they can consume. Surplus fruit and veg is now donated to the Serpentine Jarrahdale CRC who operate a fortnightly lunch for locals, and to the Byford Baptist Church’s Free Food Market.
Gary was stoked to have a living icon come to see the community’s hard work in action.
“It was great to receive recognition from such a nice bloke about what our community is doing for each other,” he said.
Gary has his fingers crossed they’ll secure another grant for next year so the program can offer a follow-on course and bring local chefs on board to educate people on how to cook the food they grow.
Photographs – Chris Fowler