Growing food on campus is part of a bold vision for the Flinders University community to support this year.
Development of an expanded ‘urban farm’ at Bedford Park is led by students such as Josh Jarvis, a member of the University’s sustainability committee.
Assisted by funding from the University’s Property, Facilities and Development Division and a Student Services and Amenities grant, the team is looking for more helpers as the 2018 academic year gets under way.
“Our mission is to make the campus a food bowl for the University community, based on ecology building food systems,” says Innovation and Enterprise student and part-time Flinders staff member Josh Jarvis, who is also consulting with Red Centre Enterprises on native plants of the Kaurna region.
“We’re definitely looking for more interested staff and students to help with the market garden.
“There are many different activities people can support, and they can also bring their ideas to the project like a kind of ag-tech incubator for local, handcrafted or artisan products.”
The Flinders market garden is based on a decentralised urban farm model, featuring permaculture and regenerative (ecology-building) food production and agricultural principles. It includes the half-acre community garden near Flinders Living and Sturt campus on the southern side of campus and reinvigorating fruit and nut trees and a herb garden at other locations across the Bedford Park site.
The enterprise is a co-operative venture between the University, Flinders University Student Union, Biology Association and Flinders Permaculture Committee.
“The enterprise is meant to inspire a new generation of food producers for our community and help reconnect people with where there food comes from, all while making the campus a more beautiful and nutritious place to be,” Josh says.
The idea is to sell a portion of the produce to food vendors on campus and to distribute the rest of the produce to contributing students and staff – and even to local supermarkets and restaurants.”
Produce may be also sold on campus through a regular local producers market on campus and possibly even to local supermarkets and restaurants.
David Banks, Director of Flinders University’s Property, Facilities and Development Division, says the initiative “is great for the Bedford Park campus in a number of ways”.
“It will educate students and staff about sustainable food production, provide fresh produce for our on-campus food outlets and provide another opportunity for students to innovate, experiment and build entrepreneurial skills,” Mr Banks says.
Contact Josh Jarvis and his team via www.flinderspermaculture.org.au