Tiny Trowel, VIC
PARTNERSHIPS and PILOTS Crowd Harvest: Seeds for Christmas was a social media campaign designed to call upon the Australian community to send small packets of food seeds in Christmas cards to the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, STREAT, DIVRS and Food Forest Ashburton. Thousands of seeds were sent! Seeds came from all around Australia, as well as large packets from Diggers and Yates. Refugees were overwhelmed with joy at the resource to plant their own food just like they did before the bombs fell. This campaign led to an ongoing relationship with the ASRC allowing for influence of their practices to occur. The ASRC now participate in every Crowd Harvest with amazing results.
In 2018, the ASRC specifically requested a Crowd Harvest for Okra seed. People sent seed from all over Australia, and an American Seed company saw the post sending 500 seeds in the post to the ASRC. The Harvest of Hope food farm harvested many kilos of Okra for the refugees there are helping through this campaign Crowd Harvest: Herbs for Australia Day was a social media campaign calling for folks to donate small herb pots to food banks at the ASRC, Liberty Church Epping, The Green Café Hawthorn and the DIVRS. The community overwhelmed the refugee centre with herb pots. A group called ‘Food not Bombs’ sent 15 trays, each with 20 pots – but not just herbs but strawberries and peppers as well! The results have been annual since 2016.
Crowd Harvest: Tomatoes for Easter was a social media campaign for DIVRS, ASRC and The Salvation Army Melbourne. The wider community was very generous again. The influence moved beyond the campaign and folks independently chose their own NFP to donate. For instance, CERES sent 16 boxes of tomatoes to Lentil as Anything. Print media picked up on this campaign and the Italian Paper Il Globo carried a story.
Crowd Harvest: Winter Citrus More NFPs came on board hoping to receive excess fruit from around Melbourne. The Salvation Army Melbourne, Winter Shelter, Now and Not Yet Café, Rowville Community Kitchen, Elisha Care, and Helping Hands Mission all came on board to join the inaugural venues. Boxes upon boxes were donated to the all the relief agencies. Community members would go to their aging parents homes, pick the bounty off the backyard citrus trees and take to the ASRC. Win/Win/Win – Folks with too much have someone ready to attend their trees, vulnerable people have something to eat, and the environment is protected by less food waste going to land fill. The generosity of Australians, harnessed through an effective online media, print media and live radio interviews has successfully seen the start of transformational change. With support, Tiny Trowel approaches will see self reliance rise, and the environment protected with more plants in the ground and redirecting waste away from land fill.