Farm It Forward
Growing Local Food and Fostering Community
Farm It Forward is a new project run by Lyttleton Gardens aiming to connect Blue Mountains landowners (such as isolated older residents and young families) with local young people who are passionate about growing food in the Blue Mountains.
It aims to create training and job opportunities for young people and tackle the issue of social isolation amongst older people and young families in the Blue Mountains. This will provide participants with much needed company, food garden maintenance and fresh healthy food grown in their own backyards, improving their overall health and wellbeing.
Landowners will receive a weekly fruit and vegetable box in exchange for lending their land to be used for market gardening. All excess produce will be sold to local food co-operatives in the Blue Mountains who have already confirmed their support and/or contribution to the project, including the Blue Mountains Food Co-Op and Lyttleton Stores.
It is due to be rolled out in mid September. Project coordinator Emmanuela Prigioni (Manu) has gathered a group of local young farmers-to-be and mentors who are passionate about farming and training others. They have been paired with Blue Mountains residents wanting to have their unused land transformed into market gardens in exchange for a weekly box of homegrown fruits and vegetables. Pending finances, the project is ready to be rolled out.
The young farmers will also be mentored and supported by a network of local farmers and weekly volunteer sessions carried out by several local community organisations.
Community outreach groups will participate in the form of weekly market gardening working bees and training sessions, bringing them in contact with the land and providing training and avenues to feel more connected to their community.
The Blue Mountains community will gain a source of local fresh fruits and vegetables, an improved sense of purpose and connection and greater community resilience. It will help create intergenerational bonds and help provide local opportunities for young people.
Farm It Forward is a project providing a new way to grow local food whilst building community connection and resilience. It will provide a blueprint for other communities in Australia for restoring soils, building local resilience, creating jobs and tackling social isolation.
It will provide career pathways for young people in regenerative farming, propelling them into the regenerative farming practises of the future.