Grow Local: Food
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Grow Local: Food

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​Growing Food at Home

What draws you to creating an edible urban food garden?

Is it the taste of fresh garden produce bursting with flavour and health? Those positive feelings you get from knowing you're helping our environment, or the sense of satisfaction that comes from saying "I grew those veggies myself," as you serve up a delicious meal to family and friends?

Perhaps it's about connecting yourself and your children to the seasons and cycles of nature, or strengthening links to your cultural heritage.

If you're interested in growing your own food, check out our Grow Local Illawarra Edible Garden Guide below. It includes ideas and inspiration for growing your own food, tips for beginners and experienced gardeners alike, and real life examples of great local gardens. 

Grow Local Illawarra Edible Garden Guide [5.8 MB]


School Garden Programs

If you're looking for information on 'Living Classroom' programs, and useful sustainability websites follow this link to our School Garden Programs page

Fruit Tree Grove

If you're interested in learning how to start a 'food forest' of edible plants and are keen to help look after a grove of trees, we'd love to hear from you.
Council has set up a flourishing fruit tree grove on community land in Unanderra

Adjacent to the Unanderra Community Centre and Library, the Community Fruit Tree Grove features edible and native species which flourish in the Illawarra.

To find out more about getting involved in looking after this special site, call Council on (02) 4227 7111.
For more information on growing fruit, herbs and nuts, check out our Grow Local Illawarra Edible Garden Guide above. 

Food Security - Access to sufficient healthy food for all 

Climate change poses a real threat to local food security, while unsustainable food systems make a significant contribution towards climate change. Council is working with the community, schools and a range of community organisations to improve access to locally grown fresh food and to make more sustainable food choices.
The Illawarra Councils have partnered under a NSW Environmental Trust grant to create a third edition of the popular Low Cost and Free Meals Directory. The directory provides information on where to find a low cost or free meal, where to donate unwanted food, how to volunteer, and a summary of the legal liability issues for donating food for donors. It also has details of 62 organisations offering free or low cost meals across Kiama, Shellharbour and Wollongong local government areas.
To view the directory, click below, or download a pdf from the right of this page. Hard copies are available from Council foyers, libraries, and agencies listed in the directory, or can be requested by calling (02) 4227 7111
Food Fairness Illawarra is a community based alliance promoting healthy food for all. It is a voluntary working group that is committed to finding community based solutions that ensure everyone in our community has access to healthy food.
Food access for all means:
  • not having to worry about whether we have enough to eat
  • being able to eat food from our own culture
  • being able to afford safe and healthy food
  • not causing damage to the environment by our food production
  • protecting the livelihood of people who grow and produce food 
  • celebrating our culture or community with food.

Membership is free and open. If you're interested in joining this growing community contact Healthy Cities Illawarra on (02) 4226 5000.

OzHarvest is a charity that rescues excess food that would otherwise go to waste and distributes to it to those in need. Visit their website or call (02) 9516 3877 to find out more about donating unexpected leftovers.  

Illawarra Regional Food Strategy

The Illawarra Councils recognise the important role of food in our lives, and the need to support local food security and sustainability.

The Illawarra Regional Food Strategy was adopted by Kiama, Shellharbour and Wollongong Councils in 2013. The Strategy describes how, in partnership with our community, we will work together to realise a vision for a vibrant, sustainable local food system that is resilient, prosperous, fair and secure.

The Strategy acknowledges the important and ongoing role of the region’s food producers, recognises our community’s ambition for a healthier and more sustainable future, and celebrates and supports emerging initiatives.

Illawarra Regional Food Strategy [5.1 MB] 

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