Anyone who has attempted rotating a vegetable bed knows that growing organic food is harder than it looks. Local food gardening consultant, Peter Kearney, has spent his life overcoming these food growing challenges, and is passionate about transforming the current food system into a more ecological, local model by teaching others how to self-sustainably grow their own food.
“I became aware of the problems of the food system and the opportunities for getting involved with change. The cultural/community side of food growing really attracted me; I turned my passion into my business about 15 years ago. Every meal we eat at home has some healthy food from our food garden,” Peter said.
Peter currently consults to individuals, community organisations, governments and property developers via ‘My Food Garden’ where he advises on integrating sustainable urban agriculture into their environments. He has also created a new online place for local food gardeners.
“I started growing food as a child and since moving to Samford 25 years ago, becoming very interested in growing food on a reasonable scale. I began to work biodynamic methods into my organic food growing, with great success,” Peter said.
Given his years of knowledge, Peter was heavily involved in the founding years of Millen Farm, our very own urban farming Samford institution growing local, healthy, and nutrient-rich food. Peter led a group of dedicated residents to develop the business, social and environmental focus of the community project, choosing to step aside once the venture passed through its initiation phase.
Peter’s knowledge and passion for local food growing allows the varied groups and individuals he meets to understand how to make the most of biodynamic agriculture within each of their unique situations.
“People enjoy my workshops, coaching and consulting. They are inspired and feel they have a pathway to navigate,” Peter said. “After working in this space for so long now, I have a good feel for land and the process that gardeners need to step through to reach success in their food growing.”
This knowledge is also being shared through Peter’s latest online venture.
“This platform, called gleanr.com.au, evolved from a desire to enable food gardeners to easily connect and collaborate around growing food, whilst at the same time have very easy access to localised knowledge that fits their context. The platform is localised to anywhere in Australia. It uses online technology to help people get earthy and connect with others in local groups to help each other. It’s free to subscribe and use all features. In time, some premium features will require paid subscription.”
Growing our own food takes time and dedication, offering the chance to learn new skills and nourish ourselves in more ways than one.
“When a person focuses on the higher purpose for growing food; the wellbeing of themselves and family, education, connecting with friends and neighbours and caring for the earth, I feel an inner fire is created to help one move past the challenges and gain great joy and success.”