A lack of knowledge around starting and maintaining an edible garden has been highlighted as the main barrier preventing people from growing food at home. So Enliven Victoria has created a new community-based campaign to promote the health and environmental co-benefits of edible gardening at home.
Primary Care Partnership, Enliven Victoria, launched ‘Food from Home ’ in November 2020 to support individuals and families in Greater Dandenong, Casey, and Cardinia local government areas grow, share, and celebrate growing food at home.
Enliven’s health promotion manager, Kate Lowsby, said that responses to their community insights survey, which captured responses from over 300 local people, showed that the large majority of people in our community would like to grow food at home, but just needed some support. The community insights survey and subsequent community co-design workshop also explored the intrinsic motivations and values of the local community to engage in growing food locally. These findings have been used to inform the campaign strategy, key messaging, and branding.
Food from Home uses a community-led education strategy, while building engagement through the promotion of user-generated content across a range of social media platforms and email campaigns. The Food from Home website is also central to building a suite of edible-gardening resources that focus on simple, low-cost, sustainable, and accessible tips and methods to growing food at home.
“It is a very exciting prospect to be able to leverage a growing social movement and build on the resurgence in edible gardening that we witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. We all experienced firsthand the fragility of our local food system, and Enliven Victoria saw the opportunity to strengthen this system at a household and community level. The fact that this project also presents an opportunity to promote increased fruit and vegetable consumption, food security, and climate action within our community is also a significant and substantial benefit.”
The health promotion team has been overwhelmed by the interest and enthusiasm shown by organisations and the edible gardening community in the South East. There was strong initial support from community members, eleven project partners, and organisations like the Food for Change Foundation, that generously donated seeds for distribution in the community. Since launching, over 900 packets of seeds and growing resources are being distributed to Melbourne’s South East communities via nine different local library branches.