In Tuvalu, where low soil fertility and sea-level rise due to climate change is affecting people’s ability to grow food, Arid Edge’s research shows how composting can provide a much-needed nutrient boost to sandy soils and help people to access to more nutritious food.
Tuvalu, located in the Pacific, is one of the smallest nations in the world. A collection of low-lying atolls, Tuvalu is particularly vulnerable to food insecurity due to climate change and low soil fertility. Arid Edge, partnering with Live and Learn Environmental Education, was contracted to undertake a feasibility study for increased compost production as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Tuvalu Food Futures program.
Compost production is an important climate adaptation and food security strategy because it increases soil fertility for land-based agriculture and supports the development of more innovative raised bed horticulture that is less vulnerable to saltwater intrusion from sea level rise. The final report will be launched in late 2020.
The Hermannsburg Heritage Precinct in Ntaria Community, central Australia is an iconic site, capturing both the Aboriginal heritage of the area and the colonial heritage of the early missionary era.
As part of a broader plan to preserve and develop the site, Arid Edge and Tangentyere Design jointly developed plans for the development of outdoor areas, shaded pathways, lawns, irrigation and shaded seating, as well as the re-instatement of heritage garden beds, market gardens, and date palm plantations.
Preserving the heritage values of the site as well as providing an inviting and engaging experience for visitors were the focus of the design. A wide range of traditional and innovative, arid appropriate design approaches were implemented to both preserve and enhance this important historical site.
Edible gardens are being established in eight Aboriginal communities in Alice Springs, brining a source of fresh, affordable fruit and vegetables alongside a nutrition education program.
Food security is a fundamental human right and an essential component for self-determination as it relates to health. Food insecurity for Aboriginal people is often described in terms of remote communities, where people buy food from a single community store and prices are often hiked up beyond affordability. What many people don’t realise is food security is also an issue for Aboriginal people living in urban and regional area, including in Alice Springs.
Building on the success of the Amern Mwerr Good Food Gardens approach that was developed in the Utopia Homelands, the Amern Mwerr program is expanding to build food gardens (and associated landscaping) in eight Aboriginal communities in Alice Springs, in partnership with Tangentyere Council, NT Health and PHNNT. The program will also provide support to gardens located at Red Cross, Alice Springs Women’s Shelter and other locations.
These gardens will become a site for producing home grown food, for socializing and for learning about heathy eating and hygiene practices. Crucial to the project’s success is Arid Edge’s approach of providing long term fortnightly/monthly support to gardens and gardeners, organising working bees, training gardeners, providing maintenance support and most importantly cooking up produce together in the gardens.
“The Ilperle Tyathe / Warlpiri Center community garden began to take off at the start of summer with all the young people coming in to water the plants and each other to cool down. The Centre was closed around Christmas and new year and we opened back up to see a little watermelon factory after all the rain and lightning. The plants had around a dozen watermelons at different stages of growth and everyone was pretty excited about this. We have spent the last month harvesting a watermelon at the start of every week and a couple of rockmelons now and then. There are also a few pumpkins growing that we are working out ways to cook up. It’s been really special growing, harvesting and eating the produce together with everyone at the community Centre,” says Spandana, from Tangentyere Council.