Build a Refugee Vegetable Garden in Thomastown.


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A little bit of context

Asylum Seekers settled in Australia currently receive a vital living allowance of $35 a day, while they await visa processing. 50% is spent on private rental as access to public housing is unavailable, 25% on utilities, the rest on travel and neccessities, leaving approximately $20 a week for food. That's a lot of 2 minute noodles!

But there’s a problem

On such a limited budget, accessing regular fresh fruit and vegetables vital to good mental and physical health is out of their reach. So we have a perfect storm of poverty, social isolation and instability, exacerbated by poor diet and nutrition.

Ifeedrefugees is passionate about equality, and the power of harnessing a grassroots approach to problem-solving social injustice. We believe all of us living a privileged life free of war, poverty and hunger can take small steps for a more humane way of life in Australia. Our aim is to deliver solutions through action, and collaboration. Identify the problem, design a solution then bring together the best minds to execute the plan.

Ifeed Refugees is launching this new project to establish a community garden with our partner Whittlesea Community Connections. Community gardens are increasingly recognised as a tool to facilitate educational opportunities, which provide many physical, social, economic, nutritional, cultural and environmental benefits. By creating a community garden in the vicinity of an existing community centre we will increase opportunities to share knowledge and strengthen social bonds, and to reduce isolation and mental health stressors.

We will work with The Very Edible Gardens, and Craig Castree from Vasilli's Garden Show to deliver the garden.

Big shoutout to Mulga, an epic Sydney based art dude with a big heart, who paints murals & runs his clothing brand in Australia and Japan. Mulga kindly hand-painted an original artwork on one of our bags.

Here’s what we’re doing about it

Our plan, working together with the local refugee community in Thomastown, is to build a market garden to provide sustainable access to healthy food for refugees and asylum seekers. Making it fun and educational at the same time! Whilst also creating longer term, a place for community, for training, and social inclusion.

And here is how we will make that happen.

Whittlesea Community Connections in Thomastown have secured funding to establish a kitchen within a shed based at the Thomastown hub. Behind the shed (the proposed site of this new kitchen) is a space for 7 large garden beds, which when established will provide fresh produce for the community to use in cooking programs, to supply free lunches and dinners, or fresh vegetables to community members in need .

Very Edible Gardens will hold a workshop to teach us how to build ‘wicking bed’ planter. The refugee and asylum seekers will take ownership of the garden once it is establoished.

Craig Castree of Vasilli's TV program will hold a workshop to build a sustainable planting program for the garden, teaching skills around seasonal and companion planting techniques. He will provide ongoing support to the community for the first 6 months to ensure the garden flourishes and thrives.

We need your support.

The ifeed team is donating their time and project management, however landscaping and creating a viable garden costs money.

We have two stages to deliver.

Stage 1: prep the site, present the workshop, build the beds - $1500.

Stage 2: Workshop to create and deliver a sustainable planting program, and ongoing support to the budding refugee gardners to achieve their full potential - $1500

And here’s some amazing perks for supporting us that you can’t live without

$5 - pay your coffee forward. Get your name on our website as an awesome contributor to such a great cause.

$15 -Bamboo Monkey silky soft pair of bamboo dress socks size 6 -10.

$20 - ifeed Jute shopping bag with unique handbound stitching along edges & a cheeky meesage :)

$25 - Bamboo Monkey Keepcup - Exclusive design, reusable, dishwasher safe, biodegradable and compostable.

$30 - Have a Heart Organic Cotton Unisex Tee

$30 - ifeed for respect Organic Cotton Unisex Tee

$100 - Exclusive, handpainted bag by famed Australian Graffitti artist Mulga.

$250 - naming rights! We will formally name one of the wicking beds after you!

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Team Members

Edwina Walsh

Danielle Heaven