Through our experience developing urban food gardens in Melbourne, we have identified a need to quantify the benefits of urban agriculture. This will deepen our understanding of urban agriculture’s contribution to the environment and our community, help us identify key areas for improvement and help us communicate the need for urban agriculture.
By utilising a framework developed by Farming concrete, we are creating a simplified measuring toolkit for use in Melbourne. Our measurement categories include:
- Harvest Count – quantifying the amount of food harvested from urban farms and gardens throughout Melbourne.
- Landfill Waste Diversion – Measuring the amount of food waste that is diverted from landfill through composting.
- Work hours and financial input – measuring how much time and money is spent to deliver outcomes
We are also developing a metric for measuring the health and social benefits of community gardens.
The Toolkit helps you track your output to showcase the benefits of your farm or garden, to improve and share your practice, and to raise awareness of your impact to funders and policymakers. 3000acres will be providing incentives in the way of prizes and giveaways to outstanding contributors as well as holding an annual event to celebrate the participating community.
Is your garden in the City of Yarra?
If yes, then you can go in the draw for fantastic prizes simply by signing up to Measuring the Benefits before 15th April.
- Backyard gardeners will go in the draw to win one of three $20 produce hampers from Melbourne Farmers Markets.
- Community Gardens will go in the draw to win a 3000acres blitz at your garden.
- School gardens will go in the draw to win 30 pairs of kid’s gardening gloves.
And all participants will get get a measuring kit including scales, instructions and measuring sheets to help them measure the benefits of their garden.
For policy makers
The data obtained from community gardens across melbourne will provide a detailed picture for councils and stakeholders. This data will be a valuable tool when analysing and assessing the impact of urban agriculture within the community. By using the Farming concrete website you are able to view and compare data via suburb, municipality as well as Melbourne-wide.
We’re working with researchers so that the data that we collect can be utilised in academic studies. It will be incorporated into larger research projects around our food system and community resilience. We’ve already spoken to researchers from the Victorian Eco Innovations lab at University of Melbourne, Deakin University, Latrobe University, the University of New England and Swinburne University and welcome further collaborations. If you are a researcher and would like to discuss this further, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking to recruit as many gardens to take part as possible because the involvement of more gardens means more relevant data. If you would like to be updated as this project progresses, please sign up to our mailing list here: