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The successful Landshare program, which garners 60,000 participants in the UK, where it began, has arrived in Australia encouraging people to home grow produce with the help of others. The online network unites those with land to share with those in need of land for growing fresh produce.
“Landshare Australia is an online land-matching tool for people who want to grow food, but don’t have any space, with people who have got some land that they’re willing to share with other people,” says Phil Dudman, who started the Landshare program in Australia.
The concept works with three categories of people: growers who would like to cultivate land for vegies, fruit, or even animals but who do not have the land; sharers who have the land available to share, benefitting from free produce; and helpers who can offer knowledge or expertise, lend tools or look after a garden if a grower goes away.
“Are you looking for land? Or have you got some land to share? Jump onto Landshare Australia,” says Dudman.
“There’s growers, landowners and then there’s helpers. So you can register as a helper – someone who has some knowledge about growing food, and you can help people with their questions online, or you can help on a landshare site to maintain the garden. Or even when someone’s away and they might need some help with their vegie patch, they can contact the helper in their area and say ‘look would you mind looking after my vegie patch while I’m away. Of course you can harvest what you want while you’re there.”
“If you were to register on the landshare site as a grower, then just post a listing and you can do a search to find who’s got some land in your area and then you can approach them and ask them if you can set up a vegie patch there.”
“People who have got land, they can do a search too, so someone might come along who’s offering some land and they’ll find you and drop you a note within the site and invite you to come and grow at their place.”
“We’ve got about 1,200 members now… we’d love to have 10,000! Once we’ve got 10,000 or so, we’ll have a lot of matches happening cause you kind of need those numbers really to get people in your area that have the land. But we’ve got matches happening. In Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra and a few other places, so the idea is starting to work.”
To become a part of the Landshare community and begin engaging with landowners and gardeners, sign up to www.landshareaustralia.com.au.