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Chippendale’s food for the future

Chippendale residents treated Sydney-siders to a rare delight this month when they transformed their streets into a community food fair reports Flint Duxfield in the South Sydney Herald of November 2008.

The Food for the Future sustainable food fair took place on Saturday October 11, and saw over 6,000 people turn out to buy fresh produce and plant fruit and vegetables in community gardens.

Event organiser, Tina Kao, said the fair aimed to encourage people to think more about where their food comes from. “The idea of the fair is to teach people how they can shop and eat more sustainably and bypass supermarkets by buying direct and supporting local farmers,” she said.

Over the past six months Chippendalians have been working with the City of Sydney Council to convert their curbs and footpaths into community fruit and vegetable gardens. Visitors on the day were able to help plant, irrigate and mulch plants in the curbside gardens, and learn how to create their own community gardens.

They were also offered the chance to take part in a scheme that delivers weekly boxes of locally grown fruit and vegetables to Chippendale residents.

Ms Kao said it was hoped that residents in nearby suburbs would be inspired by the fair to set up their own community gardens and veggie box system.

Lisa Robinson, 35, of Ultimo who attended the fair with her children, Sam and Anita, said she was impressed by how resourceful the Chippendalians had been. “It’s amazing to see people literally making gardens in the street and then actually being able to eat the food they grow.”

“I wish we could set up gardens like this in my street,” she said.

Those attending the fair also had a chance to tour the home of Michael Mobbs, a sustainability expert who has converted his terrace to run on rainwater, solar electricity and a recycled water system.

Ms Kao said event organisers hoped the fair would become an annual event.

Photo: Ali Blogg - Myrtle Street residents tending their gardens

Source: South Sydney Herald November 2008